7 Weird Things to Do This February in North London
Written by: Claire Holly Davies
If icing pictures of Lionel Ritchie’s face onto biscuits, being probed by aliens and getting booed off stage isn’t your idea of a fun night then I really just don’t know what is!
3RD FEB – KINGS CROSS
Lionel Rich Tea at Drink, Shop, Do! FREE Entry (when you buy a drink)
We love a bit of Lionel. We also love a biscuit. To imagine the two combined is to see inside our brains during a particularly euphoric dream session. This is your chance to test your icing skills and create a rendering of Lionel Ritchie’s face directly on to a Rich Tea biscuit. Each attempt at Lionel biscuit greatness will be assessed by a panel of very well qualified assessors and the winner will receive a prize. We’re hoping the prize is Lionel’s actual face. Either way, you get to eat or keep your biscuit. Great present for your Valentine, non?
4TH FEB – KINGS CROSS
Quint Fontana’s Karaoke Rumble at the Star of Kings. £5
I often have a recurring nightmare; I’m in a pub (so far, so good) when I notice a stage in front of me. All of a sudden ‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion starts pumping out of the speakers. Invisible arms grab hold of me and drag me up on to the stage, thrusting a microphone into my hands. Suddenly I’m naked, hundreds of eyes stare at me and the room goes quiet. I start to sing the opening bars of the song (I use the word ‘sing’ lightly – it’s more of a creaky groan, with the occasional warble for good measure.) Celine aint got nothing on me. Within no time at all I’m deafened by boos, hisses and yells of “oi luv, don’t give up the day job” before being pulled unceremoniously off the stage and flung back into my seat. Oh wait, my bad, that wasn’t a dream! That was my night at Karaoke Rumble. Except I wasn’t naked (or was I?) For all you absolute nutters who enjoy abject humiliation and for those who are just genuinely good at singing (aka ‘show offs’) head down to this infamous North London karaoke event. You’ve been warned.
5TH FEB – ISLINGTON
Rumpus: Sword Swallowers & Cult Followers at Islington Metal Works. From £12.50
This is a bona fide weird one. Seven rooms busting at the seams with live bands, DJs, art installations, immersive theatre, walkabout performers, a jazz room and a kazoo orchestra. That’s a lot of rooms. So far, only so weird though right? Well, when the organisers describe the event as featuring ‘sideshow savants, snake oil sellers, doom yellers…and magic carpet vendors’ you know you’re in for a wild time. We’re not entirely sure about being ‘…probed by aliens of salvation’ but never say never, right? Dress code suggestions include ‘flirty fish’, ‘aeronaughts’, ‘gnomes’ and ‘bearded ladies’…so that’s us sorted then.
10TH FEB – SECRET N1 LOCATION
Cocktails and Crack. £50 (eye watering but worth it – you get fed. Well fed.)
It would, on first glance, appear that Emperor’s of pop-up supper clubs and foodie craft classes Christabel’s are now high-end drug pushers…but before you reach for your phone to make a frenzied call to the po-po, you should probably know that the ‘crack’ actually refers to crackling. See what they did there? LOLZ. So what do you get for your wonga? Three bespoke cocktails and a three-course gin and vodka infused meal that includes the following dish: Soy, Sipsmith Gin, Honey & Chocolate Pulled Pork with Crackling, Mustard Kale Mash and Purple Ginger Carotti. SOLD!
10TH FEB – ISLINGTON
Popup Painting: Paint Marilyn Monroe in Pop Art! £25.99 (includes all art supplies)
A themed sound track, a bar from which to purchase wine and food, oh yeah and an art class! Complete-and-utter beginners and wannabe Warhol’s alike are welcome at this most chilled out of events. No snobbery here! You’ll be guided step-by-step by a resident artist who will help you to paint a picture of everyone’s favourite blonde in the iconic Pop Art style. Or you can just slosh paint on to paper, which is how we approach most art-based activities. Ticket includes all art supplies (canvas, palette for mixing, paint (acrylic), brushes, aprons!)
11TH & 12TH FEB – HARINGEY
Outside Inside Out at New River Studios.
This is a dance theatre performance piece, staged in what is basically a giant instrument, featuring a forest of elasticated strings that are lit up and create sounds. Dream worlds collide with reality in a series of exterior and interior spaces: a forest, a house, an open door and window. Confused? Yup, so are we, but that’s just how we roll…always in a state of slight bewilderment. Curious? Good, we’ll see you down there then
23RD FEB – NOT STRICTLY NORTH LONDON
CCI Collective presents: All of This is Temporary at Rich Mix Shoreditch. From £4
Ok so you say ‘North London’, we say ‘potato’. But before you hunt us down in our offices with burning torches please bare with us. We’re shamelessly plugging this event because a) it features North London artists b) it’s co-produced by a genuine North Londoner c) it’s going to be awesome and d) we’re the media partners. There. We said it. An abstract night of interactive exhibitions and live performance that, through the eyes of politically and culturally charged underground artists, asks the question: is capitalism working? All of this is temporary poses the question of what it means to live in a capitalist world and whether there is a viable alternative for the future – all interpreted through installation, sculpture, moving image and performance. Told you it’s going to be good!
