7 Night Out Ideas This February in North London
Written by: Claire Holly Davies
Staring across a sweaty pub, your line of vision shaking from the inhumane amount of vodka/lager/jager bombs you’ve poured into your body, trying to catch the gaze of a friendly face. Queuing at a bar three people deep, attempting to elbow your way to the frontline before stuttering out an almost incoherent order at the obviously unimpressed bartender in front of you. Clutching your phone with sticky fingers, stabbing at it in an attempt to summon the magic carpet ride that is an uber taxi. This is the average Great British night out, right? A depressing mix of ill gotten gains, turbo shandies and Whigfield lyrics. Well fear not, good people of North London! We have 7 great night out ideas lined up for you this February, all within comfortable reach of your bed. Uber…what uber?
1) Life on Mars? David Bowie Night at Ally Pally Ice Rink
5th Feb – Alexandra Palace.
What better way to pay homage to a genius than through the strange earthling ritual of putting on bladed shoes and cruising around a sheet of ice. Am I right? If Bowie were to look down on us mere earthlings from his new planet, I imagine he’d be delighted to see a bunch of North Londoners ice skating to his music. This event, curated by appropriately named promoters ‘Feeling Gloomy’, is taking place tonight in the beautiful surroundings of a local landmark and 50% of the profits will be donated to Cancer Research. So grab your thermals, limber up and prepare for a collision course of a night. We’ll see you down there.
2) Lucky Voice Music Quiz at Lucky Voice Islington
Every Thursday – Islington.
We do love a quiz. We especially love boozy quizzes that include air guitar, limbo and hula hooping rounds. Surprisingly enough the quiz is music focused (didn’t see that one coming), with favourite topics such as ‘Name That Tune’ and ‘Next Lines’ featuring in the fun. They also serve pizzas…which we’d recommend eating directly before the limbo-ing and hula hooping, just for the funsies! Winners win cash money. Get there by 7:30pm to reserve a seat.
3) Tame Impala at Ally Pally
12th& 13th Feb – Alexandra Palace.
Oh hey there again Ally Pally, you sexy beast. Get you with all your fun activities and nights out! Australian rockers Tame Impala will be gracing the stage at this iconic North London venue this month, with Jagwar Ma confirmed as support. The ‘festival village’ at the venue will be filled with award-winning street food and entertainment (and presumably beer), so it’s advisable to arrive early in order to experience the pre-show gluttony.
4) NME Awards Show ft. Suede at The Forum.
12th Feb – Kentish Town.
Winners of the NME ‘Godlike Genius’ Award (yup, these guys are practically Zeus-like by NME standards) Suede are playing a very highly anticipated show at one of our favourite venues. Once described as ‘too tacky and trashy to fit in with the London indie darlings…’ (cheers The Guardian), Suede have had more than 20 years of success, including a Mercury prize (the band donated the entire wad of prize money to Cancer Research. Good eggs.) This special North London gig will see Suede play their critically-acclaimed ‘Night Thoughts’ live set, where the band perform the full album behind a projection of the accompanying feature film. They will follow this with a storming second set of classics, fan favourites and rarities.
5) Anti Valentines Day Fiesta at Barrio North
13th Feb – Islington.
As veritable Valentines Grinches, it won’t come as much suprise that the mere mention of the V word brings us out in hives. Traditionally our favourite Valentines activity is laughing at 100 ‘happy couples’ crammed into a 50 seater restaurant, staring angrily at one another over a lit candle and vase of wilted flowers, elbow-to-elbow with a identical couples either side. This all happening whilst we skip merrily past the window, clutching our M&S meal-for-one avec bottle of wine. This year, however, we’ll be partaking in a spot of debauchery to mark the occasion. Barrio North’s anti-Val party is based upon a legendary event in 1929, during which a mob of singletons associated with the Hips Don’t Lie gang of southside Mexico City, caused mayhem – leaving a wake of empty tequila and mezcal bottles. At this North London based event you can start your night with a tequila and mezcal taster menu, followed by a night of musical bootlegging and mobster monkey business. Whatever that may be.
6) Friendly Fires DJ set at The Old Queens Head
19th Feb – Islington.
Signed to XL Records, Friendly Fires have been nominated for a Mercury prize (we love them Mercury prize winner types up this end of London) and achieved ‘single of the week’ on both NME and Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show for their single ‘Paris’. With an emphasis on groove and funk, Friendly Fires have been remixed by the likes of Tensnake and Aeroplane. They’ve also had their music featured in Gossip Girl. Oh Chuck Bass, how we love your nostrils. Friendly Fires will be partaking in a spot of DJing this month at the Essex Road gaff they call The Old Queens Head.
7) Desert Island Top Five at Drink, Shop, Do
26th Feb – Kings Cross.
If we were to take anything to a desert island, it probably wouldn’t be old Daniel Bedingfield records. We’d rather bring the essentials, you know? Like a George Foreman Grill, an iPhone and a Kindle. Well on this desert island you’re only allowed to bring yo’ fine selves (and presumably some cash for the bar.) Luke, Liam and Andrew from Early Doors Disco invite you down to Desert Island Top Five, the club where everything is played in top fives – from ‘top five white boy Hip-Hop from the 90s’ to ‘top five bands that are mad at their dads’ and even ‘top five songs by Craig David that you wish you didn’t know the words to.’ But, if you don’t like their choices, you can submit your own on the night and they’ll slot it in. The Greatest Hits of Daniel Bedingfield here we come!
Spirited away from the hubbub of the city, sitting on the bustling boundaries of Islington and Camden, a 65 metre wide gallery resides hidden behind the Attic Self Storage building in Kings Cross. Market Road Gallery is a newly opened space for everyone to contribute to. It is London’s first bookable open air public gallery. Everyone, from the neighbourhood cat to a fancy pants established artiste, can create artwork for the space.
