Category Archives: leicester square

the head of motors

I’m at work. The bloke behind me and the girl opposite him are flirting heavily, it’s utterly nauseating, she’s twee and he’s socially inept, it’s turning my fucking stomach.

I need to focus on this. Calm, calm.

Yesterday afternoon I jumped on the black bitch and shot over to my folks. Father’s day and all that, grasping an offensive card (I like to deface cards designed for other purposes, it has the potential for both hilarity and offence, a winning combo) and one of those things that can inform you if the wall you’re about to drill into is criss-crossed with pipework and high voltage cables, I arrived mid way through the grand prix. I’d seen the start and managed to time my journey between pit stops, due to some creative biking.

My bro arrived along with my getting-heavily-pregnant sister with my brother in law and we all watched the end of the race together in between distasteful remarks about pedometers and the size of my sister’s remarkably massive tits. I may have mentioned before that I am lucky to have the family I do, nonetheless I still managed to make it home in time for most of Big Brothers On the Couch and BB itself, which I’ve politely reviewed in Watch With Mothers, link right. I ate, wrote (didn’t drink)
and went to bed, wishing that my dad hadn’t told me how he and my 100 year old grandfather drank more than 2 bottles (plus ‘a few’ G&T’s) every night when my parents went up to visit him last week. Mum had a couple of Sherries.

On Friday night I hopped on the tube and met James and Harry in a much-visited boozer in Coven Garden. The pub itself is very old but the décor is very unremarkable and doesn’t give any indication of its age, unless one is really looking. The most important thing is that the beer is well conditioned and absurdly cheap for London. You get change from a fiver with two pints. We three chatted about our recent comings and goings until joined by a mutual friend who’s just come back from Iraq following a tour of duty. Being a Captain his role was pretty much confined to a desk, but I learnt much more about the day to day realities of the region than I glean from the press. The Captain knows of my views on Iraq, indeed, most peoples views on the matter, but it didn’t (and shouldn’t) result in my condemnation of him a person. He’s a very brave chap; in fact he’s a bloody good bloke and takes time to explain things to me even when he can see my lefty liberal persona floundering in his face. He’s one more tour of duty and then he’s out for good. What he intends to do for his swansong (and I mean that in the proverbial sense, I really do) is remarkably dangerous, extremely courageous and not for here.

It was a splendid eye popping evening, James and I were suitably drunk when we got on the last tube and like twats we agreed to go back to mine for a smoke and a couple of cans. After much grindcore James left to the backing of the fucking birds at 5-ish or so.

At midday I was up, because I’d not been mixing my drinks I didn’t feel too bad, I’m sure this lack of the debilitating hangover has something to do with not boozing as much? Maybe? I don’t know. Either way I made it to the shops, I’d actually decided not to go but needed to pick up some more beer and breakfast things for the following day.
A few months ago my old mate from Leeds, Chaz had decided that we should see Motorhead at the Royal Festival Hall; he was going to come down and stay the weekend and I’d lay on the hospitality. Sadly this wasn’t meant to be a following a load of confusion on my part, stemming from a forgotten birthday on his, I ended up with 3 tickets, one for Myfwt, one for Jim, and one for me.

Myfwt arrived at 5, all teeth and tits looking stunning, we met Jim in the local boozer at 6-ish and began drinking. Myfwt reverted straight back to type, on the lager, matching me and Jim pint for pint and after a few we caught the tube and arrived at The Royal Festival in between the support act, Selfish Cunt, and The MH.

It was very odd crowd, largely the audience were 40 plus, some quite clearly well to do types with nervous looking spouses, even the usual MH fans were of an age and the subsequent atmosphere really was that of The Royal Festival Hall, coupled with a bit of grease. Badly Drawn Boy passed me in the lobby looking somewhat apprehensive. I was going to say something but decided against it after becoming distracted by his tea cosy headwear, it wouldn’t have been good for him. We managed to squeeze a couple more in before taking our seats (yes, seats) that were shown to us by an old fashioned usher with a torch and all that caper.

Motorhead seemed as weirded out by the situation as the majority of the crowd, they played a sterling set, despite a few tunes I’d not heard, but the whole scenario was so peculiar it was hard to get into the stride of the gig. I refused to sit down, as did some of the other patrons but even seeing seated a handful of the MH audience, nodding their bald heads against the green velvet upholstery, was alienating. Nonetheless, all was cured by a paint stripping rendition of Iron Fist which blew my teeth out. After the gig came to a close, finding its cowboy boot clad feet in the process, we popped to the upper balcony for some more beers. It was lovely up there, a perfect balmy evening over the Thames, people milled below, twinkling boats drifted past, the entire view loaded with landmarks and pretty lights… I went so far to verbally cherishing the moments, which was met with stifled drunken giggles from my two charming companions.

