Posts Tagged ‘Moral Squeeze’
Yaz: So, how are you enjoying your new job?
Moral Squeeze: Well, it’s not exactly Shakespeare, but I’m earning a decent salary.
Yaz: I’m sure Shakespeare picked up the odd copywriting gig for his local butchery or whatever.
T: To eat, or not to eat?
Moral Squeeze: Tired of your salad days? Try some meat!
As I walked into the Astoria, I was hit by some truly sweet muthafuckin country acid house music. No matter that I didn´t know the actual song, I was hooked…
On paper it didn´t look like this was gonna be my best concert ever. I was there on my lonesome; familiar with just the first of the band´s six albums; and my only buzz was from lack of sleep. But bear in mind my previous concert excursions have generally involved two or more of the following:
a) American rappers;
b) the Belleville Velodrome;
c) the company of drunken adolescents;
d) a parking problem;
with only the lure of freebies to sweeten the experience (thanks Moral Squeeze!).
On this occasion I had spent my own money to see a band of my choice, and at a decent venue, nogal. If Irvine Welsh could dance to the boys from Brixton without chemical assistance then so could I. I promptly befriended some middle-aged men wearing cowboy hats; they hoisted me up onto a conveniently placed ledge; and I partied the night away from the best view in the house, at least until the belligerent security guy flashed his torch in my eyes and told me to get down.
I knew a few of the old favourites (“Woke up this Morning“; “Ain´t going to Goa”); and discovered some “new” ones (“Too sick to pray“; “Hello… I´m Johnny Cash”). The evening ended with a triple encore: the sublime “Holy Blood”, “The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness”, and “Sweet Joy”, which gives “If you were the only girl in the world” a 21st-century makeover.
And then the show was over, bar the after party. As I drifted out the theatre to the strains of “Sweet Home Alabama“, I contemplated whether to continue my night in Brixton. I wanted to, I really did. But I was by myself, had no idea as to the exact location of the venue, and was about to collapse due to lack of sleep, so I wimped out and caught the next train to Bedfordshire.
I haven´t really told you about the music yet, have I? I tend to agree with whoever it was that said “writing about music is like dancing about architecture”, if only because I am a) lazy, b) intimidated by my lack of musical knowledge, and c) all too aware that my measly words won´t measure up.
But what I love about Alabama 3 – apart from their gravelly vocals, their irony-laden personsonae, their intertextual lyrics, and the fact that they have all the right politics – is the way their songs seamlessly provide a musical education. Their mishmash of country, blues, and gospel over techno beats has got me hunting down influences, references and sequencers all over the Interweb. Oh, and my CD collection is sounding rather different than it did a year ago. Long live Presleytarianism!
I managed to get barely an hour´s sleep, only to be woken by Kate´s panicked voice: “Trinks, you´ve pressed snooze twice already. Your bus leaves in half an hour. You need to get up!”
I staggered out of bed. I really needed a shower. I also needed to finish packing. Admittedly, I had half-packed the day before, which, at the time, I thought was a supremely cunning plan. Alas, it turned out to be only 50 per cent of a cunning plan.
I stumbled round the room, randomly chucking items in my suitcase. One of these items was my new laptop. Somehow it didn´t occur to me that a) there are computers in the UK, and b) their plugs are different. As well as the laptop and attendant paraphenalia, I blithely packed my camera charger, my phone charger, and my iPod charger. Overall, I must have lugged at least 5kg of incompatible technological equipment across the sea for no good reason.
And this was before I even began on the clothes. I was at a loss without Moral Squeeze to restrain me, and packing, as you may have guessed, has never been my forte.
“Should I take the long black dress or the little black dress?” I asked Kate indecisively. She patiently advised the latter, while I stumbled around some more. “Where is my eyeliner? I simply cannot go to London without my eyeliner,” I declared. (Nevermind the fact I rarely use eyeliner, since I am unable to apply it without looking like some kind of racoon, despite having previously worked at a fashion and beauty magazine).
“Trinks, I think you are still drunk. And in the throws of an extended Bridget Jones moment!” said Kate, barely surpressing her laughter. “I don´t want to be Bridget!” I wailed, conveniently forgetting that some years ago I had attended a fancy-dress party (theme: the fictional character you most resemble) as none other than Ms Jones. Call it part of my mispent youth.
Back to the dilemma of the moment. “I don´t want to be Bridget!” I wailed. “I am a strong independent women. Without issues. And with sexy underwear. Not at all like Bridget!” I sounded pathetic, and strangely unconvincing, even to myself. But, despite histrionics, we were in fact (almost) ready to hit the road. I grabbed a bottle of chardonnay and my Silk Cuts and we made a dash the bus stop.
My day didn´t get better. Without Kate around to jolly me out of my hangover, I was stuck in travelling hell. In brief, my itinerary looked like this:
1. Bus from Vaduz to Sargans
2. Train from Sargans to Basel
3. Bus from Basel to EuroAirport*
4. Flight from EuroAirport to London Luton**
5. Bus from Luton to Victoria***
6. Train from Victoria to New Malden
7. Walk from New Malden station to Elm Road
8. Collapse into bed****
* The EuroAirport is cool. One airport, three countries. Believe it, because it´s true! I also ate some very expensive food there, which made me feel slightly more human (although still primarily alien).
** Note to self, and other travellers. It is a much more pleasant experience getting felt up by svelte Swiss security staff than their British counterparts.
*** There is a reason that flights to Luton are cheap. Because it isn´t even in the middle of nowhere. It´s like, far out on the edge of nowhere, when “somewhere” is on the opposing edge.
**** That would have been nice. But I had plans for the evening. Plans that had been booked and prepaid on the Interweb.