This particular day was my favourite day of the whole trip. It combined numerous interests of mine, mainly sport, Break Even and beer.
I took a tour at Wimbledon. I got off at Wimbledon station and walked, which is not the way to go, it's quite a long walk. The museum at Wimbledon is very impressive. Being such a tennis aficionado, I was wearing my Rod Laver shoes, and found there to be a lack of mentions of the great man. I took a tour, which was also quite interesting. I wouldn't mind going to Wimbledon someday, I think that would be a good sports experience. Right up there, actually.
From there I decided to make my way to Hampstead Heath. My guidebook, which I probably looked at once, told me I could get good city views from there. To get there, I had to change trains four times, a couple of them being on the Overground line, which is notably inferior to the Underground. Funnily enough, they both run on a mixture of over and underground lines.
Hampstead Heath is an enormous park. It was still cold, so I found it surprising to see a guy swimming in one of the lakes there. There are walking and cycles paths everywhere, though no signage to tell you where your going. I think many London authors may have had there ideas of enchanted forests and that type of thing after a visit to Hampstead Heath. Once I got to what seemed like one of the highest points, I could look down to the city. I could barely make out anything as it was quite foggy. I took some more tourist pictures, then waited at the bus stop. The bus apparently came every six minutes, I think I waited twenty. It came eventually, I had to take a bus, then get a tube down to Camden.
Break Even were playing at a place in Camden called The Underground. It my normal style of organisation, I had no idea where it was, how I was going to find it, or if “Camden Town” was even the right stop. Coming out from the station, I looked down the road a little way, there it was. That was easier than I expected. I popped into a record store, they had a good collection there, if I was a collector of records, I may have parted with a significant amount of money. I'm not though, I don't have a record player, so the worry of how to transport these things was not an issue.
It had been a pretty long day, I wasn't really in the mood for talking to anybody, so I sat at the bar and drank some pints. I was meeting Dan is the pub upstairs from the venue, Worlds End. It was a pretty big place, so I wasn't sure where to sit. I had a pint in each bar, then ordered some chips. Just as I was finishing my plate, Dan walked in.
Break Even were on first, it seemed an early start, they were on at 7.30. We were sorted for pints and had a good position as they went into “Run For Your Life”. They played the usual set of songs from The Bright Side, but today they were in brilliant form. Definitely one of the best times I have seen them. During the time I started a circle pit around a pole and did a stagedive, all on the other side of the world. Their set was a lot of fun, and there were quite a few people getting right into it, singing along to all the words.
We went outside in search of some dinner. We ate some pizza slices from a nearby place, they were terrible. Probably some of the worst food in my life. We missed Awaken Demons, and came back in and saw a song of TRC. What a terrible band. They have two singers, one guy looks like a security guard patrolling the stage, that's how little he actually sings. I can't even remember really what sort of style they played in, but it wasn't good. Back to the bar for some more beer.
We had some good chats with Mawds, singer from Break Even. He may just win the prize for “nicest guy in the world”. I told him I was going to Perth later in the year, he told me he'd show me around. The Ghost Inside were next up, I didn't really know anything about them, so I was a little sceptical. They were really good, I will definitely check them out when they tour here later in the year. Kind of Hatebreed sounding, but with an added punk edge. I liked them a lot. I couldn't say the same about Deez Nuts. I've avoided them for so long, but I thought, while I was there, I might watch them. I think I lasted 45 seconds. What an absolutely terrible band.
Sometime in the bar, we met some more people from Australia. Most of them were wankers. However, Dan met this one girl that he had met once before at a punk show in Canberra and fallen madly in love with. They never met again until this night, unfortunately for Dan, the girl had met another bloke at that same show, they were now an item.
We had a few more beers after the show, then made our way into the city. We had to change from the tube to a bus as by this time it was quite late. We were walking somewhere around SoHo and came across a few guys kicking a soccerball in a laneway. We asked if we could join and got involved. As time went on, more and more people started doing the same, there must have been 20 people involved at one stage. Football fever is well and truly alive. The game was great, the ball would just come off windows, into cars, play on. It wasn't a game as such, but people would get on a run and then just as many people would come in as defence. It was a lot of fun. The game eventually dissipated, and we waited at the bus stop. We waited for a long, long time and eventually along came a red double decker bus. We both fell asleep and I woke up to “Next stop, East Acton”. “Get up, get get up, let's go”. “Lucky you were paying attention” “I just woke up, quick quick, let's go”.
When we got home, some of the other guys were drinking some more out the back. I think I might have had one more beer, but I was so tired, I was ready for bed. Goodnight.