My first gig in ages! Woo! I finished that novel on Monday, and spring is finally here, with sunshine and an end to the huge storm that’s raged for the last three days, so what better way to celebrate it with a night of industrial music? And I love these bands, by which I mean, the Bossman loves these bands and I loved Fifteen Minutes of Fame, which I used to dance to back when mammoths roamed the southside of Glasgow, and KMFDM totally sound like a band I would love. Right?
Sadly the pills aren’t really doing as much now the dose has been cut in half – I’m having almost constant attacks of what I believe is technically termed a ‘rush’ and which people paid good money to experience back when I was terrorising the dancefloor* to Fifteen Minutes of Fame (and presumably other people still do). I call it ‘mind-flensing panic’. So the Tuesday night was spent working late and then running around manically cleaning things, and then the Wednesday night was spent doing overtime and then running from room to room with a laptop and bucket of soapy water, simultaneously cleaning things, corresponding by messenger and catching up on KMFDM’s back catalogue. It is a miracle nothing exploded.
*In a very shy and bashful fashion, obviously.
(I attempted to spend Easter weekend having a spring clean – the hoover exploded when I turned it on, the shredder exploded when I turned that on, the lasagne dish exploded when I put it in the dishwater, and the ladle snapped in half and showered the kitchen with lasagne while I was ladling it out. And none of that was remotely justified! So I gave up and spent the next three days partying, whoops, reconnecting with people I hadn’t seen in forever, before they forgot I exist.)
However. Behold, thankyou letters (from Christmas): written! For bonus points, also posted! CV updated! Behold, three rooms of the flat are now inhabitable (if you don’t look too closely), a massive curry for pre-gig eating has been prepped and those New Rocks my brother gave me for my birthday last year because his mate didn’t want them have been shined to a high gloss!
(I was later informed by the Bossman that New Rocks are not supposed to have a high gloss, they are Matte, and also it is impossible to shine the leather to that degree. This may give an indication of my mental state.)
Mercifully, the panic wore off on Thursday, leaving me with precisely the sort of unhelpful melancholy that is really conducive to going out. So I decided to see if this ‘putting on nice clothes’ really does cheer one up.
Nice clothes do not have pockets, it is a right gyp.
However, it was a nice, mellow evening in town, with a large and peaceable crowd gathered outside the venue to watch with interest as two burly men attempted to strangle each other in the late sunlight and the very middle of the road. (‘This should be interesting,’ said the Bossman. ‘Here comes a bus’). Eventually their mates forcibly dragged them onto the pavement, neither one being prepared to give up his grip on the other’s neck for such trifles as traffic, and I also had to move out the way so the folk sat in McDonalds could get their gawk on too. The police arrived surprisingly swiftly and got out the handcuffs. Alas, reinforcements for the fight arrived slightly later, whooping and yelling their way up the pavement – their reaction when they saw the fuzz had got there right before they did was a joy to behold.
So that was the ice broken and I was quite cheered up (making me officially a horrible person, although in my defence, if there had been more violence and less hilarity I would have been quite appalled).
We were early enough to get a seat, which was good because I didn’t realise just how much these boots weigh, and also the seats are elevated so I got a really good view of the first band – and still would have done if anyone had been in the venue at that point.
Which was a shame, because they were very good – done up like a post-apocalyptic version of KISS, and the singer had a sarcastic sense of humour and got the crowd to fire off synchronised party poppers which he provided. And he had bubble-guns with lights on and these sparklers that go on the guitars, and I think they might actually spend more on party supplies than they do on their outfits, and that looks like quite a lot. I enjoyed their music enormously too, but sadly I was under the impression that I was seeing Sheep on Drugs already and they were just refusing to play Fifteen Minutes of Fame on Principle.
‘They said at the start they are called Metaltech,’ said the Bossman, rolling his eyes at me in despair before getting his earplugs out for the next band. Which was a good call. I personally found them hilarious, because the guy talked in a normal voice (if with an American accent) between songs and then would launch into a rant that sounded like a dalek blowing a gasket (probably about immigration; daleks are quite racist, really) while his mate stood at the back under an enormous mane of hair, occasionally growling into a microphone in an octave so low it barely remained in the human hearing range. Basically, all their stuff seemed to be, QUAK QUAK QUAK QUAK QUAK QUK QUAK QUAK ROAR ROAR ROAR‘.
