Monthly Archives: July 2008

A Public Apology

I feel as if I should change tact. Sure, my blog in the past has been a relative success; but I posted a political blog which was picked up by Scottish Roundup on Sunday, and got a few hits from the site. Now I feel like a real blogger! I’m a real boy now! I felt especially good about the timing of this major boost to my blog when I read an error (shock! horror!) on Ginger Chris’ blog – regarding politics. Take that, More Popular Internet Personality! I felt like one of those ugly women who read Heat magazine to find out which celebrities have “unsexier” toes than them – yeehaw!

Uh, anyway, on review – I changed my blogography page and the title of my blog, again. I think one of the big problems with blogging is that one is forced to give a fragmented version of one’s personality, and there is far too much choice available. For example, I could choose to call myself anything I wished; yet my vague stab at a pseudonym (Los Davies) fails miserably. I don’t use this name in real life, and I hardly even use it on the net. I believe I have been referred to by this name once in my life, and I laughed. I could go through a list of other bloggers who tackle this fragmented identity problem much better than I do, but I would get into Ginger Chris territory again and be forced to admit that his blog is better than mine, and then I would feel all unsexy about my toes, and then we’d be back to square one in this never-ending blog-off that has a choke-hold on all our time spent on the internet. Or maybe I’m just putting too much thought into this. I also don’t think my Recommended Reading page works in the way I had hoped it would, as I don’t know how to order it correctly. Maybe I need a cup of tea and a lie down…

Evidently, this is not the kind of blog that will garner the same number of readers, nor demographic of readers as my still-popular political blog (I feel like Hyacinth Bucket when I say that phrase – political blog); but I thought I should compose yet another public apology to yet another dear friend (this blog is so much more effective (and cheaper!) than a stupid apology card).

Dear Bert.

I am sorry that I broke you. I am sorry that we got in that fight and I inexplicably managed to break your collarbone. I realise that a week has passed since we had our fight outside the Cathouse, and I realise that there is still some residual blame directed at me. Please, I beg, reroute this blame! I am truly sorry that I broke you; but it was not my fault. It was the Cathouse’s fault, with their incredulous Doubles Night. If you have already directed enough blame towards them, blame my work, for paying me to go out and buy said drinks. Blame your work for having such a great policy for injured workers, what with you getting eight weeks paid leave. Blame our parents for bringing up angry young men, then stressing them out so much that they had to go out and binge drink. Blame the Labour government for not doing enough against binge drinking. Blame Jack Daniels and his gout-infected foot. Blame yourself, for being 6’4; because compared to my 5’8, I thought there was no way I could inflict lasting damage to your frame. But most of all, blame Siobhan for starting the fight. Had she not been helping some guy who had passed out in the middle of the road (another casualty of Doubles Night), I would not have tried to keep you out of her way and it wouldn’t have got physical. Sure, she was acting as a good samaritan and stayed with you for six hours or whatever in the hospital; but let’s face it: in any scenario, if there is blame to be attributed, “it must be Siobhan”!

Yours, Los Davies.

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Glasgow East Byelection

If you haven’t already noticed, I try to keep politics out of this blog as much as possible. Sure, there are occasional lapses in this tendancy, but that is because I LOVE POLITICS. I am a politics geek and I am not afraid to admit it.

Anyway, due to my political geekiness, I have watched the Glasgow East byelection campaign with foam coming out of my mouth; unable to eloquently express my joy at being able to watch such an important political event right at my front door (or at least through my bathroom window if I was to squint a little bit and ignore the trees, since I am actually about 8 miles away from where the election was being held. Thrilling, nonetheless).

John Mason announced as winner - no own goals for this chap!

John Mason announced as winner - no own goals for this chap!

