Sunday, May 06, 2007

Hair-d it all before

This weekend was a musical frenzy, what with yesterday’s all day SOS extravaganza where I relived my Glastonbury and Reading festival days (only without alcoholic beverages or mud) and tonight yet another concert at the Sawy Cultural Wheel.

I will save a review of the bands who performed at SOS for my article, so that when I receive the weekly love letters from these ever so precious artistes and their handbags I will at least be comforted by the knowledge that I am getting paid for it.

One event of note which I shall not inflict on the English-language newspaper reading public but which shall be shared with you is that I saw FIT HANY FROM WUST EL BALAD. One minute I was enduring some band playing something vaguely oriental jazz, the next I had been descended on by a breathless N who, aware of my infatuation, informed me that Sir Hany of Hotness was standing in the crowd unguarded, like a normal bloke. Unbelievingly, I looked in the direction she indicated and there He was, all slow motion white teeth smiling, illuminated by a celestial ray of light from the heavens, and wearing a crappy beige t-shirt.

Naturally I sprinted over but did so in a crouching guerrilla soldier style, concerned that I might seem uncouth should I launch myself onto him and knock him over. It was therefore something of a circular beeline, reminiscent of the time a 17 year-old me and my friends positioned ourselves so we could giggle and gasp behind hooligan turned family man Liam Gallagher of Oasis as he did a peculiar hip wiggling dance during the support act at his concert. I ended up at the perfect promontory to observe all six foot plus of Hany in his beige t-shirt, and am absolutely devastated to report that without a stage his aura is dimmed, and considerably so. It could have something to do with his extreme hairiness: I like heavy-set features but Groucho Marx eyebrows caused by lax personal grooming is asking too much. Also, there are cool ‘fros, and there is geography teacher/Art Garfunkel-style hair miscreancy, of which difference hirsute Hany is apparently incognisant. After basking my eyes in him while trying not to appear like a psycho I returned to the group, another dream shattered slightly and all the world a bit beige. N and I nonetheless agreed that we would not chuck him out of bed for farting, which is South London for ‘he is rather attractive’.

SOS was otherwise largely uneventful, at least in blojjing terms, which is remarkable given the fact that I was there for like, a million hours. I put political considerations aside and hugged a dashing US marine in order to be able to check that box on life’s list. I saw the masterful Ilham el Madfai who was of course gamed ta7n [solid grinding]: anyone who plays classical guitar flamenco style so the instrument is somewhere near his nose while also wearing a fishing hat automatically gets my vote.

I saw Limouzine in the line of duty tonight, despite my policy against bands and individuals who keep it real dyslexia-style by replacing the letter S with a Z. I have a theory that these ridiculous and wilful misspellings will gradually become entrenched, and that eventually the English language will go back 360 degrees to Chaucer so weel awll bee riting englishe lek dis againe. People in polo necks term it language evolution when it is quite clearly banditry.

Limouzine play inoffensive, rather insipid, MOR guitar music of the Christian rock variety – rock in a shirt and tie which is polite to your mother. They actually did perform a song ‘dedicated to all mothers’ which featured the lyric ‘I love you mummy.’ As if this was not appalling enough, the song began with China Bells sound effects, which is that percussion instrument made up of metal rods which produces a sort of rippling sound beloved of love song composers and Disney. It also produces a feeling of nausea in me, particularly when introducing a song eulogising mothers written by teenagers who should be singing about glue sniffing or petty theft or something.

The music was in places a poor imitation of Wust el Balad, in others just a mixture of any old malarchy. One song featured a change in rhythm and style so sudden and so illogical that it was the musical equivalent of suddenly talking about earwax in dung beetles during a discussion of the Lithuanian stock exchange – I was literally startled out of my seat such was the change in tempo. Another queer thing was a percussion solo slot, during which the bongo player and then the drummer wowed the crowd in the style of 80s heavy metal sticks men with technically proficient but pointless banging. The bongo player himself actually physically resembled a bongo, being barrel shaped, bald and having a tan-coloured scalp.

Good points about the performance included the booklets containing the song words given out free to the audience (and which made me feel like I was once again in school general assembly singing We Are Climbing Jesus’ Ladder), and the lead guitarist. He was simply outstanding, but also tiny and adorable and made me want to make sure that he had tucked his vest in in case he caught cold. Instead of the arrogant posturing and weird face-pulling common to most guitarists, this kid went around his business with a sort of vaguely worried expression, becoming truly rabbit-in-headlights startled whenever he looked up from the frets in response to the audience’s applause. He also gave shy smiles to his fellow band members whenever they commended him on his digital dexterity which again just made me want to give him a kiss and a packet of sweets.

The evening was only marred by the post-concert trip to the Rip Off and Tea Leaf or whatever that godforsaken place on Abul Feda is called which, in contravention of all trade description acts, doesn’t actually serve tea. I requested a cup of tea with milk which resulted in a five minute bonkers conversation consisting of the cashier saying ‘Chai’ and me saying ‘shai! Shai!’ and him repeating ‘Chai?’ and me saying ‘TEA’ and wanting to deck him. Eventually he produced a small pot of what I can only describe as garden weeds with cardamom seeds which he alleged they sold and people drink, and in that moment I would have sold my right kidney for a Lipton teabag after setting light to the whole ridiculous chi-chi, or chai-chai, place.


Basil Fawlty said...

He can't be perfect otherwise he wouldn't need your input into his eyebrow grooming requirements. That's your in, right there.

Forsoothsayer said...

he was intensely mozza, and just hairy enough...i hadn't believed you before. also, his t-shirt was brown, which i think is a far cry, hotness-wise, from beige.

also, the whole organ selling thing is totally MY metaphor! although you used it differently from me, so that's cool.

