Friday, September 12, 2014

London (Deptford)

Woke up on the floor of Kev's living room and for a minute I thought it was all just a shitty fucking dream.  The feeling of relief was fleeting though, barely there a second.  It wasn't a fucking dream.  My passport was gone.

Somewhere between the departure room at Gate 17 Arlanda and customs at Gatwick my passport had disappeared.  That feeling when you go for your pockets and realise it's not there, and for a split second you tell yourself to calm down, it is there, just look again.  But it wasn't.  I spent the morning on Kev's phone trying to track it down, trying to get a travel document to get me on my flight Monday morning, hoping for a miracle.  It's not happening though, my only option is to head to the passport office in Peterborough on Monday and order a new one.  I'm hoping I can get home by the end of the week.  It's fucked up feeling like a prisoner on your own island, I'll be gutted when the lads leave at four am on Monday morning for their/our flight home that I won't be getting on.

The bastard is we'd had a really fun time on the flight over last night.  When we boarded the pilot had warned of possible light to moderate turbulence on route.  Now light I'm ok with but moderate had me ordering a gin and tonic from the bar service.  Me and Vik had a couple each and we spent the entire flight laughing and taking the piss out of each other.  The turbulence never came either.  I felt a little buzzed when we landed, not pissed by any means, but in a very good mood.  Chuffed to be out playing a couple of shows with the guys.  I was hoping we'd make it to Deptford in time for a pint at The Albert.  Needless to say any such good mood was soon to be extinguished.

Of course, I was expecting nothing but a piss take all day but the guys can probably tell it's not the time.  Grateful for that I decide there's no point in destroying myself over it, what will be will be.  There are still some shows to play and if I don't forget about this shit for a while then there is no point in playing the shows.

I had an appointment with Mucky for a couple of tattoos and although I wasn't exactly in the mood, it was his day off and he'd kindly agreed to come in to the shop already.  It was actually nice getting them done, took my mind off things for a while,  Mucky joked about how I seem to do this every time now, getting tattooed before playing a run of shows.  I guess now it's a tradition you can't mess with it.  When we were done we grabbed some lunch with the boys at the café, adhering to another tradition that is the mighty Sith Burger, quite possible one of the hottest burgers around.  Veggie patty, jalapeño cheese, extra jalapeños, Sarrachi hot sauce, and the legendary Deptford Death Sauce to boot.  It's a fucking monster but it tastes great.  We were joking about the stench that was bound to be left in his living room tomorrow morning, Luk just shook his head at me and my burger, “Plain ignorance”.

We were practising at Overdrive Studio which is ran by Marv and John Conflict, we had a few hours booked in to go through the set with Kev.  Always good to see Marv.  His band are on the bill tonight, Smack Battalion, who has our old friend Pablo on bass, looking forward to seeing them.  It's a great little scene here in Deptford, with the shop, the café and the studio, the Bird's Nest just round the corner.  Kev seems to know everyone here, every one that passes him on the street has a hello for him.  There's this crazy old guy. Rupert, I think he's from Uganda or something, he always sits outside the tattoo shop, shouting and laughing.  We sat and listened to him and Kev talking for about five minutes, I didn't understand a word of it but Kev translated afterwards.  He had been joking about the upcoming Scottish referendum, saying that where he's from you don't get a yes or no vote, you vote no you get chopped up and hidden in a box.  He was pissing himself laughing the whole time he was saying this...

Anyway, practice went well.  The set was sounding tight.  Afterwards we all helped Marv push the back line from the studio to the Nest on a trolley, along the main road littered with brale pavements.  Marv joked, “I bet you won't find Speedhorn doing this”.  I just laughed uncommitted, not wanting to get involved in that conversation.  We had two trips back and forth and then the first thing Viktor has to do once we're loaded in is gaffa tape a leg on to the Nest's bass drum that we're lending for the night.  With enough tape and a brick in front of the drum it should stay in place though, Vik seems fairly confident.

We have nothing to do but hang out in the bar and have a couple of beers whilst we wait for the crowd to show up.  The Nest is so small it doesn't take many to make it good but I notice by the time the first band go on, Don from the tattoo shop's three piece, there aren't that many people in the house yet.  It feels a bit strange since there's been a bit of a buzz about the gig, it's kind of a release fest for our split tape with Hello Bastards who are on before us tonight, as well as a fund-raiser for Jocke D-Takt who lost a lot of his label's stock, including our records, in a flood.  And then the word goes round that some asshole has been acting weird at London Bridge station and causing a security risk, being that it's 9-11 the cops are extra sensitive and the station is closed down, making it hard for anyone north of the river to get here.  Fucking typical.

By the time Smack Battalion go on though a pretty good crowd has amassed.  There are a lot of friends here of course, Jamie, Chris, Karl and the tattoo shop gang, the whole Deptford crew.  And of course Misa, our crazy Japanese friend who always has two pints on the go at the same time and is always laughing.  She always used to obsess over my cabin bag I would have with me on my travels but now here attention had shifted to my new crew cut.  When I meet her the first thing she does is rub my head furiously and then grabs it and rubs bonce against mine, laughing crazily.