The election was held yesterday – July 24th 2008 – in the Glasgow East constituency after the retirement of Labour MP David Marshall. The seat has long been a Labour stronghold, and many expected the seat to land back in Labour’s lap, regardless of the party itself falling apart at the seams. However, the battle for the seat was seen as neck-and-neck between Labour and the ever-strengthening SNP from the beginning. I won’t go into all the details of the campaign – look them up on the net.  The views of Gordon “Prime Ministers don’t do byelections [regardless of contradictory precedents]” Brown and Alex “I visited 12 times during the campaign” Salmond are particularly delightful.

All you need to know is that the SNP candidate John Mason rightfully won the seat, with a majority of 365 votes. This should have massive repercussions for the Labour government both in Scotland and in Westminster, possibly even leading to the resignation of one Gordon Brown.

Anyway, I had my own theories on this election. As far as I could see, Labour were up to their old, underhand tricks. I’m really sick of their bullshit. Their entire campaign during the general election (in which their arses were kicked) centred around how the SNP will have us all hanged, drawn and quartered instead of working as an effective government. During the byelection, Labour did not seem to have the same doom-mongerer’s voice, and I genuinely think that Margaret Curran put up a good fight; promising to give Glasgow East a voice. However, Curran is already already an MSP and although her Holyrood constituency is located within her proposed MP constituency, I disagree with any politician who believes they can do both jobs at the same time.

I was also dismayed at Labour’s choice of candidate – Margaret CURRAN – after the Scottish Socialist Party chose Frances CURRAN as theirs. Was the Labour campaign team actually trying to confuse the electorate? Evidently, yes they were! Labour had released flyers making sure that the voters of Glasgow East knew to tick the third box down for the Labour candidate, not the second box with Frances Curran’s name. This tactic I agree with – prevent any Labour own goals; however,the cynical side of me thinks they were trying to gain as many SSP own goals as they possibly could.

The loss of the byelection is another wrinkle on Margaret Currans face

The loss of the byelection is another wrinkle on Margaret Curran's face

However, I watched the announcement of the winner on television lastnight (which overran by about two hours), and there were parallels with the general election results; particularly the demand for a recount due to spolied votes. Spolied votes in this instance, seemed to be a term coined by the Labour party referring to the hypothetical situation of the aforementioned Labour own goals. Margaret Curran’s team – unhappy with the number of votes which went to the SSP – sugested a recount to make sure that no ballot papers which were meant to land in the M. Curran pile had ended up in the F. Curran pile.

The whole thing just seemed littered with underhand tactics. I think that watching votes come in is a very uneasy feeling. It could have just be nerves or apprehension or full-on excitement, but I have felt very uneasy when watching any election results – particularly this byelection and the Holyrood general election last year. Politics is important to me, and who we vote into power can have huge repercussions on our daily lives. Keep in mind that Hitler’s national socialist party was voted into power. These are very different circumstances to 1930s Germany; and even though I give my support to Alex Salmond’s socialism-friendly nationalist party, I refuse to turn a blind eye to the party – just in case.

In closing, I must mention what a joy it was watching Nicola Sturgeon sitting next to Douglas Alexander (Wendy’s brother), with live interview footage interspersed with live footage from Central Quay, where the results were being announced (thank you, BBC Scotland). King Sturge was on top form, ready for a fight, whereas Alexander, much like his sister (and most other Labour politicians) had no spine and not a leg to stand on. I’m not even sure how he managed to prop himself up in his chair.

Is This Blog?

Uni has messed me up. Bigtime. I analyse things too much as it is, I always have; Uni has given me technical, sociological theories to articulate my analysis into bigger, more confusing theories. It has ruined my enjoyment of life, because now I attach hegemony and Marxism to every little detail. If I can’t properly analyse something and justify the point of it; I have a tendancy just to give up. Therefore I get into the spiral of not DO-ing anything productive.

One subject of my retardanalysis is my life as a blogger. Where is the point? What is a blog? I did an online journalism module last year, which featured blogging; only the lectures made The Blog out to be something much more important than whatever the heck this page is all about. Then, today, I discovered Courtney Love’s Myspace blog, and it turned this whole idea on it’s head. Frankly, the woman is nuts.

