This week Bob Stanley of St Etienne composes a hymn of praise to a Tube station, and a protest song about a block of flats

Arriving at Coventry station, I love the feeling of simple but learned optimism that the platforms and their signage project. But my wonder is Charles Holden's Piccadilly Line work, especially Southgate. The friendliness of its curves, and the sense of something exciting happening around its circular main hall are very real, although a stroll down the high street will soon dampen your ardour. It made modernism understandable to 1930s London, and predicted the playfulness of the Festival Of Britain. What's not to love? It's progressive in every way.

Friendly and exciting Southgate Tube station was opened in March 1933
Friendly and exciting
Southgate Tube station was opened in March 1933 as part of the northern extension of the Piccadilly Line towards Cockfosters. It was designed by Charles Holden to be a feature of the area. It is surrounded by an arcade of small shops and is a fine example of the streamline moderne variant of art deco.

I didn't want to rubbish a brand new development but I couldn't ignore the Crest Nicholson flats on Camden Road, north London, built on the playing fields of the Jewish Free School. Many similar, smaller patches of Victoriana keep appearing in London, scarring the centuries of fine, varied design in places such as Dulwich and Highgate. But the scale and ugliness of the Camden Road site beggar belief. You get a power shower, dimmer switches, entry phone system, balconies onto a panorama of HGVs but it is a middle class slum, and entirely regressive.

Crest Nicholson’s Torriano Collection development in Camden
Middle class slum
Crest Nicholson’s Torriano Collection development in Camden, north London comprises 18 three and four-bedroom mews houses. It was designed by architect ML Design Group to complement the Italian-style Victorian villas of this conservation area.

Bob Stanley is a member of indie band St Etienne, whose film What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day?, directed by Paul Kelly, will be screened at the RIBA on 29 March. It is set in the lower Lea Valley on the eve of the Olympic redevelopment.