Dear Dickheads

by James Glazebrook

Matthew Dear live

Matthew Dear was captivating last night – despite some serious distractions offstage.

Admittedly I’ve been a bit of a shut-in lately – a situation bound to worsen with the oncoming snow and Siberian (perhaps) winds – and I’ve never been the biggest fan of, well, people… but this was too much.

First, there were the dickheads. Or whatever they’re called here. Probably still “dickheads” as no doubt they’re either from <ahem> East London or Williamsburg. Whatever you call them, their Where’s Wally look of bobble hats over scruffy hair and ironic pattern jumpers is just BAD.

Dickheads I can handle. Living in London Fields, I was surrounded by them 24/7 and even dabbled in a bit of dickery myself (cf. jeggings / quiff).

It’s the willfully uncool people who really disturb. Particularly the 90s rave throwbacks that Berlin seems to attract, with their hoodies and dreads and baggy jeans. They looked like extras from the clubbing scene in Spaced, only there was nothing funny about it.

I suppose I should rejoice at the sight of a Gallagher-esque monkey man skinning up under a No Smoking sign, but the cynic in me believes that there’s such a thing as too much freedom, even here in the former Soviet Union.

I hope I learn to lose the cynicism. After all, one of the reasons we moved here is the culture (and economy) that encourages, fosters and allows creativity – and so we should embrace everything that comes along with it: unfettered freedom, genuine anarchism, honest revolutionary impulses, even reckless dressing.

But the guy with the hippie/punk haircut, wearing a jazzy afghan and tartan trousers is not helping…

This is a kind-of-review of Matthew Dear’s performance at Berghain/Kantine on 1st December 2010. For another cock-eyed (literally) look at the gig, see my Tumblr Gay For…