Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dublin 2008

The annual trip to Dublin saw me visiting the city for 3 reasons.
  • To catch up with friends.
  • To visit the Funderland fair.
  • To defend my two-time go-karting championship.
After a few hours at the airport, due to a slightly delayed flight Friday evening was spent having drinks and a lovely Mongolian Barbecue in the Temple Bar area

Saturday morning was go-karting day and I don't know what had happened to the track but you had to steer into the bends really early if you were to get around. As a result I was unable to get to grips with the track, pun intended, and wasn't doing as well as in previous years. In the end I came 4th and had to relenquish the title to Richard. It gives me a good reason to come back though!

After a quick break, we then made our way down to the Funderland arena for the fair.

This was the sight that welcomed us to Funderland. This year they were debuting their new coaster, Shockwave.

Salvaged from Luneur in Italy where it has been sitting in storage the ride was rescued and with a train taken from Slagharen in the Netherlands they had a winner on their hands. It was beautifully smooth and not showing its age at all. (Have I just made a coaster sound like a wine?)

Indoors was the usual collection of fairground rides. Roller Ghoster was a fun pun of a ghost train that was supposed to have coaster elements but rather than let you drop they'd brake the car just before and have you guided down.

We didn't ride Take Off this year. Its cool though!

The Rotor was new and not something I'd tried for years. I had planned to try to rotate upside down whilst it was spinning but they'd crammed too many people in and there wasn't enough room to get around without kicking some kids in the head.

Tom looks a bit tentative.

Extreme is a strange ride, you have to jump up to get into the seats and it spins me so much that the blood rushes to my head and away from my feet. When the ride comes to a stop I have pins and needles in my legs from the knees down, which makes the jumping out the seat kind of awkward. This is what it looks like when moving.

This was also new for this year and apparently won't be coming back as it was making too many people ill. I'd never ridden the KMG Experience before and I won't be revisiting it either. The forces throw you sideways into the restraint before flipping you in all sorts of directions. It looks like this when moving.

By comparison the Frisbee was pretty tame and they'd run it on just enough power to get close to the roof without going through it. Some poor women on this threw up but caught it and swallowed it. Lovely! Her kids were pretty concerned for her though, I just found it funny.

The fair was great and I'm hoping to go out again in a couple of months this time to Cork where they will be setting up base next.

In the evening we went back to the Temple Bar, this time to Luigi Malones. I'd been there before last year and the food was still good!

Sunday morning was spent checking out Dublin again to see what had changed.
Heheh Maddy pastings. I'm quite sure Kate would like the free advertising.

I think I'd seen some of Maser's work before but can't recall where. Probably in Shoreditch. This was found on the outskirts of the Temple Bar area.

New to O'Connel St this time around was these weird animations which I later found out were part of an art installation by Julian Opie, famous for the Blur album cover with the cartoon faces.

Something is a little bit wrong at Dublin Airport.

But not the new terminal which looks amazing. The departure lounges contain lots of famous quotations from Irish poets and writers.

All in all another great weekend in Dublin, and I can't wait to go back to Ireland and this time it'll be to Cork where I've never been before.

Chemical Brothers @ Brixton Academy

I'd seen the Chemical Brothers before play a Tribal Gathering event over a decade ago. They were touring again and a mate had a spare ticket so I thought I'd go along. It was one of the best concerts I'd been too. The atmosphere was great.

A warm up DJ set the scene, he was hidden away to the left.

The main support act was Simian Mobile Disco, who looked like two guys chasing themselves around a bunch of electrical equipment set up in the centre of the stage. The LED vertical lighting that made up most of their visuals was amazingly bright though and was leaving lines on my retinas. The place did go mad when they mixed into Hustler though.

Then it was onto the main event and the Chemical Brothers really rocked the crowd, starting with Galvanise which set the crowd off perfectly.

The visuals for "do it again" were great. Here's a youtube that someone else took. I don't understand why people go to events and watch the show through their mobiles, but the flipside is that I can steal what they've posted :)

A great laser show and the video screen was pretty clever too. It only allowed light through one way so they could put lights behind it and when they projected the visuals onto it they looked like they were floating midstage.

Creepy eye!!

It was an amazing show, and I'd danced for the full two or so hours that they played. The plan had been to go after the Chemicals had finished, but I was having too good a time so I stayed for the closing act Miss Kitten who played for 3 hours.

She plays quite dark dance music and occasionally sings over the top. She did a good job keeping the crowd going and I would love to know what track she finished with as it sounded like Polyphonic Spree but not a track that I had. There weren't many people left in the venue when she wrapped things up, but those of us who remained left smiling!

Winter Wonderland

Some pictures from this year's Winter Wonderland event in Hyde Park London during Christmas 2007. In the past they've had a great fun fair, but wanting to attract a more family based crowd they'd dropped that for a few kiddy rides, an ice rink and a German style Christmas Fair.

The ice rink was very popular, it was also the largest in London this year.

This came out quite nice I think, its the baby millennium wheel that must have taken some time to put in place.

Cheesy simulator themed to Raymond Briggs cartoon movie.

The rides were pretty bad but then none of them were intense. For kids it would have been ideal, but for me, not so great. Hopefully they'll reconsider this event for next year. They need to have nice balance of the two.

Hackney Graffiti

The aim of this mission was to find the Banksy Baby with Building Blocks piece beside the canals in Hackney. Unfortunately the piece is inside the border of the new Olympic Village and closed to the public. I did contemplate ducking under the cordon to get along the river to take the pic but spotting a patrolling policeman made me reconsider. I like finding Banksy pieces but wouldn't want to be arrested in doing so...I'll try again when the police aren't about, or whenever the Olympic Village opens in 2015 :D

So I made do taking pics of some of the other pieces along the canal.

The baby is just behind this and to the left...next time.

This one was cute.

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