I’m writing this in bed at a couple of minutes past two. It seems without the guiding presence of a job or girlfriend to remind me when to eat or sleep I tend to keep the same hours and eating habits as the flats cat – Hopey. Please don’t despair; my day job is at a school so my girlfriend has used this time to go visit her parents. The upshot being I only sleep between the hours of 9am-12pm and eat all food between two slices of bread for a few days.
But I digress; those of you that listen to the show Saturdays will know this happens a lot. What I really wanted to talk about was what happened after the show last Saturday. Now the word “hero” is bandied about very loosely nowadays, being slapped on firemen and nurses willy nilly, but it seems the only relevant word to describe how we handled the show on Saturday. The show was tough, really, really tough. We had been told before hand that we needed to plug the Stupid Underground event that was going on in the pool in front of the studio and going out live on one of our alternative streams, we are also kind of used to having to compete with short bursts of sound checking that such events have, its not easy but tends to fall in the “waddafuckyagonnadoabout” category.
What we wasn’t expecting was a complete band having to do each individual instrument sound check at a volume that would made a deaf Viking shit himself, and then go on to do a dress rehearsal. Now far be it from me to comment but isn’t the sound supposed to be done in the day, not an hour before the doors open? Maybe I’m just bitter at having to shout against the ten continual minutes of the high hat being tested, or at having a show that we spend a week preparing nearly abandoned and almost certainly handicapped by circumstance beyond my control.
Another event we wasn’t told to plug but we wanted to do anyway was the Secret Wars final at the rainbow warehouse. Now to my shame, despite a keen interest in graffiti and illustration, I had never been to a Secret Wars gig. And as Seeds and Slobadan (the organisers) are also fellow hosts on the station we felt the need to give up some well deserved props. The constant plugging worked, well, on us anyway and by the end of us battling through the show we headed for a hard earnt steam expulsion.
After drinking the half a bottle of Sherry outside so we didn’t have to smuggle it in with us we eventually make it in, almost immediately I was accosted by Seeds surrounding a whirlwind of people.
“Alright Danny” he says in a way that was probably far cooler than “alright Danny”
“Are you here to judge the competition?” he says. I, of course, tell him that I am not, he might as well asked if I was here to DJ or be a toilet attendant, but he seemed to be serious
“Dan Cremin was supposed to be turning up as a representative for Rhubarb, and he’s not coming, so are you alright to do it?”
“no” I say in a definite way that he promptly ignores and is swept away on a wave of people, I look to see if my co-host can back me up on what just happened and they had heroically already missed to the bar.
The event was really good that built to amazing, basically what happens is two Writers are given a white board and a set of black pens each to do as they want with, while the crowd is treated to excellent music by top local DJs and guest Mick appearances, the atmosphere is friendly and eventually gathers to electric as the artists finish there pieces. I of course spent the entire event trying to work out if I would have to adjudicate and what to pick if I do.
Now I have been into graffiti and tagging since I was a small proto-teenager and have on more than one occasion, bent the law in the sake of art. It was my main reason I managed to pass my foundation diploma and get on a degree. So I didn’t take the judging lightly, throughout the gig Phil Blake was, to me, the winner. Not only was his line work confident and practiced but his style was engaging and clear but mind boggling imaginative – choosing to go for an old graffiti classic, of basing the main body of piece a variation on his name. That is not to say that Bevlak wasn’t doing some stunning work of his own, his piece of a Spanish galleon shooting markers out it cannons nailing a caricature of Phil was impressive. Phil’s flourish towards the end of tying a caricature of Bevlak to a tree was not only on the money but a performative nail in the coffin. And then he fluffed it. Almost a third of the space was left blank with less than half hour to go, which he then filled with a sentence that didn’t make much sense and wasn’t lettered very well. Where as Bevlak’s final composition was total and well thought out. The competition was so tight I used that as the decider.
I was called up to the front, given a board to write my winner on and waited for the announcement, mine was first. So the crowd had to put up with a slightly chubby man in sparkly trousers, who they have no idea is, give his opinion on what went on. To throw this into sharp relief the next guy was the world DMC champion 2008 DJ Switch, who then voted the opposite of me. Luckily Seeds had brought his decibel reader so was able to take to the crowd. Who voted the opposite of me again (not by a lot). I stood there a felt like a complete prat, not only I had been contradicted by the world DMX champion 2008 DJ Switch but then by most of the people in the room. I slinked off stage. While stepping off one of the podiums looking for my friends I stepped on a bottle, my feet went from under me, and I fell on my back Buster Keaton Style. I’m an idiot.
Still it didn’t spoil an excellent night and it was nice to spend some time with Ritchie and Phil where we wasn’t banging on about radioing.
secret wars report including a terrible picture of me (here)