In the true spirit of the British entertainment model, We Swayzaks embarked on a mini summer season. Fortunately, Bridlington and Skeggy were not on the list, thus in keeping with these late capitalistic times, we were on the Euro tour.
Friday night first stop Lattes , France, a charming spot in between a canal and dual carriageway that boasts palm trees and bamboo shavings. We soundchecked to the overweight and obligatory ponytailed sound man who wrestled with cables, mobile phone and bass bins. Result? the offending bins were trollyed out the place. Leaving us with the feeling of doing a high frequency ambiance set!
Anyway after a fine dinner with Mr Barron and family and a quick kip on the trampoline, we jumped in the multivan and back to business. A super friendly and warm crowd was getting good by the time we got it. 6 oysters later and 2 bassbins, we took to the bug infested stage and laid down a tearing techno set, that seemed to press all the right buttons.
After USSF and JC of Clafooti, stepped up as things got deeper and the sun came up. A final wobble home to cornflakes with BT.
The next day, Mr Brown popped round just in time to catch the finishline at Mount Ventoux, then we slid into the ever comfortable and squashy Corail to Perpignan. Mr David (DJ nice) was there to meet us in the 205 with cold ones..nice. We trucked over the Spanish border to the Rachdingue. It was the 41st birthday of this legendary nightspot. We dined in fine style with a pigs leg on the terrace with 25 of our newest friends. Just as i started to feel really tired, the people started to arrive. We played 2 hours on a great system that got better and better. A great club with lovely humans. thanks to Mathieu, Franck, Freeda , David, JC, and everyone else who wore raybans.
how high do you want your table? 1 metre 20. ok perfect. fresh apples please, usb cable? what colour would you like sir? perfect white wines in leafy courtyard. over the hill faded punks. still rock hard for 2.5 hours. kunst where walls hold more intrest than work? ! dwayne hanson at least has force.
broken sleep on a wooden floor, zen? more like solitary. after, after - what was before? tension running, more interest in the street than from the speakers. breakfast beers and screwdriver. playing with pleasure for private view. A black room with no curtains, 'no rubber no fun' A coffee with cats , home for tea.
well its been a long time waiting to see the (slighty rusty) robots, around a quarter of a century since i didnt get in to glasgow apollo on the computerworld tour (though my sisters did !) not showing my age or anything am i ? still well worth the wait . although they didnt totally blow me away - what did was the setting and the evening ..........manchester home of the raver, the e dealing joe blogg wearing capital of perties , baked in sunshine like it was the med, a velodrome on the outskirts , steve reich and the biggest asda / walmart i have ever seen !!!! I arrived stressed and tired from oh so trendy berlin , clubbing capital of europe , where i had performed admirably at a rooftop party for evian water . things we do for money , and it was wednesday ( a school night as we say) . london - berlin - london - manchester and we arrive .......like sorted mate ! sound ! on one matey ! etc etc ..... as we baked in the heat (very unusual for manchester) devouring becks bier and latte machiattos. we missed the start of steve reich , but caught the last half an hour which was very nice but not perhaps the intestity i had expected . although steve was on the mixing board with a mac , and we were trying to guess what plug-ins he had !!!! i reckoned 'fruityloops:) matt asked him for his autograph but didnt have a pen . and steve set about looking for a pen !
whilst waiting for ralf and florian (oh hes gone too now) i was checking out the vintage teeshirts , the cycling jerseys and the average punters age ( around 45) . i saw a heaven 17 shirt , a brigade rossi shirt , a new order movement shirt, maxell (pete murphy), then the jerseys : motorola (circa sean yates), la vie clair , PDM , a few kraftwerk tricolor jerseys , and some local madchester teams ! thankfully no rapha ponces from london ! i wish i had adorned my vintage peugeot or roland electronics shirt , though both a little small for me these days , but a cut above todays jersey designs !!! or my bright yellow "once" which rich still has ?????? of course a few elderly portly chaps in black and red shirt /tie combos , but not quite helmut lang more like mr byrite . The kraftwerk merchandise was lame beyond belief apart from the free 3d glasses that would come in handy at 9.30pm .........
when the (neon) lights went down there wasnt a huge roar , just a gentle mumbling of anticipation . The sound of a lone (probably) korg synth cut through the night , and the mobile phones went in the air :( this was it . time for another drink ? I felt a bit tired and as it was super hot inside the dome i needed a drink , but i really felt the sound was too quiet and the opening tracks a bit flat , massive compression over the mix but a crisp and defined sound...unlike swayzak though we at least improvise pretty good !
We knew what was coming , the visuals were superb and when the moment came , the breaths "ah hi ah ah hi ah " a great roar went up , not for the band but for the velodrome itself , was lit and 4 futuristic cyclists appeared on the track . adorned in the adidas skin suits of germany but in GBR colours , an amazing moment to see the british team in harmony with the german rhythm machine ......as the wound up their speed around the track , of course riding terry dolan bikes ( made in manchester ) no hoy , cavendish or wiggins but this was good enough ! as ralf went through the names of the riders it was as if he was proud too ! as if he had somehow contributed to british cycling (which he had) and we british punters had made kraftwerk what they are (which we did :) pure trans european harmony ........
tour de france :
I was for sure more excited by the the british (yes british) cycling team , as if they were the stars we came to see as they eclipsed the finest electronic band in der welt ! were we here for cycling or for music ? who cares it was great from then on in , and when the 3d visuals appeared big tasty pills dropped out the sky , lcd numbers rained on us and the robots came to life ! not many jokes from ralf or his clones , they were left to the curtain that got stuck between set changes , and a robotic hand came out to pull it . an excellent moment of british comedy . Not much improvisation and no encore was a bit sad but the beats were tight as if they were pre -recorded and of course they were but that didnt matter , this was kraftwerk and they are man machines .....on a sobering note a special "radioactivity" was all about sellafield and how much waste it dumps into our backyard . at the end of the evening we headed for asda , where it seemed a "perty" was going on , everyone was getting a carry out , and i mean everyone , this is manchester . A man with a giant tennis ball was being chased by security, quite surreal to the eye the neon lights flickered and we headed home in a taxi who didnt know where he was going . I enjoyed manchester and thought would be a nice place to live , until i woke up and typically it was pissing down ..................i could now see where "shameless" gets its scripts , there is a friendly chaos in madchesta loike no other place . but still enough menace to make you wanna leave ! neon lights is still in my brain .