27 Jun 2010

Post 218: More peoplescapes

Not in the best of moods at the moment despite the brilliant weather or the arrival (by email) of a summary of a life coaching session from an old clubbing mate of mine Carly . It's always nice to see her (hubba hubba) and her summary of our life coaching session cheered me up a bit plus it reminded me she had raised £800 for the trust by running in an insane race called 'tough guy' but I didn't need to thank her apparently because she'd enjoyed it so much – well she's mad in that case - and reminded me that I needed to have a goal and some structure to my life, neither of which I have. When I used to write University essays, I never had a plan whereas some of my peers would have two page things with flowcharts. I just used to write and have a checklist in my head of things to mention and arguments to make, if I forgot something I'd somehow work it into the conclusion.
Much like this (you've probably noticed). I have a mental list of things to talk about and somehow string them together.
Like today, I'm trying to square the circle in my head of feeling like this dreadful burden to everyone and the fact that people tell me I'm not. Am I wrong or are people just being kind? On balance and on the evidence I'd say that I'm probably wrong and people ARE actually kind. I think I'm kind but whenever I try and be kind my disability intervenes and makes me feel I'm not nice. I hate not feeling up to the standards of what people should expect of someone of my age and background.
A casual inspection of my diary reveals I have almost 40 events to go to till the start of next July and this will rise, That's almost 1 a week (ish) and the most common expression from my mates is that I have a busier life than them. Things may be busy but it's hardly life. Going to events and organising people to take me to them is my life these days and one of the issues we discussed in yesterdays coaching session is so relevant, that of social power! I have had to suspend my dignity because I do all the asking and organising these days which gives me something to do. It can be quite satisfying but is utterly exhausting, especially satisfying if it has been a great show, the person who took me enjoyed it and says that taking me out and being responsible for me has been easy. It makes me feel like a normal human again. Just so yesterday when college mates Nick, wife Sally and brain of Britain Mel (she's the senior Bernhard-Yes Prime Minister reference) to the development secretary (for as long as I've known her she's always been the one to get the most competitive, sought after jobs EVER) Coincidence, I think not. Anyway, they took me to Hyde Park to see day two of music festival 'Hard Rock Calling' even kinder of Sal and Nick that they had organised and got me the tickets. Its acts of generosity like this that make me feel better about myself. Speaking of generosity I forgot to thank gorgeous uni mate and journalist extraordinaire Karen (ain't structure a beaut?) for taking me out for lunch 10ish days ago and Sexy Suze for taking me to see Reg Hunter on Monday in Dorking. I do have male friends I'm just not grateful to them at this precise moment. Actually on the point of going to see Reg Hunter, it's rare these days that I'll go to a comedy show where I haven't at least heard of or seen one of the comedians before; rarer still is this guy so good that he instantly enters the top 5 comedians I've ever seen, and my taste is (not that) fickle a mistress. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Steve Hughes, don't let his roadie appearance (otherwise Bill Bailey wouldn't be the demigod that he is) and the fact he's Australian put you off or that he calls himself a heavy Metal Comedian, after he'd been on, during the interval Suze and I both agreed he was amazing. Really intelligent subversive comedy, deconstructing the way that global corporations tell us what to think and do, whilst at the same time telling us that political correctness was merely health and safety for the emotions (it means well but only morons would struggle without it). Anyone who gets offended and upset by 'just words' is a c *nt. I'd go with that or ' McDonalds selling salads is like a drug-dealer selling Houmous' and that the 'skullet' is the mullet for bald people.
Apparently you see a lot of them if you're into heavy metal. Reg was his usual super cool brilliance, telling us about his experiences of living in this country, a lot of them being around the strange experiences you encounter being an African American in this country. He's a rare commodity, an American who 'gets sarcasm. One of my favourite stories he tells is at English drinks parties he loves saying when someone comes and asks him who he is he says 'I'm Reggie, king of the Blacks' By a strange twist of coincidence I'm going to see Reg again at Shepherds Bush Empire on the 6th July, if this makes you want to come I suggest you get tickets sharpish. If he can sellout Dorking (which for a town no-one's heard of has a pretty big venue. Seemingly to prove my dislike of football, I am writing this during the game. As it's against Germany, what's the betting we lose, and on penalties. In fact even better, apparently we lost 4-1. My new t-shirt is so appropriate
