Sorry for the misleading name but you will find some posts that are specifically about walking in London. The rest is the other stuff I get up to.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Music. Mostly in London.

I've been a bit busy with all that crap that fills your time between the fun stuff lately, hence no blog posts - but I though I'd put a quick one together.

I've always liked music - I was in a band for what felt like 5 minutes in the early 90's and around that time I went to every gig I could get to. I've pretty much completely fallen out with the guys I used to go to gigs with, and other than the odd notable exception, (like Motorhead and Alice Cooper at Brighton a few years ago) I only go to gigs with my wife. Not that that is a bad thing in itself, but it means I don't get to the louder, grubbier gigs, you know, the good ones.

This year is different though - somehow, and I'm not sure how, I've ended up booking six gigs in November and December '12. Here's a rundown, with my hugely biased thoughts.

Jack White - Alexandra Palace
Venue was interesting - not been there before. Huge space with loads of bars and food stalls inside.
Support was The Kills - interesting, pretty good - the seven kettle drummers was an interesting touch. Ultimatley they were a bit lost in that massive venue.
Jack White was fabulous - an all girl band (mostly from Nashville apparently) were tight.

Evanesence - Wembley Arena
Agreed to go with an old friend to this one, and damned glad I did. Wembley Arena is much too big as a venue for my tastes, but at least we had standing tickets. We got pretty close to the front.
The Used were support and they were ok - although not as good as they thought they were. IMG_0244
The Headliners were much louder (and therefore better) than I thought they would be. Recommended.

Squeeze - GLive Guildford
Took my lovely wife Suzi to Gulidford's rather nice GLive to see Squeeze. We see them most years and they can be a variable.
This year they were supported by Paul Heaton who was superb - great voice still and a calm but confident stage presence. Highly recommended.
Squeeze was very good, although a little heavy on the new songs for my liking.

Adam Ant - Shepards Bush Empire - Friday November 30th
Venue was excellent - 2000 capacity, plenty of bars with a decent selection of drinks, great sound, clear and loud. We were standing, quite close, maybe 8 rows from the stage.
Support Act: Geogie Girl and her Pouissez Possey. Oh dear. Basically an all girl rock act in the spirit of... I don't know... Heart? Bangles? Lots of Latex and glitter. Music was enthusiastic but terrible.
But, then the main show, and I'm pleased to report that Adam Ant has still got it. The whole band did a creditable job reproducing the classics - and it's been a long time since I saw a band with two full drumkits (maybe 18 years!) and I still don't know why ALL bands don't do that, the sound is truely fantastic.

Redd Kross - Borderline - Monday December 10th
I saw Redd Kross at the Marquee in about '94 when they were my favorite band.
So about 13 years later and 300 yards down Charing Cross road I saw them again.
Back in the 90's Redd Kross always seemed to be on the edge of being massive - but they somehow never quite got there. Having a drink at the bar in the Borderline before the support act came on I felt a little sad that such a great band were playing such a tiny venue (Capacity is only 275) and said support act 'The Sharp Tongues' seemed to fit in great - the set seemed short and sweet and I'll add something of their's to a wishlist.
For the headliners I got myself to the front row and then spent most of the set trying to avoid having an eye taken out by the headstock of Steve McDonald's bass, but honestly, the boys still sound fabulous and I can only show mild bewilderment that these guys are playing a one off gig in a sweaty basement rather than an arena tour. They played tracks from throughout their long career, right up to a couple from the new album, and everything was loud, perfectly formed and delivered with style and a smile. It turns out I still love Redd Kross. Oh, and did I mention their shoes? The McDonald brothers definitely have the best shoes in Rock.

The Damned - The Roundhouse, Camden - Saturday December 15th
I'm a regular at Damned gigs, although I missed the 35th anniversay tour last year.
The Damned have the ability to be fantastic and full of energy... But not always. Bad Damned is depressing and annoying. Hopefully this'll be a good night.
I was let down by my friend who was supposed toc ome with me - which was disapointing although not entirely unexpected.
So second gig of the year that I went to alone.
As with Red Kross, I got myself a couple of stiff drinks and then went and stood at the front.
The Dickies were support and I'll skip giving you a review as my mother said if I've got nothing nice to say...
But the Damned were on brilliant form - The Captain's guitar work was so well done that I'd think it was getting help from a recording - except of course that it stopped when he fell on his arse.
With 36 years of work to call on there were a few surprises in the set, but really, everything was as good as it possibly could be.
I can also highly reccommend the venue - the Roundhouse in Camden is well organised and beautiful and the sound quality and volume were spot on.

