photo week: escape
July 9, 2017
Posted in View from the table
London this week. Busting out of the same old/same old is so good for your head, though of course if you have children one night away mid-week involves the same amount of precision planning and stress as a military manoeuvre to overthrow a dictatorship.
We saw Mavis Staples at the Union Chapel in Islington, my favourite venue bar none – if you haven’t been there, make a point of doing so. It’s a working church with a stage built in front of the altar, find a pew and make yourself at home. There’s a different atmosphere there, less of the London attitude fuckery, perhaps because it’s a church? People are friendlier? Possibly. The acoustics are something else. I’ve been a few times now but I’ve never seen it as busy as it was for Mavis, there was a WHOLE lot of love in the (enormous) room for her. She talked about growing up in Mississippi, about Pops Staples and her siblings, singing now for 68 years (‘and I ain’t tired yet’). How the hard times we’re living in now necessitate love and friendship, and finding happiness, being true to yourself – ‘I’ll stand wit y’all, we’re all here together’, oh Mavis! I could have kissed her, I wasn’t on my own for sure. She talked about Aretha Franklin and the meaning of R.E.S.P.E.C.T and stealing riffs and one liners from Benjamin Booker. God, you could butter bread with her voice. A low slung dirty bass, a guitar that bounced off the vaulted ceilings, a backing singer who could have been Clarence Frogman Henry and another who could have been an angel, maybe she was. Yeah, that’s what being close to heaven means to me, all church puns intended. A standing ovation from the ground to the seats up in the gods, it was spine tingling, I wish you could have been there, you’d have loved it.
And we stayed on a boat! A huge one that was once a Dutch detention vessel – stick with me here. I LOVED it. It’s not expensive, it’s uber-cool and uber-friendly AND it’s the Good Hotel group so it’s a not for profit organisation that works with local people and communities wherever they’re based, so the blanket on your bed and the tiny worry doll on your pillow – tell it your worries and it’ll take them away while you’re sleeping – are from a project in Guatemala which gets children into school. So great. Oh, and I saw Tim Burgess on Redchurch Street and felt about 15 years old, but managed to not make a total twat of myself, which is a very, very good thing for me. I have an aptitude for twattery.
It’s full moon tonight but the Scott females were all together this week so we got the cousins to write all the crap that’s on their teenage minds down, got wrapped in blankets, and schlepped to the bottom of the garden to burn it all under La Luna. Lil said, ‘can we burn people?’ ‘NO!!! You can burn what they’ve done to you or how they’ve made you feel, if that wasn’t good for you.’ ‘What if it’s Donald Trump?’ ‘Hmmm…’
Have a good week x