16 November 2009

"arse plasma from the hideous mirrorworld of fuck"

Cabbaged At The Smack - November 14th 2009

Ol’ Stevie, the partner of the landlady of The Smack, was in a well funny mood with us this night. Moving beyond his usual feet first wind ups he emanated a positively gruff attitude most of the evening even when at the end I asked how the bar take had gone he said “all right”. All right? All right? The place was heaving from start, er, well, middle, to the end of the night and everyone was pissed on Steve’s beer. “Two pints of Hurimann Steve,” I ask. “That’s it” he says. “That’s your tab run out. Spent. You lot are really pissing it up the wall tonight.”

Brummy Jon well sorted out the kit and she sounded beautiful. Si juggled his kids and when the baby sitter arrived he joined us in the bosom of grumpy old Steve and his tiny pub that smells of sprouts and castrated, wet pitt bull terrier. Sometimes. Once we’d managed to turn the World Darts tournament off the 50” plasma TV that dominates the bar we were off. “I’ll turn the sound down” says Steve. “Sorry mate”, I reply, “We come out to avoid the TV not to listen to house music with the darts playing out”.

Out celebrating his 40th birthday was Simon Stonehouse and his entourage of, what we call, The Whitstable Dad’s. These guys used to be the fucking boys! The Dogs’! Out every weekend, pockets filled with cash, partying like there’s no tomorrow, staying up till all hours, travelling and DJing everywhere, from Brighton to London and back again, farking having it big time. Know what I mean? Then marriage, then kids, then middle aged spread appeared. Music took a background step. Family and work began to matter more and more. They, in effect, grew up and became adults with adult responsibilities. But, hey, once in a while they all get together and get hammered. Ish.

Like at Genies birthday party last week round at Nick Dent’s. I’d been off DJing at “Ribbed” in Margate but managed to get back to the Bubble by 3am-ish and popped in to Genies party as a night cap kind of thing. Warren was busy DJing, as he had been most of the night, and everyone else was still up and running at full alcohol and whatever level. Man, they were smashed. Big time. Big shout out to Nicki Billington and Wendy for an excellent couple of really nice conversations. Wobbly but good. Nick D had gone to bed so I missed him. Everyone else was on good form and feeling rather jolly and interacting in really positive ways. Indeed the hub bub of conversation was drowning out the music somewhat.

Si Bounds was already blagging away like billio and managed to extract Warren off the decks and give me the nod. I was a bit fucked by this time and just wanted to head off home for some rest. I wasn’t listening to him anyway. I was thinking of toast. Two slices I think. One I would butter while it was hot, straight from the grill so that everything was a bit melty; and one I would let cool a little so the butter would stay a bit firmer for longer. That would have to wait; as will the acknowledgement of that toast joke to Daniel Kitson.

Eventually, after nearly getting away (I was already in the street heading for the car), Si came out to get his tunes from the car. “We’re on!” he says. I reluctantly get mine as I am loath to piss on his DJ chips and his puppy dog enthusiasm never fails to motivate me. I head back indoors, get on the decks and promptly stand on a stretched wire behind the decks that just happens to be the mains lead for the amp and the decks. The whole room is silent. Warren shouts “Haa, haa. You stepped on the power cable.” I plug it back in. Ten minutes later I do it again. In the dark I hear “haa, haa”. This is the first time I’ve heard the “leave me out of it” sound system in action. Only half of the two stacks are working. I take the rest of Chris Ribbed’s “stuff”. It fails to keep me awake. I go home.

Anyway, the Whitstable dad’s are out in force for Si Stonehouse’s set at the Smack. Si and I ended up back at an after party some months ago and he ended up spinning a few of my tunes and having a real nice time. He’s given up DJing out or buying tunes a long time ago when the wife and family came along. “Tell you what” he says. “I still have my old tunes in the loft gathering dust. I might just get a few out.” I encouraged him to do just that and next time I bumped into him he told me he’d managed to get an old deck working and was sorting a set out. He played this set down the Cabbaged night at the Smack some months ago and was now, tonight, playing yet another set. Next? Buy some new tunes and he’s back in the fold.

Because the Brewery bar is still shut the town is full of people looking for a night out. tVC benefited from this tonight as the bar was rammed with lost souls in search of a good time. The Brewery Bar invokes strong feelings in the town. It fills, or at least used to, every weekend with what Malcolm Tucker from TV show “The Thick Of It” might call "arse plasma" from "the hideous mirrorworld of fuck”. They then proceed to drink, bitch and fight each other well into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Outside, after the gig, on the pavement, we're stacking the rig up ready to load up in the vehicles. Alex Bird is loudly ranting in a pissed up into his latest victims ear; this time, Kate Dixon's. He's standing too close to her, gesticulating with his hands. We need all hands on deck to move the stuff and I'm standing like a lemon making sure no one nicks the decks from the pavement; "Alex," I ask, "Can you keep an eye on this kit whilst I go back in the pub and get some more out?" Quick as a flash he shouts; "No."

Alex seemed to me, briefly, in that moment, to personally personify in that attitude, he displayed there, to me, on the pavement, that he was indeed arse plasma from the hideous mirrorworld of fuck. Then the feeling passed.