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!
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.