Tuesday, March 23, 2004

27 March 2004 (Saturday): Just like a bad dream, I wake up on the sofa Saturday morning and there they are: Mr Coogan and Mr Baldwin both asleep next to me. I promptly check my behind for slipped in cock and find that it is safe. It is still the morning (8 or 9) when I get up and I am feeling fine, no hangover just an enormous sense of wellbeing (I thank you). While the others sleep, I go get Saturday newspapers. I love the Saturday newspapers more than Avid Merrion loves celebrities. I find it very amusing that there are no broadsheets, until of course I realise that means I won't be getting the Guardian TV guide this week. Outside in the Pontins world, it is quiet and peaceful. I feel alone like I have awoken in the movie 28 Days Later and last night everyone's behaviour was proof of the existence of the “Rage” virus in our country. Back in the chalet, armed with a Sun and a Star, without consideration for any others I put wrestling on the tube, hoping to stir up some signs of life.

Ultimately it turns out that Mr Boyle and I have the most life in ourselves, so we head to beach, which is something I was kind of hoping to avoid this year (sand does not leave my footwear with ease). And just as Bill Hicks said: “the beach is where dirt meets water.” I'm sorry but I am unimpressed. I lived in Walton-on-the-Naze for three years and never went to the beach there once. After playing fifteen year old coin-ops (Operation Wolf and Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles) we head back to the chalet where people begin making moves, primarily to visit the inhabitants in Mr Coogan's other chalet. I wear my Millwall shirt, primarily to upset people. When we arrive there, Colin Kearney is just emerging from a shower wearing only a towel and he refuses to give me a huge while Neil Johnson and Phil Welding are getting busy cooking breakfast and weighing up the consequences of drinking some Johnson homebrew potato wine, complete with bits in it. Graciously breakfast is served to us all and suddenly it hits us all what a great time ATP is. Our mass debate sees the first birth of the event, our new seven piece band called Foxy Boxing. Rumours abound of an impromptu Bilge Pump gig happening in their chalet and peoples (particularly Mr Coogan) begin to look rather concerned and worried. Best of times. Time passes but for hours I could watch Neil Johnson wrestling with an old stereo, trying to play Cass McCombs.

With the event of bands starting up, we head out for some music, especially to catch glimpse of Mike Watt. Downstairs and playing first, this is Mike Watt & The Jom & Terry Show. It's an excellent set of what seems mainly covers, so it's all very Minutemen and therefore very good, better than almost anything else you could like. I am really taken aback by Mike Watt's appearance, he looks too thin compared to what I was expecting/believed and now he comes complete with comedy handlebar moustache. Silly man. It suggests just how good the set actually is when I remain listening for the duration (albeit we missed the start turning up late). Promptly we head upstairs for the Boredoms. I approach them with trepidation knowing them to be Melt Banana crossed with wank (fair comment). I also hear them described as an arrogant crappy cult band. True? Rumours abound in the already rammed upstairs including: "there’s tents onstage". What? After such anticipation it begins. Lights flash and the ground hums. Little happens other than a series of beeps and suddenly I feel like I am in the climax of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. I hum/beep along and the stranger next to me laughs, acknowledging (as per usual) that I am right. After a slow start, things get going and it begins to feel like Tomorrow Never Knows, a lot! Our patience gets strained as the set never really seems to get going and we head off.

