Tag Archives: Dogstar

The Friday Feeling

20 Jan

‘Tis Friday, ‘tis Friday and we are two thirds of the way through January. Who’s still on the wagon then?

If you’re looking for ways to entertain yourself in Brixton this weekend it seems to be mostly about cinema and live music.

January is the month for excellent film releases, for a reason film buffs will know. Beginning of awards season or something I think. Judging panels must have short memories. There is a multitude of options at the Ritzy this weekend, and more times to see them as they continue their programme of late screenings. Chose from: Steve McQueen’s much-praised Shame, the Thatcher biopic that recently won Meryl Streep a Golden Globe The Iron Lady, weepie War Horse and of course silent cinema tribute The Artist. If that’s not enough, the Ritzy is also showing classic 1971 American road trip movie Two Lane Blacktop. And of course the big new Leonardo diCaprio epic J Edgar is also out on general release today.

I’m not really a huge fan of Leo, but I’m really interested to see what this film is like. If you’re not familiar, J Edgar Hoover was once the most powerful man in America. As the founder and first director of the FBI, Hoover was privy to all the inside information on every scandal and tragedy in American public life – from the assassination of JFK to Watergate. He built up huge dossiers on public figures, the secret contents of which allowed him to wield influence over everyone, from presidents down. However, since his death he has been accused of blackmail, racism and complicity with the Mafia, and it’s been suggested that he went to great lengths to hide his homosexuality and cross-dressing. I’m really intrigued to see how Clint Eastwood and his cast will present the story of this almost mythical and extraordinarily powerful man.

Seen everything already? How about some live music then. Brixton favourites Drunken Ballordi are playing the Windmill tonight – imagine punky Hungarian-ish Folk … if you can. Entry for a bargainous £3. 

Tomorrow night blues and rock band Handshake Music are playing an acoustic set at the Trinity Arms, Trinity Square starting at 7.30. I won’t like to the pub’s site as it’s NEVER updated so this does not feature, but here’s the link to the band’s facebook page. It’s free as far as I can make out, do let me know if you have any more info.

And then on Sunday it’s the quarter final of the Laughing Horse comedy competition at Dogstar. . Six quid to get in, and fifteen – no doubt very nervous – aspiring comedians. What else is Brixton up to then? Do leave me a comment if you think I’ve missed something…

Things I Think You Should be Aware of in Brixton in 2012…

17 Jan

Congratulations if you’re reading this. Because, according to a widely discredited ‘study’, yesterday was the most depressing day of the year. And you made it! So well done, everyone.

Now that’s over, what does the first few months of 2012 have going for it? Well, diaries at the ready as I have compiled a list of Brixton happenings that I Think You Should be Aware of.

Both firstly and foremostly, DROP EVERYTHING (oh, soz, was that your new iPad?) because tomorrow evening is the second Meet Brixton. A sort of Brixton fanclub, it’s a chance for people who live, work, or just quite like it here to meet up for a drink. This time you shall find us in Dogstar. More details here. And a write up of the last one here, if you still can’t quite picture what I’m on about.

If you didn’t get tickets to the Maccabees at the Academy on 26th January and like staying up late, you can still jump on this particular bandwagon at the after party at Brixton Jamm. The band are Djing. A tenner in advance and I reckon it will be rather popular. Expect most of the Guardian’s music journos there at least, asking for receipts at the bar.

The following Saturday, the 28th to be precise, Kaff Bar is hosting their first Rockabilly night. So if you’ve been doing those Monday classes at Electric Social, this is your chance to properly show off. Everyone else, let’s just whap out the circle skirts and have a nice time.

Good news for sprogs and breeders of sprogs – Brockwell park playground reopens in March. It’s been closed for a while as part of a £5 million Brockwell refit, but I’m sure it’ll look great once it’s up and running again.

On 1st March Los Van Van are playing the Electric. A twenty piece ‘dance orchestra’ formed in 1969 in Havana, they are one of the most influential bands in modern Cuban music. If you don’t want to pay £23 for a ticket then at least check them out on Spotify, as they sound great.

