Category Archives: dean street

you’re barred

When I was in New York last year I wandered into a bar on Murray Street, purely because that’s when Sonic Youth have their studio, ordered a beer and lit a cigarette… “Hey! What you doing Buddy!?” yelled the barkeep, looking at me as if I was offering the tip of my quivering member up to the arsehole of The Littlest Hobo, I’d momentarily forgotten, smoking in NYC wasn’t allowed. ‘How fucking stupid’ I mentally scoffed before apologising, flicking the cigarette out the door and returning to my stool and beer. I drank fast, I wanted a cigarette.

Now, as I type this, I’ve 2 more fucking evenings in pubs/bars where I can legally smoke. It’s utterly fucking pathetic. No one goes to a bar for the purposes of health, plenty of bars offer no smoking sections, what the FUCK is the problem here? Really, it’s the direct equivalent of not letting fit people into gyms, think about it.

The first nationwide tobacco ban was imposed on its populace by the Nazi’s, then the USA (can anyone smell anything here?) worryingly Ireland and Scotland got recently involved and the final blow is struck to the English in about 48 hours. So, in order, the fucking Nazi’s then the USA, then the UK. It’s rather disturbing wouldn’t you agree. No one else of any note has a smoking ban, I mean can you imagine what would happen if they tried to impose this rubbish on the French?

So, what’s the agenda here? It’s got nothing to do with the health of those that work in environments where people smoke (the main reason given by the cunts who want smoking banned in all enclosed places). The late Sir William Richard Shaboe Doll, one of the first to link smoking with ill health made it clear that the link between passive smoking and ill health was essentially bollocks. So what’s going on?

Either way, I’m fucking sick to death of all this ‘it’s bad for your health’ wank. Everyone knows what is good/bad for health, as humans with freewill we can choose to indulge in one facet or the other, but the bottom line is that being alive is bad for your health, in fact, the single most risk to ones health is age. Quick, assemble a mob, let burn St.Agnes Care Home down to the ground, the fucking crinkly old cunts ARE FUCKING OUR PLANET AND NATIONAL HEALTH.

Last night I bumped into my Bro’s missus on the Charing Cross road, the subject of Glastonbury was broached. It would seem hindsight is casting a fonder light over last week’s proceedings, but I will not succumb, I wriggled my toes in my Converse relishing the feeling of hard clean concrete under my feet in order to avoid sliding into post-festival romanticism. With the ban looming like a giant all seeing CCTV camera, I went to the Groucho Club. Even private member clubs are up for the smoking-chop so we five, Den, Liam, Stephen and Benjy chain smoking like condemned men awaiting nannies gallows.

We had a lovely evening, laughing, chatting, smoking (of course) and drinking some French white stuff that was so moorish it was easy to not appreciate every fading puff and gasp on our fags. All of us aware that an era was coming to an end, smoking is so much more than lung cancer and emphysema, to me, it’s still the epitome of bohemianism, I still think it makes me look hard and fucking cool and, of course, a bar is the most appropriate environment in which to indulge. But shortly, this pleasure will be no more.

Tonight I’m meeting some friends in a pub in Hackney and tomorrow, some more friends in my local for one last night of indulgence. By the time you read this on Monday the ban will have already been implemented. It’s going to be a bloody nightmare.

If you don’t smoke, take it up, just to show the bastards.

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reassembly

On Friday evening, following a pint and a half at the nearest pub to my office (a vile stinking boozer with the character of a stroke victim) in order to wish a colleague farewell, I made my way slowly to Angel to meet up with Swineshead. We made our way to a venue/pub to see 3 bands as part of Lark in the Park. We were joined shortly by his brother and uncle and finally by my old sparring partner, Jim. He and I go way back and like my other old friend, James, have no ability to know when it’s time to stop. Many a time he and I have been a liability to our friends, he in particular… happy days of shoving Jim into shopping trollies and running him over cobbles as he vomits heavily on his Dio t-shirt calling us all ‘cunts’ in between gasps. I swear the exact same scenario happened on a least 3 separate occasion, witnessed by the same t-shirt.