I'm sort of coming to the end now but I will say this, when will we understand we're no bloody good?! The hysteria is hysterical! Here are some pictures of the inapropriately named Hard Rock Calling taken by my friends phones. Next big project is clearly to find a digital camera with a docking station as I don't have the manual dexterity to recharge my current one. I got to the gig assuming some kind soul had recharged my camera, I tried to turn it on but guess what, flat battery. This neatly illustrates 2 points I have always strongly held and since my stroke are even more veracious:
1.Assumption is the mother of all f*ck ups
2.You can only ever rely on yourself so when you have to rely on others (as I now do) then something will go wrong . I don't assume that. I know it.
This post isn't finished quite yet!
So yesterday's 'We couldn't get Glastonbury tickets' festival actually started on Friday, and me being me I'd got tickets because I really wanted to see Pearl Jam , a band who had been huge when I was a stroppy teenager almost twenty years ago when 'Grunge' had been the big thing. I was reminded of this phenomenon in hospital when I'd listened to the brilliant 'A bit of a Blur' , the Autobiography of Blur bassist Alex James, a man who's only a few years older than me but had a hell of a laugh partying around the world, I'm not saying other rock stars aren't smart but for a rock star he is unusually eloquent, I wish I'd ended up being to DJ-ing what he had been to rock and Roll. I do like cheese to, but not as much as he does!Anyway, Grunge. Grunge expressed depression, fear and even suicide. As teenagers we lapped it up, enough to wear long sleeve t-shirts and have shi* floppy haircuts, yup, the 90s sucked. The leading exponent of Grunge, Kurt Cobain, achieved his goal of blowing his head off in 94 so the lead singer of Pearl Jam Eddie Vedder must be ashamed of the Rude Health he looks in. Rather than show his age via the 'take every drug under the sun' route that Keith Richards or Iggy Pop have taken he looks to have opted for the more traditional 'time' approach.The line-up was full of people I'd never heard of but Pearl Jam were on last and absolutely rocked it with their biggest songs from the 90s (unsurprisingly) 'Alive' and 'Even flow' (not a song about unblocking a toilet) storming the place. You can just feel the atmosphere change when a song does this. In my DJ-ing days I would say it 'smashed the place up', literally, of course it doesn't but when a big crowd just gets something it's difficult to put into words what happens
The Daweses are the legends who deserve thanks for sticking by me and being great friends as well as taking me to this amongst many other things.
The next day, hard rock calling was much less about hard rock, much more about Hyde Park being rammed with 80+thousand people out to enjoy the sunshine. It was as well behaved as a Keane concert in stark contrast to the day before when Vedder had had to ask the crowd to take three steps back, a callback to some Scandinavian festival a few years before when one fan had been crushed to death in the mosh pit. This wasn't going to happen on Saturday. The line-up kicked off with the inoffensive warblings of soul singer Corinne Bailey Ray followed by a chuffed to be there James Morrison who wasn't too bad actually but has probably suffered at least in my eyes because I've confused him with James Blunt. They're both male singer/songwriters called James with a guitar,in my head that makes them the same person! Anyway, set of the day was courtesy of Jamiroquai, a man who has become famous because of one sound and one admittedly rather funky baseline. Here though is a man I envy because he's had and continues to have a laugh, going out with some gorgeous girls and owning a collection of Ferraris despite some bloody silly hats, he was sporting a read Indian headrest and warpaint on Saturday, and all this based on one noise and one baseline. Having seen him we didn't really stick around for headliner Stevie Wonder who looks and sounds just like Barry White thes days, ie the black Jabba the hut of soul music! and I've never been able to get over Lee Macks joke that Stevie's not blind, he just writes his lyrics on the inside of his glasses and the reason he moves head round so much is to help him read them.I was pretty knackered when I got home but not too knackered to watch the Saturday night headlining set from sun-baked Glastonbury which was incredible even on TV. Muse aren't the best live band in the world for nothing. There is noone I'd rather be in the world other their lead guitarist and singer Matt Bellamy right now. He is on fire. Another week in the pursuit of my hobbies, Loud Music, Peoplescapes (usually caused by concerts and making sure my friends know how important they are to me. Feeling this bad will not last forever.

Just a throway comment. As ever I'm back to the ole drawing board when it comes to looking for someone. Looks like I was a shade hasty but (effect Barry White voice)that's life baby.


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