Roll call: drunks, pugilists, argumentatives. The children run and scream about, dressed like hoodlums or cheap hookers, whilst on the street corner, the three men in their sombre suits bark unintelligible gibberish about Jesus into their dodgy, portable P.A. system.
I’m still not certain that I’ve got this city, understood it on any level beyond the fleeting. Perhaps it’s nothing more than an exclave of Dystopia, jutting out into the Atlantic and squaring up to the constant rush of low pressure hurled in by the jetstream, as if the city’s defining characteristics are those of the bar-room brawler, so high on adrenalin that the throbbing veins on his head are liable to explode any second. Which is perhaps apt, as one thing this city isn’t lacking is bar-room brawlers so high on adrenalin that the throbbing veins on their heads are liable to explode any second.
This is a city with a thriving music scene. Wonderful jangly guitars, thrusting lyrics. And yet when I consider a soundtrack to this urban dissonance I think of something abrasive, grainy, jagged, rain that doesn’t just fall in dark streets, but plunders…
Portishead / Machine Gun