Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I love Paris in the springtime 

Right, so the Frenchman is taking Smacked Face to Paris for the weekend, ooh la la, so this will be the last post for a few days. I'm praying the weather will be OK - the forecast is for partial cloud but tolerable temperatures. As long as it's better than the first 'romantic' weekend I took there, around this time two years ago - then, it was so miserable that my only memories are of standing round, shivering on street corners, and sulking at the Donkey.

Actually, I lie. I've got loads - arriving rottenly pissed at Gare Du Nord after quaffing a bottle of champagne and a bottle of vodka on the train and christening the Eurostar toilets, getting picked out of the queue for La Fabrique to see Peaches, suffering the noisiest hotel bed in history, the world's worst breakfast at Paul's Cafe, the world's best dinner at Cafe Crème, dancing like a monkey to the organ grinder outside the Pompidou Centre, getting caught by a posse of pensioners while humping Victor Noir's tomb in Père Lachaise...

Obviously you can't take me anywhere and the Frenchman should be very, very afraid.

So you don't get too bored or despondent during my absence, why not check out this blog (swiped from the good Inspector Sands at Casino Avenue)? It's not too bad at all.

Or you could work your way through everyone's favourite gossip site A-List, as it has now been UPDATED, hurrah! Remember, everything contained within is gospel and should be repeated verbatim at every opportunity. If your audience should mock you, fear not and be safe in the knowledge it is they who are the gullible fools for believing the Hollywood spin.

And lastly, don't forget Glastonbury tickets go on sale tomorrow at 8pm. Do us a favour and get us one, will ya?

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Flamboyant, Pet Shop Boys

So many questions 

Some recent bus-journey ponderings...

• Why does the Sub Evening Standard continue to pay Victor Lewis-Smith a truckload of cash to write his rubbish TV reviews? He's like your dad's most embarrassing mate who thinks he's down with the kids because he's party to all the "wacky" emails that do the rounds, which he then rips off and claims as his own for his cringeworthy spiels.

• How creepy is the cartoon signage of the Russian Pub on Kingsland Road? It appears to be a wolf in a hat and sailor suit leading a young bunny astray, sketched in freaky Eastern-bloc-Itchy & Scratchy style - it sends shivers down my spine. (But that just could be a flashback to the last time I was at the Russian Pub. SEEDY.)

• Why does Travis's Fran Healy continue to be celebrated as some sort of sex god in some quarters when he looks like a street urchin? Or, more precisely, one of those shifty Irish junkies that hang round Camden tube?

• Aren't Levi's Type 1 jeans horrible? I put an old pair on this morning and it was like donning cardboard leggings. No wonder Levi's is in trouble. (Spilling Superglue on my favourite pair of Earl Jeans gives me the perfect excuse to buy another pair in Paris tomorrow. The perfect crime...)

Speaking of which, anyone with recently-acquired Paris tips can pass them my way. It's been six months since the last excursion, and an awful lot can change - has changed - in that time...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Pinball Song, Pointer Sisters

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Heading for the hills 

So. It's official. I will be leaving London mid-July. I've told the boss, so there's no going back now.

More cautious types might suggest I should like to go back for another look at Glasgow, and not base such a momentous, life-changing decision on the back of two good weekends (one of which was three years ago, both of which were spent mostly in a less than sober state) and the fact I have always loved boys with Scottish accents.

But then I've never been one not to yield to impulse.

When all else fails, talk about the weather... But these gorgeously clear days and light evenings are so lovely, how could you not talk about it?

All around me, even in the grim depths of Canary Wharf, people are joyfully skipping about in the sunshine like gambolling spring lambs. (That's gambolling with an 'O', mind - whenever I hear the phrase, I always imagine bad-ass lambs in green visors, bleating, "Hit me!", looking like those poker-playing dogs...)

Even I am casting off my hard cynical coating and turning towards the light, much like a baby bird pecking its way through its shell, though with slightly less veiny skin, marginally better hair and minus the bulging eyes. The longer days have sent me quite doolally in fact - I feel rather like a Disney cartoon, mooning about in a loved-up fashion with stars and bluebirds flapping around my head. (Last night's romantic home-cooked dinner for the Frenchman, however, was less reminiscent of the spaghetti scene from Lady And The Tramp, but more like a pack of feral dogs sighting food for the first time in months. Never mind.)

And if Al Qaeda choose this moment to wreak havoc and carnage on London, then so be it. I just might die with a smile on my face after all.

[PS: the latest Smacked Face referral from AOL - windows+media+player+balls+hurt+cum+squeeze. Really, there's just not the same class of people round here these days...]

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: That Joke Isn't Funny Any More, The Smiths (well, it doesn't pay to be too happy, does it?)

Monday, March 29, 2004

And isn't daylight savings absolutely WONDERFUL? Spring has fucking sprung, y'all.

