Sunday, November 13, 2011

Men of Letters

Women/Men of Letters is an ongoing charity event run by Michaela Mcguire and Marieke Hardy. It raises money to support an animal shelter. It involves the lost art of letter writing. You read your letter out to a room full of nice people.

The theme for the day I participated was "A letter to the woman who changed my life."

Dear St Columba of Rieti,

I am writing to you in the hope you may be able to help me out of a bind.
I read on Wikipedia that you are the Patron Saint to turn to in matters of sorcery and witchcraft, and frankly, I hope that you will be the second woman to change my life. I will tell you about the first later.

I know it's a bit rich asking for your help, given I am not a Catholic or even baptised. 

In my defence though, I did grow up surrounded by Catholics. The country school I attended, Clintonvale State Primary, had 19 students and one teacher who was my Dad.  My family were one of three in the entire district that wasn't Catholic so I absorbed a lot of Catholicism by osmosis. For example, I still love to get drunk and feel guilty about it afterwards.

I am sure you would have approved of the pious atmosphere at Clintonvale Primary. One day my classmate Danny Ramsey brought a Gene Simmons KISS mask to school. All the other students said that KISS were devil worshippers, and that their band name stood for Knights In Satan's Service. They confiscated the mask and buried it under the library.
When Danny Ramsey protested that it was a birthday gift from his mum, we hurled large pieces of cactus at him. 

Around this time (grade three) my best friend Lawrence Ryan told me that a lady who was a devil worshipper had been jogging in the park in Warwick and one of her boobs had fallen off. When the ambulance came, they found it on the ground, full of maggots.  This definitely happened, and if you don't believe me, just ask Lawrence's Aunty, who doesn't have a phone.  

Of course St Columba, you have seen way weirder stuff than this, having raised the dead and toured the Holy Lands without your body, so I'm sure you totally get it. My point is that I was not without spiritual guidance. And I can't say I wasn't warned about the devil. 

My parents, one Atheist and one Agnostic were unaware that in Clintonvale I had started praying. I mainly prayed for Donna Cootes to love me, but I also prayed for selfless things like having a spaceship land in the school grounds and take us all for a ride.  I see that just recently the Vatican has announced it's okay to believe in aliens, so I think you'd have to agree I was way ahead of you guys on that one. 

When I was in grade six we moved to Toowoomba. I could tell it was a big city because it had a McDonalds. 

For high school my parents sent me to Toowoomba Grammar.  You'll be pleased to know that my grade eight science teacher, Mr Rudolph, was a very devout man. During one lesson on physics he told us that there was no such thing as perpetual motion - it was impossible.  Despite this, he said, two of his friends once drove all the way across the Nullabor with no petrol in their tank, just by using the power of prayer. Mr Rudolph said if we were interested in hearing more of this sort of thing, or even if we weren't but liked free pancakes, we should come to the Inter School Christian Fellowship meetings held every Tuesday lunch.
While ISCF was no where near as cool an acronym as KISS, the pancakes were a real drawcard.

At the meeting , Mr Rudolph told us the story of one of the members of his youth group. She had been walking around, smoking lots of marijuana and didn't know why. "Why are you doing that?" they asked her. "I just don't know," she would say, "I don't know why I'm doing it." 
Nobody at the youth group could work it out. Then one day they realised she had been listening to  "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen on her walkman. Hidden under the music was a backwards message that said "it's fun to smoke marijuana".

Mr Rudolph played us a video which seemed to feature my entire music collection. 
It turned out Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, even XTC were in league with the devil. They confirmed that KISS was indeed an acronym for Knights In Satan's Service, AC/DC for Anti Christ Devil's Child and  WASP for We Are Satan's People. 

Overnight my albums had become dark and fascinating. I could feel them luring me towards evil. 

At another ISCF meeting, a mysterious guest from outside the school came. He stood at the front of the room and looked at us all. After a moment, he announced he had the power to see demons, and that he could see them right now. They were hanging off our backs and sitting on our shoulders, whispering in our ears, telling us to sin. Demons of pride and hatred and lust. 
Lust!  No wonder I was so horny! It all made perfect sense. I ate my free pancake.

