31 October 2009

FLYING TONIGHT?

There is an ancient tradition that recommends the use of a special ointment that permits witches to fly their Besoms. Science claims that this ointment merely creates an illusion of flying. The truth is that Besom riding is a combined power of rider and steed. Just the same, for your interest, here is the ancient recipe for witches flying ointment, which I warn you is very toxic and not to be taken internally under any circumstances:

mix together :
1oz pork fat
1oz Deadly Nightshade
1oz Hemlock
1oz Wolfsbane
1/2oz Soot

Apply to the nape of the neck, under the arms and behind the knees. DO NOT APPLY TO EYES, NOSE, MOUTH, EARS or any passages leading into the body. Such an unfortunate mishap will cause extreme sickness. If taken internally by accident, eat four raw eggs with yolks and rush to a doctor or hospital.

There is yet another witches' flying ointment which is not applied, but is inhaled, or can be smoked. It is perfectly safe, and will temporarily impart the sensation of flying.

All ingredients are healthy and quite legal and easily obtained:
Shredded and mixed: Damiana, Ginseng, Echinaci Celery Seed, Juniper Berries, Ginger, Yohimbe, Kava Kava, Muria Puama and White Oak Bark.

Use as an incense, a cigarette or in a pipe. Not all the ingredients are required, but at least half of them in any combination will give the same effects.

(Taken from "THE WITCHES BROOMSTICK MANUAL" -Rev. Yaj Nomolos, S.P., COSMIC VISION PRESS, P.O. Box 666,Whitehall, PA 18052)

30 October 2009

She has one quick look back and she’s gone.

Finally getting something sorted out with C.

After a complete month of no communication whatsoever I bump into her at the Muddy Shovels gig at The Duke of Cumberland the other Sunday afternoon, the 4th Oct 2009. I’d bumped into Doug Muddy and the Lovely Kim outside the Neptune on Friday at my usual drink after the working week thing with the other wage slaves and been invited down.

I wasn't expecting to see her at all. I’d arranged to go round to hers “for dinner” after work on Monday and thought I had the day free to ponder on what I would talk about; I was still feeling very bad about myself and not really engaging with my friends too much. They were all of course impeccable and cheery and inviting me out places and going out their way to talk the good talk with me. I was feeling disengaged and distant from it all. The old questions of what, what, what and what the fuck is going on? reared their confusing head.

Exactly a month before she’d texted to say she was coming over to mine to pick some stuff up she’d left behind. I said Brummy John and I were going up to Nottingham for DiY’s 20th Birthday party and we’d be off on our journey by 8pm. She could come over anytime after that until Sunday evening when I’d be back. As it happened we didn’t leave till nearly 9pm and in the meantime C had come round to pick her stuff up and hopefully avoid meeting me.

She knocks on the door. I answer. She’s shocked I’m still at home. “I’m sorry”, I say, “I should have texted you to let you know we were leaving a little later than I’d said”. She couldn’t even look me in the eyes and shied away back down the path shaking her head. She nearly burst into tears. She couldn’t bear to look at me. This upset me somewhat and it lingered in my mind all the way on the drive to Nottingham. BJ kept saying “you all right mate?” and I’d go “yeah”, but I wasn’t. She couldn’t even talk to me? I didn’t understand that?

The week before any of this happened we were in the middle of another falling out. It’s not the conflict but the way we handle the resolution that’s a bit difficult to work out. We both fall back into these presumed positions and seem to just lob grenades at each other. Nothing gets sorted and everything for C is put in a little box to be brought out at some later date to beat me with. I always want to try and resolve as we go along. C will say “you said this 3 month ago and it upset me” and I will get all arsey because I don’t remember saying that and she insists it’s taken her that long to “process” or “assimilate” the information. I think she doesn’t understand me and she thinks I don’t listen to her. She thinks I’m confrontational, I think she’s aggressive; she thinks I’m angry, I think she’s angry blah, blah, blah.

“This has got to stop”, I think she says. We sit down on opposite sofas. We’re actually getting good at identifying the behavioural patterns as they begin to emerge and one of us is normally good at starting to stop them spiralling out of our control. “I agree”, I agree. “It’s the same old same old”. “I agree”. “Shall we just agree to call it all a day?” “OK”. We shake hands and a deep sadness emanates over us like a grey blanket, soaked in relief. “We shouldn’t take this decision lightly”. “I know”. She leaves; a big black metaphoric cloud above the head follows her up the somewhat overgrown garden path. She has one quick look back and she’s gone.

One month later I'm down The Duke. I was in the back garden having a crafty roll up. “C’s just arrived in the bar” my informant rushes out to tell me. I stay and have another cigarette. Probably doing more damage to me than facing C but, hey, I need some thinking time. I think about approaches, about working through potential conversations, about possible escape scenarios, wish fulfilment fantasies. I put the fag out and go inside. I work my way through the crowd, the band has started playing; I see her by the bar. Her friend standing in front gets eye contact with her and warns her I’m approaching from behind with a quick flick of her eyes. She turns and it’s like... the spark is still there? Something leapt in and out of me. Fear? “Cigarette?” she says; I nod and we both head through the crowd to the back garden of the pub. The eyes of both sides of the tiny world we inhabit bore down upon us.

Finding a free bench we go through all that awkward stuff couples who have split up and then see each other again ages later go through; fumbling, fumbling for words, uncomfortable eye contact, embarrassing silences, speaking on top of each other’s words, self-conscious, silly, inappropriate questions. We have a drink. Then another. Then another. We move down to the Neptune after the band finishes and continue drinking, sorry, continue our conversation. It’s the first time we’ve been smashed with each other for ages. One of us always had to stay sober as we always went places out of town that need one us to drive home. We said that it was funny we were getting smashed with each. We laughed. The conversation flowed easier, she was funny, I was mildly amusing but she laughed at my jokes, eye contact was less forced almost pleasurable. She smiled. I smiled.

On the doorstep of the pub it was getting dark. “I must go”, she said. “Me too”, I replied. We hug. “See you tomorrow night for tea?” I kiss her; “I‘m looking forward to it” I wave as she disappears up the street. She has one quick look back and she’s gone.

28 October 2009

The serotonin society

Winning and losing have a direct effect on the chemical composition of our brains, particularly on levels of a neuro-transmitter called serotonin. Winning raises levels, losing lowers them. People with low levels are more depressed and aggressive than people with high levels.

Most people imagine that if a chemical is implicated in some behaviour - be it violence, depression or sexuality - then it must be caused by genes. Chemicals cause other chemicals, right? Wrong. It is just as possible that the level of our brain chemicals is set by what is done to us, by our environment, not what we are born with. In fact, serotonin levels are an effect, not a cause: an effect of social systems.

A recent Medical Research Council study reported that only 10 per cent of low serotonin among depressive is caused by genes. They play little part in causing the low levels found in violent men. It is the social environment which is crucial.

In one study, levels were measured before a fight between two rats. The winner’s serotonin was found to have risen and it was put up against a stronger rat, which beat it. The new winner then faced a Super Rat, which beat it and so on: serotonin levels rose and fell depending on success or failure.

Studies of Vervet monkeys also show how much levels are affected by the environment. Vervets are hierarchical creatures, especially the males. Low-status ones face a beating unless they defer to high status ones, if there is a dispute over scarce resources - like access to females. This social hierarchy is mirrored by a chemical one: the higher the status of the monkey, the higher its serotonin levels. Most telling of all, before the high status male has risen up the hierarchy, it’s serotonin levels are average. The high levels result from winning - they are not genetically inherited.

This chemical hierarchy is found in humans. Social winners are likely to have higher levels than losers. Students who become officers in American university clubs have higher levels of serotonin than non-officials. Team leaders in sport have higher levels than ordinary team-mates.

Low serotonin problems are found in people with the lowest status. Depression is most common among women with low incomes, violence most prevalent among their brothers, husbands and sons. Both depression and violence are caused to some extent by feelings of subordination arising from being made to feel like a loser within families and the wider society.

A far higher proportion of us suffer low serotonin today compared with 1950. A 25-year-old woman is between 3 and 10 times more likely to be depressed than her 1950 equivalent. Compulsions (which also correlate with low serotonin) like eating disorders and addictions, have increased enormously, as has the use of drugs like Ecstasy, which boost serotonin in the short-term. This represents many more low serotonin people.

It may seem odd in a period of rising affluence - surely more of us should feel like winners. But two changes have occurred to make us feel like losers even if we appear to be material and status winners. Our evolved instincts for status and attachment have been exploited and perverted by advanced capitalism’s need to stimulate aspirations and individualism.

Advanced capitalism does well out of discontent and individualism. Unhappy people are more likely to use consumption as a material solace for their psychic pain. If people define themselves through what they buy, they can be encouraged to think that ‘this’ product rather than ‘that’ product is ‘better’, even if there is no significant difference. Promoting bogus individualism is critical to increasing sales.

To top it all, like paraffin on this smouldering bush fire of deprivation, comes the huge increase in inequality resulting from government policies since 1979. By controlling degrees of inequality, governments play a major role in determining the serotonin levels of their citizens.

Most telling of all, before the high-status male has risen up the hierarchy, it’s serotonin levels are average. The high levels result from winning - they are not genetically inherited.

This chemical hierarchy is found in humans. Social winners are likely to have higher levels than losers. Students who become officers in American university clubs have higher levels of serotonin than non-officials. Team leaders in sport have higher levels than ordinary team-mates.

Low serotonin problems are found in people with the lowest status. Depression is most common among women with low incomes, violence most prevalent among their brothers, husbands and sons. Both depression and violence are caused to some extent by feelings of subordination arising from being made to feel like a loser within families and the wider society.

A far higher proportion of us suffer low serotonin today compared with 1950. A 25-year-old woman is between 3 and 10 times more likely to be depressed than her 1950 equivalent. Compulsions (which also correlate with low serotonin) like eating disorders and addictions, have increased enormously, as has the use of drugs like Ecstasy, which boost serotonin in the short-term. This represents many more low serotonin people.

