P!nk: The Truth About Love Tour at the O2

One of my favourite singers, Pink, is touring at the moment and I went to see her at the O2 last night. Seeing as it was such a lovely day, I decided to take the scenic route and reach the O2 via the new Emirates Air Line.

Emirates Air Line
Coming in to land by the O2

This cable car takes you across the Thames from the Royal Victoria DLR station to the O2, and the views are fabulous. When I arrived I decided to pop into Tesco for a drink, hoping to avoid the ridiculously priced wine from the bar inside the arena. Unfortunately everyone had already had the same idea, and all that was left was red wine. I quite like red wine sometimes but this stuff wasn’t particularly nice. I drank it, though. No way was I going to waste wine.

Pink
Pink perching on a tower after one of her acrobatic feats

So, the concert itself – named The Truth About Love Tour after the most recent album. It was fantastic! The show began with a rather odd gent who seemed to be acting as a kind of Master of Ceremonies. He introduced Pink in a rather unexpected fashion and kept us entertained in between costume changes. Pink herself was on top form: she sang brilliantly and displayed some amazing acrobatic skills into the bargain, particularly when singing ‘Sober’ inside a large hanging cage and most impressively during the closing number ‘So What’ which saw her flying above the heads of the enraptured audience. I have so much respect for this woman: how anyone can demonstrate that amount of acrobatic activity while managing to sing live at the same time must be hugely talented and committed!

She’s a fantastic singer, though, even without the distracting acrobatic feats: some of the show’s ┬ábest moments came when she sat on a stool and sang accompanied by a sole guitar or piano (the latter of which she played herself). ‘Raise Your Glass’ got the acoustic treatment and sounded brilliant, while ‘The Great Escape’ (from the new album) sounded even more gorgeous with its stripped down backing. I also loved the cover of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’, which was completely unexpected but suited her voice completely.

Predictably, most of the songs Pink sang came from the new album: ‘Are We All We Are’, ‘Just Give Me A Reason’, ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’, ‘Try’ (one of my favourites), ‘How Come You’re Not Here’, ‘Slut Like You’, ‘Walk of Shame’. There were some surprises too: at one point she launched into a medley of songs from her debut album – ‘Most Girls’, ‘There You Go’ and ‘You Make Me Sick’. I was pleased to see her sing ‘Trouble’, as it is one of my favourites, but gutted that once again she omitted ‘Don’t Let Me Get Me’ – this is one of my favourite ever Pink songs and I’m yet to hear her perform it live.

Still, I loved the show – Pink still has what it takes, she is brilliant and frankly I don’t know why she isn’t even more popular!

Pink

London Transport Museum Depot Open Weekend – We Love Steam!

As a bit of a tube geek, I clearly wasn’t going to pass up the chance to visit the London Transport Museum‘s Acton depot on their annual spring Open Weekend. The depot is crammed full of all the things that won’t fit in the museum proper in Covent Garden, and there are plenty of gems to discover, such as this ornate arch:

The depot is basically a giant warehouse and it takes a good while to explore. I liked this rather sweet model of a steam train, and this fascinating cross-section of Westminster station.

There were countless maps, including this one from 1910, showing how the Underground network has changed over the years.


Several corridors were lined with old Tube signs, including those from now-defunct stations such as Ongar and Aldwych.

The largest part of the depot was filled with vehicles: examples of Tube trains and carriages from various eras, as well as several styles of buses.

My trip to the depot was fascinating and I’m glad I went along. London Transport Museum host a couple of these weekends a year, as well as various activities, which are displayed on their events page. I definitely recommend taking a look.

7 Hammersmith Terrace

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The front of 7 Hammersmith Terrace

The other weekend I visited 7 Hammersmith Terrace, former home of Emery Walker and boasting an original Arts & Crafts interior. The house is only open at certain times via guided tour, so I booked my visit online and turned up at the house just before eleven. 7 Hammersmith Terrace is on the north bank of the Thames, near Stamford Brook tube station on the District line.

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Emery Walker (1851-1933) was a printer and was a great friend to William Morris, who lived nearby at Kelmscott House. He also had contact with many of the other leading cultural and political figures of the period, including Philip Webb and George Bernard Shaw. His house is filled with authentic furniture and decorations from the period: William Morris wallpaper, furniture left to Walker by Webb, photographs, artefacts and personal items such as a lock of hair, as well as items he and his daughter Dorothy picked up on their travels.

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Back of the house, seen from the garden

This is a beautiful house and well worth a visit – I definitely recommend booking a tour.

FACTS

Address: 7 Hammersmith Terrace, London, W6 9TS

Website: emerywalker.org.uk

Opening Hours: Guided tour only; visit emerywalker.org.uk/booking.