There’s no better way to ring in cold and flu season than spending a late Autumn evening in a dark, dank underground concrete shaft. That’s right, we went back to Rotherhithe (Rotherhithe!) to check out the Brunel’s Museum’s autumn underground concerts series inside the Thames Tunnel Grand Hall.
Seated on a metal folding chair inside the dome, it’s hard to imagine anything filling the hollow, deep space but damp air or (shudder) torrents of water. But from the first peal of the violin string, I’m convinced nothing can fill it so well as music. Kosmos Ensemble underground is an ethereal experience. Technically brilliant trio – 2 violins and 1 accordion – Kosmos is creative and unafraid. A dutch tango gets a boost from Jewish folk, then glides into a melancholy Polish piece called the ‘suicide tango’, onto a Romanian tango (there were lots of tangos).
Just as a tango is really lighting up to a feverish crescendo, a train rumbles in a low thunder under our feet. Magic, timing, or happenstance? On a night like this, I’d go with magic.
It’s not too late to catch the last of the Brunel Museum’s enigmatic underground concerts – there’s a Welch band playing next week, with a (!!!) harp. While you’re there, grab a pint at The Mayflower pub. So close to the river, it had flooded a little just hours before our visit. The atmosphere is just right – quirky / nautical, with quotes from people like Ghandi written in your booth. And the food – 2 steps above standard pub fare, at standard prices.
You know you’re going to get a cold anyway. Might as well have a story to tell about it!