On Saturday evening, after a lovely walk along Regent’s Canal, I found myself at a loose end in Camden. Wonderful, I thought, I’m in one of the most vibrant parts of London. There’ll be loads happening – I can go to an impromptu gig or a comedy night. Let me just google what’s on tonight.
A good 45 minutes later I was fed-up and despondent, and my phone battery was almost dead. Searching the internet for “live music in Camden tonight” had resulted in an overwhelming deluge of content: listicles on dodgy-looking websites that screamed with pop-ups when clicked on; maps listings that insisted on trying to download other apps before loading; ticket sites for major music venues whose gigs had sold out months in advance; reviews of events that sounded ideal until I realised they’d already happened; and of course reams of sponsored posts almost indistinguishable from the real ones. I gave up, and just wandered into the first pub that had a “live music here” sign on the door.