I went to see Metallica last night. They're a pop group from the 80's who hate one another. I think I'm going through a bit of a musical mid-life crisis at the moment. I'm not interested in fast cars and even faster women and even faster houses, but I am listening to a lot of music that I loved as a teenager. Metallica, Anthrax, Marillion, Faith No More and Iron Maiden have all been overly played in my feeble attempt to return to a youth that I actually hated anyway. I met Metallica when I was 18 in a bar called the Omni in Oakland, California. It was the greatest/worst day of my young life. They were pretty much my favourite band at the time and there they were, being normal people, drinking normally in a normal bar. It was great because singer James Hetfield was the nicest man in the world and it was awful because drummer Lars Ulrich was a dickhead. 20 years later and I interviewed Lars Ulrich for MTV and time had not changed him a single bit. He looked youthful, energetic and he was a dickhead. Dickhead or not, though, his band rock jolly well. The gig was at the o2 Arena and it was full of other people clinging on to their youths, most of them had shown their true love of the works of Metallica by doing lots of little drawings on themselves and by being, incredibly, both long haired and bald at the same time. They played all the classics but also, remembering their middle-aged audience's bladders, enough from their new album to let us all go to the toilet frequently. They also played Stone Cold Crazy by Queen which made me very happy indeed. My good friend Ewan came with me. He's a proper musician who works with Ed Harcourt and Cerys Matthews, he loves Metallica and hates Manic Street Preachers. I like him.
I met up with Dan's Mersh and Tetsell before going to see Metallica and we mainly talked about the state of TV comedy. Justin Lee Collins seemed to be the main target of our abuse. The Dan's hadn't seen Bring Back Star Wars but they still had exactly the same opinion of it that I did. During this conversation I came to the conclusion that Channel 4 has gone to shit and is purposely trying to get on my wick. The Kevin Bishop Show, The Friday Night Project, fucking Fonejacker; what the fuck has happened to Channel 4? Why is it trying to compete with the very worst things on BBC3? I honestly preferred it when it was just the 4 logo swirling round and "We'll Be On Air Soon" was written at the bottom of the screen. It was way funnier. The conversation went on for about an hour. An hour of me winding myself up about comedy that I never intend watching. I was furious as I left. It was horrible. I mean, who goes to a Metallica concert angry?