Columba, I know you can relate when I say there was an internal battle going on between good and evil inside me. Throughout this time I had become obsessed with the guitar, in particular, trying to play the guitar as fast as humanly possible, with no regard for timing, dynamics or taste. The pivotal moment came when I saw the movie "Crossroads". Not that travesty starring Britney Spears. This Crossroads was all class. It was the Karate Kid with guitars.

In the movie Steve Vai plays a guitarist who has signed his soul over to the devil in exchange for the ability to shred heinously on his axe. That means "play guitar well".  I saw him and I wanted to be him. 

And here is where I got myself into a pickle, St Columba, please forgive me in advance.

I prepared a contract  between myself and the devil. In exchange for my eternal soul, I would become the best guitarist in the world in a famous rock band. I cut my finger open and signed my name in blood, then burned the contract and scattered the ashes. I had learned the finer details on how to do this from my ISCF friends.

Within months my guitar chops were blazing. Sure, I practised a lot, but it was obvious to me it was mostly the devil making good on his end of the bargain. I stopped attending the ISCF meetings and started sinning in earnest.

St Columba, I confess that I smoked a lot of cigarettes, got drunk for the first time and had sex with a post pack. I won't go into details here. 

I bought remaindered Penthouse and Playboy magazines off my friend whose parents owned a news agency and sold them at an outrageous profit  to the boarders at school. Now I could eat all the pancakes I wanted.

I must have been listening to a lot of Queen too, because pretty soon I was smoking heaps of marijuana and I didn't know why. One day the Gideons visited our school and handed out pocket sized Bibles. Me and my friend Dave discovered that their pages were the perfect size for rolling joints.
That summer I worked my way through nearly the entire Book of Revelations. 

The ISCF had made it very clear to us that sex before marriage was a big no no, but I knew those rules no longer applied to me.
Still, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stop being a virgin.  

Then I met Tammy LeStrange.

I saw her after school at McDonalds hanging out with Harry Delbrige and his girlfriend. I called him up, asked him who that girl in the pink miniskirt was and could I have her number. He said he'd ask. Two hours later my phone rang. It was Tammy herself.

"So, Harry says you think I'm hot?" she said.
"Um yeah." 
"Well," she said "Do you want to have a root then?" 
 "Oh...Yes please."

I don't know why I told you that Columba. I guess I thought you might be curious, seeing as you went to your grave a virgin and all. No offence.
Please watch over Tammy.

I didn't worry too much about school, safe in the knowledge that my contract with you-know-who would soon pay off and I'd be set for life. I know what you're thinking St Columba, and you're right. They call him the devil for a reason! 
But I've always been pretty slow on the uptake. For example,  I never saw my own face in profile until I was nineteen. It was a real shock.  Similarly, I didn't realise that the devil wasn't living up to his end of the bargain until I was thirty. 

I was already three years older than Hendrix, Joplin, and Kurt Cobain had been when they died.

The bands I had played in over the years: Uncle Stinky, More, Funk Me Dead, Cradle, Seethe, Eat Biscuits, GACK, Dogmachine, Earthfish and Complicated Game had all either broken up, failed or no longer required my services. 

Now I was in a band called Transport. We were all ageing, and saw it as our last shot at the big time. To show our dedication we got band tattoos.Transport had gotten further than any other band I'd been in:  we had a song on high rotation on Triple J and a real manager. She got me a meeting with the music publisher and ex-member of Icehouse Keith Welsh. I was pretty excited, thinking it might lead to a big break for us. Keith shook my hand, looked me in the eye and said "You're past your use-by date."  

I didn't know it at the time but I had already fallen in love with the woman who would completely change my life. Katie was also a struggling musician. After much debate about mixing business and pleasure, I started playing guitar for Katie and writing some songs with her. When she needed a whole new backing band, Transport stepped in. Over the next couple of years her success grew and grew.

Often, Transport would play an early show backing Kate in front of a sold out crowd and then go to another venue and play our own show to five bored punters. Kate got a record deal while Transport maxed out our drummer's credit card touring the country playing to nobody. The day Kate was presented with her first gold record, I watched all my dreams come true, but not for me.  

Look,  I'm not complaining in any way.  I 'm extremely grateful. If it wasn't going to happen for me, having it happen for the person I love most in the world is the next best thing. And I still get to play guitar and write songs for a living, which, let's face it, is like having won the lotto. 

