Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Out on the town... early doors in God's Little Acre...





Just back from an extended foray into God's Little Acre. Up to the very top of the Artist's Quarter to my favourite bar, The Orange Tree. (Clientele doesn't consist of beer bores and is a lot younger than in my local, with a smattering of artiness - and the music is a lot better). To meet my collaborator Murray, who also lives there and works part-time as a barman in between his work with a local digital arts company and auditioning to be an underground cult hero. (Like me, of course). We managed to discuss the current issues in good order – next gig – an open stage night which we thought would attract all the local film-makers, poets, musos etc – well, fuck it, I think we'll scrape through ok – as we have both been involved in other projects recently, it is sometimes difficult to synchronise things – we were planning on re-launching our cd label and also playing more live gigs with our other collaborator David - but circumstance can swamp you. Murray has been involved with a complex new installation conceived by a friend of his, an up and coming young artist, which has taken much of his time. Moi – finishing a book, recording obsessively and sporadically being hors de combat due to knock-ons from the last illness (God, sickness is boring). Or washing my hair...











A couple of drinks later and flippancy set in – as ever. I seem to remember telling (again) my story about seeing the Velvet Underground at Acton Town Hall in the early seventies when I lived not far away with my late wife Barbara – the last incarnation of the band, sans Lou Reed and John Cale but actually very good. This was before pub-rock even and just after the death of innocence that was the Sixties (swinging etc). I'd stopped taking a lot of hard drugs by then so remember the evening fairly clearly. Also related the hilarious one about the Ryanair flight that had set off for Derry and landed – at a Brit airbase somewhere adjacent to the civil airport. The talk of Dublin when I was there – tee hee. We also came up with the idea for swan-fights as they are lethal and frightening buggers and decided to spread a spurious story about a local illegal bout being stopped by Old Bill somewhere just out of town at a swan-pit on the banks of the River Soar – because of the risk of bird-flu rather than any strong moral outrage (as the organisers, a rough but inventive group of desperadoes had already bunged the Chief Super to look the other way). It beat back the ennui for five minutes, anyway. Back downtown and dropped into HQ to deposit some flyers for our activities – feeling a bit stronger today so stopped for a small calvados before heading back to the hovel. Some photos to document the journey... including one of the few public sculptures I like - 'The Sockman' in Loughborough market square - a tribute to the dead and gone knitting/textile industry and also rather affectionate and sinister at the same time... well, Loughborough is noted for its Luddite past... and experimental music of course...

6 comments:

Molly Bloom said...

I really enjoyed reading this Rod. It was full of mischief. I like mischief. I laughed at the part about the swan-fights. The next gig sounds good too. You have a lot of interesting projects going on and do tell us about the book.

It's lovely to hear about the Velvets too. Wonderful stuff.
Is the photo at the bar you and Murray? I love the laughing!

Molly Bloom said...

Ooh, I've just seen you've put up a link to my blog. Thankyou kindly. :) Here is a little experimental music for you:

F sharp
G
F sharp
G
A
A
B
B flat
B
B
B,A,G,E,F,E,A.
Random chord at the end please.

You can play it for me and see how it comes out. Really fast of course. Rather like a James Chance blast. Have a great day.

Rod... said...

I'm not in the photo - Murray is the white guy - not sure who the other one is - some friend of murray's who got sucked into the banter... he was wearing spurs on his boots, rather interestingly... I am considerably older! 59 last week, to be exact. Just played the row of notes on my guitar - interesting - (I always end on a random chord with fiendishly stretched fingers to make it look more difficult!) If I have time later I'll record it and see where it develops - 'random noise terror on a theme by Betty' sounds grand enough, I think...

Rod... said...

As for mischief - it has been my undoing many times - but keeps life piquant - the swan fights are going to be elaborated on quite a bit in the coming days, I guess...

Molly Bloom said...

Great! I love the thought of you playing those notes. Add a few more B flats just for jolly. I also loved the title. Excellent. The swan fights should be great too.

I love a good statue. The one of Joyce's bust in St. Stephen's is fantastic. I hugged it.

Spurs on your boots is an absolute no, no I'm afraid. You should lose people like this. Heh heh.

I think I might do a piece about music next. I haven't done anything about music yet. Well, not playing music anyway. Yes, that's what I'll do.

You just missed a good old rant/conversation on 'Dead Fingers Talk' it was great fun. Go and put your ore in, Rod! Your comments are always great.

St Anthony said...

Oh yes, I think history has been a little harsh on the post-Reed Velvets. I kept seeing this sumptious boxset of that era Velvets around .. more than once , I've picked it up and thought about buying it, while fingering the pennies in my pocket.
It's amazing how much time you can waste, doing things like that.

My better half reckons she knows the Artist's Quarter well.

I once came over all weepy in St Stephen's Square, Dublin looking at the marvellous Joyce bust. Actually, did the same in the Martello Tower, and a few other locales.

Hope you are in good health now!