It's been a while since I updaetd this backwards section of the internet, so I thought I would give both you lucky readers a treat and mysteriously update for no apparent reason other than I finally have some spare time on my hands.
So, on to the topic at hand. Valves. Valves are great, and most probably a lost technology upon the youth of today. Valves were used in the creation of televisual units the world over. All TV's contained them, and now we have brushed them aside in the never ending march towards the Normandy beaches of our technological futures. All but some that is.
Some of us embrace the valves. Some of us like Dilinger and Lemon D. Dilinger and Lemon D spent an entire year of their lives dedicated to valves. So much so that the fruit of their labour was even named after valves. They were interested in the valves for their unique properties. Those properties being firmly rooted in the realms of BASS.
Dilinger and Lemon D made the Valve sound system. This is something HUGE. It will only fit into three 7.5 ton lorries. It commands respect.
A little background to the sound system. The terrible two (Dilinger and Lemon D) spent as previously stated, a year finding the right parts, testing them all out, then building first in theory, then in practise, the worlds only drum and bass sound system.
I recently had the opportunity to experience said sound system in the UK. I do not even have the words to describe it. Unfathomable is one of the words I do not have. Amazing is another.
My only problem was getting in. As someone well past their prime, I do not need to show ID on such a regular basis that I carry it around with me, certainly not in the UK anyway. Sweden and their ridiculous alcohol age verification laws are another matter. It was my fault though. It did say "ID Required" on the ticket in really really small letters. I should have seen those. Obviously I got to the queue and discovered that there was no entry without ID, as advertised on the ticket. So, off to the bus garage I went, looking forwards to the next three hours travelling to pick up my passport and get back to the gig.
It was worse than I could possibly have imagined. The valve gig was at the Indigo O2, the kind of place they put acts that are never going to hit the big time, come back to play at the O2 Arena, and see how gipped they were on the changing rooms the first time around. Girls a-frikkin-loud were playing at the O2 Arena, and they had obviously just kicked out the hordes of screaming pre-teens dressed in a menagerie of flashing devil horns and cowboy hats. What suprised me most was the quantity of ladies older than myself that were present.
Perhaps they rely on them to sell the full set of tickets, I mean there can't be THAT many pre-teens that like Girls-a-Loud? Can there? Either way, I was on a bus that was basically made of oestrogen. Oestrogen wheels, oestrogen seats, even oestrogen tailpipe (make of that what you will). All of them, to a man (?) singing despicable trite tunes like some blood-sung chorus of harpies.
An hour. An earth hour I had to endure this girlish nightmare, only to be delivered into an even stranger situation.
I am at Waterloo station, seeking my bus route home. I find it on the map and arrive in time to get the last bus home, Darwin knows how I am going to get back this way. There are two men arguing at the bus stop as I approach them. One is screaming at the other in Polish. The other, is screaming back at the Polish guy, except in Russian. They were both swinging wildly at each other. All the punches were falling half a foot short of thier targets as they were both steadfast in their commitment to not moving an inch despite the extra reach it would give them.
I had to get past them to view map, so walked gingerly round them, ducking blows where appropriate. As I approached the map, one of them turned, eyed me and declared me a "Curva". Now that is not such a nice word. In fact it would not normally be permitted on this blog with the exception that it is not an English word. I gave the man in question a quizzical look, and then he said without a shadow of an accent "Oh I'm terribly sorry, that was very rude of me".
Shocked was not the word, taken aback was two and a half. I perused the state of this youth before me. He must have been no older than 21, and he bore the markings of someone who had been on "Having it Large". There was dried blood pasting the skin below both ears, gravity obviously having been inverted through 90 degrees at some point based solely on the wonderful right angles the blood made. Like dried russet bugger-grips. He also had a slit throat. I kid you not, this mans throat was exposed for all the world to see. Well, the bits inbetween the staples holding it together were. I could see this man's larynx.
NHS job. Or at least it was that or home surgery. We exchanged a few pleasantries and some cigarettes. His girl had left him and he was so upset he tried taking his own life. In the 24 hours since though, he had had a revelation and decided to live out his years profitably, whatever that means.
The bus arrived, I moved the two Easterners about 8 inches nearer towards one another each, and got on it. They did not start trading blows immediately, but I like to think I helped them thrrough a tough spot.
The rest of the return to the gig went entirely without incident. A cab was called and mounted. Ridden and paid for. When I got back to the gig, the line had magically disappeared, proving that given enough time (3 hours), even bouncers can process through 150 people. I arrived, presented my passport on top of my ticket, and they took the ticket and waved me in. No-one looked at my passport. No-one cared that I was obviously over 18 anymore. It was just when there were lots of kids to impress that they wanted to check my ID.
Ridiculous. Ineptitude, many other words can be used to describe the security at the O2 event.
I was searched. I was searched by the only man I think could kill a T2000. Huge was not the word. Wall-like in his stature is doing the man an injustice. He made a very thorough (not as thorough as they would have at an airport or policestation) search of me, and declaring me fit for purpose allowed me entry. At no point whatsoever did he take heed of the opaque white plastic bag that I was carrying. It could have contained guns, knives, nukes, sharpsticks. Any number of Alien busting hardware could have been in there. Fortunately for me it was just some silk and 4 pairs of earplugs.
The rest of the evening also pased without incident. So my closing statement is thusly.
If you ever, EVER, get a chance to see and hear the valve sound system, then do so. It is something you will never forget. The tinitus won't let you.