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14 Oct 2011

Post 312: A Kooky week without being strange

I like to comment on my mate Lou's blog everytime he posts it, this week I found myself writing this: 

Lou, you may envy the gigs I go to but I envy the peace, relaxation and equilibrium you have developed in your post stroke life, each time I read your blog I feel you are more settled. I never seem to get more settled or relaxed, which seems to be the curse of my physical condition. I think not having a proper holiday in 5 years is also a big issue – you have inspired me to find somewhere to go (that I can be driven) next summer. If I haven’t found some way out of this terrible fatigue by the end of next year I fear for my sanity. My other point is amoret [Lou's wife] sounds like Gold – she is the most valuable thing in your world. Take good care of her.
 I write this, not to suck up to him, but because I say what I see. Our stroke's may have affected us in totally different ways (him on the left side of the brain, affecting his speech and vocabulary and mine in the back right brain stem, which affects my movement). So even though we're quite different people from different generations who've had quite different strokes, we seem to see in each other a shared attitude and sense of humour in approaching post stroke life. As I recall I believe he once told me that reading this inspired him to write his post-stroke blog – another person with verbal diarrhoea ;-), whatever, he seems to be a thoroughly nice chap! I hope he thinks the same of me. I've always been the sort of person who probably cares a bit too much about what others think, probably because it is what others do that determines almost every emotion I have in my post stroke life. When I was independent I lived by the same rule but I always had myself to rely on if I ever got let down. To me this guarantees that you'll get a decent outcome, which is why now, I put myself in peoples hands and hope they are kind and by and large people have been decent to me, and honest which most of the time has been appreciated, sometimes it's been painful for me to accept that I'm no longer the sort of tough logical guy who refused to let emotions takeover the decision-making process while recognizing how important emotions were to some peoples characters. I'm an easygoing guy but I can't let stupid or illogical things pass me by, you've probably noticed! In this context I always try to choose good stuff to go to because people's time is precious, and I don't ever want to be a waste of time. I once made the error of asking someone to take me to something they had no interest in and it was excrutiating – never again. I may plead for lifts at the last minute but people have got to want to go (which by volunteering they're implying) as there's nothing worse (in this context) than sitting next to someone who's not enjoying whatever it is and is feeling resentful I've taken up their time. It makes me feel like sh*t! I had to make one of my last minute pleas this week and it worked out superbly! Again it was a midweek music gig at Brixton Academy by a band I suppose not everyone has heard of 'The Kooks'. These things are notoriously hard to get anyone to show any interest but the academy is seriously one of the most awesome venues in this country, if not the world for live music - as a wheelchair user it's probably one of the most challenging, from the bloody awful steep ramp up the steps to get in to the fact that they won't post tickets, we have to always pick them up there which can be quite inconvenient despite there being a piss-taking £6 transaction fee plus getting to/from the disabled section is an utter mission, through a crowd, in the dark on a side-sloping floor – those who've ever been to Brixton Academy will know what I mean – as a venue, it really is an incredible place, outside, apart from the rather cool listed front steps
(apparently, hence the precarious temporary ramp which once caused me to fall out of my chair rather ungraciously last year). In the atrium (which has a lot of marble ) there are some very grand stairs up to the balcony which has a pretty amazing view, the view from the stage must be something!
I've noticed and talked before about the eccentric art-deco styling of he main room
but off to the side of the stage there appears to be a sort of mock Greco-Roman villa
complete with columns. Architectural oddities aside, the main stage is vast and they are obviously accustomed to putting on quite a show.
It was at this point that Michael and I fell into the classic trap that must have happened to thousands of concert goers who've ever gone to the concert of a band they're not all that familiar with, mistaking the support band for the main act.
Michael and I were both nodding at each other saying 'hmm, not bad' while scratching our chins like experts. I was just assuming they were leaving their well known stuff till the end. Then abruptly at 9:30 they filed off. 'Hang on, it's too early, that must have been the 2nd support act, they were quite tidy' I said feigning a complete lack of surprise. I should have known better, I've been to the academy beforeand I should have known there'd be quite a show for the headliners. There was and we weren't dissapointed.
The Kooks sound a lot like Razorlight, which is no bad thing. Their Indie Rock Pop sound is not overly challenging but they were a lot more energetic than I thought they'd be. Obviously their big hits 'Oooo, La' and 'she moves in her own way' were exceptional but a lot of their new album 'junk of the heart'
is very very good (Obviously I've now bought it) – my textbook way of doing things, I'd also like to doff my cap to guitarist, lead singer and frontman Luke Pritchard
who is clearly very talented and has somehow found the time to go out (and keep out of trouble) the lovely Mischa Barton.
They have obviously now split up. But the real hero is of course Michael Lewis
who volunteered to take me because he said it had been ages since he'd seen me and he agreed that going out to see live music at one of the best venues in the world was better than sitting at home on a Tuesday. I wish more people had this attitude rather than worrying that it might make them feel a 'bit tired' the next day. I'm exhausted every day
and it was nice to hear from an old friend who said 'am so impressed with all you do manage to do, which is actually more than most who can run around'. I've said it before, but I refuse to mope for any longer than I absolutely have to, eg because I am bored with feeling like this, I have just had my hair blonded again so if you fancy a laugh come and see me, like you needed an excuse. I also got a list from an internet blogging service entitled 15 reasons to be depressed by today's music industry Here are the edited highlights plus a few of my own entries: The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles. People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus' album “Some Gave All…” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album Celine Dion's “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record The Black Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has had 10 Approximately 150 years ago musical entertainment was Tchaikovsky writing swan lake, now we have the f*cking x-factor Have you listened to anything by Snow Patrol? They're like Coldplay without any good songs and their lead singer fancies himself as some sort of quasi-intellectual more than Chris Martin does Justin Bieber exists, so does Simon Cowell OK, so those last few might have been contributed by me! My point being - what's wrong with the world? My final point is to all people I've ever met with sociopathic tendencies. Just f*ck off - stop loving yourselves and start living for more than yourselves. I'm just angry with one or two self-centred people this week.

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