Friday, 18 January 2008

Mark Everett of Eels, St. James' Church, Picadilly. 17/1/08

Warning - Drunk blog.

Thursday is my blog day at TWFW Towers and the whip-cracking mafiosi in charge are on my back for results.

Sadly, it is beyond the witching hour and I'm already 26 minutes past deadline.

A digit is sliced from our hand for every minute that passes without copy on the news desk.

I'm a cunning one though and I bought a family pack of Cadbury's fingers which I've surreptitiously blu-tacked to my arm, giving me precious extra minutes.

Having finished the day at GP magazine, where I'm currently doing work experience, I made my way down to the Ferrari-lined streets of London's Mayfair this evening.

I was going to a gig at St. James' Church on Picadilly, held in aid of Mark Everett's book launch.

Mark Everett, or 'E' as he is also known, has just released his autobiography and the price of a ticket to tonight's gig entitled the holder to a free copy of the book.

Pete Townshend's 'ead and Mark 'E' Everett

My brother and I took our place on the upper tier of the venue, which is still very much a functioning church.

Standing next to us was Alex James, of Blur fame.

Having acquired the signature of Graham Coxon for my girlfriend, after interviewing him a couple of summers ago, I thought it would be nice if I got another Blur autograph for her to add to the collection.

He was most obliging and scribbled a little note with no fuss.

E arrived on stage shortly afterwards, wearing his Sunday-best boiler suit.

I'm a big Eels fan but I have to say that the first few songs struggled to fill the space as he chipped at the guitar, alone on stage.

It was perfectly nice but when has that ever been a fitting description for a rock star?

As this was partly a book launch, E stepped up to the pulpit after his first few tunes and declared that it would be too pretentious to read from the book himself.

He then invited somebody from the audience to come up and read a section from the autobiography.

For those unfamiliar with Mark Everett, he's had a pretty unfortunate time of things and not like, in and emo way, yeah!

His genius father toppped himself, followed by his sister and then his cousin was on the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11.

Tonight E said that if he believed in curses, that plane would have hit the very office that his father used to work in when he was employed at the Pentagon.

Anyway, the first guy that came up to read was enthusiastic but bless him, couldn't quite convey the gravitas of the subject matter.

He frequently stopped to re-read parts and continuously apologised for his short-comings.

Somehow though, this seemed to add extra poignancy as he read out the circumstances behind E's sister's first suicide attempt, in his flat, monotone style (not in a pretentious way though, yeah).

The performance was a lot more engaging for having these very personal anecdotes read to the audience between songs.

Mr. Everett performed a lot of songs on the piano, which I think worked better without his backing band.

As he looked for a final reader to come on stage and deliver a passage from the book, a 'Pete' volunteered himself from the side of the church.

It turned out that 'Pete' was indeed Pete Townshend from The Who.

Shortly after this final anecdote, which involved E coming face-to-face with a vegetarian mountain lion, the performance came to a close.

All in all, a lovely evening in London's glittering West End.

Sometimes I feel very lucky to live where I do. (Mostly when I'm drunk and not stuck on the wrong side of town facing tube strikes caused by mercenary bastards)

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1 comment:

Sarah Morgan said...

James you have an uncanny ability for making me jealous. First the Super Furries, now E. When your whirlwind of exciting gig going ever end?