Archive for October 2001

"The Stranglers is certainly rare."   Leave a comment

Large young man in the Salvation Army. Member of staff for some years. You wonder why. Going on about his diet: “All I had for dinner was a sandwich, a packet of crisps, some biscuits, and a drink.” Sad-eyed lady in early old-age (who opens the shops sometimes but is always late and flustered) advising him to ‘eat little and often’.

Irish woman in The Red Cross Shop involved in some confusion over change seems to think that her honesty is in question. Spends the rest of the time I am in the shop bending the ear of the long-suffering manageress (Julia) about her unfailing honesty, its origin in the strong values of her mother, the less-scrupulous behaviour of others, examples thereof, etc.

I’m leafing through the records in The British Heart Foundation when I hear “Um…” Turn round to look into the lens-magnified eyes of one of the part-time staff, a man with a stutter and other difficulties. I’ll leave out the stuttering.
“What sort of stuff are looking for, because we’ve got some more out the back”
“Er, you’ know, well…like, sort of rock and stuff, mainly.”
“What, like, Elton John?
“Er, no…”
“…Rod Stewart?”
Eventually I persuade him to get me a pile, which actually turns out to be vaguely promising in that it contains loads of Stranglers LPs (most of which I own, but there’s always Bob’s Christmas presents to think about) amongst other low-to-medium excitement items. We have a protracted discussion about condition and value, with me making little low-key efforts to improve on the deal, not to take advantage of the man, you understand. He’s talking about £2:50 a piece and I’m hanging out for less, but I can see this thing isn’t going to go my way, especially when the inevitable happens and he says he has to go and ask the manageress. He takes an age to attract her attention because she is an absolute dragon and he isn’t really trying. His fear of her makes the stuttering go haywire and I’m doing my best to act as though I’m not in earshot.
“I hope you haven’t just sold those for £2:50!” she says, sharply. “They’ll be priced up at at least five pounds. That Stranglers is quite rare! When David comes in he can go through the book as The Stranglers is certainly rare.”
Then I have to endure his humiliation as he comes back to me and tells me that:
“Well, as you probably heard. It’s no deal.” Funnily enough he seems a lot more together and dignified at this moment.
I have to go to the till anyway as I’ve found “Bad Wisdom” by Bill Drummond & Mark Manning (priced reasonably at £1:35).
“That Stranglers is quite rare.” she informs me. One doesn’t want to get into get into grudge situations with charity-shop managers, but I allow myself the satisfaction of saying:
“Is that right?” in a flat voice.

Sam dreamt about terrorists. She says she thinks she killed someone.

Posted October 21, 2001 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

make stuff up   Leave a comment

Dreamt about a gun. Think I was cleaning it or something…

Then I was told to go and select some footballs of a specific type from the school gymnasium.

Next I was doing an UM gig with Dave Henson. I was really crap and drunk and awful. Kept forgetting words and having to make stuff up. Really embarrassing.

Then I found myself alone on a Saturday in Barnstaple, just yards from the Sue Ryder shop. I hastily entered the shop and began hunting for records. By the time I’d found some I was in a large Debenhams-type store, with thick carpets and dark red and green décor. I took my selections to the counter. I thought it only fair to point out that one of the 12″ single sleeves was filled with 5 or 6 records rather than one. The assistant called over one of the large police inspectors who were suddenly in abundance in the shop. He stared at me forcefully, but with notable stupidity.

Posted October 21, 2001 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Hot Chip   Leave a comment

Went to the LEAPS gig to see Hot Chip, amongst other things. Everyone who was anyone was there, and many who weren’t. As the band got themselves ready I found myself sat at the back alone with my pint, my view gradually becoming totally obscured by the bodies of University students. Alex makes an unlikely front man in one sense given that he rocks the Russian chess prodigy look, but he has a great voice. In fact the girl in front of me was telling her companion that Alex’s singing had reduced her to tears on some occasion. Some guy in a hat was introducing himself to lots of people. Every single person was chain-smoking. Hot Chip did a song called “Making Tracks” that was particularly impressive. Sort of Money Mark style thing.

Posted October 18, 2001 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Radio Cambridgeshire   Leave a comment

Salvation Army this morning. Nauseatingly comfy Radio Cambridgeshire DJ on the radio talking about how we all have to look after ourselves. Then he says, “mind you, I try to do it myself, but I do it when it suits me, if you know what I mean.” I start to think he’s about to make some saggy attempt at machismo by confessing to having a couple of pints when he reveals that he spent the evening working his way through “at least half a pound of sweets,” and then cues up one of Cliff Richard’s rockier pieces from the 70’s (Something about… “She means nothing to me…” Of course she doesn’t, Cliff). What kind of lumpy-bummed sack of mother-love sits a home eating sweets for kicks in late-middle age?

Posted October 17, 2001 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

"Ain't talkin' ‘bout love…"   Leave a comment

Phew. I have these quiet Monday nights and then I sleep the sleep of little babies. Actually I was in charge of Syd last night and so I did sleep when he did, and perhaps more pertinently, I was awake when he was. He was OK though, apart from some testing screaming behaviour between 5 and 6 AM. Other than that though, I’ve had a long rest, and dreamt very stupid dreams. I may not be able to do this justice because I’ve got to work soon.

