Late Night Rather Than Last Night


I could think of nothing more frightful than sitting through the Last Night of the Proms. It must have once been a charming event, a letting-off of steam after a long season of concerts. Now it’s a parody, all those stamping sea shanties, all that flag waving colonial nonsense – of course it’s an important part of our heritage but it was hijacked long ago by braying businessmen on corporate outings. Are there even any normal seats sold? Presumably it’s attended by the same Ukippers who intersect with fans of ‘Abba – The Experience’.

The proms themselves, especially the late night ones, are far more exciting and a culturally mixed bag, especially with the inclusion of the frankly awesome British singer Laura Mvula, doing her stuff here.

6 comments on “Late Night Rather Than Last Night”

  1. Ian Luck says:

    I think that Sir Henry Wood, who instigated the Proms as a way of the ‘Common Man’ to be able to enjoy superb music, played by top class musicians, would be utterly disgusted at how the wealthy, brainless, and chinless have hijacked the last night, and made it into what seems today to be a rather jingoistic parody.

  2. Brooke says:

    Looked at last night program; total hodge-podge trying too hard to be hip. Decided to skip. Missed the jingoistic part–just thought poorly programmed mash up. Hope Sir Henry’s intent is sustained for the future.

  3. David Ronaldson says:

    I’ve been to quieter concerts during the Proms season. Up in the top gallery of the Royal Albert Hall you can sit on the floor with a picnic and a good book: wonderful.

  4. admin says:

    That seems like a preferable idea, David – the way proms are meant to be enjoyed.

  5. eggsy says:

    Ah, EU flag good, Union flag bad? (Actually present in broadly equal amounts in the snippet I saw – and then there were all the other various flags – a pleasant vexillological diversion). The parody about LNOTP is a self-parody of nationalism, not of music. Elsewhere it would be in deadly seriousness.
    Leave’em be – its the gradually developed (and mutable) tradition at the end of two months of decent music, for the most part. And only after the interval – the Beeb keeps the still serious part one safely tucked away on BBC2 and has, er, “light music” put on for the commoners and provincials in the various parks over that time.
    The influx of the rich? Well, owing to the curious way the Hall was funded it is inevitable, as is the way the rich latch on to any “event”. Queue-jumping is how we can see they are rich – and showing off seems to be the important part.(corporate hospitality at Glastonbury as well as Henley). However, I haven’t conducted a survey into the socioeconomic conditions of all attendees to come to any conclusions about this specific event…

  6. Helen Martin says:

    Eggsy, we await that socioeconomic study of the attendees with minds agape. Are boxes or rows or whatever sponsored and therefore within the gift of the donors?

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