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I Just Can’t Be Happy Today Part 1


Written on the train back from an impromptu evening out Part One:

I’m writing this on the last train home – drunk couple behind me talking self-appeasing rubbish and he is trying to impress her by talking French and she is trying to impress him by saying she doesn’t eat meat or fish. French – Vegan – not a good combo I reckon. Now they are having a bloody conversation (*in between smooches – I think they’ve just met) about Roquefort of all things. What? I want to tell them to shut up. I should but I don’t. Anyway – back to the matter in hand. Just been to see The Damned at the 100 Club, 100 Oxford St, London. It’s a great place. I had a Hammersmith Palais moment halfway through the set wondering how upset I’d feel when they suddenly announced that they were shutting it down. I hope they never shut the 100 Club down. It has a sticky floor and posters in frames on the wall that are in the same faded place as I last set eyes on them in 1984. Yes, the Tommy Chase Quartet poster is still there – in the right hand corner – just by the Ladies. I love the 100 Club. I got a ticket off a tout. Well, I say he was a tout but I think he was just a runner for a tout who looked like he was pretty gone on drugs – heroin or crack or both. Anyway – they came through – miraculously. I have to say, my initial instincts were ‘these people are going to fleece me’. And in a sort of way – they were – £30 for a face value £15 ticket but I’m bloody glad I did. The Damned seemed The Nervous for at least the first half. But Istvanski (who was there too) pointed out that because it was being recorded live that perhaps they were being more ‘controlled’ than normal. He had a point although they seemed definitely reticent until a good hour had passed and like all good bands – they suddenly got into it.

Everyone was so friendly. I went there bristling with excitement and expectation. I imagined it all to be big squash. A hot, squishy, sticky, sweaty squash but strangley enough it was rather civilised. Average age c.40 something I reckon. There was some original mohican and pogoing action going down but no spitting I noticed. It was 31 years ago they first took to the same stage. That was odd. The thing is – everyone is so different now.

Far too tired to carry on and need to get off train – will resume tomorrow.

Night night.

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