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A pre-arranged meeting is when a number of people come together at a specific time in a specific place usually for a pre agreed event, agenda, task or activity. These things sometimes don't work out and just as in the case of Roof where her desperate attempts to get me and Jimbo pissed in the Mabgate last Friday so it didn't quite work out as planned with Oooooh. However in spite of running late right up until the doors opened at The Wardrobe in Leeds last Friday the Artists and their clan did not disappoint. (Roof also tried her best not to disappoint but when it came down to Friday tea in a place that served small Japanese men, I had no choice but to demur and go in search of certain fluids. Well it was Friday and I am good Catholic bhoy).
he Wrens became the first meet point, but first we must go back to an earlier event in the day. On my return from the Nation's capital I had to visit a derelict power station in South Leeds (for reasons too arcane to describe in this missal). Well, it was hot and I had no choice but to enter one of Thwaite Gate's finest hostelries. As I walked in I was surprised to see several cowboys and cowgirls standing around in the bar. As I ordered my sherbet I said to the landlady: "Why?" To which she smiled and said: "Just sit down, enjoy your pint and wait for the Indians to arrive." Being an obedient sort of a chap, I took her advice and settled in a dark corner of this fine LS10 supping 'ole.
Imagine my surprise when in walked four Sikh blerks in ovies and turbans. The assembled Wild West Yorkshire Cowpokes all bowed and the leader of the Sikh quartet broke into a broad grin and shouted: "Lagers all round!" Apparently I had just witnessed the latest in a series of wind-ups being carried out by the locals of this rather excellent ale house......... It was even more amazing when you consider the incidents taking place further west in places like Burnley and Oldham during these past few weeks.
So I finally wandered off to meet up with assorted artistes - but not before Roof had cried off on the pretence of meeting the Swedish Prime Minister and Jim had declared an interest (in staying as far away from me as possible - to the point of turning his mobile phone off). Mabgate nae more. Never mind Jonboy said he'd be in the bar at the Wardrobe for 4pm so I sauntered off in that direction only to be met by a very flustered Mr Twinset and Pearls who was in desperate need of reducing solution. I passed by the Japanese person noshing place and - after hilarious adventures with a great group of Asian lads all shouting "We Are Pakistan, We Are Pakistan" (which I shared with my daughter on the phone just so she should hear my last thoughts should the assembled throng not believe me when I told them that I spoke a bit of Urdu) - I hit the Wrens. The (as usual) very thirsty Roof turned up fairly quickly (there can't be much fat on a wee Japanese person cos she finished hers dead quick).
A stroll past the putative Big Issue sellers and we hit the Ooooooh! Show where we were immediately attracted to a rather fetching little bar and bowls of twiglet styleeee nosh. The show itself is brown. It has Ali's fabulous head - which you will have seen on the web site, plus a number of smaller heads of the shrunken, my-vicar-has-been-boiled-by-pygmies type. Around the great big revolving talking head (vox humana provided by various famous popstars) was a chipboard structure framing about nine works based around heads and lyrics from Mekons tunes - Kev has the photographic evidence and I'm sure you'll see them shortly. Let's just say that this was like being in the Art Fac at Leeds Poly circa 1976 except that on the perimeter redundant technology computers were generating several stunning head images on computers that would have been fashionable at the start of the 1990's. Compaq we have found a use for you!
At some point things focussed on a makeshift performance area where we all enjoyed ourselves as Ms Honeyperson, Mr Bell, Master Langford, Mister Tom, Ms Sara and assorted twin Set and Pearls, Mitches etc. ran through surprisingly adept and competent versions of the Mekons' greatest hits - Kev managed a waltz with his mam and Jon sang Delilah for his mam. The Gipton Ladies Freestyle Gospel Choir lead in all the choruses and there was much frivolity as more beer was shifted upstairs from the bar. We were joined by a club mekonite claiming to be John Lennon's smarter brother (i.e. he hadn't been shot) and Chris Thisjarofhairoil turned up downstairs.
The throng included everyone who was anyone in the Leeds Real Art scene - from Leeds' style director and arbiter of all that is in good taste, Wendy Frith right through to our very own Bernard Atha - Lord Mayor of Leeds. Geoff Teasdale with his kids and lots of people with grinning red faces whom you knew from the likes of Leeds Animation Workshop in the eighties or the Fenton in the seventies, a big bold Brendan Croker. Everyone eventually tumbled out into the street outside the bar and the party continued in the manner to which we are accustomed. Eric's missus, Mindy, told us that she'd been to Inverness and thought it toilet like which pleased me no end, I am seriously considering making her an honorary Yorkshireman.
t was a great night, which Chris and I ended off in the nasty, violent, little town of Otley - home of the world's most beautiful barmaids and surprisingly few cowboys and Indians.
Boocock PS I have some piccies which I'll sort asap and post to an appropriate website