The Windmill would like to recommend that you book tickets now for US band Those Darlins, gracing their establishment on 4th April. Hailing from Tennessee, by the sound of it they are a little bit country, a little bit retro-rock with a touch of punk. If you can imagine such a thing. The Guardian says:

‘Once heavy on the hillbilly, these southern girls have ditched yee-haws and ukuleles to be a power-pop proposition’

Whereas Time Out Chicago helpfully adds:

‘Their jangling shuffle explores the middle ground between the Go-Go’s and Merle Haggard. Yeah, that territory exists. And the chicken there is delicious

Er, ok.

On 27th and 28th April US band Foster the People play Brixton Academy. Yes, yes, the ones with the annoying tinny ‘run run run’ song. Stay with me here. The record is very over produced – trying perhaps to cover up the fact that the singer sounds a little like Alvin, of Chipmunk fame – but BUT when I saw them at Latitude last summer they played a brilliant indie-pop set to a packed and madly bouncing crowd. It will be fun. And I think you should go.

SO, what have I missed out? Add suggestions to the comments below please thank you.

The Friday Feeling

2 Dec

Well a very merry Friday one and all. The first Friday of December no less! I’m disappointed not to have an advent calendar, might have to pop out at lunchtime to rectify the situation.

If you’re in Brixton today the Friday food market on Station Road (between 10 and 5) sounds like it could be a good source of lunch. I’ve not been, and I have heard mutterings that offerings are a little limited, but according to Twitter there’s both Korean barbecue and paella for sale today. I think: brilliant.

My Week With Marilyn has finally come to the Ritzy today. I’m not quite sure why it’s taken so long, I guess it’s just capacity. For those that prefer violence to Marilyn Munroe, the Ritzy is also showing Jamaican boxing film Ghett’a Life. I absolutely detest boxing, but this does actually look quite good.

Very happy birthday to Dogstar this weekend – sixteen years of fun and frolics. Time Out reckons it’s the longest running pub-club in the areaso wrap up a can of pedigree chum and head down. It’s free before 10 and a fiver after.

There’s still tickets available for the Kills at the Academy on Saturday. Support act is the excellent (and beardy ) Josh T Pearson, and some band I’ve never heard of – Trailer Trash somethingorother.

The Friday Feeling

11 Nov

As a commercial radio DJ might say, a BIG shout goes out to Friday. Because it finally is. And I, for one, am ready for a very big bucket of weekend.

However, without putting too fine a point on it, tomorrow is a Saturday and Christmas Eve is also a Saturday… And yes, I know you don’t want to hear it, but that does mean that there is a certain number of weeks to go. I’ll leave it at that. I only mention it because this weekend brings some rather good shopping opportunities in Brixton, for the highly organised, or those who just know they’ll mainly be spending December drunk and should probably buy something for Aunt Veronica now.

Kicking off at 10am on Saturday it’s the (third, I think) Make, Grow, Sell on Station Road. Also called Brixton Makers Market. Which is somehow connected to Brixton Makerhood. I know. Anyway, there’s lots of lovely stalls selling all manner of handmade things, from notebooks to cakes to accessories to jam. I particularly recommend the brownies at Picakes!

And there’s another craft market going on at Living Bar on Coldharbour Lane, called, also slightly confusingly, The New Vintage. From 11am to 5pm even more creative types are going to flogging their wares, presided over by Swing Patrol, a Clapham-based group that runs lindy hop classes all over London. I assume they’ll be promoting their new class starting in Stockwell on 1st December, which sounds a lot like brilliant. If you do head down to Living Bar on Saturday make sure to check out Lucy Stephen’s cards. Lucy’s a very talented Brixton-based designer, so this will be well worth a look.

If you’re not done shopping by Sunday and fancy a small excursion, I can highly recommend The Vintage Event at Balham Bowls club from 12-6 on Sunday.  at the Balham Bowls Club from 12-6. The last one was great; piles of excellent Vintage frockery, tea sets, and even a beauty parlour if you need a beehive or some victory rolls in your life. Oh and cake, lots of cake on flowery cake stands. The Balham Bowls Club is the perfect setting for all this, being a bit of a relic itself, and can supply you a pint afterwards to recover from all the excitement. There’s a very helpful review of the last one here.

Fans of new comedy and the Very Brave will be heading over to Dogstar on Sunday from 7pm for a heat of the Laughing Horse new act of the year competition. The final isn’t until June next year, so there’s a good chance that the quality will be patchy, but then again maybe you’ll see the next Bill Bailey.