I was observing some lads on holiday. I didn’t seem to be with them and I can’t recall if they were friends of mine from real life. They’d arrived at some resort in somewhere like Jamaica to discover that the hotel was basically a wreck. You could see into the hotel rooms like a cross-section had been taken. At one point water was pouring from the top to the bottom, drenching the occupant of each room in turn.

Next thing I know I’m with another group of blokes including Tom Harding, the famous local player of the didgeridoo. We are climbing up a hill through jungle vegetation, in the rain, at night. In the car there is a tape which we could use to record map details onto to orient ourselves, but Tom won’t let us because of some environmental issue. This makes no sense to the rest of us. I am desperately trying to choose my words carefully before saying something to try and change his mind. Tom is being exactly like he is in real-life.
Next we are in some huge bachelor flat-type place. There are hundreds of records on shelves but they all seem to be classical, mainly Ravel. Then the owner appears, who is a well-groomed sort of guy in his mid-forties. With uncharacteristic openness I sit down next to him and engage him in conversation. He asks me if I recognise the music that is playing. I say that I have no idea, but would guess at Ravel. He seems to think I am a perceptive young man because of this. I suddenly begin to wonder if he is gay, as he seems almost too well turned out. I then notice that Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” is playing, but he is referring to it as though it is by another group. I tell him that I recently purchased this particular Van Halen album on CD (true, and the vinyl about two weeks ago). He tells me that it isn’t Van Halen, but the Afro-American cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, and that the words have been subtly changed from:
“Ain’t talkin’ ‘bout love…”
“Cunt-licking at your leg…”
Unfortunately the song has now finished so I cannot verify, and I wake up after a twelve-hour sleep humming:
“Cunt-licking at your leg…”

Posted October 16, 2001 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

More of the same   Leave a comment

Read today that new scientific research has shown that baboons have capacity for abstract thought. I asked Keith and Kevin about this but just got the usual response.

Dreamt I was in a building that was slowly, slowly becoming an inferno.

Fucking sick of war. Whole world suddenly polarised along East/West lines. Insane backdrop to personal misery. Infinitely frustrating stupidness about the whole thing. Immerse myself in beer, Audiomulch and writing about charity shopping.

Went to the car-boot sale yesterday with Rob, Bry and Syd. Bought:

“Substitute” – The Who. Not really into The Who but I like this and My Generation.

“The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades” – Timbuk 3

“Kissing With Confidence” – Will Powers (Just love those one-hit wonders!)

“Sanctuary” – New Musik (a gamble ‘cos it looked fucking 80’s. The A-side is kind of shit in a good way, or good in a shit way. The first song on the b-side is just chronically bad, the second is pretty good as a functional 80’s dance instrumental, and then there’s a weird third song that only lasts for about twenty seconds, and seemingly only exists in the name of perversity, in that it is just monumentally average synth-pop-rock).

“Mud’s Greatest Hits”

“Voices In Rhythm” – Les Baxter

Outside – dark afternoon with heavy rain.

Posted October 15, 2001 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Disjointed reflections   Leave a comment

Disjointed reflections on Saturday night at The Portland Arms (Elias Bland, Broken Family Band, CRS).

Were going to get food there but had dilemma about whether we should stop off in the Hopbine on the way and eat Thai, and therefore put ourselves off the Portland grub. Decided instead to forget about food and get completely fucking hammered instead. Halfway through the evening I realized that they were selling Hoegaarden at £2:30 a pint and from then on drank as though every drop was more money saved.
Sat with Huw and his brother and talked about how Huw digs librarianship.

Rupert had a very good gig. You could sense people getting into it. When I did that one with him recently he played a lot of very well crafted loveliness that could probably be used to sell cars to women, but this set was a lot more dynamic and varied. A couple of the tunes I really really liked, so thank God for that! (Rupert is an old friend and co-founder with me of the legendary Hugo’s Mixed Fruit Jam)

Broken Family Band – fantastic. Steve a joy as ever – responding to a heckle with “Even this is war.”

I’d asked Jay who their drummer was and was told, “he’s this young guy.” Didn’t know he meant Mickey, who is of course a complete artist with the sticks. Very much my kind of drummer – tight, heavy, consumed by the rhythm. Mongy, sweaty face etc.

So pleased that the demise of Hofman doesn’t mean an end to the kind of almost sexual pleasure I used to get from watching them. That is to say a glorious ebb and flow of passion and doubt, and yet always ultimately redemption (not that I get this from sex). I kept thinking that they’d gone a bit too far with the whole country sound, but then they’d draw me back in with some subtle brilliance or other. During “Satan Hates You” or whatever its called I started to think “Now this one isn’t that good…” and then I listened to the lyrics and ended up being astonished by the song. In the end it was only fitting that they finished with a song especially written for me. Me and Rob were shaking our heads in wonder. Finest musicians in Cambridge. The cunts.

Didn’t watch enough of CRS. Bassist’s face a bit of a worry. Seems to be attached to hooks of some kind. Very good band though. Would say more but got to go to work.

Posted October 15, 2001 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized