Blankpages Presents... was a success. We had John’s entertaining and expressive camply-performed poetry, and a nervous guy’s mumbling some lines from a piece of paper. The self-styled ‘first female Pope’ Bernadette ironing her papal vestments, to the soundtrack of a surprisingly interesting radio interview on the subject of the Catholic Church’s hostility towards female priests.
The band Old House Playground played a couple of sets. Their singer reminded me of a cross between Sol Star from Deadwood and a less smiley Freak Out!-era Frank Zappa. His between-song banter was a mystery to me; couldn’t understand a word of it. At their best they reminded me of mid-70s Zappa (without the insane time signatures) mixed with Grinderman Nick Cave; and at their worst there was interesting paintings on the walls to look at.
The show was stolen by the guitarist who continually enlivened their songs with exciting and intricate solos taking us on a journey of discovery up the fret board and back down again. I think it was the guitarist’s style that gives their sound the hint that reminds me of Zappa. Also the double bass player looked as though he could have been a background character from The Corpse Bride. All taken into account, they were good.
I got a free CD, I’m going to rip it now and give it a listen. The singing is a bit too close to that awful Radiohead/Muse style whine that I find so unpleasant, but I can’t deny they know what they are doing and they do it well. Last random thought on the subject: Every time I hear the name Old House Playground I immediately think of the Americana band Old Crow Medicine Show.
Returning to the subject of the first female Pope; I wonder if Bernadette is aware that tradition and legend have already granted the title of First Female Pope to Joan. Other than having heard of Pope Joan I know nothing about her. I could read the Wikipedia page about her, and then regurgitate that information back, attempting to appear as though I already knew all about her. I won’t do that; if you’re interested read it yourself. I think there is a film about her too. I’ve only heard of her cos one of the swots on QI mentioned her in passing.
Back to the poetry and we also had a piece by a gay Muslim. We didn’t hear enough from him; if ever a situation was able to produce an interesting outlook on life it is surely the position of gay Muslim. There was an art raffle, to raise money for Blank Media, in which I won nothing; I must have been at the bar when the tickets were being sold. It’s a shame because one of the prizes was a sort of homemade hard-backed comic, which looked very interesting.
All in all it was a good night, raised some money for the collective, and had a jolly good time. The night was made even better for me when I got to Fallowfield and got a McDonald’s double cheeseburger. It was one of those perfect ones you are graced with on rare occasions; freshly made, perfect texture, and baking hot. Mmmm, I can taste it now....
P.S. Blank Sounds (Part of Blank Weekend) is tonight (7pm to 12.30am) at King's Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford, M3 6AN. £4 on the door. Bands featured are NASDAQ, The Shogun's Decapitator, Go Lebanon, Eyeball Eyeball, and Day for Airstrikes, proving once and for all that unknown bands are the only people currently using MySpace (soon it may go the way of GeoCities and be accessible only through the Archive Team, Internet Archive or Internet Archeology). Go to Blank Sounds, I command you.