Bexhill-on-Sea allegedly has the oldest average population in Europe, and boy do you know it when you get there – I’ve never been anywhere that appears to have more funeral directors than it does pubs.
It’s also possibly the sleepiest town I’ve been to in England – the streets were largely deserted all day, and even at half ten on Saturday night there were only about forty people in the busiest pub in town, about half of whom were people who’d also been to see Goldfrapp. The scary thing is, when I asked the bouncer if it was always that quiet, he actually claimed it was the busiest night they’d had all year. Which makes you wonder why they needed a bouncer in the first place – anyone looking to escape binge-drink Britain should book themselves a weekend in Bexhill immediately.
All of which makes it all the more incongruous that the town also has probably the finest modernist building in the whole of the UK – the De La Warr pavilion.
I’d always wanted an excuse to visit, so as soon as I heard Goldfrapp were doing a gig there I leapt at the chance to get tickets, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Even better than the outside is the main staircase, which for me is the real masterpiece. I’m not sure the pictures do it justice, because it is beautiful.
I’ve been a fan of modernism and modernist architecture since I was a teenager, and this is definitely one of the finest examples I’ve ever seen. It would’ve been worth the trip for on its own – seeing Goldfrapp perform there as well was just the icing on the cake, as they were, as always, brilliant.