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BRIXTON BUGLE YOUR FREE
No 60 | FEBRUARY 2018
Published monthly in and for Brixton
FURY AS COUNCIL SAYS ‘WE KNOW BEST’ ON HOMES
Brixton people know what Brixton needs … The Brixton Green slogan
‘Significant legal and financial challenges’ said to be reason for rejection of community plan Local residents have reacted with fury to Lambeth council’s rejection of their plan to develop a large part of central Brixton with truly affordable housing. Brixton Green was set up a decade ago to make sure the community was actively involved in the redevelopment of Somerleyton Road and was last year granted nearly a quarter of a million pounds from the National Lottery to work up its plans. Its slogan is: “Brixton people know what Brixton needs”. But Lambeth council has thrown out its plans. Brixton Green proposed to buy the lease of the Somerleyton Road site, working with the council, and to build 234 homes – with rents based on ability to pay. The council now says that this plan faces “significant legal and financial challenges”. Yet it has known about the plan for several years and had not warned that it might – without consultation – reject it. Brixton Green says its proposal is financially and legally sound, viable and
ready to go. The rejection came as the council began to promote its “vehicle” for building homes itself: Homes for Lambeth. It is not clear if Homes for Lambeth will develop Somerleyton Road, although Brixton Green claims to have been told that is what the council wants. In an open letter to members of the council’s ruling cabinet, Brixton Green’s board said the decision was a massive missed opportunity and demonstrated that the council was not serious about enabling the community to lead. Brixton Green, a non-profit community benefit society, has spent years on the proposal. It secured a £231,000 Power to Change Lottery grant to set up its own delivery vehicle, the Somerleyton Trust. It says its proposals are economically sound and it has support from Places for People, one of the largest housing associations in the country, that is able to deliver the housing and source the development finance, taking
☛☛ continued back page
THIS IS BRIXTON …
Shane’s film on gentrification
MOTHERS OF INVENTION Inspired by Brixton
OPERA FROM BRIXTON Showcasing women
NEW TOWN HALL …
… and a new citizen
2 NEWS brixtonblog.com 2018 FEBRUARY
Ritzy campaign fund soars after threats
BRIXTON BUGLE brixtonblog.com Proudly edited in Brixton Both website and newspaper are published by a not-for-profit community organisation run by a committed team of people from Brixton @brixtonblog brixtonblog.com
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Sub-editor: Jamila Omar Production: Alan Slingsby Distribution: Philip King A massive thank you to everybody involved in making this issue, and the Blog & Bugle project, a success If you would like to be a Bugle stockist please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Brockwell Park music events meeting attracts big turnout Concerned local people packed into a Herne Hill church hall in January to question Lambeth council and music promoters over plans to mount two three-day events – Field Day and Love Box – in Brockwell Park in June and July this year. Taken together with the Lambeth Country Show this would mean that large areas of the park would be closed to the public for several weeks. There were more questions than answers as council staff and organisers repeatedly referred to the technical and bureaucratic aspects of the plans, while most of the questions were about the impact on wildlife and people. The festival did have supporters, including a group of young people (above) with a prepared statement in favour of the events. Earlier, the voluntary organisation Friends of
Brockwell Park said it was “incensed” by a leaflet distributed to people living near the park by the organisers of the planned Lovebox event. The leaflet, it said, contained a “clear – and false – implication” that FOBP had accepted donations from the organisers and backed the controversial festival. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” it said. The Friends went on:
“It is a statement that is intended to deceive and FOBP condemns it.” Last month FOBP unanimously opposed plans for the three-day Lovebox event in mid-July and another three-day event, Field Day, at the beginning of June. Lovebox is ultimately controlled by the giant US corporation Live Nation, which also owns the Ticketmaster ticketing system and the UK’s
O2 Academy group of venues, including the one in Brixton. Live Nation’s turnover in 2016 was $8.335 billion. Lambeth council says that it has not agreed finally to either festival going ahead. It could be paid as much as half a million for each event. How much of this would go to actual Lambeth parks was a hot issue at the meeting and continues to be one.
Management at Brixton’s Ritzy cinema escalated the nationally important dispute there by threatening to refuse to pay workers campaigning to be paid the official living wage. A fund launched to support the workers with a £10,000 target stood at nearly £25,000 on 25 January. When the Ritzy workers’ union BECTU gave official notification of strikes to back the campaign, it says that Picturehouse, the owner of the Ritzy and other cinemas, issued threats over pay. Management has already sacked four union representatives from the Ritzy. BECTU said it changed its emphasis from “extensive strike action” from 20 January to 2 February to focus on one weekend in response to the letters which set out an intention to force staff who went on strike to work without pay because strikes were scheduled to start during, rather than at the start, of a shift. Gerry Morrissey, head of BECTU, said that, as the company continued to focus its attention on intimidating staff, rather than on devising a strategy to work with the union to resolve the dispute, the support from the community and fellow trade unionists has been phenomenal. The living wage campaigners have put the issue high on the national agenda. It has been raised in the House of Commons by local MP Helen Hayes and shadow chancellor John McDonnell has spoken at a rally on Windrush Square outside the Ritzy. Picturehouse itself is owned by the massive international cinema conglomerate Cineworld Group that made profits of £82 million in 2016. AA The crowdfund is at crowdpac.co.uk/ campaigns/250/picturehousestrike.
Council contractor to pay living wage Lambeth Council’s waste contractor Veolia has agreed that staff on the contract will be paid the London Living Wage for the first time. They will get a minimum of £10.20 an hour from April. The decision will affect around 160 Veolia staff, 45 per cent of whom live in Lambeth. Lambeth council staff already receive the Living Wage at minimum, as do people on most council contracts. There are 65 registered London Living Wage employers in the borough. The council is involved in a joint venture in West Norwood in which Picturehouse will open a cinema in a former library. The deal appears to imply that staff would receive the Living Wage.
FEBRUARY 2018 brixtonblog.com
Club 414 celebrates new ‘asset’ status by Alan Slingsby
From left: Donatus Anyanwu, Reece Simwogerere, Louise Barron, Tony Pommell, Amy Lamé and Mohammed Seedat
Sports Direct seeking manager for ‘luxury destination’ in Brixton Flannels – a “luxury fashion destination” that is part of the Sports Direct group – is advertising for the manager of a new store in Brixton. As the Brixton Blog revealed in August, Sports Direct bought the site fronting Popes Road and used by Brixton Rooftop for £11,750,000 in June last year. Brixton Rooftop, shops on Popes Road shops and Casa Brixton have announced that
they are closing at the site. Sports Direct is also reported to be frontrunner to buy Brixton Market. The new manager’s salary would be in the range 34,000 to £37,000. The advertisement for the job says that “Flannels is the luxury fashion destination for men and women, home to an edit of over 200 brands from established international designers to
Louise Barron and Tony Pommell, proprietors of Brixton’s Club 414, have, at last, something to celebrate in their seemingly continual struggle to keep alive a venue that means so much to Brixton. Lambeth council has designated the Coldharbour Lane club an “asset of community value”. This is more than mere words and less than a watertight guarantee of a secure future. It means that it would probably be harder to obtain planning permission for a change of use for the premises housing the club. As Brixton nightlife changes at speed – in the latest development Sports Direct’s arrival on Pope’s Road means the closure of Casa Brixton and the Brixton Rooftop – Club 414 is one of very few venues whose history links today with the troubled eighties. The move also means an apparent change of heart from Lambeth council, which Louise and Tony successfully took to court in 2016 over a planning decision. The irony, as they told the Bugle at the time, was that the council itself was responsible for helping to get 414 off the ground with a £5,200 grant in the aftermath of the 1981 Brixton uprising/riot. During the nineties, when nightlife was altogether different from today in
Brixton, they kept alive the idea that a music venue could be welcoming and safe well into the early hours – keeping the door open for later arrivals like the Dogstar and then Pop Brixton. Their remarkable skill and determination in keeping the club going was typified after a shooting in the club in 2013 during an event put on by an external promoter. Their licence, which had been suspended, was restored by the council after a licensing sub-committee heard both from the police, who backed the venue, and the 414’s lawyer. Barrister Michael Paget said: “The licence holders … were part of the vanguard of bringing stability back to Brixton. They have been one of the continuous aspects of Coldharbour Lane from when they were given funding to set up in 1985 and they want to continue to fulfil that role in Brixton as a whole.” As Tony and Louise celebrated what they hope will be a new start with the council, they were joined by Amy Lamé, London’s “night czar”, who has backed the club in its struggles; Reece Simwogerere from the Brixton Business Improvement District; and councillors Mohammed Seedat and Donatus Anyanwu, respectively job share cabinet member for healthier and stronger communities and lead member for community relations and neighbourhood lead for Brixton.
A special event to mark 10 years of BRIXTON GREEN’s work
contemporary labels. Nearby Pop Brixton’s lease, which was due to end in October this year, has been extended by Lambeth council until November 2020. And the start of the council’s “masterplan” for development in central Brixton has been extended to “early 2021”. Pop Brixton’s lease began in May 2015. It now houses about 80 business, 70% of them local, providing more than 230 jobs.
This event is open to all
BRIXTON COMMUNITY VOICES Brixton people know what Brixton needs WEDNESDAY 7TH MARCH 7.30-9PM
DEPARTMENT STORE, 248 FERNDALE ROAD, BRIXTON SW9 8FR
l Come and have your say . . . l How do we build an inclusive community in Brixton? l How do we provide housing that everyone can afford? l How do we meet the needs of all residents whatever their age or income? l How do we connect local people to work, skills and enterprise? l How do we create green space and reduce impact on the environment? Agenda 7.30pm Welcome and Speakers (speakers to be confirmed) 8.15pm Open discussion 8.50pm Building a community agenda for the local elections l AGM This event will be preceded by . . .
6.30–7.15pm THE BRIXTON GREEN ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Please note that the AGM is only open to members of Brixton Green. BE A BRIXTON VOICE — we are looking for new trustees — email us at Closing – more of the traders who helped tp make Brixton a unique shopping destination
4 NEWS brixtonblog.com 2018 FEBRUARY
Much-delayed work on Network Rail’s arches Brixton Station Road and Atlantic Road is said to be due to begin soon. The need to address all the conditions for the work that are contained in the construction environmental management plan, approved by Lambeth council’s planning committee in June last year are being blamed for the six-month standstill. Such plans are normally signed off in a matter of weeks. Arches traders who plan to return still face months of delay before they can begin rebuilding their businesses. Two traders attended the last meeting of the Brixton Neighbourhood forum to appeal for further public objections to the work to be kept to a minimum so that it can proceed without further delay. Boc Kheddache, owner of Café Rio who is planning to return, said: “It’s great news that the work is finally starting – the wait has been extremely stressful for all the traders who are coming back. “We are so grateful to the community for supporting us this far, but we are worried that some people will continue to raise objections to the construction and cause further delays. “I really don’t know what they want to achieve by this now. The job is going to be done and we the traders need it to happen sooner, not later – we have waited long enough.” The delays have also affected Brixton as a whole by blighting a once thriving area and reducing the number of visitors to shops and markets in the area that have continue trading.
Traders in plea for progress on arches refurb
Refurbished town hall welcomes new citizens and dancers in style Brixton’s new year kicked off with the re-opening of Lambeth town hall after an 18-month refurbishment of the Grade 2 listed building. A tea dance and a citizenship ceremony were among the first events. The building now has improved accessibility, more community meeting space and start-up spaces for new businesses. The tea dance (above) in the wood-panelled assembly hall was a sell out with DJ Mr Wonderful keeping dancers on their toes. More than 50 people gathered in the council chamber for the group citizenship ceremony
presided over by Lambeth mayor Marcia Cameron. She said: “It’s an honour for me to welcome our newest citizens to Lambeth. I hope that you all now go on to achieve your hopes, dreams and aspirations in this proud country.” Among those becoming citizens was Laurencia Kwanga (left with Cllr Cameron) who said: “From the beginning to the end it was a great ceremony. To see the mayor of Lambeth was amazing for me too. Getting citizenship is really important to me, and comes at the end of a really long road. I now feel like the UK is my oyster.”
