25 October 2011

Vintage Halloween Parties - October 2011

White Mischief Halloween party flyerWell, it doesn't look like there's much going on on Halloween itself this year, it being a Monday and all, but fear not, there's lots to choose from over the weekend preceding it. Here's my round-up of this year's choicest, Halloween-themed, vintage club nights. Dressing up is generally not obligatory, but in most cases it is highly appreciated, and at some of the events may even get you a discount on admission.


Jukebox Jam Halloween Special

A night of rock 'n' roll, rhythm 'n' blues and sleazy exotica from live bands and resident DJs. Guest jockey this month is the great Ben Olins from The Stag O Lee club.

A Danse Macabre - The Halloween Ball

An erotic, late-night ball featuring cabaret, burlesque, live bands and DJs including Dickon Edwards.

The Sizzle Suite

Old school funk, soul, ska, r'n'b, swing, calypso and more from DJs Duke Skeleton and host Count Sizzle plus The Congo Faith Healers live and flamenco from Paula y Manu.



White Mischief presents A Ghost In the Machine

Spectacular indoor festival in a multi-floored, converted Victorian cinema. Line-up features live bands, cabaret, installations, fabulous costumes and vintage DJs, including yours truly, spinning swing, blues, rock 'n' roll and more.

The Hideous Big Ten Inch Halloween Horror Show

Mr "Ghost Train" himself, Jerry Dammers, joins Count Skylarkin on the decks to spin "devilish blues, ghoulish ska, coffin-rockin' rocksteady and buried treasure from Tutankhamun's grave".


Finally, should you fancy getting away from all the ghouls and goblins, there are plenty of other nights to choose from, on the Friday at least. Check out the Calendar for suggestions:


19 October 2011

Duke Vin & The Birth Of Ska - 27th October

Duke Vin & The Birth Of Ska is showing for FREE on Thursday 27th October at the Peckham Plex Cinema. This is a film I've mentioned a few times on this blog. It has only had limited distribution, so each time it's shown in London I feel it worth pointing out. First released in 2008, I saw it myself at The Portobello Film Festival in 2009, and have to say it is well worth watching. An excellent slice of history, telling the story of Duke Vin - an important figure in the world of Jamaican music in the UK.

Duke Vin film poster
Directed by Gus Berger, the film is a documentary of 55 minutes in length, which features interviews with Duke Vin himself and other important figures in the UK reggae scene, as well as some vintage footage. I would have liked to have seen more footage from the 50s, 60s and 70s, but given the somewhat underground nature of the Jamaican music scene in Britain, I can imagine this being a story that just wasn't caught on camera.

A film like this was therefore long overdue. It tells a story that is essential for anyone interested in Jamaican music and culture and its influence on the UK.

Thursday 27th October. 7.30pm.
The Peckham Plex Cinema,

95a Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST
FREE admission (booking essential)
Bookings: free_duke@live.com

Telephone: 07415 174 451

Cinema website: http://www.peckhamplex.com/
Film website: http://gustofilms.com/duke-vin/

SOAS World Music Stage at the Bloomsbury Festival

photograph of HarareThe Bloomsbury Festival comes to town this weekend, from Friday to Sunday, featuring a plethora of free events, covering music, dance, poetry and art.

For me, the highlight has to be the SOAS World Music Stage, which takes place in Russell Square from Noon on both Saturday 22nd October and Sunday 23rd October.

This two-day programme of free music from around the world has been selected by specialists at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Music Department. Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe are all represented by bands including: Laye Sow (Senegal), Ayarkhaan (Sakha/Siberia), Amira Kheir (Sudan), Shavnabada (Georgia), Rún (Celtic music), Harare (Zimbabwe) - and many more.

The line-up sounds very interesting, though I must admit I'm not personally familiar with any of the bands apart from Harare, who I can heartily recommend. They are scheduled to play at 6.15pm on Saturday and I would go so far as to say the event is worth attending for them alone.

For full details, visit: http://www.bloomsburyfestival.org.uk/event/id/185

11 October 2011

Ghetto Lounge events - October / November

Saturday 15th October
Fela Kuti Birthday Tribute
@ The Jazz Cafe

This night will feature the Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra who promise to perform "carefully re-orchestrated Fela favourites/classics". Their selection from Fela's repertoire aims to mark the changes and development in his music through the decades — from Koola Lobitos (highlife, jazz) through to Africa 70 (Afro funk) and Egypt 80 (Afro big-band sound, with longer, more intricate pieces). There will also be guest musicians on the night, paying their respects to Fela, plus DJ Koichi Sakai (Afrobeat Vibration) on the decks playing "memorable Afrobeat anthems".

The Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London, NW1 7PG
Doors: 7pm - 11pm
Admission: £17.50 advance, £22 on the door
Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1f004658c1a9681e?camefrom=cfc_uk_mama_jazzcafe&brand=jazz_cafe


Friday 11th November
Anthony Joseph album launch
@ The New Empowering Church

Inspired by some lines from the surrealist poet Ted Joans, "Rubber Orchestras" is Anthony Jospeh's third album with his Spasm Band. It has been produced by drummer and leader of The Heliocentrics, Malcolm Catto, and includes one track arranged and produced by 2 Tone legend Jerry Dammers (The Specials).

The opening words on the new album "The griot is the sound of universal culture" are key to understanding the universe of Anthony Joseph. Born in Trinidad but London-based for many years, Joseph has carved out a successful career writing and teaching poetry, as well as recording and performing with his band. His vocal influences include: Jimi Hendrix, Benjamin Zephaniah, Fela Kuti, Sly Stone and Gil Scott-Heron.

The new album, "Rubber Orchestras" (Heavenly Sweetness/Naïve) was released this month, and it will be followed by a new poetry collection of the same name in November by Salt Publishing.

Support on the 11th November comes from the Jon Speedy Band and DJs Jerry Dammers and Koichi Sakai.

The New Empowering Church, 1a Westgate Street, London, E8 3RL
Doors: 9pm - 3am
Admission: £7 advance, £10 on the door
Tickets: http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?295428


Saturday 26th November
Afrobeat Vibration 3rd Anniversary special
@ The New Empowering Church

Saturday 26th November is Afrobeat Vibration's final installment of 2011 and its 3rd Anniversary. As always, the Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra will be playing authentic Afrobeat including Fela's classic tunes as well as original compositions. DJ support comes from Koichi Sakai.

The "Music is the Weapon" documentary film will be screened from 9pm-10pm and there will also be contests for the best Afrobeat dancer and best Kalakuta dresser as well as a Nigerian meal after the show.

The New Empowering Church, 1a Westgate Street, London, E8 3RL
Doors: 9pm - late
Admission: £7 before 10pm, £10 thereafter

Owen Gray's October concert cancelled

Sadly, the Owen Gray gig I wrote about that was due to take place on 19th October, has been cancelled.

The Phoenix City Social Club was to host the gig, but I've just been informed by the promoter that they will no longer be holding events at The Queen of Hoxton.

Instead their next event is planned to take place at Under The Bridge in Chelsea on the 2nd December, and Owen Gray has been added to the bill for that night.