On Sunday I made a new friend! Wandering through town, I already taken in multiple cultures in Trafalgar Square where there had been whirling water carriers, Vietnamese water-puppets & West Indian revision of West African dancing. I watered my horse in Soho and was strolling north along Charing Cross Road when I beholded a crowd and a cacophony on Denmark Street (aka the UK Tin Pan Alley)
It was the inaugural Tin Pan Alley festival. They’d put up a stage at one end of this musical street, put a succession of guitar based bands on the stand, and let the public wander in at the other. Which is what I did a bit after six.
In any large crowd of people I always expect to see someone I know and even more so at a free music event in London so I keep an eye out but for an hour I saw no-one I knew and no-one interesting new. But I was right all along, as on leaving a friendly fellow psychology student saw me, and did even better than that when she & her charming partner bought me some beer and potato chips. We passed a pleasant hour or so listening to some variable acts. The Others were good but I can’t remember the names of the others.
When it finished we remained squatted in the street soaking up the atmosphere. A local homeless man swayed into view. Earlier Abbie had told me the tale of a bedraggled man collapsed in a doorway, his brow split open, that this fellow had a pristine white dressing above his left eye identified him as the same & I smiled a hello in his direction.
He wandered over, impressively more drunk than I & merrier too & pressed a can of stella into my hand, an unopened can still quite cold! Having not quite finished my 2nd free beer from Abbie & Kevin I tried to refuse but he was more pleased when at last I relented!
His conversation matched his demeanor; slightly deranged & unsteady but he did endear himself to me even further. He decided that I looked uncannily like a young David Bowie.
Now he’s not the first person to have said that. In fact, he is the fourth. The first & third were former girlfriends who (by coincidence!?) were both huge Bowie fans and remarked regularly on my resemblance during our respective relationships. Much as I am trusting of the fine words of a woman intent on seducing me, it was the second & now fourth testimonies that swung it for me. The second was a drunk & dishevelled Scotsman on a number 25 bus who proved hard to convince that I wasn’t actually Bowie. “Aren’t I a bit young? & why would I be on a no. 25?”
Adding the opinion of my generous new friend only adds to this scientific fact.
(And on the very street where Bowie once camped out.)
I am proud and delighted to be able to say that I am the sort of person that London’s homeless feel the need to give their drinks to.
Incidently, the event was for the homelessness charity Shelter, I hope you join me in supporting them.