Rain – so often my friend, washing the streets of people, was threatening to make today’s visit to see Elbow at Jodrell Bank really fucking shit. I did, however, manage to remedy my footwear situation. Yes, after 20-odd years I now own a pair of wellies again. The solution to the problem of them never fitting over my calves was a last-minute and drastic bit of reductive surgery where 62% of my calf muscle was burned off using a really hot flame. Fooled you. My partner suggested I just fold over the boot so my (frankly) grotesque calf muscle did not need to be strangled by the rubber boot. The fact that this has not occurred to me in those 20-odd years is troubling and suggests that I am kidding myself that I am slowly losing my mind: there was never anything there to start with.
For some reason we had booked on quite an early coach from Withington. I think we had the crazy thought that a concert at the end of June in a field might be an excuse to sit in the sun and casually throw away cigarette ends where a child might later eat its feta salad (remember it was Elbow, most people there were from the nice bits of South Manchester- or were just pretentious fucks who think they are better than everyone, like me). Thanks to my mental head and the bad weather the decision was taken not to sit on a coach with some nice bastards and instead drive a car there.
Checking details of everything to do with the concert had been quite easy. There was a website with FAQs (frequently asked questions) to which they had also provided, helpfully, answers. Even though this was there with answers to all the questions, people were bombarding the Twitter feed with questions. I thought most people didn’t understand (the intrinsically simple) concept of Twitter…these people understood how to interact with Twitter but not how to find a website, seemingly missing an evolutionary step of the internet and social networking. “Are you allowed to bring your own alcohol in?” someone asked stupidly. “Can I and my twin come in on one ticket?” asked another. “Are we ok to bring in the corpses of some homeless people and leave them near the bins?” asked someone from a council. CHECK THE FUCKING ANSWERS TO THE FAQs YOU DICKS.
The website had told me that we had to be in the arena for 7pm but that Elbow would not be on until 9.30pm. Who the fuck does Jodrell Bank think it is? So, anyway, we tried to time it so we were getting in as late as possible. However, despite some brief queuing we got in rather quickly. Leaving us several hours to murder. Without even the option of drinking (mental from alcohol/driving). We just walked around and I couldn’t help noticing:
- Everyone having a good fucking time. Well done for enjoying life, or at least some of it. You know how much of life I enjoy? NONE of it. So, thanks for rubbing what a great time you are having in my fucking face. Thanks a fucking bunch.
- People taking pictures of each other’s fucking faces. Especially when they were clearly people who lived together. WHY DO YOU WANT MORE PICTURES OF EACH OTHER’S PREDICTABLE FACES? You hate them. You want to punch that face for using the wrong kind of pasta 4 days a week but give you two bottle of Gaymers and a field with a large telescope in the background and all of a sudden that face is more photographed than Riahanna.
- People had paid £35 to see Elbow but were more interested in a massive telescope – that looked more like everyone’s idea of a satellite dish – when it came to taking pictures. The telescope is always there whereas the former Mercury Prize winners were there for this one day but idiots everywhere took pictures of the telescope or had their own picture taken with it in the background, look here is one (I do normally look a little bit happier than this, I had just been told science proved I was a failure at a tent in the interactive area of the event).
Fortunately observing those happier than me (with a more stupid life) was brought to an end by a fat man and his friends demanding everyone’s attention with their fucking brilliant music. The dicks. “Oh look at us: we’re Elbow and Phil really likes us because we’re really good at playing our brilliant songs live.” What a bunch of idiots. I’d kiss their songs, even if they had just been sick.
Despite a couple of slightly dizzy spells my newly inconsistent sense of balance I had mainly been stable. But, still I didn’t have a pint to watch the band. And after lots of heavy rain and knowing what the car park would be like and, moreover, knowing I wasn’t the one stuck driving I acquiesced to leaving ten minutes before the end. I don’t know what’s happening to me. Frustratingly it paid off: we got out quickly and easily and after I had been sat at home for a few hours I could still read people saying they were stuck on the car park at Jodrell Bank. I was hoping to read that everyone who had stayed until the end had been made a millionaire and had still got home before me – even if they lived in Zurich. It would have justified me staying until the end of every gig I’ve been to, only to end up stood in a list of people waiting to get more out.
Oh, I did make a video of a bit of one of my top 3 Elbow songs: isn’t the sound quality really good? Bootlegs at gigs used to be really poor in sound quality. Well done technology, there is no area of musical art you can’t illegally record.
Frustratingly the best picture I took was of the Lovell Telescope. Here it fucking is: