I'm The Face   Leave a comment

Today’s Guardian has a story about a Palestinian kid of 14 on a suicide mission with loads of explosives strapped to his chest who obviously decided he couldn’t go through with it and gave himself up at an Israeli checkpoint. They’ve got pictures of him in his bomb vest with his hands in the air, then on his knees stripped to his pants, and then being paraded for the media, looking really broken. I bet that kid doesn’t feel too proud of himself right now, but to me he’s a fucking hero, and I wish I could write to him and tell him so. Sure, he did it because he was scared to die, but essentially the unfucked-up still-a-child part of him must have thought: “You know what, fuck this. I don’t really want to die. I want to live.” Them Israelis should have just disarmed him, turned him round and told him “Right, piss off laddie. Don’t let us catch you doing this again.” Give him something to think about.

Immediately after reading about that I went into a charity shop and the old Nazi behind the desk was going “I watch that Des and Mel show. I just think it’s a really nice, happy show, with none of that filth on it.” She all but spat out the word filth. These are the sort of people they should be strapping explosives to, in my opinion.

Had a weird gig at the Portland the other night where I lost my bottle a bit because just before I went on Michele springs it on me that Nicola from Big Brother (Series 1) is being brought along by our mutual friend Ben, and because I am a sad Big Brother aficionado I start to feel wobbly on the dubious thrill. On top of that Davey Graham has been dragged out of retirement to do the sound and it’s been so long since I’ve had seriously decent sound that I end up being totally thrown by it. Normally I make up for the fact that I can’t hear shit by concentrating on the visual side of Um, but I suddenly found myself having to stand very still and concentrate on attempting to sing the song like the song goes. The room wasn’t too full either, so the atmosphere was unnervingly intimate. Into this hushed scenario suddenly walks C-List celebrity gobshite Nicola BB1, and my personal surreal-o-meter goes into the red and stays there. The second I’ve finished my set a bloke walks up and asks if I’ve got a copy of Um For Charity for sale (funnily enough I took one out of my box earlier to make room for extra copies of The Old Album) and then old-friend James starts talking to me about the blurry old past, and then, get this, Nicola BB1 walks up and starts telling me how much she enjoyed my set, bless her coke-blown mind. “I feel like I ought to have my photo taken with you,” I blurt out by way of response, which was a sort of involuntary joke/insult/reference to the fact that her media profile has been reduced to small pictures of her with other celebs in clubs, but of course it comes out like I’m saying “I wanna photo of me with you because you’re famous!” Anyway, for the rest of the night I continue to covet this untaken photo, which has a deliciously gristly Um-type quality in my head, but I’ve totally over-analysed it to the extent that I can’t just nudge it into reality without looking like someone who has only a partial picture of what life is really like. Pete Sutton, on the other hand, looked alarmingly comfortable in the company of Nicola and her (striking lesbian couple, very tactile) mates. The richly complex look of pleasure on his face is an image that I shall treasure always, but I think she wore out even he in the end.

Talking of my life as being like the Cambridge Electronic Underground’s answer to Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, apparently my picture is in The Face. There was a photographer at The Tate gig snapping away, and he took one of me just after I came offstage, hanging with Adrian from The Teenbeat. I could tell it was shit as soon as he pushed the button because I like Adrian, but don’t know him very well, so I really didn’t know what to do with my face and ended up smiling like an accommodating rape victim. Later on, after a few more little bottles of Becks, I tapped the photographer on the shoulder as he was trying to get pictures of my good mates The Broken Family Band and asked him if he oughtn’t to have one of me with my shades on. They were very cool shades. Anyways I’ll wager that that’s the one they’ve used.

Funnily enough I was reading in The Times (like you do) whilst Richard was eating his sausage sandwich on our REALLY CRAZY ST. PATRICK’S NIGHT OUT that The Face is almost certainly going out of circulation soon. It’s just not hip anymore apparently.

Oh yeah…

23-19! We got a 23-19!

Posted March 25, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

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