Shards Of The Spectacle

For no particularly good reason I decided to head down to The Millennium Bridge in central London to watch tonight’s supposedly spectacular light show to launch The Shard: the just completed tallest building in Europe, and one that allegedly contains apartments for sale at £50 million (although that is probably just hype). On The Millennium Bridge I found myself blinded by the lights not from The Shard’s lasers but the flash photography of the crowd around me. Oddly more people were taking pictures before the lights went on than after the show began….
Both The Millennium Bridge and The Embankment below were packed when I arrived just before the laser ‘spectacular’ kicked off; but once the event got underway the crowd quickly thinned. Revelers were underwhelmed by the spectacle and I heard people josh that “it was Shardly worth coming” and that “I’d have had a better evening drinking Chardonnay in front of the telly…” It seems the light spectacle itself was created for the cameras, not for those who came out to watch it on the night. Right now London is suffering from spectacle fatigue, but perhaps the footage might look moderately interesting to an insomniac YouTube fanatic a dozen years from now…. Whereas most of those who came to see the event live were so bored they left well before the show concluded.
And for an encore could we have the final and absolute collapse of capitalism? That said, can we actually trust the Barclays Capital analysts who six months ago claimed to have established an unhealthy connection between the world’s tallest buildings and every financial crisis over the past 140 years?
NB The Shard light show ran for about an hour from 10.15pm on 5 July, whereas this blog was posted a little after midnight so it is datelined 6 July.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by Bob Diamond on 2012-07-06 00:58:50 +0000

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

Comment by Philly Buster on 2012-07-06 01:06:01 +0000

There was also dismay from some Londoners about the cost of a visit to the Shard, as it was revealed it will cost nearly £90 for a family of four to ascend to the viewing platform.
Tickets to the platform – which opens in February – will cost £24.95 for an adult and £18.95 for a child.
By comparison, an adult ticket to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris is currently priced at 14 euros – just over £11.

Comment by Norman Ford on 2012-07-06 17:25:39 +0000

Was The Millennium Bridge shaking to the beat of classical music?

Comment by Kent Perry on 2012-07-06 17:42:35 +0000

Hope ya threw a rock at a window for me, thats just over the top.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2012-07-06 18:09:36 +0000

Maybe it will blow down in the next storm to cut across London…
@ Norman Ford – you couldn’t hear the music accompanying the light show on The Millennium Bridge but the structure was shaking a little at times due to the number of people on it….

Comment by Gerry Mallon on 2012-07-06 18:47:41 +0000

The Shard is there for the city to self-harm on.

Comment by Stuart Green on 2012-07-06 20:28:01 +0000

It were crap, our kid. And cheap.

Comment by Craig Darryl on 2012-07-06 21:02:51 +0000


Comment by Gerry Mallon on 2012-07-06 23:59:39 +0000

It should be shoved up Boris Johnson’s jacksy.

Comment by Raymond Anderson on 2012-07-07 00:42:34 +0000

San Diego had a better show and that was a technical accident!

Comment by mistertrippy on 2012-07-07 01:16:45 +0000

You’d have thought they could have managed something better… It looked like really bad special effects from an ultra-low budget 1970s sci-fi movie……

Comment by Gerry Mallon on 2012-07-07 13:02:32 +0000

Hung a mirrorball from it and lit a sparkler.

Comment by Mike Lewis on 2012-07-07 13:40:56 +0000

It looks prettier and more spectacular when I use a lit sparkler to light my farts…

Comment by Grumpy Old Man on 2012-07-07 20:23:42 +0000

Seeing people taking pictures all the time these days makes you think the world has gone crazy.. What will happened to them all when the digital formats change? Most will be looked at a couple of times and then be inaccessible forever. For every good picture of The Shard light show there will be thousands of bad ones! Crazy.

Comment by Marina Wesley on 2012-07-07 21:06:49 +0000

The Shard light show looked like a really cheap 1970s lava lamp that someone had forgotten to switch off!

Comment by Andy Raymond on 2012-07-07 21:24:03 +0000

Its all about timing and perspective.

Comment by Randy Marshall on 2012-07-07 21:47:00 +0000

Its expanded consciousness!!

Comment by Eduard Bernstein on 2012-07-08 18:33:19 +0000

Capitalism can’t go on forever but isn’t gradual deflation better than collapse?

Comment by Sam Corrington on 2012-07-08 21:02:05 +0000

Is the builidng actually finished yet? When you look at the top of The Shard it looks like they still need to do some work on it!

Comment by Michael Roth on 2012-07-09 04:52:06 +0000

I’ve got nothing ….

Comment by mistertrippy on 2012-07-09 14:03:58 +0000

Not even a pot to piss in?
@ Sam Corrington – from a quick web search it seems The Shard is allegedly finished but since the viewing platform won’t open until February 2013 I kinda doubt it. They probably some finishing touches to add!

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