The second band on weren’t much to write home about despite being competent but apart from the excellent drumming from the support band, the headline act were the most impressive. Obviously I’ve no idea what they were called, I was with Jim and Swineshead, himself known to be quite good at blowing the froth of a few (7 at the last count) so my memory is a little pressed. Jim and I managed to get to the tube just as the last train was due to set from the platform. The carriage was surprisingly empty apart from three lads, one was lying on the carriage floor retching into a Sainsbury’s shopping back. Jim, smiled, looked at the lad on the floor and said to me, ‘I used to be like that…’ I remembered our trip to Hyde Park last summer where he’d got so pissed I had to stay with him and witness his fair features transform to one of Notre Dames gargoyles for an hour as sick came out. ‘Used’ to be like that?

We quizzed the sick lads mates, nice chaps, clearly taking responsibility for their pal whose eyes were rolling in his sockets like cue balls. We offered some advice, Jim in particular. ‘You know’, he mused, ‘he can hear everything we’re saying yet he’s unable to communicate with us’. Jim smiled, like he was fondly recalling a moment of agonising inebriation as if it were his first go on a pair of tits. The lads got off at Waterloo, Jim and I helped get the vomiter up on his feet and offered advice to his amused mates. Just as the train pulled off the sick lad opened his mouth a puked a substantial stream of raw beer all over himself.

When we got back to Tooting we opted for a Shawarma, essentially a slightly posher kebab, after being harangued by some racist Irish prick we rushed back to flat to eat. The flat was boozeless save some vodka in the freezer so Jim and I had sensibly purchased a couple of bottles of Coconut and Pineapple juice. To our joy and following day’s regret, it made a superb mixer and we cheerfully pushed on until 4-ish.

After a spot of breakfast Jim left. I had a shit lot to do after I’d strangled some veins, wash up, hoover, dust, prior to timing my trip to Sainsbury’s with the insufferable FA Cup Final as I figured there would be less people shopping. It paid off and after spending a fucking fortune I’d re-stocked on all the supplies that’d been dwindling due to the previous weekends’ engagements.

Later in the evening I met Frank in the local. The pub was full of weird people that had hung around following the football, more oddballs arrived. There was a strange atmosphere Frank and I concluded. It didn’t stop us putting four pints of Bombardier away though, and I walked back home feeling dozy as the sinking sun ignited a warm orange over half of the crisp blue sky. I took a bath, ate my favourite dish and watched a ‘rockumentary’ on BBC2 that focussed on the late 60’s and Jimi Hendrix, it was an above average effort at deconstructing the birth of ‘rock’ but as it featured lots of footage of Hendrix screwing his guitar I couldn’t have given a tinkers cuss about the editorial. Later I watched The Blair Witch Project, I’ve seen it a few times so being familiar with it, felt it would be safe to watch. Alone. ‘Of course’, I said out loud, ‘I mean it’s only a bloody film’, I don’t even believe in god let alone ghosts… By the end I was having a panic attack, possibly due to some sublime Skunk I’d allowed myself to become utterly absorbed in it to the point that I considered helping to look for fucking Josh. Despite it being late I was required to watch Southern Comfort just to help my brain settle. No idea what time I went to bed to bear witness to a nightmare of such horrific proportions it’s a miracle my heart didn’t explode, but at least I woke up with a hangover.

I stayed in bed ‘til noon, the motorcycle GP was on and I had a date with a cup of tea, toast, kippers and Valentino Rossi who’s more fun to watch ride than Silvia Saint (lads). Smashing race indeed, I was inspired to have a word with my black bitch and we hit the road, perfect riding conditions, warm without the stuffiness and bright but without glare. After checking my tyre pressures, essential to a slick ride, I shot down some A roads in Surrey, the bitch was responding as if made from my own flesh and we laughed at wankers in cars and speed limits. I nipped by to see my folks to give the bike a quick wash. She was all dirty from the rain earlier in week. I touched her clean. On the way back to the flat I had a race with a very souped up Subaru, it gave me a run for my money (to my surprise) but I was just about to make the podium.

