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August 7, 2008

Sitting On Top Of The World

...or having to stand, as the case may be.

I don't normally think about writing social scene stuff unless there's some kind of musical tie-in, but last night Tim, somewhat uncharacteristically, said as we were headed home that if I decide to blog about "Vertigo 42" that I should mention the following:

1) The drinks are way overpriced
2) The staff are unnecessarily rude (until you win them over)
3) They have a 4 chair limit per party
4) The bar chairs are not comfortable
5) It's basically just a mirrored corridor

I figured that if he felt strongly enough about it to mention the blog that hey, I'll post something!

For those of you who don't know what Vertigo 42 is (and, no, I didn't until last night), it's a 'champagne lounge' situated on the 42nd floor of the old Nat West building near Bank, London. The main draw is the top-down view of the city, which is undeniably stunning. Last night it was pretty cool to watch lightning striking around town against a backdrop of the evening sky.

As you can see from the picture, below, the view elevation is pretty much in line with the top of The Gherkin.

After the initial wow factor... a combination of 'wow, what a view' and 'wow, this place is really narrow' you get the wow factor of the drinks prices. The house (i.e. cheapest) champagne is £46, which, from a quick google, looks to be around a 300% markup. For the thrifty, there's the buy-in-bulk option of a magnum of Krug, weighing in at just under £800! Pop one of those baby's open and I betcha you'll be surrounded by new friends (even though one lady apparently wanted a shot of fruit juice in hers to make it more palatable)!

The bar had the potential to be fun, right up until the point that one of the wait staff came up and pointedly told us that we had too many chairs, confiscating one of our five. Eh? "I'm sorry, but you can only have four chairs. Security, you know."... but there are five of us... "I know, sir, but it's the rules".

Later on in the evening the rules bent in our favour and we were granted a fifth seat... the party next to us, however, were not so lucky. Clearly they had unwittingly committed some faux pas and had rubbed the wrong person up the wrong way. They had one of their four stools confiscated by a tut-tutting hostess, leaving them just three! Relaxed evening or battle for social status? You decide! Whatever, we were winning the war of seating acquisition! At another point in the evening, a fist-fight looked likely when Tim tried to take a spare chair from a couple's table. When dialogue opens with "Oi mate, you're not 'avin' that", you know you're not in polite company.

And the musical slant to this story would be... non-existent. Perhaps that's the most damning thing I can say about the place. I don't even remember there being any music.

Hey ho, in other news, I got my copy of "How To Write Songs On Guitar" by Ricky Rooksby through the post. I've delved into it a bit and it looks like there's some good stuff in there. It doesn't necessarily tell you how to write a good tune but it does give lots of pointers, illustrating points by referencing tunes that you already know (if you're of a certain age). I'm already feeling somewhat inspired by it, and the chapter on song structure has really been an eye-opener. For example, I'm forever writing stuff that has no time for the singer to recover between a chorus and a verse... why not insert a 2 bar spacer to buy breathing time? Never thought of that!


Axe Victim said...

Only two bars Ken?!!!

Kenski said...

What, you need four?