So, I’ve been doing some research into what a blog actually is and what a blog should be. So, to quickly define it, Blogger gives a quick and easy definition:

“A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.”

Reassuring – and nice use of the elliptical clause, Blogger! I can fit this blog somewhere into that spectrum. I also found an interesting piece here on this link which is far more academic, if you are interested.

The question these definitions don’t answer, however, is “what makes a blog popular?”. My blog has become far more popular since I moved to WordPress – the site has been good to me. I believe the biggest contributor to my increased popularity is that opposed to my old blog-home on MySpace, I now get hits from Google, which is really nice. People continue to read my style of blog because they like the blogger’s style or sense of humour. My blogs are styled on a newspaper columnist model, like a lot of blogs out there. Even on newspaper websites, blogs tend to adhere to this style. I believe the blog has actually taken over the position of the newspaper comment piece and columnists.

The most famous blogs are those which have a good USP. I don’t think mine actually does; it’s just an arbitrary collection of pieces written by some nobody. If Courtney Love wasn’t famous, I probably wouldn’t have found her blog, and I certainly would not have read her Dadaist keyboard vomit. The woman really is nuts. Lily Allen has a blog which gets a lot of press, even though she isn’t the most eloquent of writers. I’m not saying this is a bad thing – I actually like celebrity blogs (particularly if they are genuinely nuts), and I like that the internet gives access to a whole different range of opinions and topics to whinge about; but it can be overwhelming at times, particularly for a small-time, non-famous blogger like me. Who is going to google my name when noone knows it?!

I sometimes feel a little lost in the blogosphere because I’m up against far more interesting bloggers like Mimi Smartypants (who says in this blog that “this whole diary is about sitting down and turning the brain-faucet on and seeing what trickles out.”), who can keep a diary without analysing her humanity along with it – not too much anyway. Alas, I feel a bit lost because this blog started as a MySpace blog, and was imported wholesale from that site. It did not require a title or an introduction, just text. Lots of text. Here, I’m forced into being far more of a nobody than I ever was before. I guess this is why I insist on changing the title of the page and the banner pic: even after like three years of blogging and a lifetime of diary writing, I can’t decide on how I want to represent myself!

I no longer use my MySpace page, but have preserved it as it was a year ago. It’s like a MySpace tribute to some kid who has died. I feel like Los Davies is dead along with the hippie dream, but it’s nice to be able to drop in and visit him sometimes.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

1. I heard through my ocean of sources that one of my friends had been criticising me for not being able to hold down a stable relationship, comparing me to herself; valuing her own ability to keep something together for longer than a number of weeks over my lack of enthusiasm for being bound and tied to someone. I met her yesterday and had planned to rant about how I am actually happier in my single state than she is in her less than perfect long term relationship; but on being informed of her big break up only a couple of days previously, I imagined the rant I had planned might have been considered distasteful.

2. I went to Rev at the QMU on Tuesday for the first time in a long while. The Rev Brigade was three entire members down, and I wasn’t even in the mood to get ASBO-drunk, so it was a very different experience of a club I used to visit religiously on a Tuesday night. I have changed.

3. Today, I went to Pizza Hut. I used to love Pizza Hut, with it’s unsatisfying meals and laughable service. Since I started working in Gatsby’s, I seem to have learned a thing or two about what is expected of a restaurant; as well as developing a less pizza-orientated palette. For one thing, I have rarely been asked to provide cutlery for a customer – it’s pretty obvious that cutlery is essential for eating. Pizza Hut, today, provided a knife. When I asked for a fork, my waitress audibly laughed at me, and turned on her heel. A couple – obviously in the same mindset as me – asked to move tables. The request did not seem too extreme, since there were alternative tables available. However, the request was refused, and they were told to sit back where they were seated. They promptly left.

