I’d been watching this cunt for a while sat opposite us on the tube, his strawberry chupa chup pin-head lolled in his collar, a single slash of a mouth cut diagonally across his face which occasionally opened when he flinched, and when to speak. Earlier on in the journey when the carriage had been packed he imposed himself on a Christian looking couple. He seemed harmless, desperately lonely and he wasn’t ashamed top convey this, he enquired how long the couple had been dating with a sad smile, an even sadder smile sliced over his beetroot face when he discovered they were engaged, he moved closer to the girl and nudged her with his thin elbows, ‘he’s a handsome fellow,’ he said to her with more than a hint of lascivious bound in pathos… Still not sure on which side to cast my net in terms of an opinion he passed a comment as they alighted from the tube that wasn’t right, ‘have safe sex,’ he called out weakly behind them. This wasn’t right, I decided.
I’d met Myfwt and Lou in a trendyfied version of my old local in Clapham North, when I’d been a regular some 10 years previously it’d been a contentious watering hole that reluctantly sat old soaks by shifty looking chancers, now in full media flight, it was calmly populated by young white people framed by a glittering mass of multicoloured liqueurs as they sucked back over priced foreign beers and nibbled on chilli dusted calamari and roasted tomato salsas, a long way from the warm ales and greasy packs of crispless chips of the past.
We had a few and headed up to Camden on the tube and arrived at the Worlds End, a vast town-like pub populated by rockers, punks and pretension, we had one more and met up with Andrea before arriving at the Roundhouse. I’d never been to this place before but it’s the stuff of legends, this is where Hawkwind recorded the finest live album of all time, Space Ritual.
It’s a great space, formerly housing a giant turntable for steam locomotives in the 19th century it’d gone from dereliction to concert hall and after a further period of disrepair was once again a magnificent venue. We secured beers and found a great spot to the right of the stage and within a few feet from the front. The Jesus and Mary Chain, laconic as usual (but, sadly, lacking the backcombed piles of hair that occupied half their sullen faces) arrived and began, the sound wasn’t right up there to begin, nor were the heady swathes of feedback of their heyday, but it was instantly engaging, beautiful, even. Starting with some classics off Psycho Candy they moved through Automatic before returning to full balls out form with Just Like a Honey, by now Jim Reid was a bit pissed and enjoying the effects of a not entirely subtle intake of sniff, this had a most delicious effect up the sound. Finally the volume was beginning to punch hard, enclosed in dry ice the band let their amps loose, ecstasy at last, I enjoyed the final 20 minutes as much as just about anything I’ve seen live since.
The tube had emptied by Balham, Lou and Myfwt were engaged in a serious conversation about their work and the strange character opposite was leaning in to study them. He knew I was on to him so he avoided making eye contact with me but by now was leaning so far over and staring at Lou with such intensity I had to subtly convey to Myfwt and Lou that something wasn’t right, she got it, Lou didn’t.
At his stop Myfwt and I said goodbye to Lou and he got off, suddenly the bloke opposite leapt to his feet and followed Lou out of the carriage. Jangling behind him his dumb expression of sorrow and disassociation suddenly shifted to one of psychotic rage and he whacked Lou in the back ‘why are you so fucking serious? WHY ARE YOU SO FU…! ’ He said.
Myfwt and I jumped off the tube before the doors shut, I headed straight for the fuck, he turned on his heels to face me and the expression on the looney’s face switched again, this time he looked as if he’d just lost fifty quid, he gasped in exasperation and hastily beat a retreat to the escalator where he vanished into the night. Just goes to show you that you trusting your instincts is always a good place to start when forming an opinion.
There may not be a piqued until Monday as I may be having the day off to do other work with a mate. If by some happy chance I’m not in tomorrow, have fun for heaven’s sakes.
I’ll leave you with this, of course.