Thursday, January 24, 2008

come Ear, come Ear; there’s more, there’s more…

Stevie Martino is true to his word as regards a benefit gig. He has been beavering away behind the scenes, attempting to find appropriate venues. The following email is sent into the inter-ether (try to ignore the bit about “struggling with the opposite sex” – that’s just artistic licence, obviously):


My name is Stevie Martino. I have a favour to ask. It’s for a very worthy cause…

I have a friend called Andy who's had a bit of a rough time with relationships and struggles when it comes to attracting members of the opposite sex.

We were out watching a gig at the Luminaire last week when he plucked up the courage to talk to a girl who had caught his eye. They had a lengthy chat which resulted in him asking her out on a date to which she replied 'I'd love to' and she gave him her telephone number. Andy left the venue in the best mood he had been in for a long, long time.

When Andy got home he decided to text the girl but was horrified to find his phone had malfunctioned and only stored the name, Justine. This discovery left him distraught. The only details he had about the girl were; her name, the area where she lived (Kilburn), and where she was originally from (Ireland).

The following day Andy contacted the bands that had played at the gig (The Clientele and Darren Hayman) and asked them if they could post the story on their blogs in the hope that she might read them, they accepted. Then he set about messaging every Justine he could find on Facebook which resulted in him being barred from sending messages. That evening he travelled to Kilburn tube station (he lives in Crystal Palace) where he stood outside for two and a half hours hoping she'd show up, then he went back to the Luminaire to see if she was there, he visited a number of pubs in the area all to no avail.

After hearing his sad tale we, his friends, felt compelled to help him in his search. Hence I would like to stage a kind of benefit gig on his behalf. We should be able to bring quite a few of our friends but in addition we are going to hand out flyers all over Kilburn hoping that Justine sees one and comes along.


Yours faithfully,

Stevie Martino.

After a short lull in campaigning, Mr Martino receives the following reply from the good people at Ear Music:


That’s a very moving story! Not sure how I could decline such a request!

I can book you in for a feature set at The Queen Boadicea any Sunday night if you like?

Hope all’s cool and let me know if this would work…



A date is set: Sunday 3rd February at the Queen Bodecia, Islington. Not long to prepare. Get me the Saatchi brothers/Harvey Goldsmith/a new ink tray for the photocopier.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reputation on[the]line

Fellow blogger and Clientele fan Fire Escape Talking has noticed Clientele’s myspace post about Justine and my newspaper ads.

Being neither Irish, a good looking woman, resident of Kilburn or even called Justine, Fire Escape Talking cannot in all honesty be described as my ideal readership. Nonetheless, Fire Escape Talking turns out to be a stand up gentlemen called Ben, who writes on my dilemma with no little aplomb and humour. I would recommend his mirthful musings to all and sundry.

The Fire Escape Talking blog came to my attention after my good friend Adrian emailed me to inform me that I am making enemies all over the internet. I cannot let such smears against my character stand - I have a reputation (of sorts) to protect -and consequently feel forced to contact Ben to ask him to let people know I’m not quite such a antagonistic dick as is being portrayed. Ok, so perhaps ‘desperate’ and is a charge that even Johnnie Cochran would struggle to get me acquitted from (if the glove fits…), but I really don’t know who Harvey Williams or Nicky Haslam are either. FET is kind enough to put up my declaration of innocence which you can see here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

“Are you 'Crystal Palace Andy'?”

“Well, are you?”

These are the words of my dear elder sister of the ‘I Saw You’ column in thelondonpaper. "Yes" I answer, somewhat reluctantly, wondering how often she peruses this Loot-for-the-Lonely. Nor does she appear to be the only relation/close(engaged) friend /work colleague who keeps a regular eye out for potential admirers in the London free press.

Eschewing potential exclusive serialisation income I spend another 50 pence to text rival free rag London Lite my plea which will, somewhat romantically, be displayed under the title ‘Lovestruck’

“Are you Justine from Kilburn? I met you in the Luminaire on 8/01. You gave me your phone number. I lost it. If you want to go for a drink please get in touch. Andy from Crystal Palace.”

