I believe I left you sometime last Wednesday afternoon, prior to going to the Beltane social. Well, I did go to the Beltane social, which started in the Holyrood and then continued in Nicol Edward's when the Holyrood closed at about half-past ten. I and lots of other people wonder whether they're doing it on purpose. Actually, we had another ball-rolling meeting beforehand, during which we rolled our balls for a couple of hours.
The social was pretty good. I got to chat to various people, all very nice, including Gav who's usually appallingly busy at these things. It seems he's applied for a job working (more or less) for my boss, which should be interesting if it comes off. I ended up being out quite late, in spite of travelling the next day, but we won a bunch of red folk in an auction and some of us (but not me) got a backrub out of it. Other lots on offer included someone's shirt, which was bought by her boyfriend, I believe. Her bra turned out to be surprisingly transparent.
NB: This - putting each other up for auction - is reputed to be nothing compared to what said red folk do when they've only got each other's company. Don't feed them after midnight, OK? And best not accept anything they offer you after midnight, either, unless you're prepared for a wild ride.
Broke Sandy slightly by helping him tap out the intro rhythm from Soul Limbo on a couple of pint glasses.
Unsurprisingly I was a little late for work on Thursday. I knocked off a bit early, too (good thing it was quiet), to pick mxhaunted up from the New Town. this, after a wrong turn caused by unexpected roadworks, was a little later - about 20 minutes later - than expected, but we were on our way soon enough. The way down was very smooth, and livened by the Clash (London Calling), Bowie (Hunky Dory), Neubauten (Perpetuum Mobile) and a compilation Matt had made up for the weekend. I dropped him off spawards of the Elsi and . . . haven't seen him since, although his electronic emanations have been detected, so he's definitely still alive.
Parked moderately near the house and went to the pub, where I was until the advanced hour (!) of twelve. Flatmates valkyriekaren, wechsler and d_floorlandmine were there already, so I talked to them et multiple al. Quote of the weekend from kjersti: "Being a girl and a goth, taking my clothes off is the very first thing I do." It's actually much less incriminating in context, so I'm not going to tell you what the context was.
Friday involved first a newspaper and then making up for the fact that I (like, it seems, half the attenders) had left my ticket at home (especially embarrassing as the last thing I'd done before i'd left was have a coversation with a visiting nickys about what I might have forgotten). This was, happily, easily done and then I hung around the spa for a while talking to people as they turned up and drifted off. I wandered around the stalls without buying anything, but noted a couple of Laibach DVDs for later consideration. bootpunk turned up and insisted on trawling through the vinyl bins, so I chased off after him afraid of having him hoover up all the good stuff. He did, to be fair, hoover up some very good stuff, but I did manage to find one of these.
I remember when that record came out we (Lara and I) were very struck by the reviews, and tried to find a copy. Unfortunately it was only a small pressing and being single of the week in both the NME and Melody Maker made a difference in those days. Copies were considerably rarer than hen's teeth and I'd never seen one, or even met anyone who had one, until Friday. Five of your measly Earth pounds, though, and it was mine. Much unattractive gloating ensued, but I am unrepentant.
I had a some lasagne in a cafe while reading another chapter or two of Joolz's Orange-shortlisted "Billy Morgan", which is very good and includes the phrase "Never trust a hippy", spent some more time in the pub chatting to folk, changed shirt and boots and hit the Spa again.
This was dead good. I wandered around with a pint talking to excellent people I don't see often enough (come visit!) and popped in to see bands. I caught all of SBA, who were great fun as usual - good enough, in fact, that Tony later said, instead of the usual "they should get a real drummer", "they should really get a real drummer but they were a lot of fun in spite of that" (but see his comment below for his memory of what he said - our recollections differ. If I was a more reasonable person I would concede that he's more likely to be right, but you know how it is). Like a lot of the bands over the weekend, they sounded like the signal was being overdriven a bit somewhere along the line, but the main thing was that they played a fine set.
I dropped in to see Psychophile for a couple of songs, but they didn't bowl me over. They're fun, but I think they've got less interesting since adding a guitar. Bland trebly fuzz doesn't work for me, I'm afraid. Not when Sheep on Drugs did it, and not now.
Voltaire I also caught all of, and thought was very fine indeed. I laughed, I cried (well, OK, I didn't cry but I did laugh) and I sang along. One man with a woolly jumper, an acoustic guitar and some stories about trying to get Dave Gahan to sing Kumbayaa. I only have one of his albums, so I have to get some more.
I was never very keen on Gene Loves Jezebel, so I gave them a miss. I don't know which one they were (of the two trading under that name) or whether they gave a good performance (for those as they appeal to), but I wouldn't mind knowing, just for the records. Can anyone enlighten me?
Back to the pad after that, and some sleep. No raucous partying this year, I'm afraid.
