Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Drums play the Roundhouse in Camden

For our friend Bradley's birthday on December 3rd we bought him a ticket to see The Drums at the Roundhouse in Camden. As we didn't want him to be all alone, Pip bought her and I a ticket each also.

After work I met Pip in Camden and we caught up with Bradley at a pub called Quinns for a drink.

Quinns was an Engligh pub who played music and two television channels at the same time with the volume on.

We had decided to go a few doors down to a BYO restaurant called Guanabana where we met Bradleys friends who would come to the gig with us. For once I was happy with my order at a restaurant and didn't envy anyone else's dishes, in fact everyone seemed to have a problem with theirs, from an underwhelming nacho's dish, a salad with fly spray dressing to Bradley's under ripe avocados which were promptly made up for with a free side plate of chips, I sat happily eating my beef burger and downing our bottles of Stella.

With Bradley now talking so loud that all the customers might as well have pulled their chair over and joined our table, we decided it was time to head to the Roundhouse for the main event.

We were stopped outside and asked if we'd like to be filmed by a random website called 'Winkball' who record people at events and upload them to watch the next day.

Pip puts on her newsreader persona for a website.
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We then entered the Roundhouse, grabbed some drinks and eventually wandered into the venue as 'Spector' took to the stage.

The Roundhouse is a fantastic venue. Great sound, good views seemingly from every corner of the circular mini arena type complex. Spector are a band that Pip and I cannot quite get our heads around. We both enjoy some of their songs but we feel the band itself is rather contrived, premeditated. This was proven by the awkward  between song banter where the singer covered topics including; "Please follow us on Facebook"and "How would you like the sound of Indie and Rock and Roll to come together? We'll that's what we are trying to do"...

After that subpleasentness we waited around half an hour, but when The Drums came on stage we were treated to a couple of hours of fantastic tunes.

To make things even more enjoyable, Boy George (Or as Bradley screamed out "Oh My God it's Joy Borge") joined Jonathan on vocals for a couple of tunes:

Jonathan Pierce and Boy George.
The encore included "Let's go surfing" and ended with  hauntingly beautiful 'Searching for Heaven', a slow way to end but appropriately pessimistic. The Drums were clearly having more fun than they were trying to let on throughout the gig.

What a night and we love the Roundhouse!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Portobello Markets

Pip has often mentioned the idea of heading along to the Portabello Markets. We finally made it and both had a great day. The market is very different to the likes of Camden and stretches right down the length of the road using actual shop fronts as well as markets that spill out onto the footpath. The shops/stalls are dominated by antiques shops ranging from clock shops to tea pot shops and even antique sporting goods shops. We had a wander and picked up a couple of items to take home to our families. The sun was out and we had a splendid day indeed.

Our first stop was a little cafe called "Charlies" It was an old part of a church building converted into a cafe with nice wooden tables, seats and decor. Unfortunately it seemed to be run by a bunch of young friends with minimal knowledge on how a cafe works and who insisted on doing table service. This meant that most of the cafe, including us, took an age to get served and often had to get up and ask. Our waitress completely forgot about us, the pre-cut cake in the display cabinet that we had ordered came out missing half of the base and the below average coffees were made on a machine that was clearly not maintained or cleaned.

After that interesting experience, we hit the markets.

Steve has the burgers, now where is Pip?...
After the markets Pip and I jumped on a tube and rode a couple of stops to the Shepherds Bush Westfield mall where we ran into Bradley randomly, had coffee, bought some clothes and then jumped back onto the tube and headed to Hammersmith's Primark store to pick up some cheap stuff.

Sunnies for 1 pound, Hawaiian shirts in the background and some guy having a cheeky look at what we're up to. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thoughts and adventures from the last few weeks

So February is well into it's second half and Pip and I have have a really good few weeks. I applied for a job at Notes cafe and got an interview but decided not to follow through (Great to know my CV works). I went back to the British Museum but this time I took Pip with me. Here's a few of the new pix we took in the Museum's King George Library.

In King George III's library.
Looking down the room of King George III's collection.

A model of the Solar System.
Pip browses King George's books.

Valentines day was next up and Pip and I were fortunate enough to have the evening off together. Instead of going out, we opted for a quiet night in with dinner and a swapping of gifts. Pip gifted me a beautifully bound wee book of Shakespeare's sonnets and I gave her a pink box filled with hearts which I cut out by hand and wrote love notes on both sides of each, plus a new coin purse was buried in amongst it.

Now I think we have done the bulk of the museums here in London, so our visit to the Victoria and Albert museum was probably the end of our museum adventures (Except for the science museum which I will probably have to attend by myself). We had never heard of this place before and with a day off together I looked through the pages of our London tourist book in the hope of finding an activity for the day. Here are some of the snaps.

The cafe at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Panoramic of the water feature in the John Madejski Gardens.
On of many sculpture rooms.

Pip enters a dark ominous room.
Old bibles.
Pip snaps Steve in a Medieval robe.

Medieval chic.
Scary picture in an old book.
An old Atlas from 1570.

Steve prepares for battle.
My Medieval knight hand.
Mr Knight.
Mr Horse.
Medieval piano.

Leonardo Da Vinci's notebook, circa 1490.
An early Encyclopedia from 1460.
Pip listens to some Renaissance tunes.
Plaster cast of David.
Pip and gold extravagance.
Large Raphael cartoon and Pip.
Raphael's cartoons.
Pip and Raphael's cartoons.
A replica of an old living room.
An old blokes coat.

The wedding suit of James II.
Now we're looking forward to the Drums gig on the 27th and next month we are heading back to New Zealand for Michelle's Wedding and then it's Pip's birthday!