Last Night From Glasgow,
Finally The Just Joans have come back to London. Early doors I hand over the CD's I've been making up for them all week and point out Thorsten Sideboard to Dave the lead singer, I'd introduce them, but other than backlinks and awkward eye contact I don't know the guy.
I'm in the chippy next door to the venue and I spy Row Plimp and Katie the backing singers. Cracking chop suey.
So people turn up, huge swaths of the London internet indie royalty, hungry for the album but I've suddenly lost Dave.
First band on are The Felt Tips who shared minibus duties with the Joanses. I'd heard them on the NQRS podcast and they're really nice but tonight they're plsaying as a three piece, acoustic, electric and bass guitars, no drums, they're on top form. Songs about relationships, not so much wholesome as my uncley advice.
We're stood right at the front, with photofolk and it sounds beautiful, gentle even. Between songs the crowd are restless. Their banter big ups the Joanses, which kinda puts them unde pressue.
The Just Joans grasp it well, the last time I saw them as documented here, they were a smaller rawer act, but now they've blossomed into a great big sexy gritty fruit. Whereby if they were a movie, Ken Loach would direct,
They have this magical ability to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. They hit the pressure point to turn my legs to jelly every time. I look around and wonder. Do you feel the same thing, do you remember the times. Oh god, I'm sorry, why did it turn out this way.
Its always been a really personal thing to me, the Just Joanses, some car journey many months ago just me at midnight playing the tape Adam gave me for the first time, somewhere on southside of Glasgow, I don't remember who. How many other people here feel the same. On the door they're actually selling copies of the Just Joans cassette tape.
The song Bellshill Station is about yer boyfriend moving away from glasfgow to London, and I've always become a pool of mush before I find out how it ends. I broke up with my Glasgow last week. Its still raw.
At the back of the room I catch a glimpse of "Helen", not her real name, its Holly, she was the girl in Glasgow's best mate, who's now just moved to London, we're all fans of the Just Joans and it good to see her. I'm surrounded by friends and relics tonight. If I wasn't made of jagged stone I'd be in tears.
But Helen's here and we're sharing memories. The Just Joan's are the perfect soundtrack as I glance around.
Katie and Row's vocals catch the room off guard, people staring at the stage enraptured, different memories, but the same emotions.
Helen's quite drunk, or seems quite drunk and the Stars of Aviation take to the stage. I've been talking them up to Helen with their singalong songs and talking in Frenchy goodness and so many instruments on stage and all the goodness. But time passes and we've had three of four drinks and the Helen is getting strangely affectionate which is so inappropriate and I'm just wanting to hide in a familiar corner and scribble about bands, invisible and epic.
Time passes and I stagger to the door to chat to Uma Thurman about album sales and where the Joanses are staying tonight, Helen wanders off and a few minutes later a girl wanders over and asks me,
"Were you here with a girl in a red dress?"
"erm, she's kind of fallen over"
So I wander back in and find a small crowd of people around Helen, feeding her water and keeping her from slumpuing onto the floor.
The guy holding her head looking at me and after a few seconds asked if I was on Bowlie.
My teeth gnash and grind, I snarl a little. There's mixed bag of feeling for that internet messageboard and despite this site, the phenominal success of my nuddy art site, the record label, the video webcasts of yesteryear, the third place and Glasgow, tonight feelings run fresh and raw. How much more successful could the Just Joanses be if I could have brought them to London last year, if the fans who follow them now caught them a year earlier, and the shot in the foot was Bowlie and me being banned from there...
Ben, recognising me from the Bowlie Alldayer 2004, as mentioned recently elsewhere.
Ben is a hero not just an alias. Whilst I am a suspect for spiking Helen's drink in their heids, he's got her student card and is tracking down an address hwe can get her to in safe hands.
I'm texting and calling the girl in Glasgow slightly too slowly. I find black hack taxis but none who'll take her in her drunken and spewing state. Ben and his friends are nursing Helen, holding her heid out of her pool of vomit. I'm making a mess of trying to get her to drink water, they find a way to a minicab place.
They keep her company in a taxi safely home. I'm staggering the streets about 3 hours away from where I stay, wondering what happened to the night that started so well, why night's like this always turn out badly and who I ought to be apologising to.