Tag Archives: josh

Disappearing penises, flaming tour buses, Satanic Sluts and more

My return to London has made me realise some of the things I missed the most when I was in SA…

–    Psychotically unpredictable weather
–    Soho, with all its insane weirdness
–    Indie boys
–    Music that was not picked by some lame radio station
–    The banter in my office
–    Scurrilous celebrity gossip

I’ll explain…

I knew I was back at work when I handed around the Cadbury’s Top Deck I had brought back from SA in an attempt to prove that SA chocolate is tastier and was swiftly slated by half the team. An argument about chocolate ensued in which it was declared that Galaxy is akin to crack in addictiveness. This was swiftly backed up by the comment, “yes, crack is rather more-ish”. Office banter, a reason for living.

I spent the evening with Josh and Sanna. Josh is giving Sanna her first tattoo as an 18th birthday present and they invited me along to Self Sacrifice as, I guess, a sort of facilitator. Tattoo artists tend to talk to “normal” people as if they are a bit random but since I now have a giant tattoo on my leg, for the first time I was regarded as “one of them” and the tone of conversation completely changed. We even did that thing that tattooed people do where they compare art. Everyone was very impressed with the one on my arm and Maio got a lot of pats on the back for it. Tonight Sanna will be getting some words of wisdom from Bob Dylan inked on her hip and I will be getting my apostrophes that Maio forgot the first time around. We are both swooning at his loveliness.

When we went into the shop it was cold but clear. When we came out it was hailing, like mad. No warning… just hail. The atmosphere was a bit loopy. Everyone was tearing around, the shop owners were trying to lure people into their shops and really it all just looked quite beautiful. We took it as a signal to retire to the Royal George. The George is always packed with weird and wonderful Soho-ites including lovely indie boys. In SA a kind of hyper, rugby-playing, beer swilling masculinity reigns supreme. It completely puts me off. So to be surrounded by lanky boys in skinny jeans with wild hair, crazy scarves and pointy shoes was a return a warm joyous place packed with eye candy.

We ended our evening with a delicious Italian dinner in a hideaway restaurant on Goodge Street. The staff were quite mad. When Josh handed his card over to pay and accidentally keyed in his pin a little early, the waiter declared that he was slowing down the process and would render said waiter with not even enough time to go to the toilet. He finished this off by saying, “by tomorrow I will have no penis.” We giggled all the way to the tube station. By the time I got home it was snowing… in October.

At the moment the talk of the town is Russell Brand’s latest round of dodgy behaviour. During a BBC2 Radio show where he had Jonathon Ross as a guest the two of them rung up Fawlty Towers star, Andrew Sachs, who they were supposed to interview. When he did not answer they left him some naughty little voice mails, including one claiming that Russell had had carnal knowledge of Sach’s granddaughter. This has lead to a national outcry where even Gordon Brown is demanding retribution and Russ has once again been suspended. Personally I don’t know what all the hullabaloo is about. The granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, is outraged… despite the fact that she is currently on tour with a Burlesque group called Satan’s Sluts and actually DID sleep with Russell. She’s not exactly the virgin Mary now, is she? There is a massive financial crisis going on and the Prime Minister is focused on badly behaved radio presenters… I love this country. Find out more here.

And in closing, I am very excited as Barb and I will be going to see Kill Hannah at the Astoria 2 tonight with My Passion opening. It’s both exciting and a relief since the gig almost didn’t happen. While on tour in Switzerland last week, the two bands shared tour bus caught fire and was incinerated. Fortunately everyone is fine but they have lost virtually all their personal possessions and have been reduced to performing in their own merch. You can see actual footage of the bus in flames on singer, Mat Devine’s, blog. I can admit that any casualties or injuries of either of these bands would have left me in a state of disrepair so the fact that all is well is cause for celebration. I will be taking along some fingerless gloves to help the boys ward off the cold! This news of course was passed on to me last week by Jen since no one in South Africa has heard of either band. They’re not as radio friendly as the consistent mindless dance music that Highveld and 5fm pump out, I guess.

You are so cool, you are so rock ‘n roll

Last night I went to see The Subways at Brixton Academy with Josh and his sister, Schwea.

We arrived halfway through the first act. I can’t tell you what they were called because they weren’t on the bill anywhere online and I don’t think they told us their own band name. Anyway, they weren’t terrible but they certainly weren’t good either. I got the feeling that the band hadn’t been playing together long because each of them seemed to be playing their own song. There was no indication that any of them even knew that the others were onstage. Musically they were sound, I suppose, but zero chemistry and their singer was doing a very, very poor Matt Bellamy impersonation. For shame!