But as I get older, my own certain death has become less of a concept, and more of a feeling in my spinal column.
St Columba,  I'm not sure if I believe that lady's boob fell off in Warwick, or if prayer can run a car as well as petrol or if there are demons hanging off all of us making us sin. I don't know if there really is someone called the devil, and I'm not sure you can even read this letter. But, for some reason, it's not hard for me to believe I might have a soul. Please can you help me get it back ?

I've reviewed the small print in my contract with the devil, and I think I have a good case. It said and I quote "I will become the best guitarist in the world" unquote , and quote "in a famous rock band" unquote. My wife Katie has attained a B grade level of fame at best and plays pop music, not rock. And Steve Vai is still the best guitarist in the world. I think you'll agree, the devil didn't honour his contract.

I'm sorry, no, I don't have a copy, I burned it.

Yours faithfully,


Sunday, July 17, 2011

When I Was A Boy...

When I was a boy the idea that you could ever print your own t-shirt at home was unimaginable. You could get your own shirt printed by a screen printers but it was prohibitively expensive. The most affordable option was t-shirts with felt lettering.

When I was a boy, pre-email, we wrote letters by hand, with a pen and posted them to our grandmothers. In one of my letters I mentioned that I admired the fretwork of a Swedish guitarist named Yngwie J. Malmsteen. 

I liked Malmsteen's playing for one reason: he played really, really fast. As a fourteen year old boy, that is all I wanted to do. Play the guitar really, really fast.

My grandmother, as thoughtful then as she is now, had a t-shirt made for me. It was blue with white felt lettering and it said "YNGWIE J MALMSTEEN." 

The first band I was ever in band was called Black Perspective. This now strikes me as being an odd name for a group of middle class white boys attending a Grammar school. But when I was a boy that kind of thing never occurred to us. I am from a pre-Simpsons generation, very earnest by modern standards.

When I was a boy Simpsons were washing machines

The other members of Black Perspective used to get very annoyed with me because I didn't care about playing chords or even making music. All I wanted to do was jump around and play really, really fast. And very loud.

This was pre-Jack Black style semi-ironic rock'n'roll celebration. This was before " a rockstar" became a commonplace feature of every second advertising campaign.  Rock was a tangible, knee-weakeningly cool force of nature.

Dave, the other guitarist in the band was a more refined player. He was a multi-instrumentalist and had great stylish and musical technique. His older sister was a fucking pain in the arse. 

At some point Dave had started inviting her to our band rehearsals.  She didn't even go to school. She was an adult. 

She would sit there with her silly face and make all sorts of dumb comments like, "Keir, you should stop playing guitar solos over the whole song", and "Keir, why don't you turn your amp down? I can't hear the drums." Yeah. yeah, whatever, Yoko. Way to kill the magic.

We had recruited one of the boarding school housemasters to be our singer. Colin was an athletic, straight-laced guy of about twenty. He was in the Inter-School-Christian-Fellowship. He was taking classical voice lessons. He was taking them very seriously. Especially the bit where his teacher told him,  "open the back of your throat like you are yawning." 

Colin opened his throat so wide he always had a strange look on his face when he sang - like he'd accidently swallowed a whole pickled onion. His technique also made him sound almost exactly like Fozzy Bear. And he seemed to not like pronouncing the letter "t". His delivery of Queen's "I Want it All" for example: "I wonn-id all, I won-id all, I won-id all and I won-id now."

We were entered in Toowoomba's radio 4GR Battle of the Bands. Dave's sister was of the opinion we needed a band uniform, just like The Beatles. We should all wear blue jeans and have matching band shirts. She volunteered to organise it. All we had to do was give her a white collared shirt and $7. 

On our last rehearsal before the competition Dave's sister came with our shirts. They were all adorned with the same felt lettering as my Yngwie J  Malmsteen shirt.  Big block letters across the back saying "Black Perspective." Except on mine. It said "BLACK PERPECTIVE." It was too late to change the shirt, so I just wore it.

The 4GR Battle of the Bands seemed to be nearly all old guys with long hair drinking rum and playing hard rock.  
I wonder what they made of us. Four middle class schoolboys and a fully grown man singing Jimmy Barnes' "Working Class Man" in a Fozzy Bear voice. I ran around playing loud solos on top of everything, duckwalking and sliding across the stage. I got carpet burn. On the final chord of the song, Colin attempted a theatrical jump in the air and miscalculated his landing, rolling hard on his ankle and spraining it badly, crying out in pain.

