Well, why not? There may be alternative ways of passing an evening, but few could have been more enjoyable. Getting back to nature whilst suffering visual aberrations brought about by accidental mid-air collision, a midnight play, and hours spent communing with fellow spirits in the inky blackness of night. What am I dribbling about? Read on. ;)
Last night was the first headline Charlotte gig in the Midlands for a long time, and it absolutely rocked! Right up there with the Po Na Na gig they did in Aber, with the plus point that I was sober and remember all of it. Well, missed the first song or so popping out to collect Gaz from the bus-stop, but I've heard "Die Out" a lot (I'm guessing they also did "Golden Boy" before we got back, since Lisa couldn't get it out of her head. :D ) Gaz sure does have a knack for catchy lyrics... and yeah, there are two Gazes here!
Before Charlotte got on-stage, we had the support set by Ogopogo, who were also thoroughly enjoyable. :) Sound was good after the first couple of songs to get the decks balanced, and with original, well-played songs about bee-stealing and steak & kidney pies they deserve to do well. Lots of presence on-stage by the singer, too. 8)
Anyway, having gotten everyone gathered in the Rock Cafe and managed to snap off some quick photos (the [Oregon Scientific] didn't do too badly considering the dark conditions and spotlights—a few usable shots), we got to dance a bit. Well, Gaz was a bit knackered by his the train journey down from Aber, but Mark and Lisa were already out there when we got in. Breakneck versions of "Mx Ex", "Your Girl", "Muppet" and new song "Won't" were reeled off, and the sound from next to the stage was clear on each band member. :) I think it was during the resurrection of encore 'Trendies' I clashed heads with a guy I recognise but don't actually know—sorry, man!
An unusual level of crowd intervention was provided by Ben. We know the guy's name was Ben because he kept getting up onstage and both Gaz and Glyn got him to introduce himself. :D As I say, the photos didn't come out too badly, so they'll be up as part of a 'live' gallery eventually. I doubt he'll remember the evening otherwise... he was in his cups and going for it—between the ten or so of us, we got a bit of a mosh pit going with some swinging and everything—although only one of us was on the floor with a beatific grin so often! There was some other interaction, too: The band e-mail list increased healthily in size over the course of the evening. :)
So, it wasn't until about an hour afterward sitting out in Mark's car that pixellated stars invaded my vision; I really hate delated reactions. Still, being able to focus wasn't really an issue walking home along the moonlit canal path, and the lack of illumination was wonderfully soothing. It went away, anyhow, and the bruise is going down today. I've been thinking about a snippet of conversation we had in the car park: Is male sexuality essentially penetrative, and female sexuality to that submissive? :? I've come to the conclusion that it's mostly how you look at it: I'll concur that most blokes shy away from being penetrated, but there are those who seem not to, even restricting the enquiry to heterosexual blokes. I think it's as much social conditioning and taboo as it is innate control freakery—let's face it, with the intelligence of a broad cross-section of our population, admitting you like anything up the arse is hardly on the cards, even if Loaded has quietly begun preaching stimulation of the prostate (yes, I've skimmed one or two copies. Deal with it. :p ) As Gaz observed, it's really fucked-up that the only way the male orgasm will typically rival the female one involves such an inconveniently situated bundle of nerves. There's usually a reason for organ configurations surviving evolution in nature—even the appendix or the vestigial tail. So, what gives? :? Pressing on, does it count as a submissive tendency if many of your sexual fantasies involve being ridden (woman on top), or just laziness? ;) Anyway, I'd consider sucking (regardless of gender) to be more a position of control than being sucked is, but not totally (there's usually a considerable element of willingness)—it defies pigeon-holing as submissive/dominant behaviour. By the same token, whilst we may be conditioned to regard sex as dominated and directed by penetration, that even if women are on top they're impaling themselves, riding an organ that the ancient Greeks regarded as the complete generative process—these are simply descriptive words. Why not 'grasping' and 'sucking', why not the buffet of wide, thrusting hips? This of course still overlooks the surreal notion that maybe, just maybe, each partner is just as active as the other—neither dominant or passive, or both switching between those roles. 'Intercourse' (literal meaning: communication), is a two-way experience; 'congress' is a meeting of persons. On a more unsavoury level, female-to-male rape is as possible as male-to-female if the victim is tied or held down—arousal is a semi-automatic physiological process, even without drugs such as Viagra and Rohypnol. The point I'm making is that the a 'traditional' view of sexuality is just that; a view, and more a product of societal values than biology. :) Hmmm, digressed rather there...
Whilst on something of a nature trip, we made it to the adventure playground at the bottom of Pete's road. There's nothing like being up a spidersnet climbing frame at gone midnight with a cool breeze... great view, very relaxing, very calm and still. 8) Well, it was until the guys tried the see-saw... ye gods, the rusty screeching...
Therefore the proposed motion of a quiet stroll around the woods an hour later passed without any comment. We couldn't locate a torch, but as a result it's nice to know I have functional night-vision. :D Another discussion, this one somewhat meta-physical: Does Western civilisation pathologise death? By which is meant... do we stave it off beyond the point at which the returns do not justify the energy expended? Do we in fact merely add to the suffering of those kept alive, immobile and in great pain, and add likewise to the suffering of their friends and relatives? Well, in a word... yes. Why the hell do we do this? I can only suggest that it serves to reassure others that we can control and regulate mortality. It's bloody idiotic when people literally have to ask permission to die, though—as if it's some sort of psychosis to want an end to pain. :shock: Stupid.
Having waffled inexorably so so long and at so many tangents, I shall wind down by trying to cast a picture of the woods: Black. Black, black, some more black, a few rays of moonlight, and the reassuring burning red cherry-ends of rollies. Had it been almost anyone other than Pete at the front, I'd have turned back after five minutes of shuffling. Anyway, we all made it back intact, and with relatively few diversions into nettles. :) Again, I was struck by how still and altogether more pleasant places become after dark, either alone or with trusted company. Halfway round the circuit, we sat at the opening to our old secondary school fields and drunk in the surroundings. They're knocking down portions of Summerhill, you know, even the block which was brand new when we arrived. All of a sudden, it actually felt like five years ago—and yet being in our twenties doesn't feel as decrepid as we thought it would as kids. 8) We're still young.
:smokin: As always, nice to see people, take care and have fun!
Note from the future: photos can now be found here.