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People Watching

8 June 2011

I went to an amazing gig last night, but only after I had first run home from work, via Regent’s Park. As part of the run I went past the gig venue (Koko, Camden). It was a grown-up concert, featuring an orchestra, so there wasn’t anyone queuing up to be first in as I ran past at 5.30pm.

One of the many pleasures of running from my office in Kings Cross to Regent’s Park is passing Koko and trying to work out who’s playing that night judging from the age, outfits and behaviour of whoever’s in the queue. The weirdest queues are always for the most mainstream acts. The younger the singer, the older, fatter and odder the fan at the front. The best queues to watch are for ’emo’ bands – apologies if that’s not an accepted term any more. They look like they’re having the most fun together hanging out and everyone has made an effort to look different, with the result that they all look the same. When I run past them drinking vodka out of coke bottles and swearing self-consciously, it makes me wish I could be 15 and belong to a tribe that wears stripey socks.

Back to the run. There was nobody outside Koko and very few people in Regent’s Park. The half term rush had gone and the sky was glowering ominously. I cut through Primrose Hill on my way home and got a bit lost. I always get confused around there – all the rich people wearing high quality leisure-wear  sitting at the pavement cafes look so similar I can’t work out which street I’m on. I don’t want to belong to their tribe.

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