Barbican Centre reopens

September 2011

Toll house, Lendal Bridge

The Barbican Centre opened again this year after a long closure. I can’t remember why it was closed and I have to say I didn’t really care. I’ve gone to gigs here and a meeting, and every time, whatever mood I’ve gone in, I’ve come out in a worse one. For some reason this building has a deeply depressing effect. Kind of the opposite of being in the Minster. If I ever had an uncontrollable bipolar high I’d just go here to bring me down to a more normal miserable level.

Clearly other people frequent it and quite like the place, and it seems to be doing well, and has even hosted a Morrissey gig this year. But I’d only go here again if it hosted something truly and utterly remarkable. The only show I can think of that would bring me back to the Barbican would be if Thomas Fairfax came back to life, rode onto the Barbican stage on his famous white horse, wearing his buff coat, to give a detailed eyewitness account of the 1644 siege of York, and the lost Fairfax mansion in Bishophill, with 17th century poetic preacher Simeon Ashe as his special guest. And perhaps if the buff coat was thrown into the audience afterwards and I caught it. It would have to be all that for me to have even a reasonable night in this strange and soulless building.

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