Photo by Eva Rinaldi

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!

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?

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Quint Fontana's Karaoke Rumble

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.

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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.

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Christabel's Cocktails and Crack Islington, Weird and unusual things to do in North London, north london magazine, what to do, events, finsbury park, haringey, hackney

Christabel's Cocktails and Crack

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!

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Marilyn, is that you?? Photo: Ludovic Bertron

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!)

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Outside Inside Out at New River Studios

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

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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!

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Eat & Drink Lifestyle

Listen Up Pop Ups, Stokey Space Wants You

Got a supper club, guinea pig cafe, unicorn tears cocktail pop up? Stoke Newington wants it. Luckily a cafe close to Columbia Road has the space you’ve been looking for all along. Probably. Think exposed bricks, boutique lighting and tiled counters, like you’ve just stumbled off a long haul flight and ended up in a trendy Brooklyn coffee house.

North Four, North London magazine, kerb food, street food collective, kings cross, granary square, food festival, foodies, vegan
Eat & Drink

Great British Veg Off: Vegan Street Food Battle

“I’m on the veg… of reeeeason” Sang Lady Gaga, whilst cavorting around a staircase in shorts. The very same can be said of Kerb Street Food’s latest event organisers. The amount of quality vegetarian food stalls they’ve gathered together for us is teetering on the unreasonable. It’s not fair on our stomachs, nor on our eyes that are bigger than said stomachs.

Stroud Green, Tavia Davies, Bike, Cycling, North London, Davies & Davies Estate Agents

Love Local: Stroud Green on Film

What’s it really like to live in North London gem Stroud Green? This short film gives you a glimpse into local life. See if you can spot yourself on Stroud Green's streets; walking your dog, buying bananas from the fruit and veg shop, cheering to a bad joke over a pint outside The Worlds End...

North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington town hall, hackney council, maintenance, budget, proposed changes, refurbishments

Have Your Say: What Would You Do With Stoke Newington Town Hall?

Ever walked past Stokey Town Hall and thought, oh the things I’d do with that space. What would you do exactly, if you had the chance to take over? It’s a question we’ve often asked ourselves. Well now Hackney Council are finally asking us. Residents and business owners in the surrounding areas are being consulted on their draft proposals.

North Four, North London magazine, Telemachy, Camden Fringe, play, theatre

Beyond The Binary: Steps Toward Gender Neutrality

Sadiq Khan’s decision to change London underground announcements from ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ to gender neutral greetings might have seemed like an obvious, positive step in the right direction. Unfortunately the news was met with some resistance and negativity. Some saw it as an attack against gender, deeming it ‘pathetic’, unnecessary and even ‘demeaning’. Presumably that affectionate term, Snowflake was also bandied around for good measure.

North Four, North London magazine, tube, underground, travel, underground, mind the gap, commute, lifestyle article

Small Toon Girl: The Pissy Commute

I'd had a bad day, so I thought reading the Slimming World magazine while eating a family-sized bag of crisps would help. This was the day I realised London was ridiculous. And it had rubbed off on me. I started out the day wet. Wet in my cute summer dress with a raincoat on top. It was July, pissing it down. But hot, very hot.

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Culture Lifestyle

Beyond The Binary: London Queer Fashion Show

Beyond The Binary is our mini series breaking down gender norms and exploring queer theory through events and interviews. We're kicking things off with an explosion of fashion, identity and expression. This September it’s London Queer Fashion Show. LQFS showcases the greatest new talent from people who know that ‘gender exists beyond the binary’, that clothing doesn't take male or female forms.

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Eat & Drink Events

It’s The ‘No More Sleepy Fun Sponge” Espressotini Festival

Did you know, the recipe is a relatively new invention? Back in the 80s, a soon-to-be infamous supermodel (sorry but it was blats Naomi Campbell) walked into a bar feeling sleepy and sober and in need of a pick me up. Asking notorious and rakish bartender, Dick Bradsell for something that would “wake me up and fuck me up”, she watched him crack his fingers and deftly shake up the tasty Espressotini we all know and regret ordering today when we look at our bank statements the next morning.

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Eat & Drink

Posh Nosh: Date Night at Sutton and Sons

This family run restaurant has been sourcing the best of date night seafood the for the last twenty years, sourcing the finest and freshest fish from their very own fishmongers in Stoke Newington. But not only are they super sustainable, these guys are also super on trend with a signature lobster sub. So you can feel posh and down to earth all at once, stroke your beard then passionately get off with an avocado once you’ve finished cycling home on your fixie.

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Culture Lifestyle

Neon Naked: Ultra Violet Life Drawing

Have you ever sat in the pub with ol Vick and Charlie and whatsherchops and thought, I’d love to draw a nude right now? No? Well what about a neon nude? Yeeah, now you’re keen! Well luckily that tasty Duke of Wellington pub happens to have just the right set up for a life drawing class. Not to mention a fluorescent one. So that is exactly what they do now. Every other Monday Jylle leaves her superb gin and tonic pouring duties to host Neon Naked.

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Events List

Top Six “Have You Heard Them Live Though” Music Nights

The last time I checked it was March 18th and I was watching someone drink green beer in a big hat and wondering whatever happened to Boxing Day. But someone has informed me that it is August and we need some kind of plan for the month because all logic has flown out the window and nobody knows what anything means anymore and I can’t remember if I had breakfast yesterday no but thanks for asking. Time for some live music to zone out to and tap along blankly while we gather our thoughts.

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Haunting Melodies and Soundscapes at The Waiting Room

Haunting melodies, rich ambience and devilish lyrics: indie folk singer Hazel Iris comes to Stokey all the way from California. Joining her is musician Mally Harpaz on accordion, cello, guitar and even percussion to create a pretty special double bill of musical awesomeness together.

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Small Toon Girl: London, Where All The Jobs Are

I’m Emmie, I'm 24 and from Newcastle. J'adore le foot. Ou est les piscine? I moved to London 6 months ago because 'it's where all the jobs are'. The above new-life-motto was a graffiti tag I saw in my first few days of London life. Capital R and all. I certainly followed through when, that night, I went to a gig and nipped to the loo... Sitting on the uncomfortably warm seat I looked up to see a club night poster advertising: '4 Jägerbombs for £20!'

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Eat & Drink

Mint Gun Club: Exciting Little Gimlets in Stokey

Who’s Richard Hunt and what are exciting little gimlets when they’re at home? Take a walk down Stoke Newington High Street this month and you’ll find out. An intriguing new cocktail bar and teahouse has opened, calling itself The Mint Gun Club and offering up a three fold menu of teas, cocktails and pantry style food.

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Bring Your Bedroom to the Club at VFD

If only there was a club night that could tap into that special pre night out time. Or at least play your taste in music, sometimes on repeat. Imagine! Lucky for you musical homebirds, bi-monthly club night Mammory Tapes intent to do just that at VFD in Stokey. All night long you can expect an all girl playlist and the best of your bedroom beats on the dance floor. So get ready to finally showcase your once unseen pyjama/half ready outfit based choreography.

North Four, North London magazine, kerb, street food collective, donuts, ice cream, milkshake
Eat & Drink

Kerb’s Guiltiest Pleasures, All Weekend

“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.