For the first time in almost a month, I did my prodigal act and returned to Glasgow for the weekend. The occasion was the NME Rock'n Roll Riot tour, which visited the Carling Academy on Saturday night. Since the bill included The Cribs and the Kaiser Chiefs (alongside Maxïmo Park), there was no way that I was going to miss it. The perennial problem, though, with attending a Kaiser Chiefs gig is that they tend to be filled with Kaiser Chiefs fans, falling into one of three categories:
- Fresh-faced, apple-cheeked fourteen year-old tourists, bussed in from somewhere like Fife by their parents who circle the venue for four hours whilst their offspring take photographs on their permanently-aloft camera phones.
- Carling Academy regulars, grizzled thickheads, the type of people who think that I Predict A Riot is less social commentary, more a self-fulfilling prophecy, and that the way to fulfill it is to throw cups of lager with one hand whilst waving their other, cigarette-wielding hand in my face.
Needless to say, by the end of the encore, I was more concerned with compiling a list of vitriolic adjectives than listening to another chorus of Oh My God.
As I trudged back to the family house to catch a late episode of Law & Order, there was a sound like Ray Von attempting to MC over Sweet Caroline for a crowd that didn't so much as groan when he cut the music for them to provide the whoah-oh-ohs. Of course, our pagan neighbours were having their annual bonfire on the occasion of Hallowe'en. It's a particularly damning indictment of the lack of neighbourliness in our corner of south Glasgow that our neighbours are not the "Smiths", the "Joneses" or whatever their name is, but rather "the pagans at the bottom of the garden who like to light a potentially-hazardous bonfire every Hallowe'en". Or, sometimes, "the people with the seven-foot-tall cave painting of a naked woman on their living room wall."
Hallowe'en is, as Chris has artistically pointed out, today. In my new home in Edinburgh, I am left with numerous questions. Now that I'm a tenant in my own right, am I expected to keep a bowl of sweets and nuts by the door for any guisers? Bear in mind that I barely keep enough food in the flat to feed me from day-to-day. In fact, how does guising work in a tenement? I know that, in our case, a canny ghoul could simply force the outer door, but otherwise is the correct etiquette to use the intercom? And, living in close proximity to the University, how many so-called "guisers" are going to be poor students who have pissed away the last of their loan cheques and are looking for enough food to subsist on until the next installment in January?
Pertinent questions all; now go out and have a good Hallowe'en!