9.8.09

London: art, music and Devant


Roundhouse
Originally uploaded by fred pipes
What would make me endure three of the busiest areas of London on a hot Saturday? A rare David Devant and his Spirit Wife gig of course. I got a cheap rail ticket off the internet so I planned to make a day of it, using my free bus pass as much as possible. So, first off it was a 52 to Ladbroke Grove to see Mick Jones's Rock & Roll Public Library. Except... the bus stops at Victoria had all moved cos of road works! And when I eventually got there, it was Portobello Market day so the side streets were heaving. Anyway, pushed my way to the studios under the Westway and spent some enjoyable minutes looking at and snapping Mick's stuff. The Library (on until 25 August) was much neater than I'd imagined but like the Musgrave Collection, full of all kinds of stuff, from fanzines to a Rorke's Drift tableau. Next it was a 23 bus to Trafalgar Square to catch a plinther. This was not to be, however. I'd foolishly caught a bus going to Trafalgar Square via Oxford Street.

Now, if you've never visited London, take my advice. Don't even think about going to Oxford Street, except maybe at 4am in the morning, especially not on a hot Saturday. The buses were gridlocked and the pavements a slow-moving sea of people clutching Primark bags. I managed to fight through them to the sanctity of upper Regent Street, where I could catch a C2 to Camden and thence to Chalk Farm. The next stop was the Roundhouse, a former engine shed famous for Pink Floyd and Soft Machine concerts back in the 1960s, where David Byrne had installed a harmonium connected to various bits of the structure, entitled 'Playing the Building'. There was a long queue at the box office so I chanced going upstairs for a quick look and the guard kindly let me pop in and take a photo. There was a long queue waiting to play with it so I left. On the way to the next bus stop I sampled a free falafel, which was juicey and tasty so I ordered a small wrap which came heaped with good stuff for £4. I'm ashamed to say I ate it on the top deck of a bus heading for Euston station... where i changed for my final bus of the day to Highbury and Islington where I had a few beers at the White Swan (a Wetherspoons pub, so the guest beers were £2.10 a pint I had Mutley's Revenge). I was joined by other Devant Devottees and at 8.30 popped next door to the Buffalo Bar to see the first band of the night: Keith TOTP & His UK Minor Celebrity Indie All-Stars Orchestra, who played amongst other things a pretty shambolic version of 'One thing after another'. Next up was Dream Themes, who played instrumental tv theme tunes, and finally it was our headliners, with Foz? in a sparkly jacket, who started with secret track 'Lifeline' (video here) and went through the hits, including a Disco 'Ginger' and ending with 'Work, Lovelife, Misc' and 'Pimlico' then an encore of Aunty Mabel and err... another one I forgot (my Flip had run out of memory by then! Help!). Then it was a dash to the tube station and back to Brighton on the 1am train (going via Lewes) and a long but downhill walk home. Zulu
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