So, it's been a lifetime (one of nine) since I could be bothered to blog - I'm a cat, and therefore very lazy. BUT, something happened - I discovered THE LEMON TWIGS!
I discovered them - not Jez who went to see them at the MOTH club last November and played their record everyday since - ME! What?
So, I talked his girlfriend into buying tickets, as a birthday surprise, to not just the local Twigs gig at KOKO, but to the Bristol and Manchester gigs knowing that I could sneak into his backpack and join the fun following the Twigs round the country.
So, here is an account of my odyssey (and oracle)...
Day one - Coffeeeee!
Every good story starts with a coffee. Did the film Prometheus start with a coffee? NO. That's why it's a BAD STORY. It also has no character development. But hey, going off at a tangent here. I will be sneaking into Jez's pocket when he goes to see the new Alien movie, mind...
This poster caught my eye when we got the tube to Victoria...
It was a good omen for the musical journey I was about to embark upon - Jellyfish - the only other band that excited me enough to follow them around the country. True power-pop heroes of the nineties leading me towards the true power-pop heroes of NOW! (The Lemon Twigs, obvs.)
Underground, overground, wombling free, I reach my first destination...
...where, every time, I find it impossible to not sing this song to myself. And occasionally, out loud.
And oh, the Megabus. The saviour of travelling music fans across the world.
And so in three hours I shall find myself in Bristol - the first date on the Twigs' March UK tour! This is where it gets exciting!
Alighting, I walk along the river Avon towards what will be tonight's gig venue, Thekla.
And guess what...it's a boat!!!
I knew this already, but y'know, gotta keep the writing semi-interesting. I'm hardly Hemingway. I'm more like that guy who wrote Prometheus. He also wrote Passengers, the film from last year with the guy from Guardians of the Galaxy, the girl from The Hunger Games, Brian Clough and Morpheus. It's watchable. Just about.
And speaking of "Morph"eus - it turns out that Bristol is the home of Aardman animation - the guys who make Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and...Morph(eus). That must be how Neo could bend out of the way of bullets in The Matrix - he's made of plasticine! Plasticine. I knew it. (I didn't.)
So just down the river from Thekla I bump into the first of many effigies of Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. On a boat.
There was also a single pigeon denying me my right, as a cat, to get "among" it.
So...to the gig!
As I mentioned before, the gig was on a boat, and every time I get on a boat I can't help singing this little ditty to myself...
...which I did continuously until it was time for the Twigs to hit the stage!
And DID they HIT the stage? (Yes, they did.)
But, y'know, as it does, it took them half an hour to set up the stage. But wait what's that over there?
It's their guitars! Over there, look!
Ooh, setlists are out. Let's have a sneaky look...
Yeah. Nice one Jez. And he reckons he can use a camera.
And they're off! Can't trust Jez, it's time for me to take over on camera duty...
Okay, maybe I don't possess the correct stature to make it as a photographer - I'd best give the camera back to Jez...
Yeah, I got a bit excited and stage dived, knocking Michael over in the process forcing him to play the rest of the gig lying on the floor...
Oh, but what a gig! All the classics, some new ones, a great Alex Chilton cover and climaxing with Queen Of My School from their forthcoming concept album about a monkey. Who goes to school. Genius.
And there the night ends.
Or does it?
I disembark, head out into the cold and who do I meet outside?
That's correct! The Lemon Twigs!!! How cool is that?
Of course, they were all super-excited to have their photographs taken with me - after all, one doesn't get to meet the legendary Cat Yentob every day!
And so we say our farewells and head to the pub for a last drink before bedtime...
With this lovely lot who gave me shelter from the harsh Bristol night...
Aykut, Basak and Jonus then took us out for the day to see the sights of Bristol. Actually, Jonus said he was "busy" so he didn't come along...
We saw a giant disco ball, a cafe called Twelve (12) and then we walked up for a lovely view of the Clifton suspension bridge...
...before we headed into town to catch our Megabus to Birmingham.
And, from Brum, a train to Stoke-on-Trent for a little stay with Jez's folks.
If you've been to Stoke-on-Trent then you may have heard of the Staffordshire Oatcake. 'Tis a thing of beauty. Not like a small, dry, biscuit as are the Scottish Oatcakes. But a sumptuous, oaty, pancake topped with cheese (Cheddar works best we have found through years of experimentation) or, more simply, butter. A traditional Potteries dish that one must try at the earliest opportunity. For those of you who are Facebook friends of mine, I'm sure you'll have seen my epic tours of Oatcake establishments over the past couple of years.
And I had a walk in Hartshill park cos the weather was lovely...
Day four...Mother's Day.
Who's "she"? The cat's mother?
No, it's Jez's mother, but that's me on the card...look!
Time to say goodbye to this lovely lot!
Leaving the Potteries, I spy me old mucker Josiah Wedgwood so have to have a photo just so I can sing...
"Josie and a pussycat!"
And, dear Cat-blog reader, if you haven't seen the 2001 movie Josie & The Pussycats, I urge you to do so because it is the SECOND BEST MOVIE KNOWN TO MAN!