Council blames shortages for long-term ‘hostel’ housing Homeless families in Lambeth are being housed for long periods in council-owned properties in conditions that would be illegal if the properties were privately owned, an investigation by Inside Housing magazine has revealed. The law states that families should not be housed in
non-self-contained temporary accommodation for more than six weeks, but property owned or managed by councils is exempt. The magazine said this loophole meant families are being forced to share bathrooms and kitchens with strangers for long periods.
• FAMILY • DIVORCE • NOTARY PUBLIC • PROPERTY • WILLS & PROBATE • CIVIL LITIGATION • MEDIATION 57-61 Atlantic Road, Brixton SW9 8PU Telephone 020 7095 5700 • HOUSING • IMMIGRATION & ASYLUM • EMPLOYMENT • PRISON LAW • CRIME 6A Acre Lane, Brixton SW2 5SG Telephone 020 7737 9330 email@example.com
Lambeth council had 104 families sharing facilities in hostel-style facilities for longer than six months. A council spokesperson said: “Sadly, as with every other London borough, we have a demand for temporary accommodation that exceeds supply. The available accommodation
is being used in the best way possible to ensure people have a roof over their heads.” Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Long periods of time in a B&B or hostel and having to share kitchens or bathrooms with strangers puts families under huge emotional and physical strain.”
Veganuary may be drawing to a close, but you still have time to take part – because Sunday 28 January is Brixton’s first Vegan Market of 2018 in Brixton Station Road alongside the usual Sunday Farmers Market.
BLACK CULTURAL ARCHIVES AIM TO RAISE £30m The Black Cultural Archives’ crowdfunding campaign We Are One has already raised more than £51k towards a target of £30 million over five years. It is asking everyone who believes in the importance of heritage and the legacy of Britain’s Black community to donate at least £10. Funds are needed to secure the building for the future and to enable the BCA to expand its collection, mount more exhibitions and digitise its collection. The initial grant for the capital phase has now come to an end and, although a national institution, BCA does not have long-term financial foundations of similar institutions. AA To donate or find out more go to www.bcadonate.org
New drive to find a home for refugees By Nick Jeyarajah Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees is launching a week-long campaign to promote its aim of finding a local property for a refugee family as part of the Home Office’s Community Sponsorship scheme. The group will have a stall at the Herne Hill market on Sunday 28 January where you can find out more about the campaign. In 2016 the Home Office pledged to work with community groups willing to sponsor a Syrian refugee family. Since then, community groups across the country have successfully got refugee families resettled in their area. Local MP Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood) said she was proud of the initiative: “Our country has a great history of welcoming refugees fleeing violence and persecution. “I am proud to see residents in Herne Hill working to support a refugee family from Syria to settle here in our community. I encourage anyone that may be interested in housing a refugee family to get in touch with Herne Hill welcomes refugees.” AA For more information, contact hhwelcomesrefugees@ gmail.com or follow @HHWR_.
FEBRUARY 2018 brixtonblog.com
BRIXTON LEGAL Pam Douglas is a solicitor with local firm Wainwright & Cummins. Each month, she takes a common enquiry and asks colleagues to answer it for readers
Returning purchases For a change, I thought it might be helpful to move away from the big legal issues and focus instead on the smaller, annoying stuff that we all have to deal with in our lives. Now that the festive season is behind us and we’ve had a chance to clear away the debris, many of us will be wondering what to do with that unwanted but well-intentioned gift Many large retailers will allow you to return the gift and either exchange it or provide you with a refund or credit note – some until the end of January. But, when purchasing items yourself, please note, there is no automatic right to a refund just because you do not like an item or you have changed your mind. So you should check the store’s exchange policy before you buy. But if you have bought something that turns out to be faulty or not fit for purpose (and you did not realise that when you bought it), here is a brief explanation of your rights on the high street. (Please note that the rules are different for purchases online). Two statutes give consumers a right to redress. If the item was purchased before 30 September 2015, then the Sale of Goods Act applies. After that date, it’s the Consumer Rights Act. I’ll assume that we are talking about a recent purchase. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, retailers only have to offer a refund, replacement, repair and/or compensation when an item is: ●●Faulty; ●●Not as described; or ●●Does not do what it’s supposed to If you spot that there is such a problem within 30 days of buying something, you can insist on a refund. Outside of this time and for up to six months, you are entitled to a repair or replacement. The choice of repair or replacement is yours. Most retailers are very reasonable, but some will try to fob you off by talking about the guarantee period or saying that the responsibility lies with the manufacturer and you should contact them. But the truth is that the retailer is responsible and you should insist on your rights. If an item is more than six months old, the redress procedure is more complicated and you have to prove that the item was faulty at the time you bought it. This could be easy if, for example, you have bought something and put it away to give as a gift. But, in other cases, it could mean you have to have it checked by an expert and submit a report. You have six years in which to bring a claim to court. Understandably, in all cases, retailers are entitled to ask you for proof of purchase, but this can be a bank or credit card statement, so don’t panic if you’ve lost your receipt. Finally, I’m sure, like me, you’ve noticed some shops that have signs up proclaiming “NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES”. Well, if a sign misleads customers by giving the impression that their legal rights can’t be upheld it might be in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. That’s a criminal offence punishable by an unlimited fine, so retailers, please beware.
How Shane kept a royal secret By Chidi Ogundu
Reprezent founder Shane Carey had the tough task of keeping the royal visit to the Brixton radio station a secret after getting the call from Kensington Palace before Christmas, he told the Bugle. But when he finally broke the news, he said: “It was absolutely amazing. Everyone was really proud we had the Royal couple come to see the
work Reprezent does.” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Reprezent in January to see how it supports the training of young people in radio and broadcasting. Reprezent broadcasts across the capital and is the only one presented by young people. The couple spoke with young people working on show plans and audio editing. They also visited the studio where they met presenters
who talked about their training and other opportunities they have been involved with – from working with Gorillaz and Beats 1 to using Reprezent to get jobs and career support. Prince Harry also learnt a whole new handshake from DJ Remi. Station manager Adrian Newman said: “The royal couple were interested in what they do and asked questions
Charity finds new home after a shock eviction A local charity, the Grace Eyre Foundation, that provides support and housing for vulnerable people was shocked to receive a sudden eviction notice from its premises in the Bon Marché Centre. A spokesperson for the charity said: “There were difficulties with the Bon Marché Centre regarding people with disabilities coming into the building. Grace Eyre is delighted to have found a welcoming home at We Are 336, located at 336 Brixton Road.” The new office space is for its Shared Lives
scheme, which recruits carers to support people with learning disabilities and mental health needs within the carer’s home. “Grace Eyre’s vision is of a society where people with learning disabilities are respected as equal citizens, are part of and contribute to their communities – so it’s vital that office space is accessible and friendly to people with disabilities or mental health needs,” said the spokesperson AA For more information on Shared Lives contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could you help a vulnerable young person? Children’s charity Barnado’s is looking for people in Lambeth with a spare room who can offer a “safe, supportive and friendly home environment” to vulnerable young people who are leaving care. It supports young people making the transition to independent living through its new London Supported Lodging Service. Hosts will receive payment, support, training and guidance from Barnardo’s. Barnardo’s children’s service manager Rajinder Nagra said the charity “urgently” needs to find people who could make “a real difference” in the life of a young person. AA To find out more contact Niyah Drummonds, Barn ardo’s supported lodgings coordinator, on 07730 025 516 or 020 8771 0907 or email londonsupportedlodgings@ barnardos.org.uk.
and gave them time to talk and tell their own stories. The young people felt that they were recognised and their work appreciated.” He said: “They were very heartfelt and interested in what was going on. It was very good PR for all of us, for the borough, for Brixton and for the council. I do get the idea he (Prince Harry) listens to Reprezent now.” AA reprezent.org.uk.
LEARNING ON THE FRONT LINE
A multi-media exhibition and art and heritage workshops at Brixton’s 198 gallery will give local young people the opportunity to learn new skills. The Voices from the Front Line project explores the history of Railton Road, home to the post-Windrush Caribbean community since the early 50s, and site of the 1980s uprising. It will document sites, personalities and events that have shaped Railton Road. Voices from the Front Line is for people aged 13 to 25 and takes place at 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning at the top of Railton Road from 12 February to 23 March. AA www.frontline198.com.
Free cyber training for local charities
Prince of Wales to host top hiphop night
Supa Dupa Fly, described by Time Out as hosting London’s best RnB and hiphop nights, is bringing a new monthly Friday night to Brixton’s Prince of Wales. SDF shows have included Jazzy Jeff, Rita Ora, EZ Disclosure, Lady Leshurr, Melissa Steel and Rak Su, as well as impromptu performances from Amerie and Professor Green. Emeli Sande has been a special guest. The first night is on 26 January, followed by eight more. DJs include Jonezy and Emily Rawson from BBC 1Xtra. Tickets (£5-7) from Design My Night or door £10.
The Norwood Brixton Foodbank was “desperately short” of stock as we went to press. It is asking anyone who can to donate now. Wanted in particular are tinned meat, tinned tomatoes and toiletries. It is also possible to donate money and volunteer, or for businesses to become partners, via the website at
The Integrate Agency, a local social enterprise, is offering free cyber security training for local charities that will also cover the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force in May. Any IT professional at a Lambeth-based charity can apply for one of the 48 spaces. The Cyber Safe Lambeth training is funded by the City Bridge Trust. Everyone on the two-day course will be required to help at least one other, smaller, Lambeth charity. The course runs on 5 and 6 February. Tickets for both days are available from Eventbrite: search “cybersafelambeth”. AA www.theintegrateagency. co.uk
6 CREATIVE BRIXTON brixtonblog.com
Brixton hosts major national exhibition Brixton is well and truly on the visual arts map. Not only is there a major exhibition in a Brixton gallery, it also includes the work of two local artists who have achieved national recognition. With 47 works chosen from over 1,500 entries, the Bloomberg New Contemporaries opens on 27 January in Block 336. It is one of the most critically important and hotly contested platforms for emerging artists and appeals to a wide audience with works reflecting on, in the words of one of the judges: “the world in which this art has been made … from the intimate to the global” Leslie Manasseh spoke to the Brixton-based artists whose work is on show.
FROM COMFORTING TO UNFORGIVING
made out of different materials – bronze, sheepskin, steel and wood. As a set of working swings*, it is indeed a playful piece which touches on a near universal experience of childhood and invites you to enjoy it once again. But it is more profound than a playground game and reflects upon how public spaces and facilities are used and experienced in different ways by different groups of people. The swing seats range from cosy and comforting to harsh and unforgiving, providing shared but very different
Amanda Moström (right) is a young artist, originally from Sweden, who studied in London and has lived in Brixton for the past two and half years. She has an interest in public space and common experience and wants to “shake up the art experience and make it a bit more playful – more open and communicative than analytical”. Her work, Welcome to the Common Ground, brings these ideas to life. It is a large sculpture consisting of swings
CONNECTED AND ISOLATED
Declan Colquitt’s piece Totem is a short video with audio where both images and the written word offer a disturbing take on a world driven and dominated by technology. Using previously written text, Totem signalled a change of direction in Declan’s work as he realised that video was the art form which could give the most authentic expression to his ideas. He is moving towards just the written and even spoken word as the most effective medium for him to “mix the cultural, theoretical and personal”. As
a relatively early work, Totem uses footage of a telecommunications mast as the evening fades and its aircraft warning lights come on, and a series of written statements to capture Declan’s
fascination with the “atomisation of technology … offering you the ultimate inter-connectivity but then isolating you … together alone”. As the totem occupies an ever more central role in society,
“geography and cartography are withering away and becoming less and less pertinent” to our daily lives. It is a piece of austere beauty with shifting and disconcerting undertones.
experiences and a metaphor for the politics and controversies surrounding public spaces. Humour is never far away however, as Amanda seeks to demystify and democratise bronze – a material with an esoteric artistic tradition – by daring people to sit on it! * For health and safety reasons the swings are static in the exhibition. A working version of Welcome to the Common Ground can be seen in Amanda’s solo exhibition at Castor Projects in Deptford (50 Resolution Way SE8 4AL) from 8 February.
