Dinner Parties And DJ Shadow Gigs

The frustrating thing is that while I was drifting through the world on autopilot (see previous post) I was actually doing lots of fun things, which I probably didn’t appreciate as fully as they deserved.

We had a dinner party of sorts on Friday – Tamara pulled off an impressive three-course feat a few weeks ago, and Alec wanted to return the favour. Avril, Chris, Kevin and me were just along for the ride, although I must mention that I tried to make myself useful in the kitchen by clearing rubbish, handing him things, and unsuccessfully breadcrumbing the bacon. (Note to self: must really make an effort to do the same at some point, although given current level of culinary skill, would be better off buying ready-meals from M&S and pretending to have cooked them.)

On Saturday we (me, Alec, Benny, assorted others) headed south to see DJ Shadow at the Brixton Academy. We missed the first two opening acts (Fingathing and Beanz from Antipop Consortium), which I was fairly disappointed about, because I had a feeling I’d have liked them more than Soulwax, who were good novelty fun but didn’t really get me dancing except for when they played Kool Thing (Sonic Youth) and It’s Hot In Here (Nelly, and I’m not ashamed). I’ve never really taken to The Prodigy’s Outer Space, and was even less fond of it last night when it prompted Wanker Lad behind me to convulsing, elbow-jabbing heights of ecstasy.

Shadow put on a good show, but as DJ gigs go I had more fun at Orbital, and still remember the Scratch Perverts being very much the shit when I saw them at Fabric Live a few years ago. To be fair, factors beyond his control were at work. When I hear a hip-hop beat I want to dance – by this logic, I would obviously have wanted to dance at many points during his performance. The problem is that he doesn’t really make the sort of hip-hop I like dancing to, he makes the sort of music I listen to on cold, late nights alone in my room, Organ Donor cascading down from the speakers and feeling like I’m the only one awake in the world to hear it. So I was torn, I guess. The atmosphere at the venue tempted me into dancing, but when I did I wasn’t really dancing the way I like to dance. I was also too short to be able to fully appreciate his visuals from where I was in the crowd, though what I saw of them when I craned my neck or tiptoed was good.

But as I said, none of that was his fault. He put in a solidly competent performance, included new spins on album tracks, and built a good rapport with the crowd, and I suppose that’s everything you want from a DJ gig. If I’d seen it before I left Singapore to come to the UK it would have absolutely blown my mind. After three years here, I recognize quality when I see it – and Shadow was most definitely quality – but I’ve also seen a lot of it, and I guess it’s hard to make me gibber these days, which I must say is worrying. Having said that, the next gig on the agenda is Fugazi (Nov 3), which will probably succeed in the gibbering sweepstakes, even if only because I am likely to spend most of it crushed to an inch of my life between sweaty, bald, tattooed hardcore punks.