Monday, 23 April 2007
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Saturday, 7 April 2007
On The Scene: Chantelle Fiddy
Despite the prediction that around 2.4 million Londoners will desert the capital for the Easter break, don’t expect clubs to be quiet. With extra recovery time and a number of one-off events, there’s a number of excuses should you be late for church on Sunday.
One event combining the glory of saturated fat with music and alcohol while putting you in the heart of Brazil is The Choc Shot Ball at Café Guanabara (off Drury Lane WC2). Not only will they waiver the entrance fee on Friday, but they’ll give you a free egg filled with a shot of Sagatiba Velha, aged rum. Having tried a sample, all in the name of research, I guarantee should it be a cold evening this will warm up even the hair on your toes. Sticking with the tradition of Black Rio parties, the Verde Vai samba school will be in action along with DJ Roc Hunter, Natally Drag and friends.
If you fancy a slice of what Camden has to offer, you might as well go and pitch a tent outside At Proud who are hosting what they describe as ‘a never-ending tea party.’ Talk about random. Good Friday’s Mucha Marcha party runs from 3pm-3am, with Niyi, Elmore Judd and Operahouse, all live, while the residents play an eclectic mix of dancehall, electro, soul and indie. Saturday rise and shine for the 2pm kick off of Favourite Things, the cult jazz night which will return you to reality in order to rave it up in the evening with local electro rockers The Shakes. Perhaps the highlight of the blurb is the promise of holiday fever on Sunday with ‘an Ibiza warm-up complete with white sand and bikinis.’ The Happy Accident Sound System will bring the beats while you decide between the all day BBQ, mixed-sex volley ball and an ‘extremely hot version of Twister’, Give the diabolical state of our transport system, you might as well rip up your train tickets now.
Those of you, atheist or otherwise, that are less about gimmicks and don't want a free egg or sand in your drink, all the cool kids will be at BOSH who are throwing two parties this weekend. Hosted by the DJ/producers Tapedeck, who’ve made a serious impact on the party scene over the last six months, the big all-dayer at Barfly on Sunday stars the almighty Boy Better Know CEO, JME (one of Peaches Geldofs’ favourite MCs), The Video Nasties, The More Assured, The Natives, Lost Penguin, Coconut Twins, ElPlate, Styleslut and many more.
House lovers, on the otherhand, need to venture to the bi-monthly Positiva event at The Cross, where on Sunday, from 10pm to 6am, label artists Atrium (Steve Mac and Paul Harris) and Wayne O’Connell (Soul Avengerz) play alongside the cream of the underground house scene like Speakerjunk (Trevor Loveys and Herve) and new residents The Young Punx and Medcab.
A version of this article appeared in The London Paper
A piece I did on mentoring for the Horsesmouth journal.
www.horsesmouth.co.uk is aimed at helping people to help each other through online mentoring. We all have experiences and lessons in life to share - but not always the time to be able to go and help out or volunteer - well now you can volunteer and help people from your desk or home! So now there's no excuse. Horsesmouth is social networking with a purpose. If ebay is about the stuff you’ve got locked up in the attic then horsesmouth is about the stuff you’ve
got locked up in your head and heart. All that ‘stuff’ could be really
valuable to people facing the same choices and challenges; people you might otherwise never meet and who would never be lucky enough to meet you. With everyone helping each other, just imagine how many lives can be improved, how many painful or tricky situations can be avoided and how many exciting new opportunities in life, work and learning can be opened up! Register now and the first 1,000 people get a copy of the limited edition journal.
On The Scene
Cider cocktails aren’t the most obvious clubbing tipple, but at the national launch of Brothers Pear Cider last week, it would seem anything is possible. The shaken, but not stirred, drinks menu appealed to the suits as well as the traditionally less fussy media and young trendies. On a bid to kick apples to the kerb, pear cider concoctions included The Fizz, The Virgin and The Pai Tai.
Thanks to the growing cider presence at festivals such as Glastonbury, which Brothers has sponsored since the late nineties, and the revolution cider underwent last year, following some serious marketing action courtesy of Magmers, it seems the bubbly one has managed to shake it’s classic pub image.
Another rise in popularity is down to the return of new rave warehouse parties within the city. Without a drinks license, money is exchanged for vouchers which will earn you a bottle of beer, or you guessed it, cider. Should you wish to reacquaint yourself with ones of England's finest, two such parties are happening in the east end this weekend.
Abacus Sounds present Dubstep After Hours on Friday night. For night owls and dub lovers alike, this will be something else with the system running from 10pm-10am. Not only will entry be a mere fiver with the bottles costing just £1.50 a go, but DJs include Kode9, Loefah, N-Type, Rootsteady, Heva and Easychord with K9 from Macabre Unit on mic duty. Call 07974 892670 to find out the location. If you’re looking for something a little more tranquil to get the evening going, a good free pit stop before heading to the secret darkened squat will be Dubstep at Brick Lane’s Café 1001 where Scuba (Hotflush), Rusko, Reso, Appleblim and more will play from 7am-midnight.
If you’re still up for it on Saturday, Electric Minds, one of the few truly underground dance events left, will be blasting out classic disco, soul and electronica from the last 30 years at an as-yet undisclosed venue. Headline on the night is cult technofusion artist, Kirk Degiorio, alongside Dolan & Alex and Uptown Safari DJs and remixers Blackbeard and Yam Who? promising some of the rarest, boogie, latin, dub, jazz and dancefloor fillers. Hit up firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07958 614297 for the lowdown.
A good warm up for this all-nighter on Saturday is Urban Nerd, debuting at 93 Feet East. Although alcopops are yesterdays news, expect to see a lot of them getting swigged at this eclectic affair expected to attract the Brick Lane fashion brigade, where ska, grime, hip hop, reggae, electro and ghettotech will play nicely alongside one another. Frisco, Purple, Magic, Rusko and MC SGT Pokes, Goldie Locks appear in the main room while Step-One host the bar. A live graffiti battle will take places in the courtyard as trendy clothing brand The Ugly Club Kids take on the OTP Crew. Get in before 9pm and it’s free which means you should have enough money to purchase the essential, glow in the dark Urban Nerd T-shirt. If your pairs not so good, they come extra baggy.
A version of this article appeared in The London Paper
On The Scene Chantelle Fiddy
As mid-week partying becomes the new weekend, It might take some serious pre-planning to shake a leg at half of the capitals newfangled dates and still get to work on time in the morning. But as Spring dawns, there’s no better time to de-clutter your closet and clean out your diary.
Of major excitement in the world of fashion, drag and cutting edge cool, is the launch of Domestic Goddess, a somewhat-whimsical homage to Nigella Lawson, at Punk, 14 Soho Street. Molaroid and door whore Sami (an aspiring photographer who’s apparently the gay worlds answer to Hulk Hogan) are doing for Wednesday nights what their cult east end party night Anti Social - as featured in i-D and The Sunday Times Style - has done for Saturdays. On the 28th DJs from Tank Magazine appear alongside Jim Stanton (Horse Meat Disco) and the M&S Soundsystem (Antisocial). A variation of Anti-Socials usual Saturday night itinerary will be the art show from The-O, Kate Moross and Scottee but remarkably, it’s still free entry for all.
If you prefer something a little less du jour next Wednesday, also deserving of a window in your iCal or PDA, or if you’re keeping it old skool, a note on that dusty stack of post it notes, is the Roller Disco world record attempt. But it’s not all for the love of Starlight Express, the event coincides with the Blistex launch of their roller-ball product Lipsplash. Regardless, two hundred clubbers on wheels at The Renaissance Rooms in Vauxhall are hoping to make history by travelling a kilometre – the equivalent of Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus – in a human roller-skating chain. If you think you’re good enough to get involved, it’s not too late either. Log onto www.rollerdisco.info for more.
Should the prospect of sleeping at your desk the following day not appeal to you, La Bomba the explosive Latin party fiesta, takes over the Ministry of Sound on Friday night. Following the success of events such as La Linea Festival, Carnival De Cuba and the monster Carnival Del Pueblo which attracted 150,000 Londoners to Burgess Park in Camberwell, the popularity of Latin fusion has continued to flourish. With the weather warming up, La Bomba, the brainchild of DJ Zorro which sees the coming together of five different promoters, will be squeezing in reggaeton, Latin house, Salsa, Meringue, Latin hip-hop, dancehall and bashment. Special guest in the main room this week is Smash Squad’s DJ Buddha, the Dominican-American mixtape legend and reggaeton pioneer, who’s remixed for the likes of Lady Saw, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee and T.O.K. Joining him in bringing the sounds of South America are Jose Luis, El Moreno (Bar Rhumba), Sami Sanchez (Blackmarket Records) and Loco. Elsewhere Lubi J, compilation selector for salsa label, Fania Records, will be spinning Salsa in the bar while Slip N Slide present Klubb Latino in the baby box where Soulshaker and Christian Larssen will be playing the latest in funky Latin club sounds and dirty electro house. If you’ve got a Saturday job, you might as well quit it now.
A version of this article appeared in The London Paper
When I actually read certain music forums, I kick myself for doing so. They're always a bitter reminder of how small minded people can be.
I still feel guilt about taking someone's sandwich from their lunchbox when I was five, we're all different, but I don't know how some forum users live with their conscience. I'm not holier than thou but my heart goes out to all of you this Easter.
For a number of years I've worked on not allowing criticism to weigh me down but at time it can get to you. That's why now I'm like whatever. And this is my world of whatever.
I may like some grime music and have written about it considerably, but it's not a priority in my work or my life. I've explained countless times before that if you don't see me write about something - be it a mixtape or an artist - then I'm probably not into it. I'm not that much of an egotistical freak that I think something not to my liking deserves a royal slagging off. I don't like people speaking negatively of my work when they have no clue how the industry works or how hard it is to become a successful freelancer so why should I do it to MC Swag and his crew of hopefuls? I've got much bigger fish to fry. And what one person detests another person loves, so go find that person.
I've also had a slight realisation in terms of myself. I no longer read music magazines, bar the odd feature or review, for pleasure. I do it because I have to. I find interviewing and the process after laborious. As a result I've moved on and only do bits I really want to. Currently I'm happy doing my London Paper Column, monthly reviews for Mixmag, editing Blues & Soul dance section (if you want something covered Hyperfrank should be contacted for the grime side) and features where and when appropriate.
I'm not denying that a culmination of experience led me to change my direction, but more so it was simply down to growing up and needing to move forward. We all get to a point where we can't be arsed with hassle. I rarely write about grime now because most of it isn't cutting it - for me - anymore. It's got nothing to do with the individuals behind it, I've had rows with a fair few but they're all laughed about now. I'm not going to waste my days saying the same old shit. I just want to listen to music and take it for what it is. I don't want the story behind it or want to know how the producer came up with a loop or how DJ Doughnut lost his records in a lake.
Since becoming a mentor at LIVE Magazine in Brixton, teaching a range of youth from 13-22, it's changed my perspective and career for the better. It also helps me shrug my shoulders in the face of adversity or in this instance, petty forum users. On this note I'd like to give a special shout out to the likes of Jenny from Slopshire for the necessity they feel to attack other women from behind a computer, that they don't know anything about. I'm not a feminist but it's true what a lot of people say about women. Gone are the days we held arms and marched together for the vote. Divided we stand.
Thursday, 5 April 2007
When you've been in journalism a while, you lose that 'star struck' feeling. When doing the likes of Pharrell, Missy or Justin, it's more about nerves than anything else. But when Steve Beale from Arena contacts me it's like Perez Hilton belling me with a blog excluse. I don't know why. I've never met him, I like his writing, although at times he makes me feel a tad sick, maybe it's because Arena is the only magazine I actually have a paid for subscription to. Anyway, he's told me about a warehouse party happening on Saturday called 'New Rave For Old People'. Beale puts it like so "Al Usher is Ewen Pearson's Batman and Tim Red is a underground hero, plays for Secret Sundayze, Terry Hart and all that crowd. It's ideal if you're a pillhead out in Shoreditch on Saturday night and you can't face some blokey warehouse party with lots of coked up date rapists. Our promo material mentions Jesus." So there you have it.