Downstairs we catch a quick glimpse of what is on, Fred Anderson and Chad Taylor, two real deal black guys doing free jazz. So Tortoise actually are jazz then it would suggest. I honestly think it sounds fantastic for the brief moment I pay attention but really, wrongly, sadly we weren't in the mood (but at least we weren't as discouraging as certain elements in the audience, ahem). Nice! Now here is where it probably all went wrong. Wha' happened? I don't know. Ultimately I guess I had a drink. First we reunited with Kearney in his chalet (best trash someone else's chalet I guess). I can gather some indication as to what the time was as someone was fiddling with the tranny for the football on the radio and then likewise at our chalet I can recall us checking the football scores on the TV and we all thinking that Chelsea had lost. That would cover from 3 to 5. From here on, my chalet mates cooked and I ate their food, yum yum yum. On Tortoise TV was Pennies From Heaven, so that was gash and not worth watching, therefore I drink. As the sun goes, so do we and up popped/arrived Colin Kearney dressed in the latest Starsky and Hutch chic, right in our chalet. We found ourselves treated to his comedy stylings, made all that more funnier by his attire and accent but I can't remember any of his jokes.
Eventually we finally got around to seeing a band and that band was the much mentioned Lungfish. I don’t know, what the fuck are they are about? Just weird to me. They're the golden goose and yet I don't get it, slow droning music accompanying a singer that couldn't look more out of place (and yet in place) who looks like the Grandfather/Uncle from the Smurf Records, which probably would have been more fun to listen to at the end of the day. Still everyone else is in awe which is fantastic to me, care in the community and all that. Needless to say I/we don't stand the pace and leave before the end heading back to our chalet via the shop. At this point I desperately need chocolate. Whilst there I drunkenly buy my Mcslim girl friend (but not girlfriend) a gift, a Chuckles the Pontins monkey key ring because the name Chuckles fits (she is a miserable cunt).

Here arrives the point of "wha' happened?" We had finally hit the Captain Morgan and now were sailing. And worse our mixer for the rum was Blue Charge (lemon incest, cranberry hell and original flavours). And making the moment worse, it was a real freak out to see that the Vicar Of Dibley was closing in on number one on the top of the all time British comedy shows chart, scary. The room began spinning and so did I. I started to fail to recognise the people in my room and basically it was all going tits up. Elsewhere: Mike Watt and the Secondmen: missed them. Bobby Conn: missed him. I do remember being present for the start of the Lightning Bolt set and feeling very tender. Of course I couldn't see the band because the twats play on the dance floor ("ew, where will they set up?"). I think we stuck around for half their set and got fucked off and bored in the heat and the hate. That said, they are an amazing band based on the movie we watched on the TV in our chalet Friday night.
What really happened now though? This is lost in the midst of time. Did we attempt to stay for the beginning of Tortoise's set or did we head back to the chalet straight away? I suspect the latter. Unfortunately the worry of who was going to win the all time best British sitcom award probably weighed most and beckoned me back to the chalet and safety of TV. The fact certainly had me hitting the bottle it seems and this was the exact point where the spinning had to stop and the detox fly out. I suspect all in all, on Saturday I took it a bridge too far with one last large swig of the Captain, it was time to blow chunks. I tore out of our first floor chalet for fresh air and lent over the balcony.

For some reason I was angry. Was I angry at myself? Angry at the world? Angry at indie rock for no longer holding much interest for me? Or was I just angry that In Sickness And In Health had really been stiffed on the sitcom awards. I was angry and not vomiting, I had something inside of me and it just had to come out. I think perhaps this was the point that I pissed off the stairwell for yuks. Thank God, Allah, Krishna, Buddha that I was alone and no one received my golden shower, the world already has enough innocent bystanders. I remember deciding this was a good point/moment to phone my mum to tell her that I was all right. The real sequence of events however is sadly very muddled and very hazed, a genuine blur (“Parklife!”). Eventually out came my post rock vom. Entire chunks of other people's pasta hit the floor running. I started so I finished, I heaved four times big style over the balcony. The people below must have wondered "what the fuck?" comparing the show to the time it rained frogs in one of those other countries that you see on television. I returned back inside the chalet exuberant, exhilarated by my detoxation. Inside there were faces I did not recognise and my high was soon knocked down by some butter head refusing to shake my hand (an act of hostility).

Motions were made towards actually catching some of Tortoise's set and I, with my second wind now well in place, shot to the task and headed to the upstairs stage with vengeance. I say this but actually I cannot remember any of the steps towards upstairs, especially negotiating getting past security and actually climbing the stairs. I was on autopilot. Fortunately we did return to find Tortoise in full flow and, joy of joys, there they were playing my favourite Tortoise song. I enjoyed their performance, even without the ability to stand straight. Inside I was doing the drunken motion circle which probably looked, to an any lucky onlookers, like the latest in interpretative dances. That, or some lout on the razz with too much going on inside of him. Still, it all ended jubilantly and the night now seemed really young, this was the one to go for it. Mr Baldwin and Mr Coogan were acting like their usual precocious selves, like pissed up versions of Sam and Frodo in Lord Of The Rings. They hooked up and latched onto some girl called Lisa who used to be in a band called Twist (a YTS version of Hole). They possessed a genuine glint in their eyes, they had found their ring. Myself, I just lost track, obviously I was not cured of my illness just yet. And maybe this was why I lost Coogan and Baldwin. Was I unable to keep up with the pace or did they just dump me? You guess.

