Tate Modern though - some nice views to be had from there, and some fine ones from the higher points at Tate Modern itself. I covered that in a blog last summer, but thanks to MySpace you can no longer see it online. Bastards.
the news a few days after I took this photo - it melted a car!
All too soon I arrive at North Greenwich - in much better style than I did on the Jubilee Line earlier this month. The actual excuse for my voyage is a visit to The British Music Experience. Photography isn't allowed in there so no pictures, but the website gives you an idea what it's like. It's nothing like as big as I was expecting, but there is still plenty to see and do. It's basically an interactive museum of British popular music since the 1940's. There are plenty of exhibits in the various rooms; actual instruments played by many world famous pop and rock stars. Programs, records, stage costumes and much other historic memorabilia. There are sections covering the earliest days of rock & roll, right up to current times. The Stones, Beatles, Hendrix, and many other artists have exhibits related to them. Punk, and heavy metal are covered as well as pop - you can see outfits worn by the Spice Girls as well as David Bowie. You can watch loads of different video interviews, put on headphones and listen to all sorts of stuff, and even make music yourself in the Gibson interactive studio. There are loads of guitars, basses, and drum sets you can try out, and there is even a vocal booth - you can record your efforts too if you want. Not feeling the need to show off I wasn't too bothered about trying any of this out - I can do this sort of thing at home anytime, with guitars that are as good as or better than most of the ones available here - not that I'm dissing the range of Gibsons and Epiphones you can try at the BME - name any classic Gibson model and it's there for you to try. You are issued with a 'Smarticket' on your way into the BME and you can use this to 'save' things of particular interest to you to view online at your leisure when you get home - one of the novel interactive features of the BME. It's certainly worth a visit, and I'd definitely go again 'cos there is loads of interesting interview footage I didn't get time to see...
Back home to freshen up and get something to eat then I'm off again to max-out my Oyster card for the day - if I haven't already. I'm heading back to East London for the second time today. I'm off to a gig in Hoxton, but first I want to check out the new BrewDog bar in Shoreditch. Things aren't going too well as I'm running late - an unexpected phone call made me miss my train so I'm half an hour behind already and know I'm going to miss the first band Bubblegum Screw, but should still just have time for a quick drink before the headliners... In spite of researching the location of BrewDog Shoreditch online before leaving home I still couldn't bloody find it! If I still had my smartphone.... I kept thinking I could see the distinctive blue BrewDog sign in the distance, but like a mirage, every time I got closer it turned into a blue one way system road sign! I found it in the end though. This being the trendy East End I was expecting the joint to be packed with the usual pretentious 'Hoxton Hipster' crowd - fortunately it wasn't. It wasn't even that full considering it was a Friday night - maybe BrewDog isn't 'cool' enough for them down there? Actually I preferred BrewDog Camden to this one, although that bar seems to contain more hipsters and trendies. I only had time for a quick couple of beers but the Cocoa Psycho went down well - I tried it in Camden and wasn't that impressed but it seemed much nicer tonight.
Oh yes, I'm supposed to be going to a gig as well.... Fortunately Mother Live is only a few minutes walk away - just as well as I realise I am still in the BrewDog bar at the time Healthy Junkies are due on stage. However, they are about 15 minutes late on stage - about the only thing which has worked out for me this evening. I arrive at the venue to find a very low turnout for a Friday night and two bands who both have a regular crowd of followers. It's cheap to get in so where is everyone? Maybe I'm not the only one who's not keen on the venue - the bar and the inadequate uni-sex toilets don't make it a place you really want to spend any more time in than necessary, although it does look like a rock venue should, and I like the comfortable furry effect of the carpet on the walls! I suspect this has been done for acoustic rather than tactile reasons though.
Healthy Junkies have been ringing the changes recently, both with a new rhythm section (who seem to be working out well) and a lot of new songs in the set. The band's debut album 'Sick Note' from last year had plenty of good songs on it, and from what we are hearing the band's second album will be another strong effort. Healthy Junkies have a knack of being able to write catchy pop/punk songs with hints of grunge and glam mixed in.
By 11.00 the show is over, and although it seems early for a Friday night there doesn't seem much else to do but go home. However, I've had a busy and varied day - and guess what my most enjoyable thing all day was? Yes - the boat trip on the river! I was like a big kid and loved every minute of it!