so a few weeks ago i went to newcastle. hooray! i've not been for ages.

the occassion was the first ever ex libris records gig - catalogue number xlr001gig. andy and luke booked a couple of local bands, plus label acts bec jones and local heroes girls girls girls.

after the kerfuffle of getting up - booking tickets ages in advance, changing them, taking a couple of hours off work, and taping up copies of on benefit/aggregate on the train, i got up to newcastle with a dead phone and got lost somewhere around byker bridge. eventually - the people really _are_ friendly - i found my way to the cumberland arms. on the way a woman started talking to me, she was going there to to see one of the local bands - ohoh, i thought, that's a good sign. complete stranger asks me if i'm going to this place (down a dark steep stairway apparently, which is why she was asking... maybe not everyone's nice) and i entered.

the cumberland arms is _niiiice_. especially how they had it. fairylights, a crooked, broken tv in the corner behind the merch stand. the girls girls girls album and badges were on advance sale, as were some of my records. free sweets label samplers (mixtapes my arse) for everyone who showed up, until they ran out. then i gave them my 3-track demo to give out, but i only had three copies.

bec jones was very much better _encarne_ than i've found her demo recordings to be. charming really. she played songs that i'd all heard before, i think, and everyone shut up for them. a mate came on and played bass wind for the last three songs, with one rediculously large brass instrument after another.

girls girls girls lollopped onto stage and went down very well i think. they made a lot of fans. shame they won't be able to exploi- er, shit, i mean like follow-up but not in marketing speak. after them, the suprisingly laid-back the eye jab got up, and were very good too. four keyboards isn't very rock and roll, but they were good and proggy and tight and epic when it needed to be.

after them, shin jin rui (japanese for 'generation x', i found out, having just read that book) were punk, but it always seems a bit of an anti climax after a really rounded band. they were kind of mcluskyish, but maybe without so much humour.

then we all danced to 'sex'. i felt dirty doing it.

people wanted to go 'out'; i was lost and confused and wanted to save myself for saturday night. i could see where the midnight express to nowheresville was headed - into town then back out again. i just wanted to go home. home wasn't much rescue though, as the others arrived back and started dancing on the tables to bruce springsteen. i couldn't understand why people didn't just want to sleep. i was shown the way to the mattress in the study and fell into something like sleep.

the next day, i clearly had a cold. i've no real memory of what happened - oh the night before i had the vegetarian argument with andrew warmington out of my attorney, forcing him to admit his view that 'science is a bit like religion isn't it?'. it was all water under the bridge the day after. i went out with the girls to get breakfast, which we did very succesfully, even getting some awesome ginger beer too. the rest of the day was spent internetting as far as i can remember, then off to a nice but crowded pub to sit and shiver. bought some veg from tesco to cook for my tea - i really fancied some kind of baked aubergine/tomato/courgette thing, all to myself. instead i fell asleep on the couch and ed used them to make a thai curry for everyone which was very nice. everyone else left us to go out partying. we played a dreadful 'board' game called taboo, which we're possibly the worst people in the world to do with our pedantry and word games. and listened to yanki uxxo. and then went to bed.

sunday, rather than waiting for the train i'd booked, i took adrian's offer of his spare un-stamped ticket and just _left_. i had to go home to my flat, duvet, teddies, and girl. and i'm very glad i did. i felt better, just in time for work. emoticon. sigh.

so it could have been better, all in all. next time i'm going up is 22nd february to _play_ a _gig_. more news on that soon.
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