Well, when I was a boy, that's what we called rock'n'roll.

"Woah, he's a working class man. Isn't he chaps?"

Monday, April 18, 2011

The "Thing Thing"

Last year in Vancouver we played in a bar that had a chap working behind that bar and that chap had a tattooed scrotum. 

This didn't come out immediately of course. We had to get to know him first. After our show, as sometimes happens, we hung around and drank until the early hours of the morning. That was when the tattoo came up. It's probably in bad taste to post it here, but, what the hey, it's the sort of thing you just can't describe so:


Anyway, it turns out that the guy with the tattoo plays in a band and they are on Nickelback's label. 

On their first meeting with Chad from Nickelback he sat them down at a big conference table. They were talking music, Chad was leaning back in his chair and the conversation is flowing. Chad says all of a sudden, "You guys hungry? Who's hungry? Who feels like eating?"

"Oh..yeah, sure, why not," they say politely.

Chad more or less snaps his fingers and his assistant comes in. Chad hands him a one hundred dollar note and says, "Hey, go and get us...twenty cheeseburgers." That's right, twenty.

"Ah, we're vegetarians," says one of the band.

Chad pays no heed and continues talking music. In no time the assistant is back and Chad upends the bag and pours all the cheeseburgers on the table and instructs the band to just go for it. That's just the way Chad rolls. 


You see, Chad likes his fast food. Actually, it's sort of a badge of honour, because before he ever made it he used to work behind the counter in McDonalds. Now Chad has made it he can buy as much of that shit as he wants.

In fact, sometimes Chad is hanging out with friends having a good time he'll say
"Anyone hungry? Whose hungry? Who feels like eating?
Then he'll say "Who wants to do the Thing Thing?"

Him and his friends will get in Chad's car and drive down to McDonalds - the same McDonalds where he used to work before he hit the big time. Chad will waltz into that McDonalds and say, "Gimme The Thing Thing"

The "Thing Thing" is what Chad calls it when you order one of every single item on the McDonalds menu. Every single thing. A small coke, A medium coke, A large coke. A small fries, A medium fries, A large fries. Et cetera. The whole menu.

Yep. Chad orders the Thing Thing, pays for it all and then him and his friends eat it. 

Keep your overpriced watches, Maseratis and champagne. Keep your bullshit status symbols.

When it comes to celebrating your success, Chad from Nickelback is the king. The king with The Thing Thing. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why Rebecca Black Is Better Than Your Band

The question of authenticity is a curly one. A lot of criticism leveled at any band or artist is that they're not authentic. That their motivations are suspect. That their intention is not to express themselves, but to sell records. 

Fair enough.

I demand the same from any musician I listen to. I want to know what I'm hearing is expression, not a sales pitch. Otherwise what's the point? 

I think it was Brian Eno who said that the last challenge a modern artist has is to convince the audience that his or her art is genuine. 

This is certainly true in music currently labelled "alternative".  When I watch this music I see an overwhelming amount of energy spent on appearing authentic. Guitar just messy enough to appear unplanned. Drums engineered painstakingly to sound like a lounge room recording while still having all the ballsy kick of a  Black Eyed Peas dance floor hit.

Don't get me wrong...I love these guys, they just look the part.

Much of this alternative music is just as sales-driven as any mainstream pop. The difference is pop doesn't try and disguise its motives. It earnestly strives to connect with as many people as possible. It doesn't hold itself up as high art. 

Both are constructed in the same way, framed in identical three and a half minute song structures. In other words, it's all just pop music. The difference is, one branch of pop is preoccupied with proving how totally not-pop it is. 

Which brings me to Rebecca Black and her viral hit "Friday."

Rebecca Black is a thirteen year old girl who like many other thirteen year olds dreams of being a pop star. Her song "Friday,"  is so transparent it may as well be about a thirteen year old girl who dreams of being a pop star, rather than ...partying, partying, fun, fun, fun, fun.  

"I'm a negative creep! I'm a negative creep! I'm a negative creep and I'm stoned!"

Millions of people around the world are sharing this tune (73 million (?!) at last count). They are sneering at it, ridiculing it and comparing it to the "authentic" artists they listen to. 

