But first there were the obligatory support acts. First up were Blackhole, an enthusiastic bunch of kids from Hemel Hempstead; they smashed out a decent set of aggressive punk ‘n’ roll tunes, pausing only to beg us to buy their merch. They were actually quite good.
Less good were the next two bands, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Scary Kids Scaring Kids. Mostly it was an hour and a half of tight jeans, fashionable haircuts and unintelligible nasal whining. The kids went wild; we went to the bar.
In theory it should have been Every Time I Die next; but what we actually got was a thirty minute prog epic of a soundcheck as they tried to get their rented equipment to work. Eventually they either sussed it out, or more likely gave up and started playing anyway, and the next hour was spent sweating, shouting and getting kicked in the head by crowd surfers. They were awesome.
I awoke the next day with ringing ears and numerous bruises, made myself a cup of tea and checked my emails to see if there was any news from Safetech Engineering (the consultancy firm where I would be spending a year on industrial placement). And there was! The news was that one of their clients had just lost a £550m contract, and that the basic upshot of this was that I couldn’t have a job anymore.
The only other stuff I had in the pipeline was CERN (to whom I recently re-applied, having only been selected as a reserve candidate first time around), and MBDA (a bunch of missile-toting warmongering fuckpigs). I wasn’t particularly optimistic of my chances of getting into CERN, and didn’t really want to work for MBDA, with whom I had an interview the next day. Would I be able to sell out my principles and accept a job in the defense industry?
Probably; but it’s all academic since they didn’t offer me the placement anyway. I’d feel happier about this if I had another placement to fall back on, but I’m still not too dismayed at not being able to spend a year at MBDA. It was a slightly surreal interview day; everyone there was really enthused by missiles, even the girl from HR. They all seemed completely desensitized to the final application of their products, and either didn’t realise or didn’t care that they basically get paid to kill people.
The next night I got my brain flushed out by more live music. This time I was accompanied to the good ship Thekla by Charlie Cat and The Boy. Pilgrim Fathers started things off; I’d never heard of them before, save for a paragraph in the “ones to watch” section of Rock Sound magazine, but they were damn good in a kind of folky-doom-sludge-psych kind of way. Gay For Johnny Depp were over-aroused and quite excellent, as ever; not that many of the cooler-than-thou indie crowd cared. And then there were 65daysofstatic, a band who have always been about a million times better live than on record. Not that they’re particularly bad on record – it’s just that their skittish drum ‘n’ bass ‘n’ indie seems to have a bit more oomph when witnessed first hand.
But it's all little more than a brief distraction, sadly. This week I have to go back to real life and start scrabbling around desperately for a work placement...