Luckily I crossed paths with Marceline and that was able to guide me back down to sea level as the real come down period ensued. Upon finishing with her I was lucky enough to bump into Joe from Bilge Pump, which pretty much sums up the great thing about ATP, you are always bound to bump into someone you know sooner or later. Done with him I went for a wander (though probably more a stagger) and bumped into Colin Starsky & Hutch and with him, a whole load of other cronies who were off to have a party in chalet 327, home of Foxy Boxing.

Upon arriving at Noel's House Party, from out of nowhere someone had some blow. Never one to turn anything down and cause insult, I dove straight in. One problem though, no one was lending me their rolled up pound notes with which to chase the dragon. Myself, I was a too pissed to actually roll up my five spot (tight wad). After many efforts, it finally got there and I hit pay dirt with rocket fuel. This was where things really got good. Moments later Baldwin and Coogan turned up with Lisa, crazy for some glue. Dang mate, just too late. Still I was feasting on it all. It really sooths the ego when people are telling you how great you are and quoting your Bob Tilton remix and telling you that it is a “masterpiece”. And then I was actually told I was a “legend”. That never happens. I love it, I love you all, just give me more blow. The place was hot. More rumours abounded about a Bilge Pump set being performed from this chalet and I soon realised that this was it, or at least as good as it was going to get. At one point I find myself shouting "blowjob" without even realising it and then spending an eternity wondering why. As a result I got peculiar looks. I was also sitting, talking gibberish to a ginger person I have been running from all weekend. As a rule, I don't like them gingers, they is sneaky. Did I hear someone say they had some horse?

With so much energy around us, we deem the chalet insufficient to fulfil all our social needs so we head back to Queen Victoria bar because "that's where the stars hang out" We arrive there and immediately I feel lost. I see a Mogwai, then all Part Chimp. I'm sure there are others around but I just don't recognise musicians anymore (although I could pull Neil Harris, Paul Ifill and Tim Cahill out of a crowd of thousands). I see the guy from Lungfish looking shot to bits, acting just as bemused as me by our surroundings. I then saw Mike Watt and his silly moustache, finally I was in awe. I don't really feel like speaking to performers (or anyone really) this weekend but him, him I almost go up to, if for nothing else, to thank him for the interview he did for me for No Pictures five years ago. I edge closer to him and then finally we are pretty much face to face. We stare at each other for ten seconds and I just give, I have lost the power to speak to him, to anyone. A sad tale that.

By now Mr Baldwin is mentally pissed and Mr Coogan is starting to get down on females some more. Mr Baldwin is up for food, he the man. At some point we check out the downstairs dance floor and it is dead, so instead we chow down on Cheap Ass Fried Chicken. By now I'm calming down but Bad Baldwin is now in full flow and insisting I have some of CAFC's mustard ("it's fucking lovely but don't pay for it"). I get my food, something resembling KFC and chips and ask for my mustard. Apparently they don't sell it, so what the fuck are they giving Baldwin? I look down and Baldwin is putting curry sauce on his chips but he's insisting that its mustard. I submit and compromise at curry sauce and then the gimp charges me 20p or something, "but he told me not to pay for it?". No dice.

There is nowhere to eat our food so we go outside and sit at the benches. Bad idea, it's fucking freezing. Mr Baldwin bitches me out and tells me to hurry up and eat fast. I scoff like a person with an eating disorder and soon we find ourselves back inside the Queen Victoria where incidents transpire and Mr Baldwin and myself promptly find ourselves with Mr Coogan back outside on the benches once more freezing our tits off and worse, without any food and or any other kind of sweetener. Albeit I am freezing, I am actually in pretty good spirits so I suggest we head back to chalet for warmth and safety, which eventually the others oblige to. Returning inside, it looks like Five Easy Pieces is on the tube, something nowhere near worth bothering about. Beaten by the elements I turn in while the others appear to speed off back out in a spectacular attempt at saving (savaging) the night, the time now being well past 3 AM.


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