But when I watch "Friday" I see something that is so lacking in self-consciousness that it is refreshing. It's clumsy, it's pure, it's naive, and it's joyful. It's the kind of music people make when they don't know any better. It reminds me of making music when I was thirteen years old. In a word it's authentic. Not even the vanity label her parents paid to produce it could disguise the truth of it.

One thing is for sure: it's way more authentic than the work of a lot of musicians currently shitting on it.

Do I think it's clever or insightful or relevant to me? Fuck no. I never need to hear it again. But I'm not thirteen.  

And there is not a single shot of a laundromat in the whole clip.

"It's know...we're hot but we have to still do our own washing?"

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brooksy's First Gig

Our 80s covers band, Space Invaders had been working up a version of one of my favourite pop songs: "Counting The Beat" by The Swingers. For sheer joyous, knee knocking, angular rickenbacker guitar pop abandon you just can't beat it. 

We'd never played in Caboolture, but we'd heard about it. Years later I was lucky enough to work with a brilliant session drummer from LA called Pete Macneal (he played on our Fatty Gets A Stylist record.) When he was touring once he landed in Australia and was whisked straight to Caboolture. The first thing he saw upon arriving there was a giant billboard with somebody's mangled face, telling people not to glass each other whilst at the pub. "Where am I?" he asked himself.

Pete MacNeal (from Mike Doughty's blog)

Later, Pete went out for a walk and within no time was followed by three angry young drunks with bottles. They announced that he was going to get the fuck punched out of him.
Now, Pete Macneal is from LA.  LA doesn't have a reputation for being the friendliest or most crime free place in the world. But Pete Macneal had never encountered a situation like this.  

Not knowing what to do, he turned around, looked the alpha of the three males squarely in the eye and said firmly, "Where I come from, when someone wants to fight you with a bottle it means they want to kill you. So while I am not the biggest or strongest guy in the world , if we're going to fight, I'm going to fight you to the death."

The Caboolturans were suitably impressed by Pete's balls and the situation was disarmed.

So Space Invaders were booked to play the Caboolture RSL. Backstage before we went on the director of security said, "Any trouble I'm right here." Both reassuring and somehow unsettling.  There were about eighty people in a wooden room that could probably fit 800 people at a Noiseworks reunion show.

Wickety Wack kill it at the Caboolture RSL

We took to the stage and the DJ faded the break music. A couple of people made sounds of disappointment at their Pearl Jam being removed.  Most people just kept talking.

A giant lumberjack looking man near the front stood up, arms folded. His head was huge, red, hairy and scowling.

We decided to open with our freshly prepared rendition of "Counting The Beat." Halfway through the song I could feel us riding along on top of the music. With the repeat of the outro the whole band sang the tune joyously as one: "La Da-Di Dah! La Da-Di Dah! "
We sounded huge. We peaked, yelling the tune."LA DA-DI DAH! LA DA-DI DAH!! " We hit the final, tight power chord stab we'd rehearsed to end the song. Pow! Take that, audience! 


"Faggots!" someone yelled from the back. 

Then, the sound of three polite people clapping. Then silence again. The lumberjack was furious.

There is a running joke among bands that audience members will call out "Play Khe Sanh!" or "Play some Barnsey!" the same way people in the U.S. call out "Play Freebird!"  But in all the years I'd been playing I'd never heard anyone actually yell that (unless they were being ironic.) Not so in Caboolture.

Lumberjack man, literally, I mean he literally shook his fist and screamed "Play fucking Cold Chisel! You fucking play some fucking Cold Chisel NOW!"  His face went from red to maroon. He looked as if something might prolapse. "You hear me? You fucking hear me? Play some FUCKING COLD CHISEL!!!"

I couldn't see the security guy anywhere. We had to play something, just to drown him out. We tentatively went into our version of Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy"

"Here's a little song I wrote, you might like to sing it note for note, Don't Worry, Be Happy"

The man continued yelling something. Luckily the stage was about one and a half metres off the ground and that would slow him down if he tried to come after us.

It was then I saw movement from the other side of the room. A woman of 40 or so, wearing a tiny little dress was shuffling slowly towards us across the huge empty dance floor. Her skin was so tanned and dry she looked as if she had been embalmed.

She shuffled the way a little kid playing dress up walks in high heels. This was because she was so drunk she could barely walk at all. Her lips were moving and she was shaking her head and making "cut" gestures with her hands.

