28th & 29th March 2014: London (England, Great Britain) for VAMPS

A friend convinced me to attend this VAMPS concert in London by paying for the VIP upgrade in advance. I took a red-eye flight on Saturday morning to Gatwick and went directly to Camden, where the venue, Koko live house, stood.

The venue, a neoclassical building with a marking reading Koko

Aside from the run to the hotel, I spent most of the day in the queue, which was rewarded when I got an autograph from HYDE himself on the Sex Blood Rock ‘n’ Roll album.

Hyde's autograph on the Sex Blood Rock n' Roll CD

It was probably due to the high of the autograph, but this is one of the best concerts that I’ve ever attended, with lots of amazing songs, and I had a great time. I did not freeze during the Meet and Greet, and I shook hands with both members, mumbled something along the lines of “thanks for the autograph” to Hyde and “thanks for the pick” to K.A.Z, referring to the one I got in Barcelona. Then I bounced off the evening with most of the songs:
  1. Devil side
  2. Redrum
  3. The past
  4. Secret in my heart
  5. Replay
  6. Dolly
  7. Sweet Dreams
  8. Life on Mars?
  9. Hunting II
  10. World’s end
  11. Angel trip
  12. Trouble
  13. Midnight celebration
  14. Revolution II
  15. Memories
  16. Love addict
  17. Sex Blood Rock N’ Roll

The venue at night

The next morning my friend went off to the airport first thing in the morning. I was not travelling back till the evening, so I took the chance to… Well, first things first, I took the chance to get myself to a Costa Coffee and get a vanilla latte.

A Costa coffee dispossable glass

Then I took the underground towards the end of the world, or more precisely the end of the Jubilee line – to North Greenwich. I took the O2 Arena exit, to say hi the IndigO2, where I had been once back in 2012 to attend the L’Arc~en~Ciel World Tour, the first and only time I’ve ever seen them.

North Greenwich undergrond station

The O2, a huge tent with crane-looking structures that reminds one of a giant hedgehog

I left the O2 Arena behind, and walked about 20 minutes towards the Cutty Sark, a tea clipper built in Dumbarton in 1869. It took eight trips to China to trade for tea and other items. Its history involved mutinee, murder, trampling of cargo and travels to Asia and Australia. In the 1880s it was considered one of the fastest ships if not the fastest sailing the ocean.

A landed sailboat

The Cutty Sark’s figurehead is the witch Nannie Dee, created by Robert Burns – in the poem a man falls in… love or lust… with a witch during a coven meeting that he’s spying, and the witch chases him away, getting away with the tail of his horse, that you can see in her hand.

Close up of the ship. It is perched on a glass structure that gives away tot he museum

The steam engines made sail-ships obsolete, but the Cutty Sark was active until the 1950s, when it was rammed by another ship on the Thames. In 1954 it was moved to a custom-dock in Greenwich to become a museum.

I wanted to see the exhibition inside, which turned out out be about Chinese tea and the history of the ship, which was not unexpected. I bought a pet-rat souvenir plush because I found it adorable. In 2007 it was ravaged by a fire, and extensive rebuilding works were undertaken, which included building a new support of glass and steel that would also become the new visitor centre when the museum reopened in 2012 (when I was there in 2012 it was not yet open. I guess this was an itch I had to scratch).

Different objects in the Cutty Sark museum - tea boxes, sailing instruments, the steering wheel, marionettes, one of the original floaters

A small black rat plush with the Cutty Sark tag

Oh, and by the way… here’s the binnacle!

An actual binnacle compass

I walked back towards the underground and by the Thames riverbank.

Thames and riverbank

There stands the Old Royal Naval College, a Unesco World Heritage site build between 1696 and 1712 – it was originally conceived as a hospital and it became the Royal Naval College in 1873.

Naval college. A symmetric Neoclassical building, with columns and a green lawn

Continuing on the riverbank, you can see the floodgates in the background.

Small waves at the walk near the river

I paid my respect to Admiral Lord Nelson Statue and went on.

A sculpture of Nelson, with his right hand

I had to take a bus at Victoria Coach Station to go to the airport, and I got a very nice tour of the city, with the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament

The Big Ben or Elizabeth Tower

… the London Eye

The London Eye, a giant ferris wheel

… and the Tower of London.

The Medieval Fortress Tower of London

Once at the airport, I had some Yo!Sushi dinner – not the best, but hey I take sushi wherever I can find it because yay sushi.

Sushi dinner