Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Festival Season

As Reading Festival draws ever closer you'd think, given my past posts, that i would be getting ready to endure another weekend of carnage, music and fire. But alas this will be my first year in the past six that i haven't gone to the Festival. Not sure if that's a good thing, as it gets to be quite an expensive weekend, or if i will regret not going. Its become a bit of a tradition to go to Reading Festival as it is only just down the road. Am i becoming older and therefore the appeal of festivals waining? Hell no, its just the festivals these days, in particular Reading Festival, is full of kiddies running around like morons burning the shit out of everything. There used to be a kind of etiquette to the carnage. The game of trolley would start, security would take said trolley. Then we steal it back. It was a game of cat and mouse, and when we got bored we burnt things.

Festivals in England need help. They are starting to overprice these events. For the same price as a weekend camping ticket to Reading Festival you could go to Spain/Holland/Germany/France/Italy/Hungary and Serbia for some of the best festival line ups in recent years. But people don't. And i have no idea why. I love festivals in mainland Europe. They are cleaner, friendlier and have the same lineups, if not better at times.

Festival goers of England. Open your eyes to European festivals. Trust me you won't regret it.

Tales of a drunkard Pt 5

The outdoors. Tranquil; Clean; Calming. And now forever marked with our presence. Our little adventure took us to the New Forest, a large expanse of land that is part camping sites/ part nature reserve. Most of the area animals are free to roam the streets, the parks, the camps and on occasion the driveways and gardens of houses. Why, well I'm sure theres a reason horses and the like feel the need to eat Mrs Smiths carnations, but that's something for you to find out yourself.

The drive down started with a convoy meet-up at Green Park, to which i made a joke about some old guy running down the road, and as we passed him, it turned out to be Mr Reading himself (John Madejski). Once we had our respective cars all packed we took to the roads to get to the camp site, stopping off for some coffee and nostalgia (coin + my nose + blood = every ones laughter). We got to the campsite around midday which was good, and despite a little parenting from the camper guides (Quiet by 11pm, don't have wood fires, don't ride the horses) we found a spot with enough room for 6 tents and a gazebo. Set up and started drinking.

At first it pissed down, hard, and we had to do some modification to the gazebo when one of the legs buckled, cue duct tape and branches. Aside from the first bit of rain it was glorious sun for the remainder of the trip. Me and a couple of mates trekked into the Forest to have a look, and the old game of smash a stick on a tree ensued. It was fun. And afterwards a nice night fuelled of Westons boxed Cider (lovely) and Heineken mini keg (not so great) began.

Sat was a day of sitting around getting sun burnt, trekking through the Forest in any direction, then a game of Manhunt and Capture the Flag [Hat]. Thoroughly enjoyed both and was a highlight of the trip. Saturday we had Chinese takeaway, not exactly camping food, but you make your own camping experience. Some people go into the wilderness to find themselves and forget the hustle and bustle of the city life, bills and Angel delight. But we had something else to do, we had boxed cider, team showers and an all round decedent camping experience.

You may have noticed i said team showers, allow me to elaborate. The camping showers were amazing, one button you press to turn the water on (much like taps) and it was instant bliss. The right temperature, every time. So 4 of us took a shower with the cubicles next to each other, and usually you try to make as little noise as possible since its a pretty solitary experience, much like going to the toilet, but we had fun, joking and whistling the theme to Jurassic Park.

Sunday was a day of minor walking, still getting sun burnt and a trip to the nearest village for a pub lunch, and for some a trip to Beauliu, a classic car museum with a Top Gear attraction, Monorail and James Bond cars. The rest of us however went back to camp and drank. The whole trip was just an excuse to chill out, have fun with friends and just forget about things for awhile. We saw shooting stars, Jupiter was seen many a time, and talk occasionally went a little deeper than expected considering the amount of alcohol being consumed.

I think we all came away from it with a sense of enjoyment, mild sunburn and most probably a lot more damage to our livers.

