Oh to be in love And never get out again
Catherine Bush caused a bit of a stir this week. First she announced a series of 15 concerts (soon increased to 22); her first live performances for 35 years, and then all 22 sold out within minutes of going on sale. Seems that Kate’s appeal has continued unabated despite her long periods of silence in the intervening decades. Of course part of the reason that they sold out so quickly was her choice of venue; Hammersmith Apollo has good rock and roll credentials (Was it Styx that I last saw there?) but has a capacity of only 5,000. It’s a fitting venue though, as her last live show was at the nearby Hammersmith Odeon. Reasons for her avoidance of touring since are highly speculative, but I hope the monotony of 22 nights in the same venue doesn’t cement those reasons and prevent her playing live for the next 35 years! These days the obvious venue for a spectacular comeback lies at the other side of London. I’ve never seen a concert there, but as I was staying that the nearby Royal Victoria Dock I was at least able to photograph this architectural icon. Last time I stayed at the dock was for a charity event in Canary Wharf and I paid little attention to the environment there, but this huge man-made pool could fool you into thinking it was the Thames itself that you were looking at. It’s near neighbour the Royal Albert is even larger at three miles long and contains within its length the runway of London City Airport!
At the western end of the dock was my first objective for the weekend; the Emirates Air Line, nothing to do with the airport but the UK’s only urban cable car, and a more petite cousin of New York’s Roosevelt Island Tramway. It carries passengers (though relatively few of them) over the Thames for the kilometre or so to reach my objective; the O2 Arena, formerly known as the Millennium Dome. Take note Kate, its capacity is four times that of the Apollo. This impressive structure was the target for much abuse when originally built, and the publicly funded project was seen as a white elephant. All that is forgotten now for as the O2 arena it is the world’s busiest venue. A bit of capitalist vision seems to have made all the difference!