Friday, September 12, 2014

A Grand Night Out

So, last night we went to see Art Garfunkel at the Royal Festival Hall. When we booked the tickets back in March, the event was billed as an "intimate evening with Art Garfunkel". I'm not sure you could describe the Festival Hall as intimate, but it was a great evening and a real pleasure to listen to him sing live. You get a true sense of the nature of the voice when it's not polished through a studio production.

He sang, he told stories, he read prose and poetry. The audience was both attentive and appreciative. Accompanied by a solo acoustic guitar he gave us his interpretations of Kathy's song, The Sound of Silence, The Boxer, and a host of other songs from five decades of music. His poetry was funny, sensitive and thoughtful.

We both really enjoyed the whole thing and it's great to have now heard both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel live in the past two years.

We don't go out very often, and always wonder why when we live in such close proximity to so much. But that's probably true of many others. After the concert we walked back over the river to Temple tube station to make our way back to Fenchurch Street for the train home. Crossing the river at night is quite a delight. The lights along the river and along the Embankment give you a whole new view of the city. Standing on the terrace of the Festival Hall you can see what we assumed was Charing Cross Station. It took us a little while to work it out, we don't usually see it from the above ground and from the south bank at that!

Years ago stations were mostly just stations. Bleak, uninteresting places through which you passed on your journey from one place to another. Rarely did you enjoy spending any time in them, but now they are hives of activity with shopping centres and restaurants that serve something far more appetising than curled edged sandwiches and questionable sausage rolls. I certainly feel no wave of nostalgia for the hours spent at St Pancras waiting for the train north to Nottingham. These days I could happily while away a couple of hours in a coffee shop or bookshop, even the champagne if pushed! Railway stations are not what they used to be and thank goodness for that!

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