28 June 2010

Blood and Sand

Sunday afternoon. Si’s mum and dad were down the beach hut. It was the day of Oskar’s birthday. The cake had been made specially and with love; candles, all that lemon creaminess and so moist to boot. When the candles were lit a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday rang in the air along the sun-baked beach. It was the hottest day of the year. Whitstable was bursting with life. Oskar was embarrassed, of course, but blew out the candles anyway. Everyone cheered. What a great day to be 13 years old. Si wanted to watch the England Germany debacle on the big screen in ‘The Green Machine’, the Brewery Bar, but Oskar wanted to watch the impending fiasco in at home on the living room projector; so that’s what they did.


Earlier on, on Saturday night, the police officer was going; “We don’t want 300 of ‘that lot’, if you know what I mean?”, he gestures his thumb and cocks his head towards ‘The Green Machine’, “…coming down all pissed up crashing your BBQ. Do we…?”

“No, we don’t, but there is actually an old school hip hop and breaks thing on there tonight. One of our friends is Djing. He says there’s not that many people in anyway. Besides that hip hop crowd are nice people and…”

“…and we don’t want 1000 people from Facebook turning up either. Do we?”

“No, we don’t.”

I was thinking of all the stories in the media of the definite link between police heavyhandedness and the Facebook community. The police may think they have good reasons to fear a large gathering might occur. The guy whose BBQ was stopped because he’d advertised it on Facebook knows too well the consequences of inviting a few friends round for a BBQ. The teenagers party that cost £10,000 to stop.  Notice some of the stories are from the Daily Mail who stoke up this animosity; frightening the horses and the middle classes. Things do go wrong some times and the fear of a genuine police overreaction cannot be discounted. After the infamous 'Night of Mayhem Party' where, indeed, 2,500 people did turn up to a ‘Facebook party’ the police sometimes feel a compelling need to react to every mention of the word ‘party’ on the internet; now their major source of information; as it is ours. Perhaps Kent police are instigating a “Facebook Party Crackdown” just like their Sussex colleagues?

“And we certainly don’t want a rave going on here for days on end. Do we?”
“No, but… this is a BBQ not a rave”, we try to reassure, “It is friends and family.”

Oskar and Si got back from Bluewater around 6pm. He’d bought a nice new top and a belt with a digital screen you could get words to flow past. He had on ‘call me’ followed by his phone number. Another one was ‘don’t look at me.’

The BBQ was just getting going. Flame was lit, table groaning with food, windbreaks up, Blood and Sand cocktails on ice for the grown ups. Only made with Tequila instead of Scotch. Friends and more children arrived. The sunset was magnificent. The deep music lovely.  We were going to hang around for the sunrise now. The temperature was 19 degrees even at 4am. The lovely police allowed us to stay after deciding we were not scurrulous Facebook ravers after all. Although we do know that our right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political freedom and a civil liberty under the European Convention on Human Rights Article 11 and we were going to assemble on the beach for the sunset despite what they said and that in spite of threatening to serve us a section 64 notice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, that never actually appeared we were staying. It was Oskar’s birthday and the nearest date we could celebrate the summer solstice.


 We all sat there, in the pebbles, by the fire in the sultry warm and the dark watching a sunrise of epic mid summer proportion and all were lost in the beauty, wonderousness and peacfulness of it all. The beginning of a new day in Paradise.

Around 30 people turned up, most stayed a while longer as the sun heated up rapidly. It was to be the hottest day of the year, after yesterdays hottest day of the year. We had an important football game to watch. 30 million predicted viewers in the UK alone. And unlike the BBQ we just had it was to be an event of many twisting turns; from elation to the pits of despair. Mainly anguish as it turned out.

As someone said in a, shhh, Facebook post what a great 48 hours the weekend was. Only two hours of it ruined by the English players in South Africa. The kakorrhaphiophobics did not have a good day.


Even I, a stubborn hetrosexual man, could not fail to notice that the Police Inspector who came to ask us to turn it down was a very good looking man indeed and so reasonable and articulate too. I thought 'that man will go far; promote him now'.


"I read your blog," he says.
"I'll write you a good review," I reply.

26 June 2010

"..sausage.."

 The Lazy House Crew  "..sausage.."

Message, sausage, loveage, chunkage, pillage, cabbage, pumpage, stompage, lumpage, luggage, drinkage, funage, sewage, swillage, fluffage, rummage, scrumage, plumage, swaggerage, lushage, smokeage, deepage, smellage, overage, underage, glowage, bandage, passage, mashage, homage.

24 June 2010

Raving Madness

RAVING MADNESS - AS UK TEKNIVAL
‘RAVE SIX’ FACE COURT ACTION
AFTER BUST...

Around 2,500 partygoers descended on Dale
Aerodrome in Wales on May bank holiday for
the 2010 UK Teknival, only to be met with a
massive police response. Police broke up the
party on the fi rst day, arresting 17 people in
the process. Four remain on police bail and six
have been charged.

Automatic number plate recognition, a police
photographer, hand-held camcorders, helicopters
and even a plane were used by police
in a sophisticated surveillance operation which
resulted in hundreds of thousands of pounds’
worth of equipment and vehicles being seized
(not to mention a similar amount spent on the
police operation no doubt).

