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The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train

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Body Painting1
 On Wednesday Christie and I went to the Ravi Shankar gig at the Barbican.  Due to the dire progress we’ve experienced travelling in central London in recent months, we set out ages in advance of the gig.  We could in fact have walked there in the time we allowed for, but that would not be the most pleasant of walks to contemplate.  As often happens when one is cautious, the traffic was not too bad and we got there in just about half an hour.  So plenty of time for a drop of wine.  Not the best Merlot I’ve ever had but drinkable and relatively cheap for bar prices.


I was a bit worried that the gig might not take place.  Ravi Shankar had in fact been suffering from a stomach virus recently, and had had to cancel some earlier gigs, but this one went ahead.  We had seats in the front row, so I could see reasonably well.  This made a big difference to me, because even when we’re quite close, sometimes I can’t really see what’s going on.


It started with Ravi’s daughter Anoushka, accompanied by Ravi’s backing musicians and a flautist.  Not that I’m an expert, but to me she seemed to  play very much in Ravi’s style.


After the interval Ravi Shankar appeared on stage to a standing ovation.  He looked pretty frail, and needed to be helped onto the stage, though that was not surprising for an 88 year old recovering from a viral infection.  At first it was apparent that it was quiet a strain for him to play, and I was worried that he might not be on stage for too long.  However once he got going, the strain appeared less, and after a while it was clear he was enjoying himself.  Anoushka stayed on stage, and they complimented each other brilliantly.  The last piece was very long, including influences not just from Indian classical music, but also folk music.  I could have sat there all night listening to this, but it was over all too quickly.  Ravi left the stage as he arrived, to a rousing standing ovation.


It was a concert I will remember for a very long time, and if this does indeed prove to be his farewell to Europe then I am very glad I was there to witness this.

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It was wonderful. Just got back from another amazing gig - none other than Grace Jones! I shall write about that in due course.

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