Review: Reggae Roast Carribean Festival
Written by: Sophie Taylor
Roots music, sunbathing and slushies: we hot footed it down to Granary Square in Kings Cross on Friday to embrace the Caribbean fantasy world that was the Reggae Roast Festival.
Surrounding the child-filled water fountains were a circle of street food stalls by Kerb that we attempted to sample the entirety of. It’s a hard life.
By the way and did you know: there’s a Granary Square fountain app you can download and control the water jets with ‘like a giant game of snake’? Erhmagerd. I’m going back with my little nephew to take full advantage of this inevitable hilarity. My nephew won’t really get a look in, he’ll just be there to hold my bag.
Steve from the White Men Can’t Jerk stall was our first port of call, emerging from a cloud of smoke with hands made of barbecue tongs and a fiery beard of ginger spice. He’s modest about his creations, which include a genius-like curried mutton shepherd’s pie and Red Stripe-poached fried chicken wings. After a little chat, Steve’s off to tend to his hot friend Talulah: their custom made griller covered with jerk chicken waiting to be devoured by lucky, lucky punters. I wish we’d tried their Jerk Halloumi but we’ll be back.
While we wait for gin and tequila Watermelon slushies from the Reggae Roast bar (slightly expensive at over £20 for 3 but completely worth it after one slurp), our Mike slopes off to the Only Jerkin stall for a box of sweet potato fritters. Oh, the crunchy soft salty sweet sticks of orange nirvana. Their mango banana chutney dip looks suspiciously like baby food but tastes more like ooh baby that’s the good stuff.
Our Tavia decides on an exotic fish wrap from Vinn Goute, packed tight with spice and flavour in silver foil served on a bed of lettuce, creole sauce and homemade chilli and mayonnaise. The tropical flavours of the shores of the Seychelles were out in force at Kings Cross. Kerb are a picky street food collective and only invite the top notchiest of tastebud providers around. Before signing traders up as KERBanists they ‘inKERBate’ them (their words, not ours, but we enjoy the punny-ness of it all). They say this is to ensure that “every business we work with is KERB-ready and firing on all cylinders – from food quality to operations to look/feel and service”. After this and all going well, they invite inKERBators to become fully fledged members (KERBanists).
I plump for a Jerk pork bun from Kerb inKERBators, Pig & Rig who are a delightful bunch with a trio of special sauces to choose from and dip popcorn into before deciding on your saucy pork treat. I go for Jeps Jerk sauce and blow out my cobwebs for at least a month. They usually bring their own sound system, it’s their thing, but can’t compete today with Reggae Roast’s own speaker wall pumping out UK Reggae from the other side of the square.
Reggae Roast’s sound system starts to win against the wind and we find ourselves hovering towards the reggae beats emitting from their custom-built speaker arrangement. It’s a sight to behold: 9 foot high, futuristic and thick with roots music. Adam Prescott (check out our interview with the man himself here) is picking the tunes while the rest of the label’s members dance around him and request Bob Marley tracks just to piss him off. They’re a friendly crew who don’t mind a good natter around the DJ tent over a watermelon slushie.
Round the back of the decks are the canal-side grassy steps, which were covered in people chinwagging and collecting Pokemon in the sun. It might not be a Caribbean island, but for a square overlooking a train station it’s not half bad.
Photos: Mike Barry
“He said, I know It’s only arctic roll but I like it like it yes I dooooo” Those are the lyrics right? Well this weekend they certainly are, at Kerb’s Guiltiest Pleasure in Kings Cross featuring an arctic roll of pure indulgence. Over Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd July, the street food collective from your wildest dreams are hosting the most indulgent hits from all their pop ups at Granary Square.
Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.
We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside
This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.
Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.
Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.
Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at jumbletrail.com where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.
You’ve got your socks pulled up but no Cliff Richard in sight. You’re all white shorted up with nowhere to go. It’s time to find out where your white headbanded self will fit in. Here's our top four Wimbledon screening hang outs to try this Summer.
Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.
Abney Public Hall is hosting a market of world food delicacies next weekend, having gathered together the creme de la creme of planet Earth’s cuisine. Prepare for a mass fusion of cultures, great food, drink and music just off Stoke Newington Church Street.
Otherwise known as the shoredification of London, there are four stages of denial when it comes to dealing with the inevitability of gentrification. Are you a dilapidated ol’ boozer clinging on to the same threads since 1989, or more of a craft beer-swilling/moustache-bearing pop up type propping up the bar at a cookie dough cafe? Let’s find out before your bedroom’s transformed in to a pop up belfie gallery.
Poop poop! Get your driving gloves on and tweed jackets ready, for Toady has invited us down to Toad Hall for a banquet on the riverbank. Join The Literary Hour for their all new immersive supper club experience this Summer. It’s the eighth in their series of book themed events with multi-sensory five course meals featuring additional surprises… Ooh ratty!
Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.
Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.
Trying our luck, we decided to ask the wonderful Raina and Saira of Joginder Supper Club to give us some unseen insight in to their centuries old Punjabi recipes. Amazingly they agreed to shed some light on one of their most tasty dishes: the Bhoolghobi Tamatar (cauliflower with tomato and potato). Over to the experts...
So this July 198 cyclists head over to Germany to start the Tour de France. If you think that is weird, wait till I tell you it started in Yorkshire a few years ago. Anyway after the three days of the Grand Depart the spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event heads back to France and the action really begins.