By 7 I was home, shaking with adrenalin and feeling wholly purged. I wrote, bathed and ate a burger in fresh cheese and onion bread before settling down for the evening. I say settled down, I spent the vast majority of Sunday having an episode of OCD that required me to readjust aspects of the flat, nothing major, just minor adjustments but to the trained OCDer, essential minutiae. I did manage to watch High Anxiety in relative peace though; I’d forgotten how superb that film is.

In order to inject some sort of good into my battered body I cycled in today. Apart from a mid trip cough-up which I felt a positive thing it wasn’t too bad. I’m going to try and keep it up so I don’t look like a melted candle at Glastonbury. Busy week this week, I’ve decided I’m taking Friday off for reasons that will become apparent.

Aren’t I a little tease.


lost in music

I managed to get to Fopp records at just the right time. The hairy arsehole on the door had told me The Idler event was full to capacity, I curtly informed him I was on the guest list (I’ve no idea if I was) and in I went, instantly bumping in to a newly married Den. Perfect.

The first band on were The Rubbish Men of Soho, who were deliberately shit, the joke wore off after 15 seconds and Den and I went out for a fag. In the small courtyard behind Fopp half the guests were huddled in groups drinking and smoking, the atmosphere was far more congenial and within seconds Den and I were besieged by old familiar faces and I was introduced to the ones that weren’t.

We retuned to the bar where Den was in the superb position of not having to pay for his drinks, the gratuity was passed on to yours truly. Air Hammer, who I was informed was a classically trained opera singer, was a one man band, a cross between Lee Evans and Dennis Pennis with a guitar, it started well at least. The headline act were Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction. Way back in the late 80’s this outfit made a bit of a stir in my little group, Zody himself was the crush choice for most of my girlfriends and I was a fan too, of the music I hasten to add, I’m not a good listener… They put on a sterling show, they must be in their 50’s now but he’s still got it, even stripped to the waste on Prime Mover he didn’t look like he was a man facing a bus pass application in a few years. After the show I introduced myself to Cobalt Stargazer, the guitarist, who was drinking 2 beers by the stage, he didn’t seem too keen on making chitchat, but I persevered and impressed him with my tale of the trip to Durham high security prison to meet a mate who’d beaten his wife’s lover to death with a lamp stand, purely because he was a Glaswegian and my incarcerated mate was from Fife.

Den and I hooked up with chaps from The Chap and an illustrator in fantastic heels and we all fucked off to Soho. Somehow Den and I engaged in deep discussion lost our companions, Den invited me to The Groucho for a bit of peace and quiet and a chance to continue our chat undisturbed. I bumped into a former member of the Jesus and Mary Chain following a much needed shit in the toilets and being subsequently lost in the labyrinthine mess of stairs and corridors, who joined us with a couple of charming Cambridge university students who were already up to their necks in daring do.

Den left at about 11.30 and I followed shortly after as I didn’t want the expense of a cab. I rushed down Dean Street and got to Oxford Circus in the nick of time. The fucking tube was packed solid and after being made to wait at Stockwell for what seemed like a lifetime, my teeth now floating from all the beer and wine. On the platform a thin tattooed girl with haunted eyes was playing the violin with enormous skill, clearly classically trained and with an addiction to narcotics I was transfixed by her, I even gave her money muttering, ‘I’m patronising you giving change, but so be it’. She smiled weakly, I moved clear.

I arrived home at 12.30 hungry and, probably, stinking to high heaven. I resolved both and hit the hay at sometime after 1am.

I arrived to work on public transport this morning as there are after work drinks for a departing member of staff and a myriad of options follow, all of which require me to not be aboard my black bitch.

Todays offing is appropriate, in fact Den has asked me to take his wife when they play at the RFH, I’m sure Myfwt would like to come too…

It’s not raining today by the way, in fact it’s fucking sunny