Yesterday was quite a big day, it was the last week day that my friend B will be working with me as he will be starting a "Proper Job" on Monday. I am so pleased that he has been able to find something even if it is not ideal, it is a lot better than what ever casual work can be picked up. I will also miss him, we have grow a lot closer again working together, probably closer than we have been since we shared a flat back in the late 80's.
It was also the last time that Will Carslake conducted the London Charity Orchestra as resident MD, so another rather happy/sad event. The event itself was special, we played at a thanksgiving service in St Paul's Cathedral, including a first performance of a new work for choir and orchestra by Will. The event was also a little confusing, it was a service but the congregation seemed to want to treat it more as a concert, so there was much applause for the singers and musicians. I always feel that any music in a service is an offering to God so should not be applauded by people, as this can take the focus away from God and the offering a praise onto the musician who then becomes a performer to the congregation.
But none of this is the point of this post, as it was will's last gig with us after playing we all adjourned to a bar near by for a few drinks together and wish Will well. These are the times that build relationships within an orchestra so are an important part of the life of any amateur ensemble. The bar chosen was the bizarrely named Corney and Barrow in Paternoster Square. As a bar it appears nice enough, reasonably well furnished and designed. As I rather expect from this sort of bar, they have a variety of lagers from around the world lots of wines and spirits, and few drunks. There was one live beer (real ale) one of my favourites, Doombar.
Like I said this is a live beer, a living organism it needs to be treated with respect and like the rest of us requires care to be presented at it's best. Unfortunately the staff at the Corney and Barrow seem unable to tell the difference between a live beer and water from the village pump. Rather than pouring with care and presenting a cherished product they felt the need to torture the poor beer. Then it got worse not only did they want £4:60 per pint they also failed, every time, to fill the glass. If each time I bought a pint I had not insisted on them actually giving me a full pint I would have paid for an extra full pint the money going straight into the owners pocket without the need to provide any beer in exchange. In any other environment this would be called theft.
I would not recommend this establishment, I understand that costs in central London are high, but the standard of service, the presentation of the beer and the lack of skill from the staff are all unexcusable.
On a lighter note (Bb) please don't forget next week's LGSO concert, if you are in London please come.
Buy tickets here.