widg‧et /ˈwɪdʒɪt/ [wij-it] -noun: Pointless ramblings from the New Forest. Obviously complete & utter Rubbish. Why must I contibute to all this endless talk about me? My self-indulgent knees, spilling themselves all over the internet. Obviously i am Jon and his hair, I AM HIM!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Get the London Look

We stepped from the body-moistened coach onto the smokey bacon streets of Kate Moss's Hammersmith and added a little more smoke to The Big Smog itself. The first job was to negotiate the shellfish branded ticket machines, then onwards to Kate Moss's Holiday Inn with our collection of dry cured pony meat to bargain and barter for their least big-smokey room for Mr Hockbo. No double duvet was forthcoming, so we hopped along for a mechanically recovered sweet chilli chicken-style bap at Kate Moss's finest eatery that gives it to you your way. We got it. And instantly wished we hadn't. Clutching our now aching bellies, we joyfully skipped to the beat until we reached the cobbled tourist disappointment of Kate Moss's Olde Covente Gardene to spend two pounds fifty on a glorious piece of stationary. That was when our troubles began.

We passed by Slam City Skates that once housed a fine record shop, but now just sells skates, to hooded children of all things. We reached Kate Moss's Shaftesbury Avenue to find it in the middle of some kind of unnatural disaster. We waded through the ankle deep floods to find the geek shop closed due to lack of electricity, the record shop closed due to incompetence, and many pubs closed due to lack of available seating. We finally reached an acceptable pub, only to find that the barmaid, of whom it could be said that the English language was not her friend, had only two ales on offer, one of which turned out to be cider, and the other's hand scrawled and heavily smudged sign proffered the information that it was 'Bitter'.

Once we'd finished our distinctly lemon scented pints, we struggled on to Kate Moss's Brick Lane to continue our search for the elusive London Look. We found it halfway down the road, in the newly Camdened-up old brewery, where Rough Trade East now resides. All around were strange creatures, with coloured grease smeared all over their faces and sticky hair. They were wearing military tunics, neckerchiefs and ironic hats, all at a precisely jaunty angle. We retreated to a nearby Bollywood shop, to hide from Kate Moss's evil Village of the Damned doppelgängers behind Shahrukh Khan's ample, cardboard cut-out nose.

Our panicked, bumbling flight took us straight into the path of several million besuited vermin, themselves fleeing in terror from Kate Moss's The City as the clock struck six, hunting for their fairy godmothers before their bowler hats turned into a sustainably farmed, fair trade, organic butternut squash. A long and sweaty tube ride was whiled away with a traditional staring contest whilst gaily rubbing up against the smug-huffy, pinstriped pests. Coffee and wee were calling; obviously our first choice of venue had ceased to exist, so we reluctantly entered the multinational house of beans to spend a weeks wages on a mug of tepid brown sludge. Of course the toilets were out of order, so I left my travelling companion to guard my fast cooling beverage while I went in search of a traditional water closet. This was harder than it sounds, as all toilets within the entire metropolitan area appeared to be closed for essential engineering works.

A suitable receptacle for my piss was eventually found, so I made my way back to my undrinkable drink, swatting away the excessively tetchy paper people, who got quite irate when their free (i.e. valueless) propaganda was refused, and tripping over the aggressive noodle bearers in my haste. Once I returned, there was no time to regale my friend with the tale of my recent urine-relieving escapade as it had now become imperative that we immediately journey to the scene of my greatest triumph, Kate Moss's Royal Albert Hall, rah rah rah! It was on this stage that me and my Poulner 'Wind' Group chums brought the house down at the Schools Prom, many years ago. But this night belonged to another.

The star of tonight's show was the elfin, ethereal, elegant, enchanting, exotic & eccentric, Joanna Newsom. Possessed of an elephantine & enthralling talent, after a day of mounting mishaps, the appearance of Miss Newsom's enigmatic visage came as a breath of fresh, unsmoked ether. But before the exciting and exquisite main event entered, there was to be a variety of excellent musical entrées to entertain our external and enraptured ears. First on, for all of ten minutes, were The Moore Brothers. Like a scary Simon & Garfunkle, but with fairly amusing songs, rather than fairly amusing hair, they made me feel all warm and sticky inside, with all the good and bad side effects that that suggests.

Next up, the legend that is Roy Harper. That's how he was presented, and after his intimate yet soaring, woolly mammoth-like performance I can well believe it. He played his entire 1969 album, Stormcock (I have to wonder why I've never heard of this album before, especially as it has 'cock' in it) and still had time to mention David Attenborough, and the fact that we're all doomed, but in a way that made me happily concerned, but not sticky inside, about it.

Then finally, after an effusive effluence of applause, she was here. Yes, it was the exceptional, endearing & effervescent Joanna, right in front of our ecstatic faces, ensconced behind her massive harp. She played through her recent album 'Ys', with a stripped back accompaniment of just violin, banjo (or other strummed objects) and percussion, but managing to create a sound no less full than the fully orchestrated record. These were interspersed with new augmented arrangements of some of her older tunes; 'Peach, Plum and Pear' benefited the most, with a backing groove verging on the funky, and 'The Book of Right On', left with more room to breathe, was exquisite, yet still a right catchy pop song.