The annual UK Teknival has emerged out
of a long tradition of free festivals, its roots
stretching back to the Avon Free Festival, one
of a circuit of free festivals which emerged as
part of the alternative and traveller scene in the
1970s. These gatherings were largely tolerated
before the Criminal Justice Act, passed in 1994
rendered them illegal.
Avon Free Festival took place each year on
May bank holiday weekend, and culminated
in the infamous 1992 Castlemorton party. Every
year on the anniversary of Castlemorton, a
teknival or large free party is held somewhere
in the UK. The most notable of these was the
2002 Steart Beach party in Somerset, held on
the tenth anniversary of Castlemorton, which
coincided with the Golden Jubilee weekend
and attracted forty soundsystems and over ten
thousand people (see SchNEWS 363). Teknivals
are now a global phenomenon, with an
international circuit you can follow all summer,
in the same way people used to be able to
follow the free festival circuit around the UK.

The French government actually permits two
teknivals a year to take place unhindered.
This year as hundreds of vehicles congregated
near the small village of Dale on the coast
of southwest Wales, four policemen attempted
to block the road leading to the disused aerodrome
site, causing a massive tailback which
brought traffi c to a standstill for three hours.
One witness reports they were stuck at least
fi ve miles behind the front of the jam. Eventually,
after someone brought out a 12 volt rig
and people started dancing in the road, the
policemen moved aside and actually directed
everyone onto to the site, negotiating with a
landowner to get a gate opened.

As a result of the blockade, soundsystems
didn’t begin setting up until the early hours of
Sunday morning. By about midday the next day,
police, the local council and the BBC were all
on the scene. Fairly positively-slanted BBC interviews
with partygoers were broadcast nationally
and posted online, although the second has
since been removed from the BBC website.

Mid-afternoon Sunday a helicopter flew
overhead, broadcasting something that might
have been the words of Section 63 of the Criminal
Justice and Public Order Act 1994 over a
loudspeaker. The message was inaudible due to
loud music being played on the ground; even
those straining their ears to hear only caught
snatches of it, and witness accounts vary. It
was apparently a warning to leave within between
one, four, or twenty-four hours.

Whichever it was, at this stage the majority
of soundsystems started packing their rigs into
their vehicles as ordered by the police. It became
clear then that the three day mega-rave
everyone was expecting had been thwarted.
The atmosphere of unease and fear generated
by the authorities caused a mass exodus of ravers
who would otherwise have stayed to help to
clean up the site after the party.

Most people left the site in a hurry, although
some efforts were made to clear rubbish. As
each soundsystem drove off site their driver
was stopped and arrested, their equipment was
seized and their vehicles were impounded.
Only the luckiest got away. Confi scated items
include work tools, vinyl collections, several
vehicles without sound equipment in them, a
hire van, and hired and borrowed music equipment.
Police deliberately kept the hire van for
two weeks, making the total cost £950.

Along with one other soundsystem that left
early on Monday morning, a well-known deep
house music soundsystem stayed behind and
continued playing music and partying until midafternoon
on Monday, when more than twenty
police, including the Chief of Dyfed-Powys
Constabulary, came over and physically handed
out a Section 63 notice, telling people to leave
within one hour. They explained that they had
drunk too much to drive and asked if they could
stay until the next morning. The offi cers agreed
that they could stay on site and drive home in
the morning on condition that they packed their
equipment into the van immediately.

Whilst negotiations were taking place, a disabled
traveller started to play punk music on
his car stereo, which police then confi scated
from his live-in vehicle. “He wasn’t even playing
repetitive beats,” recalls one partygoer, “he
was a disabled man playing music in his own
home and the police seemed to illegally enter
his home and steal his stereo.”

Police then left the site, but an hour later,
a low-loader recovery vehicle arrived to tow
the van containing the soundsystem, followed
by four riot vans and about fi fteen police cars.
There were less than fi fty people left on site at
this point. A woman whose partner was detained
overnight was forced to sleep outside the police
station as she awaited his release because their
van had been impounded leaving her nowhere
to sleep and no way of returning home. Despite
this, the police refused to let her stay inside.
Four people were released on police bail
pending further investigation and the ‘Rave
Six’, as the mainstream media has dubbed them,
have been charged under Section 136 of the Licensing
Act for carrying out unlicensed licensable
activity. The six have now been released
on unconditional bail and are due to return to
Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on 24th June.
Four of the six arrested were merely friends
from the last soundsystem to leave the party and
had nothing to do with the overall organisation
of the event. (It’s highly probable that the other
two didn’t either). Offenders under Section 136
are liable for up to six months in jail and/or a fi ne
of up to £20,000.

A Facebook group called ‘Drop
the Charges Over UKTek’ has been created and
has so far attracted nearly 3000 members. There
is video evidence being uploaded all the time, including
a clip of police leading the convoy to the
party site, which would suggest that they actually
allowed the party to take place.

* If you can help the ‘Rave Six’ in the form of
legal or financial support or if you witnessed
events at the UK Tek then please join the Facebook
group ‘Drop the Charges Over UKTek’
and contact the administrators, or if you’re not
on Facebook, please get in touch via by emailing
http://www.blogger.com/rave_six@yahoo.com

------------------------------------------------------

see also:

22 June 2010

“Next up is Jerusalem” he says.

Got a phone call off Succulent a few days before the ‘little event’; which contained the smaller event ‘Slobs Can’t Dance sound system on the beach’ or .


“Can you bring down a few things, to supplement the Slobs Can’t Dance rig?”


“Yeah, sure. What do you need?”


“Erm, can you bring your subs?”


“Yeah.”


“Your two top boxes?”


“Yeah.”


“Amp rack? Mixer? Decks? Cartridges?”


“Yeah.”


“Oh, DJ’s?”


“Yeah.”


"Headphones?"


“Yeah.”


