Sunday, August 17, 2008

Something Somewhere

I always like to try and get the most out of the weekend. And this doesn’t mean sleeping till noon, waking with the obligatory hangover, and sauntering around in dirty clothes all afternoon. Instead living from breakfast till supper seems the best way to see what the city has to offer. So Saturday morning, armed with a 25mm wide angle lens, Borough Market was the destination. Seemingly permanently trapped in autumn, it’s a great place to spot fashionista’s, tuck into some cracking home ground produce, and sip on a guest ale or two at the Market Porter.

Then after a general wander through the city, the day rounded off at ‘The Troubadour’ in Earls Court to see Michael Horowitz perform from half a centuries worth of spoken word material. Punctuated by short sets of Irish folk songs, improvised Cello-jazz, and his infamous kazoo, age seems to have riled Horowitz as he works in segments of his most political work to date; a take on T.S. Eliot’s ‘Waste Land’ criticising the state of the world at the turn of the Millennium, from Bush’s ‘war on terror’ to the “suicidal commercial triumphalism promoted by the arms, nuclear, advertising and war industries.”

It’s interesting to see how Horowitz uses Eliot’s’ post war devastation of the 1920s, as a vehicle for the metaphorical cultural & political wasteland of a media-numbed population today. I feel there’s also a disappointment for Horowitz given his back-catalogue of beat poems, and literary jazz licks, where the world for a moment seemed it was going forwards for the best, whatever that may be.

Overall I can’t help but think that ‘The Troubadour,’ as beautiful as it is, is stuck as a patron saint of veteran musicians & poets alike making it hard to imagine anything truly groundbreaking will ever come out of it again. Surely younger generations shouldn’t leave it to the post WW2 baby boomers to spell out the problems in their society?

Oh well, there’s plenty of other venues to witness twenty something’s rile against Bush & Blair, but last night in this small romantic underground corner, it was groundbreaking to see someone as frail as Horowitz; a survivor from the Beat era, tell us how he feels with a smile, and lead a chorus of laugher from a diverse audience during the cello-led sing-along of ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor.’


rashbre said...

Sounds like a splendid day. I'm sort of jealous.
nb is live.

Victoria Bennett said...

thing is, does anyone give a **** anymore or has cool resignation taken root? From what I can see most 20somethings (yourself excluded of course) are ultimately keyed into the whole 'got to own a house/earn money/have status' and are distinctly self-centred and haven't got an ounce of passion or bliss in them and give up their dreams far too readily. Perhaps I am just cynical? I blame Thatcher of course - but then again, I would coz I am 'of that generation'...My general thinking is that if it is worth saying and is said well it doesn't matter the age - because the stuff people are talking about is not just the territory of the 'new gen' oldies can still be active ya know and we are all part of the same humanity...but yeah, the old-folkies are out to take over your out!