Sunday, 29 November 2009
"You're up in Park Lane now. And I'm somewhere around in Tottenham Court Road ..." It's fascinating what songs people came up with immediately when this project kicked off. Brian (Back To Zero) Kotz straight away suggested Them's You Just Can't Win, one of a few of Van's songs from that time that refer to London. Bring 'Em On In has Van walkin' down by Queensway, so that could be one. More certainly, Friday's Child has Van singing about watching the sun come up 'round Notting Hill Gate. This is perhaps my favourite Them track, and makes me think fondly of a cherished series of Rock Roots LPs Decca put out in the '70s featuring Them, Small Faces, Zombies. Changed my life those LPs. On into his solo career, and in the fantastic He Ain't Give You None Van's warning people not to go down on Curzon Street, and confessing how he got messed up somewhere called Notting Hill Gate ... "I lived up there for a while. But I moved out. And when I moved out I was in such a state. Ain't never goin' back there ...". Then on Astral Weeks' Slim Slow Slider he's seen her walking down by the Ladbroke Grove. I love it when places in London are awarded the definite article. Like Van's the man ... down by The Thames.