Anyway, we get there and, like last year Prat Bay is sandy and magnificent; the Red Arrows doing their thang above us in the skies. A little old lady sits hunched on a chair in front of the speakers drinking a cup of tea out a polystyrene cup, eating a sandwich from a little blue plastic box. She watches the planes roar above her head. Despite the wind and the occasional light rain shower all looks good. She is not our usual customer it has to be said. Nor are the myriad of jet skiers with their 4x4’s and their expensive jet skis and wet suits.


During one rain storm, I sat in my car. I googled a few of the models and they were priced at £6K, £7K, even £9.5K. The coastguard came down in his 4x4 and told the skiers they couldn’t go out as the surf was too choppy. They weren’t too happy. “I paid £600 for this wetsuit, I’m not gonna get it wet!” we joked. Ten seconds later one them was out on the sea riding them thar waves like the pro he was.




By the time Succulent and Brummy had set up the tVC rig and turned it up – “for the sound check” – the cafe we were at was deserted. It wasn’t deserted before it was turned up; only after. The little old lady had shat her pants and fucked off with the rest of the customers. “The trouble with this party” says Si, “is there’s too many straight people here.”


A few brave deep house souls ventured down but after complaints from the cafe owner, who wanted some more “commercial” music played Si threw his toys out the pram muttering something like “philistines” under his breath. Succulent turned the ear splitting volume down and stuck a CD on of poppy pappy trance and dance from the late 90’s;


“Next up is Jerusalem” he says.


“But Jerusalem is not here” I venture.


“Oh, it’s a CD he recorded. It’s poppy and will keep the cafe owner happy. We can play some deep house later”.


“But there’s DJ’s here with bags full of tunes and they want to play and you want to put on a CD?”


“Yes”.




We fucked off to the pub up the hill - Britannia Inn - to catch the second half of the World Cup USA match and have a beer and shelter from the now incessant driving freezing cold rain and blustery wintery vertical blowing wind. What nice pub. Luckily we had Dantix with us as local guide. It was empty. The landlord offers to turn on the big screen so we can watch the match. He couldn’t get it to work so we watched in the bar on a tiny 50 inch plasma. It rained outside. It planed outside.




Getting back we finally procured our sets; Si, Dantix then, finally, myself. Ploughing on through the wind and showers for a couple of hours I noticed a dwindling crowd on the dancefloor as the few hardy souls who braved it out finally giving up the ghost as it got dark.


“Who’s on next?” I ask Succulent .


“Thinking of breaking it down mate”, he says.


“Let’s do it”


Back in Whitstable, cars full of equipment left outside on the pavement, me and Brummy have a consolation couple of pints before calling it a day.

21 June 2010

If we could

The Global Village


Balu, Engelken & Grosso (original often wrongly attributed to Phillip Harter, Stanford)


If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, there would be:


60 Asians
12 Europeans
15 from the Western Hemisphere (9 Latin Americans, 5 North Americans, and 1 Oceanian)
13 Africans


Source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division World Population Prospects: [The 2000 Revision]


50 would be female
50 would be male


Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census International Data Base [Table 094: Midyear Population by Age and Sex 2001]


80 would be non-white
20 would be white


Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census International Data Base [Table 001: Total Midyear Population 2001] (assuming the populations of South America, Asia, and Africa are 'non-white' and those of North America, Europe, and Oceania are 'white.')


67 would be non-Christian
33 would be Christian


Source: Britannica Book of the Year 1999 - Religious Population of the World, 1998
(reprinted at infoplease.com, using numbers from the 'Christians' heading only for the Christian percentage)


20 people would earn 89% of the entire world's wealth


Source: The International Herald Tribune - February 5, 1999
(cited in the World Income Inequality table)


25 would live in substandard housing


Source: Habitat for Humanity International [Why Habitat is Needed]


17 would be unable to read


Source: UNICEF [The State of the World's Children 1999]


13 would suffer from malnutrition


Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization report
(cited at OBGYN.net)


1 would die within the year
2 would give birth within the year


Source: U.S. Census Bureau [World Vital Events Per Time Unit 2001]


2 would have a college education


Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, World Education Indicators [Gross Enrollment Ratio by Sex]


4 would own a computer


Source: UN Human Development Indicators [Access to Information and Communications 1995]

18 June 2010

Begin the begin... or Chip part 2

So, another blog started with the word "so". I find that it’s a great way to start something that I don't want to be too formal. Don't you? Not that Blogging is formal anyway. So, as I was about to say, we had such a lovely time in the woods last weekend. Schlep the massive dog was there being ever so friendly to everyone. Hoovering up any scrap of food or crisps that were foolishly dropped on the ground. So was Jubbly. Beautiful and pissed. What a fucking great combo.








Oh yeah, in the morning I was DJing in a bit of a haze and I could hear Schlep behind me, snuffling around. Crinkling stuff. Opening a carrier bag with his nose. He'd 'found' a 4 pack of pasties. In a cellophane and cardboard box wrapper and all individually wrapped. Quite why anyone would be walking around a shop and go "that's what I'll take to the party tonight..." escapes me for the moment but Schlep the Dog was probably, on the inside, going "yes, get in!!! How do I open these fuckers?"






It was of course the tVC Free Party For Free People road show; ppearing in a woodland glade near you soon. This time it was Matt's Wood. He loves live music, particularly bluegrass and Cajun. "I know a bluegrass and Cajun band", says I one night down the pub talking to Simon as we discussed party tactics for securing a site for a knees up. "I'll have a word with Matt then", say Si, all fired up because it was his birthday that weekend too. And so the party was born.






S'well into late Saturday or Sunday morning and Simon's all a quivver because he just had a half hour dance with the lovely Emma Lush. Man, that smile on his face was worth all the hassle of hand carrying all the sound system equipment through the woods to the tranquil clearing where the main stage was set up. All the bands and performers, all the DJ's, every light, every backdrop and can of beer; all hand lugged with love through the green dappled brilliantness of it all. What a team...

17 June 2010

Rick’s Party Politics

Didn’t go to the latest Rick’s Party in the end because of several reasons which I’ll explain here.

I was actually going to provide R with some sound equipment so the DJ’s he’d booked could get on with their thing and entertain the inevitable crowds at this very popular person’s party. I didn’t though.

C goes, a few weeks ago, that she got a funny call of Rick and, reading between the lines, she thought that he was asking to borrow some tVC equipment so that he can throw one of his drag parties.

I sat on it a few days as we’d got a bit of, erm, negative feedback from the last party where we watched our cartridges being abused by being bounced from scratchy 7 inch single to furrow out new grooves in the slip mat, our amp overdriven constantly despite it being turned down every five minutes, the speaker constantly red-lighting and dipping in volume because of already said over driving issues, the long, long lonely wait till around 1am when the 7 inch DJ’s finished and we were finally allowed on the decks to play some house music only to be unceremoniously thrown off an hour later by previously mentioned &2 DJ’s who wanted to come back on and we couldn’t be fucking fucked to fucking argue with the fuckers so we fucked off.

R has some issues hanging over from the previous party that instead of not voicing it and suppressing it like a decent Englishman would, for the sake of the persons feelings, he decided to go all open and honest on us and tell us that tVC were past it and that we should make way for the new young guns (him and his 40 something chums), that our music was far too slow, that we should provide the equipment but not expect to play as he wasn’t going to invite us to play anyway.

Simon pointed out that if we wanted to borrow his film-making stuff to make a film but he couldn’t have any input at all and we’d give it him back after we’d finished it how would he feel? He said he didn’t think that would be a good idea and that he probably wouldn’t lend us the kit in the first place if we thought like that. That’s exactly why we will not lend you our equipment we said. And we didn’t.

C was in a dilemma, as we all were; how does one cope with such hostility towards ones loved one in a really nice way without falling out with a dearly loved friend? By not attending the party but sending a text the next day apologising for not turning up.

Simon was all up himself over it and belies his passive front by being most upset over the matter by withholding access to the decks and mixer which of course made it easier for me explain to R that things were not going to be happening as he expected them too.

All in all though R managed to procure some decks and managed to provide music for the party. Although, to be honest, the only feedback I got about the party was from someone who said that it sounded not that good and they went home early.

A weird feeling of uncomfortableness predominated; an asking of the question why?

16 June 2010

TV Catch Up with tVCabbage… Spartacus

Of course Spartacus started on Bravo and having watched the first four episodes I can now say……hmmmnnn. The jury is still out. Episode 2 nearly sent me out the door it was so bad. Now, I understand that out favourite Thracian old Sparty was at Gladiator School and that characters were being introduced and all that narrative, comic book baloney needed exposition but it was oh so claustrophobic, sex-less and violent-less that I thought “why bother”. However, by episode 3 the (really bad) CGI ketchup and slo-mo splatter was a flowing, the completely gratuitous “fucks” a-fucking, the boob implants a bouncing (clever people these Romans), the waxed dicks a swinging, the most dastardly of characters (the women) with cut English accents, and nary a slave revolt in sight. The golden TV triumvirate of sex, violence, and swearing in one show. Oh, the irony. Can’t wait till next week. Or episode 5 as Charlie Brooker recommends then things really start hotting up.

15 June 2010

TV Catch Up with tVCabbage…Lost

After the big Justin Sullivan and Dean White gig I had the dubious pleasure of getting up at 5am on a Monday morning to catch the final ever double episode of Lost. Now, I didn’t want to get up at 5am but in order to avoid all the inevitable spoilers and to participate in the after Lost discussions I thought that rather than spend the day avoiding all mention of Lost everywhere from the internet, newspapers, the radio and, especially, other Lost fans, especially at work I was inevitably backed into a corner and forced, like the rest of the world, to watch it at the same time as everyone else. Sky+ing it however enabled me to get up at 6.15am, skip all the ads and be out of the house by 8am and on the way to work as usual. After everyone at work was forced to attend a 5S’s seminar the other week this week at work had been designated “the great cleanout” and staff were put to work, er, cleaning the buildings up and throwing away everything. I, naturally, having done all my cleaning, spend most of the day on various Lost chat forums discussing the finer points of religious symbolism, time loop paradoxes and how Hurley never seemed to get any thinner despite being Lost on a moving island in the middle of the ocean.

13 June 2010

LOTF Year 1 or Chip Part 1

Lounge On The Farm, Canterbury?










Well, after the first Lounge on The Farm festival, what, 5 years ago, where tVC supplied a rig and DJ’s for the dance tent, the fallout is still settling. Sean and Rob still aren’t speaking to me and have been ignoring all my texts. We were never asked to participate in the Festival ever again; apart from last year where we were invited to play a set in the beer tent.









Why, you might ask, were they exhibiting such extreme reactions? What could you or the crew possibly have done to warrant such behaviour? Well, it all happened like this….









“I want that fucking dog off my site!” Sean, the main promoter from the Lounge Originals, announces sometime Friday night. We’re there a day early setting the kit up and doing a sound check. Admittedly the rig is, as usual, an amalgam of various peoples stuff. Stoney brought a few amps and lights, Ramsden is sorting some sub bass bins out, whilst I supply tops and amp and MDM does decks, mixer and cartridges. The usual. Stoney has brought his crew along; PD, supplying his “Jubbles” as we call them (JBL speakers) for the monitors, Jenny, his girlfriend and, last but not least, Chip the dog. A massive lurcher type thing; very lumbering; very gentle and permanently hungry or sleepy. One or the other. Always.









We entered the site in convoy and Rob Lounge was on the gate. “Oh, the dog is all right”, he said and waved us through. The dog was far from all right. We set up, sound check, everything is cool. Sean appears; “I want that fucking dog off my site now!” he snarls not in his usual approachable and friendly manner.









Chip is laying in the shade chilling out. Dog like. Not wanting to antagonise an already harassed promoter I advise J to take her dog backstage to the crew area and tie him up. She completely ignores me; and does so all weekend. And Sean. And Rob. In fact she is blatantly and wantonly recalcitrant all weekend. The naughty girl. I say naughty but she is actually completely and utterly shit faced most of the weekend and doesn't give a flying fuck who she offends. Especially me or Sean Lounge. In fact we both come to represent the standard 'authority figures' that she can kick back against with her rather drugged up adolescent approach to life.









Speaking of drugged up adolescent shit faced approaches to life Jenny actually has a deep connection with a fellow soul brother at the festival; Sean Lounge himself. Over the weekend we all watch him getting more and more drugged up on whatever or pissed up on whatever and scarlet faced on whatever else he is on; I can only guess. The geezer is in a right fucking two and eight by the time we spot him as he storms across the field toward the dance tent, 10 or so security guards in tow; red faced and wild with charged up anger. He comes straight for me.









Now, we are just lazing in the sun chilling out; chatting, listening to some lovely music and enjoying a wonderful festival. I'm doing my job; making sure the DJ's come on at their allotted time and that the tent closes down when the license says. "I want that fucking dog AND that fucking woman off my site now!!" he bellows in my face. His breath stinks and I have really and finally lost all respect for him due to his rather errant and erratic misbehaviour over the weekend.









"That dog is down the food area jumping up on tables and eating food off peoples' plates. That Jenny is staggering around pissed and is not controlling that animal at all. She is part of the tVC crew. You control her. You are responsible for her. The security are now going to throw ‘them’ out", he wildly gestures with his hand towards the dance tent, "that lot!" Some, what we would call 'free spirits' or 'traveller types' or 'trance heads' are lounging on the farm grass doing nothing to no-one. The security move in, vainly trying to corral the hippy scum for expulsion. They, of course, obviously, fail and embarrass themselves and awaken a sense of injustice in the torporic sunned up revellers. "Leave them alone" the people who begin to gather around say. "They're not doing any harm".









Quite why Sean has decided to take this course of action is anyone’s guess. The head of security whispers in my ear that he has been a fucking nightmare all day. Later Sean is, er, ushered into an ambulance and whisked off to the first aid tent. He had collapsed. "Exhausted".









By this time, in the dance tent, one of the so-called "DJ's" had blown up a few of the bass bins, well, all of them actually, by overdriving the sound (duh!). I was over in the food area grabbing some lunch when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said in my ear; "I think one of the speakers is on fire in the dance tent". This prompted yet another unstoppable series of Laurel and Hardy-esque farces involving Ramsden leaving site in his van to pick up some more bass bins and sneaking in a few of his chums only to be caught by the Lounge Gestapo; obviously it involved another blasting for my ears from the increasingly deranged Sean. Wearing me down. Making me responsible for the behaviour of everyone who walks near the dance tent. Not nice. Not good.

7 June 2010

a bitch about our lovers

Scouse Steve’s birthday

Last night ended up over at T’s place for a last minute social. Organised because we both had no prior arranged engagements with any one and, you know, from time to time we feel compulsed to spending some nice time with each other. 'Brokeback Mountain' and a bitch about our lovers was on the cards. T was sick of J’s over attentive, eyegazing, caressing style, 'partner reinforcement' and I’m sick of S’s needy needy mumsy vibe and confrontational attitude.

Even though she'd dumped him last week and he'd been round hers and picked his stuff up she still 'ended up' with him last Sunday afternoon after she'd went down there for D's birthday drink on the beach and came down too early and met J there and 'ended up' back at hers with him. 'Oh, he's so sweet' she was saying. 'He's hard to resist... he does nothing wrong it's just I don't want to be with him in that girlf boyf mode. I want to talk to him but he has nothing to say'. Look mate; you either are going out with him or you aren't! Naturally, she talks easily and openly with me all night long.

Watching 'Brokeback...' we’re both recognising how Jack Twist and Innis have so ‘got the connection’ and we both so thrilled at the way, despite the social restrictiveness of their culture, that they ‘just had to get it together’ no matter what the circumstances; how ‘they couldn’t stop themselves’, 'were driven', how ‘they fucking had it going big time’; ‘the spark’ shone through the hate the culture had for bisexual people.

Ah, I thought, the elusive ‘spark’ that T is always looking for. I tell you I had it for her that night. Particularly as she was showing me some of her bendy pilates exercises. For some reason! She just flexes and flirts so blatently with me all the time. She knows I love it though and probably enjoys the power she has over me? I'm going to have another crack at her at 'The Big Chill'. You can be sure of that.

We chatted away merrily all night, easily and in a relaxed manner. I loved it. So relaxed. So easy. She’s coming to the ‘stop the war’ gig on Saturday at Dane John Gardens in Canterbury. I’d love to make a move on her then but I don’t want to jeopardise the position I have as one of her ‘girlfriends’. I could blow what I have built up laboriously over the months so easily. It can be so frustrating. Perhaps that is what she loves about me. Teasing me. Knowing how I feel about her. It certainly keeps a spark going between us that's for sure. But. Do I really want to make a move on her though? Or am I just hankering after times that I thought I had but never really did? Or times that I think I could have but never will? Maybe I'm looking for 'the spark', thinking I can find it with her but I'm only deceiving myself really. I know I am. The fun lies in provoking that emotion in myself and enjoying it. I have absolutely no intention of ever going to that place ever again.

