Leo is a gifted guide. Indeed, she won the big one – the Guide of the Year Award – for her year. This tour is a textbook example of how it should be done. It starts of course with Leo greeting everyone, getting them comfortable, settled in, explaining the practicals. She then gets us oriented – where we are in London. She then shows us the route she’ll be following. We then get a quick overview of the history of the area. All of the above takes no more than about five minutes but it is an invaluable scene-setter.
And then it’s the art’s turn. And once again the way through – the way she’s organised it – makes a ton of sense. She’s chosen the first piece because it’s got examples of “tags, throw-ups and masterpieces (or pieces)”. In short, she takes us into the world of East End Street Art by explaining – getting us au fait with – the nomenclature, the argot, the terminology. “Tags, throw-ups and masterpieces” is the clip I’ve run up here, for today’s podcast.
A final observation. It was of interest to me (David) that Leo’s audience tonight was primarily British. Indeed, most of the audience (the “walkers”) were from the London area. She did have a sprinkling of Americans (from Arizona and Wisconsin). One tour is of course a small sample but if tonight was anything to go by we can glean from the composition of that audience that Londoners have picked up on the fact that “something special is happening” over in the near East End and they want to get up to speed with it. And I think that in itself is a recommendation (of sorts) for the tour. On the when in Rome do as the Romans do.
“one of the most vibrant, exciting things to see, particularly in east London”
“I like to start my tours with a map or a quote”
“Let’s get you oriented”
“this will give you a slice of what you’re missing [because of Lockdown]”
“this piece introduces you to graffiti in its purest form”
“the more elaborate form of the tag is known as a throw-up or a throwie”
“yes, we will see a couple of Banksies”