Gangs – Do Nothing (2019, Tugboat Records, Taken from ‘Gangs EP’)
Sometimes, it’s the little, mundane things in life that give you a sense of extraordinary pleasure. Sometimes the devil is in the detail, the minutiae, the small print if you like. This folks in why I have been standing pretty much statue still for the last 45 minutes watching a solitary piece of beetroot.
I’ll explain. I am at Birmingham New Street station. I have arrived about an hour early for my train back to the West Country. I am stood in front of the massive set of display screens looking to see what platform I need (11b, for the Francois Bourgeois fans out there). I am casually snacking on a packet of sweet chilli crisps when a man walks past me chomping on a sandwich. About three seconds later a huge piece of beetroot falls out of the sandwich and lands with what I suspect was a satisfying plonk on the floor – I don’t think chappie has realised because he strolls off towards the shops without a care in the world.
Now it might be that I have an hour to wait, it might be that I am a bit bored, but I am utterly enthralled by this solitary piece of beetroot, especially when about a minute later, a man with a wheely trolley narrowly avoids it. An act that just fuels my attention, this place is packed, soon, someone will tread on that beetroot I tell myself, or someone’s wheely trolley will run it over and it will drag a purple-y line across the white floor of the concourse. So, I watch, willing people who are ignorantly looking at the phones to tread on it. I wonder how long it will be before it happens.
Its about five minutes as it happens, an old lady dragging a suitcase towards Mark and Spencers (where I suspect the beetroot first came from) catches it with a wheel and sends it about twenty centimetres to the left – a streak sits behind it, she is completely oblivious to it. I am slightly disappointed because what I wanted was for the beetroot to get stuck to here wheel and for a purple line to follow her around causing chaos.
Nothing else happens for about seven minutes, well I say nothing, lots of people walk past. The tiny fission of excitement I get when someone narrowly misses the beetroot bemuses me. Then a gaggle of giggling women enter the picture, they are all wearing identical Tshirts that tells the world that “Sarah is 50 today”. I tell myself that Sarah must be the shouty lady carrying the massive balloon that has “50” stamped on it in gold – I congratulate myself on my excellent observational skills when ten seconds later a lady yells to Sarah “Do you want to go to the ‘Spoons for some prosecco Sarah?” (now this conjures up an entirely different set of opinions in my mind, the main one being how awful Prosecco from a Wetherspoons would be – I mean its disgusting enough anyway.). I look up at the ceiling, and say a silent prayer to Jeremy, God of Misfortune, please let Sarah stab the beetroot with the heel of her stiletto and drag it across the concourse. Please it is her birthday. It’s a long shot, but I’m almost shaking with nerves as Sarah totters towards the beetroot unaware of its existence. Please. Please. I mumble to myself.
It doesn’t quite happen, but her mate behind her does tread on it. There are three wonderful beetroot coloured splodges on the floor and just after the third one sits the beetroot, it being dislodged from underneath a cheap looking shoe. It is a bit squashed now, but I am rather proud of it. I move to my left a bit so I can watch the beetroot a bit more, but the splodge marks have caught the eye of the maintenance team and suddenly without any warning, the dustpan brush is out and the beetroot is swept away, a small purple mark is all that remains. I pick up my bag, I toy with the idea of walking to Marks and Spencers and buying a tub of ready cooked beetroots and just idly dropping a bit every twenty paces or so, I think better of it and head to platform 11b.
Do Nothing are, despite being named after a Specials song, a post punk four piece from Nottingham who write excellent songs about crooks, bastards, Marge Simpson and Lebron James. There is very little to not like about them. They sit comfortably in the “Bands who sound like The Fall and LCD Soundsytem” bracket and they come recommended.
Lebron James – Do Nothing (2020, Exact Truth Records Taken from ‘Zero Dollar Bill EP’)
Contraband – Do Nothing (2020, Exact Truth Records, Taken from ‘Zero Dollar Bill EP’)
…ing bands will be back in the New Year.