Last weekend went relatively incident free. I was bored shitless most of the time and behaving myself. That is; I was sober. At Simon and Anna's BBQ for Scouse Steve’s birthday, which he actually celebrated in London the week before, things were remarkably subdued. We were there, eating and drinking, having a laugh, settling in. He wasn’t even there till later. Entering like he was some fucking pop star, which he is, with his lovely girlfriend, Bean. I left early because I had a party to organise the next day. Food was good though; salmon parcels baked by Martin and Juliet standing out in particular. As was sitting round the fire having a chat with everyone. The night or rather morning only marked by a pissed text from Juliet at 7.30am in the morning asking for ‘more’. I awoke at 8.30am, promptly texted her back, but got no reply. Later, they said they’d fallen asleep just after they sent the text. Bless.

Saturday was Dee’s band, The Escalators, at the Horsebridge in Whitstable. Part of Bear’s Natural High evenings. Only I didn’t get to actually see the band. Paid the fiver to get in; yes. Sat on the balcony smoking a cigarette; yes. Chatted with the lovely Helene, who told me her boyf, Jules, had up and left her the other morning. Left a note and he was gone. Poor thing was so upset. See the band? No! I’d got a call off Nick Dent to say he couldn’t get the rig, we’d set up earlier at his house ready for the party later, to work. I had to abandon the gig and go up to the venue to sort the rig out. MDM had plugged the amp input into the wrong socket. Ah, well. I was here now. Pointless going back. Emily, later, said it was boiling in there anyway and she couldn’t stand even a minute of it. Other people said the band were shit. I thought they were a young, new band still finding their feet. Inexperienced. I only went because Dee herself invited me when I was at the 'Muddy Shovels' gig at the Labour Club the other week and wanted to support them.

We played house music all night long and loved every silly minute of it. Me, Mike and Mark. It was great. For us anyway. Although Si played some of his old punk 7 inches for an hour or so. Which was nice. It was best in the morning when all the piss heads and coke heads had gone home and there was just us there arsing around the fire drinking and smoking. The sun came out. Justin tried, and suceeded, to get into a little plastic child’s car. I chatted to Jenny for ages. I really enjoy her company. She’s ‘got so much loving’ in her. Scares me a bit if I’m honest. If I 'go there' am I going to be hurt? I hope so. I can handle it anyway. That date with her at the end of the month is still on anyway. So, we'll see what happens then.

Ended up staying at Nick's till well gone 10am. Ended up going down the beach with the gang after a stint at J&E’s. Sitting in the sun. When the bar opened we drank some more and smoked sneaky spliffs on the beach laughing all the way. To oblivion. It was a fantastic day...

6 June 2010

T3.1 - au revoir loser




I'm OK. Put myself though the mill a bit with T who dumped me unceremoniously the other week only to drag me into her room at her birthday party a week later giggling like a woman possessed. What is a man supposed to do?
 
All that emotional roller coaster shit is just too much sometime. I still see her once or at most twice a week and we still go out and do cool stuff so that's positive and things are going fine-ish again.
 
Ah those days of the pipe and slipper vibe. Actually I don't miss them either. Started a new course for work doing level 4 maths in order to be able to teach basic numeracy. It's AS level and I ain't done maths for years so am playing catch up first with a GCSE study book then I'm onto A level then finally AS level which this course is pitched at. Don't know why I'm there. I'm like this lump drifting along and someone says do this and I go OK. I suppose the old changing your life decisions begin with thoughts like that. Otherwise work is OK. Am I in the right job? Shut up and pay the bills.
 
Well love life OKish work OKish what about the old social life? Mustn't grumble and all that but you know sometimes things could be a bit more challenging and exciting. I'm still skint so am currently organising some events that I can get into for free and enjoy the music as well as doing the usual of blagging guest lists and getting myself invited to dinner parties and other such indoor low spend recreational pursuits. I haven't got into playing games or cards yet but have been seriously considering it on odd occasions when my insanity peaks and hey it does seem like a good idea. I have actually been out quite a lot and am becoming the master of the no spend. Oh no thanks I'm driving is my favourite. No I couldn't possibly oh well OK then just the one being my second.
 
I'm also into minimal punctuation at the moment missing out commas just for the sake of it just to see how it reads and to see if I can confuse myself and my reader. Which it does a bit but is also kinda funny too. Had a great night out at Wheelers Fish Place thing in the Bubble a strange one out DJing in Maidstone with Shaun (ditto) a very strange Brenley Barn thing (here) and a weird farewell for my friend Lisa who has just moved to France and has just started emailing me ;-) who I didn't want to go but I knew she had to because she wanted to but hey I'm a selfish git just thinking of myself and the support she gives me and it would only have meant me not seeing her as often as I'd like to (probably seen the pics but here they are anyway) but who I will visit when I can.Phew, full circle. Good luck with you endeavours my old chummage and you never know as soon as I get some air fare and a bit of spendy stuff I may come over there maybe at half term (ah teacher stuff) who knows and take you out clubbing the night before we go skiing. Maybe not the skiiing bit but you never know do you. Although I was supposed to be going to Amsterdam with Tort only I blew it out at the last moment see reasons above.
 
Funnily enough a week after that she was saying au revoir loser to me.
 
Don't see a connection there somehow. She's OK about it now. I took my punishment like the man I am.