Saturday was clear and fine (I did mention that the weather was nice, didn't I?) and I got a paper and was unpleasantly surprised by the death of Eduardo Paolozzi. I wasn't glum for too long, though. I spent a lot of the day in the Elsi, unsurprisingly, apart from a section wandering around the old closed railway lines with swisstone and hirez. Very fine and scenic, and well worth the modest time involved.
We didn't get to the Spa in time to catch Greenhaus. I wasn't intending to as they aren't my kind of thing and I've seen them plenty of times. I had, however, bumped into fluffymark, snow_leopard and Deborah on the street and claimed I would be at the spa mere minutes behind them, so I had to try not to draw their attention, when I met them inside, to the fact that I'd been almost an hour getting there. I don't think they noticed, though - if any of you see them, please don't mention it.
Devilish Presley were much as they were when I saw them before. Maybe a touch better, but not enough to make me stay for the whole set. I gave them about ten minutes and wandered off. They're energetic, but the drum-machine programming doesn't mesh with the rest of it, for me, and they aren't really trying to be the sort of band that normally appeals to me.
Then, of course, the two bands that convinced me to to come. Queen Adreena were much as they always are, and I had a whale of a time. Katie-Jane was in a not-uncharacteristic wispy dress and Big Big Knickers. For the frst time I didn't see her throw her chair at Crispin, but she did swing at him with it and then wrestle him to the ground during a song by an arm around his throat. Crispin himself was suave as ever, and their drummer, whose name I don't know, was still terrifying both personally and in volume terms. They have a new bassist (poached form Vatican DC, I believe?) since the apparent departure of Katie's sister Mel. This makes abut 8 or 9 bassists they've run through, apparently. I've certainly seen them with 4 or 5. He did the job, though, and did it well. It was the usual intense and crunchy performance with both the pulverising and wispy etheral songs out on display.
In The Nursery were on last, and had the usual load of drums along with them. They also put in a typical set, and I loved it. there were a few songs which were oversynthesised for me, but most of them had a good balance between electronic noises and people going mad on drums. The very last song, especialy, seemed to be almost entirely mad drumming, which left me grinning like a
loon idiot pillock for several minutes afterwards. A reasonable number of people seemed to have been freshly bowled-over by them, which I'm pleased about.
After that, there was some more wandering about chatting to folk - and still bumping into people I hadn't seen yet, even right at the very end. It was a good weekend for that. Thank you all for being there, especially if you took the time to have a chat, and if you were there but I didn't bump into you then I promise I'll try harder next time. On the downside, Wendi's still blanking me, but there's probably not much I can do about that. If I haven't been forgiven my horrendous crimes by now, then I probably never will be.[NB:I have since been told that this isn't actually so. You may also wish to bear that in mind if you bother reading the comments below.]
Then bed again.
Sunday started with the Observer. As a rule I'm giving up Sunday papers unless I can find one I like that is actually just news and doesn't come with a raft of supplements, but I caved in because of their monthly music bit. It also had a picture of a Tory election poster, refaced to say across the bottom "Are you smoking what we're smoking?" It seems to be an endlessly parodyable campaign, but on the other hand it is getting noticed and discussed, so that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't doing its job.
I hit the pub (again) and in due course bumped into a bunch of people (kitty_goth, julietk et al) who wanted to go to the Captain Cook museum, partly because of a little tattooing exhibition. It was rather good and informative, and after that i went back to the pub. Eventually I got bitten by one of my friends and decided to get something to eat - no, not brains, but a veggie sausage roll. I didn't know what the incubation period was likely to be, so i spent the rest of the evening lookhing out for signs that I was gradually turning into a goth. or an Australian. Or even both. I don't think it's happened yet, though, cobber.
When I got back there was no-one there,so i sat for most of an hour nursing a pint and gradually falling asleep. Suddenly I was saved when valkyriekaren and wechsler turned up and chatted, gradually waking me up again. Soon there were various diverse types around, chatting and laughing and finding bizarre euphemisms ("manroot"?!) in trashy romance novels sitting on a shelf. Karen "Three manroots already and I'm only skimming".
We got kicked out at about half-ten or eleven, and it was time to sleep.
On Monday morning I read the paper, packed my bags, said goodbye to people in the house and the Elsi and drove home. Which was fine. More ballrolling with the torchies in the early evening and then some time spent recovering, putting washing on, and the like.
I've watched the Laibach vidos now, and they're all either very good or very odd. I have a loan of a freeview box to see what the reception's like, and I'm pleased to be able to report that BBC News 24 comes through very well indeed. I don't know about the other channels in any details yet.
And, as someone else was curious, a meme:
Your Taste in Music:
|80's Alternative: Highest Influence|
|90's Alternative: Highest Influence|
|Punk: Highest Influence|
|Ska: Highest Influence|
|Alternative Rock: Medium Influence|
|80's Pop: Low Influence|
|80's Rock: Low Influence|
|Adult Alternative: Low Influence|