It may seem odd in a period of rising affluence - surely more of us should feel like winners. But two changes have occurred to make us feel like losers even if we appear to be material and status winners. Our evolved instincts for status and attachment have been exploited and perverted by advanced capitalism’s need to stimulate aspirations and individualism.

Advanced capitalism does well out of discontent and individualism. Unhappy people are more likely to use consumption as a material solace for their psychic pain. If people define themselves through what they buy, they can be encouraged to think that ‘this’ product rather than ‘that’ product is ‘better’, even if there is no significant difference. Promoting bogus individualism is critical to increasing sales.

To top it all, like paraffin on this smouldering bush fire of deprivation, comes the huge increase in inequality resulting from government policies since 1979. By controlling degrees of inequality, governments play a major role in determining the serotonin levels of their citizens.

Oliver James Britain on the Couch: A treatment for the Low Serotonin Society Century

26 October 2009

The Anti Squatting Laws

"Some laws have come out recently that have upset me a lot. The Anti Squatting Laws. Coz I just don't think I can piss standing up".
Jo Brand

24 October 2009

23 October 2009

Brewery Bar Latest

WHITSTABLE'S only late night venue has been shut down after part of a man's ear was bitten off in a brawl.

Another man was also injured in the fight at the Brewery Bar on the east quay at the harbour, allegedly involving a bouncer.

Police called for an emergency review of the venue's licence, citing additional concerns about drug use and poor security, and it was ordered to shut until a full hearing on November 9.

But bosses at the bar - owned by the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company - say they are determined to work with police to solve the problems.

Development manager James Green revealed all four doormen had been sacked.
He said: "To hear what happened was a bit of a shock. For that to happen is pretty horrendous really.

"I will change all door staff and I'm going to employ a firm from outside the area which will make ID checks and have a more stringent banning policy for people who cause trouble.

"Apparently the police have been quite unhappy with the doormen for a while so my only qualm with them is that they didn't come to me sooner because it was all news to me."

Members of the council's licensing committee decided to suspend the venue's licence until the full hearing, meaning it cannot sell alcohol or hold events with live music or dancing.

It can still sell food at the East Quay Restaurant in the same building.
Inspector Gordon Etheridge said: "We applied for this expedited review because of a mounting number of concerns about disorder at the premises.

"The suspension of the licence is an emergency measure which will allow us over the next three weeks to collate all the information and build a picture of the issues for the licensing committee.

"Hopefully the owners will accept and agree to work with us to help rectify some of the problems."

A 25-year-old man arrested in connection with the assault has been released on bail until December.

Anyone who witnessed the incident should contact Det Con Chris Kidd 01227 8682264.

20 October 2009

Complete with bare essentials

Yeees! A complete, whole party, from beginning to end without any interruptions, what-so-ever from Her Maj’s buoys. Excellent site, farking soo-perb music and top notch company made for a far out experience, maan. To be held in the bosom of an English Wood in the middle of summer, miles from anywhere is a unique experience. Where do you get clubs with such decor? I’ll tell ya. Nowhere. The police can fuck off the formerly well established free festival circuit but this is the 90’s now and, fragmented though the scene is, it’s still here. You just have to go go a little bit more underground to find to find the action these days. The Mother was just conceived to take the piss. Thousands of gatherings have happened. You just don’t read about them anymore.

Complete with all the bare essentials for a free party (a hundred or so dedicated dancing freaking misfits, a rig, lights courtesy of the renegade TB crew, a few core DJ’s and a large fridge full of booze) the picaresque pines of Barham Woods in Kent’s summer lush countryside beckoned (thanks Nick) for a dance till 10am tVC party. All we did was enjoy.

Set to meet in a local pub at two hours notice a convoy snaked through the narrow lanes. Rendezvousing a mile down inside the wood we set about the serious business of releasing the week long pent up frustrations caused by 20th Century, western, industrialised capitalist societies pressures to stay alive. Not a sight very young children or nervous animals would take to.
However, after a sleepless night of hedonistic excess dancing and talking ourselves into a frenzy of lushousness what was needed was a little bit of dust free luxury.

Chill sesh 2 at the Woodpeckers beckoned. Here we set up a bigger rig (thanks Maurice the Magnificent) got the pints in and proceeded to sprawl in a half dazed, semi comatosed manner till we got sick of it and went home. DJ’s playing at both parties included Sherlock (can’t get enough of it), Jes (keeping it neat despite swigging unknowingly from Hazels, er, fungal brew), Jasper (tarty git on and off the decks), Oz (dusty and fried with his IQ halved by something), Nicki (Bareham only but still a succulent slice of DJhood). Al Jay (Woodpeckers only but over from, hey, San Fran and playing a bit of a blinder of a deep US groove jobby), Ed and Liam (“We’re doing the last hour” doing, er, the last hour) and last but not least Kier and Tom, missing out on a play altogether for some reason.

Two guys who muscled in on Al Jays set were spotted behind the dex at the Graveney free party t’other week. Our chum Theo, who just happens to be black, went up to these two and tried to make conversation with them. “Nice tunes man”, he begins. “YEH”, they reply, “white tunes” and give him a fist salute.

19 October 2009

The Long, Lamentable and Boring History of Violence


Friday 5 March - FP2 - The Duke of Kent


A long weekend this one, almost back to the heights of the glory days. Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, all on the trot, with the trots by the end most probably.

Friday starts fresh and hopeful, until Paul and I realise that, as usual, we have to move all the equipment, by ourselves, again. This we manage to do, set up, sound check take the van back, all within 2 hours. Who needs Louie, we ask, as we back slap our way back into the flat for a short respite, before the 5 minute drive up the road, to that nights playground.

With everything done, there's only drinking to indulge in, and dodging the poorly aimed wind-up's from other sound engineers, that fail, as usual to hit their intended mark. Cagey has turned up to "support us", more like pissing his pants at the thought of a 3 day bender.

The place starts filling despite a serious cock-up with the flyers (so no change there then). But fortunately this seems to have negligible effect as the place fills nicely, the vibe flows and everyone gets down to the business in hand. Which is the same as it ever is, enjoyment and its persuit, forthwith.

The smoke machine is making it difficult to see or breathe, a few fall choking to the floor, clasping their throat, eyes bulging, or was that just Dave Burner admiring the woodwork through the drink. The music is pumping (but not too much I hasten to add) and sounds excellent, much to the chagrin of a rival sacked sound engineer, who believes in the six foot tall amp rack scenario, full of gagdets.

A right good little atmos is developing in time honoured tVC stylee. The floor is filling, people are boogying, and the world outside becomes a dim and distant memory. But then, disaster, a prat is in our midst, again. This time, the 'sad's' are of the female variety, two pikey girls, who decide they feel threatened by the freedom and frivolity, and decide they will stop it by attacking Tracey and Nick. Or maybe Nick accidentally trod on one of their feet with her silly boots? Anyway, the outcome is sudden and unexpected. Unfortunately for them though, they realise a tad too late, that an attack on one of us, is an attack on us all, and they are quickly expelled from the party, only after being given a taste of their own medicine.

Tracey has been bottled and Nick is sporting a rather fetching bald patch, where once there was hair, Jerry Springer Show style. The music has stopped and the night is ended an hour early. We're kicked out into the cold March air, pissed off and full of righteous anger. The pikey's have been sent away by Dave and are no longer outside threatening to "do" us, and crying over their ripped blouses.



packing up






chilling out with a coffee after the big hump






Well, what can you do? Give up? Parties by their nature have to be mutually inclusive. Everyone has a chance to be part. You can't really VIP a party. All that exclusivity bollocks sucks. However, what do you do when you're being physically attacked in spaces you have set out for the safe and enjoyable attainment of pleasure? What do you do when you've opened your arms to people who then fuck the carefully orchestrated, extremely fragile vibe up? Fuck them off. Get them out of your headspace. Refuse to give up and learn kick-boxing, so the next time it happens you can kick the shit out of them? Remember who they are and ban them from all future spaces? And just remember, that unfortunately, however much we would like it to be so, that everyone isn't a cool cookie, that there are some weird trips going on in people's heads and guard yourself against it in future. You can't stop people from coming into fields, but you can sure as hell refuse to let the cunts get into your head. Onwards and upwards. Forever.



18 October 2009

SOME NEW YEAR SURREALISM

New Years Eve 1994

We rendezvous at the Ship in Faversham at 11.30pm to find the party in full swing. After knocking at the door we were admitted by Walter himself, head man of the establishment who had surrounded himself with a tribe of drunken revellers.

Everywhere the youth and some not so youthful danced to the strains of a 70's disco complete with Barry White and Abba. All ably played by a real life 70's DJ (he didn't look old enough) on a pair of Technics decks. I waited in vain for a deep mix of the Stylistics or even the Jackson 5.

Well, I don't really want to go on about Dance Music's "Dark Ages", suffice to say that brief return to those heady days was fairly painful to us House Fanatics, one of whom suggested "this could cause some nasty nausea and vomiting and lead to awful hangovers".

We saw the New Year in with raised glass and a cheer (the music had stopped for Big Ben). Back came the disco, everybody became very kissy, throwing their arms around complete strangers and snogging them. Well at least I did. By 12.30 we were off for further adventures in the night.

We followed a convoy of cars off to "Nunca Nunca". Into London we drove, around London we drove, around London we drove some more, eventually arriving outside the venue, a film studio in Cricklewood at 3am after circumnavigating North London by all the back streets. Thank goodness we were following an ex-London cabby.

Walter hassled and a doorman looked hastily down an immense guest list and by the time he ascertained that Walter wasn't on it we'd paid our 20 quids and were in.

Well as per usual by 3am we were all pretty shit-faced so things started off fairly confusing. We found ourselves in a short corridor with a huge Christmas tree at one end and a curtained entrance on each side to the two rooms; one hard the other not so hard, OK. As there seemed to be curtains along at least three of the walls in at least one of the rooms, some confusion in finding the way out was caused to those of us who had scrambled their brains that night. Both rooms pumped out the most beautiful, rhythmic house; at various times lasers played over our heads, lights strobed, went out, were rekindled and we'd find ourselves in an impenetrable strawberry fog. Hard on the asthmatics, but orgasmic for everyone else.

