11 Oct 2009

Post 161: Bolstering my mental health with a couple of gigs

Happy Monday morning, I'm afraid that the weekly mixed metaphor submission has become a bit of a web trawl which is probably a damning indictment on my ability to hold peoples attention but I'm allowing my apathy filter to deal with it, a lesson that other parts of my mental make-up would do well to take on board - and for that matter there are plenty of people who could benefit from taking themselves and life less seriously. This has actually been one of the roots of my problems throughout life, I've never known how seriously to take things. You can afford not to care much when every thing's fine, but that suddenly changes when your world falls apart.
I've realised now how much I give a damn about things, other people and myself. I try and bolster how seriously I take life by striking the right balance between others, myself and trying to do things. When you're constrained by energy, movement, feeling dreadful and loneliness it's hard to strike the right balance. First things first, and I feel slightly selfish putting this first, but feeling terrible and exhausted all the time is impossible for me to ignore and not to take the most seriously. I still find it hard to believe there's nothing medical science can do. I fail to believe there's nothing and it makes me bloody angry, you may have noticed, it makes me question the competence of every doctor I see, At the moment it's hard not to think they're a bunch of useless b*stards, because everything will change if I feel better,I'll be able to do more physio, be nicer to people, have a more positive outlook on life, improve my voice, improve confidence in myself (which at the moment is at rock bottom)
I've just re-read this rant and I'm wondering what sort of narrative device I can use to get out of this cul de sac,where was I? Ah yes, some sort of mixed metaphor, Oh God this is much fun as shooting monkeys in a barrel (sigh).
As I've said before I keep in touch with my friends and family because that is the most important thing for maintaining what little mental health I have left, secondly, I try and keep busy to create some sort of contrived sense of purpose, probably why I write this or organise going to events, just this week I have been to two rock concerts both at that venue where you don't expect rock – The Albert hall.
For as long as it remains the greatest Acoustical Auditorium on earth it doesn't matter what event it is, it'll always sound as good as it can there and as long as I'm alive I'll keep going there. In fact I've got tickets to go and see Russell Brand, Miserable Morrissey and the Carmina Burana (think Old Spice advert music) there in the next couple of months. On Friday following several recommendations I went to see modern poprock band Maximo Park. Now, I'm not ashamed to admit, I know squat about them, it isn't the first time I've been to a concert and couldn't even name one of their songs, it happened to me with some band called 'Coldplay' before my stroke and started me off going to see live music and these days I figure it's better to go if you can than to stay at home feeling sorry for myself. The only thing I did know about Maximo Park was that translated from Spanish it means maximum park (a Buzzcocks reference there) and that they were first on the main stage at Glastonbury so they weren't punters, they were propah!
The major shame was my mate who'd first suggested me the gig was unable to take me because he was called away to New York at the last minute but thankfully his shoes were gladly filled by my DJ mate Oli who was a massive Park fan and has taken me to several events. Now, I have a pathologic dislike of waste (which I think I've got from my parents) I had three tickets (therefore 1 spare) so I said to Oli – 'bring your girlfriend' She had initially said yes but couldn't come at the last minute so I said to Oli -'might anyone else be interested?', and because I can't organise anything quickly, Oli managed to dredge up his mate Chris, who as a bonus had never been to the Albert Hall or even a rock concert, I guess the point I'm trying to make is I'd rather take someone I don't know who'll probably end up enjoying themselves rather than waste a ticket. And it turned out to be a most enjoyable evening. Surprisingly, for a band of their stature the event was not a sellout and it was the first time I'd been to the hall and there was noticeable space. That didn't affect Maximo Park who were clearly chuffed to be playing in such a venue, and confirmed their status as ordinary lads done well when their lead singer shouted before they started 'The North shall rise again!'
