Wednesday, 6 January 2010
London's Brilliant Parade
"She's one of those girls that you just can't place. You feel guilty desiring such an innocent face. But of course they knew that when they cast her. Along with the red Routemaster. And the film takes place in an MGB. And a perfect re-creation of The Speakeasy. Everybody looks happy and twisted. Though she probably never existed. For old times' sake. Don't let me awake. I wouldn't want you to walk across Hungerford Bridge. Especially at twilight. Looking through the bolts and the girders. Into the water below. You'll never find your answer there. They sounded the all-clear in the occidental bazaar they used to call Oxford Street. Now the bankrupt souls in the city are finally tasting defeat ..." London's Brilliant Parade is Elvis Costello at his best. He says so much so impressively, working in so much detail, but you're never quite sure exactly what ... If there is one phrase I hate it's 'iconic image'. It's become so overused. As in a Routemaster bus as 'iconic image' for London. Like we are all meant to be mawkishly sentimental about Routemasters, forgetting that to some they were the devil incarnate usurping the trams. So if we are all so attached to Routemasters how come so few songs mention them? "And a trolley bus in Fulham Broadway. The lions and the tigers in Regents Park couldn't pay their way. And now they're not the only ones. At the Hammersmith Palais, in Kensington and Camden Town, there's a part that I used to play. The lovely Diorama is really part of the drama, I'd say ..."