« Getting Away From It All | Main | Good Customer Service »

June 10, 2007


Illuminations on the side of the RFH, Photo by Tim Bradshaw, www.timbradshaw.net cc by/non-com/sharealikeThe bits of the Royal Festival Hall Overture that we got to were a blast, and looking at photos on Flickr, it's obvious that we could have had loads of fun for two full days. All for nowt, and not actually all that crowded either. But in fact we'd had two weekends away, and the summer is very full, so we confined ourselves to Spiers and Boden in the bar, the Bellowhead session where I joined in with gusto (yes, that's the new name for my melodeon), and, hilariously, more Bellowhead at 12:30 am, with a drunken but enthusiastic audience taking advantage of the free festival and late bar.

In the course of waiting around for Bellowhead, we also saw a set by Frank Turner, the former frontman of a punk band called Million Dead, now playing folky acoustic protest music because he likes it. Or because that's what's trendy. Sort of like a younger and angrier Billy Bragg, though you probably need to ignore that he went to Eton and then the LSE. He started out feeling inhibited because there were kids in the audience and all his songs involve swearing; we assured him that our children heard worse every time the computer stopped working (of which see more in another post). Anyway, he's charming and his songs are splendid and he'd go down terribly well at the folk club but I suspect he's a bit pricey for us. Sample lyric, from 'Thatcher Fucked the Kids' -- "Whatever happened to childhood? We're all scared of the kids in our neighboorhood; they're not small, charming and harmless, they're a violent bunch of bastard little shits." Damn right. Catch him at a festival this summer.

Picture of nifty inflatable paper beanbag by Chris O'Shea, www.chrisoshea.org , no, not that Chris O'Shea, another one, cc by/noncommercialThis was on what was laughingly called the Hayward Stage but was actually an especially brutalist bit of open concrete space round the back of the QEH. Limited seating was provided in the form of highly amusing inflated sturdy paper bags.

I will observe that £150m spent on the RFH and they have neither managed to put decent beer into the bars, nor drinking water into the toilets. Many people were also rude about the carpet but I really liked it.

Posted by Alison Scott at June 10, 2007 05:23 PM


Nice roundup - completely agree on the beer and carpet front! Still, the cider wasn't bad.
I saw Billy Bragg at midnight on Friday - the "old Frank Turner" still has it...

Posted by: Tim Bradshaw at June 11, 2007 09:37 AM

I found your blog a long while ago through Patrick Nielsen Hayden's mention of your music page, which has been a great source of music for me; this week particularly, I can't stop listening to "Bold Sir Rylas," and wish I could see Spiers and Boden sing it in person. So here's a big thank you (from one Alison to another) for many hours of delighted listening to ALL the songs I've found through you.

Posted by: Alison Whittington at June 22, 2007 01:37 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

Your comment will be moderated unless you're using an authentication service and you've commented here before. You can use some HTML tags for style and links.