Another strange sight this weekend was musical act Glissendo cheering up a miserable (and rain-sodden) Cutty Sark Gardens with a mesmerising performance – think a brass band at a funeral crossed with a Daft Punk video – as part of the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. I tend to find the festival publicity a bit off-putting, actually – it seems to have retreated over the years into promoting itself as a determinedly high-brow event, despite the fact most of its events provide pretty amazing spectacles for all to enjoy.
I remember a going to a circus event at Three Mills, Bromley-by-Bow in the early days of its current incarnation – an unlikely spot, but a brilliant night out. It doesn’t seem to leave Greenwich town centre or Canary Wharf much these days – a shame when there’s so much else going on nearby (like the Horn Fair in Charlton, or the open weekend at Trinity Buoy Wharf) that it could tie in with. If its tentacles could reach that little bit further out into the community, you could have a truly amazing event on your hands and deepen its appeal a little – although obviously someone’s got to pay for all this stuff since it’s free, so it’s understandable that it spends its money on what it knows and does best.
My gripes aside, though, it’s drawn huge crowds – I got stuck in one on Saturday night, and nobody thought to ask the Docklands Light Railway or Southeastern (itself hobbled after the storm knocked out signals in distant Kent) to put extra trains on. D’oh!
Performed by French art group Le Snob, Glissendo features men wearing skirts, on wheels, playing musical instruments. With fire on their heads. And a female ringleader who spreads some more fire around the place. Apparently I missed them perform a Led Zeppelin cover.
As for the rest of it, it has to be seen – and heard – to be believed…