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Blog: Not Brixton
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Thus I arrived in Stockwell (not Brixton) at twilight on a balmy evening and set off on what I thought would be a bit of a HIKE. I usually go to Jamm (formerly The White Horse Brixton) via Brixton station, but as this would be CLOSED by the time I got there tonight (REFURBISHMENTS) I'd have to go back via Stockwell anyway, so thought I might as well have a look where I'd be going. Stockwell is actually quite nice, and like in Stoke there was a JOLLY atmosphere of people happily bantering with each other in the street. It was also surprisingly CLOSE to Jamm (formerly The White Horse, Brixton [not Brixton]) which LOOMED into view after only 10 minutes. These 10 minutes of Nice Stockwell ENDED abruptly as soon as I got onto Brixton Road, where suddenly the shouting was NOT Jovial, and LO! the first of the MANY Brixton Loonies came hurtling along, waving arms and shouting to herself. BRIXTON! Is it just that LOONIES are drawn there by a LOONIE MAGNET, or does LIVING there turn you into one? RESEARCH, i feel, should be pursued.
I was still a bit early, due to the efficient journey, so sat outside for a bit listening to the LOONIES go by, shouting at each other. After a while I went inside, following a Tense Couple (HIM: "But nobody else is inside, the bar isn't even open" HER: "I Want To Listen To Music. AT LEAST I KNOW HOW TO ENJOY MYSELF"). Later on he'd disappear and she'd do the Strange Heckling of People Who Talk To The Telly And Don't Realise This Isn't The Same. Loonies in training!
I usually play my bits during the Vic's Cabaret Hour section at the front, but had been PROMOTED this time to the bit just after, so sat and watched Cabaret HOur in its entirety... which wasn't long because one of the two acts had broken down on the A2! Still, the Cabaret 25 Minutes (not such a good title) was GRATE due to the presence of the poet Richard Allen. He was BRILLIANT - really funny and enjoyable to watch, with a nervous ENERGY that made me think, really, he should be in a band instead. He also proved my emergent THEORY that the GOOD poets are the ones that learn the words, and that RUBBISH ones EITHER rely on reading from a book to cover up how boring they are OR are pretentious gits who think that JUST by doing that they are A Poet. It is an EMERGENT theory, it needs work!
So yes, he was GRATE, and AFTER him, and into the main BIT, it was The Boycott Coca Cola Experience. I'd seen a bit of their soundcheck and was INTRIGUED, and my INTRIGUEMENT was correctly placed, as they were completely FANTASTIC. It was SORT OF a bit like I,Ludicrous, if they were a proper old fashioned BLUES band, but also a bit like people IMAGINE Jazz to be, but isn't, and also KIND OF like Poetry. But not really.
It's difficult to describe (as you've probably noticed) but I loved every minute of it, ESPECIALLY when they got an Guest Vocalist on who APPEARED to be a Local Loonie, but may not have been - he started YELPING and SCREAMING some words while they BLUESed away behind him, and suddenly the atmosphere was ELECTRIC. It felt like Something Was Happening, and when they'd finished they came back on for a VERY MUCH DESERVED encore. Brilliant!
Pity, then, the poor sap who had to go on and follow them. Here's what I did:
The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
The Gay Train
I Did A Gig In New York
Do The Indie Kid
Hey Hey 16K
The Lesson Of The Smiths
It seemed to go all right - it's always a bit strange playing at Jamm, as you can't really see what's going on in the room. I was aware of people LEAVING throughout but, as discussed before, that is a BAD thing to be aware of, and I made an effort NOT to focus on that but look into the room itself. Here things changed BIZARRELY - one minute I'd look and find it EMPTY, the next it seemed to be PACKED! People seemed to quite like it but clearly I was not going to be able to match up to Boycott Coca Cola, but I can't say I really minded. I'm playing with them AGAIN at the end of the month in Brixton, I'll make sure i go on BEFORE them that time!
And thus I strolled off to Stockwell, the Accidental Tour COMPLETED. It's been GOOD to do such a quick succession of MASSIVELY different gigs, and my oft-repeated fear of only playing "Scene" gigs has certainly been put to rest for a while, but goodness me, I can see why most people tour WITHOUT going to work at the same time. I couldn't half do with a lie-in!
posted 9/5/2008 by MJ Hibbett
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