Bethnysium

Aug. 25th, 2013 02:36 pm
commonpeople1: (Default)

Sitting in a pub on Bethnal Green Rd, drinking cider and listening to classic soul. About to watch Matt Damon's (read his name as said on Team America) Elysium. Took an hour to walk here. Spent 707 calories. Boyfriend is nearby, writing in his journal.

The people looking from outside are just looking at their own reflections... or taking selfies.

commonpeople1: (Default)
Veronica Falls @ Scala by Park012
Veronica Falls @ Scala, a photo by Park012 on Flickr.
Three shocking things I learnt about [livejournal.com profile] zenithed last night at Veronica Falls' gig at the Scala:
  • He's never seen a Friday 13th movie ("They look rubbish so I never bothered")
  • He's never played any JRPG (Final Fantasy, etc)
  • He thinks I'm growing a moustache
We met before the gig at a nearby pub called King's Cross Social Club, with Britpop on the speakers and some decent beer on tap. He didn't believe me when I said Shed Seven have quite a few good songs.

We arrived at the Scala just as Nutella Novella started their support act. I'm still reminded of Smashing Pumpkins when I hear them, but they've definitely moved their sound now to shoegaze waters (with new fringe bangs to match.)

Second support band was terribly-named Male Bonding - four Shoreditch blokes going for a Grunge sound. Terrible.

By the time Veronica Falls took to the stage, I had four pints sitting in my empty stomach. It was over too soon and the new songs didn't leave much of an impression.

We lost Zenithed on the way out and [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale then pressured me into eating some Burger King because he'd "only nibbled on celery" that day. Back at home, the bed span whenever I closed my eyes so I had to sit in the living room and watch Poker Games on Channel 5 until I was good enough to sleep.

Woke up this morning to no water in the flat, including the toilet's cistern. Joy.
commonpeople1: (Default)
I was by the photocopier this morning when one of the directors came up to me and asked how I was doing.  Fine and you? I replied. "So I hear you are the best temp we have ever had," she said. That made me stumble. Really? I mumbled something about this being a quiet time and my luck at not having many tasks to deal with.  It made me feel so good about myself the rest of the day.

Then this night I thought, maybe she says this to all temps?  Not that she doesn't mean it, but, as a very cunning woman (as most women are) she noticed I was a little too quiet, a little too set in keeping one foot out of the door, and this was her way of lifting me up and making me feel more part of the team (as all temps before me?)  Women are smart creatures...

I went to Boddington Café for lunch with colleagues.  It apparently used to be a squat ages ago before being turned into a very affordable vegetarian/vegan restaurant.  It was delicious, with a great atmosphere. Highly recommended if you are in the Vauxhall area.

On Sunday, I met old colleagues from King's College for brunch at Soho Townhouse. A bit too expensive for my taste but the breakfast was good.  Rupert Everett was sitting in one corner with a pair of good looking (gay) men.  One of my friends thought she spotted Billy Zane with his parents, but I had a look and I'm not convinced it was him.

On Saturday, I hung out with [livejournal.com profile] loveinsuburbia, [livejournal.com profile] neenaw and [livejournal.com profile] king_prawn at the Pig Ear's Beer and Cider Festival, in Hackney. It was interesting. Our sport was to sit in the second floor circle and try to spot gay people in the crowd.  Later, I went back to Flapping Central and drank some more, ate some dodgy pizza (I swear I'm never eating spicy chicken takeaway EVER AGAIN), and talked back at the X Factor.  Flapping Central's wi-fi is called Scrotum.
commonpeople1: (Default)
Dum Dum Girls by Marc Lindsay-Scott
Dum Dum Girls, a photo by Marc Lindsay-Scott on Flickr.
On Thursday night I saw the Dum Dum Girls live at ULU. On Friday night I went to a fetish gathering in Camden.

It had been many years since I'd been to a gig in ULU. The space felt small, more enclosed. The crowd was a mixture of students, middle aged men who collect the NME, the gays and girls dressed like the Pipettes. If the Dum Dum Girls were a British band, their gig would have been somewhere in the EastEnd.



