Mystic Brew 14/02/09

I did something very romantic once. I got amnesia and spent an evening denying that me and my girlfriend were together.

In my first year at Uni I went on the Leeds Snowriders trip to Val D’Isere. I had never snowboarded in my life before but my friend is a qualified snowboard teacher so he said he’d get me up to speed. Big mistake.

By ‘get me up to speed’ he meant show me what which end was which, and then take me with him and a group of other people he knew from his ski and snowboard instructors course.

At first it was fine, I got the hand of it pretty quickly and got to the bottom of my first red run in a couple of hours on the first day (despite a slightly hairy moment involving the edge of a cliff).

So I started getting a bit cocky and threw myself down everything in sight, taking a few nice chunky falls on the way. At one point I had a particularly surreal experience when I crashed into a midget.

Anyways, on day three I got down my first ever black run and I was quite proud of myself. Later that day I took one too many hits on the head and gave myself concussion and pretty serious amnesia. Despite the fact that I had been wearing a helmet the whole time.

For the rest of that day I had about a 20 second short term memory. I knew who I was and sort of had a vague idea of where we were but couldn’t remember much of anything that had happened in the last three weeks. I kept saying the same thing over and over as I forgot what I had just said. I also kept going on about the film ‘Memento’, which I’ve still never seen.

It was in these three weeks that my girlfriend and I had taken the plunge from being ‘just friends’ to the uncharted waters of ‘more than just friends’.

So in my damaged little mind we were still in the friend zone and I was pretty effusive to this effect, laughing in the face of anyone who told me things were otherwise.

As you can imagine the dear young lady in question was none to pleased to hear about this, especially as the tale was regaled to her thusly: “Jon got amnesia and forgot you were going out then he got off with a girl”. While the former claim may be true, the latter was nothing but calumny. Luckily she didn’t believe the cad who told her and all was well.

On Valentine’s Day it is important that you do not forget you have a girlfriend or she may well get a bit cross.

This is really weird, but Valentine’s Day was originally a celebration of chicken intercourse. Seriously. There was a conventional belief in England and France in the Middle Ages that on 14th February the birds began to pair off and mate. There’s a bit in Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules that says “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate”. Humans noticed this trend and decided to make it their own. Very peculiar.

Valentine’s is a pretty grim night to be going out. Most venues put an awful lot of pressure on people either to really get into it or to very conspicuously ignore it. You have to pick between either embracing the day and being all keen about trying to have sex with someone or participating in a sulky ‘Anti-Valentine’ and trying to have sex with someone to show how little you care about having sex with people.

It’s usually pretty easy to avoid, just stay in, but this year it’s on a Saturday. And there’s no reason why some dead guy (actually there were three St Valentines, and all of them were martyrs) should spoil a perfectly good night out.

So avoid any of this silliness and go to the utterly indifferent party put on by Mystic Brew at the lovely Smokestack club.

There will be the usual concoction of quality resident DJs from Asylum and Hang The DJ, there will be cheap drinks and this month entry is only £4 before 11 and £5 after. As usual they will be welcoming a high calibre guest, and in February your designated driver will be James Holroyd.

James is a proper legend. In 1992 he became one of the original residents at Back to Basics and a year later he joined forces with the Jockey Slut Magazine team to create the legendary night Bugged Out!

As in Bugged Out!, the guys who put on parties in places like Milan, Japan and Matter in London, and put out those quality mixes by guys like Simian Mobile Disco, Erol Alkan and Klaxons. He’s still a resident at Bugged Out! nights in Manchester.

A few years later Holroyd’s DJ style impressed Tom and Ed from the Chemical Brothers so much that he became their tour DJ. He’s played across the world in countries as diverse as Croatia, China, Malaysia and Australia.

On the 14th he will be in Leeds and he’ll be digging deep in his record box to play a set of disco, funk and rare house. Should be a good one.

Happy Chicken Sex Day everybody xxxx

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