As Jon and Graham are in Dublin this week, I decided to take half day off work on Tuesday and venture myself into London for a “me-day”. I had been meaning to do this for a long time, but never found the right time to do it.
I grabbed my camera and a bottle of water and arrived in London in the early afternoon. My main purpose was to wander around the City. After so many visits to London in my life I was a bit ashamed to never have visited the City itself. The nearer I had been to it was St Paul’s Cathedral and that tall monument to the Fire of London.
The City is the most modern part of London, with iconic buildings like The Gherkin, Lloyd’s Building or the very tall Tower 42. However, the City is also full of ancient history. I love the clashes of old and new that you can find there. “This is where ancient and modern sit side by side; where medieval alleyways open out onto major streets; where historic churches snuggle up to soaring glass neighbours; where the past embraces the future”.
I must say that I was very impressed with the City. Yes, it was very busy with City-people bustling around. Yes, it was a bit manic especially at rush hour trying to get to the tube. But also, yes, it was clean, it was diverse, it was unique. I had a fantastic time, looking up all the time at the beauty of the modern architecture. I could sometimes see the puzzled look of City-workers, looking at me and probably thinking: “Why is she looking up?”. They are probably immune to the fantastic shapes that these buildings offer. They’ve probably seen them too many times and they fail to be impressed any more. What a horrible thought.
After walking around the Square-Mile for a few hours I was quite exhausted. I knew I had to rest a bit, as that night I was also going to see Taking Back Sunday in concert. I got a last minute ticket the previous week for only £15, which is an amazing price in this day and age. I also bought their latest album “New Again”, but hardly had a chance to listen to it much before going to the concert.
I was a bit scared that they wouldn’t let me go in with my Canon camera (you know, at the back of the ticket it says that they don’t normally like it when people take photos or video footage, but you can’t control these things any more with mobile phones) but was quite relieved to see that the bouncer merely looked into my bag and let me go in without blinking twice.
The venue, “Heaven”, is a gay bar and the whole place was full of gay advertising posters. I thought it was funny, but obviously wasn’t the only one to think like that, as Adam from TBS also made a funny comment at the end of the concert (something like “We can’t play any more songs guys, honestly. After this, there’s a party here.. not our kind of party.. so we must finish off soon”)
They were brilliant. I paid quite a bit of attention to the new guy (forgotten his name?!), the one that is replacing Fred, and he was good! Guitar: good. Vocals: good. Stage presence: good. Sense of humour: good. I was pleased with him. Kind of missed Fred, but at the same time I also missed John Nolan in the early days…
The set list was also very good. They played a brilliant mixture of old and new stuff. I was a bit worried that they would concentrate on the new songs, as, at the end of the day, they are touring the new album. But no, they played good old classics like Cute without the E, A decade under the influence, Timbelwolves, Set phasers to stun, and my ultimate favourite ever: 1.80 by summer (oh, did I shout and sing.. I almost cried… Happiness….)
I even managed to take quite a few pictures. However we all already know how difficult is to take good pics at a gig with a DSLR without the right equipment, like a decent lens or a good powerful flash. I did my best though. I set the ISO up up up and leaned against the wall for better balance and less vibration… Although, taking the “perfect” picture didn’t bother me too much. I prefered to just enjoy the concert…
And one of the best things is that the concert finished at 10 o’clock and by 11 I was already home! No rushing or running to catch the last train, no panics about missing the encore, no nothing
It was a great day. I had a wicked time. If anything made it less than perfect was that Jon wasn’t there to enjoy it with me.
Maybe next time. Definitely next time.