The first band - Novella - consisted of three girls on guitars and bass, plus a tattooed bespectacled boy playing the drums. They were a cross between early Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt and Slowdive. They were taciturn but great.

Oh Brian by Novella.



Glaswegian band Veronica Falls plundered earlier years than Novella: Sarah Records and the Primitives with more contemporary dashes of Camera Obscura. Two boys, two girls - again, a very good band with a tight, energetic sound that is better live than their recently released album. The Dum Dum Girls came out of their dressing room to watch their set and dance around a little. Later, during their own set, they dedicated one of their songs to them.

Bad Feeling by Veronica Falls

The Dum Dum Girls set was very professional and straight forward, but slightly cold. 50s pop rock and roll with Ramones haircuts. This review in the Ladies Toilet is spot on, though I would add that the reason why they didn't set the stage on fire was because they knew, at the back of their minds, that this was the bass player Bambi's last gig: they made the announcement towards the end and brought out champagne and flowers. It was visible that this was a sad thing for the rest of the band. Someone in the audience asked why Bambi was leaving and it sounds like she's going off to start a family.

The only time the crowd really came alive was when they played their cover of the Smith's "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". All in all though, I really liked the gig; I stood to the side with [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale, drinking Carlsbergs and nodding away at the songs - exactly what I wanted to do that night.

Yesterday, after completing my first shift at my new temp job, I met a friend in Camden and attended the Camden Crunch, a "vanilla" fetish night that happens once a month in a pub near the market.

Some people were in fetish gear but the majority looked "normal". I wondered whether they were looking at me and trying to guess what I was into. (I kept following my friend around and agreeing to all her suggestions - maybe they thought I was her new playing?) ;-)

We drank some whisky and chatted to people who were very friendly and jovial. The music was cheesy and the place started filling up fairly quickly. A few people introduced themselves to me out of the blue; if I didn't have my bag and wasn't wearing office clothes I might have been tempted to stay longer.

If you want a chilled out night with a good mixture of perverts people, where you might end up making friends, I recommend you check it out: Camden Crunch.

Lazy

Aug. 29th, 2011 02:18 pm
commonpeople1: (Default)
I'm lying in bed, under the covers, listening to my iTunes on shuffle and reading a crime novel by Miyuki Miyabe, "All She Was Worth". I'm craving pasta with meat balls after a tweet I read (I'm occasionally checking online through my iPhone.) I'll pop out in a sec to get food from the corner store and then watch a film in bed with [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale. I also feel like playing videogames and reading C.J. Lines' "Cold Mirrors". It's that sort of bank holiday Monday.

I'm slightly hung over from hanging out with various friends last night (at the Victoria, at the Empress of India, at the Inn on the Park.) I feel like watching brasilian soap operas, I feel like having a glass of water.
commonpeople1: (Default)
We came in from the heat and sat down at a corner table covered with cowboy comic strips from the 50s. A man in the corner played a trumpet until a basil-scented pizza on a platter arrived for him from the kitchen.

The girl behind the bar wore lipstick that was slightly too red for her face - as vivid as the cowboy's shirt on the comic strip. We rested our drinks on the cartoons - beer, lemonade, Coke - and pulled out our notebooks and pens for a spontaneous creative writing exercise brought about by hours of talks on literature and art in a nearby park.

We were grateful for the fresh breeze that came into the pub from all the open windows.

After the trumpetist was done with his pizza, he picked his instrument up again and was joined by a man at the piano. We stopped our writing to clap every time they completed a song. Then we were back into our pages, the cartoon smiles from the American Wild West peeking at us from underneath our notebooks. More people arrived and the clink of glasses from the bar counter, and the chatter from outdoor tables, rose whenever there was a pause in the free jazz.

Vicky said we could be in Italy.


commonpeople1: (Car)
The Severed Limb Woo Eee Ha Ha!

