Wednesday, November 20, 2002

We had a great weekend in London, it was on of those times when everything just fell into place. The excitement started as soon as we arrived at the hotel, we had booked parking, but this was a new experience for me as the underground car park was accessed via a giant drive-in lift, a new experience for me.

We had discovered the day before our trip that a documentary film called “Standing in the shadows of Motown” was going to be shown twice as part of the London Film Festival. Now my initial enquiries had indicated that the Saturday evening show was sold out, luckily for us we were able to get tickets for the Friday afternoon showing. The film is a long overdue tribute to “The Funk Brothers”, Never heard of them? Well neither had I, but they were the cornerstone of the large collective of musicians that played on all those great Motown records, which were recorded when the label was based in Detroit. Loads of great old footage, combined with interviews and footage from a reunion concert all combined to make an enthralling and moving film.

After leaving the Odeon on Leicester Square, we were able to wander up Tottenham Court Road in a leisurely manner, on the way to our next port of call. This was a small theatre called The Drill Hall, for the recording of a couple of radio shows called “Lloyd Cole knew my father”, an amusing look at the music industry presented by 3 former music journalist’s turned presenters.

Saturday morning, we had breakfast in our nice little apartment and then took the short walk to The Royal Academy, stopping briefly in the always fascinating Japan centre, and to admire the animated clock strike the hour outside Fortnum & Mason. The exhibition itself was a bit of a disappointment to be honest, a few things were nice but the problem may be with us, On our travels over the years, we have fortunate enough to see most of the sort of art that we really like. The problem with this is that it is increasingly difficult to find new things that really excite us. We will keep looking though.

After that we went back to the Japan centre to pick up some food for our late lunch/early tea, which we enjoyed back at the apartment. At about 3.10 pm I was momentarily very confused. I switched on the TV to check for any early goals in City’s cup match against the non-league minnows. I slightly shocked to see a 7-0 scoreline flash up on the screen. 7 goals in minutes, I thought! Before realising that our match had been played earlier in the afternoon. Still a very nice result though.

In the evening, we caught to the tube over to East End of London to see BMX bandits and 3 other bands in a nice venue on the edge of Spitalfields market. Before the gig, we had a bit of a walk round this most interesting part of London, including a walk down Brick Lane, where every shop is an Indian restaurant, complete with hawkers outside trying to tempt you in with special offers and the promise of fantastic food. Having just eaten it was quite easy to resist, our favourite the guy who proudly proclaimed that his restaurant had no special offers, only special food.

On Sunday, we had time for bit of general shopping and lunch before the drive back to Bristol.

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