In a way which many might find inappropriate for a man of my age, I like walking through London, carrying my Gibson guitar, sitting on the tube with the case proudly between my knees. The other day, I took the journey to Notting Hill Gate to play at the Tabernacle where the über-cool 5 ₓ 15 events, organised by Eleanor O’Keeffe and Rosie Boycott, take place.
Five people appear on stage to talk (or, occasionally, to sing) for 15 minutes. On my night, the subjects covered included Pakistan, Mussolini and restaurants. Andrew O’Hagan talked about Marilyn Monroe’s dog, Maureen Lipman did a very funny stand-up routine – and I sang about not being French, about not behaving my age and about not telling the truth. (No one had said I had to be positive).
The audience got it, although I over-ran my 15 minutes. I now won’t hear a word said against the Notting Hill crowd.