The Severed Limb, Woo Eee Ha Ha!, 2010
I heard The Severed Limb for the first time in February this year when they played a gig at the Victoria. There was a bouncy, joyous feel to their rockabilly skiffle that was infectuous and I've been keeping an eye out for more of them ever since. Woo Eee Ha Ha! is their first release, an EP of four (very good) tracks with kinda funny lyrics.  The accordion in "Shake It Senora" had me thinking of Yann Tiersen while the guitar in "Making Out On The Couch" is pure Chris Isaak.  I like how The Severed Limb have a completely American sound yet their subject is London Town or the idiots of the EDL (English Defence League). Ultimately, though, they sound as if they just want to have fun.

The EP cover says to play it loud. And so I did... can't wait for the long player!

// The Severed Limb

// Spotify
commonpeople1: (Karaoke)
I held my first X Factor party yesterday. Friends met [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale and I at the Victoria pub in the afternoon, where we spent a good amount of hours chatting about vajazzles, people who sleep with corgis, trips to Berlin, upcoming karaoke and Nicola Roberts' pending solo career (which I think will be the best one out of all Girls Aloud). The great thing about the Victoria is that the music is never loud and you can hear all the conversations going on around you. It also helps that they continue to play stuff that I love like Siouxsie, 50s rockabilly and alternative gems from the 80s.

At 7.30pm, just as an indie band was getting ready to take to the stage, we hurried back to our flat - past a cornershop for more booze - and arrived with a few minutes to spare before the show started. I'd forgotten how the view of London from our balcony impresses people - I'm so used to it by now - and it made me realise how we should throw a party here one of these days. Everyone settled down, pizzas were ordered, and one hilarious comment after another came out on the performances on the telly[1]. This sort of weekend entertainment makes its most sense when shared with others.

Once everyone left, the alcohol seemed to suddenly take its effect and everything spun when I closed my eyes. Woke up at 2am and couldn't go back to sleep so pottered round the flat until 8am then slept till nearly midday. Went for a coffee and lunch with my brasilian friend Vini Bambini, played a bit of Nintendo and I'm now killing time online until the X Factor's results come in. Then it's a movie before bedtime and the start of another work week.

Read more... )
commonpeople1: (14 yrs old)

Helium and Eggs
Originally uploaded by olliefern
We went to the Victoria yesterday for a special Catapulte night: two of the label's bands - Helium & Eggs and No Cars - supporting the visit of german band Curlee Wurlee. God, I love that pub. The banana and double chocolate beer, the rockabilly soundtrack before the bands took to the stage, the comfortable hanging out amidst the growing crowd. I'm so glad we have it at our doorstep.

Helium and Eggs were the first ones up and they debuted some pretty good songs. A few reminded me of the American band Girls. Others had the french pop flavour of their earlier stuff. They were then followed by No Cars, a trio of Japanese girls who like to talk dirty to the audience and pretend they are visiting the UK for just one gig. There's a hint of Yoko Ono to their screaming and Shonen Knife to their rocking (heads up [livejournal.com profile] yaruar !) but it's all forgivable thanks to great experimental pop songs and winning smiles.

The last band, Curlee Wurlee, had a manic 60s pop sound but they weren't helped by a sound mixer who decided to raise their mics and crack our heads with a crumbling wall of sound.

I chatted with the organisers of Hackney's March of the Dead (London's best Halloween party) and they want to do a Dance March this year in Gillette Square. It would involve people learning the routine beforehand through videos up on YouTube and workshops - we were invited to participate in the videos.

More photos here of the gig last night.

I start a new job this week. I'm taking it easy this weekend so that all cold symptoms are out of my body by the time I climb that morning commuter train on Monday.
commonpeople1: (Beer)

Lauriston, South Hackney, E9
Originally uploaded by Ewan-M
The Lauriston was packed yesterday. If we had arrived an hour earlier, perhaps we would have got a table, pizzas and drinks for the rest of the night while [livejournal.com profile] desayuno_ingles hogged the stage with Nina Simone, Sugababes and Dolly Parton. But, as it was, we stood with our pints by the bar, people pushing past every second, the loud drunk laughter drowning out the singing, pizzas back and forth under our hungry noses, and we couldn't do anything except shout conversation at each other. We lasted only a few songs before heading for the posh chippie round the corner.

