London weekend

Posted: May 12th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: cool, london, travel | No Comments »

Here is why the London weekend was great:

  • Seeing my friend Kristjan over a long time, meeting his friends;
  • the London Zoo – must visit for everyone;
  • sunbathing in Hyde Park;
  • Visiting pubs and clubs at Soho;
  • Kristjan’s new place and flatmates;
  • not going shopping;
  • canary wharf in the evening;
  • taking 800+ photos (check my .Mac Gallery for a selection);
  • fantastic weather;
  • milk in a small plastic container;
  • chai latte;
  • etc etc

World Music Awards

Posted: December 5th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: london, michael jackson, music, travel | 1 Comment »

In mid-November I made a quick trip to London to see the World Music Awards. How and why I ended up there? Well, I was following the preparations for the event as Michael Jackson was supposedly going to appear there. I keep up with a number of things going on in the world, and MJ activities are one of those things. There was this possibility for fans of MJ to get free tickets for the WMAs, and I thought I should give it a go, just for fun.

Unexpectedly I won two tickets (there were a total of 100 winners I think), so I had a choice: either to forget about it and not go or try to find a way to go there. So I chose the latter. This might sound bizarre or out-of-character for people who know me, but I do give a lot of importance to random events, taking them for a sign. So me winning the tickets was a sign that I should go. And so I went.

Besides the WMAs another great thing about my visit to London was that I was able to meet a dear friend, who I had not seen for a while. But back to the WMAs…

The event took place at Earls Court, which apparently is a concert and exhibition centre (something like the Pirita Expo in Tallinn). There were scores of fans there already, dressed in all kinds of MJ paraphernalia, which did creep me out a little bit. It was obvious who most of these people had come to see…

Had to stand in the queue to get my free tickets, sold one afterwards to a nice American lady, who had asked to use my mobile (very strange coincidence). Then right before the end stood in the queue for further three hours waiting to be let in.

Once everyone got in it became clear that the place was made for three times more people than there was. Either very poor planning (because the tickets had sold out), or intentionally keeping the crowd sparse… Having been there myself, I think it must have been the former.

I positioned myself strategically between the middle of the stage and the VIP area and directly in front of the place where people would present the awards. Before the show started, VIP area started to fill up. A fellow called Chris Brown created the biggest fuss among the crowd, although I have no idea who he is. There were some local celebrities there as well, who I did not know.

Things got started (after a slight false start) by Beyonce, who performed really well (and who looks really good, even from close distance). I also liked Bob Sinclar and especially Nelly Furtado’s performance. Andrea Bocelli and Enya were a bit boring. Russian Eurovision singer Dima Bilan did his act well (and was given an award for best-selling Russian artist by Filipp Kirkorov). I cannot quite remember who else were there (Bob Sinclar was good). The presenters were interesting: models (Elle Macpherson), celebrities (Paris Hilton, Peaches Geldof, Peter Andre and Jordan), fashion icons (Tommy Hilfiger, Roberto Cavalli) and others.

After another long pause Chris Brown performed Michael Jackson’s Thriller to the surprise of some, looking like a not so good MJ impersonator. Then Beyonce presented an award for MJ, who turned up with his face looking very white. Some guy from Guiness World Records also arrived and gave MJ some sort of award for selling gazillion albums. He said thanks (strangely thanking his children for their support) and left, after which the crowd, who had been in a frenzy from the first moment of seeing MJ, were left quite angry. When Rihanna started performing next, she did not get any love from the crowd, who wanted to see more of MJ (they had been chanting “Michael, Michael” throughout the show, whenever possible). Rihanna sang quite well, despite the outright hostile crowd.

Then there was a longer break and a choir of children stepped on the stage, starting to sing along We Are the World, a charity song written in the 80s by MJ and Lionel Richie. To the excitement of the crowd Michael Jackson appeared as well and sang two or three lines of chorus (for some reason background tape was not used for the song). And then suddenly the music was cut and MJ left the stage. Obviously people were disappointed that that was it, but apparently there was noise curfew from 11pm so they were forced to stop the show (Tokio Hotel for example could not perform at all, although they were there).

On the whole I think it was an interesting experience and I loved it still.