It’s 2.41am. At least I think it is. The clocks are changing/have changed tonight and I’m still not 100% certain whether I’ve lost or gained an hour. As much as I’d ordinarily enjoy an extra 60 minutes snuggled under my duvet, tonight I’m crossing my fingers that I’ve lost an hour. Infact, if I could magic away the next 4 hours too, that’d be ideal. I mean, I’m guessing that by 6.41am the ‘Happy Birthday’ studio soiree that’s blasting out of the block next door will have reduced to nothing more than some puking noises in the courtyard or to some straggler couple having a drunken domestic on the pavement outside. That, I could handle. However, as it stands, it would appear I am overhearing (with no real choice in the matter), the most appalling, the most abysmal party EVER.
Since there is absolutely no chance I will be snoozing any time soon (how Gaarry is coping, I do not know. I’m guessing the knowledge that he has to be up and ready for work in less that 4 hours is probably keeping him in bed at least – even if he is just lying awake, twitching with anger, muttering swear words under his breath and blurting out the odd insult sleepily aimed at the asswipes who’ve been engaged in an incredibly dull – yet loud – conversation directly beneath our window for the last 40 minutes), I thought I might engage in some ‘live blogging’. In London, everyone does everything ‘live’. Since the people next door are having a ‘live’ party complete with ‘live’ band, I thought I might do some ‘live’ reporting. Right here. Right now.
A quick catch up…
The party came to life at around midnight. What sounded like several coach loads of northern English people arrived and proceeded to (seemingly) enjoy unbelievably boring chat at remarkable volume. “Where are you from?” “Isn’t football just GREAT?” “That bird’s shorts are TINY, eh?” etc., etc.. However, having discreetly peeped out from beneath the window blinds to assess whether the morons just sounded like morons or whether they looked like morons too (I don’t really know why that was important – I think really, I secretly wanted to assess whether they were close enough to maybe torment them with a game of “Where Are Those Bits Of Flying Orange Peel Coming From?” should the situation get out of hand), I was surprised to find that the ‘coach load’ of party goers was actually just four people. Four really loud, obnoxious people.
Then a band played. An awful, awful band played. For ages. A full set of original material so bad my hardcore hatred of it resulted in a dose of heartburn.
The band shut up momentarily following a rather cute (if duly shit) chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’. Then some clever dick popped ‘Happy Birthday’ by Altered Images on the ghetto blaster and for the minutes during the song, my anger subsided a little as I thought of home.
Despite transmitting very, very firm signals suggesting the band not play any more this evening, (and equally firm signals that really, it might be best for everyone if they admitted the singer and bass player just HAD to go and that their musical endeavours ought to be paused until suitable replacements were auditioned), it seemed tonight was not the night my thus far dormant telepathic gifts would be awakened. The band returned to the stage. Or the middle of the floor. Or wherever the hell they’ve set up their stuff.
This time (and with what measure of irony, I can’t be certain), they began to perform a set of popular party hits (?) but you know, “with a twist, yeah?” A couple of numbers in, I was disappointed to find the grand twist really just amounted to swapping major chords for ‘menacing’ ones and swapping minor chords for…, um… menacing ones. Genius.
THE SET LIST
Unchained Melody – Al Green? The Righteous Brothers? Though probably more likely, Robson & Jerome
I am pleased to report the ‘live’ party playlist was a complete flop. Special mention must go to the band’s rendition of Mustang Sally which, although equally as hideous, as toe-bunchingly awful as all the other ‘menacing’ versions of popular classics (is She’s The One really a ‘classic’, I ask myself? It is to me…), made me laugh aloud – and it was at this point I decided to get up, resign myself to a sleepless night and exorcise The Rage here – for you to read. Ok. So. Mustang Sally. You know how it goes, right? ‘Course you do! The singer (a person with what one can only assume to be a serious lack of self-awareness – to be fair, probably alcohol or drug induced given the circumstances), gave it his all as the chorus rolls around, “All you wanna do is ride around, Sally”. I can imagine him gesture to the ‘crowd’ to join in. “Everybody!” No one responds. Well. A couple of people try to respond but they don’t know the song so just kind of made some babbling sounds. I chuckled.
The band stops. Someone puts Primal Scream on the ghetto blaster. I begin to wonder, given the Scottish ghetto blaster theme, whether there’s a Glaswegian over there trying to make the party better and discourage the terrible, terrible band from dissecting then reconstructing everyone’s favourite drunken sing-a-long songs to sound a bit like Frankenstein’s monster looked.
