Thursday, 23 June 2011

A Little Respect And A Lot Of Other Stuff

This week, I have been in Oxford - bringing the Scottish flavour to England without the use of shortbread or heroin hasn't been easy, let me tell you, but I've done my best.

On Saturday, Jen (@JenClone) and Alex (@nicelittlestory) and I attended a great gig at Westonbirt Arboretum. Sophie Ellis Bextor was supporting Erasure, one of my favourite bands of all time, and we were all very excited. The were a couple of odd moments during the evening which I feel worthy of bloggage. The first was when The Bextor (note: once I've grown attached to a celebrity and they have proved themselves worthy of my eccentric and perhaps slightly misguided but unconditional adoration, they get assigned a 'The' - see previous extensive notes on 'The Dern') announced that she was about to perform her first release 'Murder On The Dancefloor' and then followed that announcement by saying "which was released in 2001." Imagine the horror. A whole decade has passed since then. I won't deny I had an existential freakout.

Me: Did you hear that?

Jen: What?

Me: Ten years since this song first came out. Oh my god, I haven't done anything with my life.

Jen: Um...

Me: You see that child standing next to you?

Jen: (looking increasingly uncomfortable) Yes?

Me: That child wasn't even born when this song came out. SHE WASN'T EVEN BORN.

It had started off a quite a nice summer evening, if a little cloudy, but soon the weather began to torture us for enjoying '80s electronica. It started with a light refreshing rain, followed by a heavy, drenching shower, finished off with a delightful round of painful, belting hailstones marinated in a chilly breeze. This is really something to savour when you're standing in a forest, jumping up and down in muddy joy with a couple of hundred other people.

Once I'd forgotten about The Bextor and the horrible implications of my own mortality had faded (this took about ten minutes, as the attention span of an otter is short and easily led by shiny things) I was able to relax and enjoy the gig fully. Erasure came on stage and performed brilliantly. They played all the classics - 'A Little Respect', 'Ship of Fools' and one of my personal favourites 'Love To Hate You'. The crowd was a varied mixture of people both young and old, gay and straight, and the atmosphere was lovely. About halfway through the set, a man wearing fluorescent sunglasses pushed in front of us. I happened to glance downwards for a moment, and saw that he was carrying a clear plastic bag, filled with yellowish liquid. I hesitate to relay the following conversation, and not least because of what it concerns, but let's face it, you've heard me talk about worse.

Jen: That guy..

Me: What's in the bag? Is it a goldfish?

Jen: A...goldfish? Who brings a goldfish to a gig?

I admit, I hadn't thought the idea through fully.

Me: What is it then?

Jen: I think it's piss.

Me: I'm sorry?

Jen: Piss. He's carrying a bag of piss.

Me: Why? Why would anyone do that?!

Jen: It could be beer.

We all looked at the bag with reactions ranging from curiosity to plain horror. People around us were beginning to stare at the man with the bag.

Jen: If it is beer, I don't know how he'd pour it.

Me: I'm still stuck on the bag of piss idea. Somehow I can't get past it.

Jen: Hmm.

There was a pause as we tried to bend our minds around this concept.

Me: Do you think he has a bag of piss from every gig he's ever been to?

Jen: What, like a trophy?

Me: Yeah. Like, maybe he has a shelf above his bed where he keeps them all neatly labelled. That's what I'd do, if I had a bag of piss.

People were looking from Piss Bag Man to us for help, as if we would be able to offer answers. We distanced ourselves quickly, making clear we-have-no-idea-either-and-are-frankly-scared gestures. We may never know what he was carrying, since we were afraid to enquire further, so it will remain one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time, however I appreciate all suggestions.


  1. I think one of the best parts was when he finally made his way through the crowd in front of us, and we saw everyone do a double-take with the same expression of horror...

    Never before had I seen a man dance with a bag of piss. *crosses off list of things to see before death*

  2. If I'd had a bucket list, that would have been on it somewhere. Furreals. *tick* Along with making a balloon version of Jurassic Park this week. *tick*