04-27-2002
Pontin's, Camber Sands, UK, All Tomorrow's Parties
 
I've told many people now about this trip, and I think I've got some idea of what I'd like to say about it... but I should say something about the show we played, since that's really what brought us here in the first place. We'd played the festival last weekend, in the big room upstairs; this weekend, Saturday, we played the smaller room, which is probably more our speed, really. We were all in a much better frame of mind, maybe since we'd played a couple shows already, maybe because we were all in good spirits after the previous week, I was probably hung over or at least should've been and maybe that helped some, Andy's amp was better I guess, or at least he wasn't screaming about it. And this room really was better, I think, maybe it was better.

So what I'm trying to say is, the show this weekend was a good show. We played well, it was fun pretty much all the way through, there were a reasonable amount of people around (though it thinned out when Low started playing upstairs - but even then it was a good crowd), at the end Matt played drums & I sang Around the Outline & danced around like a fool. Which I really do enjoy doing, dancing around like a fool. Is there a future in it? It is no doubt in my future.

So our show was fun, friends came and friends played even, we played well and enjoyed ourselves, I think I pulled a muscle in my arm during one of the new songs... even so, the highlight of the weekend was, for me, the non-stop carousing.

When I think of it, it's not clear to me why it - the carousing and debauchery and hedonism - was all so strikingly enjoyable. I've done plenty of that in my life, and I'm sure I'll do plenty more; why was this so different? Why did every day seem special? And every night, getting blitzed in the same bar, hitting on the same girls, drinking the same warm Stella Artois, why did I crave all this same shit, why did I look forward to it all day long? Am I crazy? It seems like nonsense, in a way... but it was so good.

Every morning, after a night at the pub (the Queen Elizabeth I think it was called, I've got a photograph somewhere), I'd think back on all the shameful things I'd done the night before: trying to throw around men I knew well and women I knew only in passing, and falling drunkenly to the ground; tackling random strangers on the dance floor & elsewhere; bellowing out songs I didn't know the words to, trying genuinely to fake it; oh, and I just don't know what else. Every morning I'd review in my mind all these genuinely embarrassing things, all the unforgiveable things I'd done the night before, and I'd cringe; but I wouldn't regret it, and I'd start into the day knowing full well I was going to partake of the same shameful bullshit tonight. What a fucking revelation! I'm an old man, you know; have I ever really given myself fully the option of making a fool of myself? I've made a fool of myself many many times; but to just shrug it off, know it was going to happen again, and not mind it? Ah, the relief, the relief!

I apologize for this not being especially journal-like, or funny etc. This trip was so different, I just can't pursue it in the same way. Did I say I met a beautiful girl? I didn't say, I know - but I did, it's true. I'll leave it at that. What a fucking trip!

Another thing: I didn't start life as a rocker; I came to be rocker pretty late in life. I started off as something else, and somehow stumbled into being a rocker. And I've always thought, what the fuck is this rocker shit anyway? What do I care about it? But this trip made me realize just how fucking great the world of rock can be: you get relatively bright and active people, often highly sociable people; more often than not, they like to drink and carouse and carry on and be liscentious and hedonistic and bad; and then you've got this great music, and these beautiful women come to see them play.... I mean, this was a special place, a special group of bands and of people, and all that; but I can't see it happening if, say, I were in a gamelan orchestra, or a poetry slam contest, or a terrorist squad, or a performance art festival, or whatever. Maybe it would happen anywhere - I mean, what was it, anyway? It was a good time, and that can happen anywhere, it's true. Still, I think at least some of this particular good time is owed to rock & roll; so after all this time, my hat's off to it. I've always been into it, don't get me wrong; but this last week, it earned a deeper respect.

Okay, I'll stop there. This whole thing must read like absolute nonsense, so I hope you've skimmed it heavily - how much can I write about nothing? I hardly proofread these things, if at all, you know. How many words does it take to say "gosh that was fun?" At any rate, I hope that all you who were there enjoyed it, and that all you who weren't will make every effort to have as much of a blast doing some thing or another in the next few weeks or months or years. It's rough to come back to the grind, but still it'll rejuvenate you, I swear it will.


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