So come evening, and the beginning of a weekend so tight-packed that in places it's scheduled down to the hour, I'm ambivalent about the gig. (I also, faced with the washing-up, forget invite 1, tea at Jason and Charvy's, to my chagrin. They recently got an Eglu, and I've still not met the chickens; and Jason's been buying toys on e-bay again, and has something he wants to show me. Oh well.) I'm ambivalent, text Alx reluctantly, half-flattened by a great and powerful need to chill the fuck out; but I've a marginally better chance of doing that in beery carpeted gigspace than in my chaos home.
Right I am. Turns out Dialect is a soft noodle-icious ambient munge of laptop guitar and projections of roads at night, trains, travel, and a dandilion clock burning, then unburning, again and again. Loud but more enveloping than agressive; less wall of sound, more warm bath of sound. Let your tension drift away... Synaestheisa lass mumbled something about them tasting like rare shellfish (perhaps abalone?) but she was barely audible. Discernable. Whatever. Not so for the headliners Stafrænn Hákon, however, a Norwegian bigclevernoise band that regarded the chattering audience with detached amusement before drowning them in a tidal wave of sound that filled up senses and then carried right on pumping more noise in in under high pressure. Predictably enough it came in freighted with huge sensory overflow, mostly in the sixth sense area (not ESP, as Hollywood teaches, but your awareness of where and what you are) and I spent the next half-hour or so having my head compressed into the shape of a migraine aura while my legs tried to twist themselves two-dimensional (though from outside my head I probably just looked like I was grinning and twitching). Shift your earwax. On the way out, wished gingerprincess (?) luck with her Audioscope flyposting, and then dragged Alx and a stray concourse home to show them the porno-grafitti video to Fat Boy Slim's Slash dot dash and the episode of Samurai Jack where Jack fights a lot of zombies in a spooky graveyard. Oh, unspeakable evil.
Thence: Bed, sleep in so no time to tidy room. Panic provoked quick look-out for stuff for my Serbia visit, made up an envelope for that. Comic shop (good back-up strip in 2000AD at the moment, but Terra Obscura sudsy and dull, the only character I can relate to it the one who is lying at home letting a computer probe his living brain, and I think he's the bad guy) then off to Oxfam Book Shop. Give them a big carrier bag of childrens books (we're short at the moment, especially of childrens novels) and spend half the afternoon on the till as we're short staffed. Bored and (still) hungover. Turns out there's a trick to pushing the buttons ... put in an hour on the mural after closing, no time for much but I tidy up the Oxfam logo and add in a nice eel. He looks cheery. And draw more leaves. Which is unbelievably dull. Then to the 50th birthday party of the lover of the best boss I ever had; their band playing a low-fi cover of Toxic, DJ in the living room, garden evolving terraces through a summer of vast DIY effort. The top terrace is like an open-air garden temple, with poles and a yellow rowan tree and two big bowls, one full of fire, one full of water. We throw spices on the fire. The shed needs palladian columns ... I drink about two bottles of wine. Will I die? Not tonight. Following morning internal alarm clock functions perfectly. We're in London by noon, where I make an unfortunate sandwich choice and Damian ends up with cheese oil on his trousers. Never mind; here's that new courtyard by St Paul's, Knightrider Terrace, half of Glastonbury dumped on the South Bank at the invitation of the mayor. We linger among the sound-shells for a bit, then the Globe for the all-female Much Ado about Nothing with charliedisaster. Wall to wall big pants and fake beards, dirty jokes and nasty plots, and fabulous, fabulous dresses. And Josie Lawrence in drag (Benedict with kiss-curls) ... very sexy. Especially the bits where he's trying so hard to be lover-boy though it's really not him. Yolanda Vasquez (Beatrice), Mariah Gale (Hero), Rachel Sanders (Don John) ... so many beautiful women ... later I find I bruised myself clapping. Heh. The tide was low and the fairs were out in force, so I dallied on the sand and watched the old-time merry-go-round where you can ride on luridly painted ostriches. Damian wonders aloud if they can still make punch cards -- Kylie and the Pet Shop Boys for the steam organ. We go back via the Jubilee line, change at Westminster, mind the gap where its computer-game-chic concrete vastness intersects with the shabby tubeline past of the circle line to Victoria and home.