The music slightly faster in one room, slightly slower in the other, but excellent in both. I can't tell you who played (I couldn't read the flyer or it didn't say) excepting that the night was topped off by the inevitable Mark Shimmon. So what with a plenitude of lights, smoke, lasers, expertly manned (and womaned) decks, the excellent sounding rigs (thanks to our favourite sound men) and about 800 happy, beautiful, dancing, party people stomping the night away in absolute bliss and harmony, the New Year was finally seen in, with the style and grace we all deserved.

17 October 2009

Mixed Up Blenda

With breaking news ringing in our ears that on this very day the brewery bar in Whitstable had had it's license revoked, or as they so succinctly put it, "were having a refurb", we set off for autumnal Margate and a couple of tVC sets at the lovely Lido bar and the Jammix promoted The Blenda; an evening of fun and frolics. Now everyone concerned with the brewery bar and even those that were there that night are being very cagey about the incident that occured that closed the place.

My little bird whispered that it was a feud between two families that spilt over in the club; that the bouncers were involved in much of the violence; that those who witnessed it were scared. Nick Stroud, promoter of the Delicious night that all this happened at, was being very conspicuous by his silence and he didn't answer any of my questions directly. All he would say was that the bar would reopen on the 11th November with a new door policy and a new team of door supervisors. All very mysterious.

Anyway, enough of all that crap. It's been said before in this very blog that the place needs a serious looking at and hopefully this incident has focused everyone’s minds on just such a task. So what did we do instead? A little bunch of us made the effort to get out of the bubble and go to the blenda for a much needed dose of electronical musical variety. Twas one of those nights when a real friendly bunch of dance music aficionados’ braved the cold and the wind to gather together on a dance floor and shake our little booty's.

video
early on in the evening...

Oz and Si were booked in as warm ups for the early bird sets and with a little pumped up deep house and tech for a couple of hours the dance floor was softened up nicely for Dantrix who took it up another notch. This was to be the format of the evening as each successive DJ played it slightly harder and faster than the last. Much fun ensued as friends old and new lubricated the social oil with loads of cheap booze and lots of genuine smiles. The Subsdance rig providing more that enough steam to keep the old ears filled with sound.

Well done to everyone who was there especially Dan and Louise, nick beats, Si and Lin, the other DJ's on the night TACCHINNI, Loop-E-Lu, Dee James Brown, Nik Beats & Lil John Woodcock,Stempy as well as chums Clare, Becky D and her mate, Stoney, jenny and PD from subs, now ey and little bean, Cary grant, jay and tam, jayney d, margate john, sue and new chums Emma, daz and James and all the rest of the unite team for bloody well making the effort to promote such a lovely party. Next one down the same venue is on Boxing Day, then Subsdance, tVC and unite taking it over for new years eve. Lucky us indeed.

16 October 2009

Barb Ire

A couple of months ago, the Institute of Contemporary Arts held a debate entitled "Have We Come Down yet?" it wasn’t a bad discussion, as discussions about the effect of Ecstasy on British popular culture go: interesting, inconclusive, frustrating, funny, with only a smattering of drugs-upmanship ("I once took 17 rhubarb-and-custards and 40 doves in one mental weekend sesh and that was in the years of real MDMA, right, when I was only 3"). There were four people on the panel, including me, and about 200 people attended. Some of these were bankers, some were their rhyming slang equivalent; the odd E evangelist enthused about the underground scene, several more weekenders mumbled about it (whatever ‘it’ was) not being like it used to be. All well-documented, well-debatable stuff.

Towards the end of the session, I asked a question. It wasn’t metaphorical. Did anyone else out there ever wish that they’d never taken any drugs? That they’d made it through their little life so far without stimulants? But no one else did. No one out of 200. All drug-takers: and all proud, or at least unconcerned to be so. I was the only one - and let’s face it, any ecstasy chomper doesn’t like to be left out - who ever wondered why she’d bothered.

And I do wonder. Not because of any born-again anti-junk moral standpoint, but because I don’t think there’s anywhere that drugs - not just ecstasy, all drugs - have taken me that I haven’t been able to get by myself. Drugs are just a short-cut, a fast track, a gear shift, a nifty back route. A speedy warping of things - physical, emotional, corporal, spiritual - so that you end up somewhere, anywhere, outside your normal, everyday self. And I include downers in that as well. All drugs do is change your circumstances quicker than if you hadn’t bothered taking them.

The places drugs can take you can be terrific: hilarious, bamboozling, exciting, new. Equally, they can be terrifying; panicked, hell-like, soul-freezing, traumatic. But unless you really fry your mind - get a habit, go somewhere and not find the way back - once the hit has gone and your head is munched, what are you left with? Spiritual enlightenment? Happy memories? Great mates? Brain death?

Drugs taught me - and I’m not denying they’ve taught me some things - that I had somewhere inside me already. I can talk for hours, I can stare at nothing, I can relax, I can get paranoid. I can be funny, boring, arrogant, super-friendly, ready for a fight, fighting for a fuck, fucking all over the shop. I can really listen to music, I can dance all night, I can sleep for weeks, I can burst into tears, I can laugh till I’m sick, I can collapse in over-heated mess in a puddle and bark like a barky dog. The thing is, I can do all these exceptionally entertaining things with absolutely no help whatsoever. A vodka might ease me along: but I certainly don’t require the contents of a chemistry set.

Don’t think for a moment that I will never take drugs again, nor that I’m arguing for a medicine-free world. I’m not so disciplined, nor so principled. But I do wonder, as I get older, what drugs have actually done for me. Take Ecstasy, for instance (and no, that’s not an order). It’s easy to see it’s beneficial effects on inhibited, ill-rhythmed, self-conscious tough men: it makes them dance, and talk, and understand, and let their guard down. But who’s to say that age wouldn’t have taught them that anyway? As you get older, you stop caring what people think, you stop trying to prove yourself harder or cooler, you realise that no one cares if you twirl like a twat or babble like a goon or spin on your back pretending to be a breakdancing spacehopper as long as you don’t smack anyone in the mouth while you’re doing so.

Also, as you get older, the payback really starts to dent you. You just can’t keep up. You discover what you can handle and what your body just won’t take any more. You wake up and say never again and you mean it: at least a lot longer than you meant it before. Your insides start rebelling: the hangover isn’t just a vague tiredness, but an all-over racking body and mindache, a full-blown depression that lasts for days. And you start thinking: If I’d never taken any drugs, if I’d exercised and drunk water and gone to bed when I should have, maybe I’d feel better now. Maybe my brain would still function clearly, focus sharply instead of slopping and swimming. Maybe my heart wouldn’t hurt. Lost weekends are just that: lost.

The only other things drugs are good for is to stop you feeling bored. When you can’t find the energy for a DIY change of heart, then some chemical wherewithal can be useful. But don’t tell me the high, the buzz, the up, the ‘it’ can’t be found elsewhere. Because if you can’t feel it otherwise, you might as well be an addict. If you can’t feel higher than the stars through falling in love, or awed by monstrous nature by standing on a cliff, or all-powerful when driving, or sky-high from an orgasm, or twisted and pointless through loss, or frightened from just being alive, then you might as well be a moggy muncher. It doesn’t take a pill, or a line, or a smoke to make people lose control. Life does it well enough.

Miranda Sawyer

15 October 2009

Free party in Kent

It was a King Arthur of a night.
The field in which we danced
Held a sky that domed with a luminescence
Which gripped our earth and reverberated to frequencies
From our music?
From our lives?
From our minds?
No one had put us there.
No one was watching us.
We trembled with pure life,
And we each were, in essence, a part of the other.
Of everything and everyone.
Moving through a
Moment of Life and Music:
And whilst we swayed and clung and had no words
Our planet felt our need and she
RESPONDED
SPLITTING OPEN
To reveal
Her sky;
Bleeding with morning colours that,
Caught Our Breath.
And we knew that our lives had touched upon.
An aspect of the Truth.
And we knew we were growing.

14 October 2009

EK

Down at the EK, you may have noticed a difference between the groups of people who have congregated there, on and off, often, every Sunday night for the last 5 years.

You have 'the darts players'. These have one ring leader on the wind-up front, but their bark is always worse than their bite, and their leader is usually as much a brunt of their piss-takes, as we are. The 'darts players' tried rather half-heartedly to wind us up, before giving in after two years and there now exists a rather uneasy truce between two groups of people who don't really vibe with each other but have decided to stop goading the other about it. Progress.

You have the old boys. They cling to the carpeted area of the pub, like barnacles to the bottom of a boat, sipping their ale, CJ in the thick of them, doing 'some research' saying nothing because they've seen it all before, and they're too deaf to be annoyed by the music anyway. They're cool, and often when the difference between the generations is forgotten in the easy compatibility of the practised bar room drunk, good conversations can ensue, involving tales of their drinking to musically accompanied exploits, back in the day.

You have the fluffy people, a caparisoned horde of enlightened fun-seekers, male or female, who feel no vulnerability in being 'nice', who are not threatened by someone being different to them ie cleverer, richer, more spiritually aware, a different sex or even a different sexual orientation. The fluffies are the ones that when they go out want to leave all the every day shit at the door of the pub, whether it be mums escaping from the daily grind of bringing up children, stoners hiding from the boredom of life spent skint on the dole, or even the hardened alkies squeezing a few more crafty ones in before work the next day.

And Max.

It doesn't matter. They come to have a chat with friends, get drunk, listen to excellent music, connect. They understand that you get out what you put in, the shiny, happy people. If you skip around with a smile on your face, you usually have a good time, and so do those around you.

The fluffies are often female, but not necessarily always so (look at Ms Bishop in one of her teeth gnashing frenzies). Their ranks are inhabited by those who see the wind up as part of social intercourse, but not the be-all-and-end-all, who more often than not are 'just sick of all the shit' and refuse to let it occupy their night time celebrations any longer. Everyone is worthy of their attention, of inclusion in their lives.

