Curbing Your Enthusiasm: The manager brushes shoulders with the best of the music industry

A former Premier League manager approached us here at Tales and asked that we publish his diaries, so he could show the public what life is like out of the game. His only request was that he remained anonymous. Below is this week’s entry:

As some of you may or may not know, my older brother is a big shot in the music business. Occasionally, this means I am invited to parties or events that are filled with the best and brightest in the industry. I’ve met Roger Daltrey, Jimmy Page and Judas Priest (yes, all of them), with differing degrees of success.

This event was an album launch for one of the newer bands in my brother’s stable, The Sham. They’re a punk band that is hoping to revitalise the punk scene in Britain. They’re all young, angry men with a point to prove by railing against authority. Their frontman, Johnny Dingus, is the modern day Sid Vicious. The original singer, the much less impressively named Charlie Higgins, hasn’t been seen since 2010. Some say he was driven mad after watching Paraguay vs New Zealand at the World Cup. But legend has it that Dingus killed him in a duel outside a recording studio after a dispute over the band dress code.

I decided to take Jason Euell along with me. It’s not really Carol’s scene and Julie has started seeing her boyfriend an awful lot more recently. Jason and I can have a lads night out. I’m not talking about us getting all ‘Laddy Bantz’ and sexually harassing people, not that sort of lads night out. No, no, no. I mean two suave men, in sharp suits and smelling good. Musky.

We arrived at the old church that had been kitted out by my brother’s company. Huge red curtains were draped over the windows, fake candles made it look like the 1800s and the wooden Jesus at the back of the room was wearing a custom mask. The guitarist of the Sham, Billy Lemon, designs the outfits of the band, some of which feature masks. Sometimes the mask will be the head of an animal whereas other times it’s a strange face (think Mighty Boosh). Other times, they’re slightly more controversial. They were banned from taking the stage recently when Lemon tried to wear a mask adorned with an eyeless Theresa May. Very punk, but not appropriate for the One Show. Matt Baker was taken to hospital due to the shock.

Jason and I were welcomed by one of my brother’s assistants, Cassandra. She and Carol hit it off at a recent family gathering, so I was able to seamlessly slip into chat mode. She agreed to take us around and introduce us to some of the artists who were there at the launch.

‘That’s Bimmy Taylor,’ she said, motioning to a large individual that had a huge ginger afro and beard. In fact, his head looked like that of a lion, such was the size of his mane. You couldn’t tell where his hair stopped and his beard started. He was wearing double denim, which is normally fashion suicide, but it looked good on Bimmy.

As we passed by Bimmy, we saw many of the biggest musical bands and acts: Charl Le Danz, Biggity Bonus, Layabout Mike, Mass Affect, Phishmongers, Terrence Clamp, DJ Rinkydink, Billy and the Clonosaurus, PHAIL, Lady Bastard, Hoo Mamma, Badger Tony, Funky Rugga and the rest.

Cassandra took us through to the backstage area, where The Sham’s support band, the Little Treadmills were just about to go on. They were one of those shoegazing bands, all fringes and knitted jumpers. Jason said his kids were big fans, so he got a few photos of them looking grumpy. They only took a few before they were ushered onstage by one of Cassandra’s colleagues. They opened with a song called ‘Why did you buy me a Qarabag away shirt?’ which Jason informed me is actually about the virtues of communism.

We were now in the bowels of the Church, behind the pulpit where a makeshift changing room had been prepared for the band. However, Cassandra informed us they weren’t to be disturbed as they were in the middle of their pre-show meditation. Instead, she introduced us to Johnny Dingus’ partner, Sadie Penis.

Yes, I wrote that right. Sadie Penis is an enigma. When I was a kid, Bowie was revolutionary, with his androgynous dress sense and striking facial features. Sadie takes it to another level. She/he is yet to reveal her gender…or anything really. This isn’t a comment on gender identity or fluidity, she/he is only ever seen in public in a large metal box, with the name Sadie Penis scrawled over it. Some people think she/he’s a concept created by the record company. They assert that there’s no one in the box. But there they were. Right in front of us. Well, in a box anyways.

‘HELLO,’ they said. The voice sounded like several voices talking at once, some male, some female. Whoever was in there, they were using a vocoder or something. They had an aide monitoring a machine that was pumping something into the box. Apparently, Sadie doesn’t eat anything that has ever lived, instead surviving purely on a concoction of nutrients and chemicals that are combined into a gas and fed to her through a tube.

‘Hi…are you here to watch Johnny?’ I asked.

‘I AM. HIS ART PLEASES ME SO,’ they said, sliding towards the exit, ready to take their place to the side of the stage.

‘Can we come and join you?’ I asked


These pretentious arty types. I could just dress strangely and call myself Timmy Shapesmith and they’d bury me in Grammys.  (Note to self, create a persona called Timmy Shapesmith).

Jason and I stood next to Sadie off to the side of the stage as The Sham went on. They were dressed in true punk garb, all leather, big boots and dungarees. Other than Billy Lemon, who was wearing a mask of Phillip Schofield with ‘NONCE’ written on his head.

As the band went into their first song, ‘Nigel Farage is a rapist,’ the crowd began to go crazy. The group of young girls that had gathered behind us to watch the band tried to surge onto the stage. I attempted to hold them back, but I couldn’t stop them. I fell to my knees, the adolescents pouring past us. To my left, I heard a robotic scream, then a loud crash and a crunch.

Sadie Penis had fallen over. I looked at the box and saw it was open. The cogs in my brain were slowly turning, it took me a while to realise that Sadie was no longer in the box, she/he was the crumpled, naked heap on the floor. I looked down to see if I could recognise the individual in question.

It was Michael Owen.

‘Fuck me.’