“The Pixies in my head
are running out of thread,
I offered them some glue
they said that wouldn’t do”
“And I felt like
and I felt like being numbed
I felt like Mesmerised”
(Quite Unusual – Front 242)
SOMETIMES, sometimes the best way to feel alive is to push yourself to the limit of your being. Wandering around a city looking at all the young people can make you seem full of regret. Hey though, fuck regret. I was trying to figure out what it was about last Saturday night watching Front 242 that made me feel so fucking alive. All night pummelled repeatedly by a small Belgian skinhead, (who like a cartoon character would be returned by me to his original position as if he was on an elastic band). It really is quite unusual.
So, spent the whole week preceding with “Midnight at the Oasis” by Maria Muldaur running round my little head which wasn’t the best preparation for an industrial gig. Happens a lot. It’s usually the theme from the Magic Roundabout or the !!! lyric “like I give a fuck” or embarassingly “Forever Young” by Alphaville. Uuurghh.
Baines wasn’t particularly happy about being duped into going to this event, thinking for some reason that he was going to a Maria Muldaur concert. He was shocked to find no sign of shiny perms anywhere, except trace evidence on the scalps of the many skinheads/bald men who populated the Factory of Buttons.
Pre-gig we went to Mulligans and watched the wretched Irish rugby-robots play the
ridiculously cliched Englanders in a sporting occasion so rotten that it felt like watching a set of perpetual motion balls. In fact, it was like watching That Petrol Emotion. Get over it Steve Mack! Oddly enough there were loads English talking about work to each other. It’s facking Saturday people. Baines suggested we drink pints of McArdles with Guinness heads and that helped us on our way. A drink so cheap we ended up skint but with change to spare. People looked at me uncomfortably as I was wearing a Front 242 t-shirt. I suppose due to the amount of Engilanders around, they may have thought that some of Cheltenham’s favourite sons had gone on holidays. They seemed to relax when they heard me use expression such as “Ananyway,” “Oh be the hokey,” “it wasn”t abuse, it was just confession,” “ara dry-up ya big commie” and the age-old Irish slang expression “that’s me fifth dole cheque this week.”
So Baines and myself put the world to right, by laughing at the Engalanders with their sense of entitlement (so you have that here too do you, peasant?) and silly wax jackets. We figured out that no end of rum will end a man; that Baines’s child has no soul; that filter lanes don’t reduce the amount of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere; Sheena Easton was really a total slag; Glic and Jor are only made up Eastern European cities; the devil IS in the details; Stephen Mangan and Sharon Horgan’s new show isn’t hilarious but IS comforting; Ryan Tubridy is the TV creature from Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy” video; Happy Feet was shit and oddly depressing; Santa Claus is German therefore very well organised, well done Santa; Satan can never be forgiven; Natural Law is a key term in the Irish Constitution (Good Fuck) and the Littlest Hobo is dead. Awwww.
In fact, here’s the opening to the show. All very cute until the “right to bear arms” right-wing agenda kicks in. Back to the compound dog!
So we got to the gig and downed drinks. The factory of Buttons is a much more lush place than the cold pretentious TBMC usedta be. Baines bought a t-shirt which he would never see again and ambling up to the front, I caught sight of Danny Glover. I felt chilling pains in my bones immediately and worried for my safety. I was expecting to scratch my chin alot going “alors, alors” but hadn’t realised the crowd were going to go so nuts for the band. I participated gleefully in the mayhem and it was pleasing to know that very few people on the island knew that such a strange event was going on in the capital. A band who have been on the go since 1981 were rcoking out, and if I could’ve questioned a thousand peops in Dubalin, no-one would have known who these four strange guys were. Yet the coupla hundered loons at the gig loved every minute.
The night was organised by those crazy ghouls Tower Promotions who have been on the go for as long as this monkey has had a drug habit/mortgage. They had residency in my ol haunt the Thirteenth Floor and excel at bringing deranged music to Irlandia. Major coup this one, so Kudos Dudos!
Watching Front 242 playing synths kinda reminded me of Stretch’s family who I am told were all sitting round their living room recently, each with laptop on eh…lap, kinda like Kraftwerk do MFI or Dave Gahan’s life now. Scary. Emailing each other to change the channel etc. Still, that’s how most peace processes start, right?
Dancing with men, that’s real;y what it is, dancing with men, unashamedly. If you were asked would you like to dance with men, you’d say NO, but hey fucking presto, there you fucking are, dancing with men. Who woulda thunk it? Anyway, in the middle of the melee I shouted for “Quite Unusual” to be played and just like that they played it. Many revellers slapped me on the back and commended me for my amazing insight. However, due to the synth element of the gig, I suspect the guy just pushed the button marked “Quite Unusual.”
Here’s some footage from the gig. You can just about see me scuttling between legs losing all my shit, spectacles, souvenir t-shirt, house keys. Still it was worth it. My partner-in-crime seems to think I was at some kind of Neo-nazi rally, however I explained to her that men, while singing along with the band, like to show they are making a point about evry line of the chorus. You will see what I mean.
and then some guy loitering at the back pressed record.
On the way home, me and Baines held up a train while we used a vending machine. I balanced with one foot at the door and my hand in the vending machine. The fat controller was angry at us and shouted,
“The train is about to leave”
“But I need crisps, I have no salt left in me body” I intimated.
“Get on the train!”
“Yo, itsa Get on the Bus man” souled up Baines.
Anyway we ended up in Drogheda somehow and felt the need for more drink. We breezed into the nearest hostelry. Aww shit, it was midnight and this place was playing “American Pie” and gruesome men and women were paring off for romance or statutory rape, couldn’t tell which. We sat in the middle of this genetic cocktail and prayed they wouldn’t smell us.
Anyway, I’m tired now and have run out of Hobgoblin. Many a witch has uttered the same words.