Welcome to the Common Ground and Totem are only two of 47 artworks in an exhibition covering a wide range of artists, media and techniques – from the traditional to the experimental. Go see it, and you will surely find something to engage, amuse, disturb or interest you. Maybe all at once! The exhibition runs from 27 January to 3 March 2018 in Block336 Gallery, 336 Brixton Road SW9 7AA. Open Wednesday – Saturday 12 – 6pm.
Watch the wallpaper at your Lambeth wedding
The “Small World” exhibition of painting and sculpture until 17 February at Brixton’s Knight Webb gallery on Atlantic Road brings together artists from seven countries, including three from Brixton. It offers something of the grotesque and surreal, the very bold and the intricate, intense colours and fine detail. The three Brixton artists are Adjani, Lesley Hilling and Nadav Drukker. Others come from as far away as Istanbul. Above: Bronze Neuron by Lindsey Noble from Los Angeles.
Brixton Design Trail star Katja Behre of Elli-Popp brings to life Lambeth council’s register office in the revamped town hall in Brixton with a specially commissioned wallpaper mural. Her trademark “hide and seek” design encourages visitors to look deep within the mural to discover the hidden depths of Lambeth people and culture. Katja says: “With such an abundant and rich history I felt it important to discreetly add cultural figures into the design – from William Blake and
Olive Morris, to vintage photographs of Brixton and Brixtonians. “All these illustrious south Londoners are also mixed in with the current locals – as it is the people who make Lambeth. “It was an honour working on this commissioned wallpaper mural not only as a local, but I also learnt a lot about the cultural heritage of this diverse district and council,” says German-born Katja. AASee more of Katja Behre’s work at ellipopp.com.
FEBRUARY 2018 brixtonblog.com CREATIVE BRIXTON 7
MUSIC LUCY ANGELL JOHN
Carnival – fighting for the right to party since 1830s On a visit to Trinidad Dave Randall discovered that there is more to carnival than a good time
the French for burnt cane: cannes brulées. People would set fire to the crop that symbolised their oppression and then parade into town in celebration. Masks were worn partly to disguise identities, thwarting attempts to pick out individuals for retribution. When, in 1846, the authorities banned masks, mud and paint were used instead. To this day, Carnival-goers cover themselves in mud and paint during the J’ouvert (day break) procession. The musical origins of carnival lie in West African “kaiso” – narrative songs, long used by slaves to mock oppressors. The plantocracy hated Canboulay, seeing it as a powerful symbolic challenge to their authority. Restrictions were piled on carnival until, in 1881, the British tried to stop it altogether. Captain Arthur Baker and his men waded into the crowd with truncheons, but people fought back in the legendary Canboulay riot, forcing the police to retreat. Carnival was saved. Ruling class opinion was divided about the next move. An investigation for the Colonial Office advised: “I think to stop it altogether would be a measure that would justly be regarded as harsh and might lead to serious dissatisfaction on the part of the working classes”. In 1883 a new strategy was tried – the rulers would ban not
Trinidad carnival the procession, but its musical heartbeat, the djembe “skin drum”. Musicians responded creatively and set about exploring the percussive qualities of the island’s abundant bamboo. Bamboo groups, or “tamboo bamboo” (from tambour – French for drum) soon became the sound of carnival. Players tended to come from the rougher parts of town and running
Aside from the moving corporate celebration of buttock-shaped hearts and red roses for St Valentine’s Day, February is all about Pancake Day. At least that’s what I thought as I grew up under the grey winter skies of South East Essex. But on becoming an adult and moving to London, I learned that the same day takes different forms in other latitudes. As kitchens here are crammed with eager tossers, millions of people elsewhere take to the streets for carnival. A couple of years ago I decided to give my frying pan the night off and travel to the home of one of the world’s largest carnivals – the Caribbean island of Trinidad. I discovered that carnival’s rich traditions arise directly from a clash between oppressed people determined to reclaim time, space and pleasure in their lives and a ruling class who feared them. My education began at Port of Spain’s Carnival Village, where I met Barry, from Trinidad and Tobago’s steel pan union. The glint in his eye, I soon learned, was not from any fondness for the British, but from thoughts of a much celebrated riot against them. The pre-Lent masquerade, he began, arrived on the island with French “planters” forced from Haiti by the revolution of 1791–1804. Slaves were excluded from the festivities. After the formal end of slavery in the 1830s, former slaves and other workers made their own celebration of Canboulay. Barry speculated that the term came from
street battles between groups were commonplace. But it’s unlikely that public safety was uppermost in the minds of the authorities when, in 1934, they stepped in again – to ban the tamboo bamboo. Trinidadian calls for self-rule and universal suffrage grew in the first decades of the 20th century. Troops were sent to break a dockers’ strike in 1919 and, with the hardships of the Great Depression spreading to the islands in the 1930s, the ideas of
militant nationalists gained ground. The colonial regime, determined to keep people off the streets, in 1936 introduced Ordinance 23, banning “suggestive” dancing, profane songs or songs “that insult members of the upper class”. The Second World War provided to pretext to stop carnival altogether. Musicians bided their time and explored alternatives to bamboo. When the US joined the war its navy commandeered large parts of Trinidad, littering it with oil drums. In areas like Laventille in East Port of Spain musicians got to work and noticed that the tone produced at the start of a playing session changed as the drum became dented. They developed a tuning system and something similar to the now familiar tuned steel pan was revealed to amazed revellers at Trinidad’s VE Day celebrations in 1945. The much loved steel pan – one of the few acoustic instruments to have been invented in the twentieth century – exists only because of the creativity and determination of ordinary people facing political repression. The instrument symbolises our indefatigable desire to express ourselves through music.
Barry went on to describe how, in 1951, an all-star delegation of pan players was sent to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the Festival of Britain, starting a love affair with the instrument here. Radio broadcasts and a three-week tour were hastily arranged. One of the earliest photos (left) of a steel pan orchestra being enjoyed on the streets of London was taken in south London in 1961. One August bank holiday three years later, during a street party in Notting Hill, the Russell Henderson Steel Band spontaneously led a parade around the surrounding streets. In so doing they inspired the creation of the annual Notting Hill Carnival – now the largest street festival in the northern hemisphere. How many of the party people know, I wonder, that the event owes its very existence to a more or less unbroken sequence of acts of political defiance and creative ingenuity stretching back to the Haitian revolution of 1791? So, as you tuck into your pancakes this month, be inspired by the thought of all those who are taking to the streets. Theirs has been a long fight for the right to party. Dave Randall is a musician and author of Sound System: The Political Power of Music
Brixton family gets together to visit the Jazz Café It’s not often that you’ll find us recommending venturing outside of our beautiful borough, but the RomansHopcraft family takeover of Camden’s Jazz Café is a worthy exception. On Friday 9 February the Brixton family showcase their formidable musical talents with a triple-header shared by father Robin and his twin sons Ben and Miles (below). Miles will be known to London hip-hop heads as beatmaker Wu-Lu. He’s a NTS
and Touching Bass mainstay and has previously performed at the Jazz Café supporting
his friend and collaborator MNDSGN. This time he’ll bring a full live band to the
special occasion. Next up is singer Ben with the laid back pop and retro soul sounds of acclaimed Brixton five-piece Childhood. Finally their old man, trumpet maestro Robin, teaches the upstarts a thing or two with the sensational Soothsayers. Brixtonians will be familiar with their muscular trumpet and sax hooks, infectious guitar licks, righteous chants and dance-floor filling afrobeat and reggae-inspired
grooves. Wah Wah 45s DJs warm things up. Now that’s a night worth crossing the river for! Two other Brixton-bred talents release records this month. AAPharoah Russell will be known to Effra Hall Tavern and Agile Rabbit regulars, along with many others, as one of our finest young drummers. On his debut EP Air To Breathe he reveals his considerable skills as a
multi-instrumentalist and explores new found talents for singing and songwriting. AAMeanwhile, former Cowley Estate resident Dog Ears Montana releases his new album Built-in Obsolescence. Expect socially conscious, melancholic and moving tales told with a voice of sandpaper and cigarettes over sparse electro beats and pop rock. Both releases can be found at all the usual online music retailers.
8 CREATIVE BRIXTON brixtonblog.com
FILM & THEATRE
Brixton designer creates set for gay crime drama Brixton resident Alison Neighbour designs sets for a living. A graduate of the Royal College of Dramatic Art, her latest creative venture is the set design for the play Tumulus on at the VAULT Festival in Waterloo. It’s s a crime noir. A former lover of central character Anthony turns up dead on the Hampstead Heath tumulus, then another body
is found. Police assume because the victims are gay that the deaths are drug related. But details don’t add up and Anthony suspects foul play. Alison (below) says: “Before starting on the set design I had lots of discussions with the director Matt Steinberg. I then hone the idea, do some visual research and develop a picture of who the characters are and what space they need. “Drawings (left) come next and then I make a model box – a miniature version of the set. “At the rehearsal stage there’s still a lot to play with and explore. I watch how the actors move around the space.” Alison’s past work includes The Fox in the Snow, a tale of a boy and his bike and a girl who knows best. “We invited the audience to join Billy’s bike gang, and cycle with him on an adventure through a hidden part of Brixton, dodging crooks, fulfilling missions, and attempting BMX tricks. The audience became an integral part of the story in this unique theatrical experience on bikes.” AATumulus plays at VAULT 2018 until till 28 January. See vaultfestival.com/whats-on/tumulus.
A changing place called home Brixton filmmaker Shane Duncan (right) explores gentrification in his short documentary This is Brixton. It takes the form of interviews in and around Brixton with people giving their take on what it means – good, bad or a mixed bag. There are some well known faces on view like Brixton Cycles’ Lincoln Roman (above left) and Brixton Bard Alex Wheatle (above right). Duncan, 25, whose mother was raised in Jamaica, has lived in Brixton all his life. He says: “Gentrification is working its way throughout London by swallowing up popular working-class areas and
converting them into spaces fit for the middle class. “Brixton is now on its way to losing its historic culture, maybe even its very soul.” Shane went to college to do an art course but didn’t complete it. “I just wanted to go straight into the working world so I could buy
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equipment for myself.” He’s been making films since he left school and has always wanted to make one about Brixton “but I had trouble being able to write anything down due to my dyslexia, so I had to wait until an idea came to me naturally. “I realised the place I called home was changing fast and I wanted to make a film that reflected that – I wanted the people that were blind to the fact, to now be able to see.” “If I hadn’t found film as an interest at an early age I’m not sure where I’d be right now, it definitely kept me out of trouble.” AACheck out This is Brixton: youtu.be/HwhSyxNQpTA.
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Plans that go wrong
As we write on Burn’s Night, 25 January, the famous lines from the Scottish bard’s great poem To a Mouse: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley”* spring inevitably to mind when considering Lambeth, “the cooperative council”. It is, of course, easy to criticise. And critics can include people, including journalists, who might find running a whelk stall a bit of a struggle. But Lambeth councillors are caught between the rock of government austerity policies and the hard place of their own rhetoric come back to haunt them. It is not cooperative to let a dedicated group of people like Brixton Green spend years of their lives – and many thousands of pounds of Lottery players’ money – working on a scheme that is summarily rejected. Nor is it good enough to say that the council will now “work with them”. Neither is this an isolated example of fine words turning to dust. Members of the council’s own choice as the preferred community organisation to take over the Carnegie library building resigned as trustees of the project, citing the council’s refusal to listen or budge. The council’s explanation for its behaviour over the Carnegie library might serve for many of its controversial actions: “Due to severe cuts to funding from central government over a number of years, the council has had to look at every single service it provides and work out how to best deliver for residents within the parameters of its budget”. There is no denying that the brilliant political wheeze of two successive Conservative-led governments in shifting the responsibility for austerity cuts from central to local government has succeeded beyond their expectations. But you cannot say “Let’s cooperate” one year and “We know best” the next. Raising hopes of meaningful community involvement and then crushing them can lead to nothing but trouble. * No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong Regulated by IMPRESS: The independent monitor for the press 16–18 New Bridge Street EC4V 6AG 020 3325 4288 email@example.com www.impress.press
Mums for Lungs supporters in Windrush Square before they blocked Brixton Road to get their point across
Air pollution: Better, but still very bad Mums for Lungs, the grassroots air pollution campaign set up last year by concerned parents in South London has a message for politicians Fifth January came and went this year without an explosion of negative publicity about air quality limits in Brixton being breached just a few days into the New Year. We watched, slightly perplexed, as a number of internet tools designed to track pollution levels showed what appeared to be a slow start to the year’s build-up of bad air in Brixton. As of 18 January there had been five breaches of the hourly limit of nitrogen dioxide which is set at 200ug/m3. Under EU law, only 18 such breaches are allowed each year. But wait. Five already, just two weeks into the New Year, I hear you say, isn’t that actually quite bad. Well, yes of course it is. But we’ve got used to bad air in Brixton. In 2017, there were 19 breaches recorded just five days into the year. Speaking with a number of experts who monitor air pollution in Lambeth – some of the worst in London – there appears to be
several explanations for this year’s figures. First, there was the windy weather in the week after New Year’s Day which helped to disburse the toxic pollutants. Secondly, the new low emission bus zone (LEBZ) through Brixton to Streatham Hill was launched by London mayor Sadiq Khan in December. Other factors such as higher standards for lorry engines and the way the new year bank
A monitor outside Mothercare on Brixton Road reveals that the annual mean is still more than double the limit set by EU law holiday fell may have also played a part. So what’s our message? Of course we are pleased that Brixton’s air is that little bit better this year as we push our babies around in prams. We are pleased that measures such as the LEBZ seem to be having an impact. But much more needs to be done. Although the news on the hourly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits is better, the annual mean for NO2 for Brixton Road is terrible.
A monitor located right outside Mothercare on Brixton Road reveals that the annual mean currently stands at 85ug/m3 – that’s micrograms (one millionth of a gram) per cubic metre. This is more than double the limit set by EU law (40ug/m3), and only slightly better than the 96ug/m3 average for 2017. Although the mayor’s office was claiming credit for the “best air quality in London in ten years” we fail to see what the difference really is. Brixton’s air is still twice as bad as it should be. We’re calling on candidates in Lambeth’s upcoming local elections (on Thursday 3 May) to pledge to make air pollution a priority. We’re also encouraging anyone concerned about air quality to complete TFL’s public consultation on the plans for extending London’s ultra low emission zone (ULEZ). at http://bit.ly/Lam-ULEZ. It closes on 28 February. We believe that for this measure to be effective the zone needs to cover the whole of London, and not just stop at the north and south circular roads. And we want the zone to be implemented before the end of Sadiq Khan’s term as mayor in May 2020. AA Facebook: @MumsforLungs. AA Twitter: @MumsForLungs.
No borders – music and an idea that will live on Music editor Dave Randall recalls a 2003 gig by Hugh Masakela at the Fridge and the great musician’s talent and humanity
Music lovers will have been saddened to hear of the death of South African jazz pioneer Hugh Masekela at the age of 78. The trumpeter, flugelhorn player, singer and composer will be remembered as one
of the musical legends of the anti-apartheid struggle. Not that he ever accepted his place on that pedestal. “The real legends,” he once rebuked an interviewer, “are the thousands of ordinary people who gave their lives to the struggle and whose names we don’t know. “I am just a musician who is lucky to be paid for what he is doing – just good receiver of the gifts of the people I come from.” Very gifted he was too, as
some readers may have been lucky enough to witness one steamy summer’s night in 2003, when Masekela performed at the Fridge nightclub (now The Electric Brixton) to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 85th birthday. He began with his stirring version of the traditional hymn Send Me: “I wanna be there / When the people turn it around / When they triumph over poverty ... I wanna be there / For the victims of violence and abuse / I wanna lend a hand...”.
Masekela did lend a hand. He also believed that, although apartheid formally ended, the struggle for a better world continues. Africans, he often commented, still live within artificial borders created by non-Africans. His music crossed those borders and in his final album No Borders he expressed his wish for a borderless world. That poignant message and Masekela’s wonderful music live on.
10 NEW IN BRIXTON brixtonblog.com
Mothers of Invention (l-r) Maggie, Lise and Fiona with a selection of offspring
Six fabulously fun and remarkably willing kids on a freezing day in November wearing the unique sustainable clothes of local childrenswear online boutique Y-Kairos. Photo: Fiona Freund
Meet Brixton’s Mothers of Invention A photographer, a designer and a copywriter walk into a bar. Over a drink they discover their pet hates are the same – how women are portrayed in the media and advertising. The conversation between three local mums turns into the creation of a business – Mothers of Invention They are all woman who have worked in creative industries and have put down their roots in Brixton. Photographer Fiona Freund says
what makes Mothers of Invention (MoI) decisive and efficient is that they take the skills of a busy mum and apply them to the workplace. “We work with new businesses who are starting out and existing businesses who are open to a new way of working and presenting themselves. Businesses for whom authenticity, creativity, and innovation is important. The co-founders, Fiona, designer Lise Meyrick and copywriter Maggie Aoussou, have qualifications and
experience in design, photography and marketing. As Fiona says: “We build and refresh brands that women want to be friends with as we know what women want and how to present it to them.” MoI organises monthly socials (generally in a pub) which lead to new connections, ideas and solutions. “Throughout our work we take inspiration from Brixton and its surrounding areas. The vibrancy
and life of Brixton fuels our creativity. There is never a dull moment in Brixton and should designer Lise Meyrick ever get creative block, a meander through the market is sure to fix that.” Mothers of Invention often hold meetings in F. Mondays or Stir Coffee on Brixton Hill. “As working mums we do need that caffeine and sweet fix to feed our discussions and project work. When we need to blow those cobwebs away we take a stroll
through our beloved Brockwell Park where we’ve also conducted many a photo shoot.” Presenting women with humour and the reality of the dual demands they often face is important to the founders of MoI. They have a network of women that they can call upon for mini-focus groups if needed. Why not join them at their monthly knees-up? AAFor more information go to www.wearemoi.net
The food in our hidden green spaces … Incredible Edible Lambeth is pleased to announce the publication of a new map of Brixton, pinpointing food growing and food activist projects. We want to inspire people to walk around the local area and to see what people are doing to create a healthier, more sustainable food system. We have plotted a couple of walking routes that take you out from central Brixton into hidden green spaces full of nature and wonder, picking out a couple of eateries that embrace our Incredible Edible philosophy, as well as the iconic Brixton Windmill, which actually produces flour. Copies of the map are available to pick up from Brixton Pound Cafe. We will be organising guided walks of the routes in the Spring. AAFor more information about Incredible Edible Lambeth and to get involved please join us via our website. We are planning lots of networking events for our members and more maps of different parts of the borough will be coming soon.
Incredible’s Sue Sheehan introduces a new map of Brixton and a workshop to help you get the most out of your waste food
… and what to do with the scraps and peelings Do you want to compost your vegetable scraps but don’t quite know where to start? Have you tried composting before but ended up with sticky sludge? Don’t worry – there’s no real mystery to composting, but there are a few key guidelines that you can follow for (near) instant success. You will be doing your bit to reduce carbon emissions and also to generate valuable materials for growing plants.
We have got together with Oddbox, the local vegbox scheme that sources wonky veg directly from farms (rejected by supermarkets because they are too wonky). Our composting workshop will take place on Saturday 3 February at the Platform in Loughborough Junction (SW9 7AH). AAYou can book via Eventbrite: ielcomposting.eventbrite. co.uk.
Brixton bridge designers plan to involve the community
NEW YEAR, NEW BRIDGE AND NEW CHALLENGES
BID Managing Director Michael Smith looks at the challenges of 2018
appy 2018 – the lights are down and some Christmas trees have only just been collected, but Brixton businesses are already looking ahead to see what 2018 will bring. Some have already had a new year shock. The Prince of Wales, for example, has had a 100% increase in its monthly rent. Shops on Popes Road were due to pull down their shutters for the last time on 20 January in preparation for the arrival of a new owner and new businesses. But at least there is some good news. The historic Club 414 on Coldharbour Lane (pictured) has been granted Asset of Community Value (ACV) status – prolonging its presence and preserving one more live entertainment venue in Brixton. And this year Brixton will get a new destination attraction – in addition to the new town hall – when the newly decorated and adorned Peace & Love Bridge is completed in April, replacing
the historic, and now well-worn, “B OUR GUEST” livery. Many of the issues that we know we will be tackling in 2018 are linked. And money and resources are usually the link. RETAIL faces several problems, notably increasing costs and the delay in reopening the Network Rail arches. HOSPITALITY and the NIGHT-TIME ECONOMY are affected by shortcomings in our infrastructure and concerns about noise and antisocial behaviour. I look at these and other issues in more detail on the following pages. In 2018 Brixton BID will work even harder to promote Brixton as the place to visit, do business, and live. We will reach and support even more businesses, making Brixton brighter, cleaner and safer for all. Michael Smith Managing Director www.brixtonbid.co.uk
BID members can get free membership of Zipcar
Go before you go. Join Brixton BID's anti-street urination campaign. You can help by going before you go. Thank you!
CAUGHT SHORT There is not enough public toilet provision in Brixton
Brixton BID is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to strengthening Brixton’s diverse business culture. We represent over 650 levy‑paying businesses in the local area and work to develop new and exciting opportunities for Brixton
NEW CHARGES AND PENALTIES ARE LOOMING Sadly, Brixton will this year see spiralling rent increases for businesses and business closures brought on by the rapid escalation of rents in the area. And, as we move into 2018, the decline in retail continues and seems to be becoming constant. The already heavy burden on Brixton businesses, which started in 2017 with increased business rates, is set to continue with a new
waste collection charging scheme – details are yet to be announced – that will penalise businesses rather than waste carriers for any late collections in timed zones or other waste collection infringements. A £400 penalty charge notice (PCN) for any single infringement could be considered a hefty fine. This is perhaps indicative of Lambeth council’s intentions for greater enforcement on businesses
for the slightest infringements. Transport for London is also increasing its PCNs for any Red Route infringements and introducing a new PCN for its Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across the congestion charging zone in addition to current congestion charges and low emission zone (LEZ) charges from April 2019. ■■ See http://bit.ly/ULEZ19 for more information.
The sale of Brixton Village had been expected to be completed by the end of 2017. We are still none the wiser on the completion of this sale and what it will mean for the area. Will it improve the trade and conditions of the 128 shops and traders who now occupy Brixton Village and Market Row?
Visitors come from far and wide to experience the eclectic and vibrant offers of Brixton’s night-time economy. But there are still some who blame the night-time economy for all things bad in Brixton – day and night. With the current state of retail – both national and local – Brixton’s economy is driven primarily by income from our local hospitality industry (including festivals) and we need to make this industry work better for our economy. The night-time economy is sometimes blamed for street urination and unsightly street litter. But, whenever they are open, pubs and clubs offer a significant amount of free toilet facilities for patrons and visitors – far more than the public cubicles on Popes Road which charge 20p and close at 7pm. The lack of open and public toilets is a problem for people who, for whatever reasons, are outside such venues. People using buses, National Rail services and the Underground station run by TfL to
DISCOUNT Brixton businesses will continue to receive a discounted levy bill, as in 2017, to offset the increases introduced last year. At a time when local businesses are struggling under the burden of increased business rates, additional discretionary funding to help to soften the burden for businesses is such a relief. Businesses must apply to make use of this discretionary fund facility.
