Monday, June 11, 2007

london weekend and mstu

Leading up to June I'd been feeling a bit down, probably cos in another world I'd've been travelling to canada to spend time with v. Instead I'd decided to try and keep myself busy, which i think i've done pretty successfully. This weekend I took the opportunity to visit hc in london and see monkey swallows the universe live at the Spitz. Arriving around mid-day, i'd got a fair amount of time to kill and wandered into green park to read in the sun. Nice and relaxing, i'd arrange to meet hc around trafalgar late afternoon, so wandered over to see if i could find a nice coffee bar nearby. Arrived at trafalgar and noticed that there was due to be a free palestine march. It sounded interesting so took a seat on the steps outside the national gallery and awaited the arrival of the march. I'd happeded to be sat next to a group of knitters, who apparently meet up in random locations around the city to knit. There were a couple of guys too - how metrosexual. One of them was knitting with a pair of huge needles, about a metre tall. It seemed to be attracting considerable attention.

Eventually the march arrived and a number of seakers addressed the crowd. Some were much better than others, I must admit some of the speakers that were addressing us as comrades and encouraging us to support the freedom fighters were not using the most tactful of language. It's such a shame a week after the event to see the political turmoil that has enveloped the state of palestine. A coalition of democratically elected governers is overturned because other countries refuse to deal with Hamas. It makes a mockery of democracy. And the embargos enforced on the palestinian authorities is one of the main issues to lead to the conflict and in-fighting that only serves to ridicule the ability of the palestinian people to govern themselves. What a situation.

As the afternoon wore on I looked down to see that I was beginning to turn a bright shade of red, so i swiftly made for the shade and awaited hc.

We headed out to liverpool st station and got something to eat before making our way to the spitz. It was absolutely roasting hot in the venue, and we were in time to see the first act. They were pretty poor, playing chaotic rock that followed obvious progressions from loud to quiet. Yawn. Then it was mstu who again put on an absolutley fabulous gig. Nat's vocals were particularly passionate and the new songs hint that the new album will be just as good as the debut. Finally, shady bard, the headline take the stage and wow the crowd with their orchestral indie rock. Songs about the environment, reminiscent of 'we love life' by pulp. Good stuff.

Sunday i appreciated the warm weather, browsed the tate modern before arranging to meet a myspace friend. Passing st paul's i decided to pop in and say a prayer. The sung eucharist had just started, so i took a seat near the back and listened to the pomp of the ceremony. Not my usual thing high anglican worship, but nothing else would have done in this magnificant venue. The architecture and paintings are incredible and with the bombastic sounds of the organ vibrating through the church you can't help but get a sense of the awesomeness of god. Something that is easy to forget when sat around tables with coffee chatting, which is my normal worship preference. I also liked the fact that there were people coming and going at the back of the church, some to get a free look at the architecture, others to perhaps pray or sit in on the service for a while before leaving. It gave fluid nature to the worship, strange in a venue that follows such a rigid formal worship. Of course those who wished to take an active participation in the service could be lead to the front of the church by one of the nuerous ushers.

Finally met up with ys in shepherds bush and enjoyed mint tea and some food at a little arabic cafe before going for a walk through st james park. It was a lovely day and interesting to meet someone who is also a big fan of music.

A few more pics in the flickr set

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