Following last week's Friday night out, I decided that Friday-night-outs are a Good Idea, and headed down to Scaledown.
I was astonished to realise that the King and Queen in Cleveland Street was the same King and Queen that is in Foley Street, and that I had thought that they were two identical pubs in different streets with very similar upstairses. You could have knocked me down with a feather, and I felt the same burning embarrassment as I usually do when I 'get' an advertisement or quirky shop name ten years after looking at it off the top deck of the bus to work every single day. The only consolation is that the last time I was there, I had a conversation with someone else who thought the same thing.
You could say that perhaps I'm using my brain for other things, but perhaps not.
Anyway- the last thing I expected was to be spending the evening crying with laughter into the Flying Scotsman scarf that I bought last week from York Rail Museum, and that has a high proportion of acrylic fibres and so won't absorb tears.
As I walked in, Matthew Caley was treating the audience to his poetry. I think they had been forbidden to applaud and between poems there was a surge of energy as people didn't clap that was quite intriguing. Matthew is not afraid to be intellectual, which was refreshing, and thankfully we were allowed to applaud at the end.
Pete Evans followed, singing amongst other songs a frankly terrifying song about jelly that made me wobble with fear. He had a great guitar sound and technique and I wished I was sitting closer so that I could steal his licks (nothing to do with jelly- sorry!).
Maybe I shouldn't confess to that, but having once carried a chord sequence in my head all the way through a noisy gig in Brixton, on the tube home and finally into the living room where I could work it out on my guitar, I think I'm probably fairly typical of a self-taught guitarist.
So Pete's songs are safe. And he was extremely entertaining.
After the refreshment break, Jude Cowan and Charlotte Keeffe performed Charlotte and Jude Have Kittens on cheap speaker'n'samples and microphone, and trumpet respectively. Jude wound wool around tables and audience members, and used feedback and speech to evoke kitten-ness in a sharp challenge to social media-fication of fluffiness, although she did mention milk a couple of times.
Next, Sex Cells moved on to the stage area and absorbed themselves in keyboards and speakers; their songs drifted into existence and they performed with their backs to the audience and kneeling on the floor, which I really liked. It was like watching two children play with a train set, although of course it wasn't like listening to that. They did proper songs and I tapped my feet accordingly. I hope to hear them again.
There was another break. Sean Hendry told us all to f*ck right off, and Mark Braby told us to f*ck back on again in ten minutes. Somehow in that ten minutes, Mark managed to spill red wine down Sean's best shirt (although he might have been pretending it was his best shirt just for dramatic effect). He invited us to suck the wine from his shirt and perhaps unsurprisingly, nobody volunteered. He had already tried to examine Marks prostate gland in front of us all; add this to the song about jelly and you can see that this had not been an evening for the fainthearted.
Anyway, the tone of the evening quietened down as Mindlobster set up his stall and improvised some real foot-tapping music from a selection of samples that sounded like they had been recorded everywhere from a Pound Shop to an airport. I wanted to get up and dance like a loon but I'm an introvert, so just did that in my head.
Lastly, the Rants collected around a motley selection of instruments, and took us on the most stupidly hilarious journey you could possibly imagine, that included a holiday in the King and Queen that involved researching mattresses in local stores and setting the marketing bullshit to music. Oh I do love a properly researched performance with a local flavour! Their piece-de-resistance was a song called Karma Will Come Back To Bite You On The Arse. By this time I was weeping helplessly into my scarf and gasping for air. I could barely leave my seat and go home, I was so weakened by hilarity.
Anyway, I survived the evening and so did everyone else.
I am looking forward to playing there later this year, but until then I have to do the housework.