Last Friday, Holly and I managed to make it along to a party on the Circle Line. For those who don't know London, the Circle Line is the tube line that loops around the centre of London, the party advantages of which I'll explain later.
Anyway, the premise of the party was for people to turn up in disguise, looking like ordinary commuters on their way home. The crew who organised it, Space Hijackers, have done it once before on a much smaller scale. Internet-speed communications meant that word on this one spread like wildfire and they estimate about 600 people turned up!
Holly and I were actually a bit miffed because we'd bought tickets to see Tipsy, a San Franciscan space-age pop band on DJ Spooky's Asphodel label. I'd booked these about a week before finding out about the Circle Line party and Tipsy were certainly on my "must see" band, particularly with Luke Vibert DJing.
So anyway, we go to the gig. It actually turned out to be a bit of a fizzer. They hadn't sold many tickets, evidently, and in the cavernous Queen Elizabeth Hall, the atmosphere was, shall we say, sparse. Anyway, after Tipsy's remarkably short set, we figured bugger it and headed across the bridge to Embankment tube station to see if we could find the party.
Now the Circle Line is pretty big and it would take about 45 minutes to make a full circuit, so our chances of catching the party were pretty slim. Regardless we thought we'd try. As we descended into the station, a train pulled in. We ran down to check it out and it wasn't the right one. However, the train that pulled in on the opposite platform actually was! Amazing. So we sprinted up and over to just make it onto the train. What's more, a couple of stops later we wandered further down the train and managed to find a bunch of our mates.
So we made it, and it was excellent. Here's some pictures and reports: http://www.spacehijackers.co.uk/html/projects/circle2/party.html, http://oskarlin.ath.cx/pictures/030314/ and http://community.webshots.com/album/66539919EpQbYH. Fantastic party with music blaring from a guitar amplifier and everyone dancing and singing along.
At Edgeware Road, the train stopped. Clearly the Underground thought this would be a good place to stop the train and get all the revellers off. This is where the choice of the Circle Line is brilliant. The problem with London Underground's plan is that if the train was stopped, every other train on the Circle Line, and the three other lines that share sections of it, would be heavily delayed while ours was taken out of service. So everyone ended going around until Barbican, when the party ended.
Great party and keep an eye out for the next one. I can see this becoming a real tradition!