Well that was a busy weekend. Friday night was spent driving up to Rochdale (on a diet of M+S sweet potato crisps and Percy Pig & friends). We got to my dad's just gone midnight and caught the end of 'Later with Jools Holland'. I remember, back in the day, when watching Jools was a huge event. It was the only time you'd get to see your favourite bands on telly, and ok, the weekly selection was usually eclectic but you appreciated the contrast. It doesn't seem that way now, as Friday's guests were Santana, Sigur Ros and Paul Weller. We missed Sheryl Crow. Oof.Whatever's happened to the programme?!Looking at the link above, on this week's show is Sean Paul, Babyshambles and Texas. Hmmmm. I was sad about Sigur Ros' performance. They've changed the Later... set to what looks and sounds like an aircraft hanger. This did Sigur Ros no justice, and what is usually an evocative performace just sounded like mush.
Saturday was spent having lunch with the family. I was in Rochdale, so naturally I had cheese'n'onion pie and chips. Bloody London and it's inability to make cheese'n'onion PIES and not pasties. Then Thom and I trotted off to a party in Leeds, via Dewsberry. Thom's grandparents were from Dewsberry, and Thom hadn't been back since his grandfather's funeral so he wanted to look around (and to get some rare Ben Shaws). We arrived and Thom was horrified to find that the house had turned into a newsagents! We asked a couple of people 'Is this Leeds Road?', 'Aye'. Thom was devastated. And then we realised we were in the wrong town! Bloody West Riding or sommet. We eventually found Dewsberry, saw the old house was still in one piece and Thom was delighted to see Mrs D, the Polish shopkeeper on the corner (who was at least 100 3 years ago) was still alive, and she sold Ben Shaws in GLASS BOTTLES! In terms of Ben Shaws I-Spy, this is a thousand-pointer. So we bought a few bottles of yellow lemonade and headed to Leeds.
The party in Leeds was fine. Not very interesting if you don't know anyone, I suppose. But I did have my first experience of 80s karaoke on a playstation, and hung out with a few 18 year olds pretending I was a student again. It was good to catch up with a few friends, but a little strange on the whole. Mainly because the party was in a halls of residence. I just felt like a fraud. Best moment of the night for me was when sometime Sunshine Pop lurker JamieC told me how he woke up one morning with 'Shiftwork' in his head, and he just had to get online and listen to it. He might have used the words 'fucking superb', but he was drunk and so was I. (You can listen to it at The Gresham Flyers website or on myspace)
On our way back on Sunday we bumped into a random record and vintage audio fair. I found a couple of Beach Boys albums on vinyl, but spent all my money on the entrance fee. We drove back to King's Cross on a diet of peanut-flavoured crisps (a Spanish holiday present from my sister) to see Architecture in Helsinki at the Scala. There's 8 of them, they're Australian, they call themselves an 'avant-garde musical ensemble, influenced by the twee pop aesthetic' and they all change instruments mid-song. It was quite entertaining at first, and I particularly enjoyed their cover of Soulfinger, but on the whole they really irritate me. The constant 'percussion' (real percussion and lots of sieve-hitting) lost it's appeal after a while. But I finally put my finger on the main source of irritation - they don't have any choruses! Every song is in 6 parts; basically it's Bis doing prog. You could tell which were the singles (as those songs had less parts), but I just wanted one song following a semi-conventional structure. Bah, another sign I'm getting old!