Tag Archives: music

Sunday selection: songs about cities, Kings Cross and why public transport should be free

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And just like that, it’s February. How are those New Years resolutions going for you? As usual I haven’t followed through with mine (yet) but I have this hopeful feeling that January was an anomaly in general and that 2015 is going to be an amazing year.

Anyway, enough of the philosophising and over to the really interesting bunch of stuff I’ve read this week:

The best songs about cities

Why can’t public transport be free?

Helpful layout maps of Kings Cross stations

Cities and their fonts

Talk of the week: City, Country, Suburb? at the Royal Academy

Read anything interesting about cities this week? I’d love to take a read too.

Have a great week,

Carla

Glastonbury

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I should be on my way to Glastonbury festival right now.

Waking up at 3am, taking a final long shower, packing up the car, triple checking the dry shampoo supply, listening to early morning radio, watching the sunrise, catching a glimpse of Stonehenge, making our way through Frome, hitting local traffic, passing Castle Cary and remembering that one time we took the train and it took forever, crawling into the field to park, crossing our fingers that the queue isn’t too long, palming responsibility for carrying the tent onto whoever I’m with, queuing, singing, queuing, singing, getting the wristband, finding our pitch, greeting old friends, pitching the tent, a celebratory tin of cider.

Two days of quiet Glastonbury before the madness and mayhem begins on Friday. That first walk alone in front of the Pyramid stage before it’s fully constructed. That special feeling I’ve only ever experienced at Glastonbury. It’s a magical place.

Instead I broke my leg and had to give my ticket back – but thank goodness for excessive coverage on the BBC. You’ll find me camped out in front of the TV this weekend in a homemade den this weekend. Bring on Blondie.

One Way or Another

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You know those amazing nights of music BBC4 schedule on Friday nights? I recently watched a Blondie documentary and now all I’m listening to is Blondie. Heart of Glass, Maria and of course One Way or Another.

My neighbours probably think I’m mad. I’ve started walking again so they probably see me daily, rocking around the block Debbie Harry style. You can’t listen to Blondie and not rock out a bit.

One way or another I’m gonna find ya
I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha
One way or another I’m gonna win ya
I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha
One way or another I’m gonna see ya
I’m gonna meetcha meetcha meetcha meetcha
One day, maybe next week
I’m gonna meetcha, I’m gonna meetcha, I’ll meetcha
I will drive past your house
And if the lights are all down
I’ll see who’s around

One way or another I’m gonna find ya
I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha
One way or another I’m gonna win ya
I’ll getcha, I’ll getcha
One way or another I’m gonna see ya
I’m gonna meetcha meetcha meetcha meetcha
One day, maybe next week
I’m gonna meetcha, I’ll meetcha

And if the lights are all out
I’ll follow your bus downtown
See who’s hanging out

One way or another I’m gonna lose ya
I’m gonna give you the slip, a slip of the lip or another
I’m gonna lose ya, I’m gonna trick ya, I’ll trick ya
One way or another I’m gonna lose ya
I’m gonna trick ya trick ya trick ya trick ya
One way or another I’m gonna lose ya
I’m gonna give you the slip

I’ll walk down the mall
Stand over by the wall
Where I can see it all
Find out who ya call
Lead you to the supermarket checkout
Some specials and rat food, get lost in the crowd

One way or another I’m gonna getcha, I’ll getcha, I’ll getcha getcha getcha getcha
(Where I can see it all, find out who ya call)
One way or another I’m gonna getcha, I’ll getcha, I’ll getcha getcha getcha getcha
(Where I can see it all, find out who ya call)
One way or another I’m gonna getcha, I’ll getcha, I’ll getcha getcha getcha getcha
(Where I can see it all, find out who ya call)

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BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall

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On Monday night we went to the Royal Albert Hall for Prom 39. Now in its 119th year, the BBC Proms are the worlds largest classical musical festival.

The concerts started in 1895 after Robert Newman, manager of the new Queen’s Hall in London, decided that he wanted to reach a wider audience by ‘offering more popular programmes, adopting a less formal promenade arrangement, and keeping ticket prices low’.

In a world where classical music is still perceived by many as elitist and out of reach, it’s reassuring to discover that tickets to the Proms can cost as little as a fiver. Compare that to the cost of a ticket to see Beyonce and you soon see that the Proms offer excellent value for money.

