This definitely was not London.
I had calculated that you had to walk upwards of 500 yards to nail a reasonable Latte. I had to flag a cab to drag me to a Panini.
A man becomes soft very easily so always welcome trials of the like I am about to explain. Embrace the fear, kiss the poison and worry about your underwear later. There’s always Primark.
Now I’m not a green sort. I can avoid a confrontation at 50 yards and create my own in a similar bracket, but the crackle of violence ran through this place like a fucked up strata I hadn’t had the pleasure of tasting in many a year. This was the type of place the summoned instant regression. Your accent increases ten fold in the vein hope that an extremely questionable stereotype might carry a little something something around here. Unlikely. The gate of your frame becomes almost Neanderthal and glances are exchanged. Stop motion looks acknowledging to one another that the fear is well and truly ON!
I notice the door is pitted. I wonder if a thousand craniums have tenderised the oak. If a million expensive well worn trainers have volleyed a nights anger at this hinged bitch. Today’s special appears to be Karaoke with a chap called Disco Steve at the helm. I wonder what Disco Steve will look like. I imagine a medication infused ex pat that has impregnated around 30 or so divorcees. A man capable of spotting vulnerability like a heat sensitive camera. A man with a horrifying hard drive and counterfeit aftershave.
As we make our approach we are intercepted by a toothless, Irish wombat of a man who questions our business at this concrete skid mark. I want to shake his hand, if not only so he has to unclench his fist I can see forming in my peripheral vision. I think better of it as I daydream of what could be in that grizzly fist. Could be fondant. Could be foetus.
It is established that we are customers. We are to reside there for an evening and ‘enjoy’ the local charm. Maybe a cheeky Merlot with a local character who would regale us with anecdotes we could repeat to friends. However, I expect that it is more likely that I will force feed myself rufies to remove any memories that might have the audacity to embed themselves. It’s a fucked up world when I am often correct. Completely fucked up.
So with unpleasenties exchange we marvel at our cells for the evening. You get the feeling that the many crimes inevitably committed in this room have been scrubbed away. Bleach has been weathered into the very grain of the room. The curtains smell like murder and the bed. Is to clean for this place. Theres an honesty about filth as much as there is are horrifying secrets in cleanliness.
We bathe. We dress. We eat.
It appears the main pastime in this area is alcohol fuelled rage. We see a pack of middle aged men, one has on a vest and steroid induced hairy arms. The whole place is crawling with anger and every fucker looks like Eddie Yates with an amphetamine grin. A narcotic twitch that suggested a hair trigger. After trying to hide in a basement bar masquerading as Manumission (Manumission being headlined by Black Lace) the first of bad things happen. These chaps would like a fight, a fight with us. We escape but im a little upset that they didn’t even pay us the credence of calling us puffs or asking what we are looking at. How rude. I want to go back but I plan to kill myself in much more glamorous circumstances than this tuppeny shit pit.
So, to our lodgings. Soaked in amber fizzy drinks which has taken the edge on our partisan trepidation. We shall be greeted like fucking rock stars and drink flagons of testosterone and we WILL NOT be raped and killed.
Unless we get raped and killed.
We might get raped and killed.
I say hello to my old friend the pitted door and its 4 strong entourage of linen shirted security apes. We are asked our business, exchange appropriate banter and eventually we are permitted entrance into haedaes.
Instantly there are 3 camps established. There is a group who makes us as welcome as Thatcher at Durham Big Meeting. There are the curious gaggle who peruse us like excitable Makak monkeys, I believe they almost preened us at some stage. And there is the small group who had seen our pop show and think we are Matt Bianco or some shit.
And there he is. Like a hot dog coloured shimmying representation of everything valued in this terrible terrible place. Disco Steve. The colour of a hard faced Bristolians makeup and dressed in starched linen, Disco Steve looks like an orange inflated Sting on a terrible budget. Mutton dressed as Mutton. But I know as well as anyone else that as he sings Mustang Sally directly from his massive shaved balls (presumably) that he will fuck whoever he pleases in his caravan tonight. Disco Steve probably has Sky Sports in his caravan. I leave him to mop up the spillage of fleshy filth that has poured into this terrible place.
Things happen incredibly fast in here. Drinks are presented all accompanied by a small vicious green chaser which I presume is Rohipnol. I pray this will make me forget everything.
Pills are available behind the bar. There is the unmistakable smell of a crack pipe in the courtyard and there are bags of raw speed being passed around like olives in Shoreditch. There is a tangerine tinged aggressive midget homosexual attempting to use a sweeping brush to eject our handsome vocalist from the premises.
“Fuck off Danny Zucho!!!” in a high pitched voice of course.
A lady in a pink Stetson informs us that he has recently came out and is struggling to cope. Quite!
So what! It’s a raw place. I was dragged up in Murton, this is raw. We were always the safest people in this place. Curiosities in bell jars, sideshows for apes. And I loved it. At 4 in the morning after most of the twitching droogs had crawled off any fear we had was gone and I chart cordially to a chap about Bukowski, John Fante and wine…….happy that the bizarreness I need had reared its dumb fucking head again.
I pity anyone who fears the real Britain. This is why the espresso massive are going to get hurt.
That place made me write this. I am never going to go back.
Until I close my eyes on January 13th.