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 Post subject: Happy Mondays in Concert
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:32 pm 
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Location: Pak Kok Village
Happy Mondays In Concert~ by Nick the Bookman ~ 28/7/2015

Wow! Is that the time? I'm running late... the hell with that, look at the date! Hi folks, I'm back. I know it's been a while since I last wrote anything and there's a shitload of stuff to get together.
I've been using the downtime to lick my wounds and recover from the terrible torture trauma of the three day Twitter tirade from Linda's sister Barbara. This was shortly after Good Friday (a misnomer that title!) when Linda died and somehow or other I overteased Babs about her coiffure choices... anyway it's an old story and I know I've got over it by now.

So, music: A couple of reviews. First let's time travel back to the baggy daze of yore. Specifically 28/7/2015 when Jane and Mike, aka Songs For Children, pulled off a stunning coup and brought Happy Mondays to HK for their long (un)-anticipated debut at KITEC. The Mondays had just concluded an epic, euphoric appearance at the Fuji Rock Festival. The lads are getting a bit creaky-longtoothed now (their ages range from mid 40s to early 50s) but eeh by gum, they can still deliver. And eeh by gum is not a new way to ingest psychotropics in Manchester. (Joke!)

There appeared to be a good crowd turnout. A few hardy souls from Lamma (Hi Dave - can't remember the others. Seem to have lost half of my notes. Sorry about that, but you know who you are). Keith from The Sleeves turned up. Always good to catch up. BTW, The Sleeves will be making a triumphant return gig to PSB for Lamma Fun Day 2015. Ian from Supersonic chipped in with a classic 80s rave-cum-bagrockset to free the minds. Fantastic Day were the opening act. I last saw them support Best Coast a couple of years ago. Also brought to HK by SFC. Fantastic Day (what little I saw and heard) are getting better with their folksy-meets-drone-guitar-wigouts style of entertainment. A great pleasure as well to catch up with Alok - one of the Godfathers of the local electronic/darkgoth rock scene. Hope you liked the CD mix I dropped on you. The 6th floor venue at KITEC is great. A good bar was provided. Standing room only and everyone up at the front of the stage in a Brownian Motion swirl.

The Happy Mondays are currently a septet. Dan Broad on keyboards. Che Beresford on drums. (He's ex + future Black Grape).
Mark Day on scintillating strident lead guitar. Paul Ryder on subterranean bass licks. His bro' Shaun (looking a little like Steptoe Senior) on lead vocals. The gorgeous Rowetta bringing the fem vibe on backing vox. And of course, the indestructible and apparently ageless Bez on maraccas and MC duties. Dave told me he was desperate to have a hang with Bez if the opportunuity availed itself. (Time jump 5 hours and he's achieved his feat at the After Party in Central. Me, being an old happily married fart, took the less arduous option of the final ferry home. But...there's an interface moment twixt Bez and me coming up).

The HM turned in a flamboyant and coruscating set. For a funk-punk 80's daze baggy rock band, they turned in a set of well loved tunes played at the intensity of The Velvet Underground in full flight. The sound was absolutely ferocious. Hammering at everyone in the hall. There was lovely support between Shaun and Rowetta. She looked after him exceedingly well on stage. And her singing was sort of Bulgarian Ladies Choir standard. Wordless vocals, almost ululations at times, were jaw dropping. I kept thinking she'd give Merry Clayton a real fucking run for her money if she ever did a version of "Gimme Shelter".

There should be a copy of the Set List with this story so I don't need to name them all. But the only cover song they played was "Step On" (you're twisting my melon Shaun!) which is still an excellent early 70's oldie. There might be a version on Youtube of original singer South African John Kongos doing the song on Top Of The Pops.
Accompanied by the Burundi drummers in melt down frenzy. If not, there bloody well should be. Before DavCam decides to obliterate the BBC for apparent anti Government and political bias. Fancy that. Imagine, politicians are not popular. Especially if they're called Blair, Brown, Bush, Cheney, Putin et al. Not to mention all the despots, dictators and senile cannibals and psychopaths running amok all over Africa - The Cradle Of Civilization. Ha!

Back to Bez. About two thirds of the way through the show, we make eye contact. He saunters over the Stage to front left where I am, bends down, gives me a sly look and a wink and offers me a maracca. We knock 'em around for about 20 seconds and he strolls off job done.
That's my cue. Do a mini marracca frenzy while finding two CD mixes to give him for the band. He comes back after a few minutes and I return his maracca and slip him the discs. I look up to see something flying into the audience and think "You bugger, those were good CDs". Only to realise he's tossed the other maracca into the crowd, but has kept a firm grip on the CD case. Hope you and the band enjoyed them. mate. Jane tells me later that if the band had been in HK long enough, they would have come to visit Lamma, but they were flying out with 12 hours of this show.