Which brings us up to date…
3.23am The band have shuffled off now. It would seem the Glaswegian guy with the ghetto blaster I made up has gone home mainly because he thinks everyone at the party is a dick and he reckons if he leaves now, he might be able to go hang out elsewhere.
3.24am From one extreme to another. We’ve gone from ‘weirdo-wedding-band-from-hell’ to PUMPIN’! PUMPIN’, PUMPIN’, PUMPIN’. If Garry sleeps/lies still through this it’ll be a fleekin’ miracle.
3.26am I’m going ahead and jumping to the conclusion that the bass player of the band is in charge of the sound desk.
3.27am The northern English visitors are kicking off outside. Some southerners are mocking their accents. The northerners have no witty comebacks. This comes as no surprise at all given the conversations I was unfortunate enough to be bored to screams by earlier.
3.29am I can feel the vibrations from the PA rumbling through the floor, up into the chair and tingling through my arse. I’m wondering if this might be a cheap (if incredibly annoying and inconvenient) alternative to those exercise devises you get that wibble your blubber around til it disappears. Every cloud…
3.41am Thinking about the joke I made earlier about how I had to move seats in a bar because the fancy media installations were giving me a migraine. As I sit here with a shaky bum, rage-induced heartburn and the obligatory headache, I realise – I really am too old for this shit.
3.43am N-cha, n-cha, n-cha, n-cha, n-cha… *makes rubbish effort to mimic monotonous pounding of the dance music (do the kids even call it that these days?) – can’t even do that right. See above.*
3.50am Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop.
3.51am Oh wow. A loud hailer. And a fake siren noise. Brilliant.
3.52am Uninvited guests looking to join the party. “But we’re COOL, man. We ARE. We’re COOL.” Not cool enough, evidently. I wouldn’t be too disappointed. Besides, you’ve missed the Robbie Williams cover version. It’s been all downhill from there. Trust me.
3.54am Aaaaah… I do love a discordant keyboard sequence… Are the lyrics to this song, “My beat gets drum”? “My beat gets drunk?” “My beat control”? “My beat is driving that girl over there freakin’ insane and I wonder how long it will be until we see her hurtle herself out the window?”
3.56am Some of the more annoying, louder girls left in a cab. However, some remain. Squawking.
3.58am Would rather, since I’m set to be up all night, the dj play something I know at least…
3.59am *hollers out the window* “YOU GOT EMF, UNBELIEVABLE? PLAY EMF UNBELIEVABLE!”
3.59am Some bright spark has just CLOSED THE DOOR. Noise level has dropped considerably.
4.00am Wondering how long it will be before some dickhead opens the door again.
4.05am 5 minutes. It will be 5 minutes until some dickhead opens the door again. The door is open again. The door is open again. Shut the door. Please. Just shut the door.
4.06am Or not. I mean, I’m sure it’s quite warm in there. You probably need some air.
4.13am Mini cabs have lined up outside. Now not only am I being subjected the tedious conversations of drunk techno heads/very posh teenagers, but now I get to tune into the even MORE tedious conversation between bored taxi drivers.
4.14am Song. Female vocalist. Saying something like, “Play on! Play on! Play on! Pl-pla-pla-pl-play on! Play-a-a-a-a on!” I am desperately trying to embrace the party mood but instead erring more on the side of slitting my wrists.
4.16am Two other people have decided it’s time to go home. They’ve left in one of the mini cabs. I hope they are legal, licensed mini cabs or they just might be in for a nasty surprise.
4.17am As if the dj overhead my suicidal commentary, he’s only gone and put on some mental bangy version of ‘Mad World’ to tip me over the edge.
4.18am *tips over the edge*
4.24am Now genuinely worried about the people who’ve gone home in the illegal mini cab driven by a psychopath that I made up. I wonder if my live blogging will come in handy during the murder inquiry.
4.25am “Watch this! I’m gonna do it! Lift me up!” Oh christ…
4.25am “Well there’s no need to stand there smoking like you own the place”.
4.26am “Are we really locked out? I knocked on the door. Let’s knock on the door. Oi! Let us in”. I wouldn’t let you in.
4.27am Kind of wishing the terrible band would come back… I promise I will sing my bit in the call/response bit of Mustang Sally. Really. I promise I will.
