Great Britain

In attesa di darvi una guida completa al vecchio Albione* che comprenda accenti e modi di dire, costumi e tradizioni, cosa fare, cosa non fare, (let’s say a vademecum..), vi suggerisco un sito che ha l’obiettivo di promuovere le isole britanniche: www.visitbritain.com.
*antico nome della Gran Bretagna

Per cominciare, un itinerario musicale con i dovuti link per capirci meglio…

1. Liverpool: the Beatles way
Fab Four fan? Devi andare a Liverpool for the true Beatles experience. See where it all began with a tour of the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney, then stop by the Beatles Story to relive their journey from the Casbah Coffee Club through to Beatlemania and the break-up. In fondo alla giornata, dance the night away to some great British live music in the legendary Cavern Club where the Beatles were spotted by their future manager, before turning in at the Beatles-inspired Hard Day’s Night Hotel next door.

2. Knebworth House
Un vero landmark tra la gottica e il rock… Chi ci ha suonato? Dai Led Zeppelin a Robbie Williams, da Frank Zappa ai Metallica, da Ella Fitzgerald ai Pink Floyd. This beautiful gothic mansion in the Hertfordshire countryside is also known as ‘The stately home of rock’. It’s here that Led Zeppelin played their last ever UK gig with the original line-up, Queen played their last gig with Freddie Mercury, and Oasis headlined the fastest-selling concert in British history. Knebworth is still the best place to catch some of rock’s biggest starts in concert and it’s also the home of the Sonisphere Festival.

3. Proms in the Park
Ingredienti: Hyde Park, la musica classica e la BBC che conta tra i suoi fondatori un certo Gugliemo Marconi e arrivi ai “promenade concerts”. The BBC Proms is the world’s greatest classical music festival, and a summer institution for music lovers in Britain. The highlight of the festival is the Last Night of the Proms, and a great way to experience it is at one of the Proms in the Park events that take place all over the country. Pack a picnic and settle in for live performances via a live link-up to the concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

4. Celtic Connections
Ti piace la musica folk? If folk music is more your style, head to Glasgow – UNESCO City of Music – for Celtic Connections, the UK’s premier Celtic music festival. 2,000 artists from all over the world come together for 18 days of traditional, folk, jazz, Americana, indie and world music, plus you’ll find ceilidhs, talks, free events, workshops and late night sessions in venues right across the city.

5. Belfast Music Tour
Facciamo un viaggio… take a trip through the heart of a great rock and roll city on the Belfast Music Tour.
Visit the Ulster Hall where Led Zeppelin played Stairway To Heaven for the first time; stop by Van Morrison’s childhood home; see the site of the old Wizard Studios where the the song Teenage Kicks was recorded for just £200, and finally, discover the other legends of the city’s music scene at the Belfast Music Exhibition.

6. Notting Hill Carnival
L’ultimo weekend di August, crowds from all over the world flock to West London for the Notting Hill Carnival, and it’s not hard to see why. This is one of the world’s greatest street festivals, where a kaleidoscope of vibrant bands parade and perform to the sound of Soca, Calypso, reggae and traditional steel bands.

7. English Heritage Picnic Concerts
Che ne dici di passare a summer evening with a picnic at one of our beautiful stately homes, in the company of some of the world’s best musical talent? The English Heritage Picnic Concerts take place every summer at Kenwood House in London and Audley End in Essex, and with performances from world-class artists covering everything from rock and pop to jazz and classical, there’s something for everyone.

8. Somerset House Summer Series
La stagione dei festivals non vuole dire “wallowing in the mire” (arrotolarsi nel fango) come cantava Jim èer vedere your favourite bands and artists. At the Somerset House Summer Series, you can watch the likes of Basement Jaxx, Pendulum and Ellie Goulding perform in the spectacular 18th-century courtyard of Somerset House – one of London’s most beautiful live music venues.

9. British Music Experience
The British Music Experience non è il solito museo. Nascosto dentro il Millenium Dome ormai conosciuto come The O2 in London, this interactive experience lets you play, sing and dance your way through the last 60 years of British music. And with over 600 items of rare memorabilia from Britain’s biggest music stars – including John Lennon’s iconic glasses to Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress and Marc Bolan’s Gibson guitar – there’s something for everyone. C’è qualcosa per tutti i gusti (musicali).