You have the people who should have known better in the earlier years of their youth, and now thankfully do.

And you have the 'sads' who stand at the bar, a group of swaggering males, indulging in mock displays for their own amusement, issuing unwelcome 'advice', shouting unfunny comments at everyone and about everything, as long as it involves beer, football and sex. Their usual senseless-go-round. The three things they're all obsessed with but can't do. The beer they can't drink without making boring prats of themselves. The football they watch on TV, but never go to watch it live, or even play because they're so unfit from their lives spent boozing it up in a succession of crap bars. And the sex, well they're better suited to each other if the truth be told, if only they'd get over their other little phobia and discover just how much pleasure the prostrate can offer.

The 'joke bloke's' who know so little about women, or anything, that you could stick everything that they do know up one nostril, and they'd still have room to breathe. You see everyone wants to be King of Shit Hill.

And when the wind-ups have continued for years, and people who constantly come to your parties only to stir and back stab move up a gear, it usually only leads to one thing. Violence. Carried out by vulnerable, insecure, emotionally retarded joke's, who think if they shout louder and longer than everyone else they'll ''be 'arder''. And when you've been shouting longer and louder, violence shouts louder still. Violence shouts in the loudest voice of all. That you are a useless fuck who's lost the plot, especially when it's unbidden, caused by the deep insecurity that we have seen through the "front", that we have seen the gaping black emptiness that lies behind all the bravado. The fear, that despite their constant denials to the contrary, that even they secretly suspect, they ''aint all that.'' Empty vessels make the most noise, as they say. Violence can't be justified, and never is. It makes you look like a twat and everyone hate you. It's embarrassing for you, but especially everyone else. If you can't behave, or you hate what we are doing so much, just stay away.

12 October 2009

'' Getting pissed is really laddy ''

Discourse analytic research on masculinity has produced some interesting and insightful understandings of male-bonding talk, and/or talk around alcohol related activities. These and other contributions have helped demonstrate the dependence of "hegemonic" masculinities on the discursive subordination of the "other", notably women and gay men…

In general, Western cultures advertise (excessive) alcohol usage as an exclusively male activity. The consumption of beer (in particular) with fellow males seems to be a potent resource for the enactment of conventional masculine identities. As Landrine et al suggest, "drunkenness may be an aspect of the concept of masculinity".

In the sociological literature, the consumption of alcohol by (predominately young, working-class) men is usually associated with ideals of masculinity such as toughness, endurance and aggression, both verbal and physical…

In psychoanalytic terms, unconscious male anxieties and desires are likely to surface in the group situation - a simultaneous wish for and resentment of affection from others. These competing desires of belonging and autonomy can be seen in terms of masculinity. There are deep (unconscious) feelings of inadequacy (around comparative stature, performance etc) in the presence of other men (originally the castrating father) who are therefore regarded as rivals and kept at a distance (intimacy is avoided)…

The consumption of alcohol may also serve to disinhibit the (insecure) aggression directed at "outsiders" as well as enhancing feelings of companionship…The humour-oppression anxiety qualities of the discourse could also be connected to 1990's culture, often viewed from within the academy and beyond as "pro-feminist", even "emasculating". Indeed, in the present case, one of the main reasons for these lads looking forward to and relishing all-male drinking sessions concerned the opportunities afforded for presenting perspectives felt to be disallowed in everyday, public contexts…The all-male drinking context can be seen as an "outlet" for "letting off steam" against traditional heterosexual male targets.

Brendan Gough and Gareth Edwards in the Sociological Review, Vol 46, No 3

10 October 2009

the excellentnessness of it all

The revolutions we've experienced in the last few years in telecommunications, media, intelligence gathering and information processing, have coincided with an unprecedented sense of disorder and unease, not only in societies, states, economies, families, sexes, but also in species, bodies, brains, weather patterns, ecological systems. There is turbulence on so many levels that reality itself seems suddenly on edge. Centres are subsumed by peripheries, mainstreams overwhelmed by their backwaters, cores eroded by the very skins supposed to protect them. Master copies lose their mastery and everything valued for its size and strength, finds itself over run by micro processing's once supposed too small and insignificant. It is against this backdrop that the free parties are currently being held with many such groupings of people all over the country/world, whose radius of activity is mostly confined to people in the know, often performing in unknown spaces. The atmosphere is intimate, convivial, almost private. Everyone seems to know each other; a network of clandestine societies in which the electro acoustics involve the post processing of other peoples material; where the record has become the instrument; where the sound is all about the mixture of other peoples work; where the aim is that of transcendance. True, great music should achieve this, making one transcend, and in doing so honouring the spirit, by taking you somewhere beyond, to a world you may not be familiar with, and freeing us from the unpredictable or the all too predictable realities of modern day life. Last summer, music took us on many such journeys, to many beautifully unusual worlds, and this is last summers story.


Having been thrown out of all available licensed premises, there was only one thing for it if we wanted to have any parties of any description at all and that was to kick arse on the free party front. Which was not a wholly unwelcome side effect of our banned status. Only two things seemed against us; the weather; and the small problem with our bass bin's being blown and being unable to be mended for 6 months. Still, no matter, we'd already bought another pair of subs and were awaiting delivery of said subs any day, or so we kept reassuring ourselves, over the 13 months wait that did eventually ensue. So despite being a sound system with only half a rig and no venues, we decided not to let small things like that hold us back, and got stuck in, braving the elements in the great outdoors. Shaun was sent out on reccys with various ordinance survey maps of the area. We must have had some sort of divine blessing to go with the inspiration, as the incessant rain, that had been hammering the countryside non stop, miraculously cleared up each evening of the party, only to return with a vengeance once all partying, sundry related social interactions and other partaking activities, had ceased. Spooky!


First party of the season honour was taken by the 76 buoys, who just slipped one in there (missus) in February, in an oft used venue in a dilapidated hotel. (No, not the Woodpeckers.) Unfortunately, it was too bastard cold to do fuck all other than grimace or drink yet more beer (so no change there, then) in the vague hope it would provide much needed insulation from the elements. Not so. It was also the party that Scarlet O'Hara like, I vowed against the rising of the dawn that "never again" (fist raised in silhouette against the pink sky) would I be car-less again. You see, when you get lifts to parties, 'Friends' have this annoying habit of scoring with their dream love boat before informing you of their undying love and strong drive to consummate their relationship immediately and then fucking off before the party ends. Or, if they fail to do this, they instead fill the car with tripping loonies who are trying to steal your ride back to civilization. 'I'm not moving', or, 'It's nice and warm in here', or, with just a little whinge, 'But how am I supposed to get home?' or even 'who are you?' permeates the dew ridden ether. This scary experience developed the theme for the summer; Transport, and the getting of it, forthwith. It does seem relatively pointless to think of oneself as this great pioneering party frontier type person pushing the frontiers of the free party network when you can't even get to the effing site let alone get home. Oh yeah, there's always a way to get the equipment there, there's always space for decks and stuff, but nothing if you happen to be a poor party promoter with loads of even poorer chums with not a car between them.Cue one reasonably rich chum (he's got a job) with two many cars and a generous penchant for saying 'have one of mine!' Now we were sorted for keys and wheels.


The next party was in a disused fruit storage farm, somewhere outside of Canterbury on the last weekend in March. In a room rather like a youth club pre-fab building from the fifties, Shaun had spent all day lifting vast apple boxes on their sides to make dancing platforms, and clearing up hundreds of pallets. It was an amazingly sultry night as excitedly we began unloading "the stuff" in pitch-black darkness. 'Put the genny on,' someone shouts, 'so we can see what we're effing doing.' A scramble ensues, trying to find the genny, then the leads. Disaster. The lights were on but there was no one at home. The genny ran but wouldn't produce electricity. Shit. A quick pikey phonecall confirmed our worse fears, the "brushes" had gone and there was no way this "ol' gel" would produce anything tonight. Cursing technology, bitterly, we none the less remembered to put the sick genny safely in a van, remembering Macca's non too pleasant experience of failing to baby-sit non-working, just-run-out-of-petrol gennys. Pissed off we started clearing away, there was no way we could get a genny at 9.30pm on a Saturday night. As we walked across the 100,000 square feet plus of warehousing space over the yard from the room we had been planning to use, we were to discover, as we explored, that it didn't matter anyway. Flicking half heartedly at an ancient rust encrusted light switch, we were gob smacked on discovering that the previous owners were really rather decent sorts, and had neglected to get the leccy turned off when they had vacated the premises. This seemed too good an opportunity to miss. With enough free electricity to power Canterbury, we kicked off, forced to party in a lovely little room off the main warehouse with walls, radiators and windows, doors and toilets, a linoleum floor and strip lights in the ceiling. Wicked. There could have been a snowstorm outside and we could have just reached to the thermostat on the wall and turned the heating on. However it was very warm and an extremely convivial atmos was quickly achieved and maintained for a whole evening's enchantment. Out in the vast warehouse, to the side of the dancing mayhem that now erupted from the main room was the Eclectic Loony Lounge (due to make many scheduled appearances through the summer) which was doing a roaring trade.


Unfortunately the roaring was Rosie-ette shouting at poor frightened punters for trying to buy cups of tea under the mistaken belief that her cafe was actually a café which you could buy tea from when required. With Nick monopolising one speaker, as a safe and inconspicuous place to sleep (so no change there) and Penny reaching her advanced state of liquidity quite early on in the proceedings (see above), peeps quickly became reassured that, yes, they were back in the bosom of the tVC family of music. All this and Brad 'Sheep Dip' Toohey, too, one of Australia's "top DJ's", who was later heard to confess that this party was the best night out he'd had since coming to Merry England. He did live in Chaversham though, so say no more. Yes Timo, Oz and Jes did play with each other again, yawn, but they always find such new and unexpected ways to put together their inches, and for this they can only be admired. A couple of adolescent PC's strolled in as morning broke, and just as casually walked away after being reassured that the music was stopping "in a minute". A totally chummy, yummy, bummy kind of party, that reminded us all of what we'd been missing, but left us right up for more. It rocked; a veritable snorter of an experience.