Next up were my little Glaswegian favourites, Twin Atlantic. Poor Sam is looking more and more dishevelled every time I see them. He is borderline Bert McCracken at the moment. I did like his purple jeans though. Definitely bringing sandwiches and soap to the next gig. They were initially very clearly nervous but their intense energy and powerful connection with each other was very welcome after the first act. I am totally in love with their new stuff, particularly Crash Land (which you can see below) and apparently they will record their first full-length album in January. Once they got into their stride, they were as wonderful as ever and A Guidance From Colour was, as always, mesmerising.

While we waited for The Subways, I popped to the loo. On the way back I had to wrangle my way through quite a tightly packed crowd and at one point I was right up against this guy who leaned forward and whispered, “you’re a sexual predator” into my ear. Riiiiight. I just stared at him so he said, “it’s gotten weird hasn’t it?” So I said well that is the weirdest thing anyone has ever said to me in a crowd. His response was to growl at me. The retreat was beaten hastily.

If anyone is an inherent natural rock star, it is Billy Lunn. He strode out shirtless and with barely a wave of his hand lifted the entire audience into his palm and kept them there for the full set. He demanded serious crowd participation and we gave it adoringly, freely. It was only fair since he, Charlotte and Josh gave up everything in their performance. There was a lot of “cocky” posturing and strutting that would normally be very irritating but when you are as cool as Billy is, you can do pretty much whatever the hell you like and still make everyone wish they were onstage with you. Their hyperactive set felt pitifully too short and when they stopped pre-encore everyone was a bit stunned. The encore was awesome. Barry from Twin Atlantic came on to lend his cello stylings to Strawberry Blonde to chants of “Barry! Barry!” from the audience. Of course they closed with a riotous rendition of Rock ‘n Roll Queen and everyone left feeling like they had rocked out with their cock out. I have a little video of Oh Yeah for all of you and the photos are here.

With that I bid you adieu. I am off to South Africa this evening and I won’t be back until the 27th. Don’t miss me too much.

You wear your skin like it’s too tight

I have a message for anyone who is considering getting a tattoo. If you are worried about the pain of actually getting tattooed, well really, this is the least of your worries. What you actually need to be concerned about is the healing process. As the tattoo on my leg is my fifth, I felt like I was going in knowing what to expect. The initial constant ache and sting was not too bad even though it was on a much grander scale than the previous tattoos, being about 6 times the size of the next biggest. The itching has now set in and I am actually struggling with my sanity. My entire lower right leg is on fire… 24 hours a day. Under absolutely no circumstances can there be any scratching. Since the itch is the result of what is essentially a scab, scratching would be very painful and if you scratch and the scab comes off before it is ready, you end up with an uneven, patchy tattoo. Of course this is all very worth it but if you see me twitching, you will know why. If I ever had to torture anyone… like Kylie maybe or James Blunt… I’d want to give them something that made them itch all over and unable to scratch… I think they’d confess to crimes against music pretty quickly.

I spent the day with Josh and Sanna yesterday. Josh decided that I needed to be introduced to Father Ted, which is a cult comedy series about a trio of Irish priests banished to Craggy Isle after various transgressions. One of the priests is a complete simpleton, the other is a deranged elderly alcoholic and the third has a bit of a gambling problem. It took me a while to get into and it is magnificently surreal but once I did, I couldn’t stop giggling. We rounded off the evening with dinner at the Corrib. It was exactly what I needed to round off what turned out to be a very bizarre weekend.

Today’s obsession is Pirates Of The Caribbean. I don’t any of us realised how badly we all wanted to abandon our day jobs to become pirates and sail the high seas until this Disney extravaganza (based on an amusement park ride) hit the screens. I suppose the story is less important but it starts out with cursed pirates looking for the lost son of a dead crew member in order to spill his blood and end said curse. From there it goes off on a bizarre tangent that has so far spawned three films filled with mad characters and ever more outlandish special effects and storylines. What makes POTC special is one simple thing. Captain Jack Sparrow. Played by Johnny Depp, Jack is irreverent, witty, regularly confused, superbly lucky, self-serving, charming and probably one of the coolest movie characters of all time. Women want him, men want to be him. Johnny plays him with the same style as a drug addled rock star and his endlessly quotable lines (“Why is all the rum gone?”) and lovable rogue quality is irresistible. We all know the upcoming fourth film will be a debacle in terms of plot but I guarantee you we’ll all be there opening week just to catch a glimpse of Jack.