Bouncers are just plain weird.

Obviously part of their remit is presence of command/threat in maintaining a civil environment, but I really can't see where it'd be necessary to ID check a group of people straddling the age of 30. Particularly as you're about to sell them alcohol and thus encourage whatever problem you were trying to avoid.

But the good bit of the story was that we went to Islington Academy to catch the final tour date of Australian latino-jazz-funk-ska-hiphop-pop outfit, The Cat Empire. The gig was a last minute addition which I'd spotted & booked just at the right time, as Empire gig tickets turn into hens teeth pretty fast round these parts.

As always, a classy & fun gig by the 'Empire – being the last night of the tour I think they were just out to have a good time, and they cranked out a fairly normal set with tunes from both albums and their Cities album, with tight solos & breaks mixed through. Thankfully there wasn't an extended overly self-indulgent beatboxing section this time around.

The mood in the room was happy, and the crowd were well into it as we sang, grooved & danced through til the dying chords had soaked out of the roofspace. Conspiratorial grins of a good-time-had far outshone my initial mood at having had to ring Paul from an authentic eau-de-tramp drenched phone box because my phone had stopped working and I was 40 mins late due to having discovered I'd left the tickets at the office as I was just getting off the train at King's Cross.

And THEN the pinhead bouncer made it look like the 4 of us weren't going to get our post-gig libations. I don't think so. “How many of you are there ?”. “There's four”. (realises there's no precedent to bar entry to a group of 4 sober people) “Oh… well, can I see some ID ?”. “Sure”. (verifies that all of us are at least 9 years over 18) “Uuuh, well… no hats inside !”. “OK, I'll take it off”. And like Sir Launcelot and the Bridge of Death, we were through !

Leaving was another story – what possessed me to buy Chris 7 beers, what possessed him to drink them, and then what possessed either of us to think it was a good idea to walk home along Regent's Canal is anyone's guess.

2007-03-01 : Harry, you’re gonna be a lawyer some day.
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