Glossary entry for
London

Van mentions a number of London locations in his songs from the Them albums, the Bang recordings and Astral Weeks:

Park Lane ("You Just Can't Win")
This is a north-south road on the Western side of London's West End (the main shopping and Entertainment area of central London). It runs alongside Hyde Park, and is known for its expensive hotels, casinos etc, and is the area where wealthy overseas visitors are likely to stay.

Curzon Street ("He Ain't Give You None")
This is one a number of small streets behind Park Lane, next to Shepherd Market which was known as a high-priced red-light district for some of the visitors mentioned above (one Van-fan notes that "It is the area of choice for rich Mayfair men to install their mistresses in a flat"). Some printed lyrics spell it "Kersian" but Curzon seems to be more logical.

Tottenham Court Road ("You Just Can't Win")
At the other end of Oxford St (London's the main shopping street) is Tottenham Court Road underground Station. From here Charing Cross Road Runs south towards Leicester Square & Trafalgar Square, and Tottenham Court Road runs north towards Camden Town. This is an area of cheaper shops and hotels (also the main centre for Hi Fi & Computer shops).

Camden Town ("You Just Can't Win")
An inner suburb just north of central London with a large Irish population. There is a market on Saturdays & Sundays which is popular with tourists.

Notting Hill Gate ("Friday's Child", "He Ain't Give You None")
Notting Hill is a suburb west of the city, with a multi-cultural population, mainly West Indian (although less multi-cultural now). There is an annual Caribbean festival which is England's nearest equivelant of the Mardi Gras in New Orleans or the Rio festival in Brazil. Also the location of the well-known Portobello Road Street Market. The "gate" probably refers to one of the entrances to nearby Kensington Gardens. Incidentally, the house Mick Jagger lived in in the film "Performance" was in the Notting Hill area, in Powys Square.

Ladbroke Grove ("Slim Slow Slider")
A long road which runs through the centre of Notting Hill.

Queensway ("Bring 'Em On In")
The main road in Bayswater, which is next to Notting Hill

Contributed by Van list member Alan Lloyd, in London, England

Part of the van-the-man.info unofficial website

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