5 June 2010

Freqs & Mods



















sat 13th novemberb 1999@ Trenz, amhurst road, hackney
disconnect room: simon DK (DiY)/ kier & tom (TAK records)/ oz (tVC)/ big hair (live) /ed milster (TAK)basement room: verne (gaia radio)/ jp (horaizon)/ warren eraser (fav legend)/ jimi rockaroll / acid ben & steve scientiststreader celebrity chill room : danny nusbaum (24/7)/ jimi mistry (east is east)/ vibey (mine host)/ mike & mark vortex / paul danan (bongo frenzy)
pics by eldad druks

Well, if I’ve learnt one thing this long and wet summer, it’s not to go in a van with Cagey, anywhere. We had van escapades galore at the Lizard, enough to fill our ‘‘broken down van’’ story coffers until retirement, but this night was to provide a new and glorious one, courtesy of Da Cage.

main room upstairs

The night started off in its usual hectic way that morning when we belatedly realized that one of our speakers wasn’t working, despite being mended. Yes, Ramsden had blown the crossover before fucking off to New Zealand, as well as destroying Sobbin’s light and blowing More Rice’s bass bins that had only just been re-coned and used once. Then fucked off without telling anyone what he’d done. What a twat. But why are we surprised?mirrors on two walls highten the feel of embarassment, sorry, space.

The van was to be picked up at 4, and we had to be at the venue for 6, for a sound check. Now, however, we had to be in the opposite end of London to where the gig was by 6 to have the crossover mended on the speaker and to pick up the amp that Ramsden blew last time he borrowed it. We arrived at the shop with a minute to spare, with all the speaker mechanics putting on their coats, ready to go home for their “tea.” By the skin of our teeth we got the speaker done and dusted, now we had to get from Hounslow to Dalston.widescreen panorama pictures a rocking cagey

Five hours later, after leaving Whitstable we arrived at the venue, tired, stressed, starving, unloaded the equipment, set it up, couldn’t get the speaker which had just been mended to work. Phoned up Charles the man ‘Who knows’ and talked through various coloured wires and their relation to the scheme of things with him, until he said the speaker might be ‘‘knackered’’. Shit. Fucking Ramsden. Half-heartedly fiddled with a lead going into the subs, and hey presto we had life. As Charles says, ‘it’s always a dodgy lead’. Well not always, but thank fuck this time it was. Made another mental note to go to college and learn how sound systems actually work in the vague hope we would then know what we were doing. Doh.wes makes rare appearance & discounts rumours of abandonment

Went off down the road to a kebab shop with ‘‘da boys’’, stuffed our faces far too late for it to do any good, well for me anyway. Had the grim pleasure of sitting opposite Huge who whilst feeling the effects of what he’d just munched still managed to eat a double cheeseburger in four seconds flat.

tom flexes those DJ muscles and lines up another top TAK tune
Went back to the venue, drank two bottles of Bacardi breezer (pink) then puked up in two corners of the room, down the stairs and on the toilet floor. That’s better. Prepared for the delights yet to come.

oz & jes (lets put a couple on mate)

Since we’d last been to Trenz they’ve had a fan fitted because apparently it used to get really ‘hot’. I’d never noticed this phenomenon here before, I mean I’ve been in places that get much hotter, the 414 for example, which holds the record in my book, for the place most likely to get a sweaty crutch. The trouble was, everyone stayed nice and cool, but as soon as the rig was turned up to anything approaching a half decent volume we had the dreaded spectre of ‘club owner man’ coming over and telling us to turn it down, as all the sound was escaping through, you’ve guessed it, the new fan in the roof. Okay, fair enough, but the techno room because they were downstairs, away from the dreaded fan, banged away all night. So no change there then.ooh, that's a nice oneoz & jes again

Shaun kicked off proceedings with a nicely mellow canter through the land of deep house, followed by the Big Hair boys who did their thing. Things were warming up on the dance floor nicely, although the lack of permitted volume was affecting the atmos. We admired DK’s new facial hair, acquired from the jazz club, laughed when some one remembered they’d forgotten to wake Scouse and passed the sick bag when Huge and Josie behaved too in love. In fact we did all the usual things that one has been doing at parties ever since one can remember. Bladder on a stick award goes to Swellsy who sat in a sweating heap in the bar area.

Unfortunately as is so often the case with the London lot they all start to lose energy at about 4am, for some unknown reason, and this coupled with the lack of permitted volume meant the floor quickly cleared. However it limped on till 8am with one chap who looked like he’d been going for it in the techno room all night, the only person dancing.

Then the usual happened, when it’s time to clear away, no fucker helps. And then it was decided we’d go back to Stoke Newy ‘‘for a bit’’, which is always a fatal idea when you still have to get back to Kent, unload the van and take it back to the van hire place, all before 4, all with “no fucker to help.” Anyway paying no heed to the sensible part of our make-up, we decamped to Stokie Cokey, where we left all of our very expensive equipment in the van, whilst we decamped into an unusual bar that made one think they were on holiday somewhere more exotic than Dalston, and drank lots of alcohol, whilst sniffing profusely. By about 1 it was decided that we should perhaps start to make a move, but I could no longer drive and decided it was safe to relinquish the reins to Oz and Cagey who would steer the good ship home. Cagey was to drive, Oz was accompanying him on a trip. The last thing I said before being locked into the back of the van, and realizing as soon as I was that it was a big mistake and I’d never be able to sleep in this vast cold coffin, was “Before you do anything else, get some diesel”. I knew I hadn’t been listened to when the van carried on driving, and driving and driving. I started banging on the back of the cab, shouting, “Get some fucking diesel” all to no avail. Then the van ground to a shuddering halt. Hurrah, they’ve stopped at a garage I thought. Then I heard the squealing of brakes and the frantic and loud bibbing of horns. It seemed strangely dark in the back of the van and I started to hope that what I was beginning to think had happened hadn’t. Yes the daft fuckers had run out of diesel in the Blackwall Tunnel. They opened the back to let me know, but then wound it back down and locked me in when I started to shout at the useless twats. I could see hours of being stuck by the side of the road, with Cagey, looming ahead when all you’ve wanted to do for at least twelve hours is go to bed and never get up again.

