So here we are, then. I'm listening to Syro. That's the most pertinent news of the day for anyone who's alive. Jeb doesn't like it, yet. Then again, I will tease him forever for what I consider to be his deficiencies in the 'listening to too much soft-rock and thinking that mere gentilesse passes for beauty' department.
Hey, I get heroin AIDS needles jabbed in my ears for some of the music I listen to. You have to put up with this when you're all as opinionated and self-righteous as we are.
Especially Jeb 'Ken Bruce' Hardwick.
This in-band acceptance of interpersonal hatred and hostility comes from another fifteen-hour (or as I like to call it 'infinite') van ride down to Hamburg for the 2014 Reeperbahn festival. Binky The Van is looking worse than Mickey Rourke at the moment, which means we had to do a Rob Lowe and rent a much younger, more attractive model. We did, however, [Yewtree inappropriate], so it was a bit of a squeeze with five of us and all our gear.
Talking of Rob Lowe, Reeperbahn, or the Reeperbahn, if you don't know (Dad), is the red-light district in the port city of Hamburg. That's where we went on the first night.
It's a bit weird.
I don't know why I expected anything better than it actually was. Maybe because it was particularly grim. Imagine Blackpool (or, Hello Hometown, Paignton/Torbay), where instead of signs saying 'BIG CASH PRIZES' there are signs saying 'SEX HERE NOW BANG BANG BANG RELENTLESSLY'...and there are people who look like the operators of stolen, layby-parked fairground rides standing outside, somehow appealing to some members of the, inevitably, British, Australian, and American crowds that gather with rather more than money in their hands.
|Paignton: My first love. Feeling sexy, yet?|
It was noisy, bright, and certainly a spectacle. We would return the following evening, after the gig, also, as it was heavily advised that we visit the 'Men Only' street, which, in its touristiness and bizarrely clinical isolation, resembled a Harry Potter film directed by [inappropriate Yewtree]. I started many conversations with the people there, trying to (Lord, why this vocabulary?) get a flavour of the mood and attitudes.
'How are you? Are you OK?'
'I'd be even better if you came inside.'
'No – I'm not going to. I'm actually wondering how you are.'
'Mmm, I'm good, baby – you wanna come in and I'll make you feel good, too?'
'No – I literally just said that I'm not coming in, and I don't believe the sincerity of how you say you're feeling. Are you actually alright? I'd assume it's a bit rubbish, in there.'
'You don't want me?'
'Again, I just said...'
The business of the gig was what it was. We were kind of tired, what with the logistics of transcontinental travel and infuriatingly obstinate prostitutes to deal with, but we think we were OK. We were filled with 'foreign country adrenaline', even if we left our sleep back in England. Running around all day... I mean, thanks to all who came. Everyone around the gig was really friendly, and, especially in 'the other countries', we couldn't do without that kind of support.
The trip was not all about prostitution and crippling insecurity in presentation, though, as we got to go to an industry party or two, which - for those of you wandering or dreaming about what these kinds of thing amount to i.e. what attitudes are involved, what the general atmosphere is like – is a million miles away from either of those things.
After such fulfilling adventures, then, it was left to a couple of Humming Records people and related artists to provide the perfect palliative to our spiritual fatigue, taking us around the city following those more insistent engagements and pulling the curtain back again on the superiority of German nightlife to the bulk of what our Great (and forever United, it would seem) Isle has to offer. Some of the German bars hold lights under 17,000,000,000 lumens, which is particularly novel. Beer is to be readily purchased for little outlay, and consumed in the street, where throngs of smiling revellers greet each other, relatively happily, their teeth not yet stained from midnight vomit nor the blood of their lips from too much sneering.
Still – I don't mean to complain. Consider it the standardly accepted weatherly whinge we accept when people return from Spain: 'Oh, it was much nicer over there...' etc., only consider that my gripe relates to core aspects of our self-determining culture, rather than weather patterns.
A bundle of idle noise, then.
The trip was whistlestop, bizarre, mind-bending, and distancey.
Straight to Southsea.
Actually a lovely change of pace, in Portsmouth. This was one hour, down the road. Weird. We like to keep it by the sea, when we can, it seems. Great crew, again – friendly and helpful and professional. I've said it before, but it's things like that that can make or break a gig and it makes a real difference when the people around you are supportive. So, like, thanks Southsea crew omg blushes
This is what hashing over memories with a cup of overly strong, cheap coffee and the new Aphex Twin will give you. A little bit of nothing and someone for everything.
Next time I'll fill you in over a cup of Chamomile and some Debussy, and we'll see if it comes out a little sweeter – a little less self-referentially hectic – and – perhaps – a little more standardly punctuated.
Unlike our lives, of course.
'Oh man, Tim, did that just come to you?'
'That's not entirely appropriate.'
So, it's Monday.
Our luck never changes, does it.
Be well, and don't try and be clever. It won't work.