Monday, 21 May 2007

Back from Athens with the sound of the wonderful audience at the Gagarin club still ringing in our ears. What a fabulous night!
Athens is a strange mixture of juxtaposed styles. We stayed in a hotel , the Acropol, in the “Oxford St” part of this ancient city. The place was a hive of activity 24/7 unlike London which knocks off at about 1 am latest these days. It was a dirty area with blackened pavements where it is quite usual to see half excavated wiring or plumbing, apparently left until some one can afford to or be bothered to come back and fix it.
I was out walking on Saturday and sheltered from a cloudburst at the foot of the Acropolis in an open air restaurant called the Five Brothers where I enjoyed Vine growers lamb. This was the best lamb I have ever tasted , wrapped in vine leaves with fetta cheese , potatoes and rice. A glass of red wine and a Greek coffee finished the meal nicely. I didn’t make it up to the Acropolis which is covered in scaffolding for a long term make over. The guys went up there and marvelled at the work going on today in what must be one of the largest and most important restoration projects in Europe. It is strange to come back to London to find that some one has probably tried to burn the Cutty Sark clipper in Greenwich which is one of our importand relics. What kind of people are these destroyers?

At many pedestrian crossings you take your life in your hands as you hit the zebra stripes, especially when the green light is in your favour. Many drivers seem to see it as sign to attack.
Steve, who has visited many parts of Greece says there is no comparison with Athens. He says the countryside is wonderful and the people friendly. The people were mostly friendly in the city of Athens which has a massive population. Most of Greece lives there. We searched the area we were in for some traditional Greek food but mostly it was tourist fodder including the ever present KFC and MacDonalds. Off the beaten track a few more interesting purveyors of traditional foods are to be found but surprisingly few.

In Athens the Gucci set are in evidence and wear their gaudy ( look how much money I have) expensive trash like those saddest Hip hoopers make bling look like brass. The home less beggars look to be more destitute than most beggars in London and there is a population of African street sellers peddling bootleg CD s, umbrellas, table cloths and any thing they can sell. They were insistent but mostly polite and friendly even when I turned down their offers.
I took a few photographs but saved the battery on my video cam for the gig later.

Major streets lined with shops filled with the usual tourist junk are often next to an old derelict building which would have been pulled down by the authorities any where else I have been and certainly in London. There is an air of decay which is ever present. They are many new excavations uncovering ancient artifacts and buildings. There is probably as much underground wealth in Athens as there is over ground.

Back to the gig. We walked out onstage to around 600 people ready to party. We had been concerned people might not understand our lyrics and the chat that comes with every EBB gig. We need not have worried as the crowd erupted at the first string note of Evening over rooftops. They understood every thing and we rocked the house for two hours. They even sang happy Birthday to Steve which was extremely touching and hugely warm of them. At several times I stopped singing and let them sing the song which was marvellous. This was the best audience at any gig since we got back together in 2006. Athens rocks. It is clear to see what years of neglect and the rule of the old Junta has done to this ancient city but the people are what matters and I am sure they will move things on in a bright new future. I have to say I have a sneaking regard for the lack of valuing things just for appearance sake that prevails here among some people and the funk is in some ways endearing. We look forward to playing the Gagarin possibly next year. When ever it is we know it will be a wonderful reunion for us all.
copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2007

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that all went well and that you are back in Blighty! Looking forward to your next UK shows (don't forget the South East!)
best wishes
keith

Anonymous said...

Rob,

Pleased you enjoyed Athens and are back home safely, Greece is one of the friendliest places I have visited, the Greeks and the Cypriots are an extremely welcoming people, I've had some wonderful holidays in there, infact it's where I met my wife way back in 1977 so I have a special affection for the place.

Well Rob, you return to see that the blues were victorious at Wembley, setting another record:-),
lets hope your your boys are successful tomorrow night.

Larry

M said...

Hello from Greece!

It's nice to hear how great the night was but so sad I could not be there myself. Hope you' ll be back soon and I am sure I won't miss it again:-)

About greek drivers... It's such a bad story. Speaking to anyone here about pedestrian walk would sound very peculiar.

I thought you would stay over for the champions league final. For a couple of days there have been too many english people at the streets downtown and too much beer running... Does this mean that beer in England is awful or what?? :-)))

Manolis

Anonymous said...

So, it's the big time at last: The opening track on the current Mojo CD featuring songs that changed music!
Stretched limos, gold plated fishing reels & a bottle of Grecian 2000 for Art are the order of the day! Hopefully a few of today's younger music lovers will be impressed enough to check out the back catalogue.

Love to you guys

Tony H.

Jarle said...

Hi all.
There's now a short clip at you tube from the concert in Greece.
Enjoy !
Jarle.