The licensed music spots on the London Underground seem to have precipitated a bit of a busking arms race. Gone are the guitars strumming pre-electric Dylan or mournful Travis numbers. Now the tunnels and caverns echo with interminable Hendrix-style electric guitar solos, intricate amplified mandolin riffs, miked up excerpts of violin concertos. The Tube’s gone electric.
Also new-ish on the Tube is the spread of whiteboards telling punters in the station about the current service level on the various lines. At London Bridge this morning the staff had eschewed the colourless “Normal service” or “Regular service” or even the cautious “No reported problems”. Instead we had a full rack of cheery “Good service today” messages against all the lines. It was a damned lie, of course (I eventually squeezed on to the third train through), but a sweet thought nevertheless.