A GUEST SERIES
2 – Call the Police – LCD Soundsystem (2017, DFA Records)
Released as a radio-play only single in May 2017 (Did Not Chart)
Ok I think I’m safe to tell this story…
Badger and I have been to a gig down in Cornwall, it was PJ Harvey at the Eden Sessions. We have decided perhaps against our better judgement to camp afterwards at a small site just outside the lovely seaside town of Perranporth.
This wasn’t our first choice of campsite. That was in Newquay, but as our decision was rather last minute most places in Newquay were full, it being July. At about three pm we rock up at this campsite and a kindly old man tells us that he has room for us. We pitch the tent and when we are finished we hungrily eye the small on-site shop.
The shop is possibly the strangest shop I have ever been into, except perhaps one in Gateshead which sold ‘cowboy hats’ and ‘dental equipment’ and nothing else, I digress, the shop is stacked with booze, plonk, liquor the devils home brew. It is like an overpriced, much smaller version of Bargain Booze. It has way more alcohol than anything else. We pop a couple of bottles into our basket alongside some crisps and the last two packets of sandwiches (cheese and tomato). Its then we see the book section.
I say book selection, what it actually was, was a shelf containing roughly 50 colourful small books each one a different version of a Bible story. ‘Jesus and the fishes’, ‘Jesus and the Good Samaritan’, ‘Jesus and Goblet of Fire’ that sort of thing. We shrug, thinking nothing of it. It’s then we see the noticeboard next to the counter.
“Welcome to Cornwall’s Premier Christian Campsite, please do not feed the donkeys”.
I look at Badger and mouth “Cornwall’s Premier Christian Campsite”. The kindly old guy is behind the counter and smiles at us when we pay for our goods. He hands a pamphlet with our change that invites us to ‘Morning Prayers’ at 11am the next morning. Badger and I decide that we will be gone by 11am the next morning.
The pamphlet also tells us that ‘Curfew’ is 9pm and noise must be kept to an absolute minimum after 10pm. Our gig finishes at 1030pm and is about thirty minutes’ drive away.
I mention to the kindly old guy that we will be back well after 11pm because we have an appointment in St Austell and he makes me promise that we will be ‘as quiet as church mice’ when we return. I nod innocently. He says ok but reminds me that “God will be watching”.
On the way back to our tent I pop to the toilets. A sign above the sink helpfully tells me that “Jesus washes souls as well as his hands…”
We go to the gig. PJ Harvey is amazing.
After the gig we return to the campsite to find it locked. The main gate is shut, so we park in the little car park and try and find a way in. We find a way which is jumping over the main gate. Sadly, this sets off a red light which sets off an alarm. Effectively we have just broken into a campsite luckily it is pitch black we have a quick cursory look around for cameras and then do then decent thing and leg it.
Four minutes later, Badger and I are back at his tent and we are between the giggles thinking that perhaps we should go and report what we have done. We can still hear the alarm whirring away and by now there are several torches flashing around and we hear voices asking, “What’s Going on?”. Badger sticks his head out of the tent door and asks a passing person with a torch what the racket is all about. The person tells us that a couple of youths have been seen breaking into the site and that the police are on their way. Badger then, ever, the charmer asks if they need a hand looking for them. I try and hide in my sleeping bag secretly pleased that I have been mistaken for a youth.
Badger returns an hour later, armed with a burger and a can of Stella. These are courtesy of the kindly old man who owns the place. He kicks me awake and tells me that ‘Police never turned and we couldn’t find them youths’.
The next day we check out, just before morning prayers and the kindly old man warmly shakes Badger by the hand and gives him a 50% discount. We leave me shaking my head for most of the journey home.
Oh yes, Call the Police was the best song of the last decade and these two were third and fourth-best:-
Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett (2013, Mom and Pop Records, Did Not Chart)
Seasons (waiting on you) – Future Islands (2014, 4AD Records, Reached Number 25)