But they did play the Poppies’ Auslander, which is ironic for a man who sounds like a dalek, and which I could make out the words to quite well, so I’m not even sure what. Maybe their own songs are meant to be incomprehensible? Maybe it is Art? Their name is this jumble of letters and numbers I cannot reproduce, either. I would heartily recommend them to anyone to whom that sounds like a good way to spend an evening.
(God I just read that back and it sounds so damning, which is why I’m glad I’m not paid to do this and nobody reads it! I enjoyed their set immensely, I was trying to appeal to an audience that… ah sod it.)
When I went to the loo, where there was no looroll, as is Mandated By Law, I ran into the wee lassie from the work canteen who serves me soup, which was something of a surprise because I only ever run into her at the wrestling and also I fear she counts as the Generation Below Mine. She screamed in delight at seeing me (which is always a nice surprise) and flung her arms around me before apologising that she had basically just used my jacket and hair to dry her hands. ‘Didn’t I do this last time?’ she asked. Yes, yes you did, but I will forgive many things if someone is that happy to see me, even if it’s because they’re a bit… overexcited. She demanded I come down the front with her, and then left declaring that if she didn’t see me there, she would see me tomorrow and SERVE ME SOUP! which was accompanied by a fist in the air and very sweet.
She didn’t see me down the front, because I am Old, and I didn’t see her – but I did see a whirl of people having a surprisingly decent moshpit, and in the centre of it was a small but constant space, almost as if someone very short was dancing a lot harder than everyone around them. Occasionally a hand bearing a can of Red Stripe would shoot up out of the eye of the storm. Bless, she is just invincible and I envy her. Mainly her youth and energy, because at that age I was the wallflower personified, even in that nick.
I’m happy to say I am way better than I was, but by the time I’ve achieved full-on bolshy wonderfulness, the effect will be ruined by the zimmer-frame.
I stood on the seats to see Sheep on Drugs (This time definitely Sheep on Drugs!) instead. I was a bit unsure this was really them, but the Bossman assured me it was, despite it being a bloke and a lassie rather than two blokes. Fair play though, they were done up in matching red/white/black PVC outfits with braces and ties, which they gradually shucked off during the set, and the lassie was fabulous – she looked like Axl Rose (circa Welcome to the Jungle) in drag, despite the trousers, launched herself about the stage telling the audience how much she loved them, and at one point emptied a bucket of glitter into the crowd and got a whole load of it in her mouth, which was highly entertaining. The bloke was only moderately upstaged – he ripped off his shirt to reveal either some rather far-out tattoos or someone having gone nuts with a permanent marker earlier and basically looked like Snape from Harry Potter with a badly-advised bleach job.
So far, so awesome, although if they played Fifteen Minutes of Fame, it was while I was on a (futile) quest for a toilet cubicle that actually contained bogroll. But it was getting on and KMFDM had not made an appearance, and I had been panicking for sixteen hours straight the day before and up since half past five.
It was worth it when they came on, however. I need to track down the photographer and see if he got any good pics of any of that because there were three of those bands I would love to draw (to what possible end, apart from the joy of it, I do not know. I’ve decided to just create for the hell of it, it’s the fun part, unlike marketing the hell out of myself and having a Persona and a Brand and keeping my actual persona secret from everyone in case it sucks, and failing to make technology upload any of my stuff.)
Um, yeah, the headling band already. The singer looked like Abby from NCIS except in a PVC corset with massive spikes all over the bra-cups rather than a white coat, the other singer was in some sort of futuristic combat kit, and… if anyone has noticed I am critiquing outfits rather than music here, this is because I am rubbish at critiquing music. I mean, I am an Artist, and go for the whole visual spectacle thing, mmkay? Ah balls. I liked the music, is the best I can do. Despite this, I fell asleep during the encore, because I am Old. And medicated.
When I woke up, the Bossman who I had fallen asleep on, appeared to have fallen asleep also. Nil points all round. He did say, they played roughly none of the songs off the five albums I had spent the night before memorising, apparently because these were happy songs and they were having angst night. Which is quite an impressive back-catalogue, if you can just pick a mood for the night from it.
We hightailed it home, sank a pint of juice apiece and went directly to bed without passing go.
In conclusion: I think I’ve already missed my window for being bolshy and energetic.