DRIVING OUR ECONOMY
Shops on Popes Road were due to pull down their shutters for the last time on 20 January in preparation for the arrival of a new owner and new businesses.
Go before you go.
travel in and out of Brixton total 30 million people a year – without the offer of toilet amenities from the organisations that carry them.
The use of a toilet is a basic human need – British Toilet Association (BTA) Brixton needs public toilet provision for both day and night-time use this year – just as it did last year. The BTA encourages a toilet provision strategy for all town centres. But, as of now, Brixton town centre has no such strategy. A network of free or pay-to-use public toilet provision across our town centre, especially at the weekend, is a necessity. It also contributes positively to our tourism product. The Go Before You Go anti-street urination campaign organised by Brixton BID will be visible throughout 2018. It encourages patrons to use toilets before leaving local venues and is paid for and totally supported by the hospitality industry in Brixton.
BRIXTON STATION ROAD
BETTER LIGHTING: SEEING WILL BE BELIEVING Businesses on Brixton Station Road, shops and markets will continue to suffer from the impact of poor and declining footfall in the area. The delay in the completion of the refurbishing of the arches on Brixton Station and Atlantic Roads helps no one and adversely affects everyone. Brixton Station Road
shopkeepers who are looking daily at the Arches and the absence of any obvious work being done are not at all confident that the new date for completion (September 2018) will be achieved. Traders waiting to return to the arches are themselves doubting this will happen anytime soon. We are also holding fast for a promise of
increased lighting on Brixton Station Road soon but seeing will be believing. Businesses on Brixton Station Road are still trading. Claudette (right) from Bambinos, a children’s wear shop, says trade is down by as much as 40-60%. She is backed by Aida from Café Brixtonia who has been in the café for three years.
“Brixton was really nice when the arches were there,” she says. “There were lots of people around, lots of chairs outside. There’s nobody passing now, it’s just so quiet” John Gordon from the Federation of Market Traders says: “Network Rail’s plan to do everything in one go was ambitious”.
He is concerned about the impact on the local community. Work that was due to start in September 2017 is already seriously delayed. Existing business and those who are returning to the arches are not confident that the new completion date of September 2018 will be achieved
PEACE, LOVE, CHARACTER AND STRING VESTS INSPIRE NEW BRIDGE DESIGN Public involvement and paid work for 11 young people are key features of the new design (above) chosen for the bridge across Brixton Road. The bold geometric design is inspired by, among many other things, the colourful string vests on sale in the market. The text for the project developed by architect Farouk Agoro, designer Akil Scafe-Smith and visual artist Annie Nicholson will say “Come In Love” on the north side and “Stay In Peace” on the south side. They plan small workshops of local people to explore the development of the
final colour scheme. The whole process of applying the designs to the bridge will be recorded and shared. “We wanted to create something that archives and expresses the essential character of a place that has deeply shaped both our pasts. Returning the favour, we’ve also offered two guiding principles for Brixton’s uncertain future: PEACE and LOVE,” say the three. Akil Scafe-Smith designed a temporary pavilion l in 2016 for the Brixton Design Trail which organised the design competition with Lambeth council.
Farouk Agoro, left, and Akil Scafe-Smith
BRIXTON FOOTFALL 2017 1,500,000 1,000,000 500,000 Jan
Brixton Station Road
Brixton Road at Iceland
OPEN FOR BUSINESS – CALL IN
Dec Jan 18 (part)
Café Brixtonia, Bambino’s, Craft Beer, Banana Collections, Vape Shop – as well as the Sunday Farmers Market and 28 January will see the first Vegan Market of 2018.
ZIPCAR Member of Brixton BID are eligible for free membership and a £25 driving credit from Zipcar, the UK’s largest pay-as-you-go car club. You can take a Zipcar from as little as £5.70 an hour or a Zipvan from £9.50 an hour (prices include insurance, 60 miles
of free fuel, and the London congestion charge). Brixton BID and Zipcar have teamed up to offer you access to more than 1,500 vehicles. Members can book cars or vans by the hour or day on the Zipcar app, online or by telephone. ■■ Signing up is easy, simply go to http://bit.ly/zipcar-business and fill out the application form. Zipcar will contact you and take you through the process.
BID SERVICES Brixton BID will, in 2018, continue to offer additional weekly cleaning (for pavements only) as well as extra policing services for businesses. All Brixton businesses are eligible, at no extra cost, for certified training in first aid, health and safety, personal licence and food hygiene. Look out this year for the introduction of a fire marshal certification session as well as clear air, greening and improved air quality initiatives.
FOR YOUR DIARY Friday night briefings at Phonox every fortnight: 2 February, 16 February, etc. Next meeting dates: Marketing and 23 January partnerships Environment 29 January Night-time economy 31 January
QUEEN ESTHER SPA
Tranquilty in Brixton Fifi Anderson is a woman on a mission to bring luxury spa treatments to Brixton. She has travelled widely in the Middle East and North Africa to discover the secrets of the hammams (Turkish baths) there and to bring them to Brixton. With ten years experience in the beauty industry, Fifi has gathered a team of trained beauty therapists to create the perfect relaxation experience in a warm and tranquil sanctuary on Atlantic Road. It’s a sanctuary whisks you away from the cares of everyday life to enjoy the rare tranquillity found in this hidden beauty heaven. You will leave relaxed, indulged and rejuvenated. The menu includes massage, nails and facial treatments and a range of hair removal options and spa packages with an emphasis on natural beauty,
health and overall well-being. Queen Esther Spa products are unique to the salon and sourced specifically for clients to experience beauty treatments which have been used for centuries, giving proven results in anti-ageing, deep cleansing and nourishing the skin from the outside in. Queen Esther Spa, 80 Atlantic Road SW9 8PX Call 020 7642 0249 or 07908 296 141 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.queenestherspa.co.uk
Something for everyone Joe Storey-Scott opened 20 Storey in August 2012, a few months after being made redundant from his previous job as a bookseller, “The book range we carry is very close to my heart,” he says. “Having lived in Brixton since moving to London from Edinburgh just over 20 years ago, I’ve long been a fan and customer of the businesses operating within the market and Brixton Village,” he says. “The hope with my own store was to offer within Brixton the kind of books and gift items I’d like to be able to buy myself, without having to travel further afield.”
What Joe has always loved about Brixton “and what first attracted me to make it my home, is the vibrancy about the place due to the wide mix of inhabitants from different backgrounds – hopefully this buzz is reflected somewhat within 20 Storey and the varied and eclectic mix of items we carry – there should truly be something here for everyone!”he says. “It’s a small store, but somehow we manage to fit in a wide range of goods, including greeting cards, mugs and kitchenware, books – including gift, humour, art, film, photography, music, fashion, food and
drink, children’s, etc. – toys and games, scented candles, neon lighting, tee-shirts, Moleskine notebooks, stationery, and items from the School of Life, Modern Toss and David Shrigley ranges, amongst others. “I also try to support local artists as much as possible, and welcome proposals from those interested in us selling their work.” 20 Storey offers a wide range of Brixtonrelated art, cards and gifts. “It’s the popularity of
these items that attests to the strong community spirit locally – and its growing popularity as a tourist destination too. “We’re proud too to support the Brixton Pound and initiatives like the Great Brixton photobook from the Champion Agency – along with the Brixton Village Recipe Book, easily our bestselling title!” 20 Storey 2A Market Row, SW9 8LD 020 7326 1806
15 brixtonblog.com 2018 FEBRUARY
FOOD & DRINK REVIEW: MEAT LIQUOR
Beef it up Nancy-Louise Dyer makes a carnivorous pit stop Brixton is brimming with burgers it seems, from the golden arches to post-hip dirty burgers, pop-ups, shanty shacks and sea containers. Enter Meat Liquor, formerly Chicken Liquor, by Meat Liquor. I assume the chicken experiment has run its course and trailblazing new wave burger van man Yianni Papoutsis is back to what he does best. So it’s sort of new, with a meaty decorative refurb, but if you knew its distressed, funky, canteenstyle diner before, you won’t be disorientated. I don’t know about other Liquor outposts, but the best bits of Chicken Liquor are still on the menu. However, we are here for the beef. Burgers nestling in a jumble sale menu of Americana dining. Shakes, mac n cheese, wings, onions rings, hash browns, chilli fries, dirty fries, buffalo fries, slaw,
deep-fried pickles, chicken burgers, a stray dog and an array of beefy burgers. Accompanied by some pretty interesting cocktails. Nothing is something you won’t have seen in any number of burger joints, but I’m expecting to find out why, perhaps along with Honest, Meat Liquor consistently resides high on the London burger charts. So we dive into the cocktails. Yorkshire T is tea infused Bombay Sapphire gin, pink grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice and soda in a chunky retro crockery “tankard”, or what about the Fallen Angelita? Tequila shaken with triple sec, agave honey and lime with a spicy tajin rim (that’s chilli, sea salt and lime). Time for the main event and time to get messy. Burgers go with beers right? Cue Meat Liquor’s own brew, No Idea Beer, while trying to remember the last time we had our beer in the can. Apart from BBQs, probably way back in some sort of party preload or wandering
down to the Fridge (if you don’t know about the yesteryear glories of the Fridge, poor you). All made from dry-aged rare breed beef, we go for the Dead Hippie and the Chilli Cheeseburger, accompanied by a shared chilli cheese fries, smothered with beef chilli, cheddar cheese, onions, jalapeños and French’s mustard (if you don’t know about French’s Yellow, poor you). The Dead Hippie is a chunky two mustard-fried beef patties, dead hippie (secret) sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and minced white onions and is pretty much right up my street. Like a Big Mac got seriously pimped in a boutique burger spa. I approve. The chilli cheeseburger, spicy chilli butter, red onions, pickles, lettuce and French’s is seriously chilli. Zing. If you don’t like the rush of chilli heat, pick something else. Fries are an indulgent pleasure until you think about how much treadmill burns it off. Then a guilty pleasure. We conclude we don’t have the gym time to eat here every day, but for a beefy, chin-dribbling statesidetinged pit stop, Meat Liquor is firing out damn decent burgers, excellent cocktails and indulgently dirty sides. Regarding the Dead Hippie, I will kill again.
Unit 12, Market Row, SW9 8LD | meatliquor.com/brixton | 020 7274 0939 | @MEATliquorBRX
56 Brixton Hill
(entrance on Horsford Road)
Brixton SW2 1QS
HRH the Duke of York with Head Boy Ben, Head Girl Ciara and Principal Dan Cundy
WHAT’S COMING UP
We are officially open His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG, last month, officially opened South Bank UTC, Brixton’s 14-19 school specialising in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Patron of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, he is a strong supporter of young people entering pathways in the STEM fields and has also lent his name to The Duke of York Award for Technical Education and The Duke Of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award– #iDEA. He toured the UTC, taking part in several activities, including 3D printing, laser cutting, virtual and real-life welding and materials testing. Students shared their experiences of life at the UTC and how its unique and innovative curriculum is preparing them for life beyond school.
Primary schools STEM fair 26-28 March
The Duke delivered an inspirational speech that highlighted the positive effects of a UTC education combining hands-on learning with high academic expectations and how apprenticeships are increasingly a pathway of choice. He then unveiled the official opening plaque, manufactured and etched using school equipment by Year 12 students. Professor Rao Bhamidimarri, CEO of the South Bank Academies said: “that he chose to open formally our UTC is testament to his support of the commitment of South Bank Academies to offering young people in South London the very best opportunities.” Principal Dan Cundy said staff and students were honoured to welcome the Duke.
