The evening was spent in the tiny tiny Buffalo Bar, for some proper indie, in the company of carsmilesteve, kittyhewitt, ultraruby, and later charleston, p_dan_tic and perfectlyvague. The first band (after the dude who appeared to be attempting to rap to Warp's back catalogue - yes very experimental but the thing about experiments is that sometimes they fail) was Betty and the Werewolves, who were very much cartoon indie girls in sixties dresses and sixties haircuts tear it up on guitars. They'd probably be quite good on record, but battled a bit against the Buffalo Bar sound system (OK, and the fact that I was mostly sitting down talking). It was only afterwards, seeing two of them in profile as the watched the stage, that I realised that the sense of resemblance between them is partly due to those two being sisters.
After that came The Priscillas, featuring Guri who ultraruby already knows. I actually thought this was one of Delia Manic Cough's bands, possibly I was confusing them with the Scha-la-las. Anyway, they were great, very tight rock'n'roll, a Joan Jett on vocals and Guri arch and imperious on the guitar. My favourite was probably the bassist though, who was both totally into it and clearly having the time of her life.
And after that came what would have been Glamchops but instead (due, presumably to David Devant dropping out) was (p)Art Brut, IE Eddie Argos and the guitarist (I think) from Art Brut + a drummer from another band + Paul who runs Guided Missile, whose birthday it was. It was fairly shambolic, but a lot of fun. I've never actually seen Eddie Argos play Art Brut songs live, and I'll likely never see it in a venue that size, so it was quite the experience.
Then a cycle home - as I was nearing Old Street, I heard an unfamiliar noise, followed by a very helpful dude yelling "Oy mate, your tire's gone". So I had to lock it up outside the Argos, and get the bus home with my cycle helmet on, which vacanthippy immediately identified as a bad sign on first clapping eyes on me.
Up, tidy up a bit, then head down in that same suit and waistcoat as the Saturday before (which I'd not touched for months previously) to the Party on the Tube. There was of course more than one, and I'd be really interested in a timeline of the whole day. I've seen photos of the bit where we were meeting (just outside the Underground station inside Liverpool Street) absolutely rammed. Our group, which numbered 700 on Facebook, was only about 50 at most. We met at 7.45, faffed around for a bit, and were photoed quite a bit, due to suidiceally's idea of being Very Civilised, ideally in prohibition-style clothes. We made our way down to the clockwise branch of the Circle Line, where we were greeted from the other platform by one of the many groups that seemed to be organised in order to prove that no, in fact the public should be treated like children. And then we waited, and we waited, as Metropolitan Line train followed Hammersmith & City Line train. At some point there was a cheer when a Circle Line train appeared on the boards, a mere 13 minutes distant, but this later disappeared. If it was as suggested the work of The Man, I would at least like to think that there's a log somewhere in TfL stating that train was cancelled due to "The wrong kind of goths on the line". Booze supplies were getting lower, and eventually someone (despina?) had the idea of just nipping over the walkway and getting on a counterclockwise train. Which we did, and most of us got on a fairly empty carriage (well, fairly empty before we arrived), while some got stuck with the one behind, from which came the singing and banging on the side of the train that looked like bringing an end to the proceedings. I got off at King's Cross, having added to the numbers but not the statistics, and went to get blind drunk at zenith's farewell do in Kentish Town.
Low energy in general, ending nicely by going out to comedy in The Crobar with Andrew O'Neill. Starring Jesus! Well, Dan Antopolski. Also featuring Luke Roberts, who seemed worried that his new insult gimmick is taking over his act, and Nat Luursema, who I'd not seen before, but is very funny, also wrong.
On the last minute, and also to cheer up tigerpig, I took her off to see the Brandi Borr memorial comedy show, in support of a breast cancer charity. I thought it would be sold out, but it turns out that they had a couple of returns, right next to each other, in the front row if that'd do? I have to admit the highlight was compere Michael Legge coming onstage, greeting the crowd, then looking at me and saying "nice to see you mate". I know it was just a time-filling action, but still it's fun to have happen in front of the entire Bloomsbury Theatre. The first act on was Sol Bernstein, who is an old, old-school Jewish comedian*, the sort who's career should probably have ended after the sharp and socially relevant comedy of Rodney Dangerfield, never mind Alternative Comedy. Anyway, I was always curious about what a proper Borsch Belt comedian was like, and now I know. The rest of the bill was cracking, though: Sarah Kendall, Will Smith, Adam Bloom, tick tick tick (or tic tic tic in the latter's case). We Are Klang have a joke I haven't seen before, and rise to the occasion by corpsing throughout. Matt Kirshen, last on in the first half, has the most bizarre heckler I've ever seen, who actually manages to get his dander up - not by asking if he was beaten as a child, but by declaring that she's bored. Paul and Julian Trap have a musical gag which, just as it starts looking like it's wearing thin, wins us over. Also it involves Paul unexpectedly playing the intro to "This Charming Man", which fair play he nails. And Stephen Merchant is pretty funny these days! He hasn't really gotten over the height thing, but he has written a lot of material about being six foot seven, and his presentation's pretty top-notch. He does occasionally say something in his accent that reminds me of Ricky Gervais, which is a little unsettling, but anyway. In short: top work nearly all concerned.
Down to Angel for Clockwork Comedy, run by Miriam and Clare. That there Andrew O'Neill is the compere, and immediately sinks into the trouble with the venue, which is that the venue is small (and packed with the C&M's mates) and so is the front row, so if you want to start a bit of compere-audience interaction, your options are limited. And it turns out that Andrew and mynameisanna have some bizarre question-answer chemistry which the rest of the room looks on at like a wildebeest in quicksand. But after that, it's just-of-the-plane Steve Hall and two other nearly new acts, one John from the 24-hour-show who has some good ideas and some resemblance of Alan Tudyk, but unfortunately seems to have eaten a lot of sugar just before coming on, and the other one being George Ryegold, who parlays a resemblance to Harold Shipman into some very very wrong medical comedy. And then lovely lovely Wil Hodgson, who just stands and talks about bits of his life with humour and fervour until he's done his time, and we still want him to go on.
Since then I've been having quiet time, apart from 6am Wednesday morning, when khalinche came into my room saying "Andrew Andrew you must get up something terrible has happened
*I understand he's actually someone playing an elderly Jewish comedian, but that doesn't make it any better.
And this weekend should be packed with all the fun: Rocksteady tonight, DJing at Poptimism tomorrow, a birthday party at Stokefest on Sunday.