Tag Archives: Ritzy

The Bank Holiday Feeling – Easter in Brixton

5 Apr

Hurrah and hurrah, it’s buy one get one free on bank holidays this weekend, in celebration of the first public holiday of the year (National Hangover Day on 1st January doesn’t count). So Brixton, what are you up to? Here’s a few options, starting with more wholesome activities and working down, down, down…

The Windmill reopens for the summer this weekend (habitual point of clarification: historic mill, not sticky-floored gig venue). Tours of the building itself are pretty much booked up by now, but it’s still worth heading down on Easter Sunday for the Easter Egg Hunt and various crafty things. It’s £1 per sprog to hunt the eggs, from 3pm to 5pm.

Or alternatively join egg-hiders The Commercial in Railton Road for an Easter Sunday roast and further hunting. From 11am until all the eggs are successfully located. They are also opening at 11am every day over the weekend for Easter brunch. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

The Ritzy’s year of centenary celebrations is coming to a close this weekend, with the final instalment of the A-Z of Cinema. Z being for Zombies, obvs. A triple bill of the films from the Night of the Living Dead trilogy kicks off at 9.30 on Saturday night. And find out what the best of local film makers have been up to for only five Great British pounds at the short film festival , Easter Sunday at 4.30.

Into the slightly-less-wholesome category falls Jay Rayner, cooking pork belly at French and Grace in Brixton Village from 11.30 on Saturday as some sort of task set by employers at the Observer Magazine . Get there early to avoid queues of previously-reviewed chefs with rotten veg doing warm up exercises. And let’s all hope he wears a hairnet.

Moving further down the scale of respectability, there’s loads of great nights planned in Brixton this weekend, whatever toots your horn. Committed hedonists may wish to consider the following sources of debauchery:

Tonight! How Does It Feel arrives at the Canterbury Arms. Sixties to eighties indie and motown type stuff from about 9pm.

I don’t get Carl Cox, but lots of other people do as he’s sold out the Electric tonight. If you’re not going you can still join in the ‘spot the clubber still trying to eat their own face’ game around Brixton on Friday morning. It’s fun.

And it’s all about Latin sounds at the Hootananny on Saturday. Los Chinches, Cumbe and Orquestra Voadora are playing a mix of Samba, Latin beats, carnival rhythms, dancehall and tropical bass. I’m not entirely sure what that combination will sounds like, but at least there will be a bit of sunshine at Hootananny, if nowhere else this weekend.

From the rather debauched to the slightly unsavoury, Pete Doherty is back at Brixton Jamm on Friday. Yes, again. I actually think he has moved in. For reasons of greed we assume, he is doing three solo sets in a row, with an afterparty to follow. A pretty long night if you buy tickets for the 6.30 set! £10.

And if you’re still standing onMonday, the Windmill (sticky-floored gig venue, not historic mill) are optimistically planning to have a barbecue, with bands playing all afternoon. Free entry, shuffle up from 3pm onwards.

So Happy Easter everyone; may your Easter eggs be plentiful and your waistbands elasticated.

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…

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

28 Oct

Well, week, you were a speedy one.

It’s Hallowe’en weekend, and I’m afraid it sounds like it’s going to be rather unavoidable, with pretty much everywhere adding adjectives like ‘ghoulish’ and ‘spooky’ to the titles of regular nights. Did you know that we spend more on Hallowe’en every year? According to The Times last week the figure is only just behind Easter now.

I’m off out for dinner tonight with Mr Liz, although not sure where yet. I am considering the Lounge as the food always looks rather nice there. Or perhaps a trip back to Hive. Anyone got any recommendations? Tomorrow I’m going to a swap party run by the talented Shoestring Splendour girls. Based on the fact that we generally hoard all kinds of crap we’re never going to wear again, and yet covet everyone else’s crap, it’s a chance get some new stuff in a sort of eco, free way. It’s open to all, starting at 2pm at the Railway pub at Clapham North.

And what about Brixton’s plans for the weekend? Well, I wrote about Hallowe’en parties earlier in the week, for those crazy ‘planners’ out there. For spooky the way they did it in the ‘80s dig out your proton pack for Ghostbusters, showing at the Ritzy at 3pm on Sat.

There’s more wholesome Hallowe’en activities to be found at the community greenhouses in Brockwell Park on Sunday as they celebrate their pumpkin harvest by carving, cooking and eating them from 12-4.

And finally, for something truly scary, how about men in fishnets? There’s some sort of Rocky Horror party happening at the Elm Park Tavern on Saturday. Matt the barman was attempting to persuade the regulars to carve pumpkins for him when I was in there last night.

Breaking News! Guardian deems the Ritzy to be ‘More than just a hipster oasis’!

6 Oct

It’s a bit odd reading somewhere you consider local discussed in a national newspaper! Sort of like seeing your road on the telly. One the one hand it’s nice to have a local institution recognised in the national press, but then I can’t help thinking, ‘don’t bloody tell everyone, I already can’t get a table out on the square’.

There’s fair bit of typical Guardian labelling going on here though! I’m not sure who Olivia O’Sullivan is, probably just a freelancer, but she’s rather snooty and dismissive of both the cliental and staff:

‘The hip, nerdy staff and the strong presence of lumberjack shirts and vintage floral dresses can make this seem like a bit of a joint for the young and pretentious’

So if you have ever worn a red check shirt or a second hand floral dress you are young and pretentious. You know who you are. Take it off immediately and stop being a twat.

In fact, the staff are called nerdy twice! Do they all have bottle-bottom glasses and thick braces? Are they World of Warcraft experts who perform complex science experiments in their bedrooms? Sophia thinks they can be a bit surly, but I’d say they’re mostly ok. Like any set of employees who have to face the spectrum of madness found within the general public for approximately minimum wage, they probably have varying levels of enthusiasm on good days and bad.

What I like most though, from the weirdy feeling that can come with seeing Brixton in the news for non-crime reasons, is the picture of the locals you get from those who comment on the piece. When Jay Rayner wrote about Kaosan in the Village someone said: ‘Please keep quiet about Granville Arcade. We don’t want everyone to know. Brixton is a very, very dangerous place to visit. It would be better for all concerned if they all stayed away from the place.’ He he! Conversely, a number of people have posted on this article to disagree with the detractors and say how much they love having the Ritzy in their neighbourhood. Ahh, I have a warm fuzzy feeling!

(However, as with many things Brixton-related there is predictably someone complaining that it was much better in the 80s. Hilarious. Oh yes, you’re right, let’s go back there then shall we?!)

And if you’re not bored yet there’s some witty outrage from the usual suspects here


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