[Oh dear. Isn't my language disgusting these days? Got the mouth of a fish wife, me...]

Itchy and scratchy 

Some skanking bastard has decided to put my Hotmail address as the reply-to address for his penis enlargement spam, which means every time I log on, I have 200 error messages waiting for me. It is cruel, unusual and a bloody pain in the arse, so I've put the Hotmail cops on to him. I hope they cut off his hand, fry it and feed it to him in bite-sized pieces.

Aside from that - and let's face it, it's a minor annoyance in the scheme of things - it was a brilliant weekend, mostly spent getting mothered at Mother Bar, trading insults with the delightfully sardonic bar manager at The Shakespeare, and misbehaving at the trusty White Horse until far too late last night. I got to play records at people. They danced back. It was most enjoyable (for me, anyway).

In party news, Buy None Get One Free head honcho Gid is damn keen that we return to Sahara Nights for another legendary night (and our last one was legendary, I have been informed by many independent observers). I am VERY excited about this.

I've also stumbled across the subject for my new book - The 22-Month Itch - after working out that none of my friends have managed to stay in a relationship beyond 22 months. It seems by this stage, the good bits are over, the romance is dying out, you're taking your partner for granted and starting to get far, far too comfortable around them - farting, picking your nose, omitting to shave, popping their zits, indulging in all manner of foul and loathsome habits... And running scared from the two-year anniversary mark must have something to do with it too.

I'm not sure how I'll get a 300-page book out of this rubbish, but there's enough relationship/self-help twaddle out there already to prove it can be done. And after all, this blog is living proof of my ability to spin absolute nonsense.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: That plonky guitar bit from Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand

Friday, March 26, 2004

Digging for gold 

Sulk. A nil-all result last night saw my beloved Forca Barca bow out of the UEFA Cup and those bloody Weegie buggers Celtic head through to the quarter-finals.

On the plus side, someone in the office is playing Minnie Riperton's Les Fleurs at volume. You'd have to be a right old curmudgeonly bastard not to crack a smile to that one.

In lieu of anything remotely interesting to post (it's becoming a bit of a common theme round these parts, alas), I recall I never told the sorry tale of T Mobile and why they are the devil's plaything. In brief - after my phone was nicked in the wilds of deepest, darkest Brixton, I took the opportunity to ditch crappy old Singlepoint and ordered a new phone online from T Mobile. It took a week to be posted out, then another week and a half for the SIM card to be connected. THEN it couldn't be connected at all, as the number issued to me as a temporary number till my old number could be transferred across was incorrect. By this stage - after nearly two weeks sans phone - I had given up all hope and told them in no uncertain terms that they and the horse they rode in on could just fuck off (quote: "Oh for fuck's sake, you can just fuck off, T Mobile, you and the horse you rode in on"), and promptly went downstairs and signed up with O2.

Not the most exciting story, I admit, but one with a moral: NEVER use T Mobile.

There endeth the lesson.

PS: A jubilant Quentishtown draws my attention to this story, regarding the apparent health benefits of nose-picking. I imagine a number of people I know will be quietly celebrating this news - probably with a good fossick, topped off with a big ol' lick. Mmmm.


Thursday, March 25, 2004

Satan's little helper 

Hurrah - another free coffee from Pret. I think the manager fancies me...

The smug Virgin top-up-line voices (as mentioned below) have been reminding me of something all day, and I've finally twigged - it's that bloody Microsoft "Office Assistant". Yes, you know, the one that pops up every time you write the word 'dear', with "Hey! Looks like you're typing a letter!"

Now I'm certainly no rabid anti-capitalist, but Bill Gates deserves to die a very slow and painful death for that fiendish wee creation. Believe me, when the day comes when Gates is up against the wall, I will be first in line: "Hey! Looks [twist]... like [twist]... I'm [twist]... tightening [twist]... the thumbscrews!"

Incidentally, there was a rather amusing mpeg doing the rounds a couple of years ago featuring a life-sized "Office Assistant" paperclip and, even more amusingly, the cousin of my dear friend Chuck Pettifogspot. Oh how we laughed.

Speaking of Chuck, I wholeheartedly believe Pettifogspot to be some of the best writing on the net. As the man in the Dilmah tea adverts urges, do try it.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Paranoid Android, Radiohead

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Listing towards the red 

I was wondering why I have next to no money left, with another three weeks left till payday, considering the tidy amount sitting in the savings account at the start of the year. How did I churn through all but £500 of that, plus polish off every cent of my wages, clean out the current account AND spend all of my NZ airfare refund? Then I compiled my 2004 Ebay account (see side bar), and that, on top of the vast sums spent in various record and clothing stores - not to mention bars - across the country, kinda suggested the answer. Sob.

