27 October 2007

Can't Chain Up Me Mind @ The Vortex - 8th-9th November

Can't Chain Up Me Mind is an interesting sounding musical performance coming up at the Vortex Jazz Club on the 8th and 9th November.

Written by Tony Haynes with lyrics by Valerie Bloom and John Matshikiza, this show commemorates the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

Press release:

"This brand new show remembers the Atlantic slave trade, but celebrates its great musical legacy – jazz and the music of Cuba and the Caribbean.

"The first set is built on music typical of West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin-America today – especially the dance rhythms of hi-life, salsa, ska, calypso and soca – music that has evolved from centuries of cultural mixing between Africa and the Americas.

"The second set takes the form of a New Orleans funeral – 'birth, death and life again' – as a metaphor for the historical journey taken by slaves, and their indomitable efforts to maintain their culture and identity in exile and adversity.

"Hymns and spirituals, Yoruba chants and drumming, reggae, samba and modern New Orleans marching music, steel pans, blues and stunning jazz improvisation and powerful, dramatic original songs are all brought together to create a vivid picture of slavery, and the glorious music it eventually gave birth to."

The show features a range of great African, Caribbean and Latin-American musicians and jazz soloists from the Grand Union Orchestra:

Claude Deppa (South Africa) - trumpet, African drums
Kevin Robinson (England) – trumpet, flugelhorn
or Byron Wallen (Belize) – trumpet, flugelhorn
Chris Biscoe (England) – soprano & alto saxophones
Louise Elliott (Australia) – tenor saxophone, flute, congas
Harry Brown (England) – trombone
Tony Haynes (England) – trombone, piano
Andy Grappy (England) – tuba
Josefina Cupido (Spain) – Latin percussion, voice
Bravo Fimber (Trinidad) – steel pan, timbales
Gerry Hunt (England) – guitar, soprano & baritone saxophones
Andres Lafone (Uruguay) – bass guitar
Brian Abrahams (South Africa) – drums, voice

For further details visit: http://www.grandunion.org.uk/

Alternatively you can contact Alison Jones on (020) 7375 1122 or by email on alison@grandunion.org.uk

For details of the Vortex Jazz Club visit their website: http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk/

26 October 2007

Duke Vin at Coast To Coast tomorrow

Coast To Coast flyer
This Saturday 27th October, legendary sound man Duke Vin joins DJ Cello as guest DJ at Coast to Coast.

Duke Vin is an important figure in the history of Jamaican music and is said to have one of the best collections in the world. He is also famed for having the only existing original copy of killer Derrick Harriott produced tune "The Tickler".

Duke Vin began his career in the early 1950s as a selector for Tom The Great Sebastian - the first major Sound System in Jamaica. He moved to London later in the decade, introducing England to Jamaican music - ska - through his Sound System, which was one of the first in the UK.

During the 1960s, Duke Vin played at London's top West End clubs: the original Marquee club on Oxford Street and then in it's new premises on Wardour Street, as well as The Flamingo, also on Wardour Street.

Back in 2003, I myself was honoured to have Duke Vin DJ for me at Right On! @ The Thirteen Club in Gerrard Street. This was a rare chance to hear him play in a smart West End club a stone's throw from the location of the Flamingo club where he played in the 1960s. This night was a sell-out and the biggest crowd we'd had to date.

If you love your ska and have not caught Duke Vin in session before, I'd recommend checking out Coast To Coast tomorrow - but do arrive early to ensure you get in.

For full details check out: http://www.coasttocoast.org.uk/

The end of Rakehell's Revels

More unhappy tidings to report: Rakehell's Revels – one of London's top club nights, and one of my favourites – is to come to an end.

Rakehell's has run every Tuesday (excusing summer breaks) for a few years now. The final date was planned for mid December, but last-minute news just in informs me that next Tuesday's Halloween bash (30th October) will be the last until two farewell finales in December.

I have so far been unable to ascertain the exact reason for this premature finish, but will let you know as and when I find out more.

In any case, it is a real loss for London's club scene and I strongly advise you to get down to these last three sessions. I am sure that they will all be very well attended, as Rakehell's is an extremely popular night, so do get down early to ensure you get in.

I'm honoured that host David Piper has invited me to spin a few tunes myself at one of the December finales. I'll post the date and details when this is confirmed.

For full details on Rakehell's Revels see the review on my Club Guide here: www.londondossier.info/clubs.htm

Do also check out the great Rakehell's Revels CDthat came out a few months back.

24 October 2007

Pop Art @ The Gagosian Gallery

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Pop Art movement, The Gagosian Gallery on Britannia Street in King's Cross is currently hosting an exhibition entitled "Pop Art Is..."

Though worth visiting just to see Roy Lichenstein's famous "Art" painting from 1962 (see picture below), there are many other important and interesting works from more than 40 artists in total. And there is no excuse to miss this, as admission is completely free.

But hurry, as the exhibition has already been open for a month and finishes on 10th November.

6Ts All-Nighters at Jacks cancelled

This message just in from Ady Croasdell who runs the 6Ts Rhythm & Soul Society:

"I've decided to cancel all future events at Jack's due to an unexpected increase in the rent and a decrease in the hours at the last one. I should have notified everyone well before now but Kent's 25th celebrations just took over eveything. My apologies for the very late notice.

"Now we are back at the 100 Club it seems people much prefer going to those dances rather than the ones at Jack's. I'd like to thank Johnny Gamlin for coming to our rescue earlier in the year with the venue, when we really needed it. The first night was brilliant about 400 people enjoying a great atmosphere in the impressive club. However there were only just over 100 at the second and perhaps 150 at the third so it's obvious that 6TS members hadn't enjoyed it as much as I thought they had, or perhaps they were just happy to be back in the 100 Club. Either way Jack's was a short but memorable experience.

