Q: OK. Did you see something?
A: Never told anyone this before. Nobody knows.
Q: Know what?
A: I was the second gunman
Q: You shot President Kennedy?
A: In the head. I killed him.
Q: Can you prove it?
Making cancer cool for kids: The adventures of Captain Chemo, in which the good captain does battle with constipation and hair loss, and undergoes a course of steroids. I’m really not sure what to make of this – it’s obviously worthwhile making the prospect of cancer seem less terrifying for children – but this comes close to making the disease sound like fun, and that can’t be right, surely?
Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of gigs, and I mean a lot of gigs. A while back I tried to figure out roughly how many, and quickly gave up once I realised that it wasn’t the sort of number I could count on the fingers of one hand unless, of course, it featured close to 3000 fingers. So anyway, I guess the excitement I get from going to see bands play has slowly diminished over the years. As a kid I’d save my money up to pay for coach trips to glamourous cities like Leicester where artists such as Toyah Wilcox (yeah, I know) would provide quite magical nights out. These were real events, these evenings, few and far between. Then I moved to London, what had been an occasional treat became an almost nightly event, and attending gigs turned into a habit, little different from eating breakfast or taking a bath. Recently I’ve slowed down quite a lot, but still like to get out from time to time to see if I can understand what the hell it is that bands are on about these days, and perhaps try and recapture the wonder of those early experiences. Tonight, it actually happened.
The Polyphonic Spree are quite incredible. If you can imagine The Langley Schools Music Project performing the greatest hits of The Flaming Lips at a Seventh Day Adventists toga party you’d be getting about as close as I can describe, but boy, that really doesn’t do it justice. This was really something else, an utterly joyous, almost celestial occasion. Witnessing 27 (count ’em!) musicians perform with such euphoric, near-religious fervour, it seems entirely appropriate that the venue is a church. They finish with a rousing version of the only David Bowie song I truly love, ‘Five Years,’ by which time the audience have invaded the stage, strangers are hugging each other in the pews, and the theramin player has leapt fifteen feet from the pulpit, executed a perfect forward roll upon landing on the stage, and bounded to his feet with a mile wide grin before falling into the arms of the trombonist. Am I allowed to swear? Of course I am, it’s my website. Absolutely fucking outstanding. I’ve never wanted to join a cult, but if this lot came a-knockin’ I’d sign on the dotted line tomorrow.
Well, perhaps not tomorrow. I’m off to see Ben Kweller in concert.
Gunbroker.com. It’s like eBay (even down to the ripped-off design), but for all things that involve violence and the upkeep of the American way of life. I’m considering placing a bid on a rather lovely Uzi 9mm.
So here’s the promised review from last night’s rare performance by Guns ‘n Roses at London’s Docklands Arena barn:
1. The Gunners have a guitarist who wears a Chinese theatre mask, a wig that looks like the hair of original guitarist Slash, and an upturned Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head adorned with the word “Funeral.” He has a solo spot where his demonstrates both martial arts skills with a set of nunchucks and body-popping.
2. Axl is quite friendly, even self-effacing, at one point preventing a roadie from toweling down a spot on the stage which had got wet so that he could do it himself.
3. The old songs were great, the new ones sub-industrial, shapeless, interminable dirges.
Actually, if you want a proper review, here’s one from the guy in the seat next to me. I heard him phone in the original, and can vouch for the fact that’s it’s been extremely badly edited. Especially the non-use of the word “cumbersome,” which was my contribution to the original piece.
Anyhow, bollocks to all this stadium nonsense, tonight I’m off to see the 27-member choral symphonic pop band Polyphonic Spree. How’s that for variety?
Wanna hear about the time I recorded with Guns n’ Roses?
Read More →
This evening on the tube home, I was accosted by someone who asked if I was Joey Tempest. Brilliant. Just what I needed.
Another triumph. If you’re a Polish person searching for Pornography on the Internet using the local version of Alta Vista, and your search term is, say, “Free Pussy”, guess who is currently the number one search result? Yep, me. I tell you, the adult sites ought to be coming to me for advice on search engine placement. This sort of thing is worth thousands.
Currently we’re looking for a new flatmate. It’s great fun. So far we’ve interviewed the Czech student, the Australian carpenter, the Italian secretary and the slightly odd, shuffling, acne-damaged accountant from the Civil Service. Ooh, it’s been entertaining, I can tell you. I’ve even made a delightful 3-D map to help people find our building. Look! There’s me! On the roof! I made the map with some extreme architecture software from CityCreator, which is what Sir Christopher Wren would have used during the construction of St Pauls Cathedral, had the Internet been around in those days.
If ‘Ole Dirty Bastard doesn’t manage to remain on the loose long enough to record with the Wu-Tang Clan again, at least the rest of the group can turn to Ill Mitch for help. He iz da bomb.