"Landlord says your rent is late..and he might have to litigate..."

Over the next minute or so she slowly made it to the front of the room. She was close enough now that we could hear what she was saying: "No! No! Stop it! Stop that!" 

She shuffled right up to the stage. She threw one leg up over the edge of the stage, all the time saying "Stop it! Enough!"  She clambered onto the stage, climbed onto all fours and stood up shakily. 
"Stop it! Enough! Stop!"
She shuffled up to Scotty and pressed her hands over the strings on his bass trying to make the music sounds stop. A choked noise came out.

Scotty without an embalmed woman disrupting his work.

We played on: "Don't Worry, Be Happy Woo-ooh..oohh"

The security guard had arrived was reaching up from the dance floor and trying to pull the woman away from Scotty. Scotty, the true professional just kept trying to play the song. The woman kept saying "No! No! Stop it!"

After some wrestling back and forth, the security guy managed to pull her toward him, but she lost her balance and fell forward. He half caught her as she tumbled head first of the stage and they both tumbled onto the empty dance floor.

The guy had landed on his back and was dazed for a moment.  She tried to escape. She stood for a moment, swayed and then toppled onto her knees, her head on the floor like a praying Muslim. Her skirt flew up over her shoulders. A barely concealed set of genitals peered out at us from behind the grill of a shiny black g-string. The bouncer regained his composure and rolled over to be confronted with a graphic close up.

Later while having a cigarette, he told me that image would be burned on his retinas for the rest of his life.

And that was Brooksy's first gig.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The MySpace Revolution

It must be about 2004 or so. My band Transport is booked to play in Port Macquarie. We are broke, demoralised and tired.

But there's hope - this new MySpace thing. It's incredible. You can get a million friends and then get signed just like the Arctic Monkeys did! We believe it.

Scotty even found someone in Port Macquarie through our MySpace site and she has offered to come down and man our merchandise stall. This MySPace thing is brilliant!

MySpace Girl turns up at our soundcheck and seems nice. We thank her profusely for helping out and we set up the merch desk, pinning t-shirts to the notice board behind it, displaying CDs. After half an hour it's ready to go.

We start our soundcheck and she hangs around to listen. I'm thinking we sound pretty good, but then I look up and see MySpace girl. All the pleasure has drained from her face. She looks...confused or even constipated. Maybe she's thinking about some trouble she's having at home or something - it's not us is it? It's not our music doing this to her face? Is it? She knows it's a soundcheck right?

After sound check she smiles weakly and says she'll see us again at when the doors open at 7.

She doesn't turn up at all. In fact, nobody turns up.

When I say nobody, literally not a single person from the public turns up. Oh, there is a guy playing acoustic guitar as the opening act, and his girlfriend shows up, so I guess you could count her.

We sit at a table in the cavernous, empty venue and we look at each other. We've done so many gigs like this now we don't even need to have the conversation. We have disappointment fatigue.

Before we were disappointed...

Anyway, when we take to the stage, we do it with determination. The support guy and his girlfriend have been kind enough to hang around and watch us. Well, we'll give them the show of their lives! We'll play our fucking hearts out! By the end of this night we'll have at least two new fans!

We play as if the house is full. Our high volume, high energy rock bounces of the empty walls and back in our faces. We jump around, we lose ourselves in the music.

The guy and his girlfriend really seem to like it.

Then, just as we are nearing the end of our set : hope. A group of five or so girls tumble into the venue and all start dancing to our music. Even though there are only five of them, by contrast to before it feels like a sold out show.

They scream and cheer for us after each song. During one song, one of the girls goes over to the unmanned merch desk. She  peels off her shirt, and swaps it for one of our t-shirts and returns to the dance floor. Not only do we have fans, we just sold a t-shirt! Who needs that fucking MySpace bitch!

This is actually a photo of 8 Ball Aitken playing in Port MacQuarie,

Dripping with sweat and catching my breath I announce that this will be our last song.
The group of girls run off the dance floor, through the room and out the back door. They take our $40 T-shirt with them.

The guy and his girlfriend look expectantly at us.

Afterwards we get drunk. Very drunk. On the walk home I spot the bin where I threw out my half eaten Chinese dinner before the show. I fish it out and eat it.  Later, back at our room, I vomit.