Monday, July 20, 2009

UK Week 2: Mad Men and English Dogs (part three)



Back from Pennsylvania, where Miss Wendy and I sat in the dark and watched the fireflies when the power went out at Lafayette College, where she's teaching a summer class on comics. Saturday we headed down to Philadelphia and met up with my pal Todd for sushi, drinks and a not so good movie (that most critics seem inexplicably to love). It gave us plenty to grumble over, which always makes for pleasant conversation, so we had a great time.

All right -- back to London (if only!): Thanks to my pal Hamilton, I got to tag along to the Mojo show at the Forum featuring John Cooper Clarke, The Fall and The Buzzcocks with him, his band and his brother.

The only problem was the transit strike; everyone was being warned against taking the tube, so we took buses with the result that by the time we got to Kentish Town, my ears were already ringing from having two mad Hamiltons bellowing in my ears and we just missed John Cooper Clarke (a fact I have only mentioned about a thousand times since). Waah! So I include a video above for your delectation, although it may prove highly offensive to some, the language is unsafe for work, but it's an appropriate tune for the situation.

The Fall, however, were brilliant! I had only known a handful of their songs, but after seeing them I've decided I need to know them all. I even bought Mark E. Smith's book Renegade when I ran across it in a book store a day or two later and devoured it while on various trains and buses in the succeeding days. They have a unique sound which verges on spoken word with Smith's inimitable delivery. Watching Smith perform is highly entertaining as he wanders around the stage, adjusting the amps and bashing the cymbals. The crowd was wildly enthusiastic and appreciative. Wonderful!

The Buzzcocks came on with the amps turned up even louder, sounding just like they do -- although as Hamilton pointed out, Pete Shelley seems to have turned into Mickey Rooney. But they sounded good -- and LOUD. Lots of greying heads bouncing up and down to the music with big happy grins. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to attend (even if I missed John Cooper Clarke...).

Next up, more Shakespeare, more idling, and a film!

6 comments:

Cranky Yankee said...

Hey Kate! I heard John Cooper Clarke was playing!

But I also heard that you missed John Cooper Clarke, and that John Cooper Clarke put on a good show, but you totally missed him.

Glad to hear the rest of the show went well...too bad about John Cooper Clarke.

:-) :-) :-) ;-)

K. A. Laity said...

Cranky, you are naughty!

The Queen said...

I know someone who sees John Cooper Clarke around these here part at a least twice a year - and never misses him. Ever. Mad Hamiltons or not.

K. A. Laity said...

Perhaps I need to accompany him instead so I can actually SEE John Cooper Clarke.

K. A. Laity said...

Or her!

slovobooks said...

The line "The fucking drains are fucking fucked" could be one of the finest ever written...

There is a book of JCC lyrics called 'Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt,' as you may or may not already know. I got to see him a very long time ago here in Dublin. He's just the best there is at what he does.