On Sunday I went to the FIlmhouse to see Conspirators of Pleasure as part of their short Svankmajer season, and very fine it was too. It came out about ten years ago, and I didn't see it at the time. Mostly live-action, with only a little animation, it concerns the strange and obsessive secret activities of six Czechs, and the connections between them. For some reason it got an 18 certificate, and I'd love to know how that was justified - there's no violence against people (although a couple of straw-stuffed effigies get it fairly nastily) and no nudity stronger than a couple of shots of a guy's arse. Nevertheless, it's a deeply diseased piece of work. As this review has it, "I don't think I've ever seen a film that is quite so obsessively fetishistic - almost everything that passes in front of his camera is given a weirdly erotic charge [ . . . ] it manages to present a portrait of human sexuality of unusual complexity and philosophical depth without once resorting to spoken dialogue". Perhaps they used the same phrase as for Crash - "general tone".

Fantastic stuff. Massively recommended.

Mr Inglis has given me the OK to tell you about his Writers' Bloc MySpork page, where you can listen to a few of the clips recorded at their readings. Currently you can hear Hannu Rajaniemi reading his poem "Numbers" (the bit about numbers stations existing is entirely true) and Gav himself reading "From a completely unexpected direction" (you should probably, for best results, know that before starting he had left a selection of carrier bags on and around all the tables). I know for a fact that he has an awful lot of excellent material he could put up there, so it might well be worth keeping an eye on that for developments.

In a slight surprise, the Subway is closing. The management, and apparently all the various clubs, are moving to the Hive, on Niddrie Street. Apparently the Hive is nicer. That would not, to speak frankly, be difficult. The place has always been a noxious little dive of poor reputation, and what higher recommendation could there be than that? Many years ago some friends of mine saw the Clash play there. Rather more recently (but still not actually recently) I and some friends saw Radiohead. At around the same time (perhaps even that night) I saw a support band (Tinkerbell's Dope Ring, IIRC) do a mad thrash version of Groove Is In The Heart, with (if memory serves) vocals verging on the yodel during the chorus. Someone said they'd heard that it was likely to become an R'n'B (or what passes for it these days) venue. I can't see it. Bling? In a hole like that?

In the runup to the new smoking ban Doon Sooth, the Guardian dropped into a Hull pub to record a couple of prize comments from disgruntled tobacco devotees:

"I smoke 100 to 120 cigs a day. The ban will kill us"

. . . and . . .

"They'll be banning sex next."

Now, technically speaking it hasn't been legal to get it out and get on with it in the middle of a busy pub for quite some time, but why let sanity get in the way of a good rant? Well, either that or Hull's a more fun place than I've been led to believe.

And finally, and definitely not raising the moral tone at all, thanks to whichever of you it was who posted this link - file under "Don't children make you laugh?" Not necessarily worksafe. Entirely textual. Neither big nor clever. A couple of my friends have a story that would fit in neatly there . . . but I'll let them decide whether to share it.
  • Current Location: the boxroom
  • Current Mood: pleased
  • Current Music: Fluffy - Deny everything / Future of the Left - Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood
or Hull's a more fun place than I've been led to believe.

Trust me, it isn't.
There's a nightclub called HU5 which has a bit of a reputation for unbridled fornication within its walls. I'd advise avoiding it, however, unless that is you're playing some sort of STD bingo.

It's not in Bransholme though.

Amazingly, although Bransholme is just about the largest council estate in Europe and is the one that grabs all the headlines, it's actually quite pleasant in comparison to the Preston Road estate.

Hull also has Spiders Nightclub which used to be a favourite haunt for most of the North's goths, punks and general misfits. Unfortunately it's really only noteworthy now for having the worst sound system in the known universe and selling lethal cocktails at dangerously low prices.
I have never figured out if the Subway was the old La Sorbonne. This could be due to my deliberate cultural amnesia or i was so pissed allo the times I was in the Coogate.
Memories of passing from the front bar to the gig area squeezing through a tiny tunnel hallway past a stinking mens toilet, avoiding direct eye contact with Nukey Brown drinking bikers and then off next door to Sneeky Petes to watch Fish swing his stookied forearm in a rage.

Next week the Jailhouse (aka The Venue) and the day my bananas and binoculars were lifted from my table while I sat at it, more bikers and the Sonic Boom gig where most of the audience lay sprawled on the floor while Kember strode over us to get to the mixing desk.
It was the Cafe Sorbonne, yes, although it's been other things in between.
I don't believe that's a real MySpac page. It doesn't have the annoying background with the foreground semi-transparent over it in a way that the text is almost impossible to read. Therefore it can't be real -- I expect it is part of some clever phishing scam.
We had the same whinging and bellowing from the "smokers' rights" brigade when the "no smoking in pubs, clubs, restaurants and etc" ban came into force here a year or so back.

It has had no impact whatsoever on pub etc revenue. The only problem is that the charities that run the poker machines aren't making the profit that they used to. (And since at least some of that does go to good causes I'd like to see a way around it, but I have not the creativity to formulate one myself.)
Things aren't going well for pubs here, but they already weren't. Supermarkets are selling cheap evil-smelling lager for very little, and that's a surprisingly large market sector.
"It's a dictatorship. It's worse than Russia."

In Soviet Russia, government smokes you.
> Well, either that or Hull's a more fun place than I've been led to believe.

[splutters in tea]
I found Conspirators of Pleasure very funny (although it's quite a while since I saw it and the main thing I remember is the guy with the rolling pins) his latest Sileni is on at the Cambridge Film Festival which I must try and book soon.
tinks supported radiohead at subway and king tuts that weekend. nice support to get.