REviewed by a certain Carlos D...
Wednesday April 6
After a relaxing and mellow evening the night before, I geared up for a rockin’ night out in Dublin. We played at the Olympia Theatre, a gorgeous venue with actual balcony boxes. Nothing gets the blood pumping better than a great performance at a beautiful venue in front of a thousand raving lunatics. After the show we descended on an interesting space known as The Village. The four of us were with a sizeable entourage of Dubliners whom we had befriended in times past. I had the “pleasure” of being introduced to the acquaintance of one of my friends, who shall remain nameless although anyone who lives in Dublin probably knows who I’m talking about. It turned out that this girl was psychotic, and when it finally dawned on her pea-brained head that she wasn’t wanted around us, she punched one of my friends square in the eye. Before a cat fight could ensue, the scuffle was silenced by security.
There seemed to be a general air of this sort of thing at The Village this evening: people who seemed unable to get over the fact that we were actually there “in the flesh” hanging out alongside them. Whooptydoo! So some dude in a band you like is in a bar with you. What’s the big deal? I’m just trying to have a beer. I am always touched and moved by fan appreciation. But just because I won’t sit with somebody I don’t even know, that means I’m an asshole? Hrmph.
London, Friday April 8
Oh Christ, how I HATE jet lag! There’s something spiritually disfiguring about being jet-lagged. It’s not as simple as just being exhausted. Jet lag feels like your head is in New York but your body’s in London and your neck is stretched over the Atlantic. It takes me a full seven days to properly rid myself of this disease before I start feeling like a real human being, or as much of a human being as my shattered body enables me to.
And the WORST is having to play two nights at Brixton Academy with raging jetlag. What’s the capacity of that venue? Isn’t it like three million? It is an honour to know that Interpol can sell out two nights at Brixton, but why oh WHY must my experience of it be riddled by an unrelenting jet lag? Friends were wondering why I appeared so dull onstage. I blame the time zones!
After the gig, a friend directed me to a place called Plastic People and I was happy I made it there. The music was eclectic and inoffensive, people were constantly sweaty and dancing, and the beer flowed like Niagara Falls.
Afterwards, said friend directed me to the dying remains of an office party. We came upon a large loft littered with plastic cups, passed-out bodies, sticky floors, empty wine casks, a broken toilet and one lonely DJ. There was something so beatific in its lonely exhaustion, its worn and final exertions so noble and sacred.
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We were promptly escorted out…
London, Saturday April 9
Still marooned by the anchor of gargantuan jet lag (now with an added layer of hangover), I nursed my self-inflicted wounds with water, scrambled eggs, Vitamin C and Stella Artois. To those of you wondering how the anomaly of adding toxins to make the body recover could possibly be real, do not look to this writer for an explanation. I can only vouch unequivocally for this miracle solution, for within ten minutes of sipping on a beer one feels ready to climb Mount Everest.
The show went off better than the night before but apparently I was still dull onstage. This time there was an official afterparty for us down the road at Harlem so we converged as we did in Dublin. At a certain point in the evening, the jet lag decided to take a coffee break and permit me to enjoy being alive so I promptly took advantage of this lull and imbibed as much as possible without falling over. A nice fellow came up to me and told me that he’d heard I am a heavy-metal fan, to which I responded enthusiastically in the affirmative. He told me that he had a present for me. Within minutes the fellow was behind the turntables and playing
‘Run To The Hills’ by Iron Maiden. These are the moments we dream of…
Do you ever meet somebody who absolutely baffles you in their soulless observance of formalities and rules? That they strike you as a mere automaton with an empty gaze? These people freak me out because they make me believe that indoctrination is still a potent force in the Western world. That’s what the staff at Harlem were like. Once the music had stopped, they enjoined everyone to leave the premises with all the subtlety and tact of a drill sergeant on the rag. Paul (Banks, singer) and I caustically exchanged feigned confusion and asked each other sarcastically whether they were being clear enough.
After much painful, pointless deliberation on where to go (which included dodging mini-cab drivers’ solicitations), we finally decided on a quaint flat somewhere in London. Paul, myself, fellow Matador and Beggars folk and friends enjoyed each other’s company before finally calling it a night and preparing for our arrival in Germany.