Yes today was just up my street, sitting comfortably in a grand hall, enjoying great music, clapping and shifting to the beat on my seat, being surprised by a trapped and flapping pigeon on the dusty ceiling rafters, watching white Anglo-Saxon babes -in-arms snuggling up on parent laps, hearing sopranos’ soaring voices and recognising quality.
The Great Hall, the former Leyton council offices decked out in orange ribbons and fake flowers was the venue for the Walthamstow Acoustic Massive and Strung Out who performed “Express Symphony”, a piece in four movements -and don’t clap after each movement,- inspired by the new Walthamstow, the Walthamstow of love and marshes, boutiques and quaint exotic street-sellers (indigenes). I loved it. It reminded me of André Rieu’s concerts on Sky, the Halifax and the Mazda adverts. We joined in singing a song about California and something about Elbow. Ah, the assumptions about our shared heritages. To me Walthamstow Villagers had come into Leyton for the day and I wondered if in that Babylon there were any Leytonites.
Twas nothing like I expected. I thought it would be a massive place of chairs in rows and peopled by senior citizens shipped in from care homes with an AgeUK do-gooder look alike taking us down memory lane again. Couldn’t have been more wrong. I loved the informality, the fast-pace in the programme and the good cheer. I missed the same music at the Beulah Road E17’s new wool shop’s launch last night. Shan’t miss Wednesday night at Orford Road’ s social club to join singing for all with Lizzie Renihan. We’ll see. Meanwhile I’m enjoying someone’s Oboe concerto I heard on Radio 3 this morning then it’s the plasic world of bad singers at X Factor. Remember “Saturday Night At The London Palladium”?