People often ask me about my tattoo and what it means but, unless you're Paul or Azza, "Belco metal" just doesn't paint a very vivid picture. So for those of you unlucky enough not to be 'Live from the One-Five', perhaps this will help you:
First off, the tattoo itself is representative of two things: Belconnen (Belco) and metal (heavy metal music). These two things together describe my roots, where I came from, where I grew up, and the sort of crowd I hung with and the music we listened to. My tatt consists of two sets of numbers - 2615 and 666 - arranged in a cross with a kick-arse demon skull looming over them. Why? Because nothing says Belco more than '2615' and nothing says metal more than '666'. The kick-arse demon skull speakes for itself and was supposed to win me the title of best Belco metal tatt as per the drunken pact Paul, Azza and I made in the Basement bar just prior to me coming to the UK. But, predictably, the other two piked out cos they're homos and not nearly as metal as they make themselves out to be. Which is just as well for them cos there's no way they could have topped me and they know it.
So what does it mean to be Belco metal? Well, unfortunately, unless you're One-Five by birth you just won't get it. But here's a few examples:
- Getting a Belco metal tatt;
- Getting pissed at the Basement bar listening to Rake Sodomy;
- Doing a piss off the red bridge at Belco Mall at 3am after listening to Rake Sodomy at the Basement;
- Wearing band t-shirts that young dudes have never heard of like Iron Maiden, Helmet, Carcass, and Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine;
- Having the same name as the lead guitarist of WASP.
Strangely enough, there's a sheet metal fabrication company called Belco Metal so I guess if you work for them you can qualify but only on a technicality.
Looks like Spring may have arrived. The weather on the weekend was absolutely gorgeous, which lent even the most mundane of activities a pleasant edge...
On Saturday I blagged free tickets to a screening of a documentary about photographer Annie Leibovitz at the Institute of Contemparary Arts. It was really interesting, if a little shallow, but it was shot by her sister who I gather is not a professional doco maker so you can excuse it for being more complimentary than in-depth. More that anything else it let her work speak for itself. Which was a good thing because she's a remarkable artist and I had no idea how iconic her images are. I've seen dozens of them over the years and had no idea they were hers. I find her covers a little contrived and stage managed, to be honest, but her real work is incredible. In a world where so many people take endless photographs of shit that's simply around them, it's so amazing to see a talented artist using her tools to show you the beauty in what she sees.
On Sunday there were Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar and Leicester Squares. I missed the parade down the Strand at 11am (cos I was tucked up in bed eating Vegemite toast and drinking coffee straight from my new one cup Bodum) which turned out to be a good thing because by the time I got there the rest of London had already arrived. I know I tend to go on and on about the teeming hordes of people in this city but everything I said up until now has been an understatement. You would not believe the number of people who showed up, crowding and jostling and fighting for a spot miles away from the stage where robot children in garish costumes traipsed and capered about for our amusement. I was sadly disappointed with the calibre of the event as it felt very bland and commercial. Even in Chinatown there was no sense of the real China in any of it, simply something they'd turned on to please the tourists. It was filtered down and tatty and soulless, like something designed by a committee: London's concept of China's idea of London's version of the Chinese New Year in London. All in all a disappointment, mainly due to the selfish and insensitive attitude of locals and the mob mentality of the tourist crowd. For two hours I fought my way through a gauntlet of elbows and howling brats; pretty eurotrash with their tight jeans, big sunglasses and ridiculous hairdos; overweight Americans with their logo-festooned spray jackets and inability to read a map; loud drunken neo-Aussies with their 'I live in LONDON now so I don't have to acknowledge you cos I'm rool fuken classy' attitude; haughty Londoners with their endless tisking and 'we don't DO that in this country' bigotry. So pretty much your typical weekend in central London, really. But the firecrackers were awesome!
Monday night saw me treking over to the Hammersmith Apollo to see Queens of the Stoneage. I bought the tickets months ago so I've been hanging out for this show for such a long time. And the best part was I didn't have to go in Nigel No-Friends mode thanks to Sarah "The Manski" Safranski who put me in touch with her good buddy DJ Lou Reeves who, despite her appalling lack of knowledge about kick-arse rawk music, proved to be a most adventurous and entertaining companion. Regretably, the show itself was something of a disappointment, but exactly why I can't quite put my finger on. The song choice was a not entirely what I would have liked to hear and technically the guys were all in top form (although Josh totally borked the solo in "Little Sister"). Perhaps they're suffering a little from George Lucas Syndrome in that when you're at the top of your game you don't have anything left to prove so some of the fire goes out of it. Overall it just came off as a bit like they were going through the motions rather than truly rockin'. The major highlight of the night for me, though, was the drummer. Two words: Dave Friggin' Grohl! The guy is a monster. If anyone wondered what happened to Animal after the Muppet Show wrapped up and The Electric Teeth went their separate ways, well I can tell you that he went on a 3 week booze and barbituate bender culminating in a hideous gargling death drowning in his own vomit whereupon his spirit rose up and possessed the body of Dave Grohl. The guys arms are like massive industrial cables and he's got new tatts all over his shoulders and pecs and he plays the drums like he's trying to kill them.
Fortunately, I was able to conduct a little surreptitious reseach while I was there to further my thesis about Maynard's Constant which posits that no matter what type of music you like, everyone likes Tool.
I've just been offered a new role, which I've accepted, with an internal project. Not sure what the work will entail but there's a possibility of some travel to India which is exciting. Good, then, that on my second day I was 2 hours late cos our boiler broke down on one of the coldest mornings this Winter and after the repair men finally did their thing I managed to get on the wrong bus and only noticed when the driver kicked me off at Catford Bus Garage cos I was too busy reading my book. Siiiiigh...
Anyhoo, there's new photos to peruse which you can access via the links on my blog. I hate that term: blog. Why can't it just be a diary or a journal? Blog sounds like something you excrete after a night on the curry and lager. Hope you're all well...