DISPATCHES FROM LONDON

Monday 30th, July 2012 / 15:14

ON THE ROAD TO SHOOT BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE

Miles of no smoking.

July 5, 2012: I smoke, so the last cigarette put out at YVR took on an importance that was highlighted over the next what felt like days until arriving at Gatwick Airport. That vision took on a Holy Grail quality. At Gatwick, I found the outside before I took the no smoking train to London. It seems no one smokes in London either, all I saw were people texting and mapping or whatever on their iPhones. Ya, not an ad here, they were all iPhones. I noticed that because my phone, with data roaming turned off, had turned into my watch on English time.

1981 D.O.A. Trafalgar Square

July 6, 2012: 1981 was the last time I was in London and I was with D.O.A. on their first trip there. This time I was looking for similarities to then. I found Kings Road had managed to take any reference to the punk rock street it had been and replaced it with Baby Gap and all shopping chain stores. The Lyceum was turned from a rock and roll music place where Lemmy was always on the guest list to a high-end restaurant. The pigeons were gone from Trafalgar Square, fines for feeding them did that I guess. This 1981 photo could not be taken in 2012.

Anton and Collin

July 7 & 8, 2012: I went to London to see my friend Anton and his band The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Shepard’s Bush in London and the Ritz in Manchester. Anton and I were in touch by email and he provided me with a photo pass for both shows to take photos for the entire show. I do wish there had been better stage lights. The set was about one-and-a-half hours, an hour shorter than the sets in Australia he broadcasted live on Ustream. Nice to see Anton and the band, and meet tons of people I only knew by their online persona.

Photo of me taken by Sabzz in Piccadilly Circus.

July 11, 2012: I stayed in London in Bloomsbury, where the University of London and many smaller residences and universities are located. The area is quiet and unaffected by the hustle of the big city and yet it is south of three large train stations. By the end of my stay I had almost figured out how to get home on the first try from Underground station without the map. I really am not good at finding my way around London it seems, more practice is needed.

More photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bevdavies

Words and photos by Bev Davies

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