After some days my chagrin subsided enough for me to leave the house. I’d had it in my mind for some time to check out a new café that had opened up a few streets away from home. I leapt into the bright morn full of hope.
I should have stayed in bed. Is there anything more heartbreaking than your breakfast expectations not being met? Than your coffee arriving like a busted radiator, an oily film on it, a bathroomy funk – not yours – filling the nose. ‘What are nose hairs for!’ you scream inwardly. And even the Xanax doesn’t help. The eggs arrive – good, not great, but anything is better than that coffee which tastes like arse; anything to get that out of your mouth. So you rake a few pubes – you know you won’t be proud about this later but you do it anyway (it’s such a vulnerable time of day) –, and hide them between two silver coins and drop them smiling in the ‘tips’ jar on your way out.
Outside the front I pick up a copy of the local street rag from a crate. I tuck it under my armpit through street upon street of Howard Arkley’s, before opening to “Live Reviews” as it drops on my living room table. I look hard. Thankfully her name does not appear. I don’t think I could have taken it. I picture her face burning on the inside of my skull and I’m suddenly filled with a swirling lust and hatred, much akin to the feeling of watching pornography. But now – there’s no doubt about it – my hatred is directed outwardly. How I envy the praying mantis and their superior customs. I resist slinking off to the bathroom and keep reading.
I scan the week’s debris – a host of bands I’ve never heard of…I stumble across Dick Diver:
“I had heard good things about this band, but not having seen them before, I was sceptical. The venue had a decent sized crowd, I suppose, for a weeknight at least and the hipster’s were out in full force. The venue was imbued with rich, pastel tones of light, thanks to a long overdue refurbishment from the management. Bout time guys! I remember seeing X play here just before they released Aspirations and the lights even then were terrible. Not that this mattered because the band would have outshone them anyway. Some bands imitate, others innovate, and then there’s X.
I arrived early to catch the aura for the occasion. Too many kids these days just rock up for one buzz band and then leave without staying for the rest of the show. Tonight one of the other bands had a member from Drowning in the Sandpit in them, so all the cool kids came down early to try catch a glimpse. She was looking conspicuously oh-so cool in a leather jacket and a new ‘I don’t give a fuck’ haircut.
"So, Dick Driver? Well, once you look past the name, anyone with a pair of ears could tell they were a poor man’s Television circa Adventure but without Tom Verlaine AND on valium. Two of the songs could have been passable had the two front-men – clearly trying to channel the Go-Betweens, come on guys make up your mind already! – been able to sing. Perhaps this was because they could best be described as ‘front-boys’. One of them hadn’t been told how to adjust his guitar strap, which appeared to be choking him, and the cross-eyed other one appeared to have honed his ‘singing face’ during times of childhood constipation. The bass player smiled way too much when he played. I mean, come on dude, you’ve got a show to play! Get the job done and then have a few beers. We all like to enjoy ourselves, but it’s hard to do when you’ve spent $6 of your hard earned on seeing four bands, and one of them clearly isn’t concentrating.
The only saving grace was their possession of a girl drummer who not only proved that the girls can do it just as good as the boys – she even carried her own kit out to her car (manual btw) – but who’s fondness for wacky T-shirts at least gave the audience something refreshing to look at. It will be a sad thing when she inevitably finds herself in the future onstage in something resembling swimwear rather than clothing. Oh well. So, Dick Driver: Remember you need at least 120 hours of practice before you get off your L’s.”
They could have at least had a photo. Their drummer did wear good T-shirts though, I thought closing the review. I put the kettle on.