Working Weakly

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Last updated on 10 Mar 2006

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Working Weakly  (10-14/2/1993)

Wednesday. We have just moved to our new house and are frantically busy making sense out of the chaos. Our nine cats are O.K. and seem to be settling down, but our dog, Rory, is missing. Iím sure he will be all right though. My wife, Marilena, and I plan an early evening because we have four late nights in a row coming up. Friends have invited us to see the sensuous all-girl band The Sisters of Sharon at Amoeba nightclub. We must sadly decline, as we are off to The Jazz Club to see an exciting Finnish trio called 22-Piste Pirkko. Mari, who hails from Helsinki, says they are Not To Be Missed!

Thursday. Last night was horrible!! Our cat, Felix, ate poison and died in my arms. Another one, Benson, is missing and Rory still hasnít come back. I get home early and my neighbour tells me there is a dead dog in her garden. It is Rory. I suspect the nearby farmers are to blame and inform the police, who are sympathetic. It is not a good start for the evening. We arrive at the concert in a suitably Scandinavian state of sorrow. Itís a small audience, mostly Finnish. Local band Huh! open the show in their typically thrilling style. Now 22-PP come on. They certainly are diverse, switching from soft bluesy style workouts to thrashing chords and cheesy, rippling runs on the Hammond-style keyboards. Itís a swampedelic, voodoo r ní b, tinged with bubblegum, space-rock and proto garage-punk. Both sets go down well. I buy the new CD, get it autographed and invite them to visit us. Coming home, we learn that Amoebaís sound system succumbed to the sonic onslaught of The Sisters.

Friday. An early start as I take Rory for an autopsy, postponed, pending the police paperwork. I am in a grimalkinic mood when I get home Ė only to find Benson dead by my kitchen window. As I bury him, a neighbour tells me her dog was just poisoned here, but survived. We find some purple-stained rice on the public footpath and take it to the police. More statements. What a mood setter for tonightís Folk Club concert with The Battlefield Band. Itís my friend Chunnyís birthday, so I am determined to have a ďrockingĒ night out. Let tomorrow wait, I say! Itís an alcoholically-fuelled sit-down soiree at The Island School Zoo and The Battlefield Band (T.B.B. henceforth) play w/out musical support to a full house of fans. They certainly are diverse, switching between chamber music violins, skirling bagpipes, trilling flutes and strummed guitars, tinged with mock-heavy metal, foot-tapping jeels and rigs and rousing choral singalongs. Itís T.B.B.ís third visit here. Alan and Alistair, on keyboards and guitars, remain. Ian and John, on pipes and fiddles, are new. The entire set goes down well. I buy the new CD, arrange to have it autographed, but fail to ask them to visit!!

Saturday. I am not happy today so I think I will talk to the farmers. Michael, Jason and Freddie will interpret for me. I will bring the food. Everything goes well. We meet, they eat, we rap, they crap, we lie, they die. (The fugu sashimi? Or Montyís salmon mousse? Who cares?) Rough justice is served. I am happy. We leave the house and are startled by the strident noise of an alarmÖclock. Whew, what a nightmare! I am not happy today so I think I willÖnot do very much. A lazy day is decreed. Our seven cats squallop, squirtle, squoggle and squnch under successful short-term supervision! Tonight, itís more more 22-PP at Amoeba or S.O.S. at The Wanch. Mari and I opt for the self-replicating fission of Amoebaís sound system over the fusion of sexy souls and songs in the red-hot Wanch. The club is packed. MTV cameras are omni-present, the dance space is minute and secondary to our needs. The band expand my expectations, but the sparse audience feedback cuts the first set short. Itís a fine reprise of Thursday, encompassing strains of J.J. Cale, Electric Prunes, Julian Cope, Golden Earring, Buzzcocks, Throbbing Gristle and more. P.K. the guitarist swaps vocal duties with Espe, the drummer. Asko rounds out the sound on bass and keyboards. The indifferent crowd reduce the second set to an encore. I opine that the band were fine and it was a case of wrong audience expectation. We confirm lunch tomorrow. Coming home, we learn that T.B.B. were among the happy audience who enjoyed the S.O.S. show tonight.

Sunday. Another early start as I ponder the end product from my pent-up but pooped-out pussycats. Itís House Cleaning Day! No further developments in my case are expected for two weeks. Chores completed, and itís off to town to collect our six guests: P.K., Espe, Asko, Jari, the soundman, Thorsten, the manager and Martin, a freelance music writer. With myself and Mari and our friends, Lisa and Jo, that is ten for lunch. Itís sunny, so we decide to eat outdoors at The Lamcombe. We order seafood hotpot, minced quail, vegetables with thread noodles, large pork chops in spicy sauce and lots of beer and tea. Itís a good Dining experience. Afterwards, coffee and pleasant conversation at our home. All too soon, they must go. 22-PP flies to Australia tomorrow for ten shows in Sydney and Melbourne. We wish them our best. They want to come back here next year, if itís possible. We think they should meet the Sisters Ė they could make good music together.

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