Carnaby Echoes - and Frozen Yoghurt

I am back. The last few days there wasn’t really much to blog about. Uni kept me busy, I met up with a couple of people for coffee inbetween and went to a talk with Harriet Harman, member of parliament, about the regulation of the press and so on. So I had my weekly routine. 

Today - I was very much looking forward to that as exploring the city and getting to know London is still on the agenda - I went to the heart of London with three others girls who are on my programme. The weather treated us well and so we all met at London Bridge to go to Oxford Circus. We got off the tube and headed over to the famous Carnaby Street in order to learn something about the history of music. 

The area, or rather street, celebrated its 100th music birthday, I shall say, and thus, people set up a range of pictures and music pieces from all kinds of genres one could listen to. The exhibition (not as big as I thought it would be) is called Carnaby Echoes by artist Lucy Harrison, providing a lot of visual and musical material - a journey back into the past.

It was all about jazz, blues, hip hop, rock, reggae and much more. The pictures and films one could watch told the stories about Carnaby’s (music) subcultures.

“Places are defined by events, by epoch, by sound; and, in turn, come to define those events, that epoch, that sound.” (Miranda Sawyer on the exhibition)

There are some sort of music stations. You just have to enter a certain number - a catalogue of all the titles and a few descriptions are provided - and you can listen to a famous song from long time ago. Classics, a lot of them.

Let me tell you a bit about what we’ve seen (now is the time for you to scroll down if you think that might not be of interest for you ;) The next guys are a little requiring getting used to. But still they represent a certain type of music culture in the 1980s. The Batcave was known for its Gothic touch and rather dubious figures. It belonged to the Fouberts Club. Members of the bands Specimen and Sexbeat were running this place.

“[…] Carnaby Street was like a catwalk. Often people did not even buy anything, they just walked around looking amazing. […] everyone would see you.” (Boy George)

Now, I presume you all recognize the next lady? The woman with the unique, soul-ish voice who - unfortunately - died…but as an icon.

Yes, of course, it’s none other than Amy Winehouse. This picture shows her at Deal Real, which was a hip hop record shop from 2002 until six years ago having hosted live events.

I guess I am jumping back and forth in time but the next photographs display a famous shop back in the 60s called Lord John. The conspicuous, colourful painted front of the building was an eye-catcher.

Staying in the 1960s, The Roaring Tewenties was the place to be. Musicans like the Rolling Stones - young adults by that time -, The Who as well as the Georgie Fame spent their nights at this hotspot. The owner, Lennie Weston, had intented to make this club a meeting point for the Jewish youth. However, his plan failed and so he mixed the vibes and the clientele was very diverse. And so was the music: DJ Count Suckel played ska reggae, American R&B, e.g. Even Mick Jagger was amongst the multiracial crowd.

The club became known as the very first place in the West End of London having welcomed people with various ethnic backgrounds. By the end of the 60s, the nightclub was re-named Columbo’s.

Lastly, jumping to the mid-70s to mid-80s. The following picture shows an issue of the New Musical Express, a legendary music publication.

“Being in Soho you had all the record companies nearby, and venues and studios, so it meant that anyone you wanted to meet, you could go and see them in person, or they would just drop in off the street, because there was no security or anything.” (Paul du Noyer)

This was our travel through music time. I don’t want to give away too much. If you are around London and fancy going then hurry up (!) because the exhibition is only running until Sunday, the 20th. It is free, by the way - if this is decisive. ;)

Letting all the impressions sink in, we wandered along the street with its little - or not so little - shops, cosy cafés and stalls. Soho is a nice area, it was my first time there and it is way different from where I live here in L-town. I mean, what do you expect? It’s central London, baby. Anyway, I should not complain because I currently live in this vibrant city and that means I can go to whatever area I feel like going - because it will still be in London. And there is much to see. Have I mentioned that in former posts? Oh, I did? Never mind, I tend to repeat things in the rush of my over-excitement. Scuzi!

I have a thing for deer print. Just can’t help it (be aware of my scarf).

Also, I found my brother’s store. Obviously named after him.

And then we found this. Pink. So awfully bright pink. Even the ceiling was a highlight (it changed colors after a while).

I have to admit that I have never had frozen yoghurt before - and neither did J. Never? Never ever. I guess today was the day.

C. and E. literally forced us to try it. It was a rather bad idea.Why? I mean, just look at it. Seriously. Have. a. look. at it.

So, what do you see? (You might want to come a bit closer)

Right! Pure temptation and deliciousness. It makes you want more. Unfortunately, I have acquired a taste for it. Bad. So bad.

This is just so hard to resist. Chocolate-frozen-yoghurt with strawberry-brownie-caramel topping. Any questions? And just as a footnote: We all know brownies are best if they are sticky from the inside. I can assure you: that was the case! Our newly discovered taste for this kind of treat simply made us smile. At least the “yoghurt” is sort of healthy. The strawberries are, too.

We kept on walking until we reached the theatre district, also known as Covent Garden.

As if we haven’t had enough of bright, colorful places…check out this art work!

Although I felt quite tempted to try it, I don’t think there is not a lot of chemicals in this master piece of a cake. Just think of the artificial colouring. I should have given it a try. Don’t you think?

We reached our destination. Covent Garden might be one of my favorite places of London, so far. 

There is always something to do and/ or something going on. Whenever one feels bored - never, of course - one could just easily take the train/ tube and go to this fabulous place. Either for watching people and the range of entertainment going on over a cup of Chai Latte (my preferred beverage at present - symbolically celebrating my favorite season) or strolling around and…watching people? No, seriously. It is a lively area that offers a lot.

Don’t forget to stock up on tea!

It was a relaxed, yet instructive afternoon with the girls.

Next on the agenda: a musical. What’s on? What’s good? So far, we haven’t reached the state of consensus.