So, went to see the Priest at the Royal Albert Hall last Friday. I changed out of my city casual work garb, and transformed into a rock monster. Well, as best as a thirty something shorthair can, anyway.
Arrived at the pub and met MBB there. I nipped up to the Hall and collected the tickets. When I went back to the pub, Slow Boy and his elder brother Newly Skinny had arrived from the countrified backwaters they live. We downed a pint, then another pint, then another, and finished off with a double whisky to top off. A swift stroll up to the Hall, and we located our seats with ease, by dint of ignoring what was on the tickets and sitting where there was space, and a really good view.
We had a very short time, so gave up the notion of lagers and went straight for the red wine. A bottle later and we went in.
Ian Gillan was on and played OK. Not really my bag but sort of blues-rock that was inoffensive to the ears. That finished soon enough, and Scorpions were up next. We decided to forgo the dubious pleasures of Klaus Meine's nasal whining and nipped out to the local pub.
Except there wasn't one very close, so we ended up in the bar of a Best Western hotel, and drinking more cheap red wine. Two bored looking Asian waiters stood around stoically, and some random trustafarian posh frippetotty was clearly hanging around waiting for her boyfriend to finish his shift. SlowBoy attempted to chat up the frippetotty, which was amusing seeing as he's a thirtysomething virgin that struggles with people at the best of times, far less posh frippetotty. Noticing a piano in the corner of the room, he rips into a startling rendition of Ace of Spades by Motorhead. On a piano so out of tune it was painful, in some random hotel bar. Clearly as Motorhead was not to her tastes, SlowBoy switched to playing the Doors. SlowBoy isn't much in the conversation department, but he is one hell of a pianist.
We ordered another bottle of red wine, and drank it. We had to pull SlowBoy away from the frippetotty.
Back at the Hall, we arrived just in time for Scorpions to still be playing, so we necked another bottle of red wine. The Scorpions were still playing, so we necked another bottle to be sure, and went back in to catch "Rock you like a hurricane". That ended, then there was 15 minutes of Teenage Cancer Trust give-us-your-money type broadcast. Pictured on the biggest LCD screen I have ever seen in my life.
Then: Judas Priest. At about this point the wine was kicking in nicely. It being a charity gig, Priest weren't out for promoting their new album, they just played crowd pleasers. And oh my did they please the crowd. Halfway through the set, NSB leaped the barriers and headed down to the non-existent moshpit. Strange for a metal gig, the organisers had left chairs out on the floor instead of providing a space for the moshpit to seethe in.
That was the last we saw of NSB that night.
Priest finished up their set, bringing Halford back on stage with a three quarter length trenchcoat with shiny metal plates all over it, and riding on a Harley that was more chrome than motorcycle. Heading out to the highway, indeed. By the time Priest finished up, it was midnight and we were fully satisfied that the Metal Gods were smiling once more. Ambling out to the road, there were no drinking hostelries open that we could find, so we hailed a cab to London Bridge for some after hours lager action. NSB was not answering his phone and we'd walked all around the Hall looking for him, so presumed that he'd hied away on the train to his abode.
The lager wasn't sitting very well on the red wine, so we hit the whiskies. Midway through the second, I had to drain the lizard. On my exit from the shitter, some chav youth was whining at the Bog Troll who was charging £1 for what he felt was a 20p lolly. I debated that he could not buy a lolly for 20p at this time of night, and as such the market would charge what it could bear. And then pointed out it was his choice to buy the lolly, or not. Chavboy then started in on the Bog Troll, calling him a worthless piece of humanity and the like. I pointed out that being a Bog Troll was a pretty shitty way of making a living, and that at least this chap was out trying to earn money instead of sucking on the state's tit.
And that was when time stood still.
It's funny, when it's about to kick off, things seem to slow down. Chavboy was pointing his finger to emphasise his point, and I saw his legs move a little. His shoulders narrowed then broadened. The fingers were retracted from his pointing to form a fist that swung back, further telegraphing his intention. His left arm came up in a poor imitation of a boxer's pose. The right fist began to swing at me, a wide haymaker of a blow.
I took a small step forwards with my left leg, and hammered a straight gaku-zuki into his chin. It was a perfect strike; my hips swivelling as the torso unwinds, my right hand coming from palm up at the hip in a smooth flowing motion that only turns the palm down as it connects. I confess, I pulled the punch a little but my reptile brain was screaming victory through the blood pounding in my ears.
Chavboy had fallen backwards into the urinal.
Chavboy's two mates eyed me warily for a second and I lowered my fists and stood straight. I stared at them in turn.
They picked their mate up and fled.
I returned to sit with SlowBoy and MBB, and drank some more whisky. I fished out the ice to place on my rapidly swelling knuckles, and kept an eye out for a group of youths hellbent on revenge. The pub closed and we left, checking to make sure they hadn't gathered all their mates before trying to exact some retribution.
I walked home and slept. Rock and roll, baby, rock and fucking roll.
As of yesterday, I unveil the BIG DOG's COCK rating. It is there to provide an outlet for my displeasure, instead of the toothless politics of zeroes. You know when you've been BIG DOG's COCKed
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