Cheesy muthafuckas R us 

Talk about putting the cringe in cringeworthy (sorry, "cringe-worthy" - see? I'm Belle De Jour...). Look. It's simple. Automated phone messages and ATM machines are not supposed to be human, OK?

We don't expect or want our cashpoints to tell us, "I'm working on it" or "It's always a pleasure to serve you". They're machines - an 'IT', not an 'I'. Is that clear, Citibank?

And as for you, Virgin Mobile, and your smarmy top-up-line voices, you can take your "Hey there! I see you've selected airtime vouchers! Grrrrreat! Now..." and shove it up your arse.


> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Barely Breakin' Even, Universal Robot Band


Oops, had to swiftly remove yesterday's hilarious account of a mate's accidental defilement of a YBA "work of art" as apparently the owner of said work is bound to read this humble website and then all will be revealed in ghastly fashion. So we'll save that one for a later date when the coast is clear...

So it's back to food reviewing then, and how much do we love Mem & Laz in Angel? This place is in everyone's little black book and deservedly so. I first went here a year ago, but don't recall being 100% impressed, though that may have had something to do with the fact it was with a somewhat dour Donkey and not the delightedly excitable Frenchman: "Oh, it's so boh-EM-ian, darling!"

Anyway, it was sublime (and even more so for serving us, slightly tipsy, at 10.30pm on a Tuesday). I had the roasted aubergine, he had the filo parcels, we both had the warm Mediterranean bread and olives, and it was amazing. Oh, and their orange crème brulée wipes the floor with Le Mercury's, and they did the best espresso I've tasted in a long time.

• Coffee update - three cheers to Pret A Manger Canary Wharf, who not only gave me a free soya latte yesterday (possibly remembering the one-off curdling incident, or else couldn't be bothered changing my tenner), but have started in-store taste-test freebies every afternoon. On Monday, it was delicious new chocolate florentines, yesterday a sublime rhubarb yoghurt smoothie... Nothing paid! Top work lads.

PS: Loving the open letter to Cruz 101 club, Manchester, or "your own local cock-spots" at Rubbish Gays today...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Cherchez La Femme, Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


So Le Mercury wasn't bad. We had a lovely table by the window and away from the draft of the door, and the Frenchman was very impressed by the ambience of it all. The service was rubbish though - we got our wine OK, but had to wait at least half an hour before someone could be bothered to take the rest of our order, or to respond to my requests for some olive oil and sea salt for my bread - some Cerebos table salt in a shaker just won't cut it, I'm sorry.

However, Frenchie had no complaints on the food, which was a definite relief. I knew we were probably home safe when he ordered the soup for his starter. He's a total soup freak - pretty much anything puréed in a bowl puts a smile on his dial, and the courgette, carrot and coriander soup was a wee cracker. My crab salad was perfectly pleasant too, although distinctly lacking on the promised chilli, which would have lent a much-needed kick to the affair. The mains were tasty (although my Mediterranean vegetable filo parcel was a tad on the tepid side), but the highlight, as always, were the desserts. My usual, the crème brulée, was gorgeous, but surpassed by Napoleon's choice of that evening's special, the crème caramel – creamy, dreamy, not too sweet...

So not the greatest, all up, but for just £40 including wine, I suppose you cannae really complain.

Anyway, I'm turning into Fay Maschler so I'll stop. Here's a strange German site featuring Thriller done with Lego. (Shut it...)

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Dance Commander, Electric 6

Monday, March 22, 2004

Monkey business 

Grrrr. It's that annoying time of the year when you wake up in the middle of the night sweating and promptly throw off all your bedclothes, then wake again two hours later with your left arm numb from the cold. I wish we could fast-forward to May, my favourite month of the year, when everyone is still excited and optimistic about what a lovely summer it's going to be (as opposed to July and August, when everyone is fed up with what a crap summer it has been).

I've been sleeping badly for the past two weeks anyway, mostly thanks to all my Glasgow late nights catching up with me. We used to call it the 'stereo headfuck' (it's generally a sign of excessive excess - thank god it rarely happens these days, surely I'm getting too old for these shenanigans) - when you're drifting off to sleep only to wake up with a start as your brain turns its internal stereo up to max volume (you can actually hear your synapses popping), usually followed by a serious case of the 'Optimo twitch' in your legs, then the most vivid 'think you're awake when you're asleep' dreams... Hmmm. Maybe I've said too much.

Le garçon and I are off to Le Mercury in Angel tonight. I'm a little nervous - the prospect of taking a Frenchman to a French restaurant is somewhat daunting. I've mostly had brilliant meals at this remarkably good-value place, but last time I was there it wasn't up to its usual standards, so fingers crossed - I really can't be dealing with any cheese-eating surrender-monkeys moaning about it being 'so much better in Provence, darling' tonight.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Alison, Elvis Costello

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Thank god. The party ROCKED. Although I could have done without having to spend half the night arguing the closing time with the staff and finally, at 5am, with the crazy owner who accused me of fibbing about having been promised a 6am finish - "Are you calling me a liar? Are you calling my staff liars? Do you want me to fire the staff on Monday because they lied to me about what they had told you? You come in here, giving it all this..." etc.