10. The festival scene
Se cerchi an unforgettable music experience, make sure there’s a British music festival at the top of your to-do list. Whatever your taste in music, we have your perfect festival. For a glimpse of the world’s biggest stars, head to Glastonbury, V Festival, Isle of Wight Festival or T in the Park. Rock and indie fans need look no further than Leeds and Reading festivals, and per qualcosa un po’ più eclectic, check out Bestival, The Secret Garden Party or The Big Chill. Just don’t forget your wellies! Basta non dimenticare di portarti dietro gli stivali di gomma!

TIPS

Rimaniamo sulla musica…
Vi consiglio tre libri che offrono una guida ai music landmarks** di Londra e GB in generale: luoghi, storie e curiosità, things we didn’t know:
** punti di riferimento

LONDON’S ROCK ROUTES by John Platt
LONDON’S ROCK LANDMARKS by Marcus Gray
ROCK GAZETTEER OF GREAT BRITAIN by Pete Frame

E a questo proposito, provo io a descrivervi un musical landmark a Londra che fa parte della storia del rock:
gli studi di Abbey Road, che fanno parte del passato ma anche del futuro…
In English però:

ABBEY ROAD

In a posh part of London called St John’s Wood, the street to visit and take a photograph while you cross the road is… Abbey Road.
At no 3 Abbey Road is one of the world’s most famous recording studios, it was here that Pink Floyd recorded their first LP,  and this was the studio used most by The Beatles during their 7-year recording career.
Their first single “Love Me Do” was recorded here, like most of the LPs and singles, and was produced by George Martin, an experienced producer from another generation who, to help the Liverpool lads feel at ease, asked them to speak up if there was anything they didn’t like. “Yes”, replied George Harrison “Your tie”.
In 1969, The Beatles decided to honour the studio by naming their last record “Abbey Road”, and posing for the cover photograph on the zebra crossing directly in front of the building.

Notes: over 50 CDs or LPs have “Abbey Road” in their title. At least 10 CD/LP covers are photographs on the zebra crossing.
To visit: number three and the zebra crossing
To get there: Underground St John’s Wood or Maida Vale
To listen to on your iPod/MP3Player:  “A day in the life”
Useful expressions: to take a photograph, scattare una foto, to pose for something, posare (per qualcosa) mettersi in posa, to speak up, esprimersi, dire qualcosa che uno ha dentro, esprimere le proprie opinioni, directly in front of, proprio davanti, to feel at ease, sentirsi a proprio agio.

E qualche differenza tra l’inglese americano e quello britannico?

USA GB
pedestrian crossing zebra crossing
to speak out to speak up
kids lads

Why did the Beatles cross the road? Because it was long and winding! To be continued… www.abbeyroad.com

MUSIC LIVE?

Non tutti gli artisti fanno tappa in Italia, e in Britain di offerte musicali ce ne sono parecchie! Una volta a Londra compra TIME OUT, una rivista settimanale con un listing di eventi musicali e non.Per organizzarsi prima visitare: www.allgigs.co.uk

RACCOMANDATI! Sent by Clive…

Nella città storica di Rye (segale), con casette curiose tra sampietrini e gabbiani, vi consiglio un albergo arredato ancora com’era secoli fa, completo di fantasma e ottimi pasti, alla faccia di chi dice che si mangia male in Inghilterra! www.thegeorgeinrye.com

E già che ci siete, visitate la mia terra di origine: la zona chiamata 1066 Country, essendo la terra della famosa battaglia che ha cambiato la storia dell’Inghilterra.

Per farla breve:
a Hastings nel 1066 gli inglesi hanno perso contro i Normanni: http://www.visit1066country.com

(nella foto Hastings in agosto)

THE WEATHER

Dimenticavo… the weather! What is the weather like? Impossibile to say ma il sito più establishment del mondo britannico ci aggiorna in tempo reale sul meteo, anche stando dove siete… www.bbc.co.uk