True Story. (Fact.)
"Out of my brain on a train"...
Yeah, I started partying early.
It's been a while since I've been to Manchester, so to relive my formative years, I headed to the legendary Afflecks Palace (not affiliated with Ben, as far as I know, but I bet he lives in a palace) to check out the threads on offer...
Maybe I bought a catsuit like Michael's, or maybe I didn't.
I didn't, I have more catsuits than Suzi Quattro. I'm a cat.
Time to head to Gorilla for the second gig of my tour!
Once again, they knocked it out of the park! Well done, well done.
Day seven...I should KOKO.
And as my train pulls in to London for the last show of the Lemon Twigs UK tour I feel a twinge of concern - after seeing the Twigs in these more intimate venues, will the vastness of KOKO, with a 1500 capacity, dull the edges of the Twigs experience I had grown used to?
IT WAS AWESOME!
The Twigs took it to the next level and ROCKED THE SHIT OUT!
And thus the KOKO gig took the crown.
And Meg took the mic to tell us the colour of her pants.
And Michael, to everyone's joy, took to the sky and crowdsurfed!
The Twigs stepped up to the oche and scored 180, hitting the bullseye with every song. (I know, that would only score 150, but darts analogies aren't traditionally the strong point of a cat.)
As the Twigs walked off triumphantly with the speedboat, I took my BFH ('bus fare home' to anyone not acquainted with 80s darts-based TV quiz show Bullseye) and headed off home on a high.
See you in November you crazy cats! x
"Alan, Alan, Alan, Yemtob, Yentob, Yentob". Yes. That's what some people have been saying of late. But to dispell those rumours, we here at alanyentob.com have reluctantly agreed to host the LIVE STREAMING WEB VIDEONESS of Dogs D'Amour Week. Exclusively here for one week only, but mainly Wednesday 20th April 2011, you can join in on the debauchery live from the Dynamite Jet Saloon in East London. You may see an appalling drunken Billy Two Rivers or a rough and not quite ready yet version of Swingin' The Bottle featuring some of the actual chords that The Dogs D'Amour used on their original. Or not. Who knows? We haven't played these songs since we left school!
CLICK HERE FOR DOGS D'AMOUR WEEK TV
As you know, "the guys" here at alanyentob.com have spent the last 5 years on the moon building, what some are calling, "Yentob World". We can't unveil too many details at the moment, except that this "children's lunar theme park", as some are calling it, will be finished in time for the 2012 Olympics and will host the pre-teen events which Alan has been doggedly and fruitlessly campaigning to get included in the Earthbound games since the beginning of time. More news and photos will appear closer in the rear view mirror
The Observer ran an article on the man himself yesterday. Our very own Jackie Jackpot, always on the lookout for tasty tidbids, pointed us towards journalist Rachel Cooke's 'Yentob's World'.
Here are a few choice quotes from said article...
“The BBC Television Centre at White City in west London is a horrible labyrinth”
“and I feel it now, as I'm led into some of its more shadowy corners by Alan Yentob, its 'creative director'."
“'This way,' he says, buttoning his Armani suit.”
“He believes in getting 'em young”
“Lots of the games can be played by children with physical disabilities or learning difficulties.”
“This place, a creative bunker decked out with brightly coloured cushions, is also populated by kids”
“They are trying to get inside the head of a small boy. 'My piano teacher is gay but I still like him,' says one.”
“why not just commission a really good writer to come up with a story about a 12- year-old? - Yentob is all for it. 'We have a real problem with boys,' he says. 'Getting them to watch. Great!'"
“So - clipboards at the ready - what does Alan Yentob do all day?”
“he is a human vacuum cleaner”
Read the full article here.
It's been mad, mad, mad here at alanyentob.com covering the new six part documentary series recently commissioned by the BBC. ‘Darth Yentob' sees the head of arts & children programming taking on the role of Sith lord to discover more about the dark side of the force & it's affects on children & pre-teens (anyone up to the age of..12). Preliminary filming has just gotten underway & here, to whet your appetite, is an on-set photo of ‘Darth Yentob' terrorising a child using his newly discovered ‘mind control powers'.
Slated for a late summer release, ‘Darth Yentob' has already garnered strong criticism from everyone who has seen the preview tapes. Chris Sparrow, the outspoken director of children's charity ‘Twelve Green Bottles' said, “Whose idea was this? Alan's I suppose. Nobody else would want to dress all in black leather & hang around sweet shops & playgrounds, breathing heavily & trying to use ‘Jedi mind tricks' on innocent minors”. Steven Squadron, the head of 'Lazy Eye Productions' which dealt with the sound editing on all but one of the BBC's top three earners during the past two years, added, "It's taken us 12 years to build this business up from scratch, and I'll be damned if this production is going to drag us down with it! We're not going to get tarred with the 'Basil' brush this time!".
When asked what he meant by "tarred with the 'Basil' brush", Mr Squadron began to talk in a language, which he later revealed, that he'd made up on the spot.
More updates soon. Maybe.