"The next 6TS will be at the 100 Club on December 1st, 9pm-6am. The Xmas party is on Dec 20th 9pm-2am. Membership is optional for all 6TS events now."

23 October 2007

London After Dark - film season

An excellent film season is currently underway at the Birkbeck Cinema, which offers a unique look at London after dark throughout the ages. Films are being shown every Tuesday afternoon at 2.30pm until the 4th December. And best of all, the screenings are free.

Here's the press release:

"The London Screen Study Collection continues in its mission to promote awareness of London's film heritage with a new season. Catch free screenings until 4 December.

"The focus is 'the capital by night' - as portrayed by both native and visiting film-makers over a seventy year period. The films range from low-budget talkies, to recent film-making that makes use of CGI to alter aspects of London locations."

The Birkbeck Cinema (formerly known as The Screen on Gordon Square) is located at 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Note that, although admission is free, due to the small size of the cinema (it seats 70) you should reserve a place in advance by contacting Angela English on a.english@bbk.ac.uk or (020) 7631 6181

This afternoon's film (23 October) is "Night and the City" from 1950 which offers an Expressionist view of London's sporting underworld.

Other upcoming films that sound particularly interesting include:

30 October - "Every Day Except Christmas" and "Nice Time"
Films from the 1950s Free Cinema movement that examine both the gritty and the glamorous sides of London life.

6 November - "Peeping Tom" (Michael Powell, 1960)
Seedy Fitrozia alleyways and attics in Powell's satire on the film business, which also explores the roots of voyeurism.

13 November - "Nighthawks" (Ron Peck, 1978)
Pioneering British independent film which aimed to portray metropolitan gay life from the inside for the first time.

For full film listings and details visit:

The Birkbeck Cinema is part of Birkbeck University's Centre for Film and Visual Media. For more information on the centre and the work they undertake vist:

14 October 2007

White Mischief @ The Scala - Sat 10 Nov

I'm very excited to be DJing at The Scala on Saturday 10th November for a night called White Mischief: From The Earth To The Moon. This promises to be a unique indoor festival over 3 floors featuring live music, DJs, burlesque and cabaret.

I'll be DJing in the main room (capacity 500+) supporting ace soul band Lord Large and British Sea Power with a set of 60s soul and other related dancefloor sounds. I'll be on from around midnight til 3am.

Lord Large have been making a great name for themselves with their authentic 60s soul and ska releases on Acid Jazz. If you haven't seen them live yet, you're in for a treat.

For full details see the flyer below or visit: http://www.whitemischief.info/

To buy advance tickets online visit: http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=gb_london&query=detail&event=235130

White Mischief flyer

10 October 2007

John Holt live - 28 Nov - with DJs Mark Lamarr and Jean-Paul Séculaire

I'm honoured to have been asked to assist Mark Lamarr with DJ duties in support of the great John Holt at his live concert at the Jazz Cafe on Wednesday 28th November.

"Sir" John Holt is a reggae legend and one of the most soulful voices that Jamaica has produced. As lead singer of the Paragons in the 1960s he was responsible for evergreen rocksteady classics like "The Tide Is High" and "Wear You To The Ball". Since 1970 he has enjoyed a hugely successful solo career with his unique brand of soulful reggae. Popular in clubs to this day for tunes like "Ali Baba", "I'm Your Man" and "Maybe The First Time", John Holt is still going strong and continues to record and perform live.

This is a very rare opportunity to see Mr Holt in an intimate venue, as he usually only plays at much larger venues like the Apollo. He'll be at the Jazz Cafe for one night only - so don't miss out!

Doors: 7pm
Tickets: £27.50 advance

Full details from the Jazz Cafe's website here:

You can find more information about John Holt here:

Michael Garrick live - Sat 13 Oct

Legendary British jazz composer/pianist Michael Garrick will be performing live with his new Quartet this Saturday 13th October at The Pizza On The Park to launch their new DVD "Inspirations" (based on their album of the same name).

Having seen Mr Garrick play in a small group format a year or two ago at The Spice of Life, I cannot recommend this enough. This should be a gig to remember for all modern jazz fans.

I've been told there will be an admission charge, though I am not sure how much this will be. I'd advise checking with the venue in advance on (020) 7235 7825

Address: Pizza On The Park, 11 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LY
(Hyde Park tube station exit 4)

Michael Garrick is now on MySpace where you can listen some of his wonderful music. Check out his page here:

You can find the Pizza On The Park website here:

Note that Pizza On The Park's lease will apparently be expiring shortly, which will unfortunately see an end to their programme of live music.

06 October 2007

The Pretty Things and Arthur Brown live - 30 Nov

An interesting gig coming up in November...

Eel Pie Club presents The Pretty Things + The Amazing World of Arthur Brown live in concert

Date: Friday 30th November 2007
Venue: York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham, London TW1 3AA
Price: £23.00

I saw both acts playing rhythm & blues sets at the 100 Club a couple of years back for the launch of the Martin Scorsese Blues films and I have to say they were both very good. Arthur Brown in particular still has a great voice. Not sure what sort of material they'll be playing this time, but should be well worth checking out. The Pretty Things don't play live in London very often so if you're a fan make sure you don't miss it.

For more information and to buy tickets vist:

01 October 2007

Steinberg & Tolkien closes down

I heard this news a while back, but forgot to post anything about it. Popular King's Road vintage clothes shop Steinberg & Tokien have apparently closed down.

Though geared more towards women than men, I still have fond memories of this place. It was in this quirky little boutique that I bought my first silver tie clip many years ago.

Full story from Time Out here: