Paul Goodwin

This Monkey's Gone to Heaven

Published on Sun 22 May 2011

I spent a good hour this morning being convinced that The Rapture had in fact happened, albeit 16 hours late, and the only thing deemed worthy of being taken to heaven was my phone. As much as I like my phone, I'm not sure why it would stand out among other ones, what with it being about 3 models behind, and, to be honest, it's been hampering my Tiny Wings efforts slightly by slowing down at vital moments. Anyway, it turned up under my pillow. I guess the iPhone fairy had been visiting.

Talking of Heaven, I went to see Okkervil River in the club of that name on Monday. It had been a long time since I'd seen them so decided to do it properly and was in the pub next door at half 6. Rather foolishly I chose one that spans both sides of the street, which made it hard to meet up with everyone. Paul, Cambridge's busiest drummer (I went to his birthday gig on Friday at which he played with 4 bands), displayed his amazing sense of direction again and kept calling me from various corners of London, though Jack who he was with had been there before and should've known better. We got in about halfway through The Singing Adams' set (I couldn't believe they were supporting - good for them!) and spent most of the rest of it trying to get served, but they sounded really big and seemed to go down well.

Okkervil River were, to continue a theme, out of this world. Judging by the way they were talking (apart from one slightly awkward moment when Will Sheff went off on one about some literary reference or other that nobody but the most bearded understood) it had been almost as long since they played a full set as since I'd last seen them, and they were clearly enjoying it. I'm not as in love with the new record yet as I was hoping to be, but every song they played, old or new, was brilliant. And that was without them playing anything from their first two albums. I think the encore was shorter than they intended because they had to clear the place out for a foam party or something (it was a Monday after all), so maybe we'd have got Okkervil River Song or Westfall if it'd been somewhere else, but even so I can't remember when I last came out of a gig feeling that uplifted. Here's a video someone posted of A Stone, which was a highlight. Lovely.

In total contrast, I saw a bit of Lady Gaga's "spectacular" on ITV last night. I know it's like shooting a barracuda in a jam jar being mean about that kind of thing, but it's still depressing now that anyone could enjoy it. There are people whose opinions I value that seem to have a bit of time for her so I had wondered if there was something to it that I was missing, but she just paraded around stroking her dancers in the groin, occasionally spouting a bit of nonsense. Actually, has there ever been anything involving dancers that wasn't awful? I'm not convinced. At least she didn't do that one she stole from Madonna (while I was watching). If you have to steal a song from Madonna, why wouldn't you at least steal one of the better ones?