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Faggots & Bloggers April 28, 2009

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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Clutching at straws. Young straws. Thought I’d better have one last go at being young. Like an old tosser moonwalking at a wedding. Not that I want to be young, of course. But something youngening caught my attention.

Darlings, I hate music, naturally. If we take hate, for the sake of fun, to mean like less than something else. And I think I probably prefer silence to music. But I have found last.fm bordering on the enjoyable. I mean, it’s got ELO and everything. But I probably wouldn’t have paid it much attention if the itinerant, who’s decided to beat the credit crunch by robbing a bank and swanning off to Mexico – at least I think that’s why he’s there – hadn’t got me more addicted and introduced me to all sorts of new folk. I’ve discovered all sorts of lovely German stuff, a fun Argentinian song that I torment my beloved with, as well as trawling through to find songs that might evoke particularly intense moments of happiness from the past.

So the itinerant or the programme itself led me to Fink. “Ooh, that sounds rather nice.” Though I wondered if he was trying to pretend to be American. And then bollocked myself for daring to wonder when who am I to know what any musician from Brighton sounds like in this day and age when the last time I went there all one did was eat rock and perhaps stumble, amid much guffawing, onto the nudist beach and wrap your feet in bandages from all the blood-letting wrought by the stones and contemplate that the sea as viewed from England’s southern coast looked almost nothing like the sea one saw on the travel catalogues I used to order as a teenager to try to broaden my parents’ horizons. And then the site cleverly tells you if the musician is on tour or not. And, blow me, Fink was. Playing in Berlin too, if you don’t mind.

“BiB, this could make you young,” I thought to myself. I could go along to a concert. I could perhaps wear make-up other than the stuff I put on my nose to hide the alcoholic’s veins I’ve got there. If I get the application wrong, I look almost exactly like the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. I could take narcotics. I could binge-drink alcopops. And snog folk. And vomit and hold my lighter in the air. And then cry because Mark from Geography got off with Stacey and not me. Wanker. Bitch. And then ring my mum and say I’d spent my bus fare home on Diamond White and would she pick me up from Harrow Weald.

I got this close. I’d composed an e-mail to everyone I know in Berlin – an unholy alliance of foreign faggots and foreign bloggers, adding a couple of made-up German-sounding e-mail addresses to pretend I was integrated – to suggest we all go together. See how young I am? Yes, let’s go to a concert. We’ll dance and take drugs. Oh yes, a week-night of course.

“Darling, I’m inviting everyone I know in Berlin to a concert on Thursday so you have to put a temporary tattoo on my neck and spray my hair blue on Wednesday,” I warned the Russian so he had time to get accustomed to the idea of the new, young me.


“Yes, darling, Thursday. It’s not as if I’ve got a job to go to. And it’s Fink’s… Fink. Don’t you know him? Oh, he’s incredible. Amaaazing. I’ve, like, got a lot of respect for him actually… it’s his only night.”

“But Syurzday ven you go beenge-dreenkink veez ze fyeggots and ze bloggyers.”

“Darling, you’re right. Thank fuck you remembered.”

I deleted the e-mail and cried from relief that I hadn’t forced myself to listen to noise live. I kissed the Russian goodbye – he was going skateboarding – and poured myself a sherry.


1. ThePenguin - April 28, 2009

Strange, I was just thinking of you, there is a foreign (i.e. Caucasian guy) around here I keep seeing who could be your long-lost twin. Most disconcerting. Bumped into him in the convenience store just now and almost said “Hi BiB”.

2. Geoff - April 28, 2009

Ooo, that Helen Shapiro song! Very happy memories, and I’d completely forgotten about it til now. Must go and have a listen.

I had my first ever live music experience in Berlin, back in the mists of time when I was a mere slip of a thing. It was to see Michelle Shocked, and it was more memorable for me not for the music but for the fact a couple of young german men next to me spent most of the concert snogging. I’d never seen a real, live, gay couple kiss before. I probably freaked them out by spending more of the concert staring at them than I did at the stage.

3. Arabella - April 28, 2009

I did something new recently. I went to a ‘new’ place where the soul music was advertised as so seriously good I was a little shocked to find a concrete floor. I’m expected to dance on a concrete floor? It was a basement full of people I wanted to slap (for all I know “slap” could be a new, young slang word for something else entirely, so you’ll just have to believe that I mean the traditional slap to the face or the back of the legs).
All the males wore skinny jeans even though most of them were under 5’6″ and some even wore pork pie hats and surely THAT stopped being a bearable revival to look at four years ago? Most of the females wore three tops as dresses and shoes without heels. Because this enables them to perform mock-ballerina dancing while waving a drink about and screeching.
I had my wrist stamped in red ink on entrance. This marked my outfit which has since had to be discarded.
I am never going to a ‘new’ place again.

4. marshaklein - April 29, 2009

“Faggots and Bloggers” sounds like a Beach Boys song*…

I’ve done a bit of live music-going in recent years (with youngsters not quite old enough to go by themselves) but increasingly it (and life generally) makes me feel like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSINO6MKtco :)

Ooh, I just tried it. It fits!

5. marshaklein - April 29, 2009

Oh bugger! Sorry!

This was my first link:

Sorry for mangling your comments box :(

6. marshaklein - April 29, 2009

7. BiB - April 29, 2009

Marshypops, oh my god, that’s so clever. How have you actually managed to make the YouTube vids appear in the comments box? I get any comments by e-mail and the links were all fine there, but there was probably some vital bit of code or other missing. Do you know, and what I meant to write somewhere in the post, but I’d forgotten I was planning to before the thought was fully formed, that some YouTube music videos are now banned in Germany? If I try to watch one German song I like on YouTube, I am told it is forbidden. So I’m even loyaller to last.fm now.

Arabella, a can of worms exposing yourself to the new, isn’t it? Do you know I was once asked to write something about Berlin for some website or other – I was even chivvied when I took four years to write twelve sentences, and then they didn’t use it – and I had to touch on night-life. I started looking around some blogs for tips and found one – can’t remember its name – that seemed to be devoted to clubbing and drug-taking and I hadn’t heard of a single one of the places she mentioned. Which was marvellous. Thrilled not to know. But less thrilled not to know what a three top is. Or do you mean they wore three tops one on top of the other?

Geoff, I have sadly exhausted my free listens via last.fm but it is in my library but you can never predict when it’ll come up and I get RSI from skipping over all the songs I don’t want to listen to to get to it. Luckily, it’s one that I am still allowed to listen to on YouTube in Germany. Can’t remember if I’ve directed you here before or not, but happy watching. And happy onward travelling.

Penguin, maybe I could swap existences with him for a little while. That could be nice. But I am solidly here and am thoroughly through with travelling. I was on the scariest flight ever recently and I must say I am slightly disinclined to ever go anywhere again that I can’t reach by train. Only 10 hours to London if you get the connections right.

8. Mr D - April 30, 2009

One “Syurzday” I want to go “beenge-dreenkink veez ze fyeggots and ze bloggyers” and ze BiB and ze Rashian… :-)

Having just turned down the opportunity to spend May in Berlin for free-ish (long story), I can’t see it happening for a long time. :-(

9. Ed Ward - April 30, 2009

Scary flight or not, I’m just happy you’re still alive, and so is your blog. That was a long interval.

10. marshaklein - May 1, 2009

Have you done something clever to the YouTube links – I can see them all now – as I have to confess I haven’t the slightest idea how I put them there in the first place?!

11. narrowback - May 1, 2009

ah, you finally broke cover and with a timely topic as well…I too am soon to try and recover my youth by attending a throwback concert. however, mine won’t involve temporary tattoos and spraying my hair blue. Mine concert will be far more jurassic in character…a grateful dead reunion tour (minus the truly deceased former members of course)…I never was big on tie-dye and the time remaining is too short to sprout my old afro…however, I will surely engage in some other forms of nostalgia.

I know I still owe you and N that info on the Van der Rohe Haus and I’ll get that off soon. It’s just that the continuing great purge at work and my national conference have just had me at wits end since I got back. However, I am pleased to report that after six months of effort and near traumatic Lampenfieber my professional premiere is behind me…and all that for not even an extra cent or even the smell of one. Bah.

Keep on blogging…

12. emma in barcelona - May 1, 2009

ouf and a huge sigh of relief! I share your joy at dodging the bullet that is listening to live music…

13. Mr D - June 20, 2009

Yo BiB

What’s happened? Where are you? You’ve been such a prolific blogger, with a mini-blogging community having formed around you.

Have you forgotten your password?

14. Mark Holland - July 2, 2009

Yes, come in Bib old fruit. Respond to my Facebook APB too. We need to know you’re still about.

(He’s probably walking the Finnish border and communing with reindeer in the midnight sun.)

15. Mr D - July 3, 2009

Mark: Turns out he’s alive, but possibly summering on some island beyond the realms of civilisation.

16. IsarSteve - July 7, 2009

huhu, BiB faggot fanclub & community – My ‘blackdog’ is receding and I hope to be back in the real world soon..

17. redneckarts - July 14, 2009

What are you using on your nose?
I there anything in Berlin that actually works? For nose veins I mean.

18. Joe Noory - August 18, 2009

Funny you should mention ELO, of all horrors. I actually paid to see them once, and in Berlin at that. It’s a small world full of creepy flashbacks, I suppose.

19. Hum ELT - October 3, 2009

Hi BiBling! Wassup? Why no bloggy-bloggy?

20. BiB - October 21, 2009

Hum ELT, apologies for taking so long to respond. So long, in fact, that you’ve even gone and deed polled yourself to a new identity. In view of the current weather, may I recommend leaving any potential future visits to next May at least?

Hello Joe! Welcome. And, again, forgive my appalling manners. I have saved so much crap on last.fm, it turns out, that I’m actually quite happy when ELO jumps out at me. Anyway, what live music in Berlin could compare to The Hoff? It’s been all downhill since then.

Redneck, for the veins or against them? For the veins, red wine. (Am partaking now just to make sure they’re not lost.) Against them, a product which, I’m guessing, must have been monumentally cheap as it appears to be classified simply as ‘soft make-up’. The colour of soft sand, supposedly.

Steve, sorry to hear there was a black dog but unsorry to hear it’s receded and glad to see you back with a vengeance. I’m very much enjoying the forbidden bits of Berlin series over at your place. And a lovely picture of the giant, which I of course managed to miss.

Mark, sorry for going awol for a good old while there. Think I forgot I had the blog, even though I unconsciously missed it and blogging all along. Sadly, the summer didn’t get me anywhere near Finland, more’s the pity.

Emma, it was a close shave, but I got away with it. I still listen to the gent in question on last.fm and do you know I’ve never once regretted not going to see him live! Give me the faggots and the bloggers (and their lovely pals!) any time.

Narrowback, I feel very naughty re. the hiatus in view of the last words in your comment. But here I am, and I’m going to stick with a better-late-than-never excuse for now. Glad to hear that you dealt with the stage fright. Did you secretly get carried away and now look out for any opportunity to get a mike in your hand? Did you, indeed, try to get on stage at the throwback concert?

Marshypops, I can take precisely none of the credit. You and YouTube did all the hard work yourselves. And YouTube has even had the decency not to instantly remove the clips in question, which is the bane of any blogger’s life, as we seasoned old profeshes well know.

Ed, it was, it was, and this interval was even longer. Will try to get on top of these breaks. I have decided that blogging is a seasonal activity, like working. Let’s make it a lovelily bloggy autumn and winter. I’m already thinking of hiding from the darkness under the duvet with a computer till, say, May 2010.

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