Anyway, this blog is not meant to be another hypocritical rant about the service industry or ramble about how amazing my life is because I drink too much; instead, these instances have combined to make me think about how different a person can be after only a year or so has passed (having worked one year at Gatsby’s, missing Rev and being on-and-off single during that time). In the past, I have intentionally tried to suppress my past and move onto something new. Now, other people notice it, and I change personalities without any prior thought. Thankfully, for the past six-or-so years, I have kept a full and frank personal diary, and for the first time in this blogger’s (shamefully unpaid) career, I shall delve into it’s pages for inspiration (and to beef up my word count).

Listen to how much of a slutty douchebag I was on Monday 30th October 2006!

Wine, women and song is definitely proving to be the best cure-all. I still don’t feel like myself, more a “reset” version of me, which I really can’t complain about.Spent the day thinking about getting ready for assessments and of my romantic distractions at the weekend [shagged some burd at a party, evidently.] Finally got round to the foundations of my Specialist Reporting assessment tonight as well, proving that nothing beats a good party for clearing one’s head.Mum’s been on about how “this” (student living) won’t go on forever, and I should just be having fun – curious to see how that will actually happen in the future, as I am obviously in idealist mode and fail to pre-empt the world crushing me.

Nothing too serious so far? I thought not either. This is where I start to regret keeping a diary:

Was being typically “thrifty” today – found a packet of Refreshers outside the lift and had them for lunch. Seem to be gathering a reputation, especially at college (although definitely there with long-standing friends; I just notice it more with Chris and Maxwell – they are far more vocal about it), as a trashy, drugged-up gypsy thing. Living the dream.

Aww yeah? Oh no…

I set out, before I started first year, to change my image*, and I guess since then I really have – not so much visually (although I’m now much less uniformly Bill and Ted about it); but my personality is markedly different. I’m much “louder” and I was, and people friendly – popular for what passes for the right reasons.In other words, I’m just comfortable in my own skin to a greater degree than have been – probably in my whole life.

*This entry includes a wordpress-style pingback to an earlier diary entry (albeit without the hyperlinks); that of 3rd September 2005:

College looks set to be interesting. I’m really looking forward to meeting new friends. In fact, right now, I have lit up at the thought! I will have to work on my image, I guess, since I changed it for high school. Come to think of it, I seem to change who I am as often as I can. I’m actually enjoying not knowing who I am!

Earlier in the diary, I argue that I have no use for being personable; later in the diary, I mourn the loss of my quiet nature. Evidently, the feeling of being comfortable in my own skin was at best temporary and superficial. So being secure and comfortable didn’t work out. The prevailing impression I get from this diary is that of a scrounging junkie. Check out this entry from 1st November 2006:

Found a bottle of rosé outside the building [the QMU]
and drank it before leaving the empty bottle in the place of the kegs we had stolen the two previous weeks – giving back to society.Had an impromptu party at Rab’s, drinking the remainder of Saturday’s alcoholic bounty; playing videogames and having discussions about the proper pronounciation of “libellous”.

I think I was too brash again. I’m just too loud. It’s for the best though – isn’t this all I wanted to be? In any case, everyone else is too quiet. I was told to shut up and let people sleep […] In any case, this allowed me to have my typical Wednesday – went into Ken’s 9:30 lecture – less than sober – straight from the train.Went to Pizza Hut with Maxwell, Chris and Sandy and was accused by them of stealing the money we had left to cover the bill. However, this was untrue.

Maxwell mentioned that he would ordinarily hate someone like me (someone too brash?), but that he finds me funny.

I find that the more I read from this diary, the more I realise that I have changed. Where once I would drunkenly steal money from what I perceived at the time to be a fairly decent well-run restaurant; I would now rather shoot myself on the spot than eat that junk, yet I still tip the waitress!

However, there was one little vignette tucked away in my diary from <strong>9th February 2007</strong>, where I describe an [unnamed illegal substance] comedown-stroll around the West End; which made me realise that some things never change:

“Today I seen [sic] Kaye Adams [of Loose Women fame] and managed to refrain from kicking her in. I’ve made progress!”

