A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Walking London - Holborn to Wimpole Street

I have decided to take more interesting routes into work each morning and thought I would document them on my blog. I work in central London, on Wimpole Street. I thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of such a central location and get off at different tube stations and walk it in each morning.

My usual route would be to take the central line from Leyton to Bond Street. Recently I have been getting off two stops earlier and walking in from Tottenham Court Road, via the streets of Fitzrovia.

On Friday I got off at Holborn and walked it in. I started on High Holborn before switching on to Shaftesbury Avenue. I walked past the Curzon Soho cinema before taking a right on to Frith Street. Next I walked along Old Compton Street (passing the lovely Patisserie Valerie) before reaching Wardour Street. I then cut through on to Berwick Street past the market as the traders were setting up their stalls. I then moved on to Broadwick Street before crossing over Carnaby Street, walking through Hanover Square and eventually reaching work.

Total walking time was 25 minutes and 50.5 seconds.

Soundtrack was ‘Fordlandia’ by Johann Johannsson and ‘Luminarium’ by Tape.

The High Llamas at the Luminaire

Last week I went up to the Luminaire in Kilburn to see The High Llamas plays their annual London show.
They managed to overcome some early technical problems and were soon showcasing their brilliantly melodic, simple-yet complex, harmonic guitar pop. Time Out used the term “antique-futurists” when previewing the show, which gets their sound about right.

They opened up with ‘Sparkle Up’ from ‘Hawaii’. The rest of their set drew heavily on their ‘Snowbug’ album, although as usual they picked songs from almost every album.

Some highlights included ‘Harper’s Romo’ (still by far my favourite HL song), ‘Triads’, ‘Glide Time’, ‘The Track Goes By’, ‘Nomads’, ‘Bach Ze’, ‘The Sun Beats Down’, ‘The Old Spring Town’ etc.

I had been listening to their albums beforehand - 'Cold And Bouncy' is soon becoming my favourite HL album...
Apparently they had some dates in Japan lined up after this show.

The evening also served as a reminder of how great a venue the Luminaire is - a nice, intimate venue which has a distinct character, friendly staff and plays great music.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Catch Up

It has been a while since I posted due to other stuff happening in my life so thought I would do a quick post summarising what I have been up to in the last month.

I saw 'Of Time And The City' at the PCC at the start of January, a beautiful, absorbing film centred around the recollections of director Terence Davies of growing up in Liverpool. Almost poetic in tone, it looked great on screen and was backed by a beautiful orchestral score with Davies' acerbic commentary proving both funny and moving.

I saw the Francis Bacon exhibition at Tate Britain, shortly before it closed. Dark, bleak stuff.

I saw Elbow record a special show at the Abbey Road studios in St John's Wood. They performed 'The Seldom Seen Kid' from start to finish backed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a choir. The songs sounded beautiful with orchestral embellishments. It was great to get the chance to go inside the iconic studios also.

We went along to the Barbican to see the BBC Symphony Orchestra in more familiar surroundings in February, this time performing four pieces by the French composer Tristan Murail.

We also managed to fit in a visit to the magnificent Soho Curzon cinema to see Woody Allen's latest movie 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'. Very enjoyable and funny.