Pilgrim, the newest kid to Hackney's pop-up scene, is a unique dining experience inspired by the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. This six course tasting menu includes regional dishes with a contemporary twist not yet seen before in London.
Recent times have seen an unnerving surge in right-wing politics. President Trump’s campaign to ‘make America great again’ saw him make the audacious promise to ‘build a wall’. France saw the uneasy ascent of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in its general elections and Germany’s AfD, (the first openly nationalist party in almost six decades) celebrated an unprecedented third place victory in its recent elections.
Summer is officially over. We're not sure it ever began in the first place. I guess that's one of the few downsides of living in London (other than crippling debt, tube strikes and Boris Johnson), but I digress... Magic Roundabout Old Street is raising the bar for winter, transforming the site into a tented, heated, 'Decades' inspired wonderland.
Guess who’s back, back again. Fat Macy’s back, tell a friend. No, really. Tell everyone about it. Fat Macy's supper club came back into our lives and this time around they had their Middle Eastern Feast on at the cute as a button Luminary Bakery in Stoke Newington, with a menu inspired by Ottolenghi and the #CookForSyria campaign.
Getting shouted at by a burly prison guard with a buzz cut and an offensively loud American accent isn't usually the way one wishes to begin one's night. Nevertheless, as I clamber into a very large (cheers guys) orange jumpsuit, the guard shoves a bottle of Conkers Gin wrapped in a thin towel (no fluffy Egyptian cotton here lads), into my now somewhat clammy hands. Whispering hastily at me to not get caught by the warden I'm ushered off in single file into the depths of Alcotraz.
If you haven’t heard the news yet, the world’s first black bookshop is back. Yes, after months of campaigning for funding and volunteers, New Beacon Books has reopened after threat of closure with a brand new refurb to boot. Established in 1966 by John La Rose and Sarah White, New Beacon Books is the UKs longest running independent bookshop specialising in African-Caribbean literature, cards and artwork.
London cocktail week is upon us. To be honest I can think of nothing worse than strapping on a wristband, carrying around a guidebook and queuing up for something that just needs to be brought to my sorry, tired old lips immediately. Apparently this year however, Drink Up London have released an app that eliminates all of the above nonsense. Get your ticket, download the app and get enjoying your £6 cocktails all week long. Just remember to flash your digital pass to the bartender first.
Garage and psych rock fans rejoice - The Psychotic Monks are stopping off in Camden tonight as part of their European tour. Roughly translated from French (GCSE stylee merci very much), the psych rockers describe themselves as “noise, fury, music impregnated .. with life impulses” finding a balance between “neurotic madness and contemplative melancholy”.
A bubble tea place in Finsbury Park? That also does a bangin’ teriyaki chicken rice box? Uh, hell yeah. This little gem quietly opened up last March on Wells Terrace. Y’know the spot where folks bumble off the most crowded bus in the entirety of London and damn near break a hip scampering for the tube round the corner? Yeah, that little pocket of Finsbury Park.
According to a recent Provident Personal Credit survey Londoners still remain at the bottom of the friendliness scale scoring just 6.44 out of 10. Begging the question, how could anyone be possibly proud to be a Londoner? A city where its inhabitants revel in their ability to remain as cynical and isolated from the outside world as possible. A shallow group of people who are far more interested in Instagramming their brunch then saving money to buy houses or giving back to the community.
A series of talks taking place this November shines a necessary light on mental illness in boys and young men. Speakers will gather at Finsbury Park’s Arts and Media School to raise awareness and help advise on a variety of topics including substance misuse, eating disorders and suicide.
Staying in a hotel one mile from where you actually live feels strange enough, but doing it on your own is even stranger. These photos are a visual record of me wandering the lonely corridors of a new boutique hotel between the hours of 10-12pm. I would describe the decor as handmade but not cheap, minimal but not clinical. It has the feeling that money has been spent on the things that matter.
The rumours are true: a cheese festival exists and it’s coming to North London. This Sunday. Be there or be … cheese-less I suppose. But you’ve gouda get there early: If you’re as keen as brie and one of the first fifty fromage fondlers to show, you’re in the running for a free bottle of Black Cow’s pure milk vodka. Traders will be setting up stalls along Islington’s Chapel Market: from the Raclette Brothers and Mac to the Future to La Fromagerie and The Cheese Truck.
Dream Talk. It’s like Dream Phone, but not at all. Artist Emma Alonze and musician Andy Becker have joined forces to collaborate on a (possibly prophetic) new sound art project. Londoners are invited to take a moment out of their daily commute, routine or journey and immerse themselves in a narrated collection of dreams. Taking three years worth of forty winks, Alonze has gathered and narrated a chosen few to be set to an ambient soundtrack by Becker.
Holy smoke, her nipples are on fire! Somebody pass the woman an extinguisher. Wait, why is she climbing into that giant margarita glass - does she not know it's highly flammable? She's going to need to be doused with a sizable portion of aloe vera gel at this rate, the poor lamb.