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