Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Years Honours List 2012

I sometimes come across as a bit of a cunt on the internet, I’ll warrant. This is a wee, gruff, but heartfelt aside to let people understand I actually do like them, a lot, and I hope you have wondrous 2012s filled with success, good health and sexytime adventures. Oh, and #FF.

The London Lot

Kyle Your-Real-Name-Is-LUGER Birch - without question one of the warmest, kindest people I have met all year.

Dave Thank you for being a pervert when I needed it and a friend when I needed it. Same goes for

The Kentish Lot

Alex. ALEX K! Thank you for calming me whenever my PC (PCP!) does something detrimental to my soul like not start up immediately and reading 10,000 word emails and letting me dress you up like a girl.

Finch and Claire - I miss my toxic twins! I’m really pleased 2011 is ending so happily for you both.

Sophie - Thank you for the emails and for holding me up at Stay Beautiful, you gorgeous woman.

Alli. You’re alright. Sometimes. Even if you did unfollow me. Arsehole.

Charly Fellow Manics-fan with all the trappings that goes with that – wit, angst and firm friendship. Thank you for all the messages and the mousemat.

Kam Stopped off in Brighton for half an hour on his way to Canterbury. Five hours later we were blasting out breakcore in the Pavilion Gardens and drunkenly climbing up walls. You deserve a brilliant 2012 man.

The Brighton Lot

Rez Local sleb of the Brighton rawk scene who encouraged me out of hiding when I needed it most, and introduced me to a lot of cool people.

Alex Yet another person I added on Twitter for the sheer hell of it, and because they were very glamorous and witty. I have since been welcomed into her Twitter Family. #Dawww

Dave Thank you for the Christmas food/drink/film marathon and for making me cry wine by guessing the answer to the cracker joke “What’s brown and creeps around the house?” – which everyone knows is ‘Mince Spies’ – was “a ninja stick”.

Naomi for reminding me of the kindness of strangers. I met her entirely through chance on Twitter and haven’t looked back.

Rossilini - Both a dyke and a dick. Likes a drink as much as I do. And dubstep. Relentlessly funny fucker too.

Richey - I was trying to see how I could widen my local network since I’d sort of scuppered that with my scrapping of Facebook. I’d noticed him DJ-ing everywhere I went and thought he seemed like a cool person to get to know so I Googled the shit out of him. Thanks for not calling the police. And for sinking all my battleships. Yeah.

The Other Lot

James and Emma. Formerly a Kentish lot, now a Soton Lot, soon to be a Brighton lot – I live in hope!! Forever white wine in the sun.

Olliebanoffee Former Kentish lot, now global jetsetter. I would have to do a whole separate blog post to say how much your friendship has meant to me over the years. Thank you for travelling great distances to come and watch Cooking By the Book and listen to this with me.

Think of this as a kind of Twitlonger-thing (hopefully minus the sheer annoyance of that); there’s obviously people not on Twitter that have meant a lot to me in 2011 but they’ll probably get a nice, highly sought after, personalised text message instead. Like I did with everyone on Christmas day, which seriously ate into my stuffing myself with Quality Street and replacing my bodily fluids with Buck’s Fizz time.

Normal service will now be resumed.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Blog for Plague Lovers - Manic Street Preachers Christmas Party

In the Beginning

I’ve been a fan of the Manic Street Preachers for just over a decade and their Christmas party gig on 17th December 2011 was the first time I’ve ever seen them live. And let’s face it, probably last. By the time they get around to putting out a second batch of greatest hits and accompanying concert I’ll be too old for gig-gallivanting (sciatica was already preventing me from pogo-ing as much as I’d’ve liked) and they should be old enough to know better themselves. Bassist Nicky Wire already frequently complains about his back, pulled his shoulder during Revol and was wearing knee supports (from my position I could only see the tops of them, and assumed he was wearing knee-high socks. Another girlish dream crushed.

When We Were Winning

MANIC STREEZ. Innit blud.

My MSP-worship has known varying degrees of intensity, taking a nosedive after Lifeblood, and being recently reignited with club night Stay Beautiful being resurrected by Manics biographer Simon Price in the city I currently call home.


Last picture I got before my phone died. Well worth it, I'm sure you'll agree.

“Be punctual!” the emails leading up to the event shrieked. “The Manic Street Preachers have 38 songs to get through and will be on stage at 19.30 on the dot so be on time if you want to hear everything!” Our reward for our good timekeeping was an extra twenty minutes of twee Christmas tunes, much to the dismay of the Russell Brand lookalike to my left in the crowd, who shook his mane and bellowed “NOOOO!” To be fair, James Dean Bradfield apologised. And I got to look at a Russell Brand lookalike.

As usual I amused myself with crowd-watching as much as band-watching. What I found most astonishing was the ratio of Nu-Manics fans to Old-Manics fans. I was expecting a sea of glitter and feathers and leopardprint; however, the hue of the night was predominantly beige. “We don’t talk about love/We only want to get drunk” – you’re not supposed to take it literally, you oaves! For fuck’s sake, it’s the Manics! And it’s a motherfucking Christmas party! There’s a disco ball the size of Pluto dangling from the rafters! DIY destruction on channel chic! Tart up a bit, you tossers! Harumph. Seeing a group of burly beer-swillers moshing to Tsunami (of all songs) and crushing a fey, waifish eyelinered boy left a particularly bad taste in the mouth. Honestly though, some of them must’ve just been there on the basis of hearing ‘There By the Grace of God’ or something, and it makes you wonder, who exactly buys a £35 ticket off the back of that?

Our Royalties, They Exist

Grizzly, congested Super Furry Animal frontman Gruff Rhys joined MSP for ‘Let Robeson Sing’; to some people’s horror taking REEETCHEEE’s spot on the stage, usually left poignantly vacant. Not as horrifying, however, as JDB's announcement following his thanks to Gruff.

“And now! From one Welsh hero to another! Richey Edwards!”

*collective intake of breath, puzzled looks from the crowd frantically scanning the stage and each other’s faces*

“Who wrote this next song, ‘Faster’!”

James, you utter, utter bastard.

The guest of the second set was of course dainty Swedish Cardigan Nina Persson, who joined them for ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’. We were encouraged to thank her for travelling all the way from America, which begs the question of why she didn’t join them on stage for the Traci Lords bit of ‘Little Baby Nothing’ if that was indeed the case.

Black Dog on My Shoulder...Again

I stuffed some of the Christmassy/Welsh flag coloured confetti from the ‘Design for Life’ finale into my pockets as a keepsake seeing as my ticket wasn’t returned to me after presentation. Yeah, I’m a sentimental cow. This marks an end of an era both for them and for me. Post-gig comedown was immense. I doubt any gig of my life is going to top that one, ever.