Sunday, September 24, 2006

Monkey Swallows the Universe and other tales

It was the company golf day and I was granted half a day leave to avoid it which I used to travel to london. Went on the coach and it was a very grey journey, rain and spray and i began to wonder to myself how uncool I would look traipsing the streets of this chic city in my pac-a-mac. However it was a wasted worry as the sun sprang into action as we arrived in london. made my way to the hall of residence which I had booked for a night's accomodation in angel. This was chosen due to it's location, being just about 1 mile away from the Buffalo Bar which was my selected destination for the evening. After some fish and chips I made the bar for about 8:45 in time to see the majority of a set by the mary epworth band who I quite enjoyed. A kind of country tinged music, but with some really fine strong vocals. After the set I met john earls, who edits planet sound the teletext page that occasionally prints my gig reviews.


We'd arranged to meet after I'd recommended mstu to him and he said that he'd probably go as there was another band he wanted to check out. He'd come to see the pocketbooks who were on next. I wasn't convinced, fairly average to me, girl vocals were either endearing or a bit rubbish, i tended towards the latter. You could tell it was an early gig due to confusion between songs and indifferent xylophone playing. The next band, however, were very good indeed. fanfarlo, based around a swedish singer songwriter who recently moved to london. A kind of avant garde rock style in the vein of arcade fire and clap your hands say yeah! I liked this a lot. Finally upstepped monkey swallows the universe and they did not disappoint. Their tunes won the hearts of the audience and even an encore was called for. John seemed to like it too, so hopefully there may be a review on a teletext screen near you!

Saturday was another gloriously sunny day and I spent a couple of hours wandering around the national gallery, thinking to myslef that it's great that some of my tax money goes towards making this fine museum free to all. I enjoyed browsing the paintings from the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th. As it had just opened there was plenty of time to admire works like 'sunflowers' by van gogh that are usually crowded out. Spent some time looking at the works of Degas, who is an artist I like a lot. Not sure exactly why, but I find his portrayals of women, especially the washing hair type scenes, really quite fascinating. I discovered a book about the artist in the museum shop and it was a mere £5 so I decided to invest in it. Met up with CEM for lunch and caught up with what we'd London eyeboth been up to the last few months. Then we spent some time wandering around the galleries of the Tate Modern. Unfortunately they were in th emiddle of installing a new feature in the turbine hall. But there's still plenty to see, and it was busy too. Great that art like this is popular. It garners so many different reactioins tho, over hearing two blokes exclaim "effin' hell" when confronted by a canvas coloured grey all over amused me. I then inadvertantly wandered into an art piece, with these modern affairs you are never quite sure of the interaction allowed, but the piece of mirrored cubes I was wandering between to admire the reflections was strictly out of bounds, and if I'd approached from another direction I would've seen the 'do not cross this line' warning! It annoys me a little that you aren't allowed to take photos of some of these works, they just cry out to be photographed, and I'm sure it would promote some of these works. I tried to take a few sneeky pics, but always come out shaky, with not using the flash and all....

pictures of the mstu gig
pictures in and around london

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