Billy Hicks (billyhicks) wrote,
Billy Hicks

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London calling

Prepare for a long post as I attempt to sum up an absolutely insane weekend!

Let's start off with Saturday. I was back at the wonderful BAC to see a performance, and on my way there I found some great CDs and tapes when charity shopping, ranging from an early Now That's What I Call Music (from 1984!) to 'Box Hits 2000' which wonderfully was only £2. One of my friends in the performance was celebrating their birthday so I had a fun night with them, partying at BAC for a while before heading into Central London. I tell you, Central London at 3/4am is crazy but brilliant, you'd think it'd be empty but it's CRAMMED full of (mostly drunk) people. We took the walk - I say 'walk' but it was mostly singing and dancing - from Trafalgar Square, past Leicester Square, through to Tottenham Court Road where we indulged ourselves on some chips as the sun rose, before bidding each other goodbye and heading back home on our various night buses. If that wasn't magical enough, when I got off the bus at Neasden (by which time it was almost 5am), my iPod in some amazing timing plays the song 'Offshore' by Chicane. It all fit amazingly well, the early morning sunshine, the cool summer breeze, the birds tweeting, all together with that amazing was a very, very special moment. I collapsed into bed drunk but happy.

And so we move onto Sunday. I went to Finsbury Park where there was a free music festival going on, the anti-racism Rise Festival. Was a fantastic festival too, lots of great bands and plenty of booze. The final act was reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, who had amazing energy and with the sun still shining his songs sounded brilliant in the heat. It ended pretty abruptly with no encore (leading loads of people, including me, to wait there for ages for the encore before realising there wasn't going to be one) and then that's when it gets slightly tricky. How do 100,000 people all go home at the same time?

The answer is police on horses everywhere, and huge red LED signs pointing to the tube station. When I got to the station I was slightly surprised to find it closed, presumably due to overcrowding, but after about a minute it was re-opened and the thousands of us crammed in.

Something happened here that annoyed me. Ok, yes, I went into the station still drinking my brandy, which was a silly thing to do but in all the fuss over the station being closed I forgot to finish it. If a member of staff had come up to me and politely asked for the bottle (which was almost done anyway and I probably could have finished it in one sip) I would have happily apologised and given it to them, but what they didn't have to do was rudely GRAB the bottle from me as I was walking through the tunnel. They really need to be careful doing that - in my case I was just a bit annoyed, but what if someone was even more drunk, how would they have reacted with their booze literally being grabbed away by someone? A simple ask would have been infinitely better, I know I was breaking the rules but there's no need to be like that. I think the fact that I'd freely drank on the night bus into London the previous night made me forget about the ban. Did you know Boris Johnson actually got rid of the anti-racism message of the Rise festival this year? Every single thing he's done since he became mayor I despise, and I was pleased to see a conga of people at the festival singing "Boris is a c***, Boris is a c***, na na na na, na na na na". Only in London.

Ah well, the tube journey back was still fun as a couple of other festival-goers managed to lead the whole carriage into a mass singsong of 'Rivers of Babylon' by Boney M, which Jimmy Cliff had covered as his last song. I did what any sane person would do in that situation and joined in, it's a shame my stop arrived as I was enjoying it.

And that has been my weekend. It's been one to remember!
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