Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Post-weekend blues. (25-27/11/11)

Although a complete contrast to my very iconic Monday night prior, I certainly enjoyed the Friday night of my weekend nearly as much. Interestingly I still went for the same things; the club, the people and certainly the genre of music.

Acid techno is a very niche but proud part of London culture. Whilst not many people may of heard of it, its fan base stretches far and wide. Of course this was the reason I was there. Busy with their 100th release, Stay Up Forever,  one of Acid Techno's biggest record labels, also announced this event a few months ago. Pioneers of acid techno Liberator DJs, Henry Cullen (stage name D.A.V.E the Drummer) amongst many others put on an absolute howler of a night with sets running right through 'till 6AM with a following after party which I hate to say I didn't attend.

SUF DJ Guy McAffer aka 'The Geezer' with my friends Michael and Aron.

I think it's a shame that people don't know what a brilliant techno scene, albeit rather small, London actually has. But in a way that's what makes an underground scene special. Nonetheless, what was important to me was the crowd of friends I was with, all of us massive fans of the scene and the music. Consider this entry an extended thank you to all the SUF crew and all who attended. Finally, needless to say, a big thanks to the boys that made my entire weekend one like never before...but certainly like many more to come:

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hugh Laurie at the 100 Club, Oxford Street (21/11/11)

Someone told me not so long ago to never underestimate the power of Twitter. At first I really didn't 'click' (forgive the pun) with how it worked let alone the actual point of it. But its true beauty revealed itself to me last Thursday night. Being a fresh 'tweeter' I'm still building a decent list of people to follow, one of which I'll never regret following; '@HughLaurieBlues'. A simple announcement that Hugh was performing in London on short notice blessed me with one of the best and most influential nights of my life. Having just released his debut album 'Let Them Talk', an album of which I'm extremely fond of, I knew that I'd already made my mind up about going.

So there I was at 9.29AM on Friday morning, sat in front of my computer hitting F5 continuously until the words 'Buy Now' graced me with their presence. I was lucky to get two tickets and my friend and I were excited from then on. But of course the real excitement came when I was stood in the queue on Oxford Street surrounded by bustling festive shoppers and christmas lights. I felt privileged, VIP if you like, when I saw the amount of people that were in the queue and almost wanted to question whether we were in the right place. We were.

I would certainly go to The 100 Club again. Underground, dark and gloomy meant atmospheric and certainly characteristic. Hundreds of pictures of famous past performances virtually wallpapered the walls. Mr. Laurie himself commented between songs that it was a true honour to play in such a musically significant place and I can certainly say it was an honour to merely be part of an audience there. He played around 2 hours with his extremely talented band and it was no surprise that the addicted crowd went wild for an encore which was soon to be welcomed with a massive applause when he returned with his band.

I could go on further and explain his set list and so on, but what I feel I should document is not so much the specifics, but the pure feeling of community and friendly atmosphere. There was no pushing and shoving, no impatience at the bar; just being at this place I think was already enough for everyone. There wasn't this attitude that you had to be so close you could feel his breath. A row in front of me sat Rowan Atkinson, but no one pestered him during the show for autographs and hand shakes. It seemed to me that everyone just respected that, collectively, we all wanted to have a good time and appreciated what I think everyone already knew was going to be a memorable evening. Of course, Mr. Laurie's impressive wit and personality made his performance very sociable, joking and chatting with us and his band. A lovely touch also was that, out of his own pocket I must add, he provided everyone with a nip of scotch so all could be involved together in a toast (thanks Hugh). Such a sociable and warming performance I imagine is hard to find these days and there are not many of these opportunites, making my friend and I feel truly privileged.

As I mentioned in my first post, London is an exciting city to me and this puts the icing on the cake. I think subconsciously this is why I even thought about blogging. It's because now I'm in London I feel that I've actually got something decent to write about. A completely distinctive night but hopefully not the last time I'll feel this reflective during the rest of my time in this town. So thanks Hugh; maybe one day I'll return you that drink.

"In the beginning..." 23:46

This blog isn't for you before you think I'm writing for a particular purpose or audience. Right now, in fact, I have no plan where even this entry is going. This is entirely for my own interest, mainly as a keen writer, but also just to write something that isn't academic: a hobby if you like or just a time killer to be a little less committed. At this point you might even question (and I'm included in this) whether I like it, yet here I am starting out on a public diary which, quite frankly, is most likely to fail my commitment and perseverance let alone even recieve the slightest morsel of popularity. Nevertheless, encouraged as you most probably are not, read if you please.

Introducing myself and my interests is probably the most cliché way to begin a blog/diary yet this is probably because it actually isn't a bad place to begin. My name is Michael Read, I'm 19 years old and I've just began (September just gone) studying Law at Brunel University, London. I was born in Lincolnshire and have never lived outside of that county for longer than a fortnight until recently, making me miss a desolate and depressing place more than it's worth. But it's home. I have a girlfriend, Hollie, who is training to be a nurse in Nottingham and we've been together for nearly four years. DJing is about as far as my significant hobbies stretch and I've been enjoying that for a good couple of years now, playing at a few minor events here and there. The thing is, my life doesn't hold a massive amount of interest; I'd hope that no one would consider it boring but at the same time, without sounding too pessimistic, it's nothing spectacular. Therefore, I'm actually going to try and write only about things that genuinely are interesting and not simply what I had for breakfast; I daresay there's enough of that self-interested drivel on here already (that's of course unless my breakfast IS particularly interesting). Over the last couple of months I've found that London has so much to offer me. Perhaps talking about such a great city would be a good starting point, who knows. So the blogging adventure begins, however small or large, successful or flawed. Criticise at will; alas, I'll probably join you.