Levelling the Royal Albert Hall

As part of their 20th anniversary the Levellers played a mostly acoustic set at the Royal Albert Hall. The venue is certainly impressive, and not somewhere you’d expect the Levellers to play. After a quick pint in an nearby Imperial College union bar we started off with a fantastic meal in the restaurant. Due to a lack of bookings they’d had to move us from the “cheap” restaurant to the expensive one, so to make up for the increased prices our desserts and most of our drinks were provided free of charge which knocked a fair chunk off the bill.

The support act was Nick Harper, lets just say we decided to head back to the bar after a few songs rather than have to listen to any more of him.

The Levellers did a two-part set, all of it seated. This was probably due to the fact that Jon Sevink had a foot in plaster and walked out with the aid of crutches. The first 50 minutes or so was all acoustic, and they were joined for several songs by an acoustic string quartet. After another swift pint in the bar during the interval we returned for the last hour or so which was a more normal electric set cumlinating with the obligatory rendition of One Way.

Another swift pint in the Imperial College bar was in order after we left, then it was time for the tube back to Harrow.

Setlist:

No Change
Elation
Edge of the World
Julie
The Boatman
Together All the Way
Lowlands of Holland
Before the End
Chemically Free
Another Man’s Cause

Far from Home
Beautiful Day
Death Loves Youth
Behold a Pale Rider
Exodus
Hope Street
Burn America Burn
Carry Me
Dirty Davey
Cholera Well

This Garden
Men-An-Tol
One Way

The perils of shopping with other people

Dan led me astray whilst shopping in Harrow today. I came out of Waterstones with 7 books costing £62 or so, then ended up spending another £23 on 6 DVDs in HMV. I managed to resist temptation in the comic book shop, partly ‘cos that’s what I’d been buying in Waterstones. I now have a tired arm from carrying everything round town, but there’s a bottle of Badger Golden Champion in front of me which will no doubt prove an effective cure.

Third time lucky

At the third attempt we made it down to Dunkeswell airfield for Father’s 60th birthday present, a flight in a de Havilland Tiger Moth. The first flight was cancelled when we got there due to bad weather, the second was cancelled before we left Bath due to even worse weather, and today the weather behaved itself.

A slow trip down was followed by lunch, then it was time for the flight which lasted just under an hour in the end, I stayed firmly on the ground taking photos.

Getting ready

In flight

A last cup of tea and then it was time for the drive home again.

Tiger Moth flight photos
Other Dunkeswell photos

Life behind bars

It’s time for yet another attempt at resurrecting the cross bike. I sort of fell out of love with it, and stopped riding it a year or two back, after deciding it was too short for me. However if I’m going to ride home with Ian a couple of nights a week, I need to bring it back into service.

The first job is to replace the bars. Currently it has fairly narrow Salsa Bell Laps fitted, after work today I picked up some Bontrager Race Lite VR bars in a super-wide 46cm. If they improve the position then I’ll swap the XT triple chainset for a compact Tiagra or something and fit a bigger cassette to keep the gearing the same. If they don’t improve the position then it’s probably time for a Surly Cross Check or similar.

I’ve got a day off work tomorrow, then I’m off to see the Levellers at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night.

First class to Totnes

Today was the District Scout outing to Woodlands Park in Devon (I’d link to their website if it wasn’t so obnoxious). First Group laid on a private train to Totnes for us, then coaches to the park, and the same in reverse coming home again. Thanks to the seating plan we had to endure the hardship of sitting in the first class carriage each way.

After the fog had cleared the sun shone and it was a nice hot sunny day. The Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts were mostly well behaved, and I don’t think we managed to leave any behind. The only downside is that it’s wrecked my back again.

Photos to follow at some point, probably.