I don't know if it was this that gained the attention of the people next door, or something else, but it didn't take long for Atko to disappear next door to, what we later discovered, was a fifteen year old girl's New Year party. The party's host, a girl called Emma, had a great affection for Julie, but after hello and a brief conversation, I found the girl's antics to be inane and annoying. When she kept coming back to the house, my patience wore quickly thin, especially since I presumed she was only coming and going in order to steal the margheritas being mixed inside.
(My accusation of theft was proven false, but I did learn that the police car, which had pulled up earlier apparently investigating the assualt of a female party guest on the property had been at the instigation of this Emma and her gang, who hadn't wanted to give their own address for fear of repercussions from their aunt.)
After failed attempts to politely tell the girl to leave the property, since her constant repetition of the claim that she was so jacked up on pills she didn't know what she was doing but was having a great night anyway, I told her that I wasn't impressed with her tales of getting into grown up clubs with a fake ID, and that she should go home because I found her a disgusting, boring skank. She left but came back after we all culminated outside to admire the fireworks along the beach. It seemed our own supply had been depleted in the lead up to midnight. Once things moved back inside, Emma once more wanted to come into the house, this time using the ruse that she didn't know why the householders of the two units next door would hate her, but she wished to find out and apologise. I told her that it may have had something to do with getting the police called to the property. She finally seemed to understand, but it took more convincing for her to leave again. She stayed away a while, but with Atko still coming and going, she returned, via the back fence, at around three.am. After Sally shouted through the door simply for her and her ilk to 'fuck off!' I don't know that she was heard from again.
A walk to the beach was then proposed as things started to quiet down, and I agreed to a quick trip after making some gin and tonics to go, if only for old-time's sake. Simon, who seemed nice and spoke about a French girlfriend, Phil, whose shirt I had earlier graffitied with the tag 'Dead Girls Are Easy,' some other guy, Julie and I made the trek. It turned out to be significantly colder and windier by the beach than we'd expected, and we stayed longer than Julie and I would have liked, discussing television programmes I don't like or hadn't seen. Julie and I beat the boys back to the house, and once they came in, they seemed to have decided that a trip to the city was in order, and, since I was driving home, continually requested lifts. I told them repeatedly the two vital flaws in their plan:
1. The car I'd driven has only one passenger seat, and,
2. I do not drive to the city.
After a round of shots, I wished Julie the best of luck and told the guys that, at this unlikely hour they should perhaps plan to hit the New Year's Day parties early instead of trying for a late New Year's Eve.
The Corner, afternoon show - January 1, 2009
I complained about the weather for a while, before Sim and I left for the two.pm start time earlier than I thought we needed, but I had nothing planned for the day anyway, and I know he likes to catch the support. We found an unexpected queue around the corner when we arrived, so we waited for it to die down in the front bar for a couple of drinks, then returned to one of the better unknown support acts I've seen in a while. They were called The Harpoons, as their bass player reminded the audience after all but two songs. They played catchy rock and roll and included a cover of the French song I'd been trying to describe to Sim for weeks, which was convenient. I thought they were playing a cover of Duran Duran's The Chauffeur, but it turned out they just employed an almost identical riff in more than a couple of their songs. I liked the band though, and professed that if they release a CD I will buy it and play it loudly in my car.
Piklet was up next on the smaller stage that I have never seen used at the Corner before, and, though I've seen her as support for more than a couple of acts, she was sounding more electronic and sequenced than ever before, like a Thom Yorke solo project.
Finally SoKo emerged to people in the small crowd saying 'So cute!' She introduced herself shyly, saying in her much-parodied accent 'They've only let me play for one hour, but I think I can do more, yes?'
What followed was two and a half hours of Jill Sobule-style musical comedy performance that can just as easily, in most cases, pass as regular rock. Surprisingly for someone with only one song me and most of the audience know, she managed to hold the attention of most. When two guys were talking loudly and crudely somewhere behind me, SoKo asked what they were discussing, and, when it was established that it wasn't flattering, she responded 'Are you disappointed I have no boobs? Maybe you should have gone to the Britney show instead.'
SoKo also passed between instruments, gaining laughs after going from an accoustic guitar to a ukelele emblazoned with her name, then an electric guitar, drums, and keyboards, which she experimented with extensively, but not to the point of absurdity. I really liked a song she played in which she suspected she was pregnant, despite being not having sex, and wondering if you could 'abort the fat.' I wondered which of the songs will be on her album, which she promised 'might get made one day, maybe.'
Afterwards it was surprisingly difficult to find a restaurant. Sim wanted Mexican, but all we could find open in the area was a Thai place whose definition of rice differs from my own.