Saturday, November 11, 2006

"The Contents Don't Squirt In Your Face"

I was gonna head to a party in a shit bowling alley, but decided that I'd rather sit in front of the internet and let my ever-so-slightly hungover head get back to full strength before I subject it to another arbitrary round of assault-by-booze. And so now I'm being barraged with texts asking where I am and calling me "hoss" for some reason. Ah well.

Anyway, another sufficiently excellent adventure under the belt, and concomitantly, another ridiculous amount of money that I hadn't even earned myself squandered on booze, fags, kebabs, hungover Subways, one particularly expensive train - 34 of the Queen's finest pounds for a wee trip from Norwich to London? WTF, yo? - and the various other elements it takes for a shindig these days. Tiring indeed, but we were spoiled for fun. Much thanks to our man RTW and the good lady Rachael for being such fine hosts and bringers of the good times.

As Daniel detailed below, Norwich was all about the 'Strap and our own classic hardcore levels of boozing. Not knowing what to expect from the fine city, I was more than impressed by its lovely old style and winding streets. Plus the Students' Union at the Art College is fucking well Jackson. Certainly the most ace Union I've been in in my 21 years on the planet (not that I've been in very many, but still). Norwich has plenty fine drinking establishments, some nice record shops (in one of which I found My My's fine new tech-house long-player Songs For The Gentle - check below for a tune, plus there's a nice interview with them over here), and overall a very friendly buzz about the place. Plus, what was the place called, The Olive Tree? Well, whatever it was, they do a mean line in late-night drunken kebabs. Plus, Rob's living room is blessed with some surprisingly comfortable couches for the old 40-winks. (Thieves looking for a good night's rest but unwilling to lug an entire bed frame and mattress around, take note.)

And so the third time in about six months we'd seen Arab Strap was probably the best. An excellent set, start to finish, lots of enthusiasm and silly chatter from us (particularly our skinny blond friend), and they paid us back in kind with a thumpingly good performance.

We said our goodbyes to the lads and the kitten (have they settled on a name yet Rob?) and caught a painfully expensive train to London town, where our dear Rachael was waiting patiently for a jaunt to Fabric. A few things Dano didn't mention: we actually gave up on the Fabric queue to begin with, when it seemed impossibly long; the whole thing was starting to look like the line ride from South Park when we joined a different queue for some shithole club round the corner. An hour later and we get called up to go in, but the bouncers don't like the look of us in our trackie jackets. A blessing in disguise, because we just go right back to the Fabric queue, which at about 1:30 in the morning is now around 3 hours long, and working on a 1-in, 1-out basis. Who better to have with you in a queue than Rachael though, who somehow manages to find friendly Irish people - heck, just friendly people - everywhere she goes. And boom! Half an hour later, we were in.

As you'd expect, the soundsystem was off the fucking chain - knocking my head off with every thump of a kick drum. The tunes were top notch of course - 2 Many DJs held the vast majority of the crowd under their silly spell in Room One, I think it was Vitalic most of the time in Room Two (with an unbelievable laser!), and Shitrobot and The Juan Maclean* were plowing a more underground furrow in Room Three.

(*Those two are kicking it right now in The Stiff Kitten back in Belfast, and were it not for my indiscrimination with cash and booze I would be there no doubt. Not to worry. Anybody see 'em in Dublin last night?)

Back to Boring Old Belfast this week and the rain and generally partyless vibes were quashed somewhat by fond memories, plenty new tunes (see below), plus news of good things on the horizon: thanks to diston, Belfast's finest (only?) promoters of electronica, Chevron and Oen Flux (!) of the hilarious spazcore noise brigade Wrong Music are returning to town this day two weeks, with a show going under the brilliant name "Rave Like a Bastard". Don't mind if we do! Check the flyer. December 9th, meanwhile, sees Warp's Chris Clark roll into town, presumably promoting that new album of his, which is apparently proper boshty. (Flya.) Meanwhile, in Galway right now, Fionn should be giving it a sock or two for Nightmoves, about whom I've heard nothing but good things. A visit to Galway is long-overdue.

A funny video of a stupid twat:

And a tune or two...

CHRIS CLARK - Rob Lee (Warp Records; 2003; Ceramics is the Bomb)

MY MY - Half a Hole (Playhouse; 2006; Songs For The Gentle)

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