However, luckily for us God was on our side, quite literally as it turned out. Just as the police cruised by, saying “You better not have run out of fuel”, their hands itching on their truncheon meat, a chap drew up offering assistance. He’d been told by God that morning to go to the aid of a broken down motorist, and going to the aid he was. Despite only having a car, and us being in a great big Luton, and him having no tow bar, he towed us out of the tunnel and then took Cagey off to “get some fucking diesel.” We were dumped right in front of the Millennium D(r)ome and what a strange looking Yurt it is. Half an hour later Cagey was back, filled the van up and then couldn’t start it because we didn’t know how to bleed diesel engines. Bleeding diesels. So we phone up the AA. Wait another hour for a “very nice man” to come and get the van started in two seconds flat. Drive off thankfully, we might make it back by 4. Wake up to hear Cagey say casually, too casually, we’ll have to get some more diesel, before the van slowly juddered to a halt. Luckily within throwing up distance of a petrol station and only a mile away from Whitstable. So off Cagey trots to get some more diesel, while we sat in the cab, planning our revenge. “That’s it, I’m getting too old for all this,” I thought as I finally managed to slip into my oft lamented bed. Forgetting that the next weekend, it would all happen again…

3 June 2010

crawling on all fours and talking absolute shite

SEVENTH HEAVEN

Another Thursday rears it's impatient head, and yes, it's absolutely pissing down, again, so it must be 7th H. day. The gale force winds (75 miles an hour in Herne Bay) , start to die down late afternoon, slightly, to enable us to carry Lampy's speakers up the fire escape, whilst he wallows in the pub. And thus begins the fortnightly ritual, not yet routine, of draping the plosh interior with ever more muddy, beerstained backdrops.

Now Ey, How ya Diddlin' fucks off however, once he scents the first sniff of work, so it's left on Louies capable shoulders, who seizes the chance with relish and handles the job with gusto, carrying speakers up and down the stairs non stop, sometimes the same speakers, up the stairs and down, and up again and down...(This was after he'd arrived at the Club with his pulsating bass clutched firmly in hand, which he then proceeded to plug in and jam along to Oz whilst he was practising, very loudly, until he was politely asked to...fack orf.)

DJ's tonight - Nick, Timo, Tejen and Oz deliver, yes that hoary old cliché is about to be reeled out yet again, 5 hours of effortlessly mixed housey delights to the assembled party peeps. Nick started the ball rolling, cracking the US tinged, deeply up whip, and for some reason looking like she was having a lot of fun (I think she forgot where she was, despite sad and desperate attempts by Tongue Boy to put her off and Oz trying to get her to buy him pints, mid mix!) Followed closely by Timo, who deported himself most admirably, that strange thing happened, that happens every fortnight. One minute the clubs empty, and it seems like it's gonna stay that way, and then with the blink off an eye, something almost magical happens, and the club's full of happy, smiling faces, or rather, bloated, sweaty ones with rolling eyes, and sweaty armpits, and that's just Pam , Nick and Steve.

The Whitstable contingent was very thin tonight, with only a couple of reps managing that arduous journey along the murky, rain drenched, highwayman infested, pot-holed track that doubles as the road to Canters.

However, by 11.30, everyone was seriously getting down to business, with full hands in the air jobs already being indulged in, shamelessly. The floor was particularly relaxed and friendly, never have so many steps been stumbled up so glamorously. What pleasure was communicated by the effortless jumps of the dancers, as they gave expression to moods and emotions which would defy definition. The tVC crowd can convey gaiety perhaps better than any other mood, all dazzle and sparkle. Louies prances on the speakers were lyrical and purely classical in their poses, and the crowd stood back and admired the speed and precision of Walters' dance and Lampy's expression of radiant joy.

Tej pulled off a real crowd pleaser, swiftly followed by Oz who slapped out his shiny 12" to the delight of the crowd. Dawns speaker straddling antics were sorely missed, but there is a bevvy of young pretenders, just waiting to grab her crown.

And then as the lights were unceremoniously switched on at precisely 2am we were all kicked out into the chill December air ("all right, we've 'ad ya money, now fook off, reet?"), it was off to a certain Si. K. Delics milk drenched boudoir in Chavland, a veritable male pleasure palace, which was duly trashed by a horde of very well misbehaved drink addled, not so young party animals, who spent the next 5 hours crawling on all fours and talking absolute shite. Nothing changes.

Kwik tripp to the porn shop, sorry newsagents, with Pimple, a quick run through of 'try to shock the newsagent, granny, feminist' routine, watched by admiring scouse wannabe. Off to a small seaside town, where a round of the 'worst tasting Hurlimens I've ever had in my life' is not drunk, one of the party leaves to puke in the loos (but she's only a woman, so what do you expect?), and never really recovers. Then to another pub, where a young male of the Northern variety is spotted by the guv'na trying to help himself from an unattended pump (oo er), and thus duly banned, then a swift rendezvous to the principle party peeps haven on earth, for, yet more beer, chat and the evening begins, yet again, for some.

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