Saturday, 3 May 2008


I ran out of aniseed balls :(

The past few days have been busy but really good fun. Thursday was "Fake North" adventuring day. It started with a train to Crewe, then another to Stoke. Almost 5 hours on a train is a lot more enjoyable if its a FGW and is generally nicer but at least we weren't delayed. This is where things could have gone very wrong.

I trekked all that way to see The Wombats. I first saw them last June and then again in December, and they cannot be described as anything other than fun. Thursday night was the biggest venue I've seen them in by a long way. We got there during the first support. I've no idea who they were, but they were a local band who were well known by quite a lot of the crowd. It was first time I've ever seen a pit and crowdsurfing before 8pm. Half the time I think they were just acting like it because they could. I could tell already that there were going to be a lot of annoying people. I was later proved right. The band weren't bad and played quite well, but would be liked by fans of The Enemy/The Twang.
It then got worse. We worked our way forwards and were almost at the front when I Was A Cub Scout came on. I now have another band to add to the "Oh Dear God That Was Awful" list. I felt sorry for the drummer really. It looked like he was stuck in a band of idiots. There was a Keyboard player who went AWOL during every other song and a fat guy at the back who didn't seem to do much. He spent half of it with a trombone in his hand walking about the stage, looking at a keyboard and walking off again. I think he played in about half a song. By the end it was just the guitarist and drummer left with backing tracks. The music wasn't good either. I'd love to know who told them they were good or who gave them a record deal. If I never see them live again it will be too soon. As usual the crowd were going mental, but then got worse and started the football chants. Yes, your football team are doing well and are going up. Good for you. Now shut the hell up.
By the time The Wombats were due on stage it was a contender for gig from hell. Half the crowd looked under 12, including the girls in front of me on the barrier, who could only just see over it. The other half probably couldn't have passed a GCSE between them. Annoying was an understatement. Luckily the band were fab. The first time I saw them was in a pub with about 150 other people. When it was announced that they'd be playing an arena by the end of the year I thought it was seriously over ambitious. After Thursday I'm not so sure. I've now seen how they've adapted to 3 totally different sized venues and they done each with ease. If anything they put in an arena performance at a theatre. They played pretty much what they were expected to, but didn't play any of their older songs as the have in the past. The only additions were a new song they wrote at new year, and 'Girls, Boys & Marsupials', which they played the first time I saw them, but not in Cardiff. Highlights were going mental to 'Moving To New York' and 'Let's Dance To Joy Division'. It was worth going just for those alone.

The trip home was...notable. As far as Crewe it was fine. Nice, even. Arriva Trains Wales should note that halving the number of carriages on a Friday before a bank holiday is not a good idea. Not everyone fitted, even standing. By then I was tired, hungry, thirsty, bored and squashed. After a stop or two enough people had got off for me to sit on the floor in the bike rack, but that's not exactly the best way of reading the Guardian, let alone attempting Sudoku or Kakuro puzzles. Eventually I got a seat and it even turned into a train party with 3 groups of Rugby fans and a group on a hen weekend all heading to Cardiff leading to banter flying across the carriage. Not something I'd do again in a hurry though.

Last night was the drunken BBQ/Tooters trip that I'm surprised so many people can remember. For some reason it seems a lot easier to get drunk there than anywhere else. After a busy few days I could do with a night in to recharge but no...I'm off to see Mystery Jets in Cardiff in 10 mins. Woot!

Music: Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down
Socks: 2 different sailor ones.

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