Last Night of the Proms
I’ve watched the Last Night of the Proms as part of a large, flag-waving crowd quite a few times before, but this evening was markedly different from all the rest. Aside from the question of whether or not pieces like “Rule Britannia” should continue to be performed (which I do have thoughts on, but I am too tired tonight to give it the attention deserved), there was of course no audience in the Royal Albert Hall, and all the performers were sat at least two metres apart from one another. I still got handed a small plastic union flag, and sat dutifully in my uncomfortable chair along with everyone else - closer than 2m to people on all sides - but watching on the screen had a very different energy. It felt less assured, perhaps unsurprisingly, less rooted in tradition due to the previous assumption of the tradition’s continued existence as inevitable having been taken away. I can only assume it must’ve been very, very strange to be one of the musicians this evening.
The alternative arrangement of Jerusalem was an absolute banger though.