4.29am “Nooooo! I don’t hate you! I thought YOU hated me!” I hate you both and I don’t. Even. Know you.
4.30am Am seconds away from breaking the ‘no smoking’ rule in the studio…
4.35am Oh! Oh! I know this one! I know this one!
4.38am Is thoroughly bored of this game. And given how tired I was when I went to bed at 11pm, I don’t feel at all well… Wondering if I should have a beer?
4.42am Craving pork pibil from Wahaca.
4.45am Have decided that if the rage/noise hasn’t simmered down a little by 5am, I am breaking the ‘no smoking’ rule. It’s for my own good. And for the good of all those around me.
4.49am “Glasgow is a shit hole” says southerner – a southerner who has endured/enjoyed the world’s worst birthday bash without complaint for the last 5 hours. I give him The Big Vs from behind the window blind.
4.50am Scottish person leads chorus of Disney’s ‘A Whole New World’ out in the courtyard. NOW it’s a party.
4.52am Toes bunching so hard I think I might have snapped one.
4.55am I am nasty when I am tired. This party is not bringing out the best in me.
4.56am What are the chances the PA guy will pull the plug at 5am?
4.58am What are the chances of me tugging his nasal hairs out at 5am if he doesn’t?
4.58am Scottish guy is the life and soul… Now leading chorus of comedy ‘everybody-say-way-oh’ ‘WAY-OH’s. I could get on board with this guy.
4.59am Whinge, whinge, whinge… Posh drunk girl has made me snap another toe.
5.00am The PA plug remains plugged in. I am breaking the ‘no smoking’ rule.
5.01am Scottish guy now singing East 17 ‘Stay’ by himself. I’m joining in in my heart.
5.01am Posh people outside talking about drama class and grammar school. Skins really does have a lot to answer for.
5.03am It’s STOPPED! It’s STOPPED! :)
5.03am It’s started again.
5.03am I am definitely breaking the ‘no smoking’ rule.
5.04am Now convinced there are more people loitering outside than actually in the party. I vote we all go back to the Scottish guy’s house and dance to The Proclaimers.
5.05am “Why don’t you just f**k off right now? How bout you take some f**king drugs? No, actually, how ’bout you just LEAVE? What’s this? What’s this? You f**king twat. You bitch!” shouts posh boy.
5.08am I blame the parents.
5.13am *smokes cigarette*
5.20am Won’t you take me tooooo funky town?
5.31am Garry’s alarm is going off. He’s wide awake, it’s morning.
5.53am Before getting ready to leave for work, Garry says, “Is it just me? Or did they have the worst band in the world playing earlier? And did I imagine this, or did they try to cover a Jimi Hendrix song?” I laugh and tell him that I know both those things to be true and that indeed, I have written them down. “Good”, he says.
5.55am Now thoroughly bored and no longer even able to be angry or pass witty remarks about the tedium of this party. Whingeing girl is still outside (whingeing). Cabbies are still milling around (hopeful). The dj still hasn’t played any Technotronic.
5.58am “All of our friends are dicks!” announces whingeing girl. And she’s not wrong. I could have told her that 6 hours ago and saved everyone a lot of trouble.
6.06am I feel sorry that Garry is getting the night bus to work. To add insult to injury, it’s pretty likely he’ll be travelling to town with these mangled up leftovers…
6.07am Now debating whether to try to go to bed or not. Party still going strong. Visitors due at studio in a matter of hours. To bath or to bed?
6.08am Whingeing girl is haggling with cabbie. Wants him to take her home for £27. She needn’t worry about the fare. There’s every chance she won’t make it back… *draws sketch of cabbie to help with ID parade later*
6.15am Garry leaves for work. Party shows no sign of slowing. Rage resurfaces.
6.16am *crams Wispa in mouth and downs dregs of can of Dr Pepper* When in Rome…
6.17am Wondering whatever happened to celebrating a birthday with a burger down Wimpy and a game of pass the parcel.
6.21am Has decided to step away from the computer at precisely 6.30am. a) I am too tired to see and b) there is actually nothing fun to report now the Scottish guy’s thought better of this plan and gone home.
6.33am This is Carrie Not The Kind of Girl You’d Marry signing off. *pulls gladrags on and heads to party armed with a can of Kronenberg and a packet of cheese slices*