Then, instead of hitting another pub, we bought cans of beer and cider to take back to our place and watch American Gigolo. But the world needed to be put to right, and so we fixed all its malaise until 2 am while listening to Morrissey, The Shins and bad 90s music for the cringe memories (Whatever happened to Barenaked Ladies, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Hootie and the Blowfish and Del Amitri?) Did you know Grooveshark has as much music as Spotify for free, but no ads? Must transpose my playlists from Spotify to Grooveshark and see if nothing gets missed. I get the feeling more poppy mainstream stuff is not available on Grooveshark, but they seem to have a good archive of everything else.

We've been invited for lunch today by Silky Bonaduchi and a friend of ours from up North. They're preparing some type of fish dish. If the weather holds, we'll then go for a walk by the river.
commonpeople1: (Karaoke)

Feel with Jaqueline
Originally uploaded by Kecko
[livejournal.com profile] desayuno_ingles will arrive anytime soon with her husband. They'll leave their bikes in our apartment and we'll head to the Lauriston, a pub just north of Victoria Park. There's a karaoke thing-a-ma-jig going on tonight: with hosts, a spinning wheel and a huge song catalog. [livejournal.com profile] desayuno_ingles will sing tons of songs while we down pints and eat delicious pizza.

I must be strong and not climb the stage.
commonpeople1: (George O'Brien)

DYNASTY
Originally uploaded by PEPE CARDOSO
I went for a drink with [livejournal.com profile] etre_moral on Monday in a lovely pub near Hampstead Heath and he turned to me to ask: "So how are you? I know plenty about your cultural life, but how are things with you?" And that was a good question: I know I haven't been sharing much here or when I see people in real life; I know I've been feeling like nothing is going on, that life is just pottering on as [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale visits his family in Canada and I live for Fridays.

So what's going on? Well, I'm currently watching Dynasty[1] on YouTube (from a channel pointed at by [livejournal.com profile] fj many moons ago that has every single episode uploaded to it) and downloading episodes of the brasilian soap Passione. I've been reading four books at the same time. I've been playing the Wii for the first time after my landlady lent me hers while she goes on holiday for two weeks. I've been listening to podcasts on my bus rides to work. I've been going to the gym on my way back.

I'm still on that temp job - feeling grateful for the money but at the same time getting slightly tired with the admin and thinking it's time to get my ass in gear with the job search. Two weeks ago, I went for work drinks and ended up staying late with my line manager. She offered me 4 days a week, perm, so I can use my 5th day to take a horticulture certificate at Regent's Park. I spoke to Wink today on Skype and he thinks it's a good idea but... I don't know if I can handle the mind-numbing admin for a whole year - no matter what my long term goals are for afterwards.

On Saturdays, I'm still going to that community garden. It just gets better and better. Last week I brought home potatoes, onions, spinach and green beans. It's been good for quite a few meals. And as I get to know the other gardners better, the conversations get more interesting, the jokes better and the plans for the future more exciting. It's a special place and I'm so glad I found it. I must remind myself of this feeling every Saturday morning when I feel lazy and just want to laze around with the Guardian and my Spotify playlists.

[1] [livejournal.com profile] petercampbell recently wrote a great post on kitsch and its definition - a far better explanation than the one I carried with me from Milan Kundera. It coincided with [livejournal.com profile] millionreasons pointing at a Milan Kundera quote on kitsch with an image from Dynasty that got me thinking... was Dynasty kitsch? The first season certainly is (I'm on the first episode and it's so laughable I want to smoke a joint) but I get the feeling that the appearance of Joan Collins in the second season tilted it towards camp (and therefore, as by Peter Campbell's definitions, instantly removing the kitsch from the series.) I guess there's only way for me to find out if that's the case: FIGHT!

commonpeople1: (Paris)
If you ever happen to be in the Shadwell/Limehouse area (London's Docklands) or you want somewhere unusual to go for a cup of coffee, a meal and a spot of art, then I highly recommend the Wapping Project. It used to be Wapping's Hydraulic Power Station and much of the original equipment and building features are still there. In the back, there's a large warehouse type room where different art projects get showcased from time to time.

