Thursday, 16 June 2016

Bush hall and bastards

I spent all of yesterday and most of today unsuccessfully attempting to dodge showers. I had two meetings yesterday, and smelt like a wet dog in both of them. There's plainly something wrong with my tumble drier. It doesn't matter how many times I wash my T-shirts, they always smell like biscuits when I start to get hot. I guess it's not the worst smell in the world, but it makes me hugely self conscious. I worked with a woman in a community project once who smelt so bad that, we had to Fabreeze and wash down every seat she'd sat on after she'd left. We used to make notes about where she'd been so that we could take appropriate action! Quite why I felt the need to share that, I've no idea...

I feel sorry for the Tennis Championship at Queen's. By the end of yesterday, the rain had stopped play so many times that I think only one player had made it through to the second round! Every time I switched the telly on, they were playing repeats of cookery shows. Sue Barker's voice would periodically pipe up between programmes, and we'd see a live feed of a rain-sodden tennis court and lots of miserable people sitting underneath umbrellas. Obviously I've started to believe that a hell-mouth is opening somewhere in the world, so the unrelenting rain we've been experiencing of late makes pretty good sense to me. I also feel it's now clear why all these celebrities have been checking out on us. They knew this nonsense was coming...

I note that the BBC is still struggling to come to terms with the fact that the attacks in Orlando were a hate crime, despite the fact that all evidence points to the fact that the bastard who did the shooting was grappling with his own sexuality. Please note that this doesn't mean that these attacks were just a "gay matter." It seems very likely to me that the father of the killer has quite a lot to answer for. His initial response to the tragedy, apparently, went something along the lines of saying "my son had no right to bring violent judgement down on gay people, that is God's duty." Plainly, this lad's upbringing was fuelled by great intolerance, which, in my view, is a form of abuse which is not too far away from physical or sexual abuse. I get incredibly irritated when parents of these mass killers or radicalised religious nut-jobs say they had no idea what was going on. Pay better attention to your kids and bring them up to value peace and tolerance, or face prison, you dick! Look at me preaching tolerance with desperate intolerance!

This evening I went to see Fiona doing a pretty amazing gig as the warm-up to The Anchorist, who are fronted by a sort of Tori-Amos-meets-Paloma-Faith artiste who wore a fabulous auburn floral head dress in her fabulously sleek auburn hair.

Fiona was brilliant, and so so brave, basically performing much of her "Postcards from..." album with just a violin and a multitude of pedals with which she created a series of loops, drones and some extraordinarily atmospheric and scrunchy harmonies. The album is well worth purchasing. It's epically filmic.

Afterwards Fiona stood at the back of Bush Hall signing albums. One chap came up to her looking incredibly nervous and asked if she would sign his. It suddenly made me realise how much courage it takes to ask for someone's autograph, and how so many people in our industry forget this fact when they run out of stage doors with dark glasses on, or treat fans like terrible scourges. There's a horrible sense of entitlement which sometimes descends in these instances, like performers believe it is their right to have fans, but, as Fiona rightly pointed out as the shaking man walked away with a smile on his face; "these people paid for your houses." The lovely Barbara Windsor always impressed me in the way she responded to her fans. I went to a football match at the Arsenal with her once and a young lad came over and asked if he could take her photo: "I was hoping you'd ask me," she said, throwing her arm around the lad and smiling for the camera. And I thought how lovely that was.

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