Friday, September 20, 2013

Fuk Reddin'

It would be ten years to the day that we played the main stage at thee Reading Festival with Speedhorn.  I'd been to that festival as a kid, five years running between 94' and 98'.  It was the dream to play that stage, a dream I thought had a snowflake's chance in hell of coming true.  I mean, I'd seen the likes of Helmet, Jesus Lizard, Teenage Fanclub, Radiohead on that stage, what was the logistical possibility that I'd be up there myself one day?

And then there I was in 2003, in front of twenty thousand odd people with Raging Speedhorn, my mum, dad, sister and girlfriend all side stage, proud as fucking punch.  And that was that.  It was alright.  We'd done a couple of other big shows by that point, a couple even bigger than Reading.  Don't get me wrong, it was still a buzz going up on that stage but if anything I was happier for my family than myself.  I could see the pride in my parent's eyes and it was that pride that gave me the biggest buzz of all.  I hate to sound like an ungrateful cunt but we were having problems within the band by then and it kind of took the shine off the whole thing.  And I do hate feeling that way because I know there are a lot of people out there who would have given anything to have been on that stage, just like I would have all those years before, but a few years in the music business when you are genuinely only in it for the music, can get to you.  And I guess by that point it had gotten to me a little.  Reading Festival was by then just another gig.  We'd played about four hundred or so shows in just a couple of years and had been through all the usual bullshit with labels and management ripping us off in that time. 

When you have that adolescent dream of going up on that stage you're dreaming that you will be lifted right there and then from the crowd and into the headlights, thousands and thousands of eyes looking right at you, and you would shit yourself with panic and excitement in equal measure and then afterwards when you've done it all the adrenalin washes over you like a tsunami and you would feel like you've just been on Jim 'l fucking Fix It!  It wasn't quite the case with us... We'd arrived the night before in the back of a white van in the pissing rain, denied entrance to the backstage area.  Me and Jen were sat on top of a couple of guitar cabs with a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Cranberry cordial, we'd even failed to get the drink right, we were of course supposed to buy the actual juice.  We didn't even have a glass, we'd take turns at taking a swig of voddy followed by a chug of cordial and mix the fucker in our mouths.  And it was pissing down outside.  And there we slept, on top of the cabs.  The big rock stars.

Like I say, the gig was ok, in fact, it was really good, of course it was, there were shit loads of people there.  It's just, it wasn't how I'd dreamt it would be.

Ten years on and we were playing the punk retaliation to the corporate event, labelled Fuk Reddin', with Diagnosis? Bastard! in Tottenham, North London.  I was certainly not disillusioned this time around, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and I couldn't wait!  Coincidentally, my very good friend and ex Speedhorn band mate Gordon was working as a tech for Funeral For A Friend at that other festival a few miles up the M4.  Funny that.       

I'd flown in the night before to Heathrow and made my way across the tube network to Deptford, where Kev and our gang of mates live and work and where we'd practice the following day before making our way up to the fest.  Three of us coming in from Stockholm, all on different flights.  You'd think we hate each other.. Viktor had been in since this morning but he another agenda, namely his new girlfriend Bea, who is an old friend of Luk’s, who he met here when we played last time around.  We'd be seeing Vik tomorrow.  Lucas was coming in late since he had to work.  We'd be staying at Viv's place again who had kindly offered her flat to us even though she's away the whole weekend.  My plan was to meet up with Kev and some of the other guys, get some grub and a few beers and then wait for Luk.  When I get to London Bridge Kev texts me telling me to head straight for Overdrive Studios, around the corner from the coffee shop he helps run.  When I get there Wayne puts a cold can of beer directly into my hand.  Good start to the night.

