High-Brows & Low-Life’s
Last Friday I was busy preparing the devils takeaway: an alternative budget banquet for THE WHITE HOTEL in Salford, a new venue for the degenerate and dispossessed. They had a festival – an all-day-ordeal – on the cards, called Salford & Gomorrah 2.
I wanted to create the air of a full-on disaster. The food equivalent of the train toilet, the taxi floor, the office microwave or the scattered flesh-splatters left by a Barack-sanctioned drone bomb.
As the day declined into wintertime, I shuffled through the Christmas Market cesspool, past vague and ruddy faces ripping through gourmet/death-row burgers and pale turds on stubborn bread. Every second man dressed like an innocent boy on the cover of a Christmas card; women in sheep’s clothing, bobble-hats and Hunter wellies.
The evening light was creeping in and under my skin. I felt annoyance boiling within, that old chip forming on my shoulder again. My banquet was born from a different world. It was essential that I made this clear.
I stretched three quid in Poundland and Aldi buying several tins of turkey-based dog-food and baked beans that were not worthy of a pull-can top. I chopped a white wig up and made hair sandwiches, called them hair d'oeuvres. I borrowed a piece of taxidermy from a man called Chips (ironically): an otter – Ray L’otter. He played his part well. The hosts were called Francis Beercan and Miss Demeanour: Carry-On characters for the hipster age.
Miss D made the cake below. See it as the bastard offspring of The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed cake created by Delia Smith or the great despair of Jimmy Webb MacArthur Park lyric: “Someone left the cake out in the rain...” (I am nothing without my references.)
Here I was, the little shit who got his own way on his birthday, the boy who could see through the act of life playing grown-up. But was it an accurate enough nightmare or just another grotesque pose, yet another dance empty of belief?
The table was unfit for the holier-than-thou lot. The vegan-ution ends here in front of this cruel creation. Like nature itself it exists without guilt. But few got the point without me having to tell - to hammer home - the point.
I simply wanted the crowd to see what was going on in front of them, to lift them from abstract art-thoughts, to jar them from the complacency of being tourists in their own skulls; similar to how I used to lift and then drop my own small plastic Han-Solo figure into the large plastic world of He-Man as a test of toy-survival, back when I was the little shit who didn’t get his own way.
For those who missed the potty shenanigans of Salford & Gomorrah 2 here's a demented prayer book published to coincide with the event.