Television is one hell of a deceptive medium. Yeah, I’ve been in an edit suite and had them mash stuff together, or cut stuff out. But last night I was in the audience, and that felt different. My friend Birdy had tickets for the filming of The Album Show, a new Channel 4 music programme which features bands performing album tracks live.
"We got dealt a bad hand," said this passer-by who collared me. She was right though: Will Young, The Like, Sean Paul, The Automatic. I wouldn’t have minded – The Like were cool (but too small for this venue), Young had the star factor (despite being effortlessly effortless live), Sean Paul got the crowd going ("What is he saying?" asked a guy next to me. "I have no idea," replied his companion).
But when the announcer shouted, "Ladies and gentlemen, GRAHAM COXON," I rushed forward to see the great ex-Blur guitarist (and my old best friend). The crowd applauded rapturously. He didn’t appear. Then the presenter did it again: "Yes, it’s GRAHAM COXON!" No Coxon.
Why? The man had played the previous week, but hadn’t garnered the necessary applause; so they needed some footage of the crowd going crazy for Coxon, despite the fact that he wasn’t even in the building. Ever feel like you're being used?
Me, Dan and Birdy left before the final band could come on. They were still doing endless, "Clap your hands for GRAHAM COXON!" takes. We went to the pub and ordered some Thai noodles. My evening was hugely brightened when I came back from the cigarette shop to find Dan having a long conversation with the waitress in what seemed to me like fluent Thai. "That’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in two years," I told him when she’d gone. He’d probably be hugely flattered if he knew that the previous coolest thing was the time when I found out that one of my friends had once smoked crack with some homeless people in Central Park.