I reunited with some of the same people out in Egham the next day for Daniel’s 1st Birthday: if the rest of his childhood birthdays are as well attended he’ll be doing well, although he may want more guests his own age at some point. On Monday I took advantage of the Royal Court’s £10 Tickets On The Day policy to go to see Yen in their upstairs space with Cousin A. It was a depiction of Feltham youth and really good: not exactly cheerful but often funny as well as visceral and powerful.
I was at the Shelter on Tuesday then had hysteria74 over for dinner the next evening, which was also pretty much the last time I got to hang out with our Temporary Housemate S before she headed back to Canada at the weekend.
On Thursday the 2016’s Gig Schedule got going in earnest: I popped over to Dingwalls to see Pretty Vicious (with decent support from Fronteers and, especially, Baby Strange). On Friday I went back to the Pleasance to watch one of the shows as an excuse to see N for a bit: alarmingly I was coinciding with a musical about cheerleaders, Bring It On, but it was actually well produced and pretty fun.
When I headed back home from his on Saturday, the flat was in chaos as M’s Mum and partner had descended and all kinds of DIY was going on, turning the place upside down, albeit in a good cause, so I wasn’t too sad to be heading back to Dalston in the evening to see Arrows of Love. I knew a couple of groups floating around, which was nice: T&A and friends, for whom the Shacklewell is their local, as well as A&co., who know the band. The supports both purported to be playing their first gigs: “and our last” according to first-on High Wasted Genes, although that hopefully won’t be the case for Lead Sister, who really impressed. The Arrows’ set was the most coherent I’ve seen them manage to deliver and afterwards we went back with some of them to a little warehouse party somewhere near Hackney Wick, complete with a box of wine bottles that A had bought. People were really friendly although I danced more than I socialised before an arduous trek back on early-morning buses to snatch a few hours’ sleep before the DIY started back up.
I made lunch for the workers then went up to Stoke Newington for tea with ex-housemate R, who was in town en route to her next adventure in China: we ended up in an atmospheric cellar wine-bar, although I think we may have been taken for a Valentinesing couple. Then I headed down from there to the Peckham Plex to watch Deadpool with lawrencegillies, who it’s exciting to have move into the city, rather than out of it.
I was at the Shelter on Monday this week, then Tuesday at the 100 Club to see Spring King (more energetic young indie rock, much as Pretty Vicious were) as well as catch Beach Baby and Fews, of whom the former were probably my favourite, in support. Then Wednesday what is rapidly becoming The Usual Crowd turned out for another Gaz Brookfield gig at The Monarch: of the two other solo acoustic guys supporting him, Trapper Schoepp had a good voice but sang heavily about Americana (his fondness for prairies and wagons prompting venta to speculate that Trapper may be his profession rather than his name) and Nick Parker was very funny.
I managed to fit in two of my many friends with February 18th birthdays this year, a bunch of us (mostly school friends) went out for dinner to Belgo with Ralph on the day itself and then yesterday I slipped away early to take the 6 ½ hour coach trip to Manchester to celebrate with Lovely Joe. We eschewed the usual Friday night out to hang out in his flat and have a 1am roast dinner and now I’m just waiting for the others to get up to start making preparations for tonight’s party.