Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a musical arrangment

In England. When going to, dare I say, a club. The conversation is usually something like:

Friend/Aquaintence: "Char, lets get smashed up tonight"
(usually over the phone)

Me: "Yeah okay"
(whilst contemplating what year the transition from polo to water polo may have occurred)

In Spain, saying one thing and thinking another is a luxury I am incapable of. This is a similar conversation in the land of tapas:

Amigo/Compartido: "Hola Charlie"

Me: "Oh, hola, pasta again? Original"

A/C: "¿Que?"

M: "Um, nada. Nada at all."

A/C: "Vamos asjfhajbefbadhfaufajbsfuea, y tu?

M: "Excuse me what?"

A/C: "¿Que?"

M: "Perdone, pero no comprendo"

A/C: (Adding a more confusing accent, maybe on purpose) "Ah, vale, vamos asjfhajbefbadhfaufajbsfuea, y tu?"
(proceeds to smile, possibly in a mean Cruella Devile like manner)

After about five minutes of clarifying that I can't speak Spanish, I finally understand that asjfhajbefbadhfaufajbsfuea actually is discotecha, standard vocab in any phrasebook or entry-level classroom, and yes, of course I want to come.

Matteo is staying at home, so its just going to be me and Marco. Thats cool, as much as I like going out with both of them, after a few beers it inevitably feels like I'm watching some old Italian art-house film without subtitles. When its just one of them, at least I can try and practice my Spanish. Marco is wearing a shirt and does something with his hair, I put on my hoody that is fading into some kind of aubergine colour.

We go for a swift drink at a pub where each table has its own beer tap. Dangerous.

Standing in the queue is always a good place to check out talent, and probably a good place to chat up girls, always guilty of the first, but never the second. What do you say to someone in a queue?
"I like this queue, its nice and straight. Usually I find queues on the continent rather..."
Some people have a real knack for chatting to anybody about anything, I am not one of these people. So I stick to what I'm good at, casual perving. There is a strong "alternative" theme, a bit like an Avril Lavigne music video with added age. My haunting flashbacks of year 8 are interrupted by the realisation of two things. Firstly, this will not to be a bonding session for me and Marco, we are joined by one of his nice Italian female friends. The key word there being "one". Secondly, there is a band playing tonight. I love music, this is going to be great. Whats the band called? The Fuck? Really? Thats actually their name? The Fuck? As if using the definitive article gives it an edge it might have otherwise lacked. Grammar was soon to be the least of my worries.

After a highly confusing toilet experience that I won't even begin to explain, followed by purchasing some highly overpriced beer, we gravitate towards the stage.

So how were The Fuck? Musically I would say weird metal/rock. What was key about this particular band was how they presented themselves on stage, I will now attempt to describe all four band members to the best of my ability.

Lets start with the drummer, I never saw his face, because he was wearing a bag on his face. Not a deadly plastic bag, but a breathable bag, like one a farmer might put some wheat in. At one point he lifted the lower part of the bag to smoke a ciggarette, all I saw was a piece of chin, I was left wondering who could be under this bag? What man could it be? A man that would have to hide his face in shame? Surely there are only really two candidates? Pat Sharpe or David Cameron. I know for a fact Pat Sharpe is doing a DJ set in Cornwall, and that David Cameron is never doing anything. David Cameron it is then.

Then there was a man who can only be described as a fat fleet fox. He had all the trademarks of a fleet fox, the hair, the beard, even a banjo (do they play banjoes? They look a bit like they should), except he was overweight. I have two theories on this. First, he was a member of the fleet foxes, but was forced out of the group because of his constant whistling, no one likes a whistler. Obviously he was in true pain and fell quite understandably into a glutonous cycle and joined a shit band in Barcelona. Stabbed in the back by his contempories, in a similar fashion to the all mighty Julius Caesar.

Second, he had nothing to do with the fleet foxes and couldn't even whistle, he was just in a shit band in Barcelona. The mere fact that I had been able to conjure up this brilliantly tragic tale was testament to how poor this band actually was, and how perhaps I should be writing a postmodern play of some sort.

The bass guitarist looked like a balding version of The Dude from The Big Lebowski. He was wearing a dressing gown, a wife beater, pink pants (which would later be revealed as a thong, of course), and some sunglasses. He sang on most of the songs, the only problem was that he had knocked the mic stand over in the first song, probably in an attempt to look 'mental', the stand remained on the floor for the entire gig. He had either; forgotten to pick it up, didn't actually care, or wore sunglasses to hide the fact that he had no eyes and didn't even see the incident.

The lead guitarist was also the lead vocalist. He was also completely naked for the entire gig. At first I thought he was strategically placing his guitar over his genitals, then I realised that was just an early coincidence, this man was unconcerned with approximately seven hundred people staring at his penis. Imagine this; a naked man singing about lots of morbid stuff, in english, but between songs he says things in a slightly high pitched voice, in Spanish. Fortunately I don't have to imagine that, I was there, that will be with me forever.

Somewhere between the song about how everyone is going to die, and the song about how everyone is already dead, I notice something. Marco and the Italian chick, are dancing a bit close. Do I see a grind? I can't be sure, but it is definitely more than I can handle. I hope that there is some kind of romance between them, and not that Italians just happened to dance a lot more intimately than I am used to and that I have to sample it. Its not that this girl is in anyway repulsive, just that I really don't want some awkward sexy dancing experience with her. An experience that we won't even be able to joke about, seeing as our mutual vocabulary stretches to pizza, pasta, and taxi.

Then I see the lead singer spit into the front row. The front row. Suddenly my sole objective in life is to stay at a hefty distance from this "front row". In my mind I cook up the sordid goings-on of the front row, people urinating on each other and reading communist propaganda. Admittedly all I'd seen was the lead singer project his saliva onto them, but surely it was only the tip of the iceberg? I was definitely much happier making assumptions from my current position, even if I was sure there was about a gherkins worth of smashed glass under my feet, glass I could handle, naked men spitting, I couldn't.

As the gig ended and all the members of the band had successfully spat on each other a good few times, I was slightly relieved. The Dude took all of his clothes off as the lead singer put all of his back on, was that a tactical decision? Like a football substitution in the world of nudity? Yeah, I like to think so. For all the bad stuff about this gig, to their credit they got the crowd "hype" and gave me something interesting to write about.

On the ride home I was compelled to find out what was going on with Marco and this chick. Obviously I had no idea how to say it Spanish, so I tried to say it in English without sounding rude. In the end I just asked "Did you fuck her?", his response "Yes, but I like her friend". Some things are always the same, no matter what language you are speaking.

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