I started the week by oiling the creative cogs and writing my first short story in forever (I even sent it off too!) then, on Tuesday, I went to see The Black Crowes at Brixton Academy. I'm not a huge Black Crowes fan but I absolutely loved their album "The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion". As a result I went along with an open mind. Would I love it or would I be the tiniest bit bored by song after song that I didn't know?
It was a mixture of both. They started well and Chris Robinson is a fantastic front man (very camp though, if it wasn't for the fact he used to be married to Goldie Hawn's daughter Kate Hudson I would have put money on the fact he was gay). He got the audience clapping, bounced around on stage and took the most theatrical bows I've ever seen at a music gig. He was also the skinniest front man I've ever seen and was dressed entirely in black, apart from the very long, very silver zip that ran down the front of his jeans and meant I spent half the gig staring at his crotch because it was so very, er, eyecatching! His voice was brilliant and I was in heaven when he sang Remedy.
Unfortunately however the band had a habit of dragging out 3 minute songs into 10 minute marathons with ever-so-slightly overindulgent instrumentals. The first time they did it the audience clapped in all the wrong places thinking the song was over and I was like, "Okay, they can get away with doing one extended song". But they did it over and over and over again. So much in fact that I started to get a bit bored and, because we were standing, my feet started to really, really ache!
So, overall, the gig started and ended well but was a little dull in the middle. I'm glad I went to see them but I don't think I'll be rushing to see them again.
Thursday night was an entirely different kettle of fish. I went along to see Portishead at Hammersmith Apollo, absolutely pooped from the late night the night before and a full day at work. Although I love Portishead I was fully expecting to nod off in my seat (standing was sold out). But...oh my god. It was AMAZING. Absolutely bleedin' amazing. The support act was, er, different to say the least (an instrumental band with a violin, banjo and accordion) and their French meets Russian meets Hebrew music was, er, ear piercing. So ear piercing in fact I decided to escape and get some drinks. Bloody hell. The bar was PACKED. It was 5 deep and you could barely breathe never mind move. Looks like everyone had the same idea.
Anyway, drinks in hand I returned to my seat just in time. The lights dimmed and a 3 appeared on the video screen behind the stage (the title of Portishead's 3rd album is 'Third') that then morphed into a giant P. "It's going to get noisy when the band come on stage" I whispered and bloody hell was I right. The entire place erupted with noise. The audience seemed to hold it's breath as the first song started (Silence, the first song on the new album) but it was when the band played the hits from the first two albums that the whole venue seemed to fizz with electricity and excitement. To hear classics like Sour Times, Glory Box and Numb was an absolute treat and when Beth Gibbons sat down with 2 of the band to sing "Wandering Star" the hairs on my arms and legs stood up. It was absolutely exquisite. I'd pay double to see them again. Their standing ovation at the end was very, very well deserved.
So, back to earth and back to Brighton today. It's an early night for me because I have to get up at 6am tomorrow (the earliest I think I've ever got up on a Saturday unless going on holiday) to go to a one day writing course in Bournemouth (not Portsmouth as I thought). It's just as well Leigh is giving me a lift! Really looking forward to the course and I'm hoping the secrets of a great twist in the tale story will be revealed (call me mercenary but it's a well paying market if you can crack it!) . I'm also looking forward to meeting Helen and Womag. It's going to be a great day but I'm already looking forward to a LONG lie in on Sunday!
I haven't done a huge amount of writing this week (just over 400 words of novel #2) but I had to squeeze that in during my lunch breaks so at least there's forward progress. On the upside I've had an idea for novel #3 that I'm positively fizzing about. It's got romantic comedy stamped all over it and, unlike novels 1 and 2 that have a bit of heartache in them I can go mad with the comedy. It's only a very vague idea at the moment but it's good to know I've got a backup idea if novel #2 doesn't work out.
Right, after this marathon post I'm going to leave you with something to make you smile. You know how you can watch a film musical and think "But no one ever starts spontaneously singing and dancing in real life!" apparently they do (brought to you by the people who did the people freezing in Central Station clip):
p.s. One more thing to add. I'm currently reading Lucy Diamond's Any Way You Want Me and I'm absolutely LOVING it. I can't put it down. I stayed up until 1.30am last night because I couldn't stop reading. It's sexy, it's real, it's infuriating ("Nooooo," I keep wanting to scream at the main character. "What the hell are you thinking!") and it's real edge of your seat stuff in parts (I was terrified for the main character at one point). I can't wait to see how it ends. What are you waiting for? Get your copy now!