Sunday, May 25, 2008

Look that up in your Frank and Walters

To answer Sue's question from the last entry, I wasn't able to watch the Eurovision finals last night, because I'm staying at the super frugal easyHotel in South Kensington where you can get a cozy (i.e. really small!) room with a flat screen for about £30 a night, but a remote for the TV costs £5 more per night. I had to read on the internet that the Russian entry ended up winning (Eurovision is so rigged in the favour of Eastern Europe, so even the UK betting shops weren't taking odds on it!), and decided to hit the town, since there are many better things to do in London than watch the telly.

For my night on the town, I went to see the Frank and Walters (who I saw last October in Dublin) at the Luminaire (where I saw School of Language and The Week That Was last Friday). The F&W are an Irish Britpop (Celtpop?) band from Cork, Ireland who have been dubbed "the happiest band in the world". Lead vocalist Paul Linehan formed the band with his brother Niall in the early 90s (which probably gave their roadie Noel Gallagher the idea to start a band with his brother.. make of that what you will) and they've been legends of sorts ever since.

The gig I saw in Dublin was on a Wednesday night at a student union but this was Saturday night at a pub on Kilburn High Road so it was a much more raucus affair. I've downloaded most of the F&W albums from emusic, but there is still a lot of their catalog that's unknown to me, but the people in the audience knew all the words to all the songs and kept the chant "we are, we are, we are we are we are the Frank and Walters!" going between songs. The band has a distinct sound that's sort of like the Smiths meet the Pogues, and play a lot of unique cover tunes in their own style. Last night it was "Pop Muzik" and "Funky Cold Medina". You haven't lived a full life until you've seen a crowd of drunken paddys rapping along to Tone Loc!

This is my last night in London, and then back home tomorrow. It's raining right now, but hopefully it will clear up later so I can play outside. Otherwise it's a day of visiting museums. There are a bunch of cool and free museums in London, but I think they mostly exist so tourists will have something to do on a rainy day. I've visited London on enough rainy days that I've managed to see most of the museums: The British Museum, The Victoria & Albert, the National History. The only one remaining is the Science Museum, so I think that's on the docket if the weather doesn't clear up!

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