Open evenings Monday 26 February 5-7pm Thursday 22 March 5-7pm Open mornings Thursday 1 February 9.30-10.30am Thursday 8 February 9.30-10.30am Thursday 22 February 9.30-10.30
A truly rewarding experience for the UTC and Skanska UK South Bank UTC students gained a unique insight into careers in engineering and construction through the eyes of one of our sponsors, Skanska UK. Skanska, established in 1887, is one of the world’s leading project
development and construction groups. Its UK operation is one of the country’s top contractors. More than 60 Skanska employees took over the school for the day, setting a bespoke curriculum designed to give students a taste of
the challenges facing industry. Business one-to-ones and mock assessment centres helped to prepare students for their first step towards a career in STEM and provided them with valuable advice and feedback on their CVs. Students got to grips with some of the latest construction-related technology through a digital and innovation exhibition. Pupils from three local primary schools, Effra, Corpus Christi and Sudbourne took part and they had a fantastic time meeting Pepper the Robot and trying out a drone and virtual reality headsets. Adam Crossley, Skanska UK director of environment, said: “This was a truly rewarding experience for the whole team and is a great example of education and industry working together to close the
skills gap.” Principal Dan Cundy said the takeover day was “incredibly powerful” and transformational for some students – giving them the key
to unlock their motivation. “The effects are still being felt today and this demonstrates the huge value in our relationships with employer sponsors,” he said.
South Bank Engineering University Technical College is a 14-19 school, sponsored by leading employers in the field of engineering, as well as London South Bank University. Alongside core GCSEs and A Levels in subjects such as English, maths and science, students can study Level 2 and Level 3 technical qualifications in engineering for the building and health sectors. 020 7738 6115 | email@example.com | www.southbank-utc.co.uk
FOOD & DRINK 17
FEBRUARY 2018 brixtonblog.com REVIEW: PIEMINSTER
You can’t argue with a good pie Nick Buglione warms up at Pieminster
Years ago in a different journo life, I spent a day working in one of London’s oldest pie & mash shops, Goddards in Greenwich. It was an amazing day making and serving classic meat pies, stewed eels and their secretrecipe liquor. That was then and this is now. Goddards are still going, but famous pie and mash legends such as Manze, are slowly disappearing. So the arrival in Brixton of micro-chain pie guys Pieminster is, to this pie lover, an intriguing prospect. Reinvention is definitely à la mode. What next? Someone brings back spud-u-like? Pieminster lives or dies on the quality of the pie. They know that. And they do all sorts. None quite as rudimentary as a cheap and cheerful pie and mash shop. But they aren’t silly – mash is on the menu. As is de rigeur, they have silly puns. The Deerstalker, venison, bacon red wine and lentils, The Matador, beef, chorizo and butter bean, The Saag pie-neer, you get my drift? They have added a vegan pie for the New Year, mysteriously called Kevin, but me and Magic Malcolm (it’s a long story) are as carnivorous as they come. So we pick The Moo & Blue, steak and stilton and The Kate & Sidney, steak and kidney of course with craft ale. And a jug of gravy each. I know we should have the mash but we go
for rosemary skin-on fries and salt & pepper onion rings. Scandalous! They do minted peas if you are on one of your five a day. There’s a good selection of beery accompaniments. Magic is an ale man so happily sups on their own Pieminster pie PA, I’m a lightweight so it’s Freedom Pilsner. They do some interesting ciders, milk stout and wheat beers. Steak and kidney is about as traditional as Brit-cuisine gets and Pieminster’s rendition is a genuinely good, faithful homage. Nice and easy on the reinventing. Thin, crispy shortcrust, nicely soft underbelly, generous slow cooked beef, chunky kidney and rich, deep beefy sauce. And good value, pies weigh in at 50p over a mere fiver which these days is on the verge of a bargain. You can wonder about the ins and outs of the constant reinvention of the very meals Britain, in all its multi-cultural, empireflavoured tradition, was built on but, and this is an undisputable fact my friends, you cannot argue with a good pie. Its sibling The Moo & Blue was equally good. And the gravy had all the slow cooked sticky flavour that extended simmering gives. Chips, rings and other snacky sides are bit part players to the main events. But good ones mind. My only mini-gripe. I think they should do their own liquor (classic parsley based sauce/ gravy inseparable from trad pie and mash) as I would have definitely have ordered it. Expecting Pieminster to do stewed eels as well is, even I agree, unreasonable. National Pie Week is coming up next month, just saying. Good pie (my turn to pun).
DIY KITCHEN: MS CUPCAKES’ PINA COLADA SQUARE INGREDIENTS METHOD
Six steps to heaven
A non-alcoholic vegan tribute to the classic cocktail Ms Cupcake says: This is a super moist and fruity traybake square, perfect for snacking, school lunch boxes or an evening treat. The sweetness of the cherry and coconut is a beautiful contrast with the tang of pineapple. Best of all, the ingredients are easy to get hold of and the recipe is just six easy steps. We say: Great to make with the kids and you can also freeze it for up to three months.
¡¡ 450g self-raising flour (use a gluten free one if you want it to be GF) ¡¡ 225g caster sugar (or coconut sugar) ¡¡ 1/₃ tsp bicarbonate of soda ¡¡ 200g coconut (sweetened shredded coconut is great, but you can use desiccated) ¡¡ 200ml flavourless oil ¡¡ 300ml coconut milk ¡¡ 235g tinned pineapple ¡¡ 100ml pineapple juice (from the tin) ¡¡ 1tsp vanilla ¡¡ 15 glacé cherries
22 Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 22 Grease a 33cm x 23cm tin (or use parchment paper). 22 You can split the ingredients across smaller tins. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and 100g of the coconut. 22 Stir well then add the oil, coconut milk, pineapple juice, vanilla and 135g of the pineapple chunks and mix well. 22 Pour the batter into the prepared tin. 22 Add 100g more pineapple and 100g more coconut sprinkled across the pan. 22 Lightly press in 15 glacé cherries evenly spaced out across the pan. 22 Bake for 45 mins. 22 Cool in the pan, slice and serve
408 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF | mscupcake.co.uk | 020 3086 893 | @MsCupcakeUK
n e w ye a r com for t
Plenty of room
Banish the new year blues with the uplifting aromas and flavours of the the sunny South in Pietro & Stefania’s cosy Sicillian kitchen. And celebrate the end of dry January with a gorgeous glass of Sicilian wine.
Pietro hand makes all the pasta and bread fresh every morning.
TRATTORIA FRANZINA, POP BRIXTON, 49 BRIXTON STATION ROAD SW9 8PQ. PHONE 07802 473 444 @POP BRIXTON INFO@FRANZINATRATTORIA.CO.UK 10 Market Row, SW9 8LD | pieminster.co.uk/restaurant/brixton | 020 7274 6369 | @pieminster
LUNCH - DINNER - APERITIVO - TAKEAWAY - CATERING
18 FOOD & DRINK brixtonblog.com
PUB REVIEW: HOPE & ANCHOR
Something for almost everyone Nick Buglione pops into to his revamped local Is it a boozer? Is it a gastro-pub? Is it a club? a bird? a plane? I should know this, seeing as the Hope and Anchor is, territorially speaking, my local. And yet it remains a bit of a mystery. The answer is all of these, at different times, to different people. That’s the idea anyway. In its previous guise as Grand Union, it was equally conflicted and, after a rebrand and a brush up, is, once again, a pub with a big upscale beer garden with Tiki huts, TVs and jumbo screens for alfresco summer frolicking and supersized live sport. Come the weekends, it becomes party town
as fleets of Ubers block the end of my road dropping glammy prosecco girls in high-rise stilletos, sparkly sequins and clingfilm tight faux leather meeting heavily cologned guys with too many shirt buttons undone. I, at this stage of the weekend, am usually tucked up in bed or dozing off to Match of the Day. So this evening, a quiet post-festive Tuesday, Emma-Louise of Treats & Ting and I are grabbing a midweek bite, Bugle catch-up and the occasional cocktail. In contrast to its bubbly weekend persona, tonight is relatively sparse and sedate. Décor is I assume pretty much a template rollout of the Hope & Anchor brand – bit of funky, bit of neon, bit of mismatch, bit of deliberately oddjob ephemera … you know the drill.
Mrs Nick and I used to sneak down the road to Grand Union for its cocktail happy hour and today, there are still decent cosmos, spritzes and “pornstar” martinis, a good range of beers and frilly fizzes. The kitchen covers quite a lot of ground in a something for almost everyone kind of way. Very democratic. Burgers, wings, sourdough pizza, Sunday roasts, upmarket toasties and some decent sounding gastro dishes. Every menu has to have some ’nduja in there somewhere. We order crab fritters with tartare sauce, Somerset camembert with honey and thyme, the maple cured streaky burger and Cornish crab, ‘nduja and Ogleshield mac n cheese. That’s a lot of cheese and theoretically a lot of crab, but we are in comfort mode and its cold outside. The camembert is enormous, on its way to a 12”-single-sized (sorry Spotify generation) hot tub of melt. Nice retro 1970s fondue party indulgence. The crab fritters were a tad functional and light on the crab whereas the mac n cheese is liberally laced with said crustacean. The burger was perfectly decent. So, it’s a little unfair to apply a food (only) review to somewhere like this. Roughly speaking, Hope & Anchor is good at everything without being great, except at the weekends when it clearly packs itself out. The garden is well set for parties (once our neo-Siberian winter concludes) and this summer’s World Cup. Then the comfort food menu, soaking up the drinks, probably comes into its own.
123 Acre Lane, SW2 5UA | hopeandanchorbrixton.co.uk | 020 7274 8794 | @HopeAndAnchorSW
DIY COCKTAILS: CALCUTTA STREET’S BENGALI ROSE Shrim Chakraborty’s Calcutta Street has a nice Bengali family back story to its menu. Ditto the cocktails. Her Bengali Rose has a refreshing hint of rose and ginger and the fizz makes it a sparkling dinner party appetiser. Goes very nicely with Calcutta Street’s streetfood snacks and it’s easy peasy.
NN 15ml vodka NN 15ml rose liqueur (easily tracked own online) NN 5 drops of rose water NN Slice of ginger NN Champagne (you can use cava or prosecco)
METHOD 22 Stir, don’t shake, the rose liqueur, vodka and rose water with ice. 22 Strain into a champagne coupe. 22 Top with champagne or fizz of your choice 22 Garnish with a slice of ginger 395 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LG | calcuttastreet.com | @CalcuttaSt
Come on down to Electric Avenue’s favourite Caribbean restaurant and takeaway. Here at Healthy Eaters we serve freshly cooked, great value, great tasting authentic Caribbean food over the counter with speedy and friendly efficiency. So stop by for a take-away or sit a while and eat in. We have a downstairs eating area and we are open early lunchtime right through the afternoon.
17 Electric Avenue
Brixton SW9 8JP www.healthyeaters.co.uk 020 7274 4521
Stafford and the team, working tirelessly for Brixton
THE BRIXTON POUND CAFE: MONDAY – SATURDAY 8.45 am – 6pm
THE BRIXTON POUND The Brixton Pound Cafe: reducing food waste and opening up high street space Our community cafe grew from just a toaster and a few cafetieres in June 2016 to the bustling community hub it is today. We serve tasty vegetarian meals using food sourced from local surplus, and we have a unique inclusive ethos, using pay-what-you-can and community pricing which allows you to give generously to support others – or keeps your meal affordable. We want to run a high street cafe that is open to all, where no-one is turned away for lack of funds – and where our impact on the environment is net positive. Turning lots of food that would otherwise be thrown away
into delicious, nutritious meals is no mean feat, and our skilled staff and volunteers put their creative skills to use to create our ever-changing menu, which adapts to the delivery of the day. We turn gluts of fruit and veg into naturally preserved pickles and jams to go in your cheese
250 community events, workshops, meetings and celebrations held
OUR FREE SPACE FOR COMMUNITY GROUPS The B£ Cafe and basement studio are available for events, meetings, workshops – nearly every kind of happening, really! We know that it can sometimes be hard to find a place to run your
event or session, or hold your meeting, in Brixton, especially for community groups on a tight budget, so discounted rates are available for local community groups and others with a similar ethos. We also rent out our studio space to community groups entirely free of charge between 9am and 12pm on weekdays. AA Request a slot via our website at brixtonpound.org/spacehire, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
toastie; excess bread from local bakeries provides breakfast at our toast and toppings bar; and we’re also doing our best to reduce waste in the cafe, aiming to keep our packaging recyclable, composting with the help of our neighbours, and reducing the use of plastic.
