Sunday, March 11, 2007
Paul's 40th birthday bash!
Friday evening was hectic to say the least! I arrived in London mid-afternoon and after a quick bit of shopping and a bite to eat I met up with Clare at the Phoenix for a drink. It's the first time I've seen Clare since our time at the BKKIFF last February, so it was good to catch up now that she's in London working for the BFI. I then met up with D as we'd been invited to a preview screening of Danny Boyle's Sunshine over at Fox HQ in Soho Square (full review to follow in due course) and I was delighted to be able to meet Gia at the reception afterwards to thank her personally and to discuss the film. Then it was back to the Phoenix to help celebrate Paul McEvoy's upcoming 40th birthday! As always, Paul was the life and soul of the party and he seemed genuinely chuffed with the signed Hold Steady single and drumsticks that I'd got for him.
Sadly we'd already missed Alan Jones and Ian Rattray but there were plenty of other familiar faces at the party; FrightFest regulars Amanda, Paul, Kevin and Ian were good company as always, plus there was Louise, Michael and Laura who'd come down for the Matt Berry gig last week, and it was nice to catch up with old acquaintances like Jake West (Evil Aliens) and Chris Smith (Severance). Paul also introduced me to Ian Nathan and a couple of the writers from Empire magazine and I happily chatted to them for a short while. A little later on Mike and Kat turned up with Simon Rumley (The Living And The Dead) in tow, and then things really started to get a bit messy...
I was having such a laugh with D and Simon that I couldn't bear to leave the party early, so I compromised by cutting down on my drinks but electing to stay and get the 4am train home. In our less-than-sober states we managed to collar James McAvoy (no relation) who'd managed to find the secret booth in the corner next to us and he was very friendly and happy to pose for a couple of pictures. I also ended up chatting to Carl (the man behind the excellent Ban The Sadist Videos! documentary), a certain short film and ad director by the name of Duncan Jones, and I finally got to meet Paul's best friend Julian - so it was a very sociable and enjoyable occasion, save for the one annoying drunk bloke who'd lost his bag and kept stumbling around bothering everyone. Typically my train journey home involved a replacement bus service due to engineering works, so I didn't get back to Brighton until 6am... not ideal with a ten hour shift at work looming!