Sunday, April 05, 2009

Astoria, Sparklers and Counting Crows

Having last week walked past the redevelopment taking place at Tottenham Court Rd tube station I was reminded about the closure of the Astoria. This was a great music venue with the Astoria 2 downstairs and was previously a theatre, cinema and pickle factory.

There is an excellent website, which has a detailed history and photos of the site for those who wish to find out more. Unfortunately I have not been back here for quite a while, and I believe seeing Teenage Fanclub there a couple of years ago as one of the 90's revival gigs was my last visit.

Anyway, this site is being demolished to make way for the expanded TCR station which will include a Crossrail connection, though this will not be up and running until 2017....There is supposed to be a replacement for the Astoria but there seem to be some doubts about this.

This also reminded me that I have tickets to see the Counting Crows at Brixton in May which I am very much looking forward to, though I am yet to find a friend to come along. I have taken quite a lot of stick for my loyalty to this band, and I am used to being labelled 'stuck in the 90s', but I have to say they are one of my favourite bands . For some reason I vividly remember first reading about the album 'August and Everything After' on the old Channel 4 teletext service (4-Tel, I believe) music reviews and then buying and loving said album shortly after.

I have not been to many gigs recently, partly due to lack of time and partly due to getting older. Whereas I would be happy moshing my way through gigs in the past I now find myself concerned about getting burned by drunk people with cigarettes. The smoking ban doesn't hold much sway at the Brixton Academy as far as I can tell....this definitely means I might be' getting too old for this shit' as the saying goes. I think my dislike of cigarettes at gigs is driven from an earlier incident where I did get burnt and surely smoking in a tight-packed area is not sensible and pretty selfish...

In fact it is a bit like something else that I very much dislike: sparklers. Who on earth thought it would be a good idea to invent a form of entertainment that consists of playing with red hot metal rods that burn at over 1000° Celsius? And then aim that entertainment primarily at children - crazy talk.

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