I saw Arcade Fire perform at the aka Millennium Dome last night.
One rammed tube trip on the Jubilee Line later…welcome to the pleasure dome. I didn’t visit in 2000 so was intrigued to see how the reboot turned out.
Its now a circular shopping centre with almost every franchised restaurant you can think of. No McD’s or BK as they have their own chicken-centric burger joint.
Seats were on Level 4, the O2′s version of The Gods. The seating gradient resembled a sports stadium and way way way above the stage.
Support act were so-so. Velvets-like but much murkier thanks to the echoey acoustics.
A 15-minute queue for beer and AF landed on stage. Their set melded old ‘Neon Bible’ family faves with this year’s ‘The Suburbs’. A video backdrop played home movies and surreal black and white images from who-knows-when.
The Fire’s mini-orchestra of guitars, keyboards, violins,accordion and percussion filled the O2 surprisingly well. Their intimate songs don’t immediately lend themselves to this huge space but sometimes their sound roams towards the epic.
After a two song encore it all wound up about 10.45. The walk back to the tube felt like the end of a footie match but far more orderly with one Arcade-inspired chat (more musical than ‘Spurs are on their way to Wembley’…) and a busker warbling ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ kept us warm until the escalators transported us into the depths of the tube system.
I zapped blues and reds in Planet Hemel Hempstead this lunchtime. In a segment of the Marlowe Shopping Centre that time nearly forgot I relived my mid-80s youth at Quasar Elite.
Later watched Tottenham in yet another, we’re-gonna-score-one-more-than-you win against Liverpool, a diluted version of what was once a great team. My fave Spurs player Mr Aaron Lennon scored a blinding winner, his first Premiership goal for a year. Who knew?
Then X-Factor finally finished off the wonderful Wagner, despite his surprisingly-not-bad rendition of ‘Creep’ (‘I don’t belong here’) and OK reworking of ‘Addicted to Love’. He was never going to be saved by the judges and gracefully bowed out to shout-y Mary who did yet another Shirley Bassey song (or maybe it was her first, she makes all her songs sound like the Welsh songstress). Shame.
I’ve started going to a monthly musical event called Tapestry. It’s been going for years and a good mate of mine Lloyd (aka DJ Johnny Clash) is a strong supporter of its aural adventures.
Last month’s line-up of Hidden Master’s Scottish folks-psychedelia plus headliners Anglo-American Hexa’s pop-punk was brill, if slightly let down by a mediocre PA that didn’t do Hexa’s two female singers justice.
This month I managed to miss Viz founder, Chris MacDonald’s stand-up routine (too busy necking beers and chatting) but did see Circulus. If folk-rock of the ‘hey-nonny-nonny’, non-ironic early 70s variety and songs about Atlantis and stargates are your thing then check these guys out. I won’t be. Ever.
Enormous Christmas stars float along the West End’s main thoroughfare courtesy of The Narnia Franchise.
My latest dining experience was on All Saints Road at Ruby & Sequoia, an upscale restaurant in fashionable W11. Another mid-week deal on a well known foodie site so cocktail, starter and mains just over 20 sovs per head.
The maitre’d was excellent. After a chat about a nearby eaterie called Beach Blanket Babylon (nice but over-priced) and an explanation of the term ‘Sugar Daddy’ (older guy, younger gal, economic not emotional relationship) he tended to a party of 20.
Our grub was a little tardy but a glass of prosecco on the house more than compensated. My fillet of beef (medium rare) was burnt and not quite bloody. Lovely. I just wish restaurants would tell you when veggie accessories are limited, some pomme frites would have finished off the dish a treat.
And later that evening my team, Spurs, aided digestion by reaching the last 16 of the Champions League on their first attempt after a 3-0 win against German team Werner Bremen at the Lane.
Hello everyone, I’m Ian and I’m an X-Factor fan.
There. I’ve said it. I’m a reality TV show addict and X-Factor is probably my fave of the bunch. My top contestants are
Rebecca: Dull-as-anything Scouser, but what a voice. Evocative of Billie Holliday, Tracey Thorn, possibly Nicolette (remember her?) and way more original than your marginally-better-than karoake finalists.
I’d thought about Voting Vagner but after Cheryl Cole”s outburst last night when she blasted Wagner for suggesting she came from a council estate and was very lucky to be where she is now. Isn’t that the same Cheryl Cole who comes from a council estate and got lucky in the Popstars: The Rivals TV show when she joined beat combo Girls Aloud back in 2004?
Mr Carrilho’s response was gracious, positive and will win him through to next week.
On Saturday 20th November at approximately 2.30pm my team ended a 17-year run of no wins at a Big Four (Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd & Liverpool) ground.
The excellent Spurs Odyssey blog informs me the win at Highbury in 1993 was against a well-below-par Arsenal team. For the last proper win against the Old Enemy you have to go all the way back to 1986. Yikes.
Even experiencing this historical win on TV was breathtaking so it must have been life-changing for the lucky few thousand who hung around at The Emirates for half an hour to savour the moment.
Two-nil down at half-time and even the most happy-go-lucky Yiddo (I’d like to count myself in that minority group) would have hoped for a draw at best. After their so-so performance in the First, Redknapp’s strategic changes (Defoe on, Lennon off) made a huge difference.
Goals from Brill Bale, van der Vaart (penalty after Fabregas saluted/handled the ball) and Kaboul’s deft header was the winning touch after connecting with van der Vaart’s sweetly struck free kick.
Our Harry named ex-Gunner William Gallas his Man of the Match for his heroic defending, particularly during the ‘Arsenal Rampant’ First Half.
Next stop Champions League knockout stage on Wednesday.
Although B & H has a strong cast with Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Jessica Haynes and a surprisingly good Ronnie Corbett it hasn’t been setting the box office on fire (1.7 million pounds in two weeks).
OK so it’s no classic and certainly not in the same class as one of my favourite horrors of all time ‘An American Werewolf in London’ but it definitely has its moments.
Pegg and Serkis are a believable double act who as the eponymous anti-heroes start providing corpses to one of Edinburgh’s medical schools for academic dissection. Cue several grisly sequences and slapstick murders. The film takes a time to warm up but once the pace quickens its a rollicking good ride.
Haven’t reality shows been running long enough for the participants to get the format? That’s the thread running through the new ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ and the current run of ‘The Apprentice’.
Did Gillian McKeith not understand that she would be getting up close with mucho crawlies an creepies? And don’t the current crop of Sugar wannabees realise how ludicrous they sound proclaiming ‘everything I touch turns to sold’ and declaring themselves to be a ‘retail guru’. Video footage exposed both these statements to be complete nonsense.
I read this morning that several new jungle mates are being flown to Oz in case Ms McKeith does a runner…
I visited a retirement complex with my Mum today as an exploratory excursion into the growing housing market for mature, but discerning, home owners.
Less than a mile from Hertford Town Centre it immediately impressed, the Grade II listed barn conversion in particular. This high-ceiling-ed refurbishment is now a ‘chill-out zone’ (OK, stripey sofas and loadsa up-to-date magazines), restaurant, coffee and cakes area, arts & crafts room, area for beauticians, hair stylists and physios plus private dining area.
The bungalows and houses were roomy, contemporary and perfect for independent or semi-independent living. The ‘buyer beware’ part of the deal is a hefty service charge which includes domestic cleaning, a linen service and use of the barn-based facilities.
As we finished off Sunday lunch a few residents made their way back home using walking frames. The deal-breaker from Mum’s point-of-view. ”I don’t want to live with old people!’ is her refrain in any discussions about moving house. And in this ‘live long and prosper’ society we are entering, who can blame her?