J-Ro Vs Brain, pt 4

Me: “Right, what’ll I wear today?”

Brain: “Let’s see. How about that black thing, matched with that other black thing, with some black leggings and a scarf? You know, for a change.”

Me: “Not a morning person, are we?”

Brain: “Why do you even ask my opinion anyway? I suggest lots of lovely things, and yet you always go for the same theme.”

Me: “What theme?”

Brain: “Slightly-Out-Of-Shape-Burglar.”

Me: “Asshole.”

Brain: “What are you gonna do about it? Feed me more pretzels until I get thirsty again?”

Me: “Nope….”

Brain: “Hang on a second. Put those headphones back. What are you doing? I’m sorry. I SAID I’M SORRY!! GAAAAAAH!!”

There’s Something About Metal Men…

Behemoth - I'd happily let them babysit a puppy.

Behemoth – I’d happily let them babysit a puppy.

This blog post is not about heavy metal music, it’s about not judging a book by its cover. This is a tribute to the big, burly, hairy, gentle giants who worship at the altar of Metal. Pound for pound, beard for beard; these menfolk are the soundest, most mannerly bunch of guys you’re ever likely to meet. I’ve spent years going to metal venues (in Limerick and Cork for the most part) and various other types of clubs and pubs, and out of all the places I’ve been, the menfolk who inhabit the world of screaming vocals and deathly guitar distortion are among some of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered.

Having only just recovered from the most recent Siege of Limerick, held in Dolans on Sunday 8th April, my opinion remains unchanged. I know at any given time that I can arrive into a metal gig all on my lonesome, get myself a drink and watch a great gig without feeling like I’m on display in a butcher’s window – unlike some other places I could mention. Being of the more petite in stature, both my two sisters and I have all had the same experience of being lifted out of a mauling mosh pit by some seven-foot bear of a man wearing a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt who took time out of his busy schedule of laughingly pounding his buddies to a musical pulp to haul one or more of us to safety by the scruff of our necks and scolding us for putting ourselves in harm’s way.

Now, some would say I’m biased, given that I write about metal gigs and move in these circles anyway – but over the years I’ve been dragged to every type of club / pub / theme night out that’s been going on in this fair city, and I’ll rave along with the best of them if the beat is right. However, my experience has almost always been that in your average super-pub or generic nightclub of a Saturday night, each gender is treated by the other as a target, an object, an entirely separate creature from the other, all in the pursuit of getting the shift. Go to a metal gig or a metal-themed bar, and you’ll see people there who have shown up simply for the band that’s playing, the good beer, the craic and the conversations. Women are treated with far more respect than in any other places I’ve seen. Sure, you might get chatted up, but it’s all in the best of fun and delivered with that old rocker charm. Everyone’s equal at a metal gig, but us girls are definitely looked after just that little bit more.

In short, this is just my way of saying “Gentlemen of Metal; I Salute You!”

Same as it ever was…

It’s diary time again…the time when I trawl through the many volumes of gibberish I used to write in an attempt to keep myself sane, and inflict them on you, the unsuspecting public. I’d apologise, but we’re way past that now.

It was June 1999, and I was living on the island of Rhodes, Greece. I gigged for a living with my best friend Louise, and had the best – and most insane – time of my life there. More about that in another blog post (once the names have been changed). This list was born out of not having a telly, or any of that internet madness that was sweeping the world at the time. So armed with paper and pen, I sat down and had a right old go at feeling sorry for myself. Turns out, looking back, I didn’t really have much to go on. But God loves a trier. Illustrations and everything. If all else fails I can make a living breaking into people’s houses, finding their personal journals and adding delightful drawings to their innermost feelings…

You bet your ass I blacked out the names...

Yes, that is a Robbie Williams quote at the bottom of the page. Mortified. I can only blame it on the constant exposure to the sun and cheesy Club Med tunes that permeated the Faliraki landscape when we worked there. Please don’t hate me…

1996? All a bit of a Blur to me…

In the midst of my diary-keeping days, I went to my first ever open-air big concert. It was June 1996, and at the height of Blurmania. I was always on the side of Damon Albarn. I had no time for stupid Oasis and their big hairy faces and mad sneers. So, being almost eighteen, I was allowed to go to a Blur / Supergrass / Black Grape concert all by myself. To say I was excited was an understatement. It was such a big deal it got a two-page spread in my diary. Yup, THAT big. Here in its entirety is my documentation of the day (as written). Well, as much as I could write before I got distracted by something else just as awesome. The picture below is the first page, and I’ll transcribe the rest so you can actually read it. There’s so many cultural references in it your face will hurt by the time you’ve finished reading. Names of participants have been changed, naturally. Enjoy.

I was in a collage-type mood in the 90's. I regret nothing. Except the 'Doin' him tomorrow' phrase. Ugh.

4th July 1996

Omigod. The Concert was Fantastic! It’s 4th July at 11.45am before I get ready for Summer Camp. Let me take you through the day of Saturday 22nd June 1996 from start to finish.

11am – left house wearing white v-neck t-shirt, ‘short’ shorts, Levi’s hoody and Doc Marten boots. I brought a pair of knickers with me to throw at Alex. (Bass player from Blur – I didn’t get to thrown them. To this day he doesn’t know what a lucky escape he had.)

11.30am -In town chillin’ with Jo, Sharon. Laura + friends went their own way. We followed this Jonny Depp lookalike around Arthur’s Quay, buying drinks n’ stuff along the way.

1.30pm – The ticket said ‘Coach departs 1.30pm Sharp – LIAR!

2.15pm – Finally left Spaights. Bored already. Sharon dying for ‘drink!’ Good craic on the bus all the same. I sang along to every song played on Atlantic 252. I swear if I don’t hear ‘Mysterious Girl’ by Peter Andre ever again, it’ll be too soon! Good all the same, though. Stopped in Portlaoise at Supermac’s, and we just got worse –> maxi-hyper would be an understatement!!

5.30pm – Saw queues outside RDS, plus a multitude of empty beer bottles –> Sharon is muttering about what a waste it is, just because she didn’t get any….

10.00pm – Unbefuckinglievable! This is what I want! Screaming crowds, singing along, mass hysteria – YES! I WILL do this….I will be there soon…! On the way back, Peter Collins played ‘The Universal’ on the radio for all the Blur fans at the concert!

So there you have it folks. That was my first concert. Knickers and all. Thanks, Blur…



If A Young J-Ro Made Greeting Cards…

I knew there was a reason I hated all those stupid Facebook slogan pages that people ‘liked’. You know the ones; face-melting cringey slogans like “If you love someone, let them go..” and other such wishy-washy bullshit that people latch on to in order to make their existence more palatable. The reason I hated them so much was because I used to write that very same shit myself in my diaries as a young ‘un. At least I made them up myself. Maybe I should go into business. I’d make a fortune selling them in Easons.

This one that I found recently nearly made me turn inside out with the mortification. Naturally I’m showing it to all of you. Don’t worry. I have many volumes of diary-related gold just waiting to be unleashed. You lucky things. Enjoy…

Date unknown, probably in my late teens / early twenties...note the symbolic illustration of the disembodied hand, and the irony of the 'Don't let Go' slogan next to it.