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Around the Roundhouse
For many people living in East London, the paths intersect with a strange round house of yellowish-pale color with a square tower on the roof. We are in Degenham. Once, it happened with me when I drove from Barking to Romford that I had to take bus route number 368 and see this Art Nouveau architectural marvel. Later, a friend of mine who lives in Degenham told me about this legendary place for all fans of good old English rock and roll.

And so one Sunday we agreed to meet at the Roundhouse to take a closer look at the house and touch on history. Steve (my friend's name), a seasoned drummer, a classic hard rock school and I had to jam with him more than once. 

  "Hey, the weather is bad," he said, pounding his fist to mine (a habit given to humanity by a pandemic). 

  "Yea, a bit yea, but take a photo of me in the background, please." Me asked him and I pointed my finger across the road at the round miracle of Dagenham. Steve is a cheerful man and he always photographs landscapes where, in addition to everything, his fingers are also present. But I checked the photos until my fingers disappeared. Single people passed without paying attention to us. 

 "Why would that bring tourists here?" they must have thought. We approached the building. On the wall of the elongated wing where once in the interwar period was placed a bowling alley hung large banners with outdated last year's posters as in zombie movies where the protagonists getting into an abandoned city and rejoice to see the things that were ignored in everyday pandemic life. Most of the posters were tribute bands 'T Rextasy', 'Amy Winehouse', 'Coda tribute to Led Zeppelin', 'Flash tribute to Queen' and other acts designed to evoke the spirits of rock and roll in a ritual masquerade. Those and I tried to open it and Steve was already shaking his head, saying no this time. Everything is closed and it is not yet known whether it will open at all. We went to the other side of the architectural circle and leaned against a large iron gate that closed a small annex. All the walls were hung with banners and billboards, and some of them were torn at the edges and hung in the wind. The spirit of rock and roll greeted me nearby.

  "I want to take them with me," I said my friend. "Steve, so Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and Rory Gallagher performed here?" I asked, though of course I knew the answer because we have already talked about it  with him. 

  "It was called the Blues Village Club then, but I was a little boy and I didn't go to concerts," he laughed. Of course, but he been here and drank beer more than once, and now we could only stand and look at the legendary - the most famous place in East London, where rock and roll forged serious art. That's what I was thinking when I got on the bus and looked out the window.  Steve stood in the background of the Roundhouse, waving his hand. See you again.