Call me Russ L

A few bits from before Superdupersonic

Posted in Books, Combat Sports, Music by Russ L on 29 October, 2010

Right then now then, it’s a quarter past Supersonic and as such I’d better get on with getting through everything from the month or so before it.

~ I went to see the BAMMA fightcard at the NIA on the 25th of September headlined by Tom Watson (not the MP) vs Alex Reid (Jordan’s fella). Annoyingly, I had a full post about this more-or-less written, but I seem to have accidentally deleted it. Bah.

It was a great show nevertheless. I haven’t re-watched any of it via the televised coverage yet (I will get round to it eventually), but the main event was an extremely exciting (if sloppy) fight with an amazing crowd atmosphere. Reid did very well in his loss – I hadn’t beforehand assumed that Watson would easily absolutely annihilate him, but given Reid’s relative inactivity in recent times I was definitely expecting it to be a lot more one-sided than it was. 49-46 in Watson’s favour seemed fair to me, but the actual rounds were considerably closer than the wide score might indicate. The Harvey Harra vs David Round fight was also a fantastic one to watch, and while it’s a shame that Harvey has seemingly completely given up on the notion of standing defense he certainly proved himself to be gritty son of a gun in absorbing the punishment he took prior to catching that guillotine in the second round. It may also be interesting for those of a superstitious bent to note that he’s won all of the six of his MMA fights where I’ve been there in the live audience, and lost the four where I haven’t.

Other stuff: I’d previously assumed that James Zikic could not be hurt by conventional weapons, but John Phillips demonstrated otherwise; it’s always funny to see Scott Jansen lose; Gunnar Nelson is so good in one area that I’m willing to bet he isn’t going to lose a single one prior to hitting world-level competition; I’m not the best at judging this sort of thing (especially given that the chopped-down version of the NIA is significantly smaller than the LG Arena) but there seemed to be a lot more people here than there were at previous BAMMA; you’ll probably imagine you know how a sentence ends if it starts with talk about Jordan having a pair of augmented attributes, but in this instance the false eyelashes that she had on were something beyond scary; if I’d had to watch the computer game advert that they were repeating on the big screens all night even once more, I really would’ve been compelled to set fire to something.

~ Upon occasion of going to see the ever-fantastic Matt’n’Chel of Royal Leamington Spa, I was (on the third of October) taken to a gig. Of sorts. I ummed and arred and eventually decided that it had to go on the gig list. We went to “Dockers”, an incredibly tacky take-off of an American diner, and to everyone’s surprise there happened to be (at midday/early afternoon on a Sunday) a singing waiter. God bless him and his general MIDI backing tracks. I don’t want to get into too much of an air of mockery, since it wasn’t exactly a fair situation for him to be put in (although he did seem happy enough himself), but it was hilarious when someone interrupted him mid-song to ask for cutlery.

~ Sunday the tenth saw me off to Eat A Book Records’ afternoon hardcore gig (I really, really, really wish that jpeg of the hardcore manatee still existed), ‘cos you know I’m always the first to demonstrate my Straight Edge credentials. On this particular day I stuck to lager, for – as the learned Ian McKaye sang – “lager doesn’t count as booze/let’s all have a jar/too-ra-loo-ra-lie/too-ra-loo-ra-lar”. One of my favourite Minor Threat choons, that one was.

It was at The Wagon & Horses (sweetly referred to as “The Wagon Club” by our American headliners. Bless) in Digberff, which is a pub I’d never been to before in spite of it being a common place of gigs. It’s basically a more spit’n’sawdust version of what The Market Tavern used to be: Brum’s primary punk/HC venue, in the upstairs room of a proper pub situated slightly off the beaten track (by which I mean “Digbeth High Street”). The PA stacks upstairs are far bigger than the size of the room would appear to need, and I am all about that sort of tomfoolery.

There were three bands, and unusually none of them were local. I’m not particularly likely to start following any of them in depth, but they were all fun at the time – Bonestorm (from Leeds, fast’n’crusty), Harbour (from Cardiff, more melodic [this is a very relative term under the circumstances] and punky) and band o’the day Coke Bust (from Washington Dee Cee, straightforward loud’n’fast/short songs HC but with catchy bits and a pretty fierce performance).

~ I went to the Catherine O’ Flynn talk at the B-Town Conservatoire on the 12th of October, as part of the B-Town Book Festival. I haven’t read her new one yet (although I’m greatly looking forward to doing so), but her first novel “What Was Lost” is definitely one of my favourites of recent years. Between the questions the audience asked and the way it just generally went, a fair amount of it ended up being about her methods and how she goes about writing. Apparently (after swearing she wouldn’t do this a second time but ending up doing it anyway) she finishes a load of completely independent sections to start with, and then has a game-and-half trying to piece them all together as a novel and make sure there aren’t massive continuity errors. This particularly interested me in light of her oft-expressed admiration for David Foster Wallace. Wouldn’t it be so easy to imagine that “Infinite Jest” was written in that sort of way?

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