‘London is a palimpsest’. Was it Peter Aykroyd who said that? I think it was.
This week the capital saw the closure of some of its foremost rock venues. The block on the corner of Oxford Street and Charring Cross Road is being demolished to comport the extension of Tottenham Court Road Station. It’s inevitable that the city needs to swallow up concrete sometimes but like many people I feel a sharp pang of sadness. The backdrop to so many of my teenage exploits is turning to rubble.
Before I could walk past the London Astoria and remember Spliknot’s first UK tour(yeah, I KNOW. That was a short phase. Good loops). Or going to see Therapy? for the first time at the LA2. And then there is Metro’s, my home away from home, the stage of my first English friendships, my boyfriend fainting in my arms and subsequently dumping me(must have got concussed), hanging around Trafalgar Square at 4am and surviving on a diet of cider and snickers. Wearing black lipstick and dog collars. Aaaah bless. The music moved me so much it hurt in my heart.
I went to say goodbye to Metro this tuesday and made sure I made homage to the 16-year-old me. Jumping over the fence to smoke a fag in Soho Square(Why?!!!!!) then having to make a swift escape as I got spotted by bobbies on the beat. Starting a moshpit that resulted in me getting a fat lip and a collection of impressive and painful bruises. Headbanging so much my shoulders hurt two days later.
It was worth it. Soon I’ll walk past there and all that will be left to tell the story will be the local tramps hanging by the cash machines. I want a little picture tattoed in my brain to remind me of all that was and of all the nights I can barely remember.