The Last Time I Saw A Tranny

For a long time now, I have been a big supporter of YouTube. I love that I have instant access to pirated films and TV shows for – with the exception of my broadband charges – free. I think it is absolutely excellent that I can find new rare recordings and demos of my favourite artists alongside covers by complete nobodies on the other side of the world. I think that being able to participate in covering songs along with all the other nobodies is a thrill matched only by live performance. It is inevitable, then, that communities of participants spring up on YouTube.

Until lastnight, I thought these communities could be limited to comedy vloggers (whether they are actually funny or not); musicians (spanning the entire talent spectrum from professional to downie-with-a-guitar) and those people you get who comment on videos – generally either praising Stevie Nicks for a great atonal screech midway through of Edge of Seventeen; or speculating on who she was sleeping with at the time of the recording, or how much cocaine she had up her butt during a certain concert.

Although I would include myself in the musician and worthless-comment-maker categories of YouTube user; I don’t think I am a true member of any YouTube community (unless you include the fact that I search for new videos under “Joni Mitchell” every single day of my life without fail). Unlike me, some people actually use YouTube as a window – for complete strangers – into their world. This concept was completely new to me, defying the three other categories. What I found were not comedy vlogs, they were personal diary vlogs. Sure, you’re thinking “clichéd and behind the times,” byt wait! What I found were in fact THEMED personal diary vlogs! This may not sound exciting enough to merit two separate exclaimations, but until I discovered their YouTube diaries, I had not lost any sleep over… FEMALE TO MALE TRANSSEXUALS.

Disclaimer #1: You may have noticed that this blog contains the word “tranny” almost as often as “the” or “arse”. Let me explain: I have a perverted sense of humour, and so do my readers. Evidently, most of my readers come to me because they have searched for something along the lines of “tranny blog”.

Now let’s face it – female to male transsexuals, or “F2Ms” as they seem to be known as in YouTube communities – are alien to me. In fact, the only place I’ve ever come across an F2M before is in documentary programmes that feature condensed material, and make these people out to be freaks and weirdos. YouTube actually provides a forum for people, especially those who are different from the status quo, to let themselves be known and to give help and advice to other people in the same position. The videos in the F2M community are unedited, raw footage; focusing on their joys and their pains. I spent the other night watching video after video about surgery, testosterone treatments and the like, which were incredibly thought provoking. I don’t consider myself to be the World’s Most Perfectly Average Human Being, but at least I don’t have to go through surgery and hormone treatments to feel right. Watching these videos made me realise that although I may not be wired up absolutely perfect; how lucky I am to be a relatively normal person.

Disclaimer #2: I may sound as if I am disparaging the entire F2M community by implying that they are not normal. I merely mean that they are wired up far worse than I am. I, of course, am not apologising to any tranny who has been offended thus far by my blog: no tranny is that thin skinned. I was actually just covering my arse from the PC brigade – at least until Labour get booted out of government. I would blog about party politics, but no-one would read my entries anymore.

Sure, watching videos about drastic surgery and the results thereof can seem like a big deal – in fact, these are the things that documentary makers focus on; but that’s not the whole story. One of the F2Ms spoke a lot about her personal life in her vlogs, for example about how he was dumped by her lesbian fiancé because she didn’t want to marry a man; and about how buying tampons and shaving cream can be embarassing and upsetting. These things make total sense, but when would they ever be brought out in the open otherwise?

People say that my generation is the first to be given the hugely educational tool of the internet, and we have squandered it. Instead, we make pointless blogs and spend our lives on MSN. We make MySpace profiles that reveal weaknesses in our half-developed characters. But these vlogs are educational! The undramatised, first hand footage found on YouTube is worth far more than an agenda-ridden Channel 4 documentary; and the fact that people so confused by their sex have a pool of support waiting for them is testament to the power of this educational tool. My generation, regardless of what media commentators may suggest, may be the most focused, sorted and self aware of any that has gone before.

Either that or the generation most pacified by bright colours and shiny music.