Today Britain will relish (moan) in 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight, with the sun rising at 4:43am and setting at 9:31pm. It’s set to be a record breaking 33 degrees in London. I for one am going to need all the help I can get not to disappear like the wicked witch of the West into a sticky puddle on Stroud Green Road. Here’s our Solstice-worshipping, Pagan inspired tips for surviving the hottest and longest day of the year in London.
It’s time. Time to bask (complain) in the sun and ask why god why when will it end?? Yes, Summer is officially here for the week, the hottest week in the last 20 years. This Friday, Drum n Bounce are coming all the way down South to help us celebrate this fact, as healthily as possible. Right in the middle section of VeloPark (link) you can take part in uplifting and limbering flow yoga with Tammy’s Yoga before 45 minutes of energising drum n bounce aerobics. This is basically getting hot and fit and dancey to your favourite tracks before you head off in to the night (or bed) with a massive sweaty smile on your mug.
Next Friday night, ignore your mounting list of life admin and venture outwards into the ether for a misanthropic wine a plenty. It’s the Black Books pub quiz at The Duke of Wellington as part of their couch potato themed quiz series. Entry is a meagre £2 but you can win some cold hard real cash if you’re up on your Dylan Moran / Tamsin Greig / Bill Bailey shaped references.
Who are the Heather Brothers? It’s a question that’s been keeping me up at night. Ever since I was asked to review their latest musical, Holy Crap, I’ve been trapped in something of a Google wormhole. To begin at the beginning: the Heather Brothers are, depending on who you ask, a musical writing duo/trio/quartet. Born in London, they grew up in Zimbabwe, where they spent their teenage years performing in a fraternal rock band. Again, depending on who you ask, they were variously known as: The Chequers, The Three People or Quiet World.
“Arriving back in the UK, after a long time away, there seemed to have been a swing towards xenophobia and the dehumanizing and vilify of both migrants and refugees was happening at the highest levels. I wanted to create a short that would address this trend.” Director Daniel Mulloy
The gin enthusiasts down at Hendricks have decided to take these cucumber celebrations a slice further with their Cultivate the Unusual campaign. Encouraging gin fans to grow their own cucumbers over the last few months in preparation, Hendricks are asking us to bring said veggies to participating pubs and bars this Thursday 15th June. The Canonbury Tavern for example, will light up if you walk in with a cucumber and will proceed to exchange it for a free gin and tonic. Can you imagine?
Hang Up Gallery have some pretty hush hush news. And it goes a little something like this: Darryl ‘Run’ DMC McDaniels will be popping up in the Stoke Newington gallery this month to launch his new collection of works, The Art of DMC. This is the icon’s first London exhibition, showing new and unseen collection of ‘Darryl Makes Comics (DMC)’ Fine Art, a body of signed limited edition prints showcasing his underlying passion for comics.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Summer of Love ’67 where freedom of expression, art and love reigned supreme. #ShopStroudGreen are celebrating the fact with a Summer of Love Local weekend festival this June. Celebrate artistic expression and support local independent traders and makers with a weekend of live art, workshops and music (with a few special discounts, tasters and freebies for good measure).
Oh snap! Another general election looms. Whether you’re hopeful for a landslide win or a surprising wild card outcome, wipe the bitter disappointment from your tastebuds with some gins, ales, burgers and strong covfefe. Because let’s face, it will be neither of those results will it really? Find the perfect place for you to receive the bad news in good company.
Get a different perspective on the city you live in this June. Film London are holding a screening of archive footage of London’s outer boroughs through the decades, underscored by live music accompaniment. The best of London’s Screen Archives hugely successful project, London: A Bigger Picture will be shown, funded by Heritage Lottery three years ago.
We caught up with Snowy the Harringay Station cat to talk Twitter, working life and his unsavoury friendship with Gus the fox. Summer is coming and, in North London, that means it’s time to hit the train stations. So we took Snow the Haringey Station Cat and photographer Mike Barry tumbling across one of them: the undergrowth of Haringey Station. Then we sat down with Snowy for a raw conversation about how to move forward after things fall apart.
“You grow it, we mow it” might be their blasé catchphrase, but Rocket’s attitude to your haircut is far from casual. These guys are serious about hair and the person that grew it. Rocket Stoke Newington are holding a day of free beer and entertainment with your cut in aid of Men’s Mental Health Sunday this 12th June. Also known as “Chopping for Chazza”, there’ll be talks on mental health, stand up comedy and more from 12 - 5pm.
Unless you’re already working for charity or regularly ‘do your bit’, that £6 monthly donation to The Dogs Trust might not be doing enough to quash your conscience / save the world. Whether you’re doing it for experience, to reset your karmic balance or generally give back and help out, there’ll be a role out there for you. On the Volunteer Centre Camden’s website for example, there’s a handy search page that lets you filter through hundreds of opportunities by location, interest and activity.
Currently showing at Camden People’s Theatre, performance artist Tom Marshman’s play Kings Cross (Remix) is a glorious celebration of a bygone era. The show is a tightly crafted journey through the stories of some of the people who made up the 1980s Kings Cross LGBTQ scene. Bursting with warmth, charm and affection, the play is a must see for anyone interested in learning more about London’s alternative history.
The Londoner behind 'Strong and Stable My Arse'. It’s a simple message. A slogan that’s straight to the point. 'Strong and Stable My Arse’ is a statement everyone can understand with a wry grin as they spot it slathered onto billboards, phone boxes and brick walls around the UK. So who could possibly be behind such a simple, cheeky, dig in the ribs campaign? Someone who knows his audience, who knows the mindset of the British like the back of his left hand.