It’s a warm summer’s night and a cold can of lager goes down a fucking treat.  We hang out in the street by the studio which lies underneath the railway arches. Marv Varukers, who owns the place with John Conflict,  is around, as are Steve from Nausea and his wife who are over here for the week from New York.  Marv is his usual amiable self, chatting away as he necks a can or two.  Steve seems like a decent guy, very American but nice enough.  Marv and I have a funny history.  He was part of the old Nottingham crew that encircled the Iron Monkey guys and was very close with Johnny.  He makes it quite clear that he had no time for my old band, “copyright infringement” I think was the term he used, but although there was tension between those two crews there’s never been anything personal between me and Marv.  And these days he’s sporting a quite stunning Victims tattoo on his neck, a band I guess he holds in somewhat higher regard than the previous lot I was with.    All that Monkey, Speedhorn bullshit appears to be long over now anyway.  He takes the opportunity when he can to take the piss but that’s a given. We actually talk for a while about the Welsh valleys where my dad’s side are from, him being a Cardiff boy he’s only too happy to talk about his proud homeland.

We’ve been waiting for Jamie and as soon as he arrives the four of us head to The Orient, a great Chinese restaurant that has become something of a tradition every time we’re in London due to their outstanding black bean tofu and salted aubergine dishes.  Worth a trip down to Deptford just for those.  Jamie, Kev, Wayne and I fill ourselves to the brim and then head to a new “hipster place” that Kev, with more than a hint of guilt in his tone, admits is “alright”.  Nan’s Bar is on New Cross Road right at the top of Deptford High Street, its entrance a temporary door in a wooden building site outer wall.  The place is tiny, smaller even that our bar in Stockholm and done up just like your grandma’s living room.  They even serve the cocktails in china tea cups.  It’s all very obvious but cool nonetheless and the guys running the place are really friendly.  Needless to say the tiny space is packed and we squeeze into a corner with a couple of Irish girls who are friends of the gang.  Wayne has bought me a pint of Tiger, the only lager they have on tap, and the fact that it’s cold is about the only positive I can think of.  Not that I’m ungrateful, of course.  But it takes a while to drink, it’s heavy, gassy body not settling too well on top of the food I’ve just devoured.  When it’s my turn to get the drinks in I scour the fridge and decide upon a bottle of Brooklyn Lager.  I’m not really in the mood for it but it’s a fuck sight better than the Tiger which Wayne is only too happy to have another pint of.  I know exactly what shit Kev is going to hand out when I go back with the beers and he doesn’t disappoint.  “I fucking knew it!  Fucking Scando toff!  Look at im, less beer for more money, typical!”  I’m of course happy to point out that the same beer would cost twice as much at home and in actual fact this is what I consider cheap as fuck.  “Cunt” mutters Kev and it rolls on from there.  Fucking love it. 

I was thinking Lucas would be arriving in time for a last pint tonight but it turns out he’s not getting in until around one am.  We’d headed to the Bird’s Nest thinking we’d meet him there but by the time he texts us telling us he’s waiting for a train from Gatwick it’s already gone midnight.  What’s more he’s encountered some top notch treatment at the hands of the trusty English service industry.  He’d asked a guy working at the statio the simple question of what train he could get to Deptford, the guy’s reply was, “Not today mate”.  And that was that.  How the fuck is that even an answer?  I get that these people hate their jobs but Jesus Christ.  It ends up being that Lucas gets as far as London Bridge and calls us.  Kev informs him of the various bus options that will get him to the Bird’s Nest, Lucas tells him he’ll take a cab.  “Fucking typical…” mutters Kev again.

We’d been at the Nest with Misa, our Japanese friend who is absolutely mental but in that wonderful way all Japanese people are, at least the people I know who I’m lucky enough to call my friends.  Misa loves my black, cabin suitcase and she asks me if I have it with me this trip.  When I confirm that I indeed do have it with me she bursts into fits of laughter and then commences to mime walking about with it around the pub, leaving a few onlookers a little bemused.  Love her.