Her ebullient enthusiasm and awe for the event was endearing, and evident when she stopped to take a picture of the crowd on her mobile phone, after all this doesn't happen every day. I also found the barefooted percussionist most enjoyable to watch, thoughtfully arranging his drumming implements for maximum efficiency, but never detracting from the energetic plucking of the woman to his right. Her voice, sometimes harsh and almost grating on disc, seemed softer and easier on the ear in person, rising to the occasion with a more powerful, soaring vocal during the swelling passages to fill the huge room. She escaped the stage, leaving the audience in a euphoric mood, giving a seemingly eternal standing ovation before returning for an eighteen minute, one song encore; and then her ephemeral presence was gone.

This eloquent review was marked an E for Effort (Ys, get it? Oh Dear). See Me.

Currently listening: Necessary Evil by Debbie Harry

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Conkers, Violins & Fat Moons

Conkers, Violins & Fat Moons,
Everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together.
Wetter than a lucky sweat gland,
When you're near the neck boil disappears, dear,
And I feel so weird just to know that you've no beard.

My life is conkers, violins & fat moons,
That's how this refrain goes, so come on, join in everybody!

Or not, then. Instead I will snook my runny snot back up into my nose in honour of every lady's favourite sweaty fiddler, Seth Lakeman, but first I must unfurl the mysteries of the medium of cassette for the mum-sponsored, outbound journey of excitement. On this cold, balmy night in Southampton, with the unmysterious, regular sized moon low in the sky, and only the illusion shattering sound of alpine quacking in the middle distance to shatter the freezing silence; we join the disorderly queue outside the gilded hall for mugs and bows. Behind us Kelly is fobbed off with an overpriced beer and no hope of a hand shandy, as the west bar begins its long hibernation.

Ben's Brother take to the stage, and a long dispute begins with the Lymmington contingent as to if one of them was not in fact Ben's, but Seth's brother. Mucho high-tech ticket scanning is performed by the door monkeys as we negotiate our way into the open air leper colony. We return in time for Teddy Thompson's new and disappointing Dolly Parton direction, before the Lakeman-inspired jumping, jigging, honking, hooting, whooping and yeah babying begins. We turn our noses up at a banquet of finger lickin', lip smackin' chicken and the evening ends with a menu of crackers & pop cheese.

Currently listening: La Radiolina by Manu Chao

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Heaving Arc of Vomit

After a worrying growth spurt, Gary has begun to shrink back inside himself, but like the barnacle on my soul that is the Ringwood Carnival, his shrivelled form will forever haunt me. What's that you say? Ringwood Carnival? Why yes, it is that time of year again, where the 'adults' of the town become their feral children, and the aforementioned children carry on as usual, but with more volume. I sit here typing these words as the procession outside is in full swing. Oh my ears. What did we do to deserve this fate? My would-be autumnal & leafy September memories are forever soiled by the black cloud of Carnival doom. I HATE Ringwood Carnival, with excessive curmudgeon-like passion. You'll all be sorry when the oil runs out!

Oh look, it's the Carnival Queen, and oh look, following on behind, it's the Carnival Queen of Christchurch. Why are you here? Bugger off back to Christchurch. Look what this day does to me, it brings out my inner xenophobe. What now? Oh, it's the Carnival Queen of sodding Swanage, and there's a big fat swan on the front, oh how bloody clever. Oh Queens of Fordingbridge, Verwood, Bournemouth, is one day not enough for you, preening harpies, must you drag your feeble, waning moment of glory out for months?

But I must off, to buy my Woolworths Worth It sheet, with which to complete my recycled bishop costume, and then to work, with blini and carrot stick in hand, to consumate the alcoholic needs of the alcoholics and stamp on the face of the vodkary desires of the 12 year old.

Currently listening: Awkward Annie by Kate Rusby

Monday, September 03, 2007

Tummy Touched

So I said goodbye to a much maligned, long serving friend recently. Well, I say friend, but she was more like an annoying, yappy dog-like lesion. I am, of course, talking about my pet verruca, Satan. It has finally gone, she first popped up during my easy teenage years, and despite attempts to destroy it throughout my fragrant twenties, it continued to flourish, bringing joy and beauty to all it touched. But all of a sudden, without my even noticing, she had left, like a mystery custard stain in the night, with only the aroma of billowing sock curtains to suggest that she'd ever even existed.

Of all my non life threatening diseases cum afflictions (cum-affliction being one of them) the verruca was my favourite. But all is not lost, for the moment that Satan sailed away on the wind my new best friend jumped from Marry Poppins's metaphorical, voluminous sack onto my person. Say hello to my new neck goitre, Gary. Pulsating, shape shifting, squidgy in all the wrong places, he is here to nurse me through my old age, and will, no doubt, be there to throw himself on my funeral pyre at the appropriate time.

Currently listening: Under the Blacklight by Rilo Kiley