Sex and Drunks and Rock and Roll

I've been a bit busy. I've also been extremely drunk. Here's what I remember:

Friday 26th August 2005
Mid-morning: Try to fix Max's computer again. It needs a complete OS reinstall, but he doesn't want to go through the rigmarole right now.

Mid-afternoon: Send a txt to Mark S, arranging to meet for tonight's gig. He doesn't reply, but his message of last night said he liked the idea.

1700: Cycle over to Band HQ (aka Paul's House), for tea and demo CD packaging with the band, followed by lugging great big amps, guitars and a drumkit into two taxis. I'm providing the microphones, some cables, and the highly specialised technical know-how of plugging everything in.

1830: Arrive at the pub, lug everything inside, set up, and move the equipment around until all the cables reach and none of the band members are likely to bang their head or trip up.

1900: Go to meet Mark. Wait for 45 minutes alone in the cold. Walk back, sending him a very slightly sarcastic text message.

2000: The band are supposed to start playing, but as is traditional spend a while tuning up again while waiting for enough customers to arrive to make a decent crowd. I spend the time chatting about music recording to a vaguely familliar young man who is friendly, intelligent, and just happens to be absolutely gorgeous.

And, of course, so completely straight that he's not bothered by the man in a dress sitting opposite. He has brought two skimpily dressed rock chicks for Anna and her boyfriend to lust over. One of them buys a copy of the band's CD.

2015: Sion R arrives with his wife, Michelle. He buys me a drink - my third barcardi and coke (with house doubles). I am already more than a little tipsy and from this point my recollection of the evening becomes more and more vague. I should emphasise, I have no tolerance for alchohol.

2030: Strict Machines start playing, and rock everyone's socks off from the first chord. They really are very good.

2110: The final chord rings out, and the 50 or so people crammed into the Old Vic give a cheering ovation. Paul directed the crowd to the band producer and roadie, who was selling cheap CDs of the band.

As I recall, I shouted out that price of each CD was "£1:50...or £1 and a snog". This would have been after my fourth barcardi. A stubbled stranger took me up on my discount offer, and after three kisses, he assured me he was completely straight and gave me a pound coin for the disc.

2115: The next band set up. They are a three piece of men in late middle age, and I don't think I ever knew their name. They play 70s rock standards in a way that is highly competent, well rehearsed, and dull as a long weekend in a mineshaft.

I got another drink and navigated around the crowd. I bumped into Tim, who ran the gym I used to go to. Everyone loves Tim. He's a happily married bodybuilding cross-dresser who's become a communal shoulder to cry on and dispenser of sensible advice.

Anna arrived and I proudly told her all about him. Just before she told me he was her next door neighbour and she didn't know any of it.

Possibly around 2130: I found my way into the pub garden, and found Fabio B (Strict Machines drummer and phlegmatic Italian) sitting with two Polish girls. He invited me over, and we spent many happy minutes comparing the phonologies of our respective languages.

I mentioned I knew Esperanto, and Fabio said he'd like to learn it. So I gave an improvised introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of nia bela lingvo internacia.

The next thing I remember is doing the same thing to another Italian fellow - a middle aged complete stranger.

Maybe around 2200: At some point, I found the stubbled fellow again. He was somewhat drunker than before, and we became quite intimate - he protesting all the time that he wasn't gay. Though he protested less when I stroked his hair, and not at all while his tongue was in my mouth.

By now, the third band was playing. They're a three piece, with a Japanese girl drummer, and a repotoire of covers, and that's all I know about them.

Jan (Anna's mother) appeared. She and Stubbles (whose name might have been Kevin) were old friends, and she was feeling lonely and unsteady on her feet. There was much three-way hugging.

Sometime between 2300 and Midnight: Having drunk somewhere between six and eight barcardi and cokes (with house doubles), I helped with reloading the band gear into taxis and rode back to Band HQ. There may have been someone riding on a stairlift, and I remember being sprawled on a rug and being greeted with the words "You utter cock!"

Saturday 27th August 2005
0100: I was beginning to sober up enough to realise I'd left my bag - containing my phone - in the pub. Anna had taken her mother home, and Fabio said we should arrange a time for me to teach him some more Esperanto. Paul and I sat talking about hypocritical middle-class attitudes to intergenerational friendships, and I left after 0200.

02:45: I sat in a park eating fried chicken and chips, which sat on my stomach like a concrete bowling ball. I cycled home and watched DivXes of Blake's 7 and Doctor Who, befoe going to bed shortly before 0600.

0830: Woke up for no good reason, and thought about the conversation Sion R and I had had the night before. He's got a £450 8-track digital recording device, which is smaller than my computer's keyboard. When I want to do music recording somewhere other than my bedroom, I have to hump a PC tower, CRT monitor, and assorted peripherals around.

With Strict Machines thinking about recording again soon, and my idea about producing albums for other bands, a portable studio seems a good idea. I could record on site, and take the recordings home to work on them at my leisure. I spent the morning researching semi-professional multitrack recorders for under £500.

1200: After phoning, I revisited the Old Vic to pick up my bag. The caretaker/co-owner said I'd been "properly ratarsed" the previous night, but decided I was okay when he saw me talking to Tim. Any friend of Tim is a decent bloke.

There was a text message on the phone from Mark S. Saying he was sorry he couldn't come but he'd had "one of those days" and looked forward to meeting soon. He seems to say that quite a lot.

1300: Sleep.

1500: Woken by a call from Simon M asking me to help him set up a PayPal account. I said I'd be round at 1630.

1630: Woken by a call from Simon M, saying could we make it 1700.

1700: I set up Simon's paypal account. He's bidding on Ebay for all sorts of stuff, but hasn't got around to deciding when he wants to sell - which was the whole point of getting him onto Ebay, so he could simultainiously (a) clear out five decades-worth of junk and (b) stop being broke all the time. And he calls me a ditzy old queen.

1900: Cycle to see Sion and his multitrack. He knows nothing about the physics of sound, so his grasp of sampling, encoding and DSP is minimal to nonexistant. At his request, I improvised a lecture giving the bare bones of the subject, relavent to him producing a demo CD for his heavy metal band - Infra Rouge.
It's now 0200, on Sunday. I still have to write some lyrics of 'Rattle', and I'm rather enthusiastic about getting a multitrack device that doesn't a taxi to transport.

I keep bumping into people who were at the pub, and they've all said they hope I'm feeling better, and that I was obviously having fun. When I ask them exactly what they mean, they come over all vague and refuse to make eye contact. Did I do something of which I have absolutely no recollection?

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