Felt with-it enough to play some Civ yesterday ... just as well, as I finished my Clancy book and I think next on the pile is a biography of William Rufus which requires a little more thought power. I was a little disappointed with "The Teeth of the Tiger", though. Some of the techy bits strayed close to things I do know a little about - geek toys, mostly, like sat nav or laptops, rather than guns and other military things - and the way they were described was just slightly off. Nothing wrong, just the wording was wrong, the way the characters spoke about and interacted with things wasn't quite right. It came across like it does when someone of your parents' generation tries to talk like someone of your own generation (particularly when 'you' are a teenager) ... they might know the words, but they don't know how they fit in the sentences, what the flow and rhythm of the speech is. Of course this leaves me wondering if all the military/spy stuff is like that, just that I don't know any better ... or if it's just that the world has moved on and the author isn't as au fait with current tech. I also kept drawing parallels between the attitudes of the protagonists and the antagonists - and I wasn't sure if I was 'supposed' to be, in which case there was some neat satire there, or if it was unconscious, in which case it's rather wince-making. For instance there's a big deal made about how the terrorists have twisted Islam so that they feel that God justifies their actions ... but then we have one of the trainee assassins described as feeling that he's serving God by killing these people, which doesn't strike me as anything other than a twisting of Christianity in the same way. The protagonists never really felt at risk either ... off we go, murder another chap in the street, get away scot free in our Porsche, off to the next city to murder the next chap. Very disappointing, as I've really enjoyed Tom Clancy's books in the past (whilst being aware that they have their flaws, but the flaws were secondary to the virtues).
In the evening we went out to another gig - Ed had got tickets from a friend who couldn't use them, so it was for free :) It was in Colchester Arts Centre, which I've not been to before - I really liked the venue, it had atmosphere. The support band were My Latest Novel - who were fantastic. 5 person band, the drummer was just a drummer but everyone else sang and played at least 2 instruments at different points in the gig (sometimes within a song). The music was poignant, with the use and dis-use of harmony vocals adding to the mood they were creating.
Unfortunately the main band was Arab Strap. And I didn't enjoy their set at all - we bailed after 3 or 4 songs, because none of us were enjoying it much. The first two songs were a thudding wall of sound - I didn't feel I could distinguish any subtleties, any melody, any vocals, and I'm really not sure why they had a cello on stage, I couldn't hear what it was doing. It was all just rhythmic guitars and drums in sync pounding along. They stopped between songs, otherwise I'd've not been sure it was two songs. The next one, I could hear the words ... which normally improves things, I'm most often caught into songs if I can sing it (though this isn't always necessary - witness my enjoyment of the ¡Forward Russia! gig we went to on Sunday). Unfortunately I didn't much care for the vocal style of the singer (a sort of whiny croon) ... and the song itself was the sort of thing you'd expect a 14 year old kid to write, 'my girlfriend ditched me, she said she wanted to be friends and I got upset when it became clear she meant friends not going out, then my mum got mad at her and went round to beat her up coz she'd upset me, waaaaaaaaaaaah'. Maybe it was satire that I missed the point of. But overall - not my cup of tea at all.