2,000 plus meals served
MONEY AND SOCIETY COURSE
Mystified by Bitcoin and the rise of crypto currencies? Curious as to why there always seems to be some part of the world going through a banking crisis? Or just interested in finding out what keeps what seems like an entirely dysfunctional monetary system ticking? We’re setting up a study group at the cafe to work through the free masters-level online course Money and Society (http://bit.ly/IFLAS-MS), which runs for four weeks from 18 February. Free for anyone to join – if you’re interested, drop into the cafe and leave your email with our staff, and we’ll be in touch nearer the time.
ARTISTS WANTED! We provide an affordable platform for local artists to exhibit, either in our secret white-cube studio space beneath our cafe, ideal for exhibitions, or in the cafe itself. Get in touch if you’re a local artist looking for somewhere to install your work!
We have big things planned for 2018. We’ll be upgrading our kitchen facilities, using part of the money a bunch of you lovely people donated last year to our crowdfunder. If you like what we do and you would like to be involved, you can also volunteer
Got an old laptop you could donate to a good cause? Cafe regular Nick repairs laptops in need of speedup help, virus removal, decluttering, improving security, getting them into tip-top condition – either to return to you, or pass on to a local community group! Enquire or drop your laptop off at the cafe.
Don’t worry if you missed January’s showing of transition epic Demain at cafe, because our Friday film programme has lots more in store. In February we’ll be showing Seed: The Untold Story – a look at our food systems, the power systems that dominate them, and the unforeseen consequences. In the last century, the world lost 94% of its seed varieties – how can we find a way forwards against biotech companies, whose use of patent and corporate power is a David and Goliath battle with small farmers, scientists, lawyers and indigenous seed keepers for the future of our food. See(d) you there!
with us at the cafe – email email@example.com for more info. Or come along to our volunteer info evening on Wed 7 February 7-8pm. We would love to see you in the New Year at 77 Atlantic Road. Drop in to see us for breakfast, with toasted croissants, cereals, toast and toppings, and delicious freshly roasted Old Spike coffee, to have in or take away. Or hit us up at lunchtime for a cheese toastie, a fresh salad or a hearty warming soup. AA The B£ Cafe is open Monday-Saturday, from 8.45am to 6pm.
2,500 plus kg of food saved from the bin
WHAT’S ON AT THE B£ CAFE Wed 7 Feb: Volunteer info evening – find out what we do and how you can get involved, 7-8pm Saturday 10 Feb: Still on the Fence? Refugee Crisis Talk Series with speaker: Help 4 Refugee Children, 2:00 pm Friday 16 Feb: Let’s Laugh – Brixton’s most avant-garde comedy night in the Brixton Pound studio … free entry, BYOB, laughs guaranteed
REGULAR EVENTS Mondays: Life drawing, 7-8.30pm Tuesdays: Brixton Buddhist Centre meditation course (booking required – next course starting from April) Wednesdays: 9.30am-10.30 Mindful hatha yoga 4pm Parent & child yoga 7-9pm Brixton Rebels socialist reading club Thursdays: Vinyasa flow yoga 7pm Sunday: Kundalini yoga (starting 28 Feb)
7 7 At l a n t i c Ro a d | b r i x t o n p o u n d .o r g | @ b r i x t o n p o u n d | i n fo @ b r i x t o n p o u n d .o r g
20 WHAT’S ON brixtonblog.com 2018 FEBRUARY
Jamila Omar rounds up an eclectic February selection of gigs and more in Brixton and nearby
What’s on at Whirled
Monday 5 - Wednesday 7 8pm Sunday 11 6pm
Highlights at Whirled Cinema this month include Thursday 1, 8pm
The Work was screened in competition earlier this year at SXSW in Austin, Texas, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary. Set in a single room in Folsom Prison, California, the documentary follows three men from outside as they participate in a four-day group therapy retreat with convicts. The raw and revealing process that the incarcerated men undertake exceeds the expectations of the free men, ripping them out of their comfort zones and forcing them to see themselves and the prisoners in unexpected ways.
God’s Own Country, an award-winning debut feature from writer-director Francis Lee, sees Johnny Saxby working long hours on a remote farm in Yorkshire. He numbs the daily frustration of a lonely existence with binge drinking and casual sex. But when a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives in the lambing season, he finds himself dealing with emotions he has never felt before. Captivating and broodingly beautiful.
Thursday 8 8pm
Take your (well-behaved) dog to Whirled to see White God a 2014 Hungarian offering in which abandoned canine Hagen joins other feral dogs to lead a revolution (above) against human oppression. A beautiful and thought-provoking film that won Prize Un Certain Regard at the Cannes festival. £8 person (includes dog treat). Dogs free.
Whirled Cinema | 259 Hardess Street, Loughborough Junction SE24 0HN | 020 7737 6153
A5 Flyer Portrait
FRI 26 @ GIGALUM
MON 5 @ OFF THE CUFF
Already famous for their immense party atmosphere, this up-for-it Clapham venue, now with Australian management, will be taking AUSTRALIA DAY to another level this weekend, with a sausage sizzle, Australian DJs and live music. 7-8 Cavendish Rd SW4 9DW. 5pm to midnight. Free.
Heads Up is a weekly JAZZ JAM SESSION. The house band (Heads Up) will play the first set from around 8.30pm, then open up for a jam session at 9.30ish. Come and simply listen or join in (bring your own instrument!). Free.
SAT 27 @ FIRE & LIGHTBOX
The Prince Regent PUB QUIZ is held every Tuesday. Big cash prizes, free drinks questions and a rollover jackpot question that grows each week. Come down early because it’s first come first served. 8pm.
Set sail once again with the award-winning, world famous FAMILY RAVERS Big Fish Little Fish and their mates Camp Bestival as they bring acid house, techno, house, hip hop, drum’n’ bass for families with 0-8-year olds to this Vauxhall venue as part of the “Around the World in 18 Raves” Camp Bestival warmup tour. 2pm-4.30pm. 39 Parry Street SW8 1RT. £10 adults. £7 kids, pre-walking infants free.
SUN 28 @ PHONOX
Love REGGAETON? Then this is for you. The I Love Reggaeton party comes to Brixton, with DJs Khriz, Carlos Ortiz, Kevin “Gato” and Mauro “Cangri”. 10pm – 4am. £15.
MON 29 @ EFFRA SOCIAL Comedy improvisation show Duck Duck Goose host their IMPROV JAM plus guests in the Effra Social’s Churchill Lounge each and every Monday. You can watch or join in. From 7.30pm. Free.
TUE 30 @ EUROLINK BUSINESS CENTRE Join the Sincerely Louise team at a LEARN TO KNIT WORKSHOP. This snug studio is full of faux taxidermy, wool and friendly faces, with the experts on hand to teach you how to knit, help with any projects you’re working on or just have a natter about craft over a mug of tea or glass of wine. Experienced knitters welcome too. 7-10pm. £10.
WED 31 @ MARKET HOUSE
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House of Idiot is an ALTERNATIVE COMEDY show held upstairs at Market House every Wednesday. Take a walk on the weird and wonderful side, with sketch, character, musical comedy, clown, cabaret and more. 8pm. Free.
THUR 1 @ PRINCE OF WALES
T: 01702 460047
10pm – 3am Bleed Area remember to extend any colouring or images into this 3mm bleed area to avoid white lines appearing during th print finishing stages.
Trim Your job will be cut on the solid black line, any images or text placed in incorrectly .
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414 - 416 Coldharbour Lane - Brixton - London - SW9 8LF
An unforgettable, unique night of BINGO, BEATS AND BLING. Having taken North London by storm, Grandma Flash and the blingo crew will now be spittin’ numbers and droppin’ beats on a regular basis in Brixton. Expect a comedy, bingo game-show of phat prizes, dance-offs and lip-sync battles. Booking essential. Tickets are limited and include reserved seating. 6.30-11pm. £10-£12.
TUE 6 @ PRINCE REGENT
WED 7 @ BLUES KITCHEN An electrifying weekly SWING NIGHT where you can dance the night away or just sit back and listen to big band classics performed live by residents Old Hat Swing Band and The Basin Street Brawlers. 8pm to midnight. Free.
THUR 8 @ THE CAMBRIA David hosts this popular PUB QUIZ. Teams of six or less battle it out for a cash prize, which is doubled if the winning team gambles and answers the Killer Question correctly. Second place wins a bottle of wine. Each player will receive a raffle ticket for a Meal for Two voucher. 8pm, £2 per player.
FRI 9 @ PRINCE OF WALES Back by popular demand, Concrete Music’s infamous 90S PARTY is back on the rooftop, in the club room and in the secret karaoke room. Expect the best in 90s hip hop, old skool dance, house, UK garage, R&B and more, with 90s TV on the projectors. 9pm-4am. £3-£10.
SAT 10 @ DOGSTAR AudioSushi is one of Brixton’s longest running Saturday nights with DJs spinning deep house, bass bangers, classics and shouts from the floor – a non-stop full-on hands-inthe-air PARTY MIX. 9pm-4am. Free before 10pm, £5 after.
SUN 11 @ BAR 414 Grassroots Live Music. A weekly Sunday night that looks set to encourage and inspire local GRASSROOTS TALENT. UB40 trumpeter Patrick Anthony leads the experienced house band with resident DJs and Caribbean food available too. 10pm3am. Free.
MON 12 @ POP BRIXTON Neville from Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan runs this COMMUNITY TAI CHI class each and every Monday. Open to all ages and abilities. 12.30-1.30pm. Free.
FRI 2 @ DOGSTAR
TUE 13 @ HOOTANANNY
The Magic Robot is a destination for PARTY ANIMALS, with party-centric hip hop, funk, soul, disco, new hits, old favourites and all of your terrible requests. 10pm-4am. Free before 10pm, £5 after.
Bluebell Music presents an eclectic night of SOUL, JAZZ AND BLUES. Lucy Lu and her full band play with influences from Lisa Simpson to Miles Davis. With support from Lili Caseley. 8pm. Free.
SAT 3 @ BRIXTON POUND CAFE
WED 14 @ PRINCE OF WALES
Let’s Laugh is a COMEDY CLUB with line-ups featuring a mixture of newer up and coming acts alongside more established ones working on new material. This week features Richard Todd, Mickey Overman and more. Bring your own booze (£3 corkage). 7.30pm. Free.
After sold-out shows in Australia, Singapore and Edinburgh, F**K TINDER is returning to London for Valentine’s Day. Designed to get single people together, chat and have a laugh. Hosted by Scottish award-nominated funny man Chris Henry. 8-11pm. £20.
SUN 4 @ ELECTRIC BRIXTON
THUR 15 @ EFFRA HALL TAVERN
Acheilondres and Dude Picardo present a BRAZILIAN SPECTACULAR featuring Felipe Araujo. 6-10pm. £30.
Enjoy the great weekly LIVE JAZZ session at this much-loved classic Brixton boozer every Thursday night. From 9pm. Free.
FRI 16 @ COURTESAN
Enjoy late-night cocktails and dim sum with a live VINTAGE SOUNDS DJ set by Jeanie Crystal, who began playing in the strip clubs of East London, performing for up to eight hours at time, then hosting her own night, Pattern Party. 9pm-1am. Free.
SAT 17 @ ELECTRIC BRIXTON
“La Pollera Colora” presents its first show of the year. Two of the biggest REGGAETON superstars will be in London for one night only. Directly from Puerto Rico ArcAngel returns to the capital, with Colombian sensation Karol G (left). 9pm-5am. £45.
SUN 18 @ HOOTANANNY
Black Cultural Archives have a busy schedule
THUR 22 @ POP BRIXTON
What Time Out calls London’s most popular and raucous MUSIC QUIZ, Sounds Familiar, is a party in a music quiz format. They play clips of the best bits of tracks and people (normally) have to guess both the track and the artist. Fun categories include Round Of Cheese and Feel the Power Ballad. 7-11pm. £12.
FRI 23 @ MARKET HOUSE
The Friday Night THROWDOWN is held at this lively central Brixton venue across two floors each week. 9pm to late.
SAT 24 @ GREMIO DE BRIXTON
In the majestic crypt of St. Matthews Church, this authentic Spanish tapas restaurant/ bar oozes style and seduction. DJs play COMMERCIAL HOUSE on rotation from 10pm at weekends, open til late. Free.
Pegasus double bill to showcase women
SUN 25 @ CAFE CAIRO
Afro World Groove is a band created to expose a FUSION of cultures live on stage. Its members are professional musicians with lots of experience performing in clubs and festivals worldwide. 9pm-midnight. Free.
Every Sunday evening you can catch a FREE MOVIE at the fantastic Cafe Cairo. Check their Facebook page for which films they have in store each week. 7.30-11pm. Free.
MON 19 @ BLUES KITCHEN
MON 26 @ POP BRIXTON
Sexy BLUES TUNES paired with a side of succulent and saucy ribs. Each and every Monday night. 8pm-midnight. Free.
TUE 20 @ EFFRA SOCIAL
Tuesdays mean nothing other than PUB QUIZ. Tommy McArdle hosts one of the busiest quizzes in Brixton, with a cash prize for first place and booby prizes for second and second to last place. Starts at 8pm, £2 per person.
WED 21 @ WINDMILL
Yet another great and MIXED NIGHT at the Windmill with acts ranging from motorcycle punk from hell to delicate indie folk via angstridden art rock. See Taman Shud, Lectures, Happy Hooves, Parachute for Gordo and Joe Booley. 8pm. £4.
WHAT’S ON 21
Each Monday, Daddy, Mummy and Me TODDLER YOGA focuses on the children with the encouragement of parents, guiding their child to learn and grow. It includes breathing games, yoga postures, singing, stories, yoga games and music. 11-11.45am. Free.
TUE 27 @ BRIXTON £ CAFE
Brixton’s Triratna BUDDHIST Community offers a “practical course in enlightenment” over eight Tuesday evenings, starting today. 7.15-9.15pm. Booking essential (Eventbrite) £0 to £140 (full course).
Brixton’s Pegasus Opera is premiering a double bill showcasing women in lead roles – Ruth and The Dark Lady of the Sonnets. Four performances run from Wednesday 28 February to Friday 2 March 7.30 and on Sunday 4 March at 2.30 at St Paul’s the Actors Church, in Covent Garden WC2E 9ED. Ruth is based on the Biblical story and is a tale of acceptance, sacrifice and loyalty. In the lead roles are celebrated soprano Alison Buchanan (above) and Byron Jackson. The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, by George Bernard Shaw reimagines the first meeting between Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth 1. AA Tickets are £35, £25 and £15. To book, go to actorschurch.org or call 020 7501 9501.
Brixton’s Black Cultural Archives has an ambitious programme for 2018. It will be 70 years in June since HMS Windrush left the West Indies and BCA’s collection documents some of the journeys and the political, social, and economic contributions made by the pioneers on it. Another departure with significance for Brixton will be Brexit. And BCA is organising a conference on Thursday 15 March to consider the opportunities and challenges that Brexit has for Britain’s Black community. See bit.ly/BCA-BB. This month, a workshop themed around a tea party – The Reimagining of Self: Self-Love as a Practice – will explore ideas about what love is and what it means to love yourself as a Black woman. Tuesday 13 February 7-9pm. £7/£5. Taking place at the same time will be That’s Not Me, an attempt to break down stereotypes and to create a healthy self-image for Black men. Poets Corner returns for its Wednesday sessions of soul-nurturing poetry and spoken word from 7 February. 6.30-9pm. Aspiring young comic artists can draw their own Black superhero at a Black Panther inspired half-term workshop on Thursday 15 February 15. 11am - 12.30pm. £5. From 9 March to 10 May, the Family Ties exhibition will celebrate Ghanaian independence and look at everyday life there between the first half of the last century and now through the life of the Ghanain-British Adamah family and its royal antecedents.
The word on the street is...
WED 28 @ HOOTANANNY
NOVA presents Swedish charmer Carl Olander, playing a mix of FOLK, indie and pop music, supported by Joe Corbin, with his British blues and soul. 9pm-midnight. Free. LOU SMITH
Live at the Windmill … Brixton’s Windmill venue will once again be part of National Independent Venue Week. Now in its fifth year, it is a nationwide celebration of independence and a culture of live music and venues. All the best south London bands will be playing at the Windmill throughout the week from 29 January to 4 February. Hurry to book – last year all the nights sold out. Bands start at 8pm. Admission £5. Monday 29 January: Windmill favourites Goat Girl (above), plus Husky Loops and Dan Lyons
Tuesday 30 January: Madonnatron with special guests The Rebels and Peeping Drexels. Wednesday 31 January: Sorry; Ghost Kings of the Five Regions; Drug Store; and Romeos. Thursday 1 February: Warmduscher; Good Sad Happy Bad; and Black Midi. Saturday 3 February from 3pm: Phobophobes; Hotel Lux; Milk Disco; Famous; Suitman Jungle; Adults; Jacob Slater; Socket; Honkies; and Honey Hahs. Sunday 4 February: Horsey; LL Burns; and Jerskin Fendrix. AA www.independentvenueweek.com.
...that people love Eden Harper! Brixton property specialists in sales, lettings and property management Eden Harper Estate Agents 3 Arlington Parade, Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RH firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com 0207 274 3111
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What next for the Iron Man? James Ashworth, Year 3
I enjoy the Iron Man story because when he stumbled from the highest cliff into the sparkling sand pit all of his shiny body parts crashed and shattered all over the place. The hungry seagulls thought the iron man’s eyes were food and they scooped up his gloomy scared eye ball with their claw-like, scaly feet. The Iron Man’s broken hand crawled on its damaged fingers to his right eye ball that was left lonely on the sand. The story is told using a lot of interesting words that make the story really exciting. I love the fact that the story makes me feel different emotions towards the Iron Man. I feel sad for him as his body is broken and he feels lonely with nobody to help him get back together. I am really looking forward to finding out what will happen next to the Iron Man.
Heart, brain, stomach – so much to learn By Sahayla and Reezah (Year 6) Year 6 had a debate about which organ in the body we thought was the most important. We were put into groups and had to find facts about different organs like the heart, the brain, the stomach etc. In our debate we
had to use facts to support our arguments and criticise other groups. Each group had a chance to present their facts. It was fun to share what we had learnt. Sahayla said: “I was the stomach and each time a group gave a fact I listened carefully and found points to criticise. My group won
due to our explanations and the way we supported our facts. I was also ‘Star of the Week’ for my participation in the lesson”. Reezah said: “I enjoyed this lesson because it let me share my opinion and facts that I found about the brain that I have learnt whilst listening to others.”
You only have one life – so eat healthy food like veggies To achieve your goals, work hard and believe in yourself By Ashraf and David (Year 6) Year 6 was fortunate to be visited by a professional footballer, Junior Kazeem (above) who grew up in Peckham and now plays for Muskegon Risers in America. Junior told us about his journey and showed us videos of him playing in real football matches. “It was exciting to watch!” says Ashraf. “We found his journey very inspiring especially because he is from Peckham. He reminded us that if we work hard enough we can achieve our goals. “My highlight was seeing Junior play in person,” says David. “I really enjoyed this experience because we learnt that we should always believe in ourselves. A highlight for me was when he scored a penalty. The whole playground was cheering! He even came to watch us play in the league that we play in every Wednesday.”
Aiden and Najla, Year 2 Blue “In a dark, dark town. In a dark, dark street. In a dark, dark house …” This is the start of the exciting book we have been reading in Year 2 this half term; Funny Bones by Janet and Alan Ahlberg. As Year 2’s topic is Bones and Bodies, we were learning about skeletons. We are learning about skeletons because our bones are inside our bodies under our skin. In all of us. We were making a giant skeleton. We made skeletons with bones and drew round the person on the floor. We cut out some paper and then we stuck it in place. We went to the Horniman Museum to see skeletons. We saw a gorilla skeleton, a horse head skeleton, little chicken skeletons and a tiny monkey skeleton. We also saw real people who were dead now and we saw their bones. We saw the little bones too and the X-rays; they look like bones. This is how we survive. You need blood and a heart. You only have one life and that’s it. So we need to get healthier so our teeth won’t have pain.
If you eat healthy veggies then you get healthy. You need to stay alive. You need to not get hit by a car and don’t get electrocuted or don’t get run over by the train. You have to
jump over them so you survive. You need to eat healthy so you survive to 100 years old and to make sure your bones and your body are strong.
THIS IS YOUR NEW BRIDGE Iconic string vests in Brixton Market were among the things that inspired the winning entry in a competition to design a new look for the bridge across Brixton Road. When the outgoing “B OUR GUEST” message disappears, in its place will be a bold geometric design. “Come in love” and “Stay in peace” are the words that it will back. Behind the entry that caught the eye of judges for the competition organised by the Brixton Design Trail are architect Farouk Agoro, designer
Akil Scafe-Smith and visual artist Annie Nicholson. Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, chair of the judging panel, said: “We were so impressed by the breadth of submissions and wide engagement from local, and especially, young designers. “Farouk and Akil’s winning design is an intelligent and bold response to the brief, and a powerful message which speaks to the present and offers a welcome and parting gift for Brixton’s community and those passing by.”
SEE PAGE 13 IN OUR BRIXTON BID SECTION FOR MORE DETAILS
Farouk Agoro, left, and Akil Scafe-Smith
FURY AS COUNCIL SAYS ‘WE KNOW BEST’ ON HOMES ☛☛ from front page away the risk and need for funding from the council. More than 1,200 people who either live or work in Brixton have been involved in Brixton Green. In November 2013, after five years of lobbying, Lambeth council agreed to develop the Somerleyton Road site in partnership with the community and Brixton Green. Abigail Melville, Brixton Green community trustee and a former Lambeth councillor, told the Bugle that the decision “made a mockery” of the council’s claim to be a “cooperative” council that put community involvement at the heart of its development plans. She said that officers’ advice to elected council members not to
support the proposal was wrong and based on an assessment carried out in October last year. At an extraordinary board meeting immediately following the decision, Brixton Green decided to launch a campaign ahead of the local council elections in May. One board member said: “Feelings are running quite high given the huge amount of time, effort, goodwill and money that has been invested putting the community voice at the heart of this project.” A public meeting, “Brixton Voices”, has been called for Wednesday 7 March at The Department Store on Ferndale Road opposite the Bon Marché to seek to galvanise support and commitment to the council’s promise of “genuine community involvement in the management of
public assets”. Brixton Green believes it can build homes on Somerleyton Road faster than Lambeth council and says it could be ready to start in a year. The council, on the other hand, cannot yet say how the site will be developed. First news of the council’s plans came in an email to local Labour Party members with a link to an interactive map on Lambeth council’s Love Lambeth website. It named the Somerleyton Road developer as Homes for Lambeth. But as the Bugle went to press, the map showed the Somerleyton Road developer as “TBC”, an acronym usually translated as “to be confirmed”. A council spokesperson said the original entry was a mistake that had been corrected. Cllr Paul McGlone, deputy leader of
the council, said that : “Good progress is being made on the exciting plans for Somerleyton Road, with work due to begin shortly on