We end up meeting Lucas in front of the coffee shop, both me and Kev a little tipsy, bear in mind I’ve had four pints and a shot tequila, which these days is rather a mammoth amount for me.  Lucas spots the glint in my eye straight away and has a chuckle to himself.  We go into the coffee shop and sit about munching on Wayne’s veggie sausage rolls, which are also another reason to visit Deptford.

It’s late when Lucas and I settle down at Viv’s place and the two of us nod off in the middle of a long, sleepy conversation about girls.  Of course, it’s Lucas doing most of the talking and me doing my best to hand out some hard earned pearls of wisdom but failing for the most part.

We walk over to Deptford in the morning and head straight for Café Bianca on the High Street.  They do a great English fry-up although I’m gutted to find that they’re out of veggie bangers, but the breakfast goes down a treat all the same, nothing quite like a huge plate of fried food and a greasy cup of tea to wash it all down with.  The two of us sit there afterwards discussing the merits of such grub but concluding that as superb as it is, there is no way we could eat it every morning.  I do love it but once per trip to the island is enough for me these days.  It’s fucked up to think that there are people that start every day of their lives this way, a quick glance about the café and you can figure out which are the regulars in amongst the crowd.

We spend the best part of the afternoon hanging out at the Waiting Room watching Kev work as we drink coffee.  The weather has taken a turn for the worse and the rain is now miserably drizzling down from the grey sky above, doing nothing to quash the humidity unfortunately.  After a couple of hours we decide to take a respite from the shop and go for a walk down to the south bank of the muddy river, just at the bottom of the street past Kev’s flat.  We walk around in the rain talking about fuck knows what for an hour or so and then head back, by which time Vik has arrived and has a smile the width of The Channel across his coupon.  I guess he’s had a good night.

We have a couple of hours booked at Marv’s place to rehearse for tonight.  Marv is around and in sombre mood.  The news was out today that Joey, the drummer in Eyehategod has died, aged just forty seven.  There has been nothing said of what the cause was but Marv is sure it was smack.  Fucking tragic.  He had a seven year old daughter too.  Marv knows the guys pretty well having toured with them over the years and he’s understandably gutted.  It seems like Joey was a good guy and will be missed by many.  Fucking smack, what a shite way to go.

We go through the set once before Kev joins us, having got off work early.  It’s sounding good and we go through it once more with Kev and then play him the three newest songs we’ve written.  He seems pretty chuffed with them.  Looking forward to recording them for an upcoming split with Hello Bastards.  As we’re packing down Marv plays us a couple of tunes from a new band he has with Pablo amongst others, that sounds good.  Really heavy Sabbath style but dirty as shit.

Chris from the tattoo shop has come to hang out too and he’s been scanning the internet to find the best way to get home tonight after gig.  The thought of travelling back to Deptford on about four night buses at two am is too much of a nightmare to even think about right now.  It’s mind blowing that the tube in a city the size of London closes at midnight.  I know it’s the oldest tube network in the world and requires a lot of maintenance but fuck sakes.  Chris hands us a print out of our options for later which is very kind of him.

Jamie comes over in the car and takes the gear we need for tonight with him, we hop on the tube and make our way up to Tottenham.  The rain is heavier by the time we exit Seven Sisters station and trek up the road to the venue, which is a place called T Chances and is apparently an old German community centre.  Marv is having his wedding party here next week, an event Bugs are playing.  We head into the venue and check the Fest out.  There are a few punks hanging out in the car park under a tent but thanks to the weather most of them are inside, something which is of great advantage to us since most of the scum punks, as they’re known, would rather stand outside drinking the cans of beer they bought from the offy than pay fifty pence more for the beer inside.

To be fair there are sixty bands playing this event, of which I’ve heard of about three.  We’re up to about the middle of today’s bill by the time we arrive and there are a good amount of punks in.  There is a large carpeted room where the “big stage” is as well as all the distros and merch and there is a smaller room with a bar and a small stage that is around ten centimetres in height and which thankfully is where we’ll be playing in a few hours time.  I was worried we’d end up on the big stage which would not have been good.  Much prefer the intimacy of the smaller room.

