'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Monday, March 27, 2006

Geordie Workmanship, Cumbrian Design

To The Sage, Gateshead, on Sunday afternoon, where La V's daughters were at music lessons and a concert respectively. We filled in time with a delicious picnic in the foyer and I admired the building's spectacular architecture and sightlines. Its open bays, wide decks and warren of passages between rehearsal rooms would make the perfect location for the climax of a thriller - rather like the scenes in Edge Of Darkness where Bob Peck manages to lose his pursuers in The Barbican.
Then La V & I walked along to the Millenium Bridge and crossed over to the Canny Toon. On the quayside we paused to admire the spectacular Blacksmith's Needle, designed by our friend the Mighty God Vulcan The Smith. This is a beautiful piece, fifteen feet high and elegantly tapered, encrusted with images of Newcastle, the Tyne and the North Sea. Parts of it are even interactive - there's a bell at head-height that rings out beautifully clear. Altogether a lovely piece of Cumbrian design.
Back at the Sage, mid-concert in the sumptuously timbered Hall One, a disturbance broke out in the row just in front of us. Ushers came and went, arms were stretched high, heads looked up, fingers pointed. Water was dripping from the wooden panels just above. Eventually the dripping stopped, though its source and cause were never revealed. Presumably the builders have been loudly reassuring the owners "Howay man - the job's as good as done," ever since the building opened.


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