I haven’t told you about the rest of last weekend yet, have I? OK, as quickly as I can, then…
After the Stones concert (of which more below), I beetled straight down to Vauxhall, for the one-off The Cock Live event at Crash. Goodness me, but it was Trendy Wendy Central down there. Wacky hairdos galore, and more “ironic” mullets than a man could shake a stick at. Such delicate little hot-house flowers, the lot of them. Could any of them even begin to exist outside Zone 3? Indeed, while waiting for my posse to arrive, I amused myself by trying to picture them shopping for groceries in Ashbourne. It didn’t compute.
Actually, I found this resurgence of wacky hairdos and self-conscious “individuality” rather re-assuring; maybe there’s hope for our youth after all. It all reminded me of hanging out in Berlin nightclubs in 1984. The same stock figures were there: the tight little bopping gaggle of impeccably dressed Japanese girlies – the extra-large woman with the black bob, white make-up, black shapeless floor-length dress and the “seen it all” scowl – the clubland “face” weaving through the crowds with his phalanx of outriders fore and aft (“important clubland face coming through!“), complete with the little wannabe fella trotting along at the rear, content just to be walking in the same direction – one or two token tattooed love gods (for balance) – and the occasional “I just don’t get where this is coming from at all” out-and-out fruit loop (my favourite being the dude in the striped flannel pyjamas, clutching a copy of the Daily Mail all night). As for me, I was more than happy to do my “retired elder statesman beaming approvingly from the sidelines” act. From the Stones at Wembley to this, in just under an hour? Talk about culture clash.
The assembled Bleeding Hedge Poserati had gathered together in order to witness live performances from no less than four Bleeding Hedge Neo-Electro Whatever They’re Calling It This Week acts. First up were Synthetic Pleasures: an arresting looking trio comprising one masked skinny lad in teensy-weensy red rubber shorts, one masked skinny lad in high heels, teensy-weensy black panties, and clip-on braces attached to his stocking tops, and one rather sweet-looking chunky skinhead in a yellow rubber one-piece that can only be described as “unforgiving”. They started shakily and somewhat nervously, but rapidly improved, and I ended up warming to them considerably.
By this time, I had hooked up with David, Luca, Dr. Bitful, Jonathan and several of their friends – although we lost Jonathan almost as soon as we had found him (his own account of the night can be found here). Goodness, the years haven’t been kind to Keren & Sarah from Bananarama, have they? Oh, silly me, it’s The Readers Wifes innit? Hahahaha! (Bitchy observation nicked from Luca. And since he’s no longer able to blog them for himself, I’ll also be helping myself to choice asides from David, and brazenly passing them off as my own.)
All year, I have longed to hear The Readers Wifes perform their marvellous Top 200 hit single, Bitch At The Brits, and they didn’t disappoint. Why, they even had the good grace to perform a Stones number as well (Let’s Spend The Night Together), thus neatly linking the two halves of my night together for me. Much obliged, I’m sure!
I had already seen Atomizer perform once this year, down at Duckie on the first of my Apotheosis Of Blog weekends, and I have to say that the intervening six months seem to have blunted their edge somewhat. A touch of Superstar Complacency had set in, I thought – which is a bit rich when you haven’t even released your first single yet. The haphazard energy and loose-cannon aggression had been toned down, the performance had been polished up, and – most noticeably of all – singer Jonny Slut had put on a fair bit of weight round the old tum. (On the other hand, didn’t I read an article in The Guardian announcing that beer bellies on skinny men were the New In Thing? Oh, I just can’t keep up any more…) “I’ve been on the Atkins Diet!”, he quipped, as he peeled off his top to reveal those trademark blacked-out nipples. That feathery jockstrap (which had impressed me so much in February) had seen better days, as well – it was beginning to look a bit mangey and moth-eaten round the edges. Still, cracking good entertainment for all that.
Finally, all the way from New York City, The Scissor Sisters: a proper band, with guitars and drums and everything. Their lead singer reminded us variously of Leif Garrett, Roger Daltrey and Rik Mayall, only with perfect teeth and perfect tits (when I could tear my eyes away from the heart-meltingly cute, clean-cut, boy-next-door type on guitar, that is – it was nearly 2:00 and the Red Stripes had kicked in Big Time by now). Sometimes rocky, sometimes synthy, and sometimes both, The Scissor Sisters were on a whole different level from the self-consciously outré cabaret nouveau acts which had preceded them. They were bloody good, in fact – and duly went down a storm. (Godness, real live atmosphere in Crash – now there’s a first!)
At one point, as a chugging, mid-paced disco-rock number started up, complete with daft Bee-Gees style falsetto vocals, I thought “Hey, another Rolling Stones song! I am blessed!” Except that it wasn’t Emotional Rescue after all, but a radical re-working of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. (I have since located this on an absolutely splendid new compilation CD called Hotel Pelirocco, which I cannot recommend too highly: Dusty Springfield meets the Climax Blues Band via Add N To X and Noosha Fox’s long-forgotten S-S-Single Bed, and it all melds together surprisingly well.)
Finally, a bouncy neo-electro DJ set from Mark Moore, heavy on the Giorgio Moroder influences, in which seemingly every single track sounded like it was about to morph into Bitch At The Brits. (“Stupid, pushy and needy, Christ! you people are greedy…”) An alarming version of Toni Basil’s Mickey was enough to tip me over the edge and send me running for my taxi. (Me to David: “It’s alright – it’s an ironic deadpan cover version – we’re safe!”)
And after the party there’s the hotel lobby…
Not in this joint, mate. Say hello to your s-s-single bed!
There will be more weekend jinks tomorrow.
(Sneak preview: I got the part in the play. Woo! Gulp!)