We repeated the episode a month later, on the first weekend in May. And yes, the leccy was still on. We took this to be another chance too good to miss. The night was breath visibly cold, an indication of the unusual weather to be flung at us all summer. Strange things were afoot in the jolly japes department. Memory of the night has to be or good 'ol chum Scouse looking for 'meek caar'. Some wag, a young monsewer Edwardo we believe, relieved him of the ownership of his shiny red car, long enough to park it up in a vast, redundant fruit chiller. Then a few cars were 'accidentally' parked in front of the fridge door by other people, totally unaware that the old cooler contained a car. There everything stayed for the next few hours. Come morning though; cue a worried, even more stressed Scouse. Instead of looking for his marbles on the dance floor with a torch, where he'd lost them hours before, he proceeded to go around asking anyone and everyone if they'd "seen meek caar". Classic. Guest DJ's included Warren, and Tom and Kier who graced us with their presence's, as well as all the usual deck divas. Macca and co did the by now infamous bar again, allegedly to raise funds for the genny stolen last year, but really as an excuse to sink shit loads of piss and make lots of history. The Erotic Libido lounge lived up to its reputation, with Lady Ochs (she fucking rocks) reducing a further few would-be punters to tears over not-allowed beverages. Others of us watched as Shenny had to be literally poured into the car by Porn. It looked as if he were trying to pick up water. I sat in the car for twenty minutes watching as she slipped through his fingers, from his grasp as it were. A deeper, darker, edge to this party but again unsullied by the presence of our boys in blue, apart from a few minutes at the end as we were clearing up anyway. 'It's Shenny's birthday', lied Porn, non too convincingly, with UFO eyes. "Dare we returneth again?" was on our lips as we bade each other the fondest of farewells chuckling contentedly to ourselves all the way home.
This was a question that was being pondered somewhere else too, and two weeks later another crew moved onto the now electrically impoverished site. Putting far more effort into the setting up of little strips of fluroed netting side of it all than we could be arsed, they were there all day clambering up forty-foot ladders to display their fluro offerings. Unfortunately, once, twice, three times a lady was not to be allowed on this occasion as 'the boys' finally cottoned on to the situation and turned up mob handed, literally. Setting up hastily manned roadblocks they took great delight in prowling the lanes till the early hours, chests puffed out in self-congratulatory masturbatory pride. Single handedly Da Boy's in Blue had smashed the free party network in East Kent. Or so they thought.


We, meanwhile, oblivious to all this, had sat up in a local house waiting out those distinctly dangerous few hours around midnight when, you know, there is a chance that the ol' bill may turn up. We cracked open a few bottles, span le tar disques and rolled a few big ones. The prospect of any house music being played at this party was distinctly remote so we were topping out as they say in polite circles. The first thing we knew about our rather busy busies was when 600 people tried to cram into one tiny house. Party people 4 Local Constabulary 1.
The week after was to be a collaboration between us and our very close chums 'the Dover lot'; and as anyone knows when the Dover 'lot' actually get up off their arses and stop drinking, communicating and enjoying themselves (in Dover) long enough to do some 'organising' (ie 'werk') the results are always mind bending. Unfortunately not heeding the lessons of the week before, another oft used venue was decided upon, probably more because it was semi covered and the ground was too wet for erections of the marquee variety. Unfortunately, when going along to set up that evening we were set upon by a police ambush. They lay in wait, cunningly concealed in the shadow of darkness. Turning on their lights in an orgy of excitement as we drove in, they leapt out of the darkness brandishing their new length batons. I thought it was width that was important boys, not length. They were taking names, numberplates, breathalising would be suspects and generally harassing, searching everybody and making us all a little miserable. 2 parties in 2 weeks, stopped before they could even get started, one before any equipment was even set up, and a very smug police force. Party People 4 Pigs 2.


Two weeks later. It has been pissing down with rain all day, as it had been doing most of year so far. We're doing a party, somewhere in Chaversham that night. Where we don't know. All we know is it's in a 'barn' and it's for 'a group of people'. We follow the directions and end up at a beautiful barn (eventually) deep in deepest Favland. We peek through the windows at the stripped pine floor as we wait for 'the bloke with the keys' or at the very least someone with the faintest idea of what is going on. We duck inside the thoughtfully erected marquee to escape the rain and slip in the mud as we try to unload the equipment. Just as darkness sets in 'he' turns up and we begin once again the timeless routine of moving all that fucking bastard twatting equipment, with the barest minimum of help. So no change there then... mustn't grumble etc. At least we had some bass bins now, as the ones we were waiting for to be re-coned had been. Still no sign of the others though.The barn is spectacular and it is decided to open up the top floor with the afore mentioned stripped white pine floor. Ol' One Eye appears and his rented Equipment is whipped out and erected before you can say 'Oo er'; whilst downstairs the beers are carefully 'hidden' from all the blagging bastards, i.e. they're drank. The rest of them are hidden so carefully in fact that we can't find most of them for the rest of the evening. Oh well, as long as Louie didn't drink them all again.....The first DJ on blows the speakers. Or it just sounds that way.Upstairs that is.Downstairs the vibe kicks off rapidly in fine style as within half an hour the face is pull to bursting. Sound pumps relentlessly from the speakers as smoke and lights strobe the already hot and sweaty atmos, and that's just in Nick's armpits. Her new deodorant, tested to the max, breaks down into its constituent chemicals and is immediately flushed away in a river of moisture. Polly and Dick, loves young dream, (snicker) pow(d)er up the sex quotient and proceed to perve perversely and actually do give a credible performance of two people who actually like each other (for now). Emily and Steve (loves' even younger, better looking, and far more credible dream) and Rosie, in Ria's fuck me pants, all start gyrating en masse and all at the sane time. Ooch already coming up on his scroungings bungalows it up, and proceeds to throb unnecessarily. Some arty types pose and vogue exhaustively for a short while before they realise it's useless, as no one is watching them. Every one in one sweating, heaving unison. It's great. Then disaster. Oz discovers, for some reason coming out of his green haze, that his record bag has 'gone missing' and decides to confide in Nick. Nick charged up by Barry's profferings has to be persuaded by DJ Detention not to stop the party, immediately. She retires to the corner and moans to who ever will listen to her for the next five hours about the 'theft', especially when she realises that one of her bags of wine and beer has also disappeared. Indeed she could still be heard in the morning just before the party ended moaning to some poor cornered bastard about it. Getting carried away by the emotion of it all she flings out her arms and bangs them against a black bag of records, next to a carrier bag of wine and beer. It has been sitting, on a chair, in a room of 250 people all night and no one has even nicked a bottle of beer. One can never cease to be amazed at the excellentnessness of it all. Cheers to Rick, who won bladder on a stick of the night award, and Julia and co for a top night, and to everyone for being so damn fine. Good to see John Ayres, back for the evening who played John type stuff in the main room between the house, which made a nice change if we don't say so ourselves. Not so good to see all the muddy footprints across the previously stripped pine floor, now totally mud encrusted. And still so apparently. Another venue fucked.Party Peeps 5. Everyone who hates parties and wants them stopped forever 2.


Not a week later and the best party night of the year dawns, the solstice. With not altogether fond memories of last year spent clinging to a cliff-top at Abbots Cliff while the wind and rain and thunder and lightning did their best for 10 hours to suck us all off from the crest of the headland and batter us all on the rocks below. Thank fuck for the marquee we wheezed gratefully as we watched the top lift by two foot as yet another gust ripped along the underneath of the canvass. It may be a bastard to put up, but it has saved our collective arse on many an occasion. That solstice was so treacherous, weather wise, that we had to go home without the rig, as we only had an open topped, half-sided trailer to put it in and it pissed down solid for 3 days either side of the party. Luckily these very kind people who we didn't know from Adam let us store our rig in their house till the weather quietened down. It's just whenever we went back to pick it up they were never in.... No, cheers for the party Dean and letting us store all our manky bits in your house till they could be picked up.


This solstice was not looking too attractive an aspiration either. It had been raining all week. All month really. All year on and off. January was mild and wet. February very mild, generally dry. March mild, wet and cloudy. April very wet and rather cool and May warm and very dry. June for a change had been very wet, cool and cloudy. But we had a site to die for. Nestling behind some vast Kentish woods was an enormous valley of such immense beauty and grandeur it hurt the back of your throat to look at it. It made you want to trip your tits off and go for a wander through the collective conscience. It made you feel like this even in the pissing rain. Anyhow, we remembered the previous years rain and thought if we couldn't get collectively sucked off on a cliff we could handle anything under the fond auspices of the love tent, so decided to forge full ahead. We need not have worried. That weekend saw the most spectacular break in the weather, for Saturday night. For one night only we were being offered a sultry 98 degrees heat. It was so hot man, you could wear a T-shirt all night. We could have been in San Fran man, it was so hot. And the sunrise man; was just the best. Clear and pink and yellow and beautiful. Because we heard that it wasn't so good towards the west, at Stonehenge it was misty and cloudy and the moon and sun couldn't be seen. Apparently. But in deepest Kent it was just so. For a few hours we were transported out of red neck county to a place where the vibe is never bummed out. It brought out all that is good in you and everyone. It reminded you of the things that you sometimes forget about when you're caught up in the relentless sameness of it all, when the desperateness of this constant pursuit of happiness and enjoyment can become a tad tiring, especially when energy is being used but not replaced. It reminded us of why we choose to party in a beautiful valley with 200 like minds.(?) Nourishment for the soul. Sustenance for the spirit. The hazy twilight hours melted into a quadraphonic sound diffusion of sine-smothered disco glitterbeats, as we rejoiced in the bliss of sanity temporarily disappearing in the frenzy of the dance floor.The bloke who looked after the land turned up in the sultry mid morning sun. He chatted in a most friendly manner and then proceeded to search for 'something to smoke'. In the background people lay sprawled outside their tents, the music pumping enticingly, enclosing us in a warm, caressing audio slurry whilst a large posse of various ages but only one sex proceeded to play a rowdy game of football. Luckily the ball went in a small overlooked, rather stagnant pond, where it stayed. Those that weren't playing football, appreciating the music, throwing up, snogging or crashing cars, were frantically looking for their car keys which hadn't seemed quite so important when they were coming up on that extremely strong acid the night before and had relinquished control over the lure of all material things. They had relinquished control, quite willingly over anything in fact. A lot of people (Ads) spent the morning after stumbling around, frantically wandering over the forty acre field looking hopefully but helplessly for these car keys. Some had been sensible enough to stash them in their ignition, others less so. Cagey spent most of the party asleep in a line on the grass, he had been vomiting out of Polly's car window on the way to the party due to his usual over-indulgence. Macca and Kev continued their stand up routine, which is now nearly honed to perfection. Kier played without Tom who was sunning himself on some far away beach with the Lovely. Lindsey stumbled around, eyes wide, celebrating the recent passing of her Shiatsu exams, in the way she does best. Turtle had a snog. Sally was fluffed to the gills and fluffing everyone up in her own inimitable style. Emily extracted vast sums of money from the unsuspecting hordes.


