Berry & Green

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TALES FROM THE ROUNDHOUSE

I was dreaming when I wrote this; forgive me if it goes astray.  

Last week the excellent Time Out magazine had a feature on the Roundhouse, the former turning-shed made cultural centre in Camden and a place where I have spent many jolly evenings.  

In 1993, for example, I went to a gig there by the band, Suede. It was winter, very cold and at the time the venue had no discernible heating. It was basically a big space with a circular wall. 

As a result, this is the only gig I've ever been to where the queue for the bar was for teas and coffees as opposed to beer or vodka - it was so cold that anything alcoholic was out of the question. 

But my favourite Roundhouse experience was about 10 years later when the brilliant Liam Black organised a charity fundraiser for the Jamie Oliver Foundation at the venue (then with heating).  

The highlight of the event was to be the arrival, late in the evening, of a Hollywood superstar, fresh from his theatre show at the Old Vic. My job would be to greet the superstar and guide him to a specially designated media table to chat to a few tabloid chums.  

At 11.30pm, he arrived. I introduced myself. He seemed happy. Then I asked whether he would like to follow me to the media table to share some words of wisdom with our journalist friends.  

The superstar stopped, looked me in the eye and said, "why the fuck would I want to talk to the British press?"  It was a question I couldn't answer so there was nothing else to do but go and get drunk.........