Wapping Project Bookshop

We visited the Wapping Project last weekend because [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale thought there was a bookshop on its roof. The bookshop is actually on the lawn outside the building, with pillows and chairs scattered about for you to read or drink your coffee/tea in peace.

Wapping Project Cappuccinos

I've been enjoying this summer but I'm no fool in thinking London doesn't need some rain soon. We lay in the park yesterday and all the grass was brittle and dry. Brought back memories of that summer a few years back when everything got scorched and some people passed away because of the heat. That would be terrible! In my ideal world, it rains all week during the day and the nights are balmy and quiet; during the weekends we get lovely sunny weather up there in the 40s Celsius. Wouldn't that be perfect?

On Friday, we had some drinks with [livejournal.com profile] rosamicula and her friends in Saff London because she's soon off to somewhere that rains all week, has balmy and quiet nights, and the weather can go up to the 40s: Sri Lanka! Or at least that's my guess of what Sri Lanka is like. I didn't think I'd know anyone apart from Rosamicula at the gathering (in a beer garden at the end of Lower Marsh), but quite a few recognisable (and one or two infamous) faces were present. It was a particular pleasure to speak to [livejournal.com profile] stickette, who has known Rosamicula since they were 11, as well as catch up with [livejournal.com profile] arkady. Arkady got to meet Wink and our table had some lively discussions on aluminium-made arrows, Sherlock Homes, and a whole lot more - we even rebelled and refused to move when Rosamicula came around and told us we should go sit on the side of the garden that was well lit. I was drinking on an empty stomach all night and unaware until then we were all sitting in darkness.

Today, I'm dropping by Rosamicula's at some point to borrow all her french books. I'm taking care of them while she's in Sri Lanka until 2011.



Scenes from "Chorus" and a brief wander in Canary Wharf afterwards. "Chorus" is a piece by the British collective United Visual Artists, presented at the Wapping Project (16 June - 18 July 2010). Soundtrack is Motoi Sakuraba's "Floating in the Air" (unrelated to "Chorus").

(I really really need to get a new camera.)
commonpeople1: (Log Lady)
When I left work yesterday, I started entertaining this fantasy of throwing a party at The Victoria pub - the kind of party where a band is on stage while all the attendees arrive dressed up (in tuxedos, as cowboys, 40s gangsters - whatever the theme dictates.) This fantasy then took me back to the night we saw The Severed Limb play The Victoria - a really good show, but poorly attended.

A few blocks later, who was standing at the same bus stop I catch the No. 8 home? The singer from The Severed Limb, dressed up like Johnny Cash and holding a guitar case. That threw me off a little. Psychic moment? Or do coincidences exist? The questions didn't go any further because the universe threw me another curve ball with the appearance of Darnell from Big Brother 9. Before my mind could find the secret connection between their simultaneous presences, their buses arrived and they were gone.

Wink and I are not in the mood for gardening this morning. But it's nice outside - it would be a shame to spend it indoors.
commonpeople1: (Default)

The Haggerston
Originally uploaded by olliefern
I really needed some alcohol yesterday. And I got it, in the form of a delicious pint of Guiness at the Haggerston (previously Sam's Bar) on Kingsland Road, followed by bottled lager in Passing Clouds, where friends joined me for an evening of films and conversation. I needed all the distraction I could get from this data entry temp job I landed in March. It's not the end of the world, but it sure is boring me already.

Do you know what is permaculture? I didn't until last night, and now I'm  glad I attended Naturewise's Permaculture Picture House, where two films were shown on the topic of growing food and forests. One of them is a fairly recent production - The Agro Rebel - focusing on an Austrian farmer and the sustainable farming practice he introduced into his community; and the other was a British-Canadian animation from the 80s about a French man who loved to plant trees and eventually helped create a national park. I thought this last one was based on a true story but, alas, I was wrong.