We got back in time to indulge in a couple more beers on the way to the Lebanese Café for some Shwarma. Myfwt tits to my utter amazement had a chicken one which to her genuine surprise she loved. On the way back to the flat someone bought a load of chocolate, no idea why, and we all arrived back pissed up and full of good cheer.

Sunday morning I made breakfast and Jim departed leaving Myfwt and I in the company of Badly Drawn Boy sardonically discussing Motorheads gig on some sofa based TV show and Hot Fuzz. The latter was fucking brilliant, as with Sean of the Dead I was genuinely jealous to have not been involved. The former was just embarrassing. Myfwt left after lunch and I joined Lara for some more gymnastics and puzzles.

Christ, the flirting couple at work are virtually engaging in oral, it’s stomach churning stuff and is preventing me from focussing on the task in hand, I need to have a cigarette immediately before I say something so inappropriate one of us will cry. I fucking hate Monday.

I’ve lost my dark glasses too.

This is the band we missed, shit, I fucked up here


qwiz

I got roped into going to a charity pub quiz last night in aid of breast cancer.

It didn’t start until 8 but by 5.30 I was still at work talking to one of my favourite, and indeed, oldest clients. Her beloved daughter was a very well known and respected actress, she died a few years ago, her husband needs 24 hour care yet she still runs a successful business and even has time to natter to yours truly. She natters a lot actually. I don’t mind at all but at 5.30 and with a missed call from Myfwt I could feel my skin prickle with wanderlust.

By 6.00 I was on the phone to Myfwt walking with my bike down the hill towards the towpath that leads to home, she and I chatted for a while and after I mounted my steed and arrived back at the flat hot and sweaty enough to warrant a shower.

By 7.15 I was on the tube to town, I alighted at Leicester Square and walked past Chinatown to the foot of Wardour Street. The cloying smell of miso and MSG cut through the early evening traffic fumes, it was a lovely evening, people drifted past me, I must say that I did notice a few rather charming oriental types as I hurried up the street, past the remnants of The Intrepid Fox, the gay bars with Stretch Armstrong bouncers checking for bigots, past numerous eateries of all possible genre before opening the doors to the awful Slug and Lettuce that sits squat on the side of the street like an elephant turd.

‘It’s for a good cause’ I reminded myself as I pushed past the endless cunts with polo shirts, collars turned, and little blonde twatlets stinking of Dune and Darling. I went downstairs to the function room and got a beer, my colleagues from work arrived in a group Harri, Kit and Lee, and we settled down. After deciding what to call ourselves (‘Double Mastectomy’ and ‘S’only Rape’ didn’t go down well) we settled on ‘Cack Farmers’ and the show got underway. The quiz was presided over by 3 jolly hockey sticks types who’d taken it on themselves to boom out the questions without the aid of a microphone, not that they needed it. One of them was so fucking loud she made my teeth shake in my skull; it was like being yelled at in infant school when ones ears weren’t fully developed.

We weren’t doing badly; it may have been helpful if one of our team hadn’t ordered a sandwich the size of a brickies forearm which required virtually all of her attention for the first half round. I was answering the majority of questions but fell down on film quotes (all from things like ‘Pretty Women’ and the hilarious ‘Three men and a little winkie’ or something) world flags and the shittiest round of all where we had to guess what one of the yar-okay compares had done, i.e., ‘wheech whon of arse hes skydived frorm a pleen?’ Oddly I did quite well on sport, usually the weakest of my quiz categories.

Out of the 17 teams we came 14, not too bad, but not enough to win the fucking wine, which irked me somewhat, it was a fucking tenner to get in…AND more men die of bollock cancer than women of charley cancer.

Still it was for charity. And tits. I like tits.

This has nothing to do with tits, in the literal sense anyway. Take it away chaps…


black night

It’s rather spiffing when one is looking forward to an evening and it ends up as a classic. After a rather pithy day in the office I cycled home full of good spirits, I’d had a jolly chat with Myfwt, Jim had e-mailed me to tell me he was already waiting at the flat and after a quick change at home we were just about to get into the tube when I got a call from Ray. I’d not from him in a while but as soon as his number appeared it was obvious that we were both heading in the same direction, he too had succumbed to the whole goth thing in the 80’s and had figured out that I was going. We arranged to meet at The (new) Intrepid Fox in a couple of hours

I’d already made plans to meet pals at The Two Brewers on Monmouth street so at precisely 6.10 I met Gee and Rick, who’d just arrived, and bumped into Swinsehead as I went to the bar. It was a glorious warm evening, if a little muggy, but stood on the street with a pint watching the passing throngs going about their business I could actually feel my self unwinding. A friend of a friend passed by and I grabbed him to say thanks for the book he’d kindly signed and given to me, he’s currently enjoying an acting role in a nearby theatre but to say anymore would be indiscreet. Nice bloke.

