16 Dec 2013
After spending the last 10 days in the UK, I have learned some things about the british. My maiden voyage to the head of our commonwealth has taught me the following things:
1. They have some weird ass rules about driving. Like you’re not allowed to pass someone in the middle or slow lane if they’re driving slow in the fast lane. Can you imagine that being illegal on the 401 during morning rush?
2. Englanders are way reserved with their emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always think the north american egotistical way of living is the best thing, but I do wish the great people of the UK would show affection to something other than dogs and horses.
3. The men. Oh god, the men. Women of London: How do y’all get a damn thing done in that city? There are so many good looking men, all walking around in these three piece suits and being so charming with their adorable british slang. And who the hell started this stereotype that the brits have bad teeth? Maybe they took it to heart or something, but every dude I saw had a gleaming mouth of white chiclets, I half expected to hear a little toothpaste commercial ‘ping’ when they smiled at me.
4. The food is so incredible that I took on the hobbit way of eating 11 times a day. The scones! The (grossly named, but delicious) clotted cream! The fish! I had a religious experience with a falafel in Camden market and I made some pretty inappropriate sexual noises when I ate mexican street food at Jamie Oliver’s.
5. I had heard that british rock was dead, but I assure you the music scene is alive and well in the UK. Everywhere I went, people were deeply into their musical choices. I think London gets a bad rep for being self absorbed: everyone always has their headphones in and it seems people don’t interact with others in places like on the subway or in stores. But if you look closely, they’re all tapping their feet and drumming on the side of their legs.
If you really sit back and think about it, the amount of outstanding music that tiny little country has contributed to our world is nothing short of incredible. The big ones are obvious: The Beatles, The Stones, Zeppelin, The Who, Oasis, Queen, Floyd. But the British invasion isn’t quite over yet. There is a host of lesser-known bands coming out of this small country that has captured my heart and my ears and I’d like to share two of them with you today.
The first is a song by the band Theme Park. They’re a trio from London and this great tune is called ‘Wax’ and it reminds me of those perfect nights out. The ones where you’re in a bar and everyone knows the words to the song playing and you’re all dancing and singing and laughing and your heart feels so full and you love everyone. Everything just slows down and you’re so happy that you’re right there. I had one of those serendipitous nights on my last night in the UK and the only thing missing was this song. The vocals are so haunting and stretched out and full of love that it makes me feel fortunate about where I am every time I listen to it. The second is from the little more well-known Gomez, a well established 5 piece from Southport. It’s a lovely introspective piece, with a unique stop-and-start throughout the song that I really adore. It’s one for rainy days with thick books and hot tea.
Whatever your british fancy is, I hope you’ll find something new in one of these songs. As for the UK, this here is my love letter to you, dear Brits. I’ve been so many places in this world that I dreamt of and so many of them didn’t live up to my fantasy. Your fine country lived up to every idea I had in mind, and exceeded them. Thank you so much for wonderful time, I’ll be back soon darlings.