I love Passing Clouds and was happy that [livejournal.com profile] blu_bear , [livejournal.com profile] denalyia , [livejournal.com profile] woodsrule and her boyfriend T also enjoyed the place. Plans were made for a future weekend excursion, when the ground floor has live music, and [livejournal.com profile] blu_bear and I came to the conclusion that it would be worthwhile following up on one of the courses on offer, and definitely going back for the next Picture House in April.

Claptrap

Feb. 7th, 2010 05:24 pm
commonpeople1: (Cormac)

the delightful "Severed Limb"
Originally uploaded by Panja
I just finished reading an excellent novel set on the waters of the Mississippi in 1857, filled with steamships, drawls, gamblers, whores, slaves and - believe it or not - vampires. I sometimes like to listen to music that enhances the mood of a book; it dawned on me last night at the Victoria pub that The Severed Limb go perfectly with this novel, Fevre Dream. Their self-described skiffle sound has that rockabilly mood of the south, even in their Johnny Cash covers. And they have skinny boys in black dancing to their tunes.

They were a great, little surprise, and I'm sure that their song "The Girl from Bethnal Green Road" only promises more chances to see them locally in the near future.



Afterwards, there was a burlesque performance and by that stage it dawned on my drunk mind that it was my first one too. Dance, tits, then a quick run to the ladies to put the clothes back on. The pub never got full - most people there seemed to be mates with the band or the staff - but there was a general air of friendliness that only encourages returns. (Yesterday was the first time I sat through a whole show at the Victoria.) Somebody must twist Zombina and the Skeletones arms until they agree to play there.

I also saw [livejournal.com profile] desayuno_ingles yesterday, who was in the neighbourhood to pick up her sowing maching at Sew Amazing. We took her to Broadway Market for some lunch and had a brief look at the new shop/gallery that opened on Mare Street: The Last Tuesday Society. One of the staff was one of those people that proclaim outloud "I wonder how I'll die. Probably from an overdose" and there was a gray parrot observing everyone quietly by the front door - not to be confused with the various stuffed animals about the place.

I spoke to my mom on the phone and it looks very likely we'll move to Brasil for six months at the end of the summer.
commonpeople1: (Clarice)
It's been a real pleasure walking up and down Regent's Canal this past week, the path nearly all to myself. The usual cyclists that love speeding down it as if their jobs were a matter of life and death clearly don't have the guts for a bit of deadly black ice. Sadly, though, the canal is now attracting people fascinated by its spontaneous ice rink quality, and this means that anything heavy, and preferably metallic, is game. First went old bottles, discarded toys and dismantled bicycles that lined the path or the nearby streets. Now they've started ripping off the garbage bins placed by benches. It brings out the Daily Mail reader in me. I was thinking today if maybe Singapore's iron-gloved right-wing government got it right: spit chewing gum on the pavement, pay up a hefty fine; vandalise public property, get caned and left with a nice red scar across your ass cheeks.

What bothers me is that London's canals could be cleaner, home to more fishes and wild plants. But they are littered instead with traffic cones, tires and all sorts of other garbage I often see people chucking into the water. I'd love to have the power of placing a spell on the canal: anything thrown into the water reappears in the person's bedroom. That might be a nicer, bleeding liberal heart way of solving the problem.

Tonight, I'm spending the evening in bed watching brasilian soap operas and reading. I'm hungover from a night out in Walthamstow, where [livejournal.com profile] neenaw, [livejournal.com profile] king_prawn and I drank the night away while playing a pub quiz. We came second place and won a bottle of white wine called Oliver something-or-other. I naturally had to have it.
commonpeople1: (Jorge)
I only have eight days left of work until Christmas holidays. Then it's home run all the way, bay-beh. Last night, I began my season's celebration by attending Warp Records' 20th anniversary at The Coronet, a nice old theatre near Elephant and Castle. I was actually there to see Broadcast, who were absolutely stunning and mind-bendingly brilliant, but I also wanted to check out some of the other acts lined up, especially the DJs. I was somewhat surprised to discover that the general Warp fan wears an anorak and a 7 o'clock shadow, though the dancey second floor room had a more "lively" crowd, especially under DJ Strictly Kevin. Because I'd been working all day at the East London Design Show, I was knackered and footdead; didn't score myself anything to keep going into the early hours, despite back-and-forths by txs mssgs, so took the night bus home around 2am. Everyone who attended bagged a Warp compilation CD on the way out, which is a bit hit-and-miss (like most of the stuff on the label.)

