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The Tower Bridge bascule chamber concerts are back

James Manning

If you’re into classical music or Victorian engineering (or both), you’ll be as nerdily excited as we are to hear that the cascule chamber of Tower Bridge is hosting concerts again this September. If not, this might take a bit of explanation, so bear with us.

The bascules are the counterweights that enable London’s most #iconic bridge to open up, letting through passing shipping and giving tourists a thrill (and drivers high blood pressure) a few times each day. The bascule chambers, one at each end, are the spaces where these massive weights go when the bridge is raised. During last year’s Totally Thames festival the south bascule chamber was used for a series of concerts, which sold out very quickly. This year it’s happening again. Booking fingers at the ready…

The performances on September 24 and 25 will feature five new works by composers including the aptly named Iain Chambers (pictured above), Ben See, Catherine Carter and Tom Wilson, performed by the Juice Vocal Ensemble and Ben See Group. Some of the pieces are inspired by local history, including the menagerie at the Tower of London and the female welders who fixed Waterloo Bridge during WWII, and there’ll also be a musical setting of Emily Dickinson poems and a radical take on classic Guns N’ Roses.

This year, as well as the bascule chambers, you’ll hear music inside the bridge’s accumulator chamber: a massive cylinder that used to house the bridge’s original lifting mechanism. Book now for a unique experience inside a London landmark’s private parts.

Tickets are on sale now via the Totally Thames website.

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