Monday, 24 November 2014

Memories of the Buffalo Bar

Originally published on Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle

The death sentence has been passed, or more accurately the short-notice eviction papers have been served, and another of London's live music venues faces closure.

And although no crossrail development plans to steal a historic and culturally recognised site from fans this time around, the impending loss of the Buffalo Bar in Islington cuts a little closer to home.

The statement released a little over a week ago thanked all of the bands, promoters, and DJs that have played a part in the venues success, and I can proudly count myself among the DJs that have found myself battling with those cranky old CD decks...

The truth is that I can't actually remember now the first band that I went along to the Buffalo Bar to see (although I'm sure I still have the flyer tucked away in a box of memories somewhere), but the subterranean cavern style is something you don't soon forget and it was an honour to be asked along by fellow North-Londoners, upstart aggro-punk group turned reality TV stars, Ginger Bread Men as they too made good on the 'indie-darlings-curate-clubnight' ethos that was thoroughly prevalent at the time.

Bubblegum Stomp drank, danced and messed up on unfamiliar equipment, we dropped three Will Smith songs in a row as we donned Will Smith masks, we got a confused indie crowd to let loose to our own irreverent style of DJing, we upset the usurping DJs (standard procedure when you are rocking a dancefloor and someone wants to take over with an obscure Smiths' b-side) and we turned the Buffalo Bar into our own little decadent party for a short while.

All Teeth soon outgrew us (or perhaps couldn't handle us) but we kept returning regardless, as friends and as fans rather than as DJs, as the monthly night developed a unique personality and reputation of its own, due to its live music policy of passionately persuing and cherry picking some the most eclectic and outrageous performers to ever hit the venue's tiny stage, and perhaps in part to the mysterious and infamous free Krunk Juice that would be dispensed into the mouths of punters, eager or otherwise.

It's sad to see Buffalo Bar depart the London scene, and bittersweet to see All Teeth descending upon its old haunt for one last hurrah this Wednesday, with old personal favourites Those Handsome Animals and the return of Ginger Bread Men, whose own farewell gig was well attended at the very same venue many moons ago.

It may not be too late tho... for those wanting to keep the faith and fight the good fight to the very end, be sure to follow the link and sign the petition to try and keep Buffalo Bar open. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Everything I'm not.

If there is one thing I hate, it is becoming everything I'm not....

My passive nature in almost all aspects of my life has mostly been a sea of tranquility that I have been more than happy to bathe in, yet others have found it frustrating.

And nowhere else is this more obvious than when it comes to money.

Financially, I have always felt rather stable.  I have always felt that I can afford to do what I want to do most of the time,  I don't earn a lot and I don't overspend and that has (for the most part) been enough for me...

Whether it has always been enough for others is up for debate, but in our society money seems to be a taboo, or perhaps it seems to be a taboo for those that are not making money.  I've had this discussion plenty of times, and often I am the only one on my side of the argument.

Why is discussing money so frowned upon?  Typical British reserve comes into play and the stiff upper lip stifles all valid conversing on the matter.  

But if someone earns more than me, would it not be better to not keep this secret so that I can value my own worth and my own work?  Tight-lipped pay packets only really serve to build a sense of distrust... secrecy and secret handshakes... a lack of transparency only makes you wonder what is being hidden...

Before my redundancy a few years ago I tried not to let these things bother me, and then thrown into a whole new world of employment I began to bare witness to this Masonic power struggle, and then choosing to switch from retail to office work I found myself more disgusted by the clearly unfair weighting of wages.

And then I found myself disgusted with myself.

I don't want to care.

I don't want to feel an ache in my stomach when discussions turn to someone else's job role and their speculative pay packet.

But then I don't always spend all of my time in the real world.

Maybe this is really how people choose to feel and choose to live their lives most of the time.

I've never been a fan of real life.

And I hope my flights of fantasy can keep me safe from a world I don't want to be a part of.