Today, had a tray of grease at Roman Market's best caf, Fiesta, then wandered through Brick Lane with [livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale and brasilian friend B. I learned of a job opportunity in Oxford, being the P.A. for a royal, but it would involve either moving in with her or buying a car and commuting to Oxford, so not really workable right now. In a few hours, we'll be descending upon the Victoria pub for some pints with friends we haven't seen in ages and a screening of Flatliners with free popcorn. Closing the week with a golden key.

December is not the new February.
commonpeople1: (Default)
On Friday morning, my brasilian friend B arrived for a week-long stay. I took him downtown and we walked in the cold for hours while discussing the end of the world and psychedelic drugs. At night, we ate pizza in a nearby pub then finished off pints to the sound of East End jazz standars at the Palm Tree pub.

Yesterday, we went downtown again and browsed various bookstores. The weather was miserable, but not as horrible as the crowds around Oxford Street. In the evening, a friend invited us to drop by Passing Cloud (where he works) to see some live music. The evening was called Worm Food! and it was absolutely brilliant: afrobeats-and-folk on the ground floor to a beautiful, happy crowd and dub/reggae/soul on the second floor. MDMA highs without ingesting anything harder than rum and juice. As B correctly pointed out, you know you are in a great club when everyone around you has a smile on their face.

We ended up staying until four in the morning. Here's a taster of what the ground floor is like:



Today, we ate breakfast at The Victoria and were happy to learn that:

  • They didn't lose their live music license, though they had to compromise with the neighbours and no longer have any gigs on Thursdays. They told me that all the signatures on the petition were a big help because it showed to the court that two people were trying to unfairly bully a large group of people. So well done to all of you that signed it!
  • They have a table tennis in the cinema area (removed on Sunday nights for the film at 8pm).
  • They now have a Dreamcast attached to the telly so anyone can play videogames if they fancy it.
  • The hairdresser is also still there.
  • They still play great music (i.e. mostly The Cure)

B loved the pub. Afterwards, we went downtown again so he could buy DVDs at HMV and visit the Photographer's Gallery. I'm going to make dinner in a minute (pasta with tuna and tomato sauce) and then we'll settle down for the night with some Planet Earth action.
commonpeople1: (Toni)
Last night, [livejournal.com profile] teqkiller and I saw Diana Vickers star in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in the West End. We were disappointed that no slebs showed up - not even this year's current X Factor contestants - but I did spot a footballer right in the front with his wag.

This kitchen sink drama tells the story of a young girl who lives in a godforsaken backwater with her alcoholic mother until one day an unscrupulous showbiz empresario discovers she has a beautiful singing voice and decides to milk her for all it's worth. When Diana first opens her mouth, you'd be forgiven for thinking she's lip synching - such is the beauty of her voice. It only gets better from there onwards, especially when she hits the piers' nightclubs and hops from one big band classic to the next. She can really sing, and act too! (Yes, I was as shocked as you.) Probably the person who should have won the X Factor last year, but oh well.

Afterwards, walking home down Bethnal Green Road, I spotted a drunk in the middle of the road, hailing cars, kicking buses and nearly toppling in front of incoming traffic. I followed him for some minutes, but when he failed to move to the sidewalk I picked up my mobile and dialled 999 for the first time in my life. The police showed up while I was still on the phone and asked the bloke if he was trying to walk home. He had a startled look on his face - he had tried, at first, to get into the police car's passenger side when they'd stopped and was having trouble putting one word in front of the other for the coppers.

Today, I dream of being rich and free.

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