This was the last party in an age of unrecognised innocence. The innocence from 'the evil' that was lurking in our midst's that would be horrifically unleashed at the next few parties via the Sid James of the party scene himself. No longer would people be able to stagger around drunkenly without the stagger being reinterpreted as a sign of partaking of 'the evil'. No longer would anyone be able to innocently roll around on the grass losing all their money and marbles, whilst pissing themselves and narrowly failing to avoid those lovely near death experiences without it being assumed they had indulged in 'the evil'. Yes, unfortunately Techno smack was to rear its scary head, and partying was to take a new and lurid twist. Big pink merry-go-rounds in a pink candy floss world. Or loads of lost-it-losers lurching around, stinking of piss and frightening everyone. (So, no change there then.) Depends how you look at it really.Yes. Over the years many weird pharmaceutical concoctions have reared their may be glamorous heads on the party scene. Some are catalysts for whole new worlds opening up closed minds. Some are throwbacks to a bygone era of sticking flowers in soldiers guns and clouds with Lucy and diamonds and, er, stuff. And some are just plain not very attractive to look at but lots of fun for those being so unattractive. This was party of the summer for me.


Party peeps 5. The authorities 2.


We had a lull for the next month. July dawned cool, dull and rather wet. Those who were stupid enough to go to Glasters were drenched in mud and shit all week long, and battled bravely to pretend to enjoy themselves. Some even admitted that actually it had been fucking awful. Those of us who had been too scared, old, or sensible stayed in the Bubble and developed our alcohol habits, courtesy of Bitburger German lager on draft or Bitch Bugger as we have grown fondly to call it. Surely the most wondrous alcoholic beverage in the world. Ever. Come mid July we were all itching for a party, and the next one was held, again on a spectacularly nice weekend, in a farmers field, somewhere near Stelling Minnis. Tracey and Bod were the first people to turn up for this party, in fact before any of the equipment had arrived, and were caught by the farmer entering his land and pretended they were looking for somewhere to have a shag. "You can't camp here," he intoned remonstratively, and they fled. Luckily he didn't come back. However the same farmer was heard talking about this party a week later in the pub, by 'some ones' dad. "But you know what?" he could be heard asking his chums, "you couldn't see a trace of where they'd had their rave. No rubbish or anything." Now if that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is.This was another gorgeous site. The only trouble was that many people couldn't find it, due to a small problem with the maps. But those who did find it found it and partied till they lost it. Proceedings were opened up by One Eye, playing a chilled D & B set, punctuated by some choice deeper stuff. The marquee was erected although not needed, to provide two separate environments. In and out. Then using the opportunity of taking a meticulously and lovingly created environment, and fucking it up, Cagey and Sid proceeded to stitch everyone up with vast lines of Techno smack. Most notably a young Welsh chap who lolled on the ground for a few hours looking 'rather ill'. Nick who lolled on another patch of ground, dropped all her money and was telling anyone who would listen (mainly Tracey) how much she loved them; and Lighthouse who proceeded to wet himself in a most satisfying manner in front of the whole party. Again. There was no show from her Maj.'s boot boys, probably because it was too long a walk for their lardy arses. Why do they all have such horrid bottoms? A pre-requisite for the job? Anyway party lovers 6 big ones. Arms of the state 2.
A mere week later and another mad one dawns, in deepest Sturry, a collaboration between KAK sound system who played a massive range of music for the next three days and nights, and us. Another fortuitous weekend where the rain stopped pissing down just long enough for us to have our wicked pleasures. Two marquees, one London and the other us. And a huge bonfire fed through out the night by various drug-crazed loonies. The site was a clearing deep in the woods populated by a transitory population of a few hundred people who tuened it into damn fine times. This was a strange one though, but aren't they all in a way? Half the field, the London end, spent the night lying down in vast heaps on techno smack and beer. Whilst up our end (oo er) Mr. and Mrs. James and she who used to be Gap could be seen to be embracing it remotely whole-heartedly, involving spending much of the night glued to the marquee pole, pretending in vain to be drunk. Set of the night had to be Jes with his spine-chilling bricolage of double-time snares. Cheers to Kirsty and her dad for having us. Police presence? They showed briefly in the morning when most of the madness had died down, and shoved off when reassured that we were 'just finishing'. Free people 7. Tools of capitalism 2.


August dawned, not wet! Surprisingly it was rather dry and sunny. We had our big annual August bank holiday spesh sesh to look forward to, and to still find a site for. Strange things have been afoot in the county of Folkestone. Not content with erecting vast concrete 'dragons-teeth' barriers to prevent us from partying in our spiritual birthplace, the Warren (due to the activities of party crews who don't even live in Kent) the 'authorities' have now declared Abbotts Cliff a 'no go' area, due to the same reason. Stories abound of government agents hiding in the bushes, jumping out at the poor woman who rents the land to graze her sheep. Asking her what she was doing. "Well, I'm feeding my sheep, actually…". Apparently she had no problems with the land being partied on, it was the MOD who put a stop to it all. Because as had happened with the Warren, after the successful collaboration held the previous August bank holiday, the site had been used every week by various London crews, arse ripping away. So no site for the annual three-day mash up of the year. Yet.


However the week before another collaboration was achieved between us and Off Yer face sound system from Norwich. The site, another one of those effortlessly beautiful Kent valley's surrounded by spectacular woodland and gentle rolling fields. The people, like-minded souls from the eastern counties of the country equally as up for a good, right on time. Two marquees, one a vast circus tent, with light shows galore and Andy Tull doing the rig, that's when he could break free from all the toss tissues he had collected on his dash board, which threatened constantly to overwhelm the whole site. The other, us, doing what we do and taking too literally the name of the other crew as a call to arms. Dee and Scotty turned up after Aaron and Joe's wedding, and Dee was the most off her face anyone had ever seen her. Top entertainment. Flat on her face more like. It was at this party that rumours of Russell began to circulate. Firstly he was 'in prison' and then we heard he was 'dead'. Not really wanting to believe it was true, we tried to put it to the backs of our minds until we could find out properly. But there was a horrible feeling that refused to go away. And as we were later to find out, it was true. Dead from an overdose of that fucking drug Heroin that is laying waste to millions of lives and devastating towns and cities all over the country. Dead at 32, you daft bastard Russell. You are sorely missed.The only moans heard all night, were from chums who'd been unable to get into the 'free' party, despite being told one ticket would let a car load in, but finding otherwise and having to pay a fiver each to the people on the gate to get in.


The week between that party and the annual 'big one', was spent, instead of in prone, resigned contemplation of exhausted funds and the mourning of the death of already severely depleted brain cells, searching frantically for a site for the weekend. Well by Macca, Macca, genny knacker(er), anyway. We already had a site on hold, but the soft Dover sorts decided that they couldn't bear to be away from the sea, from whence they came. But as already mentioned all our lovely coastal sites in that area have been fucked (and we don't want to start off about that one again). So Macca and his faithful psychic Kev went on jaunts along the more promising areas of the Dover coastline. It's the channel Tunnel that's fucked it all up apparently. We can't party on the land because it actually runs over the tunnel (about two miles over) and it's considered 'a security risk'. A risk to our security it should be with all the goings on that happen when you get a few hundred like-minded souls in a field for 3 days. When you have to put up with Sid, Cagey and Ooch for 3 days more like. However, as Friday night loomed, we decided to go with the site we already had as there was seemingly no chance of finding a lush sea side site for our free fun frolics. So a site of previous renown was commandeered and it was full steam ahead. Shit, where did we leave the marquee? Another quality night, weather and peeps wise beckoned on the Saturday, the night of a highly localised distortion of the space time continuum. The love tent looked quite spectacular, with the end opened high onto the stars orbiting the heavens and visual impulses exploding intermittently, behind the DJs. One of the amps was down, so a quick bodge job enabled the rig to run in full but in mono, by-passing the dodgy channel. As dusk set across the straggle of trees, we started to relax and welcome old chums, not so often seen, Pam, Austin and Ramsden all unexpectedly showed. Austin grey-faced clung to a flea-bitten sofa for the whole 3 days, feigning unconsciousnesses in a most practiced manner. Pam looked healthy and well, it's a shame we couldn't say the same about Ramsden. Macca and co were firmly ensconced at the further end of the clearing with about 2 warehouses of booze, and that was just his and Kev's personal. As darkness hit proper and the area filled swiftly with hundreds of people things really began to buzz. All these eager souls, drifting, seeking enchantment, collided then exploded, then got caught in a repeating loop of time. With the particle accelerator on full power the distortion field began fluctuating, and it looked a long way down to the bottom of the warp core, so we remained locked in a temporal causality loop, all of our own making, rejoicing in our haunted lives of stunted and protracted adolescence. Locked in a bubble we remained cocooned for the next 48 hours as things got messier and messier, (well Tim did) and a few of the (?) chaps decided to dress up as very strange looking women. The Geezer Birds. Ads entered into it in the most suggestive manner, but it was his birthday, Jes donned a little lilac twin-set, that had that slightly stretched look, as though he'd worn it before, and some of us just cringed and hoped it would all soon be over. The day was spent in not so peaceful contemplation of all things that begin with an E, as the sun beat down on our under nourished party bods, whilst we lay in small piles drinking all of the Dover 'lots' seemingly inexhaustible beer supply. Temperatures and moods hotted up. Smasha borrowed Polly's company car 'to go for a drive' in the woods, yes we know she can't drive, and crashed into a tree, went through the wind screen and spent the next few hours stumbling round the woods with concussion (not much change there then) hiding from Polly. Luckily Poll had handed her notice in and was leaving her job to go to the good ol' US of A, because otherwise she might not have had a job to go back to. Oh we do so love Blighty in the summer time. Let's start the hunt now for next year's site, hopefully back to by the sea just to stop the Dover contingent feeling nostalgic for the beach. Havin' it large in paradise as our ol' mucker Charlie C, remember he, would say. Except it really was and we really were.