Fear and Loathing in Los Davies

I added a new page to my blog yesterday which – unsurprisingly, considering the sheer lack of content – has only been viewed once. This page is where I plan to show off my favourite novels, newspapers and any other literature I haven’t already proselytised about in the main blog. I only have one entry at the moment, but I shall add more in due course. I was also thinking of adding a “Recommeded Listening” section as well, where I draw a picture of David Bowie on my crotch and do pelvic thrusts over and over again straight into your face until you panic and click the top-right hand X, never to return to Los Davies Pisomojado Paradise. I wouldn’t blame you.

I have not read a lot of Hunter S. Thompson for reasons unknown, since I already know the man is a genius and is yet another of those journalist-cum-novelists I love so much (like Orwell and Vonnegut); but on reading the wikipedia entry on his most famous novel – Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas – I realised that Thompson and I are more alike than I thought. Actually, I would go so far as to say that the time spent reading this wikipedia article changed my opinion of my own life-philosophy. Let me expand – the entry goes into detail on the themes of the novel, one of which is Thompson’s hypocritical, self-contained-but-conflicting views on the use of drugs:

The preface quotes Dr. Johnson: He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man. The quotation alludes to the protagonists’ profuse drug use in escaping the coarse realities of American life; passages detail the failed Counterculture, people who naïvely thought drug use per se was the answer to society’s problems. The contradiction of solace in excess is thematically similar to The Great Gatsby, a favourite novel of Thompson’s.

H. S. Thompson posits that his drug use (unlike Dr Leary’s mind-expansion experimentation drug use), is intended to render him a mess; that he is the poster boy of a generation of “permanent cripples, failed seekers…”; their erratic behaviour depicts the restless failure his generation feels.

I have written before about how much I like the verb “articulate”, and this section of the encyclopaedia entry managed to collate, express and truly articulate my own immature take on what are essentially conflicting opinions. People think I am a hypocrite. Similarly, Thompson is hypocritical; but what this new perspective has given me is a good cover story. I often say that from working in a bar, where I watch people get tanked and make a complete dick of themselves – same faces, same days, same drinks, same hangovers, same disdain from the eye of the ever watchful barman – has made me wary of alcoholism, and – to a degree – staunchly against drinking to excess. However, the same disdainful eye gets restless; the disdainful eye is blind to its own excesses as its pupil dilates into no more than a forgotten black spot on this frequent binge-drinker’s face. However, thanks to Thompson, I can now claim that my bodily excesses are no less than religious fervor: a lamenting prayer for all those who drink to slightly less damaging levels than I do, but are rich enough not to care about it, and old enough not to do too much damage to their long term health; the stomach pump my Eucharist! Excellent.

I would also like to make the point that I think I would make an excellent tranny. Sometimes, when I’m on the bus, and I see people I knew vaguely from school – such as MagTag on her Tabac Run every 27 minutes – they don’t recognise me. Usually this is because I am trannied out my face. What I mean by this I’m not sure; but I would totally make a great pretend woman. I like playing with my hair, so that’s totally sorted; and sometimes when (stupid, needlessly drunk, rich) women leave little jackets and shit in the cloakroom at work, then never return for them; I like to try them on. Sometimes I like to take them home, and wear them as man’s clothes, but they’re totally not man’s clothes! Skinny jeans are immoral, but I’m not the most moral of people anyway (see above). I like when clothes make me feel more immoral than I am. Thus, I think that I should just book the operation now to save any hassle; though apparently it’s now quicker and easier to get a full blown sex change than to work your way to the top of the council housing list…

Screw You, Anonymous Backstage Lesbian!!

I have written before about karmic balance, and I am sure my crazy theories came into play yesterday, but the intricacies are just too deep and convoluted to speculate upon too deeply. Thus, this blog will deal only with the facts, leaving the metaphysical well alone.

