17 September 2010

One crazy week in London

It has been non-stop ever since getting back from Morocco. Nothing major, but lots of small events in a short time, so I thought it justified a post.

First up, Monday night - a very cultured evening out at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms. I have wanted to visit Royal Alert Hall for months now - ever since seeing a DVD of a gig The Killers played there. It is an an amazing circular building, beautifully decorated. There are three levels of tiered seating, and above a series of intricate arches. Above that, a massive roof with a field of upside down mushrooms, or flying saucers (see pics) - apparently they improve the acoustics. That evening the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was performing, with Stéphane Denève conducting and Paul Lewis on piano. I'm not a huge fan of classical, but hearing it live in that venue, I can completely understand how people get so passionate about it. It is really something you need to experience to understand. At times the music was soft, and light; barely audible, and other times it was overcoming and all-powerful. The music really did tell a story, the two hours flew by.

Three days later, Thursday, I went to see the New Zealand band Fat Freddy's Drop. If you are an avid follower, you will know this is the second time I have seen FFD in London, and although the first was good, it was not great. I firm believer in second chances, so I gave them another go. And I am glad I did. They put on an awesome show, music - perfect, stage presence - couldn't fault them. For those interested, a couple of vids:
Wandering Eye

Friday evening I went out to a show that I had bought tickets for 10 months earlier. A show that had sold out in a day. I went to see Muse at Wembley Stadium.
I have wanted to see Muse for years now, but something has always gotten in the way. A few years ago I even had tickets to a show but had to sell them as I was starting a new job and couldn't take the day off! Seeing Muse was one thing, but seeing Muse at Wembly Stadium; that is out of this world, you can kill me because my life is now complete type scenario. I arrived nice and early, and got a relatively good spot. There was a huge 'runway' coming off the centre of the stage. I was about 5 people back from the front of the runway. For some stupid reason, Lily Allen was supporting. I, along with about 90% of the audience, was not a fan. She put on a mediocre performance, even for her. Finally Muse came on. The only word I can use to describe their set is EPIC! The music alone was amazing, flawless! But the whole thing was like a stage show. The stage in itself was a huge structure that lit up with patterns and colours, pictures etc. At one point a huge inflatable UFO hovered out over the crowd, and if that wasn't impressive enough, a person fell out the bottom and was doing acrobatics. One of the highlights for me was during 'Plug in Baby' they released a whole lot of these large balloons filled with confetti out over the crowd. At the end of the runway (where I was) there was a platform that raised up over the crowd and rotated. I have never seen a concert like it before, and I now know why Muse is dubbed as the best live act in the world. If you ever have a chance to go to one of their shows, even if you don't like the music - do it.

Take a Bow & Plug in Baby - Awesome. Just watch.
Second half of Plug in Baby - They released a whole lot of huge confetti-filled balloons!
Soldiers Poem - The whole of Wembly Stadium with their cellphones lit up like stars
Undisclosed Desires - Close up on the rotating platform
Inflatable UFO - The massive inflatable UFO flying around
MK Jam - Drum and Bass solo. Close up

On Saturday night I was at a bit of a loose end, so I went on a mission to take some photos. I stupidly forgot to charge my camera batteries, so only got about 30 minutes out of them. But here are the results -

Sunday was The Mayors Thames Festival in London. Lots of events going on around London, especially music. I didn't participate so much during the day, but during the evening I went to watch the parade and fireworks. The parade was so good. The amount of effort that people had put into it was above and beyond - costume and props. It really was next level. The fireworks were also very cool. I had a perfect view over the river to St. Paul's cathedral. The fireworks lighting up and sky and water below.
Parade 1 and Parade 2

Monday night, crazily, I did nothing but catch up on sleep.Tuesday was another story. I went to see Wilco at the Royal Festival Hall, in Southbank. I thought the concert was good, and they are really great musicians, but played mostly their older stuff, which I either didn't know, or wasn't much of a fan of. But still, they put on a good show. Philip Selway was supporting (drummer for Radiohead), who has just put out his own solo album. He was very good and I really enjoyed his set.
Impossible Germany
I'm The Man Who Loves You

So you are all up to date. I am heading off to Munich for Oktoberfest today. I'm away for five days, so I'll have plenty of stories and photos to share. I am only back in London for two days, then I head to Ibiza for four days and Barcelona for a week! So realistically I won't have anything up here for at least three of weeks. I am sure you'll survive. Prost!


  1. I went to Muse on Saturday night!!! It was very good but I can't quite cons9olidate my thoughts into one tidy little blog post yet.

    You sound like you had the most incredible, outrageous week! Thank goodness I don't do that much stuff. I'd go crazy. In my next life, I want to live closer to London centre so that going out more can be easier and not such a mission everytime that needs to be planned with military precision. We only just managed to catch the last train home on Saturday night and there are no night buses to my side of the world!

    I'm just catching up on blogs after my summer holidays and hope to finally catch up with yours soon!

  2. you've got a fruitful stay in london. london has many attractive places to see as i read in the books when i was still in pre-elem school. i love seeing those majestic castles - a home to king and queen in the old periods.

    thanks for sharing the vids.


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