Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wednesday 31 August 2005

Welcome to Wednesday. This morning I appear to have woken up with Mark Ibold’s hair. Is this a good look right now?

Today is one of those days where I get rumbled by Swear Lady writing a personal email because the speed in my typing is just so much more quicker.

There is a weird atmosphere at the studio right now. Apparently accounts/finance is the only happy/fun department in the building but I would beg to differ. Also does this statement suggest that things are about to get worse? We are ridiculous on top and ahead of things at the moment but there is just this very strange atmosphere prevailing.

It doesn’t help things when I make a blunt joke about the single mothers of Clacton before remembering/realising that Nicole is indeed a single mother herself. Luckily she doesn’t call/pull me up on my comment. That said the office does decide to go to Mike’s Café for lunch and not bother inviting me along again. Never so lonely.

In the afternoon I find myself pining for my days of unemployment once more, of speaking to people on MSN during the day, not least having Racton convince me that they used to hold their own version of Fight Club at his university. That and the nights he would get home wankered from a gig and begin telling me how he wrote a live score on a keyboard to the movie Witness, much to the chagrin of his housemates.

For some reason at the moment Stevo keeps calling my mobile phone. I guess he is probably drunk or horny. Or both.

Tonight we are heading to the Koko in Camden where DINOSAUR JR are performing “You’re Living All Over Me” as part of ATP’s Don’t Look Back series of gigs. I have never been to this venue before and after the mess we made of seeing DINOSAUR back in June tonight will hopefully be awesome.

Straight from work we head to Mornington Crescent where we soon meet up. From here we grab some dinner at a Chinese place where they do lemon noodles that are truly amazing. As we finish off our meal Racton “hey look it’s Staff” as our favourite Colchester promoter walks past towards the venue. Soon we catch up with him where we go for post gig drinks at the Purple Turtle.

Eventually we head into the Koko where the place is rammed. By now we are all royally drunk and pushing our way into a very decent spot towards the front of the venue. Onstage opening is some guy called ALEXANDER TUCKER. It is one man playing some kind of quiet instrumental guitar. It is dull and unfitting. Were the guy making these sounds playing his guitar with his feet (as I first thought) it might be worthy but ultimately this is just crap. I thought we were past things like this by now.

By the time DINOSAUR JR hit the stage we are more than ready to go. The opening moments of “Little Fury Things” are truly incendiary as the heavy heavy loud sound of J Mascis’ guitar and multiple amps is genuinely painful. These guys were always about the volume and absolutely nothing has changed there.

“You’re Living All Over Me” is an amazing album. With the opener having been tossed out ferociously the level of intensity maintains as “Kracked” also spews out at record speed before the intro of “Sludgefest” feels like a genuine assault on the audience as I begin to truly lose my shit as the song reaches for the outer recesses of my being. By the time it calms down to a murmur only to rise back for a second wave I feel floored.

From here the set fails to relent as “The Lung” lulls me into a false sense of security before swooping into with that nasty tempo change and sonic blast that tonight J has made extra loud and heavy just to make the English that little more deaf by the end of the evening. Then in similar style “Raisins” possesses a piercing stabbing moment before arriving at a heartbreaking chorus of “I’ll be down, I’ll be around” in a manner that only Mascis could make sound touching and appealing. Then comes his solo.

Once this song is out of the way Lou then calmly steps to the microphone and announces “side 2” as suddenly it becomes apparent that the band have torn through half their set at breakneck speed. Is tonight’s show even going to last half an hour?

Tearing into the second side of the record “In A Jar” sounds just as majestic as on record, only faster before Lou gets to take centre stage on “Lose” which sounds as crazy and heavy as anything tonight. This is a two headed monster.

“Poledo” indeed does happen as it appears the dross of ALEXANDER TUCKER earlier in the evening has returned to proceedings. With this break in proceedings we take a breath and look around at one another stunned.

With the night now rolling to an end they demonstrate just how much they own “Just Like Heaven” as Barlow makes it his bitch before Mascis even gets going. As the song falls apart towards the end and hooks the heart in addition to the head it is a truly devastating blow.

Eventually the band finish up and we react to just having been handed our arses. I have seen most of my grunge heroes now and very few of them have ever lived up this performance for ferocity, intensity and sheer volume.

Happily the band returns for an encore of other material that includes “Budge” and a whole host of early songs I had no idea previously existed. Unsurprisingly they do “Freakscene” and unsurprisingly the place goes off big style as things border on becoming scary as a song encapsulates a generation, my generation. Without doubt this song is anthem because its structure offers so many options for the audience to participate in its numerous hooks and superior choruses. Its closing message of resignation sums up an era.

Unfortunately by the time is returning for a third encore we are having to leave to head back to Colchester otherwise we run the risk of missing the last train home. This is just a crazy situation; I haven’t known a band so up for playing all night in a very long time. Truly DINOSAUR JR is rejuvenated unit, one that flattens most things out there right now.

We wind up back at Liverpool Street past midday catching one of the slow degenerate trains. These are the ones filled with drunken salarymen and pissheads. With a day of work ahead of us in a few hours time we sit silent mulling over our tinnitus trying to snatch and grab at some sleep.

By the time we get back to Colchester the time is pushing 2AM and things are beginning to get uncivil from a time perspective. I give Staff and his mate a lift from the station while also noticing that the bolt cover on my wheel trim on the front passenger side is missing. These are not things that just fall off.

Once having done my taxi duty I step into my apartment with the hour now past 2AM and my head whirring from distortion and sonic Armageddon. This isn’t such a bad thing.


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