We had a couple of pints at The Brewers and made our way to The Fox, needless to say it was rammed with just the crowd I’d expected, largely middle aged men, a few gothy chicks and all still maintaining something of the you-wouldn’t-understand-if-you-don’t-know about them; wall to wall black, piercings tattoos, it felt like coming home. Essentially, it felt 20 years ago. Beautiful.

We were joined by one of Gee’s mates, Justin, he runs a nightclub in Surrey (I can assure you it’s not as shit as it sounds) and is good pals with members of Hawkwind, I liked him instantly. By this time the pints were going down nicely and the crowd had begun to thin to catch the support act, slowly the black faded and the usual ‘metal’ punters began to diffuse the absence of colour.

Ray arrived with his boss who immediately bumped into some of his friends, who, coincidentally, Justin knew. Even more coincidental, I popped on a Cardiacs youtube link last week and one of them was the guitarist from the band. Everyone was introduced to everyone else; there were now 9 of us.

We arrived at the Astoria just as The Fields of The Nephilim took the stage, Ray got me a beer and I began yelling at the exact same moment Myfwt texted to wish me a good evening and to not get shouty, as is my want. The band began sedately, a little to quiet for my ravaged ears before kicking off into their main set. It was fucking hot in there, sweat was pouring off the crowd, it was a sold out gig and the place was rammed solid much to the detriment of getting a good view. Our group disbanded into individuals and couples vying for a good spot, I found a super platform on the stairs to the bogs until Jim found me and ushered me upstairs to a prime location on the balcony. We bumped into a gild who’d flown alone from Dan Diego just to see the band, it was her first trip to London, she was flying back the following day. I only mention this to give some idea of the impact the band has had on some of its fans. Largely the crowd were congenial and polite most probably due to age, despite that the atmosphere was intense. The closing number was the best, a swirling, gliding drone that had a hypnotic quality; it was one of the best numbers I’ve seen performed by any band anywhere. By this time the volume was immense, my trousers were vibrating to the bass and I could feel the chorus in my chest.

After the gig we convened on the street and wandered over to The George for a closing pint. It was still very muggy but a relief to be out of the venue which by the end was like the Persian Gulf. The 9 of us stood about chatting, I was texted by a friend who wanted to know the band personification of ‘shoegazing’. This resulted in a ludicrous and hilarious 5-minute conversation of grown men shouting over each other. We settled on Ride.

When it was time to go Jim and I were half cut, as were my friends. I left Gee grinning at me from the entrance to the pub clutching yet another full pint. Both Gee and Jim are married with kids so when they do get a chance to get out, neither wastes it. We got off the tube at Tooting, Jim and I were ravenous but it being Thursday and after midnight the decent fast food outlets were shut so we had to opt for snacks from fucking Tesco. We didn’t drink anymore when we got back, a cup of tea and a spliff, which wiped Jim out completely, and he crashed out fully clothed in my bed.

Jim and I have always slept together since we were 17, neither of us is remotely known to doff the brown hat I hasten to add, it’s just the way it is. I woke up to the dulcet tones of Jim having a good old spit up in the bathroom, when he came back to bed he smelt exactly like aromatic pipe tobacco. His heart was racing and he was feeling shitter than dung, he put this down to over indulgence, I put it squarely at the feet of eating 3 cheap Cornish Pasties, two bags of Revels and most of a large bag of cheese balls prior to sleeping. He was just about okay when he set off and I ran a fucking massive bath before sitting down to write this crap.

Myfwt is popping over in a minute, it’s another warm bright day and I’m feeling just fine.

Today’s youtube clip is in memory of Rod Poole of Swervedriver who was murdered in LA last week. Bye dude


petit holiday

It was about 10, walking back from an eatery in Brixton with a friend from work, Harri, and her step dad who was down from Wales to help install a kitchen for his daughter in law. The evening was warm, a little muggy but offset by a gentle breeze, I just had half a bottle of wine and eaten a very rich but delicious fisherman’s pie, not as good as mine of course… We’d not decided at this stage to go the pub, the stage at which a large quantity of small discreet farts were being released from my bottom ending in that crippling realisation that…yes, I think, no, Christ, I’ve followed through.

I managed to get to the pub and calmly walk to the toilets, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected, I’d not touched clothed for example but it had been a close call. It took a good 5 minutes of pedantic attention to ensure I was out of the woods so to speak. I arrived in the beer garden as if nothing had happened and carried on drinking like a good boy.

