Monday, 2 April 2007


Wurlitzer organ

Yesterday, I attended part of a concert on the country's biggest Wurlitzer organ. This took place in what is the second biggest cinema ever built in the UK (the biggest one was located in Scotland). The former Gaumont State cinema in Kilburn, north London could sit 4000.

The cinema was opened in 1937 but has now been turned into a bingo hall which was also its life line.

I can't say I was particularly impressed by the music. The organist was obviously very good but the instrument seemed to flatten everything, making the melody almost undistinguishable from the rest of the music. The characteristic sound of the instrument seemed also incredibly melancholy (even when playing up-beat numbers); although this was probably quite appropriate in the corrupted and compromised grandeur of the remnants of the cinema's past glories.

I, of course, took pictures, a selection of which is available here.

After the concert, my companion and I, took advantage of the lovely weather and walked all the way back to Oxford Circus where we said goodbye. I kept on walking across Soho to Covent Garden, crossed the Thames at Waterloo Bridge and meandered throught the back streets to the St George's Circus end of Blackfriars Road. And then home to dinner.


In completely unrelated news, today marks the first day of the smoking ban in enclosed public places in Wales. Three months to go before the same happens in England!

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