Sunday, 9 December 2007

I was actually intending to follow up the last post with a proper account of what’s been going on in my big gay life; but it turns out that I just couldn’t be bothered.

This is in part due to a sudden bout of illness that all but sapped me of what little energy and enthusiasm I usually possess. I find the worst aspect of being ill is the affect it has on my sleep; I am quite prone to having deranged “maths dreams”, which are now becoming the stuff of legends. I had one of these on Tuesday.

In this particular maths dream, I managed to combine every equation in the world of mechanical engineering (from steady-flow energy equations, to heat transfer rate through composite materials, to equations of motion... and so on) and refined them all into one uber-equation. For some peculiar reason, this took the form of a large, round and slightly spongy blue mass of mathematical symbols and Greek letters, that hovered gently just above ground level. People kept coming up to me to ask how it all worked... it was all very repetitive and confusing, and not even slightly restful.

It was all a quite rubbish way to finish off a weekend of splendid birthday shenanigans. Saturday night I rushed home from work to get changed and head off out again to see Queens of the Stone Age with Charlie Cat, The Boy, Metal Terry and his fiancée Em.

By the time we got there, the support act (The Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster) had already started playing. I saw them a few years ago with Zak at The Louisiana, a pokey little venue that’s about the same size as my kitchen. In those tight confines, their psychobilly death-punk stylings were positively apocalyptic; but in the cavernous Academy they seemed a bit flat, stifled by poor sound and a static (but supportive) audience. They still played their arses off though – good for them.

The mighty Queens of the Stone Age had no such problems. Playing beneath some really quite odd-looking chandeliers, they kicked out tunes new and old with flair and passion, occasionally flying off on great improvised tangents that included a spoken-word rendition of the Rick Astley classic “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Needless to say, they were spectacularly good, and I stumbled out of the venue with my T-shirt quite literally soaked in GigSweatTM (a heady and intoxicating mix of my sweat, the sweat of a million billion other people, spilt beer, dissolved hair product, and a minimum of 23% rock ‘n’ roll). After the gig, Charlie (whose birthday just happens to be the same day as mine), The Boy and I bimbled through a few more pubs, eat a few dirty burgers, and somehow ended up back home (eventually).

The next day I turned 30 (and Charlie turned 21); and in celebration of this fact I was visited by my parents, my sister, and my oldest and dearest friend Tim (a smutmonger whom I have known for, well, forever – though he hasn’t always been a smutmonger). Along with Sam and The Boy we all went off in search of somewhere nice to have lunch, eventually settling down in The Bristol Flyer, a pleasant little pub which is covered in giant and very colourful butterflies for some reason.

We got quite delightfully drunk whilst we waited for what seemed like an eternity for our food to arrive. When it finally did appear before us, we devoured it ravenously and headed back home for cake ‘n’ presents ‘n’ that. Highlights included:

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy complete radio series, which I’m ashamed to say that I have never actually owned until this point.
  2. Some really quite excellent CDs, that between them cover a lot of genres; from morose and slightly pretentious indie (Interpol), to experimental alt. hip-hop (Dalek), to ambient post-rock electronica (Atlantis), to brutal death metal with a bit of drum ‘n’ bass thrown in for good measure (Ted Maul).
  3. Some “Ben’s 30” insect repellant that my sister found on her travels some three or four years ago, and has been holding onto ever since.
  4. Some rather natty Jesus plasters.
  5. A copy of a monthly adult publication entitled “Fighting Gals”. It promises to be (and indeed is) “a galaxy of female combat”. Here is a rather pleasing photo of Sam and Tim discussing the merits of various chokeholds, whilst enjoying a good pipe.

No sooner had they all left than The Boy and I were off out again to meet up with RoboJew and his better half Ruth at The Thekla, for yet another gig. This time it was Sia , an Aussie chick better known for her role as vocalist with Zero7. Support came from an acoustic guitar toting one-man-band, playing under the moniker of Half Cousin. Inoffensive and utterly forgettable.

Sia and her four-piece band took to the stage dressed as fluorescent stick men. It’s rather hard to explain, and can’t find any pictures on the intraweb… suffice to say that if it sounds a bit weird, it’s because it was. The costumes were shed after the first song, and they carried on to play a really quite excellent set. The songs are a bit poppy, but without being too sweet or cheesy, and they still retain some of the laid-back lounge-core stylings of Zero7. Sia’s got a stunning voice, is quite mad and/or drunk, and spent a lot of time making pleasant chit-chat with various members of the audience. Plus, I wasn’t soaked in GigSweatTM when I left. Good stuff.

Little else of interest has happened this week; and besides, this post is quite long enough already.

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