Days pass with no reply. Justine obviously reads something improving on her way to and from work; and so do her wide circle of intelligent friends. Such are the crumbs of comfort available for me to dab at in the dry roasted packet of life as I sit surrounded by work colleagues in that well known philosophical alehouse, Wimbledon’s ‘Hand and Racket’. Comradely support is in short supply however as even the the most senior manager is joining in the general ribald banter – aka border line psychological abuse - that now seems to permanently surround my plight.

The last word before closing goes to our Finance Officer, a man who'd likely fail a Talksport audition for being too blunt:

“So you’ve [insert Justine attention seeking method here] and heard nowt?”

“That’s right, Steve.”

“Give up. She’s obviously seen one of them and just thinks you’re a bit weird; or she wasn’t going to go out with you in the first place.”

“You’re probably right, Steve. Thanks.”

Monday, January 14, 2008

We are the world

My good friend Stevie Martino contacts me about my plight. Pertinent facts about Stevie:

1) He is a songsmith extraordinaire;
2) He is a very nice chap;
3) He resides in the north west of London and is touched by my story of woe.

He offers to put on a ‘Find Justine’ benefit gig and will try to find an appropriate venue in Kilburn to accommodate! I accept this lovely gesture; at least the good burghers of Kilburn will get an evening of very fine music out of my misfortune.

To paraphrase Sir Bob “Give us yer f***** phone number, Justine. Again. Please.”

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A face in the crowd

‘Have you tried Facebook?’ asks Gaz, confidante and flatmate extraordinaire. No, is the answer because without a surname or email address I’m liable to spend all my time searching for an electronic needle in a virtual haystack.

Nonetheless, Gaz’s suggestion has aroused my interest. So, giving thanks that I have never suffered any pollen-related allergies, and happy to find yet another reason to prevaricate over a college essay deadline, I plunge myself into the world of cyber frustration.

Feeling very much like I’m engaged in yet another painful administrative task doomed to failure, and between digesting passages on mandatory Palestine, I begin to trawl the supernet.

I soon discover that there is many a Justine in the world of Facebook. Undeterred (well, almost) I immediate eliminate those who evidently aren’t her based on the tiny pictures. Those Justine unfortunate enough not to be distinguishable in this method and who live in ‘London’ (helpfully vague that) receive a message from me, outlining my quest.

I desist only when Facebook prevents me from sending any more messages. Apparently I may be a spammer sending unwanted emails! *cough*

Back to the books.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'll have one of whatever they're committing to vinyl, please

Today is one of those days which reaffirm one’s belief in human nature as inherently kind, warm and fluffy. It will also go down in history (perhaps) as the day when The Clientele guaranteed they will always sell at least one copy of whatever they decided to release in the future. Even if they make a left turn into industrial noise, I will be there for them.

Why? Well they were there for me. As the fateful encounter took place at one of their gigs I think that maybe Justine was a fan of theirs. So I write to the band via the magic of the interwires. I lay out my dilemma - in a shudderingly embarrassing fashion, it has to be admitted – and, perhaps surprisingly, they don’t mock me mercilessly. Rather they are the personification of helpful and friendly.

Evidence of this wondrous piece of niceness lies here

May God, or the patron saint of album sales (Genesis?) bless them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The power of advertising

I awake with a sniffle, and a germ of an idea concerning the newsagent in Kilburn Tube station: shop window adverts. If they’re good enough for ‘Man With Van’ to stake his livelihood upon, then they could surely be good enough for me.

However, after a morning of toil my early enthusiasm has dipped somewhat. By the time lunch rolls around I’m ready to file this one under the heading, ‘Dates you could have gone and then messed up’* Just as I’m ready to throw in the towel, I receive a welcome boost when my friend Jon replies, strengthening my resolve – he is a believer!. His reply to my email is reproduced in full, below:

“Mr A,

The very least I can do is see if the shop will put up your ad.

Your story makes me want to cry every time I think about it. If you aren't able to at least get in touch with this girl then I will be convinced that there is nothing but blackness in the world and that we are all condemned to a life of pain.

“Best of luck, then.”

*Not the catchiest title of all time, granted, but then you can’t be on top form all the time. Anyway, it sums it up pretty well.