The only sad note was that there was still plenty of room in The Hall for more punters. SFC had a base nut figure to break even, but alas, they didn't reach it. A couple of hundred others would have been rich reward for them, I blame all those people who bought tickets to see Blur about a week or so earlier and thought to themselves "Well, that's it. My concert for the month done and dusted". Bad choice, fellas and fellarines.

Meanwhile, since that gig, QE2 has become the longest reigning British Monarch. Breaking Victoria's previous record of 63 years, 2 months, 1 week and loose time change to spare on 9/9/2015. Having started on 6/2/1952 while stuck up a tree in Kenya. (Yes, really!).
She's not the longest reigning monarch though. Thailand's revered King Bhumibol started his shift on 9/6/1946 while the diminutive French Monarch Louis 14, aka The Sun King, reigned for 72 years. But he was only five when he first sat on the throne.

Bet BushReich wishes the Good Old USA still had hereditary monarchs. Would make Jeb Bush's job a little easier. But that's unlikely after his elder bro' GWB, "The DubYahoo" fucked the world up in 2001 by "overseeing" a plan where the Government destroyed the Twin Towers + to con the country into fanatically supporting the endless War On Terror. And to prop up repugnant regimes in the Middle East for the sake of yo-yoing oil prices. Now all Jeb has to look forward is constant abuse from Donald Trump - the front runner for the 2016 Presidency, Hope he gets it and can say "You're Fired" to the Senate and The House of (Mis)Representatives. And the treasonous Five Supremes who were bought and paid for and ruined the Third Millennium for everyone else.

One nutshell microcosm of what's wrong with America is official Kim Davies, the lady who was sent to The Slam for Six Days for not signing licenses for gay couples who want to get married. Basically, she's a sexist bigot whose blind religious belief lets her override/ignore the Law Of The Land. Well, one law anyway. She became a martyr to a non-thinking throng of like minded twits. Or curious bystanders who had nothing else to do because their house burned down/got flooded/blown away. You name it.

This woman didn't stop to think and consider and muse upon the fact that Mankind is Bisexual. From the DNA level upwards. How our genes drop during the foreplay of the first trimester determines our placing on the Sexuality Spectrum. And it cannot be changed on the interior level. Externally, it's different. Putting on a new face. Our body shapes can morph. Using variants of cybernetics, bio-engineering, extreme vanity surgery. Or disfigurement via tattoos, scarring or voluntary amputation, Or weight loss and gain and dye jobs. All ways of Hiding In Plain Sight, Don't Stand Out From The Crowd etc. In the Icke-ian Metaverse, these people are the Reptilian Overlords masking as The One Percent who rule us all. And enough of that. It's back to the beach.

More recently, there was the Reggae Sunspliff Festival on Power Station Beach. Yeah, I know, it isn't called that. They're the ones in Jamaica who are known as that. But this was a three day event featuring lots of reggae inspired DJs. I think Lamma-Gung has the PR stuff to adorn this section of this story. I saw two laptop DJs playing. The first was a lady called Anna(?) whose short set was a delightfully delicate, diverse display of digidelic dancehall grooves.
Nice shifts in pacing and phasing. Didn't know a single tune, mind, but I had a splendid back stage seat for the festivities where I was joined by Pietro and Lauren, Sam and her friend (whose name I've mislaid) and loads of other people, including John Dillon's son. I was a bit too rum-ed out to make coherent conversation so sorry about that to all of you who came by to say hi(gh).

The second and last DJ I caught was Mouse FX. A sturdy Chinese lad with a topknot of short dreads, he played a more monotonic set of easy reggae riddims overlaid with Canto-ballad crooning. An odd style I thought. Mouse was more effective in producing his laptop set, using reverb and echo and brilliant random bursts of Chaos machine drop ins.
Mouse will also be on the bill for the forthcoming Secret Island Party. Which I have been invited to attend. Thanks to Jim and Tamara for that. I hope I can get about 90 minutes to deliver my "usual random psychedelic shit". I've apparently got a morning slot on the Saturday to lay down my marker. There will also be live music and bands include the SFC signed Thud who are rising new stars and Defiant Scum with Mozz and the boys giving it their fucking all.
Details available through the Open Space Facebook site I think. And Jim's asked me to mention that there'll be A Happening at Open Space on 27/9/2015.
Music of The Nineties. See you all there.


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