LIVE at The Glad & Robin The Fog

Finding places where you can still hear the people sing by Owen Rice


tucked away behind Borough High Street somewhere between Borough tube and the Elephant and Castle is an irregular little pub that puts on live music every weekend. As big business builds upwards all around us these intimate, independent places are often swallowed up, bulldozed or taken over by chains with little connection to the community.

Occasionally strong willed individuals with artistic dreams, driven by sheer determination or pig headedness, hold on with a determined grip to keep voices heard and a stage open for local creative talent. Recently, almost accidentally, I stepped into such a place: The Gladstone pub, better known to its regulars as ‘The Glad’.

It was ‘back street’ and authentic and took me to a time and place I had not visited for ages, perhaps back to my twenties when live music and grungy Saturday evenings were the ‘norm’ and not the ‘new’.

As I walked home afterwards, with the music of the evening still echoing in my ears, I could almost hear the whisper of my past urging me to keep finding these places and unique nights that only live music seems to deliver. I also felt that a part of the artistic soul of Borough is very much being kept alive at The Glad.

64 Lant Street London SE1 1QN w:

The band I watched that night was a local group from Waterloo called The Sweet Confusion who played a set of their own songs (not a cover in sight) and combined jangly guitars with thought-provoking lyrics. One or two of their songs were particularly rousing and reminiscent of a Manchester sound somewhere between The Stone Roses and The Smiths.


imagine being in the basement of a large, disused building, a space with a big history – where you know that lives have been lived, meaningful and maybe dramatic slices of history have been shaped, peoples futures changed forever. These places are now empty, and with their furniture and inhabitants gone, all that remains are the ghosts of days long past.

Eerie and atmospheric, cracked concrete and hollow pipes stretch around desolate buildings whose spirits have all but gone, yet when captured by a sound artist like Robin the Fog these places come back to life. What we hear are sounds that are echoes of history, fears and lives once lived.

It was just such an audio track that had me mesmerised late one night listening to Radio 3. Cheekily called the ‘Whirled Service’, it was a recording made in the BBC’s old World Service building, an industrial audio artwork that rises up into an orchestral piece with a difference. Fascinating and beguiling. Robin the Fog is playing Kings Place, Kings Cross (quite literally) on 8th December and tickets are available.

Sound artist, radio producer, DJ, obsessive
Howlround, tickets at £9.50 are available at: Lazy Modem 2 Feat Kings Place 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

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