Zed-tastic said...

congrats on your elopement with the gardener!!!

Amnesiac said...

Basil: :-s

Forsooth: Yes, he is still mozza as I indicated, just not godly.

Your metaphor how exactly? (Is it a metaphor?) I hate to break it to you but British comedy has been rolling this tired old line out for years.

Zed: Thank you very much.

Will E. said...

Interesting post, however a poor imitation of wust el balad implies a poor imitation of poor music and that in itself implies utter poverty.

As for your use of the term going back 360 degrees it surprises me that in condemning the misuse of language you have done a similar mistake by misusing mathematics to describe something. 360 degrees forward or backwards implies that no change happens, you're right where you started. So going 360 degrees from something we have today brings us back to the same thing we have today.

It's an elementary mathematical mistake, but ironically it is used to point out mistakes in the English language so that just like the English language is distorted by bad spelling, mathematics is distorted by misunderstanding.

fully_polynomial said...

hmmm, i could be wrong (though i rarely am), or have misread what A wrote, but the sentence says that the english language will go back 360 degrees to chaucer and 'we will all be writing english like this *again*', which means it is going back to where it started, so there is nothing wrong here, geometry-wise.

DailyAntics said...

Lol, excellent post. I used to think HE was yummy too, until i spoke to him (for interviewing purposes of course), and discovered he didnt understand a word of english. My arabic "interviewing skills" werent as good in those days..

fully_polynomial said...

so he doesnt speak english; this makes him not yummy how?

a friend spoke to him once, and hany told her that when he started he would try to do english songs and would have the words written for him in arabic letters so he can read and sing them. i found it very refreshing that he is open about it in a society where --for some reason-- not speaking english somehow diminishes your status.

Will E. said...

Fully P, here's my problem with it:
"and that eventually the English language will go back 360 degrees to Chaucer "

Well that implies it's moving backwards from today 360 degrees. It would have been clearer it was said that the English language will complete a 360 degree turn. Or that the English language would have gone back (or forward, which is the better description) compmleting 360 degrees to Chaucer.. etc..(i.e. where it all starte)

My logic is that the statment implies that it goes backward from today, rather than completing 360 degrees. It's based on absolute vs relative.. the sentence implied a relative move backwards 360 degrees from the present moment.

But chances are I'm blabbering about something of minor concern to anyone but me.. cheers..

hebe said...

ahhh i was at the sos too ! man i would have loved to have met you and forsooth ! i concur that hany is a divine dish of a man despite the neathandralish hair sprouting

Anonymous said...

this ones for u amnesiac :)

Forsoothsayer said...

hebe, we were the ones standing in front of the soundbooth being visibly snide.

Amnesiac said...

Ah thanks Anon.

The man looks different every time I see him.

Anonymous said...

hey.... well i can see that u have a good sarcastic writing style (YAH RIGHT!) and from the first word i knew that you're the type of persons who just likes to grab attention and make ur point by just making fun of everything around in a very, VERY unprofessional way and NOT constructive AT ALL!! Well just wana say that this is your opinion, with all respect. But if you wana get to the criticism side and u wana be like a "PROFESSIONAL" music critic or this is what u wana be u gotta act like one. Saying that everything is bad and that he was wearing a beige t-shrit or heaven lights or watever, this has nothing to do with music doesnt it? this is sooooo lame btw and i dont care whether your fat or thin, tall or short, cuz ur not Aphrodite. And you do not have the right to judge on anybody's clothes or look. Before judging, look in the mirror sweethear.... anyway just try to be constructive and not just make fun of all the people.... if u wana do that ,go and be a CLOWN WHICH WILL SUITE U BETTER THAN THIS BULLSH*T YOU'RE WRITING I GUESS

Anonymous said...

woooooooooooooooooooooooow​gdaaaaaaan...bgad it's really a very detailed review about the band..and very accurate.....
i can consider this ..a reference...we can call it...
The beginners reference for making a proper review :)

well.....just in case the reviewer himself/herself..may know anything about making a review!!
first it's not called bongo...ya3ne mesh bongo 3ala wazn's called conga
then in a review...if u know anything about music..u may comment about the structure of the songs ,the words the stage performance..the light system,the audience...etc
they r a group of talented musicians who started to make their own songs and hit it to the stage....also it's not fair to compare their songs to wust el least when they say fawetlo 5amsa geneh or 3al has a meaning better than...2amese el a7'dar fel mama mesh la2e sha22a w 3ayez atgawez
wust el balad has a wide range of audience..a lot of people like them and i respect their effort...but if u a true musician and know a little bit about music....u 'll find that this is not music :)...this is heshek beshek...which is very famous here and that what most of the people like
limousine played a variety of styles...and still maintained the oriental melodies and added their own flavour..wetehr having some reggae parts,swing,funk or whatever..they still played a nice genre....we can call it easily...contemporary egyptian music
what is the main focus of a review if it only talks about how he looked or how he dressed....this is lame!!
what is the music backgroud of the reviwer here...amr diab??tamer hosny,,?wust el balad??i think every band here must make all the audience te2om ter2os 3ala tabla 3ashan yeb2a band gamed w
w must respect every band work..wether we like it or's still their effort like wust el balad also....if i say i don't like them..this doesn't men that they r not's just my opinion and they r still good to others...the same here for limousine...maybe some people didn't like the music but we have no right to taking about the persons themselves and how they least they r not hiding themselves behind an icon or a nickname..and saying some fessssssssssssssssssssssss​ssssssssssssssssssssssssss​ssssssssssss
it's also very nice to know that there exists some nice sites which encouarges people to practice their english so often like that...making anyone comment about soemthing he knows nothing about!