Monday, 10 September 2018

Girls On Film

It's interesting how things come around, sometimes, and certain things seem to interlink.  My last blog commented on events of ten years ago.  This blog concerns a time even earlier - twenty years ago.

Twenty years!  Twenty years I was a young lady of... well, you never ask a lady her age, of course, but then it is on my website.  So, twenty years ago I was in my mid 20s, and still enjoying the fetish scene in all it's myriad events around the UK as it enjoyed it's late 1990's heyday.  Along with big events like Submission, The Gate, Torture Garden, etc, there were small private parties to be enjoyed at peoples homes - some of which went on for much longer than a normal club night.  Ah, memories.

Also, twenty years ago I had taken my first steps as a professional glamour model, and was lap-dancing my way across the UK.  Digital camera technology was in its infancy, so little survives now of me in those old days - though I do still have a few printed magazines that I saved just for the memories.  We'll come back to digital photography in a moment...

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - modelling twenty years ago.
Twenty years ago, too, Garbage released their second and highly-acclaimed album Version 2.0.  Although the quartet had stopped recording and touring a few years ago, they recently hit the studios and road again.  This tour was to celebrate that huge second album.

Sunday night saw me joining a lengthy queue at The Academy in Manchester to see if Garbage could still rock it as they did two decades ago.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - The Academy
First on though were Estrons, from Cardiff.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Estrons.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Estrons.
The pop-punk quartet powered their way energetically and passionately though their half hour set, but despite their driving set it was the slower numbers that carried more gravitas, weight and impact.  A good performance and deservedly well-received by the crowd, though.

After a short wait Garbage strolled on stage to the slow 'Afterglow'.  Thereafter, there were tracks and hits from Version 2.0 galore such as 'Push It'...

and 'I Think I'm Paranoid'...

as well as a brilliant version of the Bond theme 'The World Is Not Enough'...

In between songs lead singer Shirley Manson told sad and funny tales of being in the band (including spending over $200,000 at a bar in Wisconsin during the making of Version 2.0... and of "kissing boys, girls, anyone you fancied...").

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Garbage, Academy, Manchester.
Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Garbage, Academy, Manchester.
They certainly engaged the crowd during the songs, too, turning the area at the front of the stage into a mosh pit as the fans jostled and bounced to the rousing performance.  Brilliant.  Last song 'You Look So Fine' segued wonderfully into a heavy and captivating version of Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams'

Of course there was an encore, the crowd thundering for more.  Garbage rejoined on stage for a stunning version of  'The Trick Is To Keep Breathing' before leaving us with one last track - a slow and superb version of David Bowie's 'Starman', to keep the crowd singing on the way home.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Garbage, Academy, Manchester.
One last gripe, however.  There certainly seems to be a growing backlash against the use of mobile phones at gigs.  Recently Chris Rock, the US comedian, banned phones at his shows, but although widely reported he was just the latest to attack the issue.  Having stood in the middle of a crowd at Garbage behind a few twats in front who insisted on holding their massive screens up to record the whole show I can only agree that the stupid practice has to be curbed some way.  One girl, pushing rudely in front of me half way through the gig, began facetiming what I can only assume was her mother sat at home on a god-awful couch whilst Garbage where in full flow.  All I could see was this bloody womans big fat mug blocking out the gorgeous Shirley Manson. Yes, I certainly snapped a few photos, but snapping a photo on a small palm-sized camera is a world away from filming the whole show on a phone with a bright 6-inch screen blinding everyone behind and ruining their experience.  I wonder how many of these twats actually watch the film anyway - it certainly seems to be more a case of the 'me-me-me, I was there, post it on social meedja to prove it' generation.  Yes, you were there, but hardly participating or enjoying... and at the same time fucking it up for people behind you. 

I witnessed similar behaviour on my recent trip to Venice - people taking a once-in-a-lifetime gondola ride, and filming the whole thing through their mobile.  I can guarantee if they ever look at the footage it will not bring back special memories of the scents and sights of the beautiful city, purely because in the act of filming it distances and distracts at the same time and creates no special memories - it is how our brains work.

Some artists, like Chris Rock, have taken to utilising Yondr pouches at their gigs to ensure a connected (in the old-fashioned sense rather than internet-connected) audience.  I'd agree with that, or else employ some specially-trained security staff to shove the phones up the owner's arse, where they can only be removed surgically at a hospital - after the gig.

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