Marcel Lucont – 'Je t'aime Camden'

Friday, June 19 2009

Surly Frenchman Marcel Lucont may miss his countrymen, with their strong jawlines and militant work demands, but there's one place in London that has charmed him – Camden Town. You weeell jhust 'aff to eemageen zee Fweeench acceeent

On arriving in Camden for the first time in 2003, I was greeted by a bearded man wearing a sandwich board that predicted the imminent end of the world. Once I had realised that this was a genuine eccentric and not simply an avant-garde marketing campaign for a local patisserie, I decided Camden would be my spiritual home in London.

It is the one part of the city where one’s ‘people-watching’ can involve considering whether the passing figures are actually human or not. Amateur cyborg engineers: here is the perfect location to test your latest creation. You could perhaps earn a living by sending one of them to work in the Cyberdog store.

In Camden you will find the Etcetera Theatre. It is one of London’s smallest Fringe venues – and now wonder, there is enough theatre to be found just by standing on the corner of a street. I once watched Sandwich-Board Apocalypse Man engage in a loud, prolonged diatribe with an evangelical Christian, while considering how depressing it would be if these men offered us the only two choices of death.

As for the women, it is like shopping in an unfamiliar second-hand bazaar (of which you have many in Camden Town) – women with enough tattoos to blend in with the graffiti, those who have managed to pierce seemingly unpierceable parts of the body, and the white girls with dreadlocks from both ends of your fantastic class system. Quel choix…

It is also a very giving community. Those who cannot afford their weekly marijuana supply can simply position themselves anywhere near the lock and breathe in for about eight minutes.

And, if it all becomes too much, I know I can always ascend Primrose Hill and look down on London, as I imagine an enormous bomb in the shape of Jesus being dropped on the entire metropolis, as the man with the sandwich board looks up and smiles.

Merci beaucoup to Law Keven for the above photo


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