Friday, 6 July 2012

Faith No More - If I Can't Go, I'll Just Make It Up In My Head

Friday, 6 July 2012
You probably already know that there’s more than one version of me – I’ve made no bones about it before. For example, in my professional life, I’m a meticulous planner and my Captain-von-Trappian organisational tendencies are unparalleled. But Weekend Nick? She is a pretty laid back kind of gal. You’ll find her with hardly any makeup, and so non-committal flying by the seat of her ripped jeans she's nary a care in the world. Making long term weekend plans is not her thing. “We’ll see,” she’ll say.
Except today, when someone asked me what my plans for the weekend were, my answer was out there without having missed a beat. “On Sunday I will mostly be moping, because Faith No More are playing two dates in London starting the day after tomorrow and I can’t go.” The tickets, dear readers, went on sale when I wasn’t working, so buying them as well as booking a hotel and train tickets was kind of out of the question. But now, the time has come and I’m proper doomed about it.

I’ll have a bit of a mope, and I’ll get over it. I’ll turn down my mouth and pout out my lip and puppy dog my eyes and do a bit of exasperated sighing and mooning. In preparation for this one-woman-pity-party, I spent a large part of today thinking about what kind of a setlist the band – who (unbelievably!) have so far eluded me for the duration of my gig-going tenure – might put together for the two London shows. And then I started dreaming up what kind of day I would have if I actually COULD get to the gig. And THEN, I started dreaming up exactly what kind of day I would have if I actually could get to the gig in a perfect world.

The last time I went to London was pretty hard to top, but I’ll give it a whirl.

Okay. So if it’s okay with you, I think I’ll set off on Saturday on the train. First Class, do you think? Obviously. Not because I’m a snob or anything, but because don’t you just love those seats that aren’t next to anyone else’s and you can get proper stretched out and comfy?

Mmm, yeah. Me, too. I’d have one of those, for sure.

As far as digs are concerned, if you have no wild objections, this suite at Claridges with the gorgeous piano will do nicely – is that okay?

Not too shabby for me.  No sir.  Allll good here.
It’s only right that I take afternoon tea in my room (if you please) and then – don’t tell anyone -- but I’ll jump on the bed for a bit. I might have a bath – I could take my book in there, couldn’t I? On the other hand, do you think I might be tired from my journey? Maybe a snooze would be in order. Then – do forgive me -- I’ll stuff an obscenely large wad of cash in my jeans pocket, grab my iPod and go for an explore.

First I’ll go for a pint of Moosehead at the Maple Leaf in Covent Garden. Then I’ll rock up to Camden Market where I will buy a couple of new pairs of boots. And some trainers, probably.

I’d sashay contentedly back to my hotel, pad around in my bare feet and play that piano for a bit before going to bed, where I would sleep in an obnoxious diagonal, for at least nine hours. None of that would prove overly offensive, to be sure. What say you?

I’ll fill Sunday in much of the same way, but not so as to wear myself out before the gig. I might go up to Rough Trade for a proper nosey around. I’ll need a good hour in there, minimum. I might head to Trafalgar Square to see the lions. Maybe go to the Tate Modern and listen to the inside of my head for a while.

And then -- the reason I’d be down there in the first place – Faith No More.

And, notwithstanding of course – this guy:

Mike Patton, Fantasy Husband

The setlist would include a good mix stretching the full length of their back catalogue and I’m not fussed exactly how they populate it as long as they include the following non-negotiables:







Remembering that this is a day constructed completely from fantasy, I’d throw in a couple of wacky covers as well – like the theme to the Muppet Show or some Kinks or Hollies or something. Still with me? 
Continuing through the Faith No More gig of my perfect-world imagining, Patton would notice me in the throng trying not to wet myself half way through Stripsearch and pluck me out of the crowd with one arm (in this world I weigh only very slightly more than a Russian gymnast) and let me lie flat on my back in the middle of the stage to watch and listen.

Ah, feck it - we had better bring Jim Martin back while we're at it.

The whole thing would be mind-blowing and skin-crawling and legs-crossing and boobs-squirming and all the things that I’m certain the real gig is going to wind up being.

And then after? I’d float two feet off the pavement, body buzzing, ears ringing, feet killing, throat bleeding, lungs stinging, head swirling back to the hotel. Too wired to sleep, I’d go down to the bar and have a quiet drink or two; that post-concert rapture making my bone marrow fizz.

And in the ultimate perfect world? At the exact same moment the barman pours me my second, Mike Patton, too wired to sleep and wondering where that enchanting green-eyed blonde wound up, descends from his Claridges hotel room looking for a drink.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

STONE ROSES: MANCHESTER 2012

Wednesday, 4 July 2012
MINE ALL MINE.
So I’ll tell you, if you like, how Himself and I came to be at the Stone Roses gig this past Sunday in Heaton Park, in Manchester.

Like most Roses fans, over the years I had learned to pay very little mind to the frequent rumours of a big reunion. Many an arrogant drunken wager was offered up on many a Friday night, me slurrily offering my next born child/my right tit/a naked stroll down Northumberland Street should they actually reform in my lifetime.

But then! The rumours started to pick up a bit more speed and substance. I raised a sceptical eyebrow, maintained my cucumber cool and tried not to let anyone see that my guts were helter skeltering. But lo -- An Official Statement...like boom! Ticket sales announcement...like pow! Then all of a sudden I find myself at work on a Friday morning clockwatching for 9am with my credit card in my hot little hand to score me some tickets for a gig that I never thought would ever materialise.

Now, dear readers – you know I am old school. I’ve slept cross legged on a sidewalk in the rain to get tickets for gigs, I’ve tag-team queued in 6 feet of winter snow for Ticketmaster outlets to open. INFINITELY preferable to the maddening process of getting tickets to a show online, and I’ll tell you that for nothing. I just can’t be handling the stress of it! I do not like the lack of control! At least in a lineup, one can, if required, use one’s considerable girth as a human blockade. But in a virtual ticketing scenario, the scariness of one’s boots/voluptuousness of one’s arse is of little matter. All you can do is have twenty-five goddam web browsers open and F5 REFRESH F5 REFRESH F5 REFRESH hoping that you don’t lose your WiFi before you smash your keyboard to bits.

I mean. COME ON.

So there I was at work. I’m F5-ing like a motherfucker – phones are ringing and I’m ignoring them. People are querying and I am growling at them. Must refresh. Must refresh. 30 minutes goes by and I’m thwarted by every error message in the virtual world. F5, F5, F5. Another 30 minutes go by and I’m trying not to hyperventilate. I am sweating. My lips are pursed, my teeth are grinding. My eyes are little slits. I am muttering all the swear words and vitriolic filth I can call to mind.

THEN! Infuriatingly – a guy at my work comes flying into the room to boast that he got through and got some tickets.

AND THEN – AGAIN! Another guy at work comes flying into the room to boast that HE also got through and got some tickets.

I am livid. In normal circumstances, I’m not a big fan of hiding my emotions and am ready to throw an unholy wobbler of a strop, but I know I do not have time because F5 F5 F5 F5.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAND THEN?! Bam. I’m in. Credit card number entered in a feverish blur and ZING – confirmation of purchase email received.

I was going. I WAS GOING! I flung my arms up into the air and let out a victorious howl. I was going.

Fucking GET IN.

(Part 2 later.)