Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Bruce on drugs [left] Bruce straight [right]

Bruce on drugs ...................................... Bruce straight

Tim “Timmy” Rogers was coming towards the end of You Am I’s enjoyable (the latter part anyway) set, looking resplendently haggard in giant purple, sparkling bow tie; the eskies still contained enough beer to negate the need to return the 220 yards to the campsite (cheers to the early risers from Geelong for the spot); a couple were staring intently at Bruce.

Bruce himself, by this point lost in a fuggy mix of music and merriment, remained oblivious. Fran, however, did not. After a few minutes of staring, interspersed with the odd nudge and whisper of “It is. It is.”, she could no longer hold back.

“Excuse me,” she said. “Are you two OK? Can I help you at all?”

“You can, actually,” came the reply. “That is Jude Law, isn’t it?”

Poor Fran. She almost collapsed to the ground in fits of hysterics.

“Er, have you two been taking a lot of hard, mind-altering drugs?” she asked.

“Yes,” came the sheepish reply.

Still, it gave Bruce something to milk throughout Sunday, especially as the last person to name a lookalike for him had picked Rentaghost’s Timothy Claypole.

As for the rest of the festival, one can’t really complain about turning up at 12.30pm on the Saturday afternoon and discovering that space has been reserved right behind the Meredith Wheel within a two-minute stumble of the main amphitheatre.

Neither can one complain about the toilets themselves – incredible what a bit of sawdust can do and how pleasant it is to urinate while staring out over miles of rolling fields.

The Pink Flamingos, sofas (some on stilts), noodles with Malaysian sauce (until they ran out rather too early) and generosity of random strangers with goon bags on Sunday night (not that we were actually short of booze by any stretch of the imagination, but it seemed more fun to accept offers of wine from excitable people) were none too shabby either.

As for the music, Dan Deacon’s inspired dancefloor mayhem got the party started in fine style despite failing to get the entire site to join in with the running-in-circles bit, Brant Bjork was suitable stoner-sounding, the Black Seeds were pretty weak but allowed Bruce and Fran to launch into a remixed a cappella version of the advert for the soft drink Lilt, the part of Mogwai’s set where we weren’t at the tent was better than the part where we were (so much better in fact that we really should have left the tent earlier), while You Am I, as mentioned earlier, were great when rolling out the hits.

Saturday’s DJs seemed to suck, although by that stage motor functions were seriously impaired so judgement should perhaps be reserved. Come Sunday, Old Crow, JimWhite, Pivot and My Disco all entertained in their own ways early doors (as did the chap in the Flaming Lips-style giant bubble), The Drones were far superior to their Falls show (perhaps because they weren’t on at some stupid time of the day), while Gary Numan was really rather poor.

Quite who was responsible for what between his set finishing and 4.30am is a matter that Bruce is unable to resolve at this moment in time as the only thing he knows for sure is that, one by one, the people he was there with began heading back to bed as he waited for the arrival of DJ Mujava.

“I’m heading back to camp,” said the last of them at 4am.

“I’m staying here,” said Bruce. “These beats are only going to get harder.”

They did, so much so that by the time said South African broke off from his decks for a little stage side boogie, Bruce thought he was indoors at a club. Only when Mujava’s magic had finished and it was time to pick his way through the 6am detritus and head back to bed did he realise he was still at the festival.

PS Apologies if anyone woke up with ruptured groin muscles and / or a hernia on Monday morning. Next time Jude Law asks you to do a headstand on an esky, feel free to decline.

Read Full Post »

Bruce and Fran woz there

Bruce and Fran woz there

Seven months after leaving the UK, the one thing Bruce misses is the music scene.

Sure, Melbourne’s got it goin’ on (and an imminent move north of the river should help rectify matters), but there are certain bands who Bruce and Fran pray nightly will announce an antipodean tour: Elbow (and the lovely Guy Garvey, who assured us he had lots of friends in Melbourne), The Aliens (and their high Fifes), Jason Pierce (the Prince of Pathos)…

And the Alabama 3.

Legendary lunatics who’ve been criminally ignored by too many people for too long, they made their first trip to Oz earlier this year in their stripped down acoustic version, but were gone before Bruce and Fran arrived.

Bruce’s last meeting with the band took place after one of their many gigs at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms late last year. He asked lead singer Larry Love (Rob Spragg) what they planned to bring to Australia.

“Chlamydia and industrial strength crystal methamphetamine,” he replied.

“Ah, STDs and hard drugs,” said Bruce.

“Naaah,” said Larry, maintaining his faux American drawl. “Soft drugs for hard bastards.”

Having just come across the following video shot, it seems, in Melbourne during their brief visit by theloneeskimo, it appears he stayed true to his word.

Although I’m not sure he qualifies as a “hard bastard” at this particular moment. Depends on your definition, really.

Still, come on over, boys (and girl), Bruce and Fran need you.

Read Full Post »

Another Bayside junkie

Bruce and Fran were locked in conversation with one of St Kilda Pier’s dwindling community of fairy penguins. It wasn’t much of a conversation, admittedly, more a series of clicks, coos and gurgles usually associated with very small children and blind drunks.

As for the penguin, he was saying nothing.

Bruce’s attention was distracted by a unwittingly ironic plaque notifying visitors that the area is a nature reserve partly funded by St Kilda’s partner city of Ube, in Japan.

“This cooperation to preserve the wildlife on the reserve shows that the desire to protect nature crosses international boundaries.”

