Jorge Casualty – “Wyngate who?”
Up bright and early for breakfast. I bring my house keys down and leave my room keys locked in the room. It’s soon sorted out but I can’t help thinking that the new landlady is wondering what kind of idiots she has allowed into her establishment. It turns out to be only the third most embarrassing moment of the day.
There’s things to do in the morning such as buy toothpaste. I pick up the cheapest tube in Boots dental section and only realise when I open it that it’s denture adhesive. This is the second most embarrassing moment of the day. I may fall asleep at gigs, but I still have all my own teeth.
There are a lot more people at the venue today. A lot didn’t come down until today to save money. The Olympia turns out to have the worst sound of all the venues, and that’s saying something. If you’ve never been shouted at by a Brummie while a jumbo jet takes off nearby I would recommend watching Indecent Assault in the Olympia for a similar experience. Onto the other highlights.
PRIMA DONNA OF THE DAY Simple! Are Chelsea on the bill? Then it’s Gene October! “Are you having a good time?” he bellows “because you don’t look like you’re having a good time”. He tries to get us to sing along, but with b-side No Flowers rather than Right To Work which the whole room could sing along to. He’s just teasing today. I once saw him storm off mid-song and not play another gig for several years! I suppose Friday afternoon in Blackpool is frustrating for someone who once said he’d be bigger than Bowie.
BUILD UP OF THE DAY The Arena is packed for Splodgenessabounds. Cue build up complete with The Omen theme. Then Max Splodge walks on with a chirpy “Hello – only me!” It made me chuckle anyway.
POTENTIALLY IRONIC MOMENT OF THE DAY Peter & The Test Tube Babies finally play the main stage in the Empress again. They are obviously brilliant and go down a storm. Afterwards there is the unusual phenomenon of a queue for the men’s toilet. Trying to hold on I realise that it would be more ironic than anything that Alanis Morrisette could dream of if I was to have an accident in the queue after watching Test Tubes play Never Made It To The Bog In Time. It would be hilarious …I think… Anyway, here’s some footage of a lot of men old enough to know better shaking their bladders
UNLIKELIEST “REUNION” OF THE WEEKEND – London SS? The band who variously featured Mick Jones, Paul Simenon, Brian James, Tony James, Rat Scabies and Chrissie Hynde? Is it the original line-up or is it one original member I’ve never heard of before with some cronies? Have a guess! I don’t think the original version even played a gig . I give it a miss. It opens an interseting avenue for future bookings though. Perhaps The Crucial Three, without Mac, Wylie or Cope?
COLLABORATION OF THE WEEKED What would be your ideal collaboration? The Beatles and Dylan? Bowie and Pink Floyd? Metallica and Chris DeBurgh? All irrelevant. Today Paranoid Visions and Steve Ignorant are playing their soon to be released collaboration album. What could go wrong? Well, the stage in question is the Olympia, and Steve doesn’t seem entirely sure of his cues (I’m not even sure his mike was working). Still the new stuff sounds good.
MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT OF THE DAY Hotly contended! The Casualties are playing. They are quite big these days but I used to know them a few years ago – put on a gig for them, followed them around on tour once, and interviewed singer Jorge a couple of times for fanzines. I haven’t seen him for over 10 years but he is on their merch stall having his photo taken with various fans. I say hello. He doesn’t recognise me, which I expected, but my attempts to jog his memory also fail. He obviously thinks I’m another random fan come to say hello. He asks if I enjoyed them and I mumble something quickly trying to avoid saying “I went to watch Paranoid Visions instead” but that’s pretty much what comes out. I hastily retreat before I dig any deeper!
And while I’m on the subject.
BEST MERCHANDISE OF THE WEEKEND It was nearly Eastfield’s fridge magnet (“Another Boring Eastfield Fridge Magnet”). Singer Jessie seemed highly amused that I actually bought one (I had my own reasons!). But the undoubted winner is Casualties underpants! I didn’t buy them you’ll be relieved to hear.
BAND OF THE DAY – The Restarts blast through their great set so loud the sound problems in the Arena become almost irrelevant. They also try to get a circle pit going – scary in this place. Frontman Keiran drily notes the cross-cultural nature of the mosh pit, as it soon reverts from the US circle style to a more traditional English style of pit. Predictably a highlight of the weekend.
SHOWMEN OF THE DAY Can’t beat The Adicts for a bit of family entertainment.
SET OMISSION OF THE DAY I like The Defects, but why don’t they play Defective Breakdown? It’s not like they’ve got a massive back catalogue. In fact I’d probably pay money to see them play just that song 15 times in a row. Other than that they’re mostly good – just play Defective bastard Breakdown next time. Anyway here’s them playing a dodgy Bob Marley cover instead of Defective Breakdown (weary sigh)
ODDEST BOOKING OF THE WEEKEND AND IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL Space. Yes, 90s britpoppers Space. Female Of The Species hitmakers. Why? The programme explains their links to the Merseyside punk scene, and that they are now very influenced by post punk. It urges us to put aside our preconceptions. I would, but The Exploited are playing at the same time.
MOST IMPENETRABLE SETLIST OF THE DAY The Exploited are headlining the Empress. To the average punter it can be difficult to determine what song they are playing. You have to have a high level of expertise and even then it’s a challenge. It’s not helped by the fact that Wattie’s accent is getting more Scottish as the years go by. Listening to his introductions I think they are going to play “A Pea (Pee?) Is For Life”, “There’s A Coin” and “Revenues”. Instead they play Chaos Is My Life, Noize Annoys, and Daily News. My mate says that Wattie got the lyrics wrong to UK82 – I have’t a clue how he can tell. Wattie still bangs his head with the mike for no apparent reason and says “Wot?” between songs –who said showmanship was dead?
Another long day over, an even longer one tomorrow. At least I managed to stay awake through Exploited.