Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Empire Strikes Back

The Hackney Empire isn’t very different from when I visited in 1989 to see John Martyn. But I still nearly missed it as we sped by on the bus. But it was night-time, and the theatre was difficult to see, until we were right on top of it.

The show started within minutes of us arriving, with Ada Barr, comedian Chris Green in drag, as a very elderly Music Hall star. She compered most of the show. It was a bit mediocre at first. There was a deaf woman whose act was to sign language to “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Shite! And a woman who wore a long black dress in the gothic style, and mimed to opera, while another woman, clad in her underwear, hung on to a ribbon attached to the ceiling, and two blokes came on and had some sort of contraption in their hands, that gave off sparks like an angle-grinder. Hmmmm.
Then there was a female sword swallower, one of only two in the world, she claimed.

And then came Rob Newman. Very political, with a bit of history too. I enjoyed him, but S didn’t so much. Mark Thomas was excellent, of course, and as he ended I rushed off to have a pee, but noticed how clear the bar was so decided to get a drink first. And then an interval was announced.

This fuckwitted girl barged into the side of me as I made my way to the – as yet – clear bar. Then she made some comment like “oh pushing are we” and laughed to make a joke of it – I didn’t apologise as it was she that pushed into me – from behind. Then another girl came in from behind and squeezed in on my left. She commented on the slowness of the bar staff – and then proceeded to get herself served before me. At that point I decided my bladder required more attention than my alcoholic needs – and realised I’d left S alone for same time – she might be wanting to pee too - so I dived into the toilet, and then went back to my seat.

Once the Blockheads were on stage I decided to take a chance at the bar. Again, I failed to attract the attention of the bar staff, and several people were able to walk straight up to the bar and get served while I was waiting. Then one bloke who was about to be served actually mentioned that I’d been there before him and I was able to order a half pint of Stella, which immediately ended up down my shirt and jeans as some wanker danced into me, shrugged, like it wasn’t his problem, and wandered off. I got served quickly after that and with another half pint, was able to get it safely back to my seat. Now I really was stinking of beer.


I was back on the bike again today. I took the digital camera to photograph this rig that has appeared near Tower Bridge. I should be posting the pictures fairly soon.
It’s used to erect off-shore wind generators, apparently.
Then I took other pictures – and had people staring at me, and studying the object in front of my camera. Why?

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