But yes. It was great. And I got to play my favourite stormers du jour - Max Sedgley's Happy, Sergio Mendes's Superstition and, to best hands-in-the-air effect at 3am, Sly & The Family Stone's Dance To The Music. Brilliant.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Lovin' Is Really My Game, Brainstorm

Friday, March 19, 2004


It's a bitsy day work-wise here at Smacked Face Towers, which has enabled me to knuckle down and try to sort out the huge pile of bills and documents marked for my attention I've been carrying around for the past month.

So it's a big hurrah for Ticketmaster, who valiantly came to my rescue when I realised, in all the excitement of securing Morrissey tickets, I'd forgotten to note down my confirmation number. The brilliantly efficient call centre chap not only provided me with said details, he quickly arranged for my tickets to be posted out, rather than venue pick-up, which means the Frenchman and moi can now flog 'em to our mates - or on Ebay - and take advantage of our STANDING GUESTLISTS, courtesy of his mate who does PR for Franz Ferdinand. [Smacked Face does excited little dance round her desk, to workmates' bewilderment.]

It's a grrrrr for British Gas though, which keeps billing me for my old Church Street property even though I haven't lived there for almost two months. All credit, though, the girl did sort me out within a matter of minutes and even kept the hard sell to a minimum after I growled at her.

And finally, a big boo for Inland Revenue, which insists on sending me late-payment bills for money I do not owe. Somehow I've ended up with two reference numbers, thanks to my shite accountant (one day when I get pic facilities I'll post his 'wacky' Christmas card - avec POEM), and it has led to no end of grief. Anyway, the Officer In Charge, Cambridgeshire area can look forward to a very nasty missive in his in-tray next week.

In other news, I was gratified to see an email from Kathy Burke arrive today - I only met her the once, when she came in one Sunday afternoon for a quiet pint at the White Horse, so was surprised to see she remembered me. Sadly she only had this to say:

"j Generi c Cial/is get ha-rd upto 36 hours g
delve dispersal satan yost fungoid cinquefoil debility laurence caesar lil=
a input librarian shirt=20 dietrich grantor dial inducible absolution dive=
st boule cit rutledge ambuscade actuarial clitoris transliterate anabaptis=
t lipread sherlock passionate foundling tendency fifth northernmost nether=

Which is a bit surreal, even by her standards.

Ooh yay, less than 36 hours till the party. I cannae wait...

[NB addition of crap new Smacked Face feature below, brought on by the self-inflicted irritation caused by my mindless humming all afternoon. It has driven me to distraction, so it's only fair you get to share the fun.]

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: The Muppet Show theme

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Upstairs at Sahara Nights, 257 Pentonville Road, King's Cross, London N1
THIS SATURDAY!! 10pm-all night long

FEATURING: James Priestley, Rusty Egan, Terry Bristol, Tim Red and Luke vB, Gid Pigeonhold, John Julian & Amber Push It!, Professional Widows, Matt Tarr, Tumblekool, Will B, Dirty Hernandez and the London debut of the Gimmer Twins!!!

Email for guestlist. Hurrah!

And you will know me by the trail of teeth... 

So the nice new dentist took one look at my cracked and crappy teeth and instantly offered me a brand new set of veneers, acknowledging (as I'd always known) that my current set, designed by leery old South African dentist Lino, is rubbish and that I could not be expected to keep running into the surgery every three months with stumpy, smashed-up caps.

Thus I'm a very happy girl. I might get the next lot a shade whiter to combat all the smoking I've been doing - although not as white as the original, oversized set dodgy Lino gave me, which resulted in me being called Donny (as in Osmond) for the rest of my life. Tom Cruise's goofy grin will have nothing on mine.

Anyway, I was going to continue my 'why Glasgow rules' list, but sod it. It just does, alright? All I know - it struck me like a thunderbolt this morning as I strutted down the street to Sergio Mendes's Superstition, cut a rug at the bus stop to Damon Harris's It's Music and almost sobbed on the DLR to the beauty of Idris Muhammad's Could Heaven Ever Be Like This? - is that I need to be there. I'm sick of London and its fragmented, fussy scenes, I wanna be where the disco is, where the funk is, where the soul is, goddamnit - and that, for me, is Glasgow. I've fallen for it harder than I ever have for anything or anyone else, so help me god.