There is a room off the main corridor of the venue which has been put aside for bands and gear.  There is no one officially guarding the room but there is this crazy old boy dressed in a string vest who seems to have taken the duty upon himself to do so.  He’s talking to anyone who will listen about fuck knows what.  He makes a comment about my Vans shoes, noting that the style matches the chequered floor, I politely nod and exit.  If he wants to keep an eye on the gear then fine.

The night drags on and we make our way back and forth between the venue and the car park, keeping ourselves in order with the booze, waiting to play and checking out the odd band.  The Vile, Rat from Varukers band are on a short while before us.  They’re not really my thing.  Sean Hard to Swallow used to be in them but the terrifying looking skinhead on bass beat the fuck out of him a while back, so I’m told.  Fuck knows what that was about but Sean isn’t in the band anymore.  You can see by the look in this guy’s eyes that he’s a genuinely nasty bastard and I make a mental note to myself to stay the fuck out his path.    

By the time we play the stage is running about an hour late and instead of starting at ten it’s closer to eleven.  It’s still raining heavily outside so the whole venue is relatively full but then Coitus are playing the big stage at the same time as us so we know we’re up against it.  As it is there is a good crowd in the small room as we start the set, deciding to start with an instrumental riff from one of the new songs that is a lot slower, figuring it’s probably a good idea to give people a chance to figure out we’re playing before the fifteen minute set flies by.  It works pretty well as a few more punks filter in by the time Kev shouts “Diagnosis fucking Bastard!” and we blast into the song of the same name.  I spend most of the time on the floor in amongst the crowd and really enjoy the show.  Except for the odd occasion when my guitar viciously de-tunes and the fact that the only thing I can hear is my guitar thundering through Jamie’s amp, that he’s been kind enough to lend me, the set goes smoothly.  It is a pretty weird feeling to look at Kev flying about beside me screaming and Vik behind me hitting the fuck out of his kit and I can’t hear any of it, all I can hear is myself.  It’s as if they’re miming.  Kind of off-putting...

Before we play Am I Stupid? Or Idiot! Kev attempts to dedicate the song to Joey Eyehategod, although it doesn’t really come off although the intention is commendable I guess.  “This song is dedicated to…what’s his name?” he looks at me. “The guy from Eyehategod who died.  Stupid cunt.”  Of course Kev doesn’t intend to be out of order with such a comment.

Wayne has turned up out of the blue tonight.  We’d met him earlier but he was supposed to be working tonight.  He’s a chef at a pretty fancy vegetarian restaurant in Primrose Hill.  Just so happened that the place flooded under the pressure of the rain during service and they were forced to evacuate everyone.  He made his way straight up to Tottenham and by the time we’d started playing he was pretty fucked.  I only realise this when I look over to Lucas, wondering why it’s taking him so long to start the last song, Join the Queue, and see Wayne mauling him and attempting to open his belt and pull his jeans down.  He eventually gives up and we blast through the song and then as soon as we’re done I see him heading straight for the back door out to the car park.  We see no more of Wayne for the rest of the evening.  It turns out he went straight home.  Steam boats.

Chuffed with the gig, we set about drinking beer in earnest, which in my case means about four cans before I’m sauced.  It’s the way it is when you have a six month old at home…We hang out by the merch stall and watch Hannah Bugs’ other band Defcon Zero play their set.  It’s actually Hannah’s final London show with the band.  She’s a great drummer, plays fast as fuck and totally has her own style, but you can tell she’s not having a great time of it up there tonight.  Her boyfriend Ben plays guitar in the band although he’s so steaming he’s not playing much of anything tonight.  As they were setting up before their set he’d been stood around without an amp completely scoobied.  He hadn’t even bothered to ask anyone for help, or just didn’t know what was going on, but then Jamie came to the rescue with his amp and set it up for him.  Good boy is Jamie.  Like I say though, Ben hardly even strummed his guitar during the entire set.  I was well on my way to getting drunk too though and thought the gig was great.  I told Hannah as much after the set to which she replied, “Really?” not convinced in the slightest.  My boozed tinged ears genuinely enjoyed it though.

