24 June 2009

"Open fire! All weapons!"


As I racked up yet more miles on the lifeless motorway this morning, Alex was, as ever, my preferred listening. At just after 5am, just as I was dodging Bolton's crafty speed camera system, he played Flash by Queen.

What I've always loved about this song is that it probably went too far in providing a decent complementary soundtrack to a movie, in that the audio clips used tend to pretty much condense the whole plot, leaving 1980 moviegoers with an opportunity to give the thing a miss. Panicky space-related turmoil on news, courageous bloke tries to solve situation, menacing woman villain demands him dead, flighty love interest bird congratulates him on his achievements.

I don't do films at all, so I've no idea if the "fourteen hours to save the earth" was accurate and, subsequently, whether Gordon managed to do the necessary planetary salvage job. I'm guessing he did, as it'd be almost definitely what the script demanded and, let's face it, we're all still here...

I understand the film was cack anyway. I've no idea. I liked the playground version of the song in 1980 though, where you squeezed some kid's hand too tightly while singing "Crush! Aaaargh... you've hurt every one of them...."

22 June 2009

Just in time for the long weekend



Got a bit irritated while doing the club gig on Saturday night. A large office complex is being constructed next to us and, after months and months of building work and cordons and skips, it appears that the interior is now being worked upon.

This is good, of course, except that clearly the electricians had been hard at it during the week. This was evidenced by the fact that every single one of the bright strip lights, the type you have in your garage or kitchen that blind you with a couple of flashes when you initially flick the switch, had been left on.

Every single one. In an office complex that's probably 20 storeys high. Really bright they were, too.

Now, while I abhor the ridiculous waste of electricity and the obvious environmental concerns that go with such crazy neglect, I was selfishly more concerned with the effect it had on the atmosphere in the club on Saturday.

You see, the main entrance to the bar is within a standard brick building but the back area, which seats diners during the day and allows dancers to throw shapes late at night, is under glass. It's essentially a big conservatory and is susceptible to the light from outside. Even a bright moon in a clear sky leaves a large white circle on one of the walls.

We have a few flashing lights of subtlety and colour to add to the ambience. But I like a darkened dancefloor. It provides mood and mystery, allows less confident dancers to enjoy a spot of comforting anonymity and, of course, provides an element of privacy for new courters. A smoke machine also contributes.

But this new office block, with every one of its energy-devouring bulbs streaming through its own glass and ours, ruined that entirely. Couple it with this time of year and it was wholly futile trying to create any kind of smouldering atmosphere. Everyone could see everyone else, clearly. When the house lights came on at 3am, it made no difference at all.

We intend to complain about this to the foreman of the site, or whoever else can be arsed to listen. If you want me to be more concerned for green reasons then be assured, please, that I did ponder the dreadful waste of power as I dealt with the requests for Soft Cell and Spagna all evening. But my main issue, selfishly, was how hideous this flourescent block of concrete made my club night look.