Being that we have an eighteen month old daughter at home and I haven't slept properly since she came into the world it usually only takes me a couple of pints before my head begins to numb and I start to feel drunk.  I've had a couple already by the time Hello Bastards come on although I'm actually feeling fine, I still decide not to risk it though and tell myself I’ll look forward to a cold one after our set.  The Hello Bastards set begins with Max their singer talking about 9-11 and makes the point that there are 9-11's going on today, all over the world, in some countries it's 9-11 every day.  It's a fair point well made.  They then blast through about twenty songs is as many minutes and leave the floor over to us.  Good job.

It takes a while to get going.  Marv has hooked up a guitar cab on either side of the small stage but I have no idea how any of that works.  I track Marv down, he's stood outside having a pint, and he's happy to help get me sorted.  Time is pushing on towards the eleven pm curfew and I'm raring to go.  I've got Pablo and his girlfriend Raquel stood in front of me looking chuffed and I'm dying just to do this thing.  It feels a bit strange starting with the slow song from the tape, Hypnotic Eye, but it works as a kind of intro and then we're into DB, back up to normal speed and flying.

The set flies by in a whirlwind of chaotic noise, I can barely hear Kev or Luk although that doesn't effect me, as long as I can hear Vik's snare, which I can, somewhere over there in amongst the feedback.  Not being either a) pissed or b) hungover really seems to work for us when we're playing shows, we should try it more often.  I have a feeling we won't be keeping that up though over the next few days.  It makes a huge difference though when you get to ten minutes into the set and you can still breathe...

At one point in the set my guitar cab over by Luk cuts out and I see Luk motioning to me to stop, Jamie on hand to sort it.  Back up and rolling again and of course I break a string.  Always.  Jeff from Hello Bastards lends me his although I was more than happy to play on with just the five, it would have worked, we only had a few songs left and I could have pulled it off, but when I put Jeff's guitar on I'm happy to have it.  The set ends to the shouts of Kelly Apple, demanding two more songs, but we're done.  The lights in the bar are already on and someone has put Black Sabbath on the PA.  I didn't want to do more anyway.  I hadn't noticed but Kev's tells me as we're packing down that the pub had cut half of the PA off during our set due to noise complaints from the neighbours.  Luk jokes, “Good gig review: Noise complaint”.

There's a good buzz after the gig though, it felt hard to judge during the set, although it always is since I never really look at the crowd.  We sell a lot of merch though, Kev and Luk are chuffed.  Vik's girlfriend Bea has been shifting a load of shirts for us.  Good girl.  Funny that this is where the first met just over a year ago.  Misa comes up to me afterwards, laughing and toasting a glass as always, “Gaz your band is so awesome!  You play your guitar above your head!”.

Kev is chuffed with the all-star array of old punks in attendance tonight.  One of the guys from Icons of Filth is here and he's bought a couple of shirts and records, another guy from Corrupted is here, John and Sarah Conflict.  Kev is in his element.  We pack down as quick as we can once money is sorted in order to make it to The Albert for a pint.  It closes at midnight and me and Vik are fucking gagging!  Kev is stressing a bit about getting up early for the old Mega Bus in the morning and Luk is starting to hint that he's tired but we're having none of it.  I don't want to get pissed by any means but I do want an after show pint and I want to be able to hang with our mates for a while and have a chat.  Kev moans about The Albert being a hipster pub but he's always fucking moaning about hipsters.  Soon enough there is a convoy of us striding determinedly up the road with all the gear.  A beer will be had.

We only manage the one but I'm happy with that.  It's fun just hanging out with everyone.  Kev is taking the piss out of Misa, proposing to her on one knee, telling her they could have beautiful yellow babies.  Misa is shouting and laughing at me, “See, see he's laciest!  This guy, fuck him!”  I often think Kev and Misa should marry, they'd be a great couple.  The girls from the café are here hanging out too, they seemed to really enjoy the gig.  It's obviously way beyond any kind of music they normally listen to but being artsy dancer types themselves they really seem to appreciate the whole sub culture vibe of what we're involved in.  Kev is chuffed that they're into it.  He keeps saying that.  It's only twenty minutes and then the lights come on and it's time to leave.  Could've done without hanging maybe a little longer anyway...Wayne and Clara have just turned up after finishing work, asking if we want to come back for a drink at their place.  Sucks not have seen them more tonight but an after party would be a bad idea, of that I'm sure.

There had also been a hint of the New Cross Inn up the road and for a second pint and I'm tempted but I know it will only lead to regret in the morning.  We're all stood around outside the pub, chatting away, Misa holding dearly to the last dregs of her pint, Kev holding her arm and dancing, singing to her, “Misa, do you believe in love?...”,  Luk is showing off some tropical dance moves to the café/dancer girl squad, Kev moaning, “Look at that cunt!”  Eventually Vik and Bea jump in a cab going back to her place and we head down Deptford High Street, carrying our gear towards Kev's house.  Luk is moaning about his heavy bass case, asking to swap with me, just for a minute, just so I can appreciate what he's going through.  It feels like he's got a fucking corpse in there.  Fuck that, he gets it back immediately.

We end up back at Kev's place around one thirty, hell of a difference now Pat and Gemma have moved out, the place feels about twice the size now.  We check through the money and the merch before settling down in front of the box with a cuppa and Marmite on toast.  Alarm is set for eight, not too bad.  I takes me a while to get to sleep though, thoughts of that fucking passport floating around in my head.

No comments:

Post a Comment