On my recent trip to London, I managed to grab some shots around Soho and the West End. Theatre Land is currently booming, with increasingly lavish productions competing with each other. This part of the city has the most character, and sitting in a Soho cafe, you can watch the world go by. All life is here, and Old Compton Street is almost like a film set, bustling with extras and rickshaws.
There is an urgency here, to see and be seen. I just wandered round casually taking pictures, and spotting celebrities. David Walliams strategically positioning himself under a spotlight with a leggy blonde outside the Palace Theatre, and Ian Brown trying to look mean and hard while waiting for a bus. Things must be going well if he’s getting the bus! No wonder the Stone Roses are reforming, so they can all afford Day Savers…
From Ed’s diner to Ronnie Scott’s jazz bar, this is a melting pot, embracing diversity from Chinatown to Oxford Street. There is still an air of notoriety and a sense that anything could happen. Eulogised by Marc Almond and mentioned in Brecht’s Mack the Knife, Soho retains some of the romance of the sixties when gangsters owned most of the property and Carnaby Street was buzzing just round the corner.
I didn’t realise there’s so much neon