Not since the Rumble in the Jungle have two such heavyweight contenders squared off against each other. Easter Monday sees two giants of musical popularity go head to head and the Hyde Park taxi ranks will resound to just two sets of instructions: ‘Royal Albert Hall for the Bach Marathon’ or ‘O2 Arena for One Direction’. So how do the two musical giants compare?
JS Bach versus One Direction
• You might think that Bach is outnumbered, given that there are five members of One Direction, but with 20 children to his name, by two wives, Bach was prolific in more than a musical sense.
• Sir John Eliot Gardiner has chosen a fitting venue, those waiting for a Royal Albert Hall taxi might be amazed to learn that the venue isn’t just for music purists – the first ever Sumo wrestling tournament held outside Japan took place here and Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath both played the Hall.
• The O2 Arena is quite a location too – an O2 arena taxi may take you past some of the glories of historic maritime Greenwich, including the location of the Cutty Sark, the 138-year-old clipper which fell victim to a fire in 2007or one of London’s least celebrated landmarks, the Thames Barrier. O2 wins hands-down on size: it has thirteen times the interior volume of the Albert Hall. It’s a good thing the venue is so huge – demand for One Direction tickets means the band have added on two more O2 dates – 4 and 5 April.
• JS Bach was also a boy band member! He became a musician at the court of Duke Johann Ernst, singing, playing violin and serving as substitute organist, at just eighteen years old. In fact, in his lifetime he was more famous for his virtuoso organ playing than for his compositions, but his Toccata and Fugue in D minor has become one of the most famous musical pieces of all time, featuring in films ranging from Fantasia to Bad Boys II.
• One Direction have phenomenal musical statistics too, their album, “Up All Night” was the first UK debut album to enter the Billboard chart in the USA at No 1, and since then the album has gone platinum in the USA and double platinum in the UK.
• Greenwich is a fascinating part of London and a Greenwich taxi ride may include some little-known gems such as Sir Christopher Wren’s Old Royal Naval College with its gloriously painted hall which is undergoing renovation to bring its fabulous ceiling, a rare example of the English Baroque, up to its full glory again.
• And talking about good-looking things – one area where One Direction win hands down is good looks. JS Bach might have been prolific, talented, hard-working and inspired, but Liam, Harry, Louis, Zayn and Niall are cute enough to cause a thousand screaming girls to swoon, and JS Bach was never that! (As if you’ve learned their names. Ridiculous. – ED)