This meant nipping from a conference in Swansea to a gig in London, then a day working in London (though they had forgot to ready any work for me), a day in London partly work, partly marvelling at the positively breathtaking atrium and Kings Library at the British Museum, another gig, being driven back to York, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to Leeds in the rain for the final gig, then cap it all with a nice burn down the M1 before a day with Photoshop and Harry Potter.
So, that was the summary, now for some detail.
I sound like such a fanboy - I've seen SBA three times this week, and each gig was better than the previous. My brother warned me that the Verge was a bit on the small size, has a no-tripod policy and inconvenient poles. He was right. The sound was a bit mediocre to start with, but did cheer up a bit, but it seemed that despite a relatively good show of fans things weren't ~quite~ working for the chaps (used as a non gender specific term). The other acts were a little mixed. Sleeping Children played what seemed like a short set - long enough to notice how pretty the lead singer was, without paying too much attention to the noise. Antiworld weren't really to my taste, and they had a poor drummer hidden in the back of a small stage. Some photos to follow (of course!).
Friday was my first time visiting Electrowerkz, and it lived down to its press. Most of the bands were new to me (not getting out much) but I tried to pay a bit of attention despite having sat through some of the soundchecks. KinHo seemed more like a concept performance art project than a band - or perhaps men in wedding dresses are awfully passé now. Needless to say bitching about them with childeric was much more fun than listening to them. The SBA set really came together. There was stage presence, there was a real sense of enthusiasm and a great crowd. The chaps were in a buoyant mood and it shined through. Demeter I'd missed in sound check, but I was astonished to find I actually liked them. Not quite sure how to describe them, but having a consistent (rather than flashing) light meant they were reasonable photo-fodder (though I promise I did pay attention to the music). The Modern were on next, and looked to be a mix of Kraftwerk and MFI, with an odd Bez for company. I've never seen a band take a couple of desks on stage before. Noise wise they were fun, though I wasn't quite sure what they were saying again. Finally there was Ghosts of Lemora. At least I'd heard of them, even if never heard them (if that makes sense). If The Modern were sponsored by MFI or Ikea then GoL were channelling the spirit of the bar, and did come across a little worse for the weather. Of course, being the "headline act" and on at 1 AM isn't my idea of sensible. A number of the crowd had slipped away too, which made the front of the dance floor seem a bit empty. Their gig last night was better.
Saturday was a chance to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I've noticed that if in Birmingham the cinema tradition is to talk all the way through, in York it is to have allocated seats then completely ignore them once you get into the cinema. I very much enjoyed the film, and have two short reviews depending on whether I am a "hard-nosed critic" or a "slightly soppy new-man". The former would say "Arty love story with trite ending espousing the futility of love for a generation without a soul. Bearable but slow of pace and up its own ass a fair amount.". The latter would say "Beautiful unrushed love story with hopelessly optimistic ending. Brought a tear to my eye and reminded me that having emotions is OK.". Both would say "Why does Jim Carrey waste himself on comedy?" and "Will Elijah Wood ever live down Lord of the Rings?".
Sunday it was off to Leeds where it rained. For a change I decided to have a night off the camera, though did get twitchy on a couple of occasions, ending with me selling SBA merchandise to keep me occupied. Both SBA and GoL put on a good performance, though I can't help worrying that GoL are covering very old, well travelled ground - and while technically competent do look a bit dated and, next to SBA, lethargic.
Going out today was Harry Potter. It was good, or at least had good bits. I loved the "slightly quirky" direction and some of the set themes, but to me David Thewlis will always be "that mancunian from Mike Leigh's Naked" and Gary Oldman really needs to learn that dominating an ensemble cast with a single stare is in some circles considered slightly rude and I found Emma Thompson embarrassing (but the character is frankly crap). Colour and lighting was good, and we shall see how the next one goes, though I'd rather see the same cast than any changes.
And now, as we reach the end of this epic, some images. These are of tukie from the gig last Wednesday. I'll post more soon, and the ones I decide I like enough will be linked from http://www.disturbing.org.uk. (This is the "first cut").
Oh, and I seem to have spent £1000 today. Ooops.