And so ended our last outdoor free party of '98. The weather took a turn immediately after the weekend, as autumn was missed out and winter seemed to appear. However, there was a freebie in the form of Dis-connect. A queer and homme production at Trenz, the Krays former stomping ground in mid October that continued the summers tradition in glorious fashion, easing us back inside nicely, and warming us up for the last ever Woodpeckers two weeks later on All hallows Eve. Featuring a 'live performance' from Big Hair who are on Kontraband (one of our fave lickle labels), which was better than imagined and the usual exemplary mixing skills of the collected turntablists on a rocking system, it was just what the doctor wouldn't order.


The Woodpeckers, well what can I say, except you will be sorely missed. It was Pat, Ted and Ed's last big adventure, Tony's welcome home from his brief sojourn courtesy of her maj, and really just a wonderful excuse to have an en masse hug-a-thon with all our favourite peeps. Maurice put back his 65th birthday celebrations a week to partake of his pleasures more lustily, and spent the evening retrieving his bus pass from the heaving bosoms of various infamous beauties. That was when he wasn't horizontal in a vertical position, with his eyes rolling spectacularly in the back of his head, in front of his mortified daughter and her friends, who stood watching him in stunned, awed silence. "Please don't give him any more drink" they pleaded, before bringing him cups of coffee to sober him up for the van drive home. These children of the sixties, they just don't know when to stop….The hotel filled tres rapidly with the ever-effervescent party faithful. Nick abdicated her door responsibilities to go and give some poor chap some well deserved abuse of the oral variety, whilst Emily and Smasher took over, remorselessly extracting every last penny from the unsuspecting hordes of clubbers, friends, locals and strange Aylesham girls with all their clothes undone and one side of their faces and bodies covered in mud. Don't ask, we were too frightened. And this was at 11pm.Oz dutifully manned the decks at that god-forsaken hour that no DJ ever likes playing at, first. Ever the pop stars, the other tVC DJ's saunter in the wrong side of 12, casually asking when they're 'on'. So once again despite doing all the work, carrying all the equipment, having all the hassle, Oz played too early on in the proceedings for most of our liking. Dob tried in vain to get any images from his spluttering projector and Louie blagged extremely ineptly. Austin hung nonchantly around the entrance trying to pretend he wasn't excited and waiting for his 'famous' friends. He'd already consumed that night's consumerables in an orgy of impatience on the sofa in our flat whilst we were waiting for the van to turn up, so had peaked and crashed quite publicly whilst carrying all that bastard heavy equipment. She-ra held court expansively in our room, her stimulated coat swathed around her shoulders frightening away all the young lads that kept scurrying in the room for a quick line of posh. Turtle held court with the Canterbury gels who are notoriously easy to please and I knew I'd seen everything, when a young chap came in, went in the bathroom, pulled his trousers down to mid thigh level, put the soft, fluffy white towel between the crack in his arse and proceeded to rub it enthusiastically. Boys. By now the main room was a heaving maelstrom of sagging bosoms and wobbling beer bellies as Rick DiY (sans Pete) took over the reigns and whipped us into a laid back frenzy, if there is such a thing. He exited the deck area to huge cheers from the assembled throngage, leaving everyone desperate for more. The next day was spent in ever more drunken confusion until sleep thankfully beckoned. Suits us, sir.


Party people 10 Law and order? 2


9 October 2009

" When Life Tastes like Shit!"

So... I've never written an article for "Tangent" before... why now?
tVC is something I got involved in after coming to the parties on and off for a year and a half and feeling "this lot are doing something special, something worthwhile, they've got something more than a marquee, and a sound system" and I wanted in. I had things to give and I wanted with a strong passion to find people who felt the way I did about music and dancing… Music and Dancing? Since we first hit the ground with a blunt stick all those years ago outside, round that fire, celebrating life in all it's myriad manifestations and magical frightening properties, I've been there, in my heart as a kid in the woods, as a scout round the fire, as a hippie at Stonehenge and now as a DJ at a free party.


Most of the people I knew and hung around with up until then were willing to help, but only when enough other people had got involved, just to be on the safe side you understand. They didn't want to look stupid helping to organise something that wasn't going to work; but that's another story.Anyhow I got involved, it wasn't easy... Why did I want to get involved? Was I after something? Recognition? A leg up on the DJ scene? What was in it for me? Could I be trusted? Or was I just another Bloody Blagger!? Naaa! I just loved tVC and the people who came and danced and in-put. That's why I'm writing this article.I've written things before but not a lot. I'm very passionate about things and when I'm inspired to write I usually blurt it all out in a couple of paragraphs or in my earlier days as songs or poems, my grammar and spelling is crap, thank whoever for word processors!


So why pen and paper now?"The pen is mightier than the sword", said someone; who if I'd paid more attention in school I'd be able to give you the name of, but what if you can't read? And even if you can, people don't always understand what the writer means, but it gets it off your chest! Doesn't it!


I'm thirty five, I'm not well travelled or well read, but I've seen and read a few things and what I've seen and chose to read has usually made a difference.I sometimes play dumb, I don't always want people to know what I think, partly because I have been and have met passionate people who don't know when to shut up and partly because it usually takes me a while to decide what I think, and by that time the conversation's moved on.Naive? I think some people think I am, I like to try not to be to quick to judge people and their behaviour; you end up missing things about them that are interesting, the deeper picture. You have to be wary I've learnt, we can all get burned and most of us have.


I went pretty much from scouts to "Punk Rock" then L.S.D. ( I'm still not sure I've come down properly)..... from scouts I mean!I've never been on the end of a needle except for tetanus and other vaccinations I've tried to avoid, but I have chased the that stinky brown dragon across the foil, and snorted very pure "china white"... Wow! It does every thing you said it would and even more! I bought a couple of bags, but I couldn't handle being sick… what a baby! I liked hallucinations, being outside and totally fucking lost! I was in the L.S.D. fanclub!I've been in plenty of rooms in the past twenty years, I've seen people give up the foil and try with a syringe then fight with a blunt needle to find a vein, but these experiences were not why I took drugs. I took drugs to get closer to what I believed in. We all believe in feeling good, the difference lies in what we feel good about, some drugs open up the mind and senses allowing you into realms of pleasure that seem restricted, they can enhance our state of mind, shut it down, encourage interaction, creativity, empathy and fun even! Abuse or over use of drugs to put it in every day language, fucks you up! You spend so much time out there, when you do get back nothing makes much sense, the daily tasks of survival become difficult to deal with.


Drugs for most of us unless we are healers of some sort are to enhance, decorate, spice up certain areas of life at chosen times, like herbs and spices in cooking, or like icing on a cake. The meal is the life you make, why not add a few herbs! Share your meal with someone else and show them the pleasures of cooking with life!To much spice and you can't taste the meal to much icing on the cake and what is left to taste, tastes like shit!


There's not much to share; valuable experience... maybe; some conversation...of a sort; some input... but plenty of spice and icing, which seems to be there all of a sudden in abundance supplied eagerly by those feeding their own habit in a pathetic attempt to find some kind of social standing or romantic position as a dealer in dreamy underground sub culture driven by the pain and struggle to cope with a life -which is not easy for any of us.We're all casualties of our own realities and in many ways our own short comings are what make us human and dynamic, learning to forgive and understand through our own mistakes and difficulties. It's often the little quirks and imperfections we grow to like about each other. We learn to forgive, we look out for each other, make allowances, life is hard for all of us in some way or another, there is no escape from our own reality. (personally I think not even in death when I believe we are stripped of our earthly trappings and possessions and we are left with our own raw life state ,we look back at the life we've created, we're left with the memories of our time on earth and as we rejoin the universe our pain may disappear but the regrets we have will be profound and way heavy in comparison to our life on earth).


But while we are here on Earth we can change our reality. Regrets can become lessons and fuel for change. It's never too late Now is the only time that counts; it's the only time we have! The past is but a memory and the future a dream formed by our actions today. An old writing says:- " it is better to live one day with honour, than live one hundred and twenty and die in disgrace!"Lets move forward. There must be room on board for all of us and our Fuck ups!But, and maybe I'm putting my neck on the block by saying it, but fuck it; there are people out there, if you can call them people who consciously decide to make a living from others misery and without any intent of threat or challenge I feel compelled to say to you this:- "You suppliers of icing and spice, you who pedal and feed like Vampires on the pain and suffering of others, you can FUCK RIGHT OFF!YOU LOW LIFE SCUM! You're not invisible, we all know who you are. The Heroin Cool with clean clothes and shades, fully loaded and with pockets full of more than enough misery for everyone.........


Beware the Slayers..............

8 October 2009

Rolling Boil

Fruity Antics Third Birthday - Club Loco, Bristol. Saturday 12th June.