See you fackin' Weegie dobbers in July then.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

In love 

If it's possible to lose your heart to a city, then without a doubt I have fallen hook, line and sinker for Glasgow. It may have four seasons in one day (er, perhaps make that just autumn and winter then) and some of its residents may look like pasty, pudgy porridge people (or the other extreme, orange Atomic Kitten-alikes with the contrast turned up to 11), but I love it.

I was going to give you a brief Smacked Face travelogue, but on reflection that's probably about as exciting as listening to someone's dreams, so none of that. Here are the edited highlights, part I.

The people I've never met such a crazy bunch of maniacs. Lovely local lass Auds took me aside one night to tell me, "Every time I've seen you this weekend, you're always laughing your arse off." And it's true - I didn't stop howling like a fool the entire trip. And that wasn't just due to the nonsense and booze - them Weegies are hilarious. Whether it was Badboy Billy's constant cheekiness, Stewart's scarily perfect Mick Jagger impressions, fellow Forca Barca fan Mike's award-winning dance styles, the lads' rendition of Your Own Personal Badboy for the big man's birthday... I came home with sore sides and my nose-to-mouth laughter lines so deep I look more like Homer Simpson than ever. It is NOT ALLOWED.

D*I*S*C*O Smacked Face loves disco. Glasgow loves disco. QED Smacked Face loves Glasgow - and vice versa we hope. Friday and Saturday nights were spent at The Buff, a brilliant new-but-old music hall-style venue with DJs playing the finest funk, soul and disco this boogie queen has heard outside her bedroom for a long while (DJ Kev, we salute you). I have come back absolutely inspired, not least by the £150-worth of records from Fopp and my new favourite place, Defunkt Records. As soon as I get back to Glasgow, it's time for Jen and Mandy's disco night extravaganza. It has the best name in history, but I'm not telling cos one of you cheeky buggers will steal it, I know your thieving type...

Optimo [to be pronounced 'Op-teeeeee-mowwwww' while waving an outstretched finger] This place is fully deserving of its legendary status. And if you can remember it, then you weren't really there. Enough said. (PS: Apologies to the venerable Twitch for telling him to "Shut it!" at half 10 on Monday morning. See you in Paris, aye man!)

Eating The vegan-tastic 13th Note, Il Cappuccino on Great Western Street for ciabattas, Tinderbox on Byres Road for gorgeously cheap soup, Roots & Fruits for organic yumminess... Not a deep-fried Mars bars in sight (alas - I was rather looking forward to it). I bought a copy of Glasgow On A Plate (now the Donkey is gone I can indulge my cookbook addiction again) and it looks sensational. Langoustines and scallops ahoy.

Anyway, there's much more but it's getting late and I have a party to promote. EVERYONE MUST GO!

[EDIT: The Frenchman emails, "Just one thing, Il Cappuccino and others are on Great Western ROAD not Street. Yes, yes, tell me to fuck off etc." I stand corrected.]

Monday, March 15, 2004

Reach out and SHUT IT! 


You may have noticed from my lack of recent posts that on Thursday I did what is now referred to as the 'Badboy Billy Sneaky Bail' and snuck out the back door without telling anyone. In fact I was having the time of my life in sunny Scotland - such a good time, indeed, that by day one I had lost my voice, by day two decided to move there, by day three adopted a (bad) pseudo-Weegie accent and by day four set a moving date - end June, aye man!

But no sleep since Tuesday has left Smacked Face a very dull girl so I'll save the rest of the trip tales for tomorrow. (They start with an ill-advised visit to Nag Nag Nag on Wednesday - seeing Smacked Face and the Frenchman subsequently miss TWO Glasgow-bound flights and end up having to fly to Edinburgh - and end with yet another of Smacked Face's tooth caps falling off on Monday afternoon en route to the airport. It's been an eventful few days.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

My sides, my sides... 

Ahahaha, Popjustice I love you... Quickly now, children, to Ebay at once, and commence the bidding war for the Bryan 'Now Quite Literally Out Of' Westlife Commemorative Stool.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Lyrical lounge 

Obviously www.kissthisguy.com got there first, but I still find my foolish mates' misheard song lyrics a bit of a giggle. It's been the order of the evening, so why shouldn't you share the fun?

Timmy Schmacko comes up with an original, distinctly Antipodean version of that oft-misquoted song Give Peace A Chance: "I kid you not, I thought he was saying, 'Skippy's a champ'."

He also claims to have a friend who thought Madonna's lyric "Strike a pose" was "stripey poos". Er, ooookay.

And Ms Groves reminds me of her mate Chloe, notorious in their circle for regularly mishearing house lyrics back in the late 90s. A few choice goodies included Derrick Carter's Cold Way Of Loving, which became "Cold Train Over"; and Cevin Fisher's The Freaks Come Out, which naturally became "Freak The Mouse".

But my favourite of all time - and not a song lyric but worthy of inclusion, I'm sure you'll agree - comes from our dear friend Bob, who until an embarrassingly late age (until he flatted with us four years ago, in fact) thought the Star Wars Rebel Forces were calling Chewie "Julie". (Bob is also famous for having written on his school bag, in large black marker pen, the words "Rock Set" - as opposed to, erm, Roxette. Kind of embarrassing either way really - bless.)

T for two 

Obviously there’s no sitting at home this summer. As if Sonar and Glastonbury in June won’t be enough, I’ve now been instructed that attendance at July's T In The Park festie is compulsory. (Well, just check the line-up - Bowie, N*E*R*D, The Strokes, The Pixies, FF... I’m there.)

And if I needed further convincing (after all, local accommodation booked out in a matter of days after Bowie was confirmed, and Smacked Face doesn't do tents, darling), the (very) excitable wee Frenchman sends this:

"1. T in the Park is in the middle of nowhere in a field (like most festivals I agree but...) so after the last gig around 11pm there is fuck all to do but either head back to Glasgow and queue for 3 hours, and it's all messy and smelly OR if you're camping then it's full of pilled up, smelly, messy Scots puking/pissing/shagging/etcing among/in/on/between tents and it can all be OK if it's hot and dry (cos there might still be a sense of south European summer togetherness), but imagine the mud bath if it rains (which it does on a 65% basis) so back to my point: Bless A for inviting us to her house (next to the site).
2. A's folks always leave the house (mansion should I say) at this time of the year so she can have it all for herself and friends for after-parties etc.
3. So there is an after-party.
4. The after-party is not in the rain if it rains.
5. The garden is always there if it doesn't.
6. The fridge is there too for the beers to be kept cool.
7. Not that many people know about it so there are always enough beers left.
8. There can be some vodka Diet Coke too if required.
9. There are chairs to sit on after such a mad day standing up trying to catch Bowie's sight.
10. Sorry I'm going on and on and on but...
11. There are beds to sleep/etc well on.
12. And a shower/bath in the morning to go to day #2 fresh and clean and not smelly.
13. And it IS important to feel ok for day #2 cos at the end of it we catch the bus back to Glasgow and all end up at Optimo!!!!!!! who usually play on the saturday night at T in the park anyway so it's a double optimo gig in one weekend!!! Hurray!
14. And my friend M usually gets us into the Saturday night VIP after-party!!)
15. It's so good, we've been doing it for years now.
16. Let's do it again!"

Gasp. I feel quite out of breath just reading it. He’s definitely used up his year’s quota of exclamation marks.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Smacked Face often tries to be deep and meaningful, mostly to her detriment. So fuck all that - get yourself to Onionbagblog and observe Smacked Face's real emotional depths and maturity level (see donated Pic Swap Shop on the sidebar). The most genius signage in the world ever. Snigger. Snort.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Heavy petting 

Bored, tired and uninspired on a Sunday with a couple of hours to kill before heading out, so time for a classic from the Smacked Face vault. The below must surely lay claim to being the best fan email ever, sent to the Donkey's mate Dave from NZ band Elemeno P (hopefully he won't mind me posting this - it's a beauty)...

Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2003 19:51:28 +1200
To: "Dave Gibson"
Subject: a "BIG!" fan

hi, sorry i didnt give u my name... my name is _________. im 13 years old and im a male!
i got ur cd.. i play it in the car when i go 2 school.
my girlfriend just dumped me... im real sad... she was cool as! i poked her with 5 fingers... but that is in the past now!

"Poked". Ew. Mmm, weren't those teenage years great?

Saturday, March 06, 2004

No telefono 

The curse of Brixton strikes again, leaving me sans phone. Damn it! The plus side is I can now ditch rotten bung old Singlepoint and get myself a swanky, much coveted new Sony T-610 through T-Mobile. It takes photos and all. Ah, finally I join the modern age.

But until the new toy arrives, please email me loads - something needs to fill the yawning chasm that being unable to text has created in my sorry life.

Friday, March 05, 2004

You’ll find me in the matinée 

... the dark of the matinée, it’s better in the matinée, the dark of the matinée...

That song has been on my internal jukebox all day - and now, I hope, it will have infiltrated yours. [Released April 16th FYI.] I just love the way Alex Kapranos sings the word “dark” - swoon.

Anyway, a quick one today cos it’s Friday, damn it! Hurrah.

1) Weekend recommendations:
Tonight - White Horse Brixton. See if you can outdrink the bar staff.
Tomorrow - Pigeonhold @ the Salmon & Compasses, followed by Electro Pussy @ The Fortress, for the international DJing debut of the Clutch Bag Sluts.
Sunday - Disco legend Nicky Siano @ Plan B; Dean Webb and crew @ the Bar & Dining House.

