Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Saturday Nights Alright For...Music apparently.

P1050270, originally uploaded by matatabby.

In my excitement at new guitars and the wonder of dogs I forgot to mention what I did on Saturday night. Tommy Dog had managed to get four of us tickets to see The L.A. Philhamonic play Sibelius' Symphonies 5 and 6 plus a few of his songs at The Barbican (or "Barbie Cannon" as my chum L calls it). We were due to meet up in a pub at 6 for a quick beer before wandering down to the concert hall. It was comfortably close enough to Schossadlerflug to walk, so thirty minutes early I trotted out of our front door and headed east down Clerkenwell Road. I had bought a new zip-up cardigan and had chosen to wear it with a suit. Though it was a cold evening the layers kept me cosy in that way that only several layers of natural fibre can - not baking, can't breathe hot, just toasty and warm.

I got to the pub a few minutes early and enjoyed watching the world go by whilst nursing my pint. Eventually my buddies arrived and we had a drink and a chat before heading down into the bowels of the worst of 1980s architecture which surrounds the Barbican. I like the centre itself, but there are a lot of soulless concrete cubes surrounding it. I hadn't been to a concert there since I went and saw Bert Jansch with L a year or so ago. It's a superb venue. Even though we had seats in the very back row we had an unobstructed view of the whole stage and crucially for me, being a little over six foot, some leg-room. It makes a huge change from the Royal Albert Hall. The performance was very good. They played the pieces in the order I'd have chosen, i.e. ending with the 5th Symphony. This worked doubly well becuase it took most of the performance of the 6th for the orchestra to get into its groove. After the interval they were really very very good. It was a really sweeping reading of the 5th and a delight to the ear. If it lacked the fire and passion of the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, they certainly were supremely musically confident.

After the show (about 9.45) I decided to take a little detour and walk around St Paul's Cathedral on my way home. When you start walking through the empty streets of the financial district at night you can't help but feel a little like Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. It feels very cool. That opens out into London Wall, which marks the boundary of the old city and from there you can see St Paul's. Not only did I get to hear the bells chime 10 o'clock but I also got to see some of old London at night. I sauntered along Fleet Street past the beautiful old Daily Express offices where I saw three teenage girls attempting rail slides on their skate boards. Using a short-cut I learned from Dr. Nic I was able to cut through up onto Chancery Lane and from there, home. A bowl of apple crumble and custard warmed me ready for bed.


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Blogger Churlita said...

That does sound like a lovely evening.

9:04 pm  

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