Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Summery Summary

I did aim to write loads and loads for these pages once the holidays started but it just hasn’t happened. I have been busy and tired and, for the past day or so, laid low by a migraine. I feel better today.

My migraine inconveniently commenced on Thursday evening in Cheltenham’s Slak Bar where A and I had convened to attend the latest Calmer* evening. My immediate reaction was to ignore the oncoming malaise, sup a few lagers and worry about the consequences later. It worked and I enjoyed the two bands that were playing. First up were two thirds of Misterlee – the other third was sunning himself on holiday in a place beginning with ‘C’: at first it was assumed Corfu had been the destination but eventually Cornwall (my home county) was settled upon. They were quirky yet challenging. Fairly conservative guitar shapes were juxtaposed against some out-there percussion, labyrinthine yet effective knob-twiddling, howling vocals and distortion and feedback galore. They were rather post-punk and as I am in a post-punk mood right now, I appreciated their sterling efforts to entertain. The main act Flipron were a pleasure too and it is hard to put a delicately tanned finger on who their influences might be. At the time The Small Faces came to mind and there was a tangible Englishness and whimsy about them that could place them in that category although there were more angles, more surprises and more danger about this merry band than one would associate with any worthy 1960s beat combo. They sang a few songs about old people.

I’ve been busy looking into live action. Yesterday I booked a brace of tickets for my wife and me to see Divine Comedy at Bristol University in October. I have never really been one of their greatest fans but I shall happily give them a go. Fellow Ulsterman Duke Special will be the support act and I really fancy seeing him again after a triumphal appearance at Acoustica last year. I also booked a pair of seats on a plane to Amsterdam. To my huge regret I noticed that Sufjan Stevens’ two gigs in England this November (Manchester University and London’s Barbican) are both sold out. After sobbing uncontrollably for a while I noted that he was also playing Amsterdam’s Paradiso on Saturday 11th November. We have the plane tickets but no concert tickets! They go on sale on the 29th of this month so a military operation will need to be planned in order to acquire the blighters. D knows the ropes when it comes to overseas concert ticket purchases so I shall ask him what to do. The W’s will hopefully be joining us. With or without the estimable Sufjan, it should be a fabulous weekend in a city I have never visited. The Coles are also keen to go and see Scritti Politti play an outdoors set at the Tate Britain in a week or two. It’s part of a free Rough Trade evening. And, of course, it is Teenage Fanclub this Monday. Busy.

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