An article about Sexual Objects

Posted by in February's Magazine

When I awake the next morning with Dorothy Parker’s hangover, my mind fuzzier than a peach with an Afro or even a nectarine on its ninth life, I seem to recall agreeing to…something. Three questions occur: what have I signed up to, how can I get out of it, and why does that cat insist on tap dancing on my genitals? I am at least pretty sure I haven’t applied online to join ISIS but…

That was it. I’d gone for a pint with the Photographer and he’d talked me into going to the Gig. We were supposed to have our monthly drink with the Historian but the Historian had other fish to fry. Other metaphorical fish, because he’s vegetarian. So the Photographer and I talked about what we talk about when we talk about B-sides, babies and beer purporting to be heather ale but tasting more of bananas, but not banana fish – metaphorical, zoological or Salingerorical – and tried not to topple into the considerable cleavage of the Barmaid. Not that either the Photographer or I treat women as sexual objects. We’re more sons and lovers than readers’ wives.


Later at the Gig we met the Editor. He was there with the Poet and after some chat about seeing Kate Tempest and a difference of opinion over whether she was This or whether she was That, the Editor suggested I should review the Gig. “Not a chance,” I said. “I write speeches and shopping lists and sometimes bad comic verse but you know I’m done with all that writing about music nonsense.”

“Go on,” he said like a woman serving tea in a sitcom.

I shook my head, sprinkling dandruff over the Editor, the Poet and the Photographer and their metaphorical fish and chips. I don’t know where the metaphorical chips came from. A metaphorical chip shop?

“Go on,” he said like a sitcom in a tea serving woman.

“It’s not happening,” I said, nodding in the direction of the Journalist in the corner who had already written a fine piece about the Band in the Online Music Mag detailing how they’d sold the one and only copy of, and exclusive rights to, their new LP on ebay for £4,213. “That’s for him.”

“Go on,” he said like a serving sitcom in a woman tea. “You’re the man for the job,” he said, flattering me with flattery, which is the form of flattery to which I’m most susceptible. I made a face that declared non-compliance in several languages and a number of dialects, some of them rare, and at least one of which is no longer spoken by the living.

“Go on,” he said like a simile that had long since jettisoned its credibility, before adding: “It’s for the front cover.”

“What’s the deadline?” I said.

Such then is the shamelessness of your correspondent that even with a 1920s hangover I negotiate the cat, fuzzy logic and gravity to get to the kitchen table. There, I congratulate myself on having had the idea to text myself some notes on the gig just before I fell into bed. What a doddle. I open the text: ‘BE. KAKA. Yeah baby! Ron Asheton. Blahp’. I switch off the phone. A fire engine races through my brain, followed by a fleet of further emergency service vehicles.

Several cups of tea later and I remember BE is beef and electricity. Of course! The lyrics to, uh, a song by the Band. KAKA is ‘Kevin Ayers’ – the late troubadour, one-time member of the Soft Machine, and title of a song so good I must have typed its initials twice. “Yeah baby!” is one of the Singer’s faux American catchphrases – Clermiston’s Lou Reed he is. ‘Ron Asheton’ is both the deceased Stooge and the title of an instrumental by the Band. And ‘Blahp’ must be a code that, if I could crack it, would allow me to reveal something beautiful, poetic and true; like the patron of my hangover – serving up my heart on a plate with a side order of wit supreme. Or might it just be how I felt when bed beckoned?

What I can report is that the Band played a penultimate song, This Arsehole’s Been Burned Too Many Times Before, which soared and roared and left you wanting more. It made failure seem feted and success for suckers, channelling the Velvets, Zappa and George Clinton; being what the Singer does best. It was sexy and subversive and somehow harked back to a 1981 gig in Edinburgh’s Valentino’s that featured the Singer’s First Band on the same bill as the Irish Band. That’s the Irish Band who became a global corporation and by distributing 500 million copies of their album via iTunes rendered their music instant spam. “That’s not rock & roll,” the Singer told the Online Music Mag’s Journalist. “That’s fascism. So we’re actually doing something that’s more the polar opposite of what they’re doing… It’s like a black hole inversion.”

A black hole inversion. This is how the review ends.

Photograph (and Cover):

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