Sunday, June 23, 2013

An evening of Sheepscar Light Industrial-ness

The Compass Points North

Wharf Chambers, Leeds, 22nd June 2013

Aqua Dentata
These Feathers Have Plumes
Hagman [sort of]

With old age comes many things; fading memory, creaking joints, wheezing lungs, diminishing eyesight, varicose veins, deafness and the inability to consume huge amounts of alcohol without incurring a hangover that last two days. Outside of the physical there’s the realisation that you don’t need to know whats in the charts anymore, or the fact that you don’t need half the shit that's cluttering up your house, the importance of relationships becomes more acute as do thoughts of going to the grave with good memories rather than a series of missed opportunities.

Of all the above it was the memory that failed me two days before my 50th birthday. We were in The Duncan having abandoned the Friends of Ham due to becoming shuffling obstacles with drinks in our hands. The Duncan was its usual Bacchanalian self: behind the bar an A4 poster reminding regulars that the prize for winning the quiz would be a ‘gallon of beer [8 pints]’, then there was the seven CCTV cameras, the drunken regulars who all look like they came from casting central, the bickering bar-staff ‘she’s pissed off cos she cant go to her 98th birthday party’, the quality and very reasonably priced Sam Smiths, the aging tattooed Teddy Boy [who kindly vacated his seat so that we could all sit together]. It was here that I got introduced to a couple of people one of whom was called Sophie and the other a chap called something with a ‘k’ in it. You see I have this way of remembering peoples names in drunken situations that revolves around allocating them a single letter. So Sophie got an ‘S’ because thats easy but the chap who was with her got a ‘K’ and when I met him about six hours later, in the gents of the WC, having consumed way too much Sam Smiths Organic Cherry Ale, the name that popped into my head was ‘Keiron’, or was it ‘Kevin?’, ‘Frank?’, ‘Kenny?’ I went with Keiron only to be told that the name I was looking for was ‘Jake’. I think it was Jake. Its not a perfect system by any means and its not one I’d recommend.

I took Big Joe with me and he immediately warmed to the WC’s charms. After the hustle and bustle of the Friends of Ham, the drunken revelry of The Duncan and the bare boards of the Duck and Drake the WC opened it arms and gave us a big hug before shoving two bottles of Sam Smiths into our eager hands. The atmosphere lends itself to the communal appreciation of whats on offer [beer, music, literature, food], a relaxed, candle lit, open and friendly place where you can mingle with the many and good.

One of whom is Daniel Thomas whose night of Sheepscar Light Industrial-ism I hijacked as part of my 50th birthday celebrations. Of course I’d had far too much beer to recollect much of it in any detail but Daniel is such a professional and eager label cheese that by noon the following day he’d uploaded mp3’s of each performance for my hungover perusal.

So I spend the last day I’ll be 49 in a happy fug of recollection and warm memories of the night previous; the sight of Rob Hayler in contemplative nod mood during Petals moody drone set, the shout out and the dedication to me at the start of his own Midwich set [and the point at which I nearly threw myself prostate before him in mock supplication shouting ‘I AM NOT WORTHY’ into the WC’s floor tiles], Paul Watson’s BBBlood energetic party noise that ended the night on a high, the singing, droning, looping, oversized rubbed wine glasses of These Feathers Have Plumes, Aqua Dentata’s exquisitely delicate drones, Dan who had to go it alone when the other half of Hagman couldn’t make it, Campbell’s enthusiastic chatter, Eddie Nutall’s dapper appearance. All a delight.

Going in to detail right now would be a test of my stamina and besides my 49 years are almost up.