So a success then. Roll on the next camping trip

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Tales of a drunkard Pt 4

So Monday night, after weeks of being told how good this band are and how I won't be disappointed, I sorted a night out for me and a few friends. Started out somewhere cheap since the gig would be expensive for drinks. Few pints of Westons cider down me and I was on the way to being merry, so we trundled over to the gig. It's quite a small venue so I knew it would be sweaty but, my god, it was so sweaty in there.

We got there just as the 4th band was finishing, pretty much just noise. Lots of shouty shouty. I went to talk to my mate who was putting the night on, and he was excited to see the last band, Monotonix, and so was I by this point. We got a few more beers in before the band came on and settled in for a night of the unknown.

The band set up, putting the drums way out in front of the actual stage and started playing. Before the singer even sang a note he took my beer from my hand and poured it over the drums while the drummer was, well drumming. After a few songs they then moved a drum onto the bar, the guitarist stood on the bar and singer was in the crowd. They never really stood in one place for too long. Shortly after the singer took the drum and got a few of us from the crowd, myself included, to hold the drum above our heads, he then climbs atop, sings and dives into the crowd where my mate and others caught him. They played out in the hallway, in the toilet and all over the place in the main area. It's safe to say I havent been that entertained at a gig in some time. It was amazing! Music was good, their presence was awesome and they were genuinly good guys when I spoke to them afterwards.

We went to the Turtle for a drink where I proceeded to get thrown out for some inane reason or another, so we walked to Up the Junction for a drink before walking home. The night ended around 3am and was unfortunatley ruined by a phone call at 10am from my manager saying "Where are you"? "Why arent you at work?" and "Get here now".

My next drunken adventure takes me to the New Forest for some camping fun over the weekend. So the camera is charged and alcohol bought. Fun times ensue.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Tales of a Drunkard Pt3

Well i ventured into London last night to see my friend Jemma perform at the Troubadour and as usual was a brilliant performance from herself and Nick Bates on the Guitar. Also performing were Komla Ayewoh and my favourite of the night Caleb.

It probably didn't help my state by having two quick beers on the train to London but by the second bottle of cider i was feeling pretty drunk so calmed down a bit to enjoy the music.

With the music finished off we trundled into the night, looking for somewhere in Earls Court that was still open, and from past experiences of late night excursions into London, this part would be closed. So we hopped on the tube with thoughts of going to Camden town and a rock bar that Chris knows. Though as we sat in a drunken stupor we realised that by the time we got to Camden that everything would be shut. So we got off at Leicester Square to see what was happening. To be fair it was pretty busy at around half 11 when we got there so we walked round trying to find somewhere to drink and our eyes lit up at the fact that the Trocadero is open till 1am with a sports bar/bowling alley. So we went in and played a few arcade games (of which i beat Chris at Outrun, and NB: Guitar Hero Arcade sucks). After a few games and drinks we went walking, again in search of a bar.

Asked this woman handing out flyer's if she knew anywhere that's got good music and is open late and we were offered a 3 story strip bar, which to be fair could have had good music but we had no money for that, and it wasn't one of those nights. So we watched a street drummer for a bit and walked round Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

We tagged along with a tour group of younger people, the guy with the brolly was leading them on a kind of club crawl, and as we didn't have the wristband we just went to another place, called Fudge. Which was pretty good. Good music and well the drinks were expensive but that's London for you. We got a couple of bottles and as we sat down they started flicking the lights (International bar language for "Hurry up and leave"). We noticed these Americans on the table opposite talking about one thing or another and they were mentioning how their countries only about 200 years old, so i kind of joined in and said that theres some buildings in this country that are older than their country. Which usually wouldn't go down well but they understood and we got chatting.

We waited outside with the other people who were Danish, and we all set off in search of a bar. Walked round trying to find somewhere and get cash out and while we were waiting to cross i noticed a bar so i walked out and over to the bar to check it out. It was a metal bar that was open till 3am and was £2 to get in. Result. Though the Danish guys didn't get in for some reason, me Chris and our new found friends Micheal and Katie-Beth settled down. Drinks in there were pretty cheap considering, 4 cans of Red Stripe came to £7, so we sat down and chatted. Music was pretty good too, if you like Metal.

