Alexandra palace

I pounded my car horn like a Neapolitan cabbie: ENO’s drive-in Bohème reviewed

The email from English National Opera was blunt: ‘Your arrival time is 18.25. If you arrive outside your allocated time slot, you may not be allowed entry.’ Perhaps, to habitual London drivers — if such people exist — negotiating the residential streets of Muswell Hill during a Saturday rush hour is all good clean urban fun. I couldn’t say. I just know that by the time I’d been marshalled into a parking space at Alexandra Palace, my no-claims bonus miraculously still intact, I was in no mood for an evening of updated and interval-free Puccini. Three hours later I was pounding my car horn like a Neapolitan cabbie. ENO’s announcement

The people who were idiots at gigs in early March are still idiots

Is the world ready for the return of live rock music? On the evidence of the first gig in London since lockdown, no. The people who were arseholes at gigs in early March are still arseholes at gigs, but there’s rather more than an obstructed sightline at stake now. Miles Kane was the guinea pig for the experiment, playing to 150 people who’d applied for tickets and who stood in a summer downpour watching him play acoustically. More on Kane later, but his presence was the least important thing here. The gig was the first in a series of small shows in Camden Market, and the organisers had taken care:

Riveting – and disgusting: BFI’s ‘Dogs v Cats’ and ‘Eating In’ collections reviewed

This week I’d like to point you in the direction of the British Film Institute and its free online archive collections, which are properly free. There is no signing up for one of those ‘free trials’ which means that, somewhere down the line, you’ll discover you’ve been paying £4.99 a month for something you didn’t want. And it’s certainly excellent value for the money you don’t pay, as there are 65 of these collections, grouped under various headings — ‘Football on Film’, ‘Black Britain on Film’ — although I plumped for ‘Eating In’, because it’s all any of us do now, and ‘Cats v Dogs’, as if that were even