A Weekend in the City

A day of annual leave in London, with last night’s Melvins gig still ringing in my ears, and tonight’s set eagerly anticipated…


Working to a budget to ensure we had bus fare for work for the rest of the month, Noise Road set up digs in a hostel above a pub in Paddington. My dorm buddies were an interesting assortment of characters – an accountant from Texas celebrating graduation and the securing of his first proper gig, a software dude from New Zealand drowning his sorrows after England destroyed the Kiwi cricket team at Lords, an Irish dude checking out some awful electro-pop at Brixton Academy… and a stereotypically stunning Scandinavian girl from Finland, who was way too pretty to be staying in a mixed dorm. She had just finished high school. Everyone back home was worried about her travelling by herself. I understood their concerns. If I ever have a daughter, fresh out of high school, she ain’t staying in a mixed dorm…

The Finnish lass was frustrated by her friends and family coddling her. The Kiwi and I told her it was nice. No one in the world was 100% sure where the Kiwi and I were. If we went missing, days would pass before anyone really noticed. It’s like the Ginsberg riff…

who wandered around and around at midnight in the
railroad yard wondering where to go, and went,
leaving no broken hearts,
-Ginnsberg, Howl

I left the Kiwi to nurse his head, and the Finn to write home. I headed over to the British Museum. There is no need to travel anywhere outside of London. The British Empire have stolen anything worth seeing in the world and conveniently housed it for you in one place, the British Museum.

Ancient Egypt is of course the draw. I am always amazed at being able to walk amongst these millinnea old marvels. The Rosetta Stone stops me in my tracks every time. Of course, I soundtrack the visit with OM’s Thebes and At Giza… But then there is only so many times you can see Alexandria written down, before you queue up Pig Destroyer’s best track on your IPod.

In desperate need of a haircut so that I can win a new job, I braved the extortionist London prices. The girl cutting my hair told me that my accent was very southernised. What the feck does that mean? Whatever it means, I’m pretty sure that I should be offended.  Are you saying that as an Australian, I’ve magically picked up a southern English accent whilst living in Scotland?… but she was a nice alterno girl, and she dealt me the best haircut I’ve ever had. Too bad, I’ll be dealing wristies for the foreseeable future just to cover the cost.

I continued my museum run the following morning, before my exit to Glasgow.

The Melvins albums, Lysol and Bullhead definitely bring thoughts of outsider art. So when I saw the add for the Japanese Outsider Art exhibition at the Wellcome collection, I decided to book across. The exhibition was great! I love weird stuff. It’s why I love the Melvins. Life is pretty homogenised and boring. Melvins rock – but they do more than rock, they challenge without being pretentious… And most importantly, they just do things differently.

On the advice of Rosie, my new hair girl in London, I also tried to hit the Bowie exhibit, but it was way too busy, dude. So I headed back to the hostel and attempted a jog around Hyde Park… Dodging the squirrels and locals sunbathing under the chilly grey May sky, I completed a successful lap of the long water. With a bit of exercise, I felt vaguely human again… and ready for night 2 of the Melvins Endless Residency…

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