The band before Defcon are a Czech mob called Malignant Tumour who play a completely acceptable form of Motorhead injected thrash metal.  What I don’t really understand though is the fact the entire band are wearing joke clothes and cowboy hats as well as party wigs and fake moustaches.  Looks fucking ridiculous.  The scum punks lap them up though and the place is pretty packed during their set.

We sell next to fuck all in the way of merch, something Kev had forewarned us about.  “It’s not a merch buying crowd..” No shit.  It looks like most of the punks in the place have been wearing the same clothes for the last year.  I must really stand out in my slim fitting, nicely washed Gauze t-shirt.  I actually feel a bit conscious of it the more beer I consume.  And then I find myself thinking how much I respect these people for simply not giving a fuck.  One guy buys a shirt and another one, the bass player in the band that played before us, a sludgy metal outfit called Swinelord, wants to buy a record.  He’s out of his fucking mind though and struggles to count the required four quid from the smash in his palm.  Eventually he looks up at me and asks, “Are you the guy that was in Raging Speedhorn?”  I admit that I am indeed, “Fackin najs one mayt!” and then stoats off in search of more money.  I had seen Kev talking to him before he’d approached me and the fucker had in fact pointed him in my direction.  Now I know why.  Kev hates talking to old Speedhorn fans..

Whilst hanging out in the car park later on I get talking to a French guy called Dave, who plays in the band Filthy Charity.  He tells me that he really liked the gig.  “Big surprise, big surprise! He says in wonderfully thick accent.  He tells us that he’d noted there was a Swedish band on the bill but given the general tone of the line up he was not expecting us to sound the way we do.  “Big surprise, big surprise.:” he repeats numerous times.  He’s a lovely guy and we have a good chat in the rain.  He tells us that if we’re ever in France then we have a gig in Marseille, something I’ll be only too happy to take him up on sometime down the line.

Not many of the Deptford gang have made it up here tonight due to the utter pain in their arses that four night busses would cause.  One who has made the journey though is Kelly Apple, although by the look on her face she’s had more than enough of the place.  First I meet her in the car park after talking to Dave Charity and she suggests we go to a rave.  She looks bored off her tits.  Then a while later on as we’re stood about inside the main room she hands me her drink and says, “Hold this for me Gaz would you, I’m going toilet and I can’t be arsed with some punk that smells like piss knocking it all over me!”  Brilliant.

It’s one thirty am. and I’m a little drunk and tired and the thought of the journey back down south is a harrowing one.  I could happily take a cab with the others, pay whatever it costs, back to Deptford and head for a last pint before heading to Viv’s.  And then suddenly, like a redeeming angel sent from the heavens above, Jamie tells me he’s driving his car back to the promised land that is South London and that we can take a lift with him.  He says he’s only had one beer and can’t be arsed having any more only to have to take a bus later.  I could smother the bastard in love, so golden are these words to my ears!  I tell Luk to go fetch Kev.

Luk comes back laughing his ass off, explaining that Kev is boats.  Apparently he’s decided to stay.  Apparently he’s cornered Dean from Extreme Noise Terror and he wants to have words with him.  When Luk had told him we’re leaving he grunted, “No.  I’ve got Dean ENT cornered!  Five more minutes and I’ll have the bastard!  Tell Gaz, he’ll understand.” 