After a lengthy chat they left and so did me and Chris shortly after. Chris wanted to eat something so we went in search for a Subway street vendor but found ourselves in Chinatown, so i went in and got some noodles. Which were FANTASTIC. Much better than most of the crap food drunks buy when, well, when they're drunk.

Unfortunately being around 2am the tubes stop running. So we were quite a way from Paddington and the thoughts of getting a pricey taxi or a Rickshaw ride came around, but being slightly out of pocket we decided to walk the streets of London. No idea which route Chris found on his IPhone but looking up google maps now, it seemed we walked a shit load more than we should have. But being the adventurers we were, it didn't matter at the time. We got to Paddington with about 15Min's to wait for the slow train back to Reading. Head starting to hurt and tiredness kicking in fast. We got on the train, ipod went on and i drifted away to the sultry tones of some Dubstep. Either Chris woke me or my uncanny train travelling mindset woke me the station just before Chris got off, and then again when Chris got off. I fell back asleep and woke just before Reading but fell asleep for about 5Min's. Its a good job that Reading is the last station.

Cash point, taxi, home. Got to sleep around 5am. And for the second day running missed going to help my aunt and cousins move out of their house. But in my defence i would have been of no use to anyone this morning.

All in all a pretty good night out in Londinium. Till next time we drink.

Monday, 10 August 2009

I'm Bored

I'm just generally bored. Nothing much is happening. The job that I do (oh so well may i add) is monotonous to the point i can do it half asleep, even though i now have a higher paid position. Thankfully i saw a job advertised on a website which was pretty much the same job i had before this job. Still with me? Good.

Though now I'm doing more things, which invariably cost more money. Going to see my friend play a few gigs this month, Banksy exhibit in Bristol, going to watch Monotonix next monday, then camping next weekend and then Reading Festival rolls around, which I'm not going to but still, things may occur.

So hopefully i'll have a few more blogs coming, a few more photos and a few less braincells.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Tales of a Drunkard Pt2

So this was the night to behold. All dressed up and having somewhere to actually go.

Being the twentysomethings that we are we decided to go somewhat up market this time around. Instead of going to the drab places for cheap drinks and end up in the generic bar/club that we usually do, we decided to start with cocktails.

So first port of call was Slug and Lettuce for some cheeky cocktails and jaegerbombs. Then after some fun and games we trundled off to Dogma, quite early too.

Dogma was quiet at the begginning but people came in their droves and the club soon filled up. Much merriment was had, many drinks were drunk and good time was had by all. Of which pictures are floating around on Facebook and the like

Stayed in Dogma till people started leaving then a few of us went to Mangos for a bit of what we were lead to believe would be some Electro-House music. Was pretty crap to be honest. We just chilled outside listening to music and having fun. Met some Californians who just landed in Reading so hung with them chatting and showed them the true spirit of the English. Bought us all a JaegerBomb and shot of tequila :D

Stayed untill about 4am when the sun started to come up and i was in no mood to go to sleep so having the bright idea to go to the 24hr garage and get seom beers we set off. Unfortunatly we decided on having a bbq down the river, at 5am. So we bought a disposable bbq, bacon, bread, beer and sausages. Walked for about 40mins to get to the river and set up the bbq etc. Though it didnt work out too well due to no one was hungry, it was cold due to it being half 5 in the morning so we sat, shivered and fed the geese. At some point i managed to get geese poo on my hand and also stuffed a slice of bread down my friends back.

They all decided to go home and i decided to walk along the river in the sun with my can of beer, like the tramp i am. So all in all a brilliant night, a great 'welcome back' to my friend who went away to Uni and some nice pictures off my Iphone.

Tales of a Drunkard Pt1

Well another pay day leads to another messy weekend. Well not that messy for once.

Friday was my friend Jemma Willard's birthday so a few cocktails were had, followed by a few more and some attempts at Salsa dancing. A good long night was had and it was all quite relaxed. Night ended about 3am and the next day thanks to a wonder drink full of veg and fruit and vitamins i was ok till about 3pm when i started to falter and no amount of coffee or energy drinks could help.

But that was just a taster of the night to come.