the next wednesday, i didn't go to see valerie. they were playing at the launch of a book about the riot grrl movement, with three other bands and electralane and others djing. even in my current circumstances, this was worth 6 pounds and a few minutes on the bus. what's wrong with me?

i suppose part of the reason i didn't go might be a feeling of intimidation by valerie now. perhaps too associated with marion. there's a different feeling though, some kind of embarrasment at seeing them again, after a gap of nearly two years. i dunno. the real reason i didn't go was that rachel and i went off back to hers from whitechapel to drop her bags off, and never left again, instead just sat on the couch like a couple of stoners. oxytocin junkies.

the next night i met her at finchley road and we went to see aaron mcmullen. it turned out that while pre-arranged, the gig was technically open mic, in a nasty gaudy i-can't-believe-it's-not-whetherspoons pub. the doorman was heckling the acts; 'do some rapping!' he shouted during the sound man's opening set of delta blues dirge. obviously i asked to do a set. aaron was marvellous, his inability to look at the audience resolving itself as a gaze fixed on a particular ceiling tile. his song performances were urgent spasms of need and pain, like a mouse pestered and terrified until it finally, viciously, attacks; only hindered by the neccessity to play guitar along with them. i advised him to drop it and get a band behind him so he can focus on being the front man that everyone looks at.

i started my own set with 'forever' since we had some people from melbourne, australia in the house. i got half way through and couldn't get any further; those lyrics are like an avalanche until they stop, then they're like a train wreck. in fact, a freight train would have been a better analogy to start with. i didn't do gxs, unfortunately. but upon someone requesting ugly kid joe(this actually happened) i played sex then everything about you. blimey. went through a series of jovial songs and jokes until i realised i'd been up there far too long, at which point i handed the guitar over to three misguided students who did an abysmal take of 'save tonight', including a hilariously repetitve poorly fretted chord of G major, where he seemed to have forgotten he'd put the guitar into dropped d.

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