There’s something very messy about Soho late at night. It’s not a part of town that I frequent often; age and apathy have seen to this. The backstreets of W1 are very much a young person’s pleasure ground.
But there is a certain appeal to be found in occasionally getting caught up in all the chaos, absorbing the debauchery around you and wishing that you could turn back the clock ten or fifteen years.
I must have drunk in all of the shabby backstreet boozers over the years, suffered endless crappy showcase gigs at hidden away hovels, and even somehow managed to blag into some of the cliché C list circuit toilet venues.
Waste of time, waste of money.
And so I was happy to have my midweek saunter around Soho carried out on my bicycle. Straight in, observe, and then back to base and in bed in time for Today in Parliament.
Michael Winterbottom’s Wonderland remains the definitive cellular portrayal around these parts. It’s the collision of colour, shady characters and sheer cheekiness, all captured to perfection on film that makes Wonderland so alluring.
But that too is from a different era. Ten years to be precise. No looking back.
Oh yeah – and if this post reads like something of the beginning for my Londinium ending, then you’re not too far from the truth. It’s the start of a long goodbye to the London I know.
And so a song that I use to associate with my glory years of living in London, stumbling around the twisted streets of Soho, now comes to signify a new start.
Or even Eastwards…