Monday, October 02, 2006

I don’t have any skin


We had been drinking for hours. An impromptu speech by a film maker prevented us from setting up on time, and we were told we had an unrealistic five minutes to prepare ourselves. Before I even had my guitar out of it’s case the stage manager (hereon to be referred to as ‘Mr. Gitboy’) told me that we “really must start now because we are already running seriously behind”. We had been waiting around for seven hours for them to get their shit together. If we are rushed, we fuck things up. After many years and something approaching a hundred gigs, we are not prepared to be rushed. As I casually plugged in and tuned up, Mr. Gitboy barked at Michelle “he could have done that ages ago!!!!”. Dave was seriously pissed off, which always improves his playing. We were completely unhinged. I nearly fell over. I hit The Zone. It was most satisfying, even though there was a continual, piercing feedback from my monitors which made my brain cry even though I wear earplugs. After See My Friends I asked the audience if there was time for one more, aware that the Mr. Gitboy was giving himself an aneurysm. The audience shouted back “YES!!!!”. Righteous. We played a very long version of Black Holes in the Sand. While I was fucking about with my pedals at the end of the song, Mr. Gitboy gave Huw the evils and made that cut-throat gesture they make when they really, really want you to stop and piss off. Huw continued at a particularly casual pace. At the end of the set Dave looked like he had been swimming with his clothes on.

While I was packing away a man came up to me.

Man (adopt Dutch accent): That was very good. But where is the girl?

Me: The girl?

Man: Yes. On the last song, on Black Holes in the Sand, where is the girl who sings on the record?

Me: er… there isn’t a girl singing on the record. It’s me.

Man: It didn’t sound like the record.

Me: It was supposed to…

So that was embarrassing.

Mr. Gitboy aside, the promoters and the volunteers running the show were absolutely wonderful and unnecesarily courteous. After us, Hot Club de Paris played their fast, Scally-bantering math-rock pop nuggets, as tight as a UK promoter’s purse-strings. I was distracted by a monstrously tall Dutch woman. She was taller than Dave (six foot seven). She was wearing superfluous high heels, as though she had looked in the mirror that evening and thought “Hmm. I'm definitely not tall enough. Tonight I will be taller”. Entranced, I didn’t know whether to bolt out of the room in terror or sit down in a comfy chair and light a cigar.

Flight back home: fucking choppy. I’ve never experienced that kind of thing before even though I’ve flown a lot more than an environment-conscious liberal like myself can probably justify*. Rollercoaster stomach; waiting for the captain to tell us we can phone our loved ones. Half the passengers suddenly find God. I think bugger, I haven’t finished the album yet, but at least the world is just as random as I’ve always believed. I’m as insignificant as the grotesquely obese man taking up three seats in the row behind me, but we are both more privileged than the infinite people who will never actually be born. So God: you and I haven’t ever really got along. For a start, you don’t even have the common decency to exist, so what the bloody hell do you expect me to do? Go away and learn some manners and perhaps then we can have a mature discussion about my impending death.

*What exactly is a ‘hand-wringing liberal’? I don’t even know how to wring my hands. How do you do it? Is it fun?


vinciane said...

i really like this version of black holes in the sand ^^

Anonymous said...

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