It was difficult not to like their music but I wouldn't say I remember it, it was energetic, uplifting, rhythmical and catchy. Oli and Chris loved it which is a sign that an evening has been a success. I got to get out and have a decent friday evening in good company. Result! In a way, I am living my life through the enjoyment of others. If that's the way it's got to be so be it. If Friday was about music I didn't know much about, I knew a little more about last night, but if I'm honest, not a great deal because last night I went to see the Cult, a mid 80s British pseudo glam rock band who had produced an awesome album called 'love' in the mid 80s. The great thing about this gig was it was called 'love – live', which was great news because it meant they weren't going to waste our time playing their new material, the Cult were under no illusions that the only stuff the sellout crowd were interested in hearing was their old 'good' stuff. So many bands live fall into this delusion that at live shows the audience might be interested in hearing material that wasn't a hit. It wasn't a hit for a reason. Speaking of non success, at this juncture I would like to award the support act, whose name escapes me a raspberry for 'worst support act of all time'. I'm not joking, white noise or static would have sounded better, people were genuinely leaving the auditorium to escape the din, this was when I noticed the 'cult uniform, usually someone in their 40s to mid 50s who had just escaped from being trapped in Camden Market for 20 years, ie black and leather jackets and those bloody awful black biker boots with 2 inch soles, I reminded myself why I'd come to this gig: Because it was at the Albert Hall and because I'd loved the album at school, not because I'd identified with the fashion. By this stage I was telling my consorts Karen (a good friend from Oxford, indeed my first girlfriend at uni) and her boyfriend Toby that when the Cult came on they would honestly be great, since my stroke Kaz and Toby have kindly taken me out several times and are always great company, we know a lot of the same people.
Thankfully the Cult were great. Rock and Roll at it's purestTwo guitars, a bass Guitar, a singer and a drummer. None of this synthesiser nonsense that seems to lead the modern Rock of the Killers or Kasabian (who I can't wait to see next month at Wembley Arena). I have to say I was blown away by the clarity and skill of the Cults lead guitarist, who would have even put the mighty Slash in the shade, whilst I couldn't help thinking that the lead singer might have visited Greggs the Bakers a few too many times since the 80s. People in glass houses eh?
Anyway, as an evening, despite its idiosyncracies, it was a good one, and I've got to hear the amazing 'she sells sanctuary' live twice! So much fun were the cult having that they stayed onstage for an hour after they were due to finish occasionally playing another 'love' classic topping Maximo Parks encore of when the keyboard player had had a go the evening before on the big Albert Hall Organ. Musicians on loud soundsystems behave like they've been given the keys to the Kingdom. I was exactly the same in my DJing days. After all this, you might have thought I'm due a rest, but I just wanted to shed some thoughts on a couple of things, last sunday I went to see Aussie comedian Tim Minchin at the Hexagon theatre in Reading. Since I went to see him I have bought his album and booked to go and see him in london at the end of the month so impressed was I. Firstly his stand up was very good, clever and poking fun at the same people and subjects I would, hippies,self righteous environmentalists, spiritualists, faith healers, science deniers, god-botherers but what impressed me were his skills on the piano. There is something of the rockstar about him. Instead of the laughter and applause you'd get with other stand ups his presence onstage is greeted by the sort of whoops and hollers you'd get at a concert. He was also one of the most accomplished pianists I have ever heard He is the australian bastard child of bill bailey and russell brand which is no bad thing in my book, I also share his appreciation for the opposite sex best expressed in his song confessions whose chorus goes 'f*ck, I love boobs though' .Very near the mark!Finally some very brief thoughts on the More4 Docudrama, 'when Boris met Dave'. I have always had a healthy dislike of both of them, thinking them both to be the sort of Toffs who stare down their nose at everyone. After watching this dramatisation I find myself softening my position on Cameron and feeling justified in always thinking Boris was always a tool , with my cynics hat on (it's rarely off these days) I find it hard to believe it wasn't made by Camerons people. After all these exertions you would have thought I'd be ready for some serious nothing, don't be silly, tonight Steve and Naomi (post 159) are taking me to see foulmouthed aussie comedian Kevin 'bloody' Wilson. This will be my goodbye to them before they emigrate to Australia, My sadness at their departure will be shared by a lot of people.


Simon said...

"At the moment it's hard not to think they're a bunch of useless b*stards, because everything will change if I feel better,I'll be able to do more physio, be nicer to people, have a more positive outlook on life, improve my voice, improve confidence in myself (which at the moment is at rock bottom)"

Where did you get this idea that medical science has the answer to everything?

Dom P said...

Research has been happening for years and the patronising attitude that many consultans take and then proceed to do f*ck all makes me feel justified in thinking they're a bunch of useless f*cks

nurul iman said...

Thank you very Steady info ... hopefully more successful.
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