Sunday, September 23, 2012

BBBG Goes To Europe: Part 2.2 - Sparkly Fiend

Friday and Saturday were much better thank you very much. A large portion of the responsibility for this upturn in mood must be placed at the very sore feet of our friend Kat AKA Sparklyfiend who arrived like a Tasmanian Devil in a whirlwind of vulgarity and hilariousness to cheer us up no end, not to mention the ability to receive an instant bank transfer and pass the cold hard cash on to us.

This is Kat, she tells us she's regularly cunted on jelly

After a morning of general relaxation and book shopping we spent the better part of the day indulging in alcohol therapy before heading to Camden for the much anticipated Pierce The Veil gig (my review of Collide With The Sky.) At Camden tube station there was a very heavy police presence with many dogs sniffing at passengers legs and multiple vans outside. The vans contained many more dogs from the sound of it. There was nothing subtle about it, nothing surreptitious and yet still we witnessed half a dozen idiots try to get past the cops and the dogs whilst carrying drugs in the pockets in the matter of minutes it took Kat to buy her train ticket. If I had been allowed to take a photo I would be showing you a shot of the station ticket hall half full of men waiting to be taken in to a back room for what might have ended up as cavity searches for all we knew. Listen up kids, if you're too stupid and lazy to change your travel plans when faced with police cavity searches then it might be best to give up on that drug dealing career you're embarking on.

But on to the show, the Underworld in Camden is a strange little venue that I had actually once been involved in organising some shitty concert for an internet TV company at. I didn't remember this fact until I'd walked us a mile in the wrong direction from the pub we were drinking at. Yes well played Toby. The stage is in a pit with a small dancefloor whilst the rest of the venue is up some steps, in theory to allow people to see I'd guess but that never happens. Bizarrely the stage does not actually face the majority of the crowd, it is rotated at 45 degrees to face a corner instead. That aside there's low ceilings and dark walls and it allows for a really good sound in the right circumstances. Pierce The Veil rocked hard, after two albums packed with incredible songs they had a lot to choose from and put on a show that didn't suffer from attempts to play tracks that they had written on tour, album filler or the obligitory slow song, it was all balls to the wall, hispanic influences post-hardcore singalongs from start to finish. That I had a voice at the end of the show after attempting high notes and growling throughout was a miracle. Negatives on the night mainly feature all of the young girls that somehow had tickets to the show and seemingly had never been to a gig before as they all seemed to just run around for an hour, in to the "moshpit" for twenty seconds until they couldn't take it anymore, back to their boyfriends/parents, off to the bar, time for an excited wee, lets mosh some more, oh wow this song is so good I need to tell my other friends about it. Maybe we're all getting old but seriously WTF. This did not make for a good crowd, with their numbers in constant flux they seemed unable even to clap on demand. Small things really and it was over way too soon. I looked amazing in my new Breakfast Club sweater as you'll see and I have provided you with the obligitory shit and pointless photo of a band on stage.

Yes that is a Breakfast Club sweater and yes, Kat dresses like this everyday

Saturday followed very quickly on the heels of Friday, getting in to bed at 1am we required a 6am wakeup call to head out on our first day trip. Brighton is famous for being the gay capital of England, a hive of student activity and as such has an alternative vibe to the city (in the case of England meaning at least a quarter of the shops are not massive chain stores) plus it was traditionally a great summer holiday spot for the Brits in times when global travel was prohibitively costly.

Kat demanded breakfast/coffee on the beach, something I was incredibly hesitant to do. The beach in Brighton is all rocks, there's no sand at all, and walking through Brighton from the train station it was bloody freezing, to use a local term. But with coffee in hand we braved the elements only to find it was the opposite of going to the beach in Perth, the wind dropped off and we just sat in the sun waking up to the day. Great call Kat, you justified your existence with that one.

Brighton is filled with incredible architecture, everywhere you look up you find yourself looking at beautiful old buildings. Here take a look at some examples:

A postcard from Brighton Beach

Princes House, North Street - one of many fantastic buildings in the city of Brighton

The Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence located in Brighton, England. It was built in three campaigns, beginning in 1787, as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, from 1811 Prince Regent. As the first major piece of touristy behaviour on our part we were very excited by our visit. What the hell is with audio guides in museums these days? Not a single person looked like they were enjoying their visit as the wandered around with these mobile phones from the mid 90s attached to their ears. Brighton Pavillion provide them free to everybody who buys an entry ticket, but we refused to accept them. Taking our time we wandered around in awe of the ridiculous frivolity engaged in by the Prince Regent.
There was a no photography rule in place so I cannot share the mind boggling size or decor with you but I did manage a sneaky photo of the smallest item on display instead.

This miniature Bhagavad Gita is over 100 years old and was found in the "Indian Military Hospital" display room. This room commemorates the palace being turned in to a hospital solely for Indian soldiers injured whilst fighting for Britain during The Great War.

For all you film fans here's an interesting artefact found in the old fashioned penny palace arcade; a crank handle operated flicker card magnifier giving the effect of watching films of two burlesque performances. I tried in vain to get a decent picture of the image seen in the viewfinder but those semi naked women will have to remain a secret until you visit for yourself.

There was a large amount of book shops visited and naturally books purchased, here's some images for all you book lovers:
Books, you're doing them right
Colin Page Antiquarian Books in Brighton is exactly what you imagine a secondhand bookshop to be like, I stepped through the front door and let out an involuntary gasp at how pretty it was.

Books, you're doing it wrong
Rainbow Books in Brighton seems to function at the opposite end of the market, here was a man who seems to have become overwhelmed by the volume of books he couldn't resist buying and was now paying the price in terms of collapsing shelves. This one very much reminded me of the Philip K. Dick descriptions of the world in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Crystal Palace Public Library and their traditional English Pub style sign
Finally I shall leave you with something wonderful found in an English newspaper; we complain bitterly about the lack of actual news found in The West Australian newspaper but I'm not sure even that rag would publish this headline:
Is this the best headline ever?
Now then, now then, it's time to coffee, pastries and The Sunday Times so I bid you farewell. Tomorrow we fly to Budapest.


  1. Oh man, I wish I had that picked up that newspaper - whatever newspaper it was - that is pretty damn hilarious.

    And yes! It seems like you're having a great time here!

    1. I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to find out it was in The Sun

  2. Love the pics, and I want that sweater! :)

  3. Incredibly I didn't see another sould wearing one. It's a) an awesome movie, b) totally 80s retro which is cool right now and c) dirt cheap.

    I'd give you a website but the store i bought from doesn't do online shopping. If you know somebody in England send them to Primark.