Category Archives: the idler

gud un night owt

Last night I went to the launch of a book in a pub Highgate.

Highgate is a long way on the Northern Line from Tooting; it takes ages to get there and I’m no fan of the tube in terms of being sat in it for a fucking hour with people pushing and shoving, and touching. I was saved partially by a jolly good book, which I may recommend; I will see how I feel later.

I arrived feeling ill due having breathed a million Londoners farts and walked to the venue via the off licence to get some tabs for my lungs, for medicinal purposes. When I arrived the place was sparsely populated but I instantly recognised a face, well, a part of one as George has a massive white beard and long hair. I was sorry to be informed that his charming wife has cancer and is undergoing Chemo, this rather knocked me for six and we spent a further half hour talking rather seriously, which isn’t usually our want, despite a short Bob Dylan moment.

Den and his wife Rose arrived and we managed to get a seat in front of the stage. As the venue began to fill I drifted around chatting to mates and faces I’d not seen in a while. Sue was there looking radiant and sporting a rather large bump, so was Tim, Jack and Graham…Annoyingly I didn’t recognise Sebastian Hoarsely, partially hidden under a huge stovepipe hat as I had a question for him regarding an earlier conversation with Clair at The Urban Woo (link right) and to quiz his taste in music following something he’d said in his blog. I’ll sort a link out tomorrow.

Some of the acts on were superb but by now I my mind was working on a hand to mouth basis like so many others present. After chatting to Pete in the beer garden, splendid chap, Postman by the day, Peter Cook expert by night, Den suggested that we nipped orf to The Groucho for a burger and some more drinks, so we stepped onto an oddly empty Northern Line, straight out of an American Werewolf in London (incidentally the actor playing the victim worked with me a few years back, nice chap) and arrived flushed with a degree of sobriety. We three were joined by Sam and his colleague and ordered food and wine. The place was rather packed but by this time but I couldn’t have cared less if it was reclining in a deck chair by the North sea, I wasn’t mortal by any means but for a weekday I’d pushed myself. Den and I engaged ourselves in a deep and meaningful, being rather less pissed than I can only hope I didn’t come across as an utter berk/prick.

Many drinks later I was coerced into a cab by my pals and whisked off home, the cabbie was a most congenial fellow and we gassed until I arrived home, quite pissed, at about 3 am

A jolly good night.

I have un hangover.


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