Sunday, December 31, 2006

Unibond 06

In a fit of genius earlier I decided that all University friends' circle reunion type things from this point on shall be referred to as Unibond events. Because you see... it's people from uni, and we bond. No leather involved. Here's our logo:

There was a decent turnout for the most recent event held, or at least beginning, in Birmingham. Namechecks: Toby, Tom, Twed, Anna, Jo, and even Jess, despite her being American now. I did a bit of ale related research beforehand and managed to knowingly manipulate the group into visiting a great little real ale pub in the city centre, The Wellington, where we stayed all afternoon. It had 15 (FIFTEEN) handpull guest ales and I very much enjoyed randomly sampling them. All the ones I had were very nice indeed.

It claims to have sold 2610 different ales in one calendar year, which is some kind of record. Upon discussion of this fact some very messy mental maths arose, and in such situations I'm prone to crumble. But it was proposed by some of those present that it meant they changed seven of the ales each day, and thus no ale would survive more than two days on sale. Blimey.

In the evening, Unibond relocated to Nottingham where Mark and Henry entered the fray, and we eventually found ourselves in the hideous Oceana club, putting as much effort as is humanely possible into enjoying the car-crash tunes on offer. Some of them on repeat every fifteen minutes. If I put my hands up for Detroit once, I must've done it a thousand times. But it's all about the company in such situations, and it was still an enjoyable night out. It was a good opportunity to improve my knowledge of wildlife too, as I observed numerous apes and wild stags dragged away from the dancefloor every few minutes. Plus much dry-humping/clothed-frottage against the walls. Honestly, those people need to get a room.

I promise I'll get back to my customarily hard-hitting social commentary posts in the near future.

Monday, December 25, 2006

My Christmas Rider

In addition to a small but reasonable appearance fee, I demand the following if asked to partake in Christmas celebrations:

John Smiths Extra Smooth x 48
Yorkshire Tea bags x 960 (capable of producing x 1920 cups of sheer tea)
Locally produced Organic Ale x 4
Bourbon Creams out of shot

I've remembered why Christmas can be a pleasant affair. And I didn't pay for any of it, hurrah!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Cheer

Some might expect me to have a cynical approach to the festive season, what with my generally morose approach to life. But while out Christmas shopping earlier today - a busy shopping date in the buildup to the big day - it wasn't like that atall. I was possessed with cheeriness as I mingled in the packed streets with all the people on a magical search for gifts to present to loved ones this Christmas. A time for giving and sharing - all the best aspects of humanity on display. And the children! All the little children excitedly buzzing about with rosy cheeks, staring in awe through shop windows at the festive displays, and no doubt counting every second until Santa comes. It all really gave me a warm glow inside.

Mind you, I'd prefer it if there were a few less of these people out in the streets. It's hard to get from A to B without someone zig-zagging in front of you with a pram, throwing you off course and generally causing tumult. It's like navigating your way across busier sections of the M25 at times. On at least two occasions this afternoon I came to a complete standstill when the woman in front of me decided to stop all of a sudden for a bite from her apple slice. With all her squat, pot-bellied offspring hanging off her trouser leg like leeches, sucking the cash out of her to get the presents they want. The pigheaded little consumerist fuckwits. Come everyone; sing, dance, gather with me around this great festive altar of Satanic pastime as we crowd the streets, spending cash we don't have on things nobody really needs, all in the name of keeping the economy going. Mulled wine? Piss off.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tom McRae and Subsequent Frivolities

On Friday evening it was the turn of the splendid Tom McRae (and friends) to entertain me, as part of the Hotel Cafe tour he's heading. He's brought a gang of artist(e)s from a venue in Los Angeles where he's been hanging about to showcase them over here, and attached his name to help the tickets sell. So although that meant we didn't get to see nearly enough of Tom doing his own material, it was still a great gig. One of those 'feel-good events' (eurgh) where people get together in unison and do it for the music. Man.

It was very enjoyable - some of the artists were inevitably better than others, but considering nobody knew who any of them were before the gig, they went down well. The real highlight for me though was the guest appearance from Kathryn Williams. It's only two months since I saw her do a free gig at Stockton Georgian and it was an unexpected surprise to see her again on Friday. She's got such a beautiful, fragile voice and holds a room in total silence - when rude people aren't talking that is.

After the gig myself and Sir Welford accompanied our hosts Lord Laverick and Lady Laura back to Sunderland where we were set to rest our heads. But not before attempting a night out on the tiles at a newly launched Club NME night, which was appalling. Much like the magazine itself, it was full of shit music and people dressed like cretins. When I got home on Saturday it was straight off to the Boro match against league leaders Man Utd, who beat us after expertly pulling off the art of cheating. Just two examples of how bad people generally get their way in this world.