I was really excited to hear Nishat Khan play on Monday night. He plays the Sitar, an instrument made famous by Norah Jones’ father Ravi Shankar, and Monday night was the premiere of his Sitar Concerto No. 1. He was accompanied by the National Orchestra of Wales; it was beautiful to hear his vision of India supported by the very traditional sound that I associate with an orchestra. (Prior to Khan we heard another vision of India, Gustav Holst’s Indra).

Although I loved the Sitar I equally enjoyed Vaughan William’s portrait of London, A London Symphony. It ‘evokes the chimes of Westminster, a chill November in Bloomsbury and the bright lights of the Strand’ – a fitting description that you can still recognise from life in London today. It was just a shame that two mobile phones went off during Big Ben’s chimes!

If you get an opportunity to go to the Proms this year please do – you will be in for a treat. Even if you’re not keen on classical music give it a try; it is a cheap night out and we all need to try something new from time to time.

Image: Lilly Creightmore

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Play the piano at St Pancras International Rail Station

Two pianos have popped up in Kings Cross station. I noticed them a while ago and I’m desperate to give it a go. I’m getting pretty good at ‘Amazing Grace’ on the iPad app ;)

Kings Cross station is one of my favourite places in the world and the pianos make the experience of walking across the station even better. Music is beautiful.

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My Twinterview with London Living

Last week I participated in a ‘Twinterview’ with London Living (not to be confused with London is Living, which is me). It was great fun and I got to talk about my favourite areas, pubs and places in London.

All the questions and answers are published on London Living but here is the bulk of the interview. Let me know if you agree / disagree with my suggestions!

Q1. Hello @londonisliving! First up – you live and work in North London but what do you love most about the area?

@EastVillageLDN good question – I think I have to say the numerous independent shops and restaurants that are a hub for the local community

Q2. We’ve seen you’re the lucky owner of a famous Blue Peter Badge! May we ask just how you acquired such a prized possession, londonisliving?

It’s classified information I’m afraid but sticky back plastic obviously played a part!

Q3. Ha ha! Okay, what’s on your London to-do list over the next few months, londonisliving?

I’m looking forward to the Lowry exhibition at the Tate and Murder in the Library at the British Library

Q4. Sounds good, londonisliving! Leaving London aside for a minute, where’s your favourite foreign city and why do you love it?

Istanbul – it’s hip and happening, has an incredible history and the architecture is beautiful. The food is great too!

Q5. Would love to go, londonisliving! You blog about cooking – which London restaurant is really floating your boat at the moment?

Ciao Bella (Bloomsbury) for Italian,Jose_Pizarro (Bermondsey) for tapas & I really need to try steak at HawksmoorLondon!

Q6. A fantastic range! Looks like you’re big on design too; know any good second hand furniture joints / design exhibitions on, londonisliving?

Local boot sales are great for bargain buys – they get your imagination going too.

Q7. On the subject of secret stuff, where’s your favourite secret London gem,londonisliving? It can be anything!

It’s probably the worst kept ‘secret’ London gem, but the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice in Postman’s Park is lovely.

Q8. We’ve not been yet! The Faltering Fullback in Finsbury Park is a great North London pub, but where’s your favourite boozer, londonisliving?

Heading towards your way I like The Hemingway Pub in Hackney for post Victoria Park picnic drinks in the summer

Q9. Great shout! Where’s your favourite London venue for a live gig / boogie afterwards, londonisliving?

I’m cheating because I’ve never been, but I reckon UnionChapelUK would beat all mainstream venues easily.

Q10. And finally, tell us what your favourite London Is For Living blog post is and why, londonisliving?

My Japanese food feast as it took ages to make http://bit.ly/140CyET & this sign as it makes me giggle! http://bit.ly/Tg6wTn 

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I had a huge surprise on Monday morning when an iPad was placed in my hands. It was insanely exciting and I’m still enjoying just looking at it. Such a beautiful piece of kit.

That said, I’m not quite the Mac geek that I once was, and it turns out I don’t know that much about technology any more. So any tips on how to get the most from my shiny new toy?

Excuse the photo, it’s pretty irrelevant and just me desperately trying out the camera while I wait for dinner to cook. But since its there, why not give it a listen? The Band rock.