Due to one of those extraordinary chains of coincidences, we found ourselves in that London this weekend, attending a gig (m’lud) at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. A few months ago, while I was out on an early morning constitutional, my iPhone threw up a track by Family, a long lost band, split up in 1973, who I adored at the time, and still play regularly to this day. I’m a member of a Facebook group where people post music tracks that they love, so I YouTube’d for this one, and posted it. Then I thought “wonder what the hell they’re all doing now”, and Googled. And found they were doing a 40th anniversary concert on 1st Feb. After a brief discussion with ‘im indoors (yes, we are going), tickets were bought for gig and trains, and a hotel booked.
We wondered whether they could still do it. Trust me. They could. We managed to grab a space at the back of the standing room, up some steps, with a rail to grab on when required (it was), so we had a great view, and room to boogie. The audience was quite amusing – lost of ageing, grey-haired hippies; anyone under 50 must have been a carer, I think. There’s a great review here from David Belbin, and I couldn’t write anything better, so if you’re interested, go read that. He actually went on the Saturday – there was so much demand they did a second night. Which is pretty bloody good for a band that hasn’t payed a gig for forty years.
As for the rest of the weekend, we walked, and saw friends. We walked from Kings Cross to Notting Hill Gate on Friday night, then gave in and got the tube for the last two stops, and tubed it back. We walked 13km on Saturday – Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Soho, and a couple of hours in the British Museum, then Japanese food with a couple of friends who we hadn’t seen for *years*.
Sunday was more walking, around the same areas, before Dim Sum with about a dozen mates that we don’t see nearly often enough at New World in Gerrard Place, a couple of large reds in the pub and then a taxi to the station.
So lots of reunions, 35km walking* (!) and a gig I’ll never forget. That was a pretty damned good weekend.
More reviews as I find them, for my own reference
*I bought a Fitbit One (which is what tracked the mileage) via the wonders of John Lewis online; ordered Thursday afternoon, and collected from Waitrose in Bloomsbury on Friday afternoon. This internet thing could catch on, you know.