I should apologise for the photos in this post I suppose - in my defence I'll just say they were all taken from the crowd with an old iphone.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The 'Walking in London' Olympic Experience

So, you might have noticed that London has had a bit of a thing on over the last couple of weeks.

Olympic walk over Tower Bridge
I've really enjoyed the whole experience, from the fantastic opening ceremony - through the cycling road-race in near-to-home Dorking - we were lucky enough to get Hockey tickets in the Olympic park and Womens Modern Pentathalon in Greenwich.

Here are some of my photos.

Tower Bridge with its Olympic Bling necklace.
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Which is clever enough to fold away when the bridge rises...
Olympic walk over Tower Bridge

An odd view of masts among the towe blocks in Canary Wharf
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Cyclist on Dorking high street...
Men's Cycling Road Race

...including some Team GB lads
Men's Cycling Road Race

And off they go towards Box Hill in the distance
Men's Cycling Road Race

We got into the Olympic Park for some hockey - so we did at least see the outside of the main arena
Day at the Olympic Park

The Riverside arena - the hockey venue
Day at the Olympic Park

Day at the Olympic Park

Day at the Olympic Park

Day at the Olympic Park

Day at the Olympic Park

Day at the Olympic Park

Day at the Olympic Park

Day at the Olympic Park

Day at the Olympic Park

Oddly, this is maybe my favorite sports photo of the whole set
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Greenwich for the Modern Pentathalon
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

This is what it looks like to be inside a Mexican wave
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Not the best way to get around the showjumping course
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Although some of the ladies made it all look so effortless
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Others just seemed to hang on
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Running and shooting combined came next
Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Olympic London 2012 Greenwich

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Bridges on the Thames

Ok, so here is the start of a post that is going to turn out to be massive. For now though, its just a list of the bridges across the Thames - I'll be adding photos to each name as I take/find/post them.
This is initially just the bridges, so I've not included ferrys, tunnels, cables cars or the Thames Barrier. It's correct at Spring 2012 and does not include proposed new bridges.

So starting from the estury and working towards the source:

Queen Elizabeth II Bridge 1991

Not a Bridge, but the Thames Barrier. A crossing of sorts I suppose, if its shut!
Thames Barrier

Cutty Sark and the entrance to the Thames Foot tunnel.

Tower Bridge 1894
Tower Bridge from the Tower

London Bridge 1973
London Bridge

Cannon Street Railway Bridge 1982

Southwark Bridge 1921
Southwark Bridge

Millennium Bridge 2000

Blackfriars Railway Bridge 1886

Blackfriars Bridge 1869

Waterloo Bridge 1945

Hungerford Footbridges (Golden Jubilee Bridges 2002)

Charing Cross (Hungerford) Bridge 1864

Westminster Bridge 1862
Westminster Bridge

Lambeth Bridge 1932

Vauxhall Bridge 1906

Grosvenor Bridge (Victoria Railway Bridge) 1859

Chelsea Bridge 1937

Albert Bridge 1873

Battersea Bridge 1890

Battersea Railway Bridge 1863

Wandsworth Bridge 1938

Fulham Railway Bridge and Footbridge 1889

Putney Bridge 1886

Hammersmith Bridge 1887

Barnes Railway Bridge and Footbridge 1849

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Day out with Dad part 2 - Fleet Air Arm Yeovil

After the Haynes Museum we drove on to Yeovil for the Fleet Air Arm Museum. Unlike the car museum we had actually been here together before, but I guess that would have been in about 1981 so I don't remember it very well.

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset
Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Fathers Day trip to Somerset

Both Haynes and Fleet Air Arm are fantastic places to visit that I can thoroughly recommend, but if you are travelling a way to get there you will struggle to fit them both in fully.