Anyway, I should have known my well-planned day was not going to go well when – for the first time in many moons – I got to the bus stop one minute before the bus arrived. Not only that, but it stopped when I put my hand out; instead of driving on, with the driver’s hands momentarily raising from the wheel into a two-finger formation aimed in my direction. Now I understand that certain bus drivers don’t want retard passengers in spectacularly gaudy white jeans and a t-shirt far too tight for its owner’s torso; but yesterday, this particular get-up seemed to work in my favour. Obviously blinded by what he thought could only be light reflecting from a fashion-challenged woman’s brilliant-white trousers, our antagonist slowed his vehicle. By the time he had realised he had made a rookie mistake by letting me on the bus, I had already motioned an inaccurate amount of change in his direction and was feverishly whispering something about a single ticket to Peacock Cross.

So, to recap: Bus ride = good thing; stuff to follow must = bad thing.

Bad thing did happen. I was due to film an interview between my good friend Carla Callaghan – Scotland’s greatest living journalist – and the band Primal Scream before a secret gig at ABC. Because I was so lucky in getting transport to the venue, Bobby Gillespie was not. Carla and I sat around a couple of bars for hours – literally hours – with the camera equipment, discussing our excitement and other anecdotes such as this genius episode from her uni days – which were simultaenously my uni days at the same institution – involving one most excellent lecturer:

Ken came in one day with a hangover and got us all to sit in the wee telephone room (a 5×10 foot shoebox of a room with a telephone in it. Big whoop.) and forced us to call the prime minister. No-one wanted to do it, but Ken coaxed us:
“Come on, anyone, who’s going to phone the prime minister?”. Eventually, he chose one of the girls, and she picked up the phone.
“Hello, operator? Emm… Could you put me through to 10 Downing Street? No? Ok…” And that was that lesson learned; in typical vague, inconclusive fashion.
As usual, Ken’s unorthodox teaching methods got him in trouble with The Man; but Ken didn’t care – he’s only in it for the money and has perfected the art of high-distain for all those around him.

The band eventually sound-checked. “Simon”, the tour manager who turned out not to exist, somehow, told us we were unable to do an interview with the band. Fuck. Camera equipment lugged to Yates’s faux-Wetherspoons bar nextdoor. Other camera-wielding down-and-out types looked similarly disappointed; presumably both at their lack of interview footage as well as having to sit in Yates’s; with it’s needlessly crap promos and extraneous “s”.

So, to recap: On time for interview = good thing; no interviewees + Yates’s = bad thing.

Picking up information like the human transistor radios Carla and I are – i.e. eavesdropping – we discovered that the band, or at least certain members of the band, had eaten lunch in this very Wetherspoons booze-a-like – at the same time Carla and I were being told they were unavailable due to not actually being in the country. Interesting. Further eavesdropping revealled that the band had, the previous night, been hitting the bevvy too hard. Maybe they’d been to Yates’s. Surely noone could pass up a night of disappointing alcohol and frankly threatening clientele.

So, to recap: Alcohol = good thing; bands = good thing; band members + alcohol = bad thing.

Carla and I, determined not to let the opportunity go to waste, set out to:

a) get into the bloody gig – for free [ ]

b) interview anyone [ ]

c) get hammered [ ]

d) beat up Simon (who we still thought existed at this point) [ ]

e) go to the afterparty NO MATTER WHAT [ ]

You can get a pen or pencil at this point, and tick off boxes a), c) and e) on your screen. We never managed to get any interviews because band members + alcohol = bad thing. We did get into the gig, we did enjoy the gig, and I even got into a great argument with some guy in the toilets for absolutely no reason! Miraculously, we also managed to drunkenly scam our way into the backstage area, where we got drunk(er); listened to a pretty good DJ remix some Bowie tracks; then as it slowly dawned on us that the interview was not going to happen and that Simon was not going to pick up the phone again – since we were told by the REAL tour manager, Derek (or whatever), that “there is no Simon” and that he was just a figment of Carla’s imagination – we formed one last plan to really shift the karmic balance into our favour: some old groupie bint with a man’s haircut and no bra nor sense of humour had left a couple of so-very-not-rock-and-roll Tesco sandwiches on a table to our left. As we were high-tailing it out of there, I bagged the sandwiches and ran! Screw you, anonymous backstage lesbian!!