17 August 2007

Bob's Prog Rock Bog Blog

Ever since I can remember, back stage toilets have always fascinated me.
It's often been the first impression I get of a gig. Sometimes I only realize we've done a particular gig/venue before, when I recognize the karzi.
Back-stage bogs are more than a place to crap. They are a mecca for inappropriate behaviour. It's where junkies, crack-heads, cokeheads, doggers & pikers go to do their thing. It's a spiritual void, sanctuary for the naughty.
Of course today I am a very, very responsible character. I only use the gent's for socially acceptable unspeakable acts, but I'm often aware that demons are lurking nearby...

Festival season is an interesting time for bog-heads, as we can see toilets at the very limits of what is acceptable to humans.
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This one was at Tromso Festival in Norway.
It was bad. I held my breath for the whole length of a wee.

I remember unlocking the door, gasping fresh air and seeing a stunningly beautiful Scandinavian girl, stood waiting to use the cubicle.
As she faced me, I was going to say something cool, but I decided on an embarrassed look instead.
I hate these portaloos so much. There's nothing that I can find to say which is positive about them, apart from the flusher, which looks like the hand brake from a Mini Metro.

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I remember this one well. -Electric Gardens in Kent. -A stately feel, a better class of bog. This is a party karzi. It was designed to get loaded in. I particularly liked the lighting. This one gets five stars.

From the same festival: A decent locking door, essential for all dodgy behaviour.
Shame about the bog roll on the floor.
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Whilst backstage at Loch Lomand Festival in Scotland, I took this picture of a well known bass player weeing.

This is also in Scotland. It's a shit business.

Thank you for reading my research. It has been a hugely rewarding exercise for me.

09 June 2007

Day One

I smoked my last cheap Berlin fag last night.
On Thursday, during my weekly shop at Asda, I'd bought a pack of nicorette gum.
A change was in the air, a storm was brewing, & the fog had lifted.
For the first time since I was 15, I thought about trying a day without cigarettes.

I woke up this morning & made a cup of tea. The nicorette gum made it taste like shit. The gum left my mouth burning which pissed me off even more than the fact that it costs £5.89 for a pack. That's 35p more than 20 camel lights.

Anyway, after a bowl of Alpen & a shower I went to see my 5-year-old son play football in his first competitive game.
I kept myself quiet throughout the match, although I wanted to shout, "Go on Louis, get into him!" at one point.
I also wanted to shout, "The referee's a wanker" for no real reason, but I didn't.

It wasn't that bad, not having fags. It was a nice sunny morning, sat on the grass & I felt strangely warm & healthy.
After the game, Louis' Grandad took him off, & I went off into town to meet some friends.
Yeah, it's all right this no-smoking game, I can do this. I was feeling pretty fucking pleased with myself.
So I stopped at the co-op to buy myself a treat. I grabbed a pack of Fox's chocolate Viennese biscuits, got to the counter & said...
"And twenty camel lights please mate".

12 April 2007

Cut Me Some Slacks

It's not my intention to make light of drunks. They are our brothers & sisters, and the phrase "There but for the grace of God..." springs to mind.
Maybe that's why I'm quite fascinated by drunken behaviour. Maybe it's not necessarily good or bad, but just a different perspective. I have to admit though; I do sometimes find it phucking amusing.

About 15 years ago, or it could have been last week; I was walking to the bus stop along the High St. in Oxford. I'd just finished a 12-hour shift at 'Oddbins' off-license.
As I passed a side street, an old drunken bloke clutching a can of Trampagne (Tenants Super Strength Lager) emerged.

He had long white stubble on his face & a confused, wild look in his eyes. He was wearing a pair of light grey slacks -the type commonly found in rubbish skips. The inner-side of his trouser legs was a much darker shade of grey than the outer-side, converging at the darkest point around his crotch. It looked like a big, dark, upside-down letter U.

My look of mild amusement involuntarily turned to disgust as I realized that this man had either urinated very recently or perhaps was still urinating. I couldn't help my brow from furrowing & my nose from wrinkling as we passed on the pavement.

Suddenly he stumbled towards me so I could smell the ammonia & alcohol soaking into him. His face seemed to take a swing at me & I caught a close up glimpse of his tooth & pitted nose.

"NEVER BE ASHAMED!" He slurred aggressively at me. "Never be ashamed." He repeated, maybe to himself this time.
This world-weary (wise?) old man's words have stuck in my head.

Did he mean; "Never be ashamed and you can live life as I do"?

Or did he mean; "Never be ashamed or you'll end up like me"?

Or maybe he was just quacking in anger. -I once saw a drunken bloke shouting at a car. It came to a head when the man pulled a large fish from inside his coat & started thwacking it on the windscreen