Di and I made our way down to the Docklands.
Destination was the dreaded O2 to see Elbow in concert
We decided to tart things up by not treating ourselves to a shiteburger from within the depths of the dome. Instead we made for 'The Gun', a 250 year old pub on the edge of the water overlooking the O2 on the opposite bank. The Gun was refuge for many a smuggler and is so called because it was also the drinking place of the welders & melders (?) who made the canon for the British Navy during the glory days when the world was half pink…
Lord Nelson lived up the road and often met up with
Lady Hamilton in the rooms above the dining
We had cocktails on the terrace; Mojitos for Di, an Old Fashioned for me, not fashioned with Bourbon though, this was liberally laced with Mezcal. A proper 'sharpener'.
The meal was fantastic; the best kind of gastro-pub grub: I had lamb stuffed with kidneys and haricot beans served up with buttery mash and asparagus, whilst Di tucked into some crispy Brill fresh in from Billingsgate. All washed down with a (slightly bland) white Rioja. Then a treacle tart and a rice pudding that made a mockery of their school dinner monikers, served up with some sweet, sticky port.
All for less than £100; pretty good for London.
On to the O2 and a fine performance by Elbow.
No other band can make a cavernous hanger seem so intimate.
We swayed and sang along as Guy and the band reached out and gave us a great big communal hug. We all hugged back of course.
I haven't felt that benevolent whispery warmth since early Blue Nile days.
The highlight amongst many?
Lippy Kids and the new album's keenest anthem, My Sad Captains.
I was concerned, as the latest record is a gentle thing, but, bolstered by a female string quartet and a brass trio, the musicians played a blinder. Muscular beats, and gentle loops, angular guitar riffs, soaring strings and honking horns; all laced with Garvey's humor and unsuppressed affection for his mates and his roots.
He's been criticized of late for 'over sentimentality' has Guy.
But why shouldn't he sing about that which he loves?
Seems that he's had his heart broken too recently, so...
Joy and jocularity tempered the undeniable melancholy of middle age survival.
And I do love a sad song.
Lest you've not heard or have simply forgotten: