Depending on your mileage, a product release event is either the glitzy highlight of your social calendar or a harrowing exercise in rose-tinted squalor and desperation. It’s also a bloody odd place to find The National playing, but there you go. Money moves in mysterious ways.
This particular event is in aid of some new corporate doo-hicky/service/boringboringboring… at the Oxo Tower, which sadly was not a filled with delicious, delicious gravy.
Anyway, the venue is shiny, well-lit, with a full view of the river and basically a hub for tossers everywhere. There are actually servants bobbing about with bottles to refill your glass and offering trays of CAN-O-PEAS. This is it. This is the opulent, sophisticated goal everyone in Western culture should be aiming for. Actually if you have even a shred of common decency it will rank as one of the worst moments in your life.
Attention! Achievement ‘Feel Like a Total Cunt’ is now complete! You can view this achievement in your Inhumanity Trophy Cabinet.
By way of a pre-game warm-up, the crowd’s attention is directed toward a small runway near the back of the room where a fashion show is about to be run. The words to describe this peculiar and unwarranted parade of dietary problems and HAWT-COOL-TURE are ‘sad’ and ‘bewildering’. Seriously. It’s confusing. Why would you want a clothes horse that can move around? You’d never know where your jumper was from one minute to the next.
Since it seems the walls are steadily closing in and that the guests are steadily more and more coming to resemble Thompson-esque man/lizard monstrosities, it’s obvious that not getting absolutely hammered is completely out of the question. Why thank you, sir, yes I’ll have another… Except rather than the comforting blanket of oblivion, we get a steady ratcheting up of paranoia meter until it’s taking a startling presence of will not to grab a champagne flute and dash it into the cheek of the nearest prada-clad tosser in a state of terrified fury.
With startling percipience The National decide upon this moment to take to the stage to play… an acoustic set? It’s pretty much the course rules for an intimate gig. It must be bloody odd to be a band of some repute, be invited to a bizarre one-off party to play a room full of people where 80% of them have no idea or interest in what’s going on. You so wish they’d go full force and blast the whole room apart, but they don’t. Atleast they look like they’re having fun just playing their instruments and there are a bunch of lucky die-hards in the audience who apparently go in under honest means. Of course, some members of the audience were drunk and can’t remember too much of it and were apparently being TOO LOUD (Definitely not the narrative voice though, that’s out of the question).
BONUS ROUND! HUNGRY ONION MULTIPLIER! DO KASHITEIRU! NICOLA ROBERTS PLAYS A DJ SET!
It seems utterly ludicrous, the perfect set up for a miserable cynical tosser with too much time on his hands and a wordcount to fill… Except she’s a nice enough girl actually, if a bit frail and bewildered looking. It didn’t even take too much cajoling to get her to pose with an arsehole ‘journalist’ under false pretences. I’ll be blowed it she was actually doing anything other than looking pretty though.
Her ‘set’, however, did conclude with the playing of ‘Killing in the Name Of.’ Which may well be the most ironic event in the history of the human endeavour. And what was later reported to the media as ‘Anarchy on the dance floor‘. Jesus. Christ. Where do these people come from?
In case you were in doubt over how much of goddamn winner in life you are, each guest was also provided with a free goodie-bag containing some truly mind-blowing booty: