Monday, 6 November 2006

London Paper 5

londonpaper5, originally uploaded by chantelle.


A couple of weeks ago, American rapper Rhymefest met up with Tory leader David Cameron to discuss the merits of hip hop lyricism. What transpired at the end of their discussion was that, unsurprisingly, Cameron was too busy to go clubbing that night with the Chicago MC. Rumours that a disappointed Rhymefest returned to his room at Westminster’s City Inn instead of going out himself are still to be confirmed, but if politicians want to get down with the people, what could be better than a bout of body popping at breaking down barriers? It also poses a bigger question, how many hotels in London actually boast in-house nightclubs? Beyond the M25, a number of towns make do with just that. The demure surroundings of hotels like the Coppid Beech in Bracknell are transformed at night, attracting many locals, singletons, divorcees and residential guests alike, into the smokey confines of the basement where they enjoy the commercial sounds of Essex favourites like Kiss 100’s DJ Jez Wellam. To the discerning clubber perhaps it’s not extremely appertising. But the convenience factor of being able to avoid the mission home, kebab shops and other drunken revellers while knowing you’re waking up in the morning to be served with a full English breakfast, actually justifies visiting a club that resembles the Conservative Club, minus the strobe lights and pop sounds of course, my grandparents used to hang out at. Prompted to investigate further, an internet search didn’t unearth much bar the offer of a corporate hen package, The Great Eastern in Shoreditch and Purple at The Chelsea Football Club Hotel. So is this a niche yet to be exploited in London?

Should Cameron get a window in the forseeable future, he’d surely approve of the Rollerdisco at Canvas, Kings Cross. As well as being popular with the younger generation (UK street stars spotted there regularly include Boy Better Know and Sway), it’s the perfect place to see your mates or work colleague drop hard on the floor. And while they flail, you get to laugh at them with little fear of reprisal - that is until you meet the same fate and go head over cheeks. Music wise, the DJ’s mix up the best in old and new disco, house, garage, hip hop and R&B. Costing £12.50 (including skate hire), it’s open on Thursdays and Fridays but it’s advisable to log onto and book in advance as it’s usually a sellout and rightly so.

If the above aren’t tempting enough then swinging to the left, Shanty House, a cultural musical merger, launches tonight, 7pm, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. Featuring global urban music from Brazilian favelas to the Kwaito sounds of South Africa townships, desi, grime, dancehall and crunk, DJ Tetine and bloggers Woebot, Stelfox and Bun-U are guaranteed to keep it fresh. There’s also a film screening of Resistencia, a documentary about Columbian hip hop, and a Q&A with Director Tom Feiling. With an edutainment line-up like that, even Cameron needs to have a word with his PA.

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