2) Weekend observation:
Ever noticed the high percentage of aggressive homeless gyps who are ginger? Just a thought...

Right, must dash - got truckloads to polish off before escaping to the deep Sarf to say an early joyeux anniversaire to the Frenchman and lavish presents on him. Ooh, he is SUCH a lucky bastard.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Smacked Face sports update 

Ah ha, you didn't have me down as a sports fan, did you? And indeed I'm not, unless it is boxing, swimming, one-day cricket (preferably viewed from the bank at the Basin Reserve in 30-degree temperatures) or, best of all, Formula 1. And thus this serves to remind you all that the 2004 F1 season starts this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix. That's my Sunday sorted then - best hangover TV in existence, bar perhaps Antiques Roadshow...

[Need to get up to speed? (Ba-doom-tish...) Check the Guardian's superb F1 site and wow your friends with your amazing knowledge of all things bogan Formula 1.]

And in footie news, Celtic is to face Barcelona in the 4th round of the UEFA Cup, spelling certain war between the Frenchman, who thinks he's Glaswegian, and Smacked Face, who is a slave to all things Barca. Bring it on.

Stop whining III 

People who constantly whinge about having to bus to work should just hush up for a moment and open their eyes. Of course it would be nice to wake up, walk five minutes down the road and be in your office (or preferably not to have to work at all), but bus travel has definite bonuses - unless you’re stuck on the Essex Road for an hour while workmen lean on their shovels, whistling, but that’s another story and one that has already been thoroughly dealt with on these very pages...

Perhaps I’m just an incurably optimistic person - though those who know me would find this very doubtful indeed - but I actually enjoy bussing all the way from Stokey every morning. It gives me a chance to read my book, listen to the first three or four tracks on the CD du jour, chill out and, more importantly, wake up. Plus I always end up spotting something that makes me giggle.

This morning, for instance, as the no 76 rumbled its way down Southgate Road, I noticed a house sporting a carefully crafted sign which read, “Seaview Cottage”. This is optimism at the highest level. As the house is situated in the middle of De Beauvoir Town, the chances of ever be able to view the sea or anything remotely like it are nil, unless the worst predictions for global warming come true. But bless the owners for living in hope.

And just up the road is a business called, or run by, Chas. Tap. Which made me wonder why those crazy Victorians/Edwardians/whoever felt they had to shorten everything with their wacky abbreviations - Charles (a one-syllable, seven-letter word) isn’t exactly taxing on the tongue or the eye, is it? Although good on them, I guess - for where would we be without Chas and Dave?

Ooh, apparently I was on the telly last night, looking all industrious and journo-like on Tabloid Tales. The workies are bringing in the video to add to my show reel, haha.

And GUTTED I didn’t make it to the Big Chill 10th anniversary gig on Sunday to catch my hero Ulrich Schnauss. By all accounts it was brilliant.

PS - On a week when Smacked Face received a Spongebob Squarepants keyring in the post courtesy of Chas. Pettifogspot, gratifying to see on the Popbitch mailout that: "At this year's Rio Carnival the best-selling face masks were Saddam Hussein and Spongebob Squarepants." Quite right too.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

White light 

Oh my lord. I have seen the future and it is... yeah, yeah, I know I said it was jukebox, but that was then and this is now, and the future is SO White Heat right now.

What a club. I am in love and may just need to attend every single week. We partied like maniac fools until 4am - on a school night - rocking out to Joy Division, Morrissey, Smiths, Jacques Brel, Tiga, Serge Gainsbourg, Chicks On Speed, Suede, Buzzcocks... It was truly Smacked Face heaven. (Incidentally, DJ Olly’s top 10 includes some of Smacked Face's favourite tracks of all time! What a star.) Last track of the evening was Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights - oh you crazy kids - but the penultimate track was The Stooges’ I Wanna Be Your Dog. The Frenchman would have positively imploded had he been there - if he’d recovered from hearing Bonnie & Clyde over a large soundsystem earlier, of course...

Bizarrely, one of the residents is a dead ringer for Edward Norton. I’m sure he was thrilled to be told this by a boozy Smacked Face halfway through his set.

Anyway, yes, it was a brilliant night - loads of beautiful boys with carefully-coiffed Keith Richards hairdos and tight buttoned-up shirts, lots of gorgeous women for Nick to dribble over - and made even more so when a crowd of girls in the loos guessed Smacked to be 23 and adamantly refused to believe she was in fact the grand old age of 29. Ah yes, come, you pretty things, and worship further at my temple. Haha, it was ACE.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

More Morrissey news - he's to be the artistic director of this year's Meltdown festival in June, following in the esteemed footprints of Bowie, John Peel, Nick Cave, etc

Wicked. If anything's going to get me down the South Bank more, this is it. Ooh, I hope he puts Sparks at the top of his list (the birthday spectacular means I'll miss their London shows at Ocean on the 20th/21st)...