Brixton Hallowe’en antics

25 Oct

For the ancient Celts it was Samhain, a fire ceremony that marked the end of summer. The Druids sacrificed animals, and made costumes from the skins. For the Welsh it was Nos Galan Gaeaf, a night when spirits are abroad. In the middle ages, poor people would receive alms on this night if they prayed for the souls of the dead. For many in modern Britain the weekend of the ancient festival of Hallowe’en is the night when you are most likely to get covered in fake blood by a shitfaced zombie called Derek.

There are plenty of options for a some Rocky Horror style dancing in Brixton on Saturday, for all those wanting to embrace/endure the Hallowe’en mayhem. Here are some:

At Plan B you can celebrate Hallowe’en with Norman Jay, playing house and disco. With the words ‘haunted’ and ‘deadly’ before them in this case. Twelve terrible pounds on the door. (sigh)

The weekly Audio Sushi night at Dogstar is having a Hallowe’en special – Horrible Haunted Hallowe’en Hoedown or some such. It’s free before 9pm and a ‘fearful’ fiver after, and they tend to play all sorts. According to the website however, ‘Anyone requesting Rihanna will be burnt at the steak’. So not one for vegetarians then.

Large interational putters-on of Indie nights Propaganda are having a ‘Spook Spectactular’  at The Electric. Again, a frightening fiver in advance, from 10.30.

For something a bit smaller try the Duke of Edinburgh. It’s free to get in and there’s a £100 prize for the best costume. The arty types who hang out there will no doubt be loving that.

And further afield (but it sounds great so I thought I’d mention) the Nabokov Arts Club are putting on a Festival of the Dead at Battersea Arts Centre on both Friday and Saturday nights. It’s quite pricy at £15/20 advance/on the door, but there’s comedy, theatre, live music from Bristolians Yes Sir Boss (who seem to be cropping up everywhere at the moment) and DJs. And the BAC is a pretty spooky place anyway…

The Friday Feeling

21 Oct

As Beirut might say: it’s been a long time, long time coming. But it’s HERE. FINALLY. So, what to do with 48 hours of freedom from the drudgery of our working lives?!

My weekend will start in the company of about 4,000 antipodeans.  I am very generously taking Mr Liz to see Australian band Cat Empire at the Brixton Academy tonight. So if you’re getting off the tube at Brixton after 11pm tonight be prepared to face a surge of flip flops and shrill girls called Kylie and Brooke.  Then, excitingly, I’ll be spending Saturday in the marathon of drinking cocktails and wearing pink that constitutes a hen do. My first ever one!

But more importantly (for people who aren’t me): what’s Brixton up to? Well, on Saturday there is the chance to take part in a rural idyll in urban Brixton and help plant winter wheat at the windmill.

There’s still tickets available for When the Chickens Came Home to Roost, a biographical drama about Malcolm X  and the first play to be staged at The Brixton Empire (formerly Mass nightclub in St Matthew’s church).

The main action this weekend is Sunday’s Oxjam. Aiming to raise £6000 for Oxfam, performances are being staged from 3pm onwards at four different Brixton venues. There still seem to be early bird tickets available for £7 from here. On the day they’ll be a tenner, I assume from the venues but I’m afraid I couldn’t find anything to confirm this!

The line up was a little hard to find it has to be said… (It’s in the info tab of the event’s Facebook  page, you have to expand the section.) If you can’t be bothered to click through, it’s here:

PLAN B (6pm-Midnight):

Nu:tone B2B Logistics ft. SP:MC
Ayah Marar
Drop/ Dead
Somethink Sounds
DJ Strago

THE DOGSTAR (3pm – Midnight):

Work It! DJs
The Stow
The Great Malarkey
Jack Leon Colton
BAC Beatbox Academy ft. Deanna Rogers and Paul Cree

THE WINDMILL (3pm-11pm):

Kay Suzuki
Beaty Heart
Spectre Spector
A Sweet Niche
Soccer 96
Little Big Noise
Zoe Konez
Mercy Alexander


Russell Swallow & The Wolf
I Am A Pilot
Jon Nickoll
Grace Banks
We Are Goose
Tim Lacy

(Oh, apologies for the lack of Friday Feeling last week. As I took a trip to Scotland, my Friday was actually Wednesday, and that just would have been mean)


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