The old saying around Westminster, the glorious home of the world's oldest parliamentary democracy, is that 'a week is a long time in politics'. Wouldn't you just know it? Ask Jonathan Aitkin, the embodiment of the great and privileged, the product of Eton and Oxford, hilariously languishing in one of the fullest jail systems in the whole of Europe. 'Dear mummsy, Really enjoying being back at a public school dorm'. God, his wrist must smart. 60,000 prisoners and counting. Quick. Hide your spliff, don't forget to vote and for fucks sake don't get caught. Cheap sexual thrills in the park cottage from bisexual MP's caught on News of the World cameras in bushes with his hands down someone's trousers. Ron Brown you are so seedy; are you sure you're not a clubber?


But something a little different is said in the house of deep UK, the oldest house scene in Europe: 'Three years is a fuck of a long time in clubland'. While the politicians play with their lives or dump their wives and the Albanians and the KLA kill us a few Serbs we just get on down and party.


With Emily's Steve's Dad's brand new top of the range Escort filled with premium unleaded the tVC posse drove the 200 odd miles right across Britain, east to west, down to the sunset and home to the sunrise. Bristol; that cool cluck of a city. That skanked up skunked out Mecca of the dope. The perfectly fitted, closely tailored home to the most funked up, souled out, grooviest house music on the planet. Welcome to the world of deep house, Fruity Antics style.'Aaargh! This guest list's getting out of hand', says Tara on the door, juggling a sheet of paper with a long list of names on it. She's trying to make this queue just a little bit smaller. We're on the blag too. As are the four people from Nottingham in front of us. They cut a deal then it's our turn. 'Hi Tara'.'Hi'.'There's four of us''Aaargh! This guest list is getting out of hand'.We cut a deal. Pay one, £8, three 'on the guest list'. It takes five minutes. The queue behind us lengthens.Heading through the crowd towards the bar, over the top of the club clatter and chat and music we hear behind us. Tara. 'Aargh! This guest list is really getting out of hand now'. Fade to house.


500 clued up clubbers, and us, were here to celebrate Fruity Antics third birthday, get mashed, have a dance, network, and give Iain 'Lazy' Smith, Bazil, Tara, Chris and Dave a great big hug and a hearty slap on the back. Nice one fella.
500 serious housebeatzheads, and us, rocked in the upstairs room. Spanking new rig, turned right on, tuned right in. No, really!


John Stapleton from the mighty Dope on Plastic, chuckling away behind the decks. Laying out with slabs of beatific beats sinuously layered with generous portions of double-cream breaks. Chris Cozy and Dave Duvet from the Groove police wrap around John like two slices of fresh baked wholemeal bread. Good to see Dave back from Australia and The Groovers once again giving it to us in that old comfy style.


Warming up downstairs for Digs and Woosh were first Bazil (who's just got a distribution deal for his 'Bazil Beats' hip-hop tracks) and then Iain 'Lazy' Smith, our favourite baldy; 'I just gave it a close shave this morning', he says rubbing his head ever so sexily. These boys gently prodded the crowd with an increasingly escalating layered manifesto designed with only one thing in mind; a full dancefloor, bubbling away, the dancers pulling maybe a little too hard on the reins but still holding back, just. They are waiting to go. Step up Digs and Woosh who put on the first of many records that we're all hearing for the first time and watch them go. Rick and Pete really can rock a dancefloor but it's not in the way you would think. This floor rocks when the tunes get mellower, when the vibe is jazzed out or a vocal kicks in. They just love that DiY vibe. They just love to gently boil. A rolling boil.


Three years is a long time in clubland. It's remembering what you did, when and with whom that's the hard part. No it's not to do with memory loss; it's to do with the ephemeral nature of club culture. We need anchors, and club nights do this job just right. All I know is that I've been partying with this ex-Lazy House Crew DJ's for three whole years. Who gives a flying that the toilets are, well, toilet and the beer's expensive. What club isn't? What matters is that deep house has had a presence in the Bristol area, a home, for so long. It has put down roots and has a bit of respect down here. It's a fun night out that the clubbers take seriously. We need these anchors on the scene.


There is a good turnout tonight. People over from London, down from Nottingham. From Kent. Up from Exeter, down from Oxford. All over. We get together at good parties we do don't you know.


Outside, when it's over, in the blink of an eye, everyone's vibing high spirits. What a bloody good night. We have a Volvo conversation with Lee, DiY's driver for the night. 'Yeah man, these 240's got a big two litre engine'.'So's our 340'.'Yeah, no one notices them'.'They look so low profile'.'Yeah, and they're fast'.'Really fast'.'Cover long distances real easy'.'Yeah, real easy'.We nod; synchronised.

May all your cars be Volvo's and may all your antics be fruity.

7 October 2009

we flinch away from their K fueled breaths

honey for the bears - Saturday 27 February, Acton

Mmn, Acton action, and how to get there. We do an Autoroute Express on the computer, which tells us to ride the M25 till we meet the junction with the M4. Fucking miles in other words. So, deciding to forgo the dubious delights of driving round the sodding M25, practically to my place of birth, we decide instead to 'go through London' on the ol' South Circular, reasoning somewhat unreasonably, that it 'won't be that busy on a Saturday evening'.



Ha! Two and a half hours later, we limp into Acton, bladders bursting, to find out that Wes has pissed into a bottle in the back of the van, and also over much of the floor by the smell of it.The first indication that all is not quite as it seems, is when Dick approaches, sodden with drink. We were meant to have arrived by 8, apparently. It is now well past 9.However, little do they realise just what a well-oiled machine tVC can be when they need to. Within 1/2 an hour the equipment's in and carried into a dank, long and narrow cellar, beneath a convivial restaurant.



By 10 (ish) the sounds are pumping and we've reassured the owner, who has quite literally shat himself at the size of all the equipment being carried in, that "yes, the speakers do look large, but we don't have to have them all turned up loud." (!!) By 11, the place is filling nicely and we're all 'getting down on it'. The 'corridor' has literally been transformed as the back drops have been erected for the first time in months.





By now Cagey and Sid are doing their scary loon out double act, and we flinch away from their K fuelled breaths. Dob has drunk his wine in the van on the way up (shades of Austin we ask?) and is asleep behind the decks on his hands and knees, arse up. Oz, warm up man supreme, warms up, well, supremely, whilst we wait for the other DJs. Friends trickle in with alarming tales of not being allowed in by a "scary red haired woman." No, it wasn't Lincoln (now Essex) Sue. "Are you sure this is going on till 6?" we ask Cagey, again. He reassures us. How you can be reassured by a stumbling, sozzled mess, is anyone's guess, but we were, momentarily.By now, Iain and Bazil have arrived from Exeter. They look a trifle harassed.


The scary woman on the door, the co-owner of the restaurant, wouldn't let them in. She's panicking, thinking she has a full-scale Castlemorton on her hands. We send Cagey up to reassure her, although why that should work with her when it doesn't with us, we don't ponder over too much. I don't think he was too effective.However, things start to gell nicely as Iain takes the wheels of steel in his practised paws and quite literally whips the floor into a screaming, baying frenzy.

It's a while since we've been spanked so expertly. Seen making the moves, Sara and Tone, Emily, Smasher and Steve. Emily as usual is stumbling around and getting away with stuff she wouldn't be able to, if she wasn't so blond and pretty. Charles stands on duty before the speakers, listening to minute fluctuations and distortions of sound, invisible to normal naked human ears, but not to his. He is not living up to his name, well for a few hours anyway tonight, recovering from the Tasmanian devil puking up in his beloved Audi. Tas, seemingly has recovered and is giving it serious welly on the vocal chord front. Iain and Baz's very nice Acton chums, Nicky, Ewen and the man with the 16 valve car that they make drive them everywhere are grooving on down expertly.


We forget the red haired terror on the door and party like fuck. As Sara so succinctly puts it about Iain's set, "There aint nothing lazy about this!" and we whoop away like Billy O.Cagey is now being ignored by all politer society. It is his bosses party, and he doesn't seem too perturbed by the condition of his star employee. His friends seem to be adapting quite nicely to the nuances of our music, after the initial "What the fuck is this" look has eroded from their features.


Things start getting messy as more sangria is consumed. We hear TAK will be along at 3 and hope they will be able to reason with the keeper of the door and attain entry, as we have given up trying to reassure her.TAK turn up with entourage and manage to pass the keeper of the faith. Lee Godden is with them , 5 hours late for his set. Scouse has his cheeky chappy look and he and equally little, high-heeled trainer wearer Steve remain either side of Ed, who stands erect and tall between them, meat and two veg(etables). Leyla is skipping and Lisa dancing in her lovely relaxed, but very energetic manner, that she can keep up all night. Simone is staggering around, waving her arms like a loony and Sam is enjoying her "last party ever in England" (well, that's until all the last parties she goes to the next week).


Caroline sporting her new PVC zipped trousers is asleep somewhere on the floor and Kate and Richard are on their usual munch-athon.
We turn the music down to placate the by now extremely flapping owners of the restaurant.

The red haired woman has been bundled off home before she has a coronary, and her partner is left to deal with the awful reality of having the two littlest Steve's and Rosie reassure him. The music is turned down again. It's 5. Oz has developed a splitting headache, that manifests itself in an alarming tendency to vomit down the side of van doors, so retires to the relative peace of the van, whilst we tread water the last hour, before finally succumbing to the owners wishes and shutting the music off.


A strange little party, with some exceptional moments, including the meeting of new hoped to be chums. Shame about the lack of communication really between all the parties involved, but hopefully no harm was done. Cheers to Cagey's boss, Andy, happy 40th and commiserations for having to put up with Cagey. And to the owners of Honey For the Bears? A top little restaurant, and if we see you again, it will be to sample the delights of your culinary prowess, rather than to plumb the depths of your basement for hours on end and give you a fright.As we pack everything away, we see Mike looking scared and nice. He has an empty car and the K-kids are trying to blag a lift, "down the road", all 8 of them.They phone when we're back in lovely, sunny Kent. Cagey is dribbling into the phone by now. Pleased we're at home and not there, I put down the phone, turn to Paul and sigh, "Poor Mike".

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