Monday, January 17, 2005

January 7 (Friday): Thunder Lightning Strike. Dream: I find myself out, knocking around with an old ex-best friend from school days. His gorgeous sister is there, one I once fancied to death, and we are at some acid tennis club in Little Clacton (but not the one down the road I used to live curiously). I don’t think I have seen these people more than twice this century but every now and them I am (sarcastically) privileged to news updates from mum via her work. Its always one too many success story to take. My dream swiftly moves to a waiting room for a job. Sara is also there in the waiting room and it appears that we are together but also competing for the same job. In another chair/seat I see Peter Cook, slouched and almost passed out. I awaken him and bug him and fun times begin.

I awaken feeling rough, these aren’t good times all the time. I get up (off the sofa and out the front room) to find mum getting ready for work. She still does not look well but she is getting ready to leave all the same. I find myself genuinely concerned for her wellbeing.

She leaves and I begin working on the computer. Early on Adrian (my cousin) comes over. He and his wife have now indeed decided to split. I talk to him about it but I feel really out of place, I am now authority or experience on this subject (an unmarried marriage counsellor). We discuss work and finances and there we hit something in common. Our credit card debts sound about similar and the circumstances and reasons are semi related (although mine sound less out of necessity). It would seem the whole credit card finance trap is something most people are falling into and perhaps represents and whole new trend and reality of life and a nod towards finances becoming tighter and harder for people, dare I say, working class.

I’m relieved when he goes to talk to dad, to leave me to my thing (seems I’m experiencing some kind of escapism keeping coming here and using this computer). I continue writing all morning until lunch time when my mobile phone rings. The immediate reaction “its trouble” coupled with a hope that it might be a job. I look at the caller and it is Mark. Happily I answer and he is calling me, asking if I want to go get some lunch. Sounds like he has done a draft of his presentation and feels like celebrating. Unfortunately I still have plenty here to do. I press him again on going to the Cats Against The Bomb gig tonight but it’s a no-goer.

Afternoon and mum gets home, seemingly very unimpressed that I am still around the house, which I can understand really. Perhaps though she is raggy from still feeling ill.

Sara comes on MSN and goes “Jason?”. I go “Jason” and we briefly get into another MSN conversation I really don’t want to be having while the money subject is hanging over our heads. She asks me how things are at home and I really really don’t want to talk about any of it. I’m curt and the call (cool) ends.

I stick around long enough to cheekily blag dinner. After that, while watching The Simpsons, I panic attack and worry about work hits me. I suddenly take a different view to the apparent enquiry into my circumstances of my dismissal and I wonder if they (my ex-employers) are actually claiming another thing that I had not considered, a scenario pretty plausible actually. Will I ever get a job again? I feel physically sick.

Eventually I make moves to get home for around 7.30. On the way I stop by at Tesco Hythe where I buy a newspaper and some milk. When I use the self serve checkout a woman and her child stare at me gormlessly as if I were a genius. I thank you. When I get in, it is so good to be back home (my home).

The phone rings and it isn’t a number I recognise. I answer and its Justin, he is already in Ipswich so I head out immediately. It feels so great to be going out again on a Friday night, my social life has been horribly barren lately (barring Christmas).

I arrive at the Steamboat pub in Ipswich and its in a lovely position (right near the docks on the water) but I still find it intimidating. I call up Justin to see where he’s at and they’re already inside.

I step inside the venue (the pub) and it is packed to the rafters, this is something I am not used to from a gig. It is being put on my Blank Generation who do a really good set of punk shows in Ipswich and are really enthusiastic. They put on the original last Hirameka show back in Dec 03 and it was one of my favourite ever Hirameka shows.

I plough through several jailbait punkers looking for Justin or Adam while some gnarly heavy band turns on parts of the crowd. Eventually I hook up with the others sat outside in the beer garden (Adam sat outside in a beer garden in January wearing a Hawaiian shirt and not freezing!). With them is a young lady called Andrea who turns out to be a lawyer, who will be someone very useful to know the next time I get arrested.

Not long after I arrive Cats Against The Bomb begin playing. After the first band, there were aching fears and reality (and common sense) that the kids (the jailbait punkers) were probably unlikely to dig the boombox beats and samples of Cats Against The Bomb. However, to their credit, several kids stuck around to check out Adam and appeared to really get into his set. I guess stick some heavy beats behind distasted vocals and the punkers will have it as their Digital Hardcore. I find myself really anticipating the set tonight and it turns out to be one of my favourite ones I have seen Adam do (my first since June 04) and all coming with a new sense of seriousness. He however wears 3D glasses atop his head, so fortunately its not too serious though. As the set carries on, more and more people take interest and check the antics out often saying between themselves: “what the fuck is that?” but in a positive, cool vibe. My personal favourite AKA Lover blasts as Adam pulls out his drill as the evening threatens to be a lesson in/of B&Q. He slips in a Lee Harvey Oswald Band cover (“69 Comeback”) and it all goes smoothly. Cats Against The Bomb appear to be intent on making all kinds of distortions and sound variations a priorities, the most redeeming effect generally being to make his guitar sound like some sci fi raygun, the burnt cousin of the Blitters. At the close, people are heckling for an encore but that is all, that would be commercial suicide surely.

Justin has to leave before the headliners come on but I stick around regardless. The headliners turn out to be The Secret Hairdresser who I saw play the summer before last when Bilge Pump played a show in Ipswich. Noticeable back then was how the keyboardist was rocking the Enid from Ghost World look and it seems the song remains the same. There is this band from Norwich called Kaito and The Secret Hairdresser really remind me of them. They also sound like Blur do (attempting) punk songs but remaining playful pop and also Urusei Yatsura, although this band is far from distorted. Their set sounds a lot better than the previous time I saw them and when they slip in a cover of Only Shallow by My Bloody Valentine. People walk/move around all set including Goldie Lookin’ Chain-esqe chavs clutching tightly their iPods, having the headphones permanently in ears while a real band is playing on stage. This may explain as to why the singer/band do not come over/act as the happiest puppies in the world. They end with a crowd favourite and audience participation as they clap and “miaow” in time to something kitsch and twee, almost straight out of Heavenly. There is life.

The night ends and I come away having had a great time. Before I leave, Adam’s brother hands me a demo of his band Big In Albania and everyone seems a winner. I leave Ipswich via Portman Road, really to see if the curb crawling legends are true. Nope, the only thing pulling birds here tonight is the Bobby Robson statue gathering bird shit.

I tear home back down the maniac A12 listening to Radio 2 for some reason. I get home buzzing just in time to catch the live feed of Celebrity Big Brother. I watch as John McCrirrick winds up all the women in the house (at least I hope he is and isn’t serious in what he says). It is also noticeably horrible just how grey Bez’s hair is. He is officially an old man, a survivor of a different drug: does this make him our Keith Richards? Please no. Night.

np: Primus - DMV


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