Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Tuesday 6 October 2009

Fantastic. Today is the first time in maybe two years that I have parked at the train station before catching the train to work. Just like the old days I get “my space” and for once I do not arrive at the station knackered and miserable. Why didn’t I do this sooner? Oh yeah, the fucking bandits that these people are charging £92.50 a month for the honour and pleasure of using their car park. This doesn’t even appear to be a secure place to drop my car. This fleecing is probably more excessive than the £4600 I pay for my Travelcard in the first place. I am most definitely in the wrong job.

As a result of driving to the station invariably I arrive early as I forget the time I used to leave the flat back in the day. I wind up catching the 6.48AM train to London which is full of new faces and a more spacious set of carriages.

Typically ultimately my early deeds do not prove fruitful as the train gets held up on the way and in the end it barely arrives into Liverpool Street before 8AM. I may as well have waited and caught the 7.03AM with the usual extras.

When I get into work The Girl once more is already in having arrived super early again this morning but not as ridiculous as yesterday. After all our discouraging her about driving to St Johns Wood from Clapham it would appear we were talking out of our behinds and the reality is that it is a breeze. There was me thinking the Congestion Charge had fucked everything up when in actuality it has made things better.

I end up having a fairly productive day being at the point of the month where I am able to sink my teeth into the accounts without taxing my brain too much.

In an act of apparent karma the boss subsequently lets us out a little early which serves really well on this night with THE CARETAKER at the Colchester Arts Centre.

As I scanned through my old Nokia mobile yesterday it informed me that today is Azmei’s 39th birthday. On cue tonight as I catch the 6PM Norwich train home when it arrives back in Colchester obviously I see Sarah. When I pass her she is on her phone whining down the line to/at someone or something. You poor bastard.

Quickly I pop home before the beginning of proceedings to get sorted out and do a few things online before heading out.

When I arrive at the Arts Centre Staff is stood outside smoking. He has put me on the guestlist which is always gratefully received.

Almost as soon as I step inside I see James. It is noticeable just how big his barnet has grown. Kudos. As ever it is great to see him, this being the first time I have seen him since last summer in Berlin when I was shattered and grumpy. As we catch up on things he plays Elton John classics over the soundsystem while handing me a two disc copy/version of his new record. This looks fantastic, good times.

Soon it comes time for him to perform his first set of the evening so I take my seat with Staff and a couple of new people in town.

The LEYLAND JAMES KIRBY set turns out to be an emotive collage of Berlin nightlife accompanied by the shaking sonic drone of his new material that literally shakes the roof and foundations of the building/venue. When the aural display hits a peak, a high vacuum exudes that vibrates proceedings and adds an emotive edge to the brown visuals that resemble and display faces I (and most of the room) recognises. The emotion of the piece transmits and spreads to all paying attention. For a piece that James claims he made whilst suffering from the flu it is an amazing accomplishment.

After the set our table begins chatting and it turns out I am sat with two DJs at Ipswich Community Radio (Martin and Alice). This is as close to college rock as our area gets. It sounds as if they both have exciting shows that are very much on the same wavelength with what our “scene” is into. There mere mention of ATP makes the girl (Alice) very excited in that optimistic manner in which I approached the first few festivals back in the day. Jesus I feel like a granddad in comparison.

The second set of the night comes from SIMON SCOTT formerly of Slowdive. Perched over a table onstage he pounds out a drone set as he tinkers with a laptop while his guitar remains slung over his shoulders. It feels very much from the school of Kevin Shields layering of distortion and as a result is perhaps a tad more satisfying for the artist than it is for the listener. As the white noise gets released and exhumed into the either there is little fear of any cobwebs remaining in place after this assault. At the close of his set SIMON SCOTT appears genuinely grateful for the opportunity to exhibit and execute his art in front of people. Perhaps next time he will add some rhythm or beats and give the music some pulse.

Finally THE CARETAKER set occurs as the curtain rises to unveil a ghostly empty stage. Again it is a bountiful set as the old church that is the Colchester Arts Centre fills with paranormal-esqe knows that feel as if they are making the walls quake and exude extra dimensions. Outside there is a graveyard and you begin to grow concerned as to whether this music is serving as a calling.

I have to concede the first time that I saw THE CARETAKER did understand it, nobody had taken the time to explain the conception to me and how it makes for a genuinely unique music experience when things are most definitely wanting. As the echoes prevail amidst harsh surroundings, the acoustics of such elements as rainfall resound like treachery being avenged. All work and no play makes James a dull boy.

Eventually the set comes to climax by which time we have been suitably spooked and are now relieved that nobody died as a result. As the lights come up so does some kind of sighing relief.

Afterwards we reconvene as James hold final court on a rare UK visit. With this CDs get exchanged, photos taken and plans are hatched to meet up again in London at the weekend.

By the time I get home it is now past midnight and the necessity to get some sleep before another day in London suddenly becomes paramount at the close of a winning day.

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