Another thing I will miss about London: one of the best monthly music nights I’ve had the privilege of attending – and free to boot! – hosted by the very attractive Tom McKean and the Emperors. The second best part is where they shush everyone and threaten to kick you out of the pub for being in any way disruptive of the performances – and then enforce it like they did last night, to mildly thunderous applause from everyone else.
The best part is, obviously, the music. The Emperors always put on a fantastic set (my personal favourite being the one above, plus Spitting Fire), but the other accompanying acts are usually pretty amazing live as well. James Hunter and Emily Barker were at the first Hush I ever went to; particularly loved Franky and the Jacks last night – swinging double bass, fiddle and harmonica music led by a guy in a highly hipsteresque moustache.
(Curiously, do people who attempt to start everyone clapping along to music annoy you? The guy at the next table started clapping the first 10 seconds into almost every damn Franky and the Jacks and Emperors song. Every. Damn. Song that wasn’t a slow, moody one. To everyone else’s credit, no one really followed along, and just listened.)
Met up with a childhood friend last night at Hush, along with a high school acquaintance and her flatmate (both very nice people). The older I get the smaller and more incestuous the Malaysian community seems to become – here in London, all the different social and educational spheres seem to converge in on each other eventually. London is so very small. It was good to see yx after a year, though. It’s odd seeing people who I always think of as belonging to a past I’m glad to have left behind, where all the memories I have of them are somehow tied up with more than a little discomfort, anger and sadness, even though they had no direct part in them.
One thing I will say about Hush is that it’s a very white space. I don’t think it’s indicative of anything much deeper, except to say that very few POCs, for some reason or other, don’t tend to turn up to this event. I’m not sure why that is. We got a few sidelong glances, the four of us sitting in a corner, all of us quite obviously not of the 99% white working-professional mid-twenties to mid-thirties demographic. A even pointed this out: “When I got here I was like wtf it’s full of white people, we’re like the only Asian people in the room”. Still. Good music in a candlelit pub in Bloomsbury. I couldn’t have asked for much else.