Luk had implored him to come, explaining the golden opportunity that is Jamie’s lift.  Kev grunts that he’ll be out in five minutes.  Whilst we’re waiting for the old turd to return we end up doing a bit more merch business.  A girl who knows Kev wanted to buy a record and we told her we’re happy to dig one out of the bag in Jamie’s car boot.  She doesn’t want to be a hassle but we assure her it’s no problem.  We ask if she wants a shirt too but she tells us she only has five pound and some change.  We tell her that will do.  All the while we’re conducting this business Luk has been giving her a shoulder massage from the back seat of the car as she has been sat on the edge of the open hatchback.  All you can see is Luk’s hands doing their work and his eyes in the darkness of the car.  “What the fuck is this?  A record, a shirt and a massage for five pound thirty two?  Are you guys like the nicest punk band ever?”

Kev finally turns up but only to reaffirm that he’s staying.  “I’ve got him cornered Gaz!”  We double check and double check again that he’s definitely staying and then we fuck off in Jamie’s car.  It’s pissing down and the windows in the car are steamed up like a fucking sauna making the journey pretty interesting.  We fly through the street of London and get back to New Cross around two fifteen and make our way straight to the Amersham Arms which is the only pub open until three.  Just as we pull around the corner to the street that the pub is located on a shadowy figure steps out into the road causing Jamie to slam the breaks on.  We all yelp in unison but the thud never comes.  Must have been fucking close though!

The pub is packed and there are two hipster girls playing shite, loud music on a raised DJ alter.  They are quite clearly in love with themselves.  At one point one of the girls catches me and Luk looking their way, but in actual fact Luk is pointing out some artwork on the wall behind them.  She looks over at Luk as if to ask, “What are you looking at?”.  Luk just sneers and looks away, completely unimpressed.  Fuck how I do not miss being single.  Or young..

I’m really quite pissed by the time Luk, Vik and I end up back at Viv’s. 

I wake up in the morning in panic.  Viv’s flat mate, a girl we’ve never met before is in the shower.  IS there only one toilet here?  I fear so.  My stomach has turned itself seemingly upside down and I have the biggest shit on record demanding to be released.  The sound of the shower continues for the next ten minutes.  Ten minutes I’ve spent pacing about the living room with my guts bubbling, wondering if there is a café nearby where I can release this horror and whether I’ll even make it there without it flying out of me.  I have cold sweat running down my back and my head is pounding from last night’s beer.  I am near the verge of crying.  When she finally vacates the bathroom I shuffle furiously down the hall and let it all out.  I’ve rarely been so relieved.  I imagine a scenario with Viv asking me later on how the stay was and me having to explain I shat on her living room carpet.

That horrible episode over we head back over to the trusty Waiting Room.  Kev’s back in town.  Apparently he’d slept at a friend of theirs, a Canadian guy called Sean who is mega rich and lives in an apartment in the Centre Point building.  The story is that Sean was an internet pioneer and the man responsible for bringing it the public in Europe, into the realms of commerciality.  He made a fuck load of cash and retired at the age of thirty and spends his days going to punk gigs all over the place.  At least that’s the gist of what I pick up from Jamie.  Kev had slept at Centre Point anyway.

Luk and Vik are heading home today.  I’m sticking around until tomorrow and then I’m meeting Jen and Polly at St Pancras and taking the train up to Widnes for the week to hang out with my family at my sister’s place.  Luk leaves around midday but Vik comes with us in Jamie’s car back to the Fest to see Slow Plague who are opening the big stage.  We make a quick stop at this vegetarian café that is near Jamie’s work and then turn up at the Fest around three.  The sun is shining and what punks there are seem to be hanging out in the car park.  There is barely a soul watching Slow Plague.  Me, Vik, Jamie and Sean stand alone at the front of the dance floor and watch them play their set.  Vik has to leave before the end and as we go to see him out I crack up when I see Wayne’s girlfriend Clara sat on a seat with her back to the stage, not even watching her boy play.  Vik leaves and tells us to say goodbye to Wayne and Pablo and when we head back inside I see that Kev and Clara are now stood watching the guys, but it’s a depressing gig.  Not unlike many I’ve played myself over the years.  The boys don’t really seem to give much of a piss though.  “They’re used to these kind of gigs” Kev laughs in my ear.  They end their set and Wayne announces that it was dedicated to Joey Eyehategod.  Not one of the handful of punks stood further back down the hall seem to listen, or care.

