The sky tonight was extraordinary. I went to Brent Cross this afternoon to panic buy some gifts for Christmas and emerged to find the sun poking out from behind a low bank of grey-ish clouds whilst wisps of orange, lilac and lavender stretched out towards the heavens. It was all rather Turneresque for a terrible shopping centre!
In an attempt to escape the horrors of Brent Cross, I found myself cruising up the A41 without any sense of how I'd managed to get there. I got stuck in Hendon, attempting to turn right at traffic lights where there was a right hand lane but no blessed filter arrow. This essentially meant that it was only actually possible to turn right after the lights had changed red. For the longest time, as I waited with the lights on green, I was aware of a Lionel Bart lookalike, with a walking stick, who was waiting to cross. Of course, as soon as the lights turned red, I put the car in gear and revved the engine for a speedy getaway. It was, however, as the lights turned red that the grumpy man decided to walk straight in front of me, smacking his walking stick into the bumper of my car in a sort of "watch out hooligan" kind of way. Obviously I flipped him the bird at this point, which caused him to stand in front of me yelling. I opened the window and tried to explain that, without a filter light, it was nigh on impossible to turn right whilst the light was on green. He called me a wanker. I called him a twat and offered him a two-fingered salute, and that was that!
This evening we went to see our dear friend Mark playing drums in a Philip Kane gig at the Elgar Rooms in the Albert Hall. It's such a lovely space. Performers stand on a stage underneath two giant and somewhat iconic photographs: one of Ella Fitzgerald and the other of George and John from the Beatles. Performing in that illustrious company could only ever make an artist raise his or her game!
Mark bashed his drums with great panache, and was supported in his endeavours by a Portuguese percussionist called Pedro who is literally one of the most engaging performers I've ever watched. He smiled happily through the gig. The musicianship was brilliant all round, with the possible exception of two slightly uncomfortable-looking backing vocalists who seemed to sing almost everything in unison.
A group of "woo girls" were in the crowd. Woo girls are those self-hating girls and gay men who turn up to gigs and attempt to make the whole thing about them by screaming "woo" and self-consciously dancing (in a vaguely sexualised manner) so that the lead singer - and the rest of the audience - will notice them. Their responses to the music are always somewhat surface. You never get the impression that they're whooping and dancing as a result of being lost in the music. They always throw their arms in the air, increasingly the space their body takes up, for maximum "look at me" impact. I find it desperately tragic.
I realised, whilst watching the woo girls tonight, that I've always taken issue with people who, instead of actually having a good time, make a conscious decision to show the world that they're having a good time. I think I have a tendency to do it slightly when I'm drunk: "look at me doing drunk, everyone. No one's ever had this much fun being drunk!" Other people take cocaine and suddenly turn into Chatty Cathys to show the world that they've done something a bit naughty. Some people scream loudly whilst having sex. No one needs to scream like a porn star whilst they're in bed. Sex is never that mind-blowing or painful. Unless you're a fox. In my view people only ever scream so that anyone in the vicinity who might be listening will know that they're lucky enough to be getting a shag. People do it with food as well. They make ludicrous orgasmic noises to demonstrate how amazing everything tastes rather than getting on with enjoying it in a dignified - and honest - manner. They're the woo girls!
And once you start spotting the woo girls, you'll see them everywhere!