Read the small print, yo

I was fooling around on lastfm the other week when I came across an upcoming concert from Naughty by Nature, on the same day as my birthday. Ha! I thought... in terms of Hungarian hip-hop shows, Naughty by Nature is exactly what I’ve come to expect - rappers pushing forty, in the twilight of their careers, out East for a big(gish) payday.

Whenever something like this pops up on the radar, I’m minded to check the promoters and DJs, after the debacle which was Nas’ show last June. Scheduled for Studio Events Hall, a full house was kept waiting a long time -‘he’s coming,‘ ‘he’s in the building,‘ ‘he’s on his way to the building,’ ‘Nas is in the building’ ’NAS IS… on his way to the building!' 'Nas is in Budapest!' 'Nas is...' Christchurch.

Eventually, the same man who had been popping up from time to time with these ridiculous announcements appeared again at 2 am to inform us that the King of New York wouldn't be turning up. The exact details about this were, and are, cloudy. At the time, we were told Nas had run away from his hotel in the middle of the night, wearing a big stripy burglar costume, carrying a bag of swag.

What's probably more accurate is that both promoter and performer let each other down. Nas claimed that he was lied to about the size of the hall, the sound was rubbish, and was promised things that never materialised. The promoters called him a criminal, who had been pulling out of shows all around Europe. Who was responsible ultimately, doesn't matter... the treatment the audience received from both parties was unacceptable. Your Nas tickets are valid for next month’s Snoop Dogg gig, we were told. What tickets? They’d been collected at the door.

The same people are involved with Naughty by Nature - among them DJ’s Zefil and Nadir (‘the low point of everything, the time of greatest depression’ according to Webster’s), whose reputation I‘m told, precedes them. Whether the same thing will happen again… hopefully not. And, this isn’t meant to be an attempt at scaremongering. It’s just that even though we've got your back, it’s best to watch your front, 'cos it’s the niggas in front, they be pullin' stunts...' etc.

I certainly won't be going... but h
aving said that, this song is dope. Check it.

Andy T

There’s no denying that my neighbourhood, Kiraly utca, is moving up in the world. We have the swanky new Central Passage, which doesn’t lead anywhere special, the four star Hotel Carat, and as of last week, the city’s newest, most pompous hotspot (Donatella’s Kitchen), where the lights are made from antlers.

Imagine my surprise then, when on Friday afternoon I stepped out of my front door to find the streets awash with bric-a-brac. It was refreshingly ridiculous - a stained mattress occupied the doorway across from Donatella’s, a doll with a smashed head lay near Hotel Carrot, and a homeless man trundled a rubbish-filled trolley past Central Passage.

It was my district’s first Garbage Throwaway Day for 2008, the twice yearly opportunity for residents to step out of their house into a pile of junk. Chairs, tables, sofas, televisions, bookcases, toilets and planks all lie there, waiting to be snapped up by scavengers or collected by orange-vested men from the city council.

These rubbish festivals last for around thirty-six hours, and as far as I can tell, are an opportunity for people to toss out unwieldy household items, things they might otherwise have had difficulty disposing of. Not that anyone pays too much attention to that... I spied a few things that looked perfectly wieldy… a used nappy, for example, which could have been wielded directly into an upstairs bin. A newspaper from 2005. A torn picture of Roberto Carlos. A Trivial Pursuit board, with a corner missing. A pair of over-exposed family photos. Dolls. Foam. String….

By the second evening, the piles always start to look rather forlorn - only the rubbish rubbish is left, and just the desperate are still digging through it. This Saturday evening on Kiraly, bemused tourists were stepping gingerly over broken glass and around the empty shells of televisions. Rubbish piles stretched up the street, like a series of unlit bonfires.

Then, on Sunday morning, they'd gone, and Garbage Throwaway Day was over for another six months. Call me sour, but I enjoyed this particular one, if only because it succeeded in taking some of our more upmarket neighbours down a peg or two. I'd even say I learnt something this weekend... no matter how you dress yourself up, pretending to be classy/special is a damn sight harder if a fat man is at your front door, beating the crap out of a television.

Andy T.


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