19 Dec 2009

Post173: The mighty Basement Jaxx and some other things

I had written another post, but I was too ashamed of it to publish it – me being angry and upset blah blah, if anyone is feeling particularly masochistic email me and I'll send it, but I warn you now some of the more gruesome chapters of the bible are light and airy(perhaps whimsical) by comparison. I'm sure it's this bloody awful weather and the season to be cynical and I've only been called 'scrooge Pardey' a couple of times which is dissapointingly low given the effort I am putting into anti-christmas cheer this year. The real thing I want to talk about is a couple of concerts I've been to this week. The First was Depeche Mode at the Dome on Tuesday, Depeche Mode were a big part of my 13-18 schooldays and I played their album 'Violator' probably until the CD laser had done damage to the CD. Sad. 'Enjoy the silence' is still in my top 5 songs ever. I just couldn't get enough of it. Depeche Mode fans will see what I've done there. Sad. My companions for this little outing were originally supposed to be old friends Simon and Eleanor but 7 months pregnant Eleanor decided a rock concert wasn't the right place for a heavily pregnant lady, I'll go with that. At the last minute I got an email from Simon saying he had an emergency meeting which he had to be at. Normally I'd reply using the word skive but as the word meeting was proceeded with the word 'board' and he happens to be the CEO I thought I'd better let the b*stad get away with it. So once again I found myself with a spare ticket and no driver! One hastily assembled email later my usual plea for help had hit the inboxes of my heroic network of mates and my plea was answered by Karen, an old Uni mate who has taken me out before and was a big Depeche Mode fan. Champ was able to come straight from his meeting and take Karen and I for an amazing steak and dining experience at the Dome branch of the Gaucho Grill. Karen, being a financial journalist spent most of the meal asking Champ questions I didn't understand. Champ spent the rest of the meal saying things I should of understood but I've forgotten how to talk in financial Jargon! The meal was amazing and only marginally dietbusting, I always have to think these days!
Thinking about it now, this probably made my night because I thought the gig was a little dissapointing. Depeche Mode have about 20 good songs, and if they'd played them all,it would have been a great gig, job done. Instead they made the mistake so many narcissistic popstars seem to make at live shows, that the audience might be remotely interested in some of their 'new material':
Anyway, they played enough of the classics to keep us happy but I've been to better gigs. I desperately want to be enough of a muso to appreciate their new stuff but when going to a gig is this hard you don't want to be challenged when you're there. Depeche Mode (3 Essex lads apparently) haven't aged well and have I'd guess adopted the 'Keith Richards' approach to being a rockstar – backed up by Champs entertaining tale about how he'd met a guy once called 'wingnut' who had been 'employed' by Depeche Mode to get girls to come backstage. Nice work if you can get it!
The 2nd gig I went to this week (on Thursday was without a doubt one of the best gigs I've ever
been to (and I'm not lazily saying that). I remember in hospital watching Glastonbury on the TV and Edith Bowman said this 'Here are the Mighty Basement Jaxx'. Obviously my puny TV did them no justice but I had been impressed, I've got quite a few of their more housey numbers in formats suitable to mix but having now seen them live I know they're so much more. My accomplices for the evening were lovely couple Michael and Gaelle (pronounced Gail) who I've known a good few years because we used to go to the same night a lot (Knowwhere) back when life was good.
Anyway, Basement Jaxx were indeed mighty and it also helped being in my favourite seats in the Dome so we could see what was going on and appreciate how bone-crunchingly loud and clear the Dome soundsystem is. I hate to resort to hyperbole but it was awesome! Basement Jaxx are a collective of about 20 musicians with a Carribean Flavour, their repertoire extends from House,Techno, Soca ,Energetic trumpet based Jazz to guitar driven rock. It's like following the best float at the Notting Hill Carnival only a million times louder without the chaos and Carnage (and tins of Red Stripe) that characterise the carnival. They had even given us ear plugs beforehand that were hastily dispensed with (In fact Gaelle pocketed them for her angelic ten year old daughter Lucie to try and help her combat the noise of her grandma's snoring when she stayed at hers (apparently she can be heard through walls!). So both gigs provided me with some relief from banging my head against the proverbial brick wall. Sadly though they don't seem to have much long term benefits. My life these days is trying to find things to go to and organising how to go to them, something that'd take a normal person mere minutes.
Life is pretty rubbish but I survive through a combination of fortuitous circumstances. Take now for example, all my housemates have headed off for christmas and I couldn't have fended for myself. So, I sent out an appeal for help through facebook. This has been answered very kindly by a lady called Susan, a friend from my clubbing past that got back in touch with me through facebook. Following my appeal she has agreed to do the job of my housekeeper/carer until Christmas eve. I am bloody lucky.

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