Monday, 19 January 2009
The Ghosts of Liverpool Street Station
So, here's a thing; the Spectacle does 'Flash-mobbing'. This is as pathetic as it comes, taking an activity supposedly defined by its being impromptu and then rinsing it in order to sell some fucking phones, but it's just what one would expect.
I encountered this event, in rehearsal (yes, that's right, there were rehearsals for this, how fucking spontaneous can you get?). I was on my way to catch a train from Liverpool St. Station at 4am one day, recently. Approaching the station, one could hear the sound of music, and then slowly the dancers came into view as I descended the escalator. It was unbelievably cold, and the hundred or so people rehearsing were all wrapped up warm, with plenty of ankle warmers etc... One would have thought it was a flash-mob, apart from the fact it was being filmed and directed from up on the balcony. I thought it was perhaps a bollywood film in rehearsal, but then came to the conclusion that it was probably some stupid advert...
But the event wasn't all wasted, as it managed to provide us with a moment of sublime beauty. After walking along the platform to the early morning train, I stood leaning from the train door, listening to the music and the shuffling of the dancers. I was about 150 meters away, the music at that point was Strauss' 'Blue Danube Waltz', and the acoustic was terrible. It finally answered positively the question: how badly does an iron & glass palace reverberate? The answer is: outstandingly badly. The sounds were muffled, the high frequencies were lost, and each sound hung in the air, drifting slowly away. It may well be the only time I get to really hear music being played in a crystal palace with the appropriate level of surrounding silence, and it was incredible, a very special haunted concert. It took me back to this, which I still haven't revealed properly to the others, but perhaps will someday. The music is the E&V rendition of the Albert Palace Grand March:
But then, I was also reminded of this, from back in the Britpop day. It's Mansun's 'Taxloss':