It’s been a while since I did a blog on cultural doings in London (except tangentially in a review) but seeing not one but TWO gigs in 24 hours is a damned good excuse to celebrate London’s music scene coming back to life.
First was in a local pub, The Finsbury, where my mate Louis had a new band. The Finsbury is a gem in my area. The beer is good, the music is great and the management treat the artists well. Go there.
It must be two years or so since I saw a proper gig, which was probably Louis’ previous outfit, Deaf Surf, disbanded due to C***d. Happily, Mules have the same thumping post-punk engine room as DS supporting a singer with something to say and a good way of saying it.
With philosophical lyrics referencing the experience of pandemic, the futility of misplaced praxis and being lonely and bored one might be forgiven for thinking that you’d be in for a Sonic Youth exercise in seriosity. Mules have the musicianship of the Sonics but there’s also an underlying savage humour underlying what they do (well, ‘Plato’s f***ing cave’ made me laugh) which means that you can jump up and down, think, ‘yeah, that’s right’ and laugh at the same time. If you’ve got better knees than me anyway.
You can catch their new single, Clapping for Carers, on YouTube.
A mere half day after Mules I was sitting in the Wigmore for a feast of twentieth century piano served up by Kathryn Stott. Stott on my radar was Nott. But now she is. What a pianist! And what a programme. The sparseness of the crowd may have been a consequence of Omicron or it could have been that the words ‘twentieth century’ strike fear into the average Wigmore lizard. But I want more of what Stott dishes up. Philip Glass’s Etude No. 2 is a Spotify favourite but to hear it served up live was a treat beyond compare. However, the real find was Graham Fitkin, whose Relent was commissioned by Stott as a show-stopper for her 40th birthday recital. It was the perfect end to a great concert.
People, go to the Wigmore, the music there is rarely less than amazing whatever style or era the performers are serving. And just as importantly, if we can get some more punters in they might open the bar. It was awfully dry in there.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).