Dynargh dhe'n Blogofrob

Monday 10th May 2004

Owing to the psychopathic excesses of my employers and my general laziness, I find myself sitting down to write about the bank holiday weekend seven days late, but I feel it's still worth briefly mentioning.

As Matt reports, the Brixton Academy played host to a leg of the Carling 24 hour Live Music Event. The depressing and predictable unreliability of London's buses meant that the short journey from Clapham High Street to Brixton took about three times as long as it should have done, and as a result we arrived inside half-way through the Scissor Sisters' energetic and enjoyable set. But to be honest, I didn't really care, as I was there to see Lamb - and the cat-swinging spaces which opened up after the Scissor Sisters pranced off stage meant I really could see them. The set was amazing, Louise Rhodes's voice was stunning and Andy Barlow jumped around like a fool as usual. Perfect. The rumours are circulating that Lamb are going to take a break or even split up after their current round of gigs. I hope it's not true, as they are one of the few bands who turn in consistently amazing live performances. If it is true, Glastonbury this year will be my last chance to catch them, and it'll take a pretty spectacular clash to drag me away.

A desire not to waste the bank holiday stewing in bed until mid-afternoon propelled me out into the rain towards the Tower of London. Another Transport for London farce saw me having to walk from my flat to Tower Hill station where I waited for Jim and Les to join me. The gates to the station were securely fastened and a couple of uniformed TfL employees were on guard outside to confuse tourists - who arrived fairly steadily, grim faces set under hastily bought Macs or union jack umbrellas. As they were turned away from the station, back into the rain with only incomprehensible bus instructions to take them to the safety of their hotel room, I felt that familiar sympathy for tourists in London - a sympathy not shared by some of my friends, one of whom believes the streets of the West End should be patrolled by a 'tourist bulldozer'.

The Tower was fun - a lone Raven hopped around in the damp (the rest of them seemed to be caged to ensure the continued existence of the Tower and the Monarchy), melodramatic Beefeaters gave Simon Callowesque tours and we went to an exhibition about the various unfortunates who have been locked up in the place. A contemporary description of Rudolph Hess's transportation to the Tower in 1941 is one of the highlights, describing how Londoners gathered for his arrival at Euston station to jeer and "shake their fists" at him, indicating how much this country has changed in 63 years. A Nazi war criminal receives about the same level of public contempt as an evicted Big Brother contestant. We also stopped off for a look at the Crown Jewels, being swiftly fed past them on a moving walkway, a bit like, as Jim pointed out, being on the Generation Game.

46 - posted at 18:26:18

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