Thursday, July 03, 2008


Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 1
Level of conviction in own genius: 6
Hair Day: so-so

So Andy and I enjoyed a night of high culture last night – it’s nice to know you can cram both the watching of prancing muscular types and playing pool to uncompromising 20th century orchestral music into one evening. We started at the Royal Festival Hall on sneaky press tickets from ENB Marketing honcho mate Rachel (failing utterly to fit into the rather upmarket VIP free drinks section in the interval). I don’t see much in the way of ballet, but it was really exquisite: we first had a blink-bright plain set and some beautifully precise shape-throwing to a Bach’s Concerto No.1, with the dancers in sky-blue lycra; I nearly choked when, having just gestured the end of the first movement, the three sleekly glistening chaps turned round to present 6 exceptionally pert buttocks to the crowd. Rafael Nadal’s tennis balls would have poinged back in his face off those. The next was a premiere set to Mahler’s Ruckert-Leider: we didn’t have a programme but I’m assuming the lyrics weren’t about bunnies and chocolate drops, given the slightly shticky gothic set, smoke pouring from the ceiling and the black gauzey outfits. The choreography was merely lovely until the last song, where three guys with bare torsos danced an incredibly physical, often precariously-balanced piece full of anguish, all bathed in brooding golden light and glowering shadows. I practically wept.

Dance just makes you so aware, in the same way as music does to sound, that there can be grace and interest in every bodily movement. So we sashayed and pirouetted our way prettily to Hoxton to show our faces at this month’s nonclassical (huh – Time Out previewed THIS one but not ours!). Last night it featured The Raven Quartet, a rather Classic FM-esque set of girls with glossy manes and flashing teeth who played soundtrack music, Brian Eno and some trashy classics, including some Romeo and Juliet ‘for Gabriel’ which even I could tell was dodgily tuned and brash. Irritatingly, I’m sure they’ve a glittering future ahead of them. We were there to big up the Dead and Alive boys who were DJ-ing –they again insisted we come on for the last show and are always so nice to us (Joshua was snorting ‘all over the place!’ in my ear when the quartet were playing, tee hee). Wine now seems to have a new effect on me – getting names calamitously mixed-up. After two glasses and heading home, I asked Tim as he was stuffing his face with kebab outside The Macbeth whether he’d played any Gareth Barry yet – which, as Andy pointed out, would be a question better-suited to Fabio Capello, Gareth being a notable English midfielder and not a well-respected, hard-edged contemporary composer. I died a small death of embarrassment. Then I got home and pointed out our newest picture nailed up on the wall, a cute, intricate drawing by that wonderful satirical cartoonist, Heath Ledger. Ouch! Oh well, near enough...

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