Monday, March 22, 2004

28 March 2004 (Sunday): Sunday morning just how Lou Reed saw it I expect. Except I am awoken by a text message at 6.59 AM: "You still off your nut on coke? Was it any good or shite gear? Hung-over 2 shit but good day?" Could have done without the rude awakening to be honest. Beyond that I fail to sleep much further into Sunday and soon I am out doing the newspaper run while the chimps sleep in the chalet. I didn't hear Mr Baldwin or Mr Coogan return but obviously they did. I return from the paper run, via taking a photo of my amazing vomit, and the room remains dead. I flick through the entirety of the Sunday papers and the room remains dead (remember of course, no broadsheets at Camber Sands so it's a quick job anyway). I am reduced to making myself breakfast loudly with other people's food as a method of stirring people into action. Eventually people start to murmur by my third lap of reading the Sundays. By now I am bored and eager to get going, time is really flying and soon bands will be starting up beginning with Shellac.

While everyone is content to slowly cook breakfast/brunch/full-on lunch I feel the real urge to go see Shellac (considering they were the reason I chose to come to this weekend instead of the infinitely better looking second weekend). I go alone, feeling subtly betrayed by my hung-over chalet sharers. Upon entering the downstairs I find it horrifying to see just how rammed it all is and I barely get a spot stood sideways to the stage. As I entered the hall word was that Lightning Bolt were playing a set from out of their chalet. I had this recommended to me, I decline. Instead I chose to bake inside the hall and at least take in some of Shellac. Their first set seemed almost like a going through the motions process and as well as opportunity to play several new songs. All reports from their Thursday London set was that they were a bit sloppy but had a stack of very fine new numbers. I can't remember if it was this set or the later but Bob Weston did come up with a great joke in "what's black and blue and gives good head? My son" I didn't even realise he had a son! I tried to get into them but for the first time I failed, things were just too uncomfortable. The new songs were hit and miss but the song about a radio show sounded horribly wicked to me and proved the main highlight of the set. That and Todd Trainer's apparent persistence in remaining a Dot Cotton look-alike.

After the set I headed to outside the Queen Victoria to the benches where distros were now being set up. I listened to the indie rock equivalent of Abu Hamza go on about nothing and sucker a few people in. By now some of my chalet mates were around, all full of beans. I purposely chose not to drink on the Sunday. I have to admit I did over do it on the Saturday and I had a bad taste in the back of my mouth/throat, actually left over by the blow. Once again I failed to really socialise, instead I was a spectator. Musically, sadly the line-up Shellac had chosen for their day proved really uninspiring. The next band up were French Toast, with their Fugazi and Make Up links but bets were down they'd not be all that hot snot. Mr Coogan really wanted some AC/DC, which actually would sound really good as an alternative. While bands and individuals performed all afternoon, we just choose instead to hang out in the sun and do jack. At some point we checked the Shellac TV channel and only saw Barry Lyndon and no one wanted any piece of that. We watched Eastenders for a little while and it was pointed out that I look like Janine Butcher (thus the picture on Friendster), they had had a few.

Bored we soon left to return to sitting on the benches. And we were not alone in sitting outside the Queen Victoria, there was Mike Watt and Chan Marshall about as well (not together mind). Mike Watt looked like the new Mike Watt, looking as if he were enjoying it all and probably thinking "fucking England is getting weirder and weirder". Chan Marshall though was amazing looking, I really was breath taken by her. And I had noticed her long before I realised that she was the Cat Power lady. Go figure. We went for a wander and had another round of air hockey and more Simpson coin-op action. Although I was going the day without drinking, my booze hound friends were not as disciplined and soon we were to be found inside the Queen Victoria, much too early in the day. On the screens was the Old Firm derby of Celtic vs Rangers but we didn't pay that much attention because both teams are crap.
Here Mr Coogan collared John Mogwai for some conversation and when our drinks were gone we headed back to the chalet and Mr Coogan coaxed John Mogwai back with him. To be honest he must have wondered where the fuck he was judging by his reaction because we knew him but he didn't really know us (except Mr Coogan), it almost felt as if we had kidnapped a celebrity. He had good gear though and I had found my new best friend. After a hit off his super pipe, I was toasted but then came more (excessive) rounds of bifta. Tristan also gave us some of his stash and eventually were cooking and eating hash like proper dope fiends with semen stains on our trousers.

John Mogwai made his moves out eventually while us fools stayed behind giggling like gimps and missing such great acts as Whisper In The Noise, Entrance, Atombombpocketknife and whoever replaced Luke Haines (we will never know). Instead we all caught the end of Rushmore on Shellac TV and then the beginning of the Big Lebowski. I truly felt like The Dude. When Mr Coogan was cooking up he accidentally scalded his hand and after a few mentions I cracked the sickest joke ever and couldn't stop laughing for about thirty minutes either way. Not everyone would appreciate it though and therefore the joke remains a secret. We pretty much stayed put for a hell of a long time once toasted. I had gear to the point that I felt short of breath and I was about to explode in a cloud of my own vomit. I'm not sure if the others felt this way but I suspect they were ok, they were drinking. Our stir-fry pasta meals were now taking a turn for the worse being devoid of any sauces and morale was now beginning to falter.

We headed out to somewhere as a group and we spent some time at the amusements, cack handily playing the Simpsons coin-op and air hockey asking random strangers "do you know John Mogwai? What a great guy". I wanted some quidney cup action on the air hockey front but it wasn't to be (and probably for the best as Mr Baldwin, pissed as, smashed me to the ground on the field of airplay). Elsewhere we could just about hear McLusky playing but boy are they super shit. Stoned and short of breath, we ended up in the least of smart places, the sweltering upstairs hall. Time passed without noticing and soon we were lying on the floor almost passing out as Arcwelder did their set in the distance. As per two years ago, it was a very good Husker Du -esqe set which Mr Baldwin likened to Nirvana, although we didn't really pay that much mind to them. We moved to the back of the hall where it appeared darker and therefore perhaps cooler (a shade inside?). Not really so but a lot more comfortable than being trodden on by strangers en route to the bar. Stupidly we flaked out upstairs instead of checking out Uzeda playing downstairs, never mind.

Happily I stayed put at the back for the remainder of events until Shellac finished their set while Mr Coogan and Mr Baldwin went off for more adventures. I think I probably got a better view of Shellac than those closer to the stage, in the midst of the shuffle. Their second set was much improved on the first, feeling more to the point with the songs everyone knows. The highlights for me were the pounding versions of Crow and Wingwalker. Again they performed the new song about the single person radio show ("CAN YOU HEAR ME? IS THIS THING ON?") And in the space of two hearings in one day I pretty much had a new favourite song. It was a bit of a real endurance staying up for the whole set after so much pot but it ultimately was worth the effort to see them doing Spoke for the first time (for me) and how they simultaneously dismantle the drum kit with Trainer still playing it at the end (how playful). Its sad to say but it was an enormous relief when their set was finished and I just headed for my bed before I fell asleep somewhere unhealthy.

Back in the safety of the chalet I flipped on the tube to find the climax of Animal House, the perfect way to end things. People started to phone me asking where I was, but my party was over. Everyone else however still felt hot and up for more partying. I told some people that Animal House was on and when a few returned to find Fargo on instead, it just made me feel bad. As I was really passing out, Greg and Kat Kitten called round to say "hi" at the end of things, them finding me not at my best. After they left, I fell asleep only to be awoken a few times during the night by Frodo and Sam but pretty much that was it; basically I'm too old and can't take it anymore.


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