Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Bits

With no News of the World, I hereby offer my own Sunday paper, or to be more exact, Sunday Screen.

Well, a few days ago I heard the news that The Raincoats were to be called upon to present Johnny Rotten with a Lifetime's Achievement Award from Mojo Magazine (incidentally, the only music mag that I buy and read in spite of the fact that their marketing department assumes that Dr Reddington is a man, see past postings for hilarious phone conversation with young man who should know better!)
Gina found this exciting and amusing in equal measure; I find it perplexing that the mag should simultaneously honour the band by asking them to do it, while insulting them by never running a feature on them.
Are they too frightened? I hereby lay down the challenge!!!!

Next up... a funny conversation by some shop assistants (sorry, sales staff) overheard in Iceland:
Girl to male colleague: 'Pooh, that aftershave smells a bit strong!'
Other male colleague: 'Yeah man, I can taste it from here!'

Then to last night's Rrrants gig at the Camden Eye, mercifully not as over-stuffed as they are sometimes. The collective always has a spot-on selection of acts and this night was devoted to female performers, poets, comedians and singers. What struck me was the relaxed and gentle delivery of the older women; I am not sure whether this is because I am one, but I find everything more appealing if it has a warm heart, even unappealing subject matter, if that makes sense.
For this reason I thoroughly enjoyed Joolz's set. Hers was the poetry I wanted to see or hear again, because it was not designed for those with short attention spans. There was poetry there, actually: words you could feel, eat, smell, whatever, delivered with a sense of rediscovery and fizzling semi-suppressed anger.
I am being a bit lazy in not reviewing the others (I should be in Epping performing at a campsite but I am not); they were very good and raw and funny! You can trust the Rrrants Collective's judgement: there is more tonight at the Camden Eye or look at their site
I enjoyed playing: they have moved the stage area so you can play to streams of traffic (including blaring emergency vehicles of every description) heading straight at you, one floor down. Headlights, traffic lights, ads, bustle, noise: it's Camden in all its seedy glory. Pissed-up youths sang along noisily to dance tracks downstairs, but everyone upstairs was listening in an oasis of disrupted calm. Voices from various collective members joined in on the choruses of my songs and the set went by in a dream, one of those gigs where in your head you return to where you were when you first wrote the song, and adventure in memory.
Viv was headlining and the audience had been joined earlier by members of the Vibrators and New Model Army. Her guitar was a star, walloping the audience with nasty riffs and humorously flowing punctuation. Viv is a great player. It takes a lot of rehearsal to be that fluid and to edit out all the crap; there are no unnecessary notes in her playing, and no unnecessary lyrics in her songs. After seeing her a few times, this was an opportunity to listen properly to her lyrics, and yet again I felt that she should be given on prescription to teenage girls, middle-aged mums and seeking elders to show them that there is another side to the gloriously dull prison of housewifeland with all its shiny white buzzing equipment and Daily Mail-demarcated rules.
The night finished with an energetic song by Paul and Ian, rewarding the loyalty of an audience some of whom had been there since 5 p.m.- now that's commitment!

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