Except when it comes to whales, I guess.

Carried away

Fran, already overcome by the wonder of the moment with the penguin (“Can you believe this is our home?”), had her attention distracted too, this time by a couple stood at the very tip of the rocks.

They’d been staring out to sea, but were now gazing into each others’ eyes. Suddenly, the woman leapt forward and grabbed the man.

“He’s just proposed!” exclaimed Fran.

So he had. And she appeared to have said yes.

“I want to go and congratulate them,” said Fran and duly did as they walked past, fiancee with mobile clamped to her ear.

Twenty minutes after witnessing the wonders of nature and the joy of love being realised, Bruce and Fran were stood in a phone box calling friends in New Zealand, one of whom was celebrating her birthday.

At the moment the connection was made, a heavily-tanned woman in pink velour jogging pants and scuffed white sandals appeared at the adjacent phone, having left her post at one of Grey Street’s busy corners.

Her reverse charge call to her dealer made for a birthday greeting that was nothing if not unique.

Happy birthday to you!”

“David? Are you there?”

Happy birthday to you!

“Can you hear me? Where the fuck are YOU?”

Happy birthday, dear Jodes.”

“Ah fack’s sake. Move from where you are. Can’t you hear me? FAAACK!”

Happy birthday to you!

“Ah, get faaacked, ya useless CAAAAAANNNT!”

Read Full Post »

The heroin hotline

“Hello, this is the heroin hotline. Please dial 1 if you need more smack, 2 if you’re out of syringes or 3 if you’ve missed a vein and need medical attention. Thank you!”

We live in the heart of Melbourne’s red light district (albeit one lacking in red lights). On one 20 minute walk home from Acland Street just after 11pm, Bruce spotted:

  • A guy in the front of his white Ute on Robe Street asking for $30 change off a girl in his passenger seat. Her boyfriend / pimp / ponce / dealer was crouched, as he usually is, in a doorway about six houses away
  • Another girl negotiating a price with a driver on the opposite corner across Grey Street
  • A young, long-haired blond man inviting another prostitute into his blue, sports model Falcon. By the time Bruce reached his home, the car was parked outside and the driver was pulling down his trousers.

On top of this, dozens of bars, cafes, nightclubs – some open until 5am or later and attracting inebriated kids and tossers with attitude – and halfway houses for junkies and alcoholics are located within a few minutes’ walk of our front door. Even the phone boxes are little more than the local dealers’ equivalent of Bruce Wayne’s Batphone.

In England, we lived in one of Nottingham’s “better” suburbs, on a street inhabited mostly by families and pensioners. There were no clubs or halfway houses nearby, just a few pubs and restaurants. The red light district was miles away. The worst you got was a few kids hanging around on the street, occasionally running riot when the mood took them.


Yet we used to hear sirens – police, ambulance, fire engines attending arsons – every day and night, especially in summer when we’d leave the windows open at night in the heat (yes, we do sometimes get heat in the UK). The worst thing about leaving Glastonbury Festival every year (apart from the come down) was knowing that as soon as we hit Nottingham, a police car – lights flashing, siren blaring – would fly past us. It always did, without fail: “Welcome back to reality,” it said.

Since moving to Australia and St Kilda in particular, we’ve seen police in action just twice on Fitzroy Street and only heard sirens once: fire trucks responding to a call. Sure, there are regular outbursts of “Get facked, you facking cant” followed by “Sorry, you’re me best maaate” from the hysterical junkies living nearby.

But no overbearing police presence. No climate of fear. No sirens.

Go figure.

Read Full Post »

Now, I’ve never taken smack, but I’ve heard it’s

  1. a pretty amazing sensation if you’re into that kind of thing
  2. moreish.

On the other hand, a wander through the streets of St Kilda morning, noon or night (but particularly early morning when a lot of women looking suspiciously like prostitutes and men looking almost exactly like the sort who would deal heroin bump into each other on the pavement only to discover simultaneously that their shoelaces are undone and their socks need rearranging) suggests that the drug has its disadvantages: dress sense goes out the window; Clearasil becomes a luxury too far; your shoelaces keep coming undone.

Now, if you’re keen to avoid those disadvantages but the aim is experiencing an incredible sensation with something that’s moreish, I suggest Tim Tams. I’ve never known a biscuit like them. In a country in which every major manufacturer has managed to cock up the production of their other chocolate products (and charge $2.50 for the pleasure of realising that. Thanks, Messers Cadbury, Nestle et al, but where’s the taste gone?) the Tim Tam stands head and shoulder above the rest as a beacon of perfection. Were the Government to have the need to highlight best practice in the world of confectionary, the humble Tim Tam would surely head the list.

So no to drugs, yes to Tim Tams

And, if smack isn’t your thing, there’s a Tim Tam for pretty much every fix:

  • Opium: Ordinary Tim Tam from the cupboard, slowly nibbled and sucked
  • Heroin: Honeycomb Crush, the Rolls Royce of the range
  • Crack: Ordinary Tim Tam with opposing corners nibbled off so that tea/coffee can be sucked through. It goes in seconds, but the experience is insurpassable. Use Double Coat or Chewy Caramel if you really need a pick-me-up
  • Mushrooms: Love Potion Sticky Vanilla Toffee, not to everyone’s taste; too many and you’ll be sick
  • Ecstacy: finishing one pack only to realise there’s another one in the cupboard

NB – UK readers be warned: A Penguin is no substitute

Read Full Post »