Posts from 23rd February 2001

Feb 01

Most of the people

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 335 views

Most of the people replying to this dance thread listened to music during the time house and techno music appeared and club culture exploded in popularity, in Europe at least. I’m really interested in some younger people’s perspectives on techno, people for whom this kind of much has never been new, strictly. Because it strikes me that a lot of my reactions to it are based on trying to recapture that residual amazement and bafflement and excitement from when it first showed up on my (rock-oriented) radar.

I think this is the key difference between, say, Simon Reynolds and Tim Finney, as critics. Tim’s style is very Reynolds-influenced (as is mine!) but for Tim there’s much more of a sense that dance music is just there, part of the musical atmosphere: the ‘vibe’ and its migrations seem incidental to his criticism, but essential to Reynolds’.

Fitz of depression

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 323 views

Fitz of depression The Fitzroy Tavern is a bad pub on a Friday night. In fact, it may be the worst pub to meet in for a post-work drink on Fridays. After 4.45pm, it fills rapidly with assorted scumbags (suits + media types) until you find yourself with so little room to manoeuvre that you have to strike up a conversation with someone wedged next to the bar in order to buy a round.

The Fitzroy’s overall pre-weekend craptitute therefore doesn’t explain why I end up arranging to meet there with such fiendish regularity. By way of self-justification, here are the reasons I usually give:

1) Everybody I know has a good idea of where it is.
Quite a good reason, I think, in view of how poor my directions typically are to new drinking venues. However, my co-drinkers aren’t a stupid lot and the possibility of a quick check of Streetmap ensures that any destination is theoretically possible.

2) It’s central and easy to get to.
Yes, if you work at Tottenham Court Road Sainsbury’s, but it’s not really that convenient otherwise. TCR is the nexus of the two feeblest Underground lines and has the further distraction of being close enough to the Virgin Megastore to add an inevitable half an hour’s browsing onto the journey time of other (male) pub invitee.

3) It’s a Sam Smiths pub, so you get good beer that’s cheap
Very true – the Fatman is a commendable brew. However, there are plenty better Smiths pubs about (seemingly more each day) and the cut-price beer, together with the grievous atmosphere, often leads to kamikaze alcohol consumption.

4) Right, that does it! It’s 4.45pm and no-one else has chosen a pub yet – we are going to the Fitzroy!
This is the most insidious reason of all. The only thing necessary for one to end up in the Fitzroy on a Friday night is for good men to do nothing.

Thankfully, I am not meeting anyone in the Fitzroy tonight – although if my initial pub destination tonight is full, I may have spoken too soon.