The Song is the Single

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Hello from rural Germany, where I have, as I do every summer, been trav­el­ling around doing school work­shops with creat­ive writ­ing and drama. If you ever want to see some German middle school kids doing a school play of Titan­ic or the Hunger Games, be my guest. Actu­ally though, you can’t. Who are you? Why are you in this school in a small town near Magde­burg? Please leave before the police get called.

It’s 35c here and extremely humid, so I’m not going outside this after­noon.

Here’s anoth­er song for you- The Song is the Single by Barr. It origin­ally came out when I was at univer­sity, and then ten years later, Brendan did a show at Power Lunches out of the blue, because he was in town for an art event anyway.

Power Lunches was a DIY music venue in East London. It was a claus­tro­phobic sweat­box with deathtrap stairs and only one toilet, but a friendly atti­tude and adven­tur­ous approach to putting events on, and cheap drinks. My friends worked behind the bar and put on events there, and it was the sort of place that you’d just turn up often and just sort of assume there would be some­thing fun happen­ing. (And to be honest, when it was busy, you often found your­self sitting on the floor in the street outside anyway- prob­ably a good thing the UK has no laws against open carry like in the US) They let me and my house­mate completely cover all the walls in tinfoil once for a space themed event.

It was also good that it was a venue that was live/​guitar music centred, and had LGBQT+ & POC involved in running the place. It’s a relief to be in a place with guitar bands that isn’t just a total straight white boy’s club. You don’t have to expend constant energy carving out and defend­ing a space for your­self. You’re just there on the same basis as anyone else.

The BARR show was a blast. Power Lunches had also recently had the big upgrade (they added a mirror to make the base­ment less claus­tro­phobic, and put in air con, and the stage stopped wobbling). Brendan Fowl­er is a very tall man, and the stage was very short. The recently added aircon cage on the ceil­ing at about his face height made him joke that he was perform­ing the show from jail, like Johnny Cash.

The good thing about living in a big glob­al city is that you don’t always have to put the things you want to see on if you have niche tastes. Someone else is already doing it. Of course the down­side is that every­where inter­est­ing even­tu­ally gets priced out, and that’s what happened to Power Lunches. RIP Power Lunches. Acci­dent­ally knock over a Red Stripe on the kerb outside to celeb­rate its memory.


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