The atmosphere amongst the few in the car park is subdued to say the least.  Ben, Hannah’s boyfriend seems to have skipped the whole hangover thing and went straight back to pissed.  Wayne is looking hungover but insists he’s on for a long night of it since he’s still off until Tuesday.  There is this older punk guy called Monkey, who is taking over from Hannah in Defcon and is playing in a band tonight called Cavity Search, who is very chatty and very cockney and he’s been walking around with drum sticks in his hands all afternoon.  He gets talking to Wayne and I in the band gear room and asks Wayne if he’s watching Cavity Search later on.  “Yeah definitely! Really looking forward to it. What time are you on?”  Monkey tells him they’re on last, around midnight.  Wayne grimaces. “Er well, er, I’ll do my best” not altogether convincing anyone.

Bugs play around six pm in the same room we played.  There are around twenty odd people in the now sunlit room.  Funny how this place looks different in the light.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen Kev play bass with a  band.  I don’t know what to expect although I expect to have fun watching them but as it is they blow me away!  For a start Hannah is just awesome to watch play, as is Wayne, flying about the floor like a demented whirlwind.  And then Kev and Jamie just bang it out fast as hell.  I have a great time watching them and feel an immense pride watching Kev play bass, the neck of Street Bass marked out with numbers so he can keep a track of where he’s supposed to play.  They wipe the floor with the place and I feel totally chuffed when they’re done.  I could almost drink one of those luke warm beers they’re serving in the bar.

I get about half way through the can before deciding that in actual fact it’s doing fuck all for me.  Actually it’s only making things worse.

The mood amongst the lot of us, except Wayne and Clara, is contained and Kev is talking about getting paid and heading home.  Something I’m in complete agreement with.  There are punks turning up in greater numbers now and with it being bank holiday Monday tomorrow I’m sure the night will be as wet as the preceding two days.  One punk, some big beefy bastard with a bleached blonde Mohawk announces his arrival by puking up in the car park, right next to where a gathering of other punks are sat.  None of them make to move.  It doesn’t seem to bother them.  Bleach Blonde doesn’t seem to give a piss either and steps right into his own bile as he turns away and cracks open a can of cheap lager, only making the slightest of swipes with his sleeve to his mouth as to clean away any remaining chunks before swigging on the can.  I crack up a while later when he staggers over to us, hanging out by Jamie’s car waiting to leave, and tells Hannah that he’s booked Bugs to play a squat show in a couple of weeks’ time. 

When Bugs get their fee for the gig, Kev, Pablo and I head off to the tube station and make our way back to Deptford.  We’re playing two shows over a weekend with Bugs in Copenhagen in a few weeks’ time, something that should be a lot of fun and should witness a lot of alcohol being consumed.   I say my goodbyes to the gang, telling them how I look forward to their company again in the near future.

Kev and I part ways with Pablo at London Bridge and take in a curry on the New Cross Road before one well earned, good pint of ale at the Albert, a trendy pub just at the top of the High Street.  Well, I enjoy a pint of good ale, Kev goes for a pint of Amstel.  He tells me he doesn’t like the taste of beer so he couldn’t give a fuck about drinking real ale or whatever other hipster shit.  In all honesty, as good as my pint of IPA is, it’s a struggle to get it down.

The night comes to end with the two of us sharing Kev’s double bed, watching the Japanese classic Violent Cop staring and directed by Takeshi Kitano.  I couldn’t think of a better way to end the night. Tomorrow I’ll follow Kev to work and enjoy the fabulous coffee they serve there one last time before getting a quick tattoo done by Mucky and heading off to St Pancras to meet the girls. 

It’s been a superb weekend in the capital.  I enjoy London so much more these days now I no longer live on the island.

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