Saturday, 24 May 2008

Dulwich Dawn of The Dead

It's eerily quiet on the South London streets. There's no queue outside the cheese shop- just someone's lost looking Chihuahua. In the pub the big screen is delivering football to an empty bar. The unpleasant 70's chairs being sold in the street market have been upturned .  Loaves of rock hard overpriced olive bread are strewn on the recently refurbished, strangely pink pavement. Where is everybody? Not a 3 wheeled buggy containing IVF twins in sight. The sweet shop is shut. The coffee shop canopy flutters slightly in the breeze  - some one has left in a hurry leaving an original Marimeko fabric handbag on the table along with a receipt from a hotel in Cannes.

A life coach and two holistic therapists run for their lives past a Wine Merchant's and an an Estate Agents window. Scrawled in huge letters of dripping blood across the plate glass are the words 'The Smashing Pumpkins' . The organic butcher has suffered a similar fate - the words on his shop front say. 'Skeen!' What has happened here?

As darkness falls on a couple of vandalised his and hers identical silver Vespa scooters, I notice the lamp post they are chained to is advertising a Kooks gig. 

A deep but distant rumble. It seems to be coming from way up the hill. The site I realise, of the local Secondary School. Then I see them. Lurching, mumbling. I smell the stench of Adidas Sport as they close in, heads lolling insanely in time to the ghastly rythmn of their deadly Ipods. ( on closer inspection I see these are merely cheap mp3 players, bought as replacements when they'd left the originals on the bus after drinking someone's parents Pernod supply.)

The skinny jeans.... the hair putty. Ceramic straighteners. little skirts and ballet flats. Boys in cccc...cardigans! Scary scary pointy shoes... I know there is no going back. They drag themselves towards me grunting. What is it they are trying to say. I can barely make it out. Rooted to the spot in terror I shut my eyes waiting for the inevitable....' CanIhavesomemoneytogointotown ' they growl in unison.  I crumple, defeated in the face of the invasion of the TEENAGERS, my last words tailing off as they trample over me, crushing me with their Converses....' It's way past ur bdtme and I bet uv gt homework....' I yelp helplessly.... too late. I see the madness in their eyes and realise I will never be able to text as fast as they can....

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Hammersmith 08

The man is 50 and living in Hove. Not Brighton I hasten to add.  And yet he could still cut the mustard.

Never really saw him being Nosferatu in the Birthday Party. I think that was when I was a jazzer - or else pretending to like Dvorjak. I don't suppose he ever envisaged giving out party bags at a six year old's soft play session but I gather this is now this iconic rockers life. Incredible then, that he can still summon the spirit. I have much admiration for a person who can adapt/ divert  some of his energies to the universal mundane . Sanctify,  perhaps.

Anyway. The words were good. The music was good.  And the words matched the music.

How great to be doing a job you enjoy. Am I too old for this? Never say that. The perpetrator is older. 'An old rock and roller with a three wheeled stroller.'

Not yet ridiculous like Jagger. Wise way beyond indie teenagers hairstyles. And possibly in his prime. Hey we were lucky to be there. 

A is 49 next week. This was his birthday treat.

Friday, 2 May 2008

The Exploding Plastic Inevitable

Forget the Anarchist's Cookbook. This one's straight from the freezer.

One day. One of those not quite multi tasking days, when the shopping had been wrongly compartmentalised and the toothpaste was in the oven etc.... a disappointed child removed a solid bottle of pop from the icebox: "Oh yuck it's all frozen". 

"Leave it to thaw then" says the daft parent. (A level in Science - but not in Common Sense.)

So there we were on Sunday sitting round the table. Unusually all at the same time and all managing to hold our knives and forks properly and not leave our broccoli stalks. Even a semblance of communication going on. When.......


-Icy shards shocked the air in slow motion. A hail of citrus fallout crashed around us.  We sat deafened. Snipers, Al Quaida, British Gas, the neighbours?

In the white silence that followed, the kids moved first.  Racing gleefully to the plastic bottle's wrecked fuselage - they crammed their faces with lemony lolly shrapnel shot to the furthest reaches of the room.

- Only a dimension away from blood, blindness, A+E and the Southwark Social Services of a parallel universe.