EDitorial ± 15-Jun-2006

World Cup 2006, Day 7

Slumped into bed at 2:22am. Cycled back from station around 2am -- lively near Zest (ex-Kartouche, ex-Hollywoods) -- having been driven back from Colchester after catching the 00:18am from Liverpool Street. Laughed inappropriately when the worse-for-wear guy sleeping on the opposite seats fell onto the floor.

Had spent seven hours and several pounds in and around the Bull and Gate on Thursday for Frank Sidebottom's World Cup Extravaganza: yes, that odd fella with the papier-mache head, the nasal twang and a manifestly split personality. He's been on Match Of The Day, you know.

A motley mob gathered before two small tellies (wot no superscreen?) to watch England stutter their way to victory over Dwight Yorke and ten mates. There was free Monster Munch, half-time oranges and, for Crouch, unbridled abuse ... which morphed into unbounded admiration when he nodded in. Such fickle fans are we.

Fled for fresh air and fast food afore flipping back for Fractured, full of running but naive at the back. Quality start with We're The Support Band ("And we go on, and on, and on, and on, and on"), and I grew to love All My Conifers Are Dead while keeping one eye on the Sweden-Paraguay game. Left it late, Ljungberg.

Penultimately up were perennial chokers I, Ludicrous. Soccer set kicked off with Quite Extraordinary, taking in the "social history" and compelling riff of Three English Football Grounds with the mournful We Stand Around in midfield. I liked Danny Baker's Diary -- less light, more bitter, boys? -- and the room loved a Joy Division song adapted for Peter Crouch, He's Lost Control. Nice.

Finally, a record signing from Timperley Bigshorts, Frank Sidebottom. Terrific to have him back in ace & top form with a Twist & Shout singalong, a Queen selection requiring the Mercury moustache, and his story of a bidding war on ebay v. Little Frank for a Betamax copy of Planet Of The Apes. Full mastery of the Casio, too, with instant requests for Roger Robot and the Indie Medley -- grown men, who should have been home with their partners, were seen wiping away the tears.