Moz says, "Curating Meltdown is a great opportunity for me to acknowledge some of the music and words that have excited me over the years. Some of you have iPods, I have Meltdown."

Line-up announced soon here.

EDIT: Just noticed (on my way down for another Starbucks latte, sob) that this week's Time Out has an exclusive story on all this. No time to buy it, however - had... to... get... Starbucks... caffeine/opium... fix...

She's lost control again 

Forces beyond my control are pushing me towards the Death Star that is Starbucks. I went to Pret this morning for a soya latte, having been favourably impressed with both the quality and price of their coffees since they introduced their soya option last month. However, on removing the lid from my coffee at my desk this morning, I discovered Pret isn’t immune from the dodgy curdle either. Yuk. Having said that, when I returned to the store, they were very helpful and made me a second coffee on the spot, promising much compensation should it happen again in future. We'll be looking to take them up on that then.

In world domination news, my famed White Horse compilations have given rise to our latest all-conquering plan. Apparently so many people are demanding copies that we’ve decided to burn lots of CDs and flog ‘em for a fiver. (Horribly illegal I know, but I’ve bought enough starving musos a pint in the past that I feel I’ve done my part in supporting the music industry.) David Geffen should watch his back...

Happy birthday to BNGOF co-conspirator Tim, who turns the momentous age of 30 today, even though he still looks about 12. He’ll be on the wheels of steel at Zigfrid in Hoxton Square tonight, so if you’re in the area, bowl on up and buy the old bugger a drink. The plan at this stage is to then accompany the lovely Nick to White Heat @ Infinity (in Mayfair of all places), described by View London as “Indie, punk, garage rock and alternative 1980s”, described by Nick as “loads of New Order, Smiths, Joy Division, Blondie - Nick (and Smacked Face) heaven”. I don’t know though, I really should get an early night. I’m sure my flatmate has forgotten what I look like.

Oh dear, my workmate has just returned from Italy with bags and bags of biscotti and various delicious treats. My hotpants plan is looking more remote than ever...

Monday, March 01, 2004

Bedroom filth 

Yay! Finally got my Patrick Duffy FUCK and SLEEP pillowcases from Shoreditch's excellent store-cum-café No One. I actually only went down there to buy a Pure Evil sweatshirt, but couldn’t find any girls’ ones (www.pureevilclothing.com here I come), so had to settle for two funky tops and the much-prized offensive pillowcases. I just have to make sure no one of a delicate disposition comes to stay... NicCam suggests getting some more that say OFF and YOU, so I can play a bed-based variation of fridge magnet poetry - although FUCK OFF, FUCK YOU, YOU FUCK, etc, is hardly poetic, is it? (Mind you, nor is most fridge poetry.)

So Lord Of The Rings swept the Oscars. Yawn. And Nicole Kidman had VPL. Zzzzzz. The big news of the weekend (apart from me going to a play for the first time since 1995 - I’m such a cultural pleb) was the return of my best mate Ms Groves from LA/NZ. Yep, the boozehags are back. You have been warned.

Jase @ Onionbagblog emails to say: “I can personally vouch for People's Republic of Disco [see below] being a GREAT night out. It all gets a bit messy towards the end (something to do with the random encounters and ample dark corners in the Windmill).”

So that’s another Brixton-based fixture on the cards, although their next session is on 20th March, which as we all know is reserved for Smacked Face’s bumper birthday spectacular, Buy None Get One Free. On that note, I can unofficially reveal the night’s not-yet-finalised-but-pretty-much-there line-up:

James Priestley (Secret Sundaze/All Over My Face)
Rusty Egan (Visage/Blitz Club)
Terry Bristol (Studio 54)
Tim Red and Luke VB (Blonde)
Gid, Push It and Professional Widows (Pigeonhold)
Matt Tarr (Above The Clouds)
Dirty Hernandez (Lincoln Lounge)
Gimmer Twins (Their Lounge)

Naturally, I recommend without hesitation every single one of the DJs (apart from the Gimmer Twins, of course - we’re shit), in particular the old-timer legends Terry Bristol, who played a blinder set down at the Horse last night, and Rusty “Fade To Grey” Egan, who’s doing a favour for someone he barely knows. What a star. Ooh, it’s gonna rock. I’m wetting myself already, even though it’s still three weeks away. Heavy-duty Pampers are in order... Email me for guestlists/info.

Ooh, almost forgot - looking at my referring website stats, interesting to see how many people discover this page via Google. Searching for ADIDAS+MELBOURNES seems to be the most common link so far, followed by CURDLED+SOYA+MILK, CHICKPIZZ and, bizarrely, this one yesterday: EBAY+COM+CUM+FACE. Charming.

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