In the distant days of which only faint memory remains Steve used to go to concerts, he's never been that great a one for the theatre mostly because his experiences of actors, male and female had ended up with disgusted glares and the supernovas of imploding egos. Anyway in these concerts there was that Chopin, Mozart, Miles Davis, Coleman mostly Ornette but also Steve, and why am I telling you this ? Messian, and best of all Cecil Taylor and at moments of weakness Company concerts at the ICA (including his bete noir of the guitar the awful Derek Bailey who would insist on dragging strange things out of the black hole of his out of tune guitar).
Now he never goes to such things, well only rarely, and instead fills the gap through CDs, the radio or whispering memories, Coltrane or Ellington or Kirks' circular breathing, things pretty neolithic in these post-modern days of jungle and sampling but the ever accelerating times were making Steve aware of his increasing limitations and the truth is that concerts were becoming increasingly difficult events and besides there was a developing subconcious agreement between Steve, the ushers and the public which revolved around them stopping throwing Steve out on his ear.
You might ask from what this problem derived ? Well if you did Steve might remember some typical events, for instance the night at the Bass **** when the band leader a young Saxophonist, during the time for the encores threw himself into an imitation of the defenceless Coltrane (though quite why the drummer was imitating Ginger Baker was a mystery) with such zeal that the audience who were incapable of rational hearing by this time, fell into a mass collective hysteria worthy of study by a whole legion of aestheticians and sociologists (perhaps even a footnote in Crowds), though it was probably due to the mixture of strange Lebanese smoke and bottles of Becks that had been consumed, either way the size of the hysteria was equally matched by the excess of the playing that the artists reached at the moment of climax.
And there is Steve crawling around on the floor searching for something or other around the seats and tables and feeling around in the dark crevices.
`Have you lost something ?' Asked a young woman with perfect legs and tight lycra dress whose ankles Steve was inadvertently feeling.
`Yeah wasn't there supposed to be some music...' Steve said looking up beyond the lycra at her face. Barely a second before some boyfriend in attendance delivered the first kick up his ass and general chaos erupted around the club as chairs and plastic glasses began to fly over the dance floor where Zofia was with Steves' friend Leroy, and the club exploded as bodies bounced from dancing to hitting and then the police arrived looking mystified in cute blue hats as they searched for reasons, causes and culprits. There was also the evening of Messian in which a fat balding gent carefully took advantage of a quiet moment to answer his mobile phone, which sounded like `Our Man Flint', and standing up hurriedly trod on the foot of the woman next to him who shrieked with a set of lungs worthy of a Georgian Throat singer. Which is why there was an unscheduled but delicate pause on the stage and a general sighing whisper and mutter around the auditorium and Steve could be heard to say clearly over the Radio 3 and BBC 2 simulcast (who knows it was probably on the internet as well in these days of the diffuse media) `Shit, if pigs had phones they'd be as delicate as him and they'd sing like Miss Delicate Toes...' an interjection which brought on the protective spirit of an off duty British Policeman (who shall go nameless into the night) who promptly dragged Steve with his face to the floor to the exit from the QEH. It's hard to enjoy concerts when things like that happen.
Steve, nature (2)
Steve, patriotism (2) - a soliloquy
Steve, the uncertainties of music (2)
Introduction to the Hypertext Novel
Back to Outwork 1
Steve de Vos - London August 1996