Monday, 1 August 2011
Vintage at the Southbank
Last year we spent a day at Vintage at Goodwood. Despite the rain, we had a great time. There was so much to look at, so much to buy & so much to do. I seem to remember we spent probably £60 odd on a day ticket but it felt worth it and I would have done it again, given the opportunity. It felt like 99.9% of people who went had made a real effort and I was in awe. I was naive this year and imagined that Vintage at the Southbank would be much of the same. I knew it wouldn't feel quite as special being in London but all the same, I looked forward to it and booked the Friday off work so I could spend the whole 3 days down there, taking photos, seeing some bands, doing lots of people watching.
Alarm bells began to sound pretty quickly when it seemed nigh on impossible to make any sense of the programme - what was on, when, what was free, what wasn't. A million emails went back and forth between us all, trying to figure it out. Then the ticket prices started to drop - hugely. This is never a good sign and I felt for those people that had paid the full price of what, I think was up to £100. As we still couldn't see what we were actually paying for, we (luckily) didn't buy a ticket so avoided that annoyance.
So...Friday. The vintage market was ok I guess....lots of stalls but not a lot of space. I think I'm probably spoilt by lots of vintage markets where I live so nothing really struck me as spectacular. The best part, if I'm honest, were the free samples of Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Oh, the furniture was pretty lovely but I couldn't get that home on the Northern Line. We spent the majority of time in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where the NUTs had put some free bands on and thank god they had. DC Fontana, Big Boss Man & the Small Fakers were pretty amazing....The Yardbirds however, weren't. I'm positive Johnny Depp turned up to watch The Small Fakers....and I don't blame him one little bit.
Saturday. Don't even get me started on Saturday. It was hot, it was crowded with people that wouldn't know vintage if it slapped them in the face and I found it all very distressing!!!!!! The best way I could describe the market was a bad fancy dress party - lots of silly little posh girls buying "vintage darlink" with Daddy's money and middle-aged women in white go go boots who should know better. I am a middle aged woman I might add so am allowed to say that. This wouldn't have happened at Goodwood but the fact that any old Tom, Dick or Harry could walk in off the Southbank made for a trying afternoon. There was absolutely nothing of any interest in the free areas so my visit on Saturday was very short...I can't even say sweet.
Sunday. 3 days on and still unsure what the hell we could get for free and what we couldn't! We blagged our way in on the guest list...as did many of our peers it seems. The whole of the Royal Festival Hall was a sweat-box - no air-con and completely unbearable. We nabbed our free ice-cream and went out onto the disco terrace overlooking the Thames. With a very large Pimms in hand and the world seemed a nice place again. Seeing lots of smiling people dancing to "proper 70s disco" in the sunshine was a nice sight and you know it's a good party when the East End Elvis's turn up (or is that Elvi?). We watched Graham Gouldman from 10CC do a set of 60s hits in The Leisure Lounge and he sounded lovely. Highlight was seeing Bill Wyman walk round the stage. We ventured into the Soul Casino briefly to catch a tiny bit of Norman Jay and some tunes courtesy of Mr Piller. As much as I would have loved to see Mr Ant do a whole 2 songs (!!!!) in the Revue, a tenner just wasn't worth it. Sorry Adam.
So, overall, not a great weekend at all Wayne. It could have been so much better. Nothing was worth the money that was being charged initially. The words "tumbleweed" and "clueless" have been used a lot this weekend and they sum it up perfectly. Thank god for good friends, Crabbies & sunshine. #justsaying.