Dropped the boy of with Granny Sunday morning and walked to the station. We were on the slow train, had a very helpful guard there who pointed out that we should have got ourselves a network card already, it would have paid for itself with that one journey, and if we can get a friendly Gold Card holder (Hi Dom) to buy one for us it'll only cost a pound. A slow run to London, but we had no great rush.
Had a bit of a pootle round Covent Garden thinking about buying a new bag. We thought we might need to take STUFF in to Hyde Park with us (change of shoes for Clare really), my bag was too big to bother with. Did not see a smaller bag that I liked so we decided to make do without. This gave us time for a drink in The Sun before our earliest hotel check in time of 3pm. Checked in to our room which was surprisingly great for thirty five quid1, got ready, and headed OUT to meet a chum for a pre gig dinner in Pizza Express. Chum had a two for one voucher (I say a voucher, of course it is an app these days) and so because there were three of us, this mean the only way to get full use out of this was for me to order two pizzas. This has been a long standing dream of mine, I'm glad to have achieved it at last. The second pizza was actually free, I would have been a fool not to take it...
To Hyde Park and straight in to the backstage / VIP bit thanks to our big shot showbiz friend who sorted us out. Backstage was huge, a festival in its own right, with its own backstage that we did not have access to but saw people heading in and out of, one of whom was one of the Geldof daughters. Doing the right thing and hanging with us normal (relatively, still Very Important) plebs were Don Letts, Nick Banks, Farris Badwan, Trevor Nelson, and radio big time's Matt Everett, and very impressively Chris Morris. Plus apparently Sadie Frost and Stephen Merchant and other celebs that my friends saw but I did not. Probably lots more, it being London and quite handy and that.
Grace Jones was very impressive, surprised me, she's amazing for 63 or however old she is. And she had her own toilet2. Then Pulp were great, maybe a slightly short set, but lots of His'n'Hers and all the hits, plus Mile End which I'm not sure I've seen live before. The band are looking a bit older, imagine that, Jarvis especially looked like he did when he was Rolf Harris on Stars In Their Eyes with his beard. We did jump up and down a bit, but did not head super far in to the front of the gig, just close enough.
Seemed a short gig really, with quite an early curfew. The backstage bar closed when the gig ended, we hung around a little to say goodbyes to people then headed back in to town looking for booze. Was not sure what we'd find at 11pm on a Sunday night, but hey this is London baby, so we ended up in The Wag Club. Used to go there quite a lot when it actually was The Wag Club, now it is an O'Neills pub on the site of the old club, but at least it was somewhere open and lively. We had some disgusting wine and overpriced cider while listening to a tribute band playing AC/DC and Rage Against The Machine and so on before walking back to our hotel.
Got a nice breakfast in Neil's Yard in Covent Garden, a full vegan, with sausages and fried things, and juice and tea, then got a leisurely train back to collect the boy. Spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach and down the harbour, as they day was still so good. Weather was top all weekend. We paddled in the sea3 and the boy had an ice cream4, the whole harbour area was really nice, the weather and the new developments really put a shine on it. The boy loved the new fountain5!
A splendid weekend all in.
UPDATE: Just remembered I saw Carl Barat and Hughie Morgan too.
Paul Clarke's weblog - I live in Hythe in the deep South. Married + dad to two, I'm a full stack web engineer, + I do js / Node, some ruby, other languages etc. I like pubs, running, eating, home-automation + other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, Television, squirrels, pirates, lego, + TIME TRAVEL.