Harri’s step dad was sporting a watch; the bloody thing had been bugging me all evening. It was a very expensive Breitling, apart from the cost it was unremarkable but for one fascinating feature. There was a pin set in the side, if said pin was a removed a fucking helicopter would land within feet of the watch. I’ve checked this matter out btw and it’s quite true, there is a £60,000 fine if the feature is misused but it hadn’t stopped me weighing up the pros and considerably heavy cons against grabbing his wrist and yanking out the pin. To be honest the watch made the evening awkward, as I couldn’t get this idea out of my OCD riddled mind and on at least 2 occasions I was dangerously close to actually busting a move, yeah. The fact I’m here typing this should indicate that I didn’t, Harri’s step dad whilst being a perfectly nice chap is built like a brick shithouse and I didn’t think he’d have been best pleased.

Here at work I’ve a similar day to yesterday, interview, meeting but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Tonight Jim is shooting over and he and I are going to meet up with an old punk mate from my childhood, Gee, and after a few beers go to the Astoria to see Fields of the Nephilim, an established though rarely seen goth outfit in the dying days of one of London’s most wonderful music venues. Aware of the very real possibility of a hangover following our venture I’m taking Friday off which means, as it’s a bank holiday on Monday, I’ll get 4 days off. I can’t remember the last time I had 4 days off…

This does also mean, dear reader, that my blog tomorrow will be late, in fact, it may not even be up ‘til sat/sun and as it’s a bank holiday Monday, which also means that the Monday one will be late…

I’ll make up for it though. Oh, one bit of useless information; I learnt last night that brown/granary bread is made up from the literal sweepings off the bakery floor. Warbrtons are the exception, apparently.

Apparently this was the first time performed on US TV…


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


porter

I am fucking furious with Tesco. After being alerted to the fact that the engine problems on my bike were due to iffey fuel, I subsequently discover that only fucking Tesco and Morrison’s are responsible for contaminating the southeast with Ethanol rich fuel. And I usually get my fuel from Tesco’s, there is one of those little Metro places near my house so it’s not a choice based on anything apart from convenience.

What is particularly annoying is that until recently I vetoed Tesco because of that cunt Dame Shirley Porter; the heiress to the Tesco fortunes. She was involved in the homes for vote’s scandal that made an utter mockery of ‘democracy’. The vicious slattern didn’t even lose her title and got away with her crimes virtually scott fucking free when really she should’ve been disembowelled under Marble Arch. And now, because of my weakening of standards/tolerance in my old age, the fucking cacky fingered crone has been granted access to my bike and poisoned it. I hold her solely responsible. And I bet she started AIDS off as well.

I’m with gentle hangover this morning. Last night I took the Northern Line up to Leicester Square where I met Swineshead in a congenial hostelry for the purpose of imbibing fine ales my good man etc (I would like to point out that if anyone undertook such verbal bollocks to my face I’d fork them in the tongue). His mate, nice chap despite being a bit tall, joined us and together we drunk, actually when I think about it, we were all drinking rather quickly… A lot of pints later and in spite of Swineshead looking up at me with big bloodshot eyes begging me to stay for another, I jumped the joint and got the bastard tube back which was, to my utter fucking horror, rammed with humans.

The tube freaks me out for a number of reasons. Ignoring that I get actually freaked out on them on a regular basis due to my little peccadillo for screaming claustrophobia, there is something strange about walking down the street, entering a designated zone to then walk down under the street to find there is a little railway inside the earth. Standing inside an empty moving tube when you can see in both directions is an awesome experience (when I say ‘awesome’ I’m mean it in it’s correct, pre skate incarnation) to think that one is thundering through sold rock underneath the bustling city that boils above, passing under millions of lives, is well fucking gnarly. The location of your spot on the tube remains constant, the view predictable, but when one alights at ones destination and exits the station, one is in an entirely different environment. Of course this is all blindingly obvious but, really, it’s a wonder we take for granted. Essentially what you’ve just read is the mental conversation that carried me back to my stop, and stopped me from crying and flailing due to the vast columns of passengers.

When I got out of the tube it was raining, I lit a cigarette and walked back to the flat relishing the contrast to being far underground and dimly aware of the activity therein. I was too pissed to bother eating and, oddly, not in the mood to drink anymore so unusually I went straight to bed.

Just before I went to sleep I concluded that it had been a good evening, I prayed for Dame Shirley Porters death to be long, painful and filmed for my future delectation and fell into a deep sleep where I dreamt of motorcycles breaking down and orange badgers knitting cheese.