I'd had a text from Gina to say that she was playing a few songs at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury.
Well, it had been a fulsome day, starting at seven witha stop-start journey round the M25 to brighton, pre-loaded with Offsprog One's belongings. All was fine, until I got into Brighton itself (accessed via Hollingbury Racecourse, an extraordinary but quite beautiful route). The Satnav swore blind that Offsprog One's road simply didn't exist. I tried all sorts of tricks and eventually broke into mild perspiration after several stressed phone calls to her through clenched teeth. Rename: Satan-nav.
A tough looking man (who had obviously done so much teeth-clenching that most of them had fallen out) had baggsied the parking space outside Offsprog One's house, but somehow we managed to unload and I even found a space further down the footpath-masquerading-as-a-street and had a quick cuppa in her pocket handkerchief garden.
Then it was time for Offsprog Two. We tried loading up from the next street (she was moving from only a street away from Offsprog One to the Big Yellow up the road), but eventually settled on a double yellow line with hazard lights (cue more mild perspiration) and then had a comedy-film hour of the wrong person being at the storage facility to sign the papers, no padlock, the trolley ran down the hill with the house contents on it, etc etc.
Back in London, I sighed a big sigh and thought that at least I'd done a bit to help and nobody looked too miserable even though homelessness was impending (maybe that's changed today).
I felt I deserved a night out in fantasy land and I was not to be disappointed. I got there just in time to see Gina play (did Kitty play too? I'm so sorry if I missed her). Gina was looking exceptionally glamorous and played four songs, including my fave, I Do Not Want To Wear Stilettos. She got a very good reception and was closely questioned by one audience member about her lyrics, and gently mobbed at the end.
There was a chap called Sebastian Willan (I think) who according to Kitty (who was a very charming and funny mistress of ceremonies), wasn't called Sebastian at all, but was really Sam. Sebastian/Sam sang four very funny and simple songs nestled within anecdotes, with an appealing DIY simplicity about them. The best one was his song about the Chairoplanes at Carter's Steam Fair where he had worked for a day, apparently becoming bored after the first half hour. He'd obviously been mildly indoctrinated during his day's employment as his eyes glazed over slightly when he told us the ins and outs of the Chairoplane. He wore super shoes and a shirt that he claimed looked good on the shelf but on the person was a little too like something Noel Edmonds would wear.
Emma Bennett, wearing double headphones, sang, spoke and chirped along to recordings of herself responding in that way to birdsong. It sounded like Dada or Savant poetry until you realised what she was doing and then it all made sense and took on a more beautiful aura, shifting from Joyce Grenfell to Laurie Anderson in one fell swoop. Very aurally interesting and nice to see a committed performance of something so detailed in its dedication to the transcription of birdsong.
Finally, Molly Farquar (?) appeared, telling us about living in the same street as David Bowie, who painted his house black when he moved in, while Molly's family's house had been black and they painted it white. Molly had a box of records and she played firstly Cliff Richards' Summer Holiday followed by a seemingly random series of vinyl singles that got us all up dancing for the grand finale. Funny coincidence of the finale was Molly picking out Jimmy Cliff's You Can Get It If You Really Want It, followed by The Rolling Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want.
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