Monday, January 15, 2007

A Polite Party (in two halves)

Honestly, you can't give these tickets away.
I've got a bunch of tickets for a party at the Cobden Club in west London, thrown by Polite cards to launch some new designs they have coming up from David Shrigley, Vic Reeves and Stella Vine. I've emailed a bunch of names across to the RSVP address and we're all set. Except I just can't find anyone that's up for it. Everyone's like, it's too short notice, or, it's too far west, or this or that or whatever. Halfway thru the day and I even get an email from Sarah Doyle. Do I want to go to the Polite party tonight - she has a spare ticket. Now I'm thinking even she's having trouble passing the tickets.
What is going on?
Anyway, stuff all of you and your lame excuses! I'm going to go and I'm going to have a good time!
Over in west London I get to the end of Kensal Road and suddenly realise I have been daydreaming and forgotten to look out for the club. I have to retrace my steps, right back down the road, with no idea suddenly where my head was at.
I get there and find my name isn't on the list. The girl behind the counter looks at me. 'What was your first name again?' she sighs, having gone through about fifty sheets of paper, the neatly typed ones on the top giving way to increasingly more madly biro scribbled ones towards the back. She gives another little sigh and eventually just writes my name on one of the sheets at the back. 'Cloakroom's on the first, reception on the second.' she says not looking up at me.
I go up to the reception. It's a nice bar, there's a stage set up with band equipment, some banging music coming out the speakers and a girl coming towards me with a tray of champagne.
I stand around. I see Shrigley there, Bob and Roberta Smith, both in conversations. I see a few other people milling around in the shifting lights. I lean against a shelf where the new Shrigley designs are all propped up. I take a sip of my drink. Send a couple of texts. Try and listen to a message but can't hear a thing with the music playing.
There's some performances later.
I begin to wonder if I can make it.
I stand around a bit more, look across the bar at people.
I wonder if Doyle is going to turn up.
It drags on.
I don't see anyone I know.
I start feeling tired and wondering why I am standing in a bar drinking when I could be doing that at home?
I take another sip of my drink.
Look at the postcards.
Listen to the music, look up at the disco lights in the ceiling, study them for a bit longer than is normal...look at the mirror ball..have a few thoughts about that...have a few thoughts about the angle of the light that is pointing at it...about light theory... about...
Decide to leave.
Along the road to the station I see Doyle, looking glamorous and party ready. She says she heard that nothing would kick off until after 8.30. Best to watch the Paul O'Grady show first she figured and then head in. We talk a bit about Celebrity Big Brother (CBB). I tell her to have a great time at the party. We say our goodbyes and head off in opposite directions....
The next day I email her, ask her if things got better, whether she had a good time.
She says:

Yes it was nice, we listened to Bob Smith singing some of his songs then watched Mike’s band Bandism playing for a bit. Stella turned up too from Northumbria, looking gorgeous as usual. I think she’s the only other person watching this years CBB apart from me.
Never been to that club before, the working men of North London have better Working Men’s Clubs than the ones I remember in Sunderland!

Bye for now
Sarah x


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