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!
Flocking to Holloway Road on one of the many Sundays that we’ve spent at the Nag’s Head Car Boot Sale, we spotted a new Vietnamese place called Pho Hot getting ready to open up their doors. Being the nosy folks we are, we peeked inside and spotted a menu. Banh Mi was on it. It's a baguette, but not as you know it. Glory of all glories! It’s been far too long since I last consumed this distinctive sarnie and I'm happy as Larry that there's a new Banh Mi joint on my doorstep.
Baby, it’s getting cold outside, and what better way to aide our frostbitten noses than a chat to a professional skin person? We’re talking to Lee Garrett, founder of The Garrett Clinic, accomplished skincare specialist and heralded by many as the UK’s leading Skin Guru. Read on to find out his insider tips for surviving this winter season with your skin looking as radiant as the moon that breaks a stormy night.
Joined by over 50 other artists incorporating printmaking, painting, digital art, photography and small-scale sculpture, Tomorrow’s World presents us with utopias, dystopias, predictions, prophecies and visions of the future. We hit up the private view last Friday and it was pretty damn bleak, in the best sense of the word.
Carouse founders Chris, Theo and Ben – the charming folk behind Kentish Town’s Rose and Crown – have a new venture afoot and we couldn’t be more bloody excited to see it. We’ve been creeping in their windows, peering through the paint and sneaking glimpses at builders’ bums for a few months now (okay, maybe not the last one), watching these guys transform this cosy corner of Crouch Hill into a rather cool little boozer. Now they’re opening and everyone is invited. Come one, come all, and try all 20 of their beers on tap with us.
Last month I decided to try clubbing again. I don’t quite know what came over me, but I actually (brace yourselves) enjoyed it. I went to Body Hammer’s monthly party in Manor House and I’m here to tell you to go too, whether you love clubbing, hate clubbing, or really couldn’t care either way. #notspon
Rich, fried, buttery, potato-y vessels loaded with flavor combinations that go down rather well with craft beer, late nights and good times. Ha, who am I kidding, EVERYTHING goes down well with beer. You heard that right buddy, loaded potato skins are back with a bang (and a generous portion of bacon) and are currently being served at Old Street's The Magic Roundabout by street food pop-up Skins and we could not be any happier. Well, unless they were to stuff it with, say, Mac and Cheese or risotto. Oh, that's exactly what they do? Well paint me green and call me a cucumber.
Magical gifts, wonderful gifts, marvellous gifts, beautiful gifts, gifts, glorious gifts glo-ri-ous giiiiiifts. Please Sir, I want some more. It’s that time of year again and whether you love it or loathe it gifts will be purchased and presented into expectant hands. Stroud Green's very own Pretty Shiny Shop have compiled a gift guide to help ease the shopping shock. Imagine only having to trot to your local gift shop and tick off your entire shopping list in one fell swoop. Done, finito, terminado! To make it that little sweeter, it's also all very affordable... so you won't even have to pick a pocket or two.
Alright guys, it’s happening. The frosty charm of December is, once again, being beaten to a pulp by the capitalists’ wet dream: Christmas. The hideous twinkling of artificial outdoor lighting is starting to appear, with tourists flocking from far and wide to watch D-list celebrities press a button. Invitations to Christmas parties flood in from your multiple part-time jobs, ensuring you make bad decisions bi-weekly til next year. Supermarkets are selling 12-day advent calendars containing confetti, cookie cutters and candles for a flawless £50. And oh, how the mulled wine flows.
Who doesn’t love a cheeky statistic, correctly sourced? You know we do. Well, did you know that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p is re-spent in the local area, as opposed to a measly 40p in every £1 re-spent locally with larger businesses? An absolute travesty, am I right? That 23p has to mean something, right, guys?! Guys? Guys, where are you going? Wait, there’s freebies involved too!
By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.
Take a short walk along Finsbury Park’s own sunset strip and you’ll find MoseyHome, an interiors retailer and styling consultancy who have invited us to collaborate with them on an exciting new series titled 'Style My Shop', in which they invite some of London's most talented interiors experts to quite literally style their shop. Interiors porn at it's finest.
Why was the snowman sad? Because he had a meltdown. Much like us, every year, when winter comes. It’s cold, it’s dark, and we know Christmas is on its way. But hey, it’s not all bad – the events round this time of year can be pretty swell. So don your scarf-shawl-blanket and get your frolic on, it’s time for fairy lights, scarfing mulled wine and stuffing your face!
Touch, taste, smell, hear and create art. Smith & Sinclair, purveyors of the Edible Cocktail, presents The Flavour Gallery: a multi-sensory adventure that’ll seduce your senses and tickle your taste buds beyond all imagination. Ooh matron!
Brush the cobwebs off your sexy banana costume; it’s that time of year to make a tit of yourself in fancy dress again. We’ve rounded up the most spine-chilling Halloween happenings in North London and, trust us, they sound horrendous. Be afraid, be very afraid.