Night in Great Portland Street (229 the Venue)

Wednesday 3rd October 2012: As amazing as London is, sometimes there are those nights that just stand out (and those you want to forget).  This was one of the former.  It was hump day but rather than rushing home to get to bed after work and get closer to Thursday, I decided to head to 229 for a bit of live music.

I had no idea who was playing, or that I’d stay but we bought tickets anyway and went for dinner nearby at Iberica, which I highly recommend for dates or a more civilised group dinner.  You will find very yummy tapas and a great selection of wine.

Back to 229 and the band were about to start, so we went to the bar for a drink (very reasonable prices too as this place is below the International Students House).  Anyway, Bitter Ruin was the name of the band playing and we didn’t expect much but they were fantastic.  A male/female supercool duo; Georgia – extremely powerful and piercing vocals reminiscent of Kate Bush; and Ben – guitarist and vocals.  Together they create this light and dark atmosphere that you can’t help let silence you into giving them your utmost attention.

Their song ‘Sea Cave‘ stayed with me long after the gig had finished.  I felt like I was literally bleeding with emotion, it cuts you deep.  I started breathing again when they were joined on stage by a backing choir and various musicians.  Here is a video from the actual night, this is ‘Soldier‘.

You’d think this would be enough to qualify as a fantastic night out but wait, there’s more!  I had a feeling I recognised this guy who was wandering around, seemingly checking out the acoustics in a sound engineer type-of-way.  It was only bloomin’ Matt Lucas!

It seems he is trying his hand at being a band manager, what a lucky band!  It has led to the likes of Stephen Fry saying stuff like this:

“Initially rather disturbing, but ultimately brilliant!” – Stephen Fry

He also admits to be a massive fan of the band in this video.   Of course…I just had to ask for a photo….


About Hayles

Living in and loving London, I like to cram in as much as possible. I have a lot of different hobbies which I start on a whim and most of the time abandon for something else! My current interests include film, TV, music, comedy, art, photography, theatre and finding new yummy food establishments. Mostly I just love to experience the many joys and wonders that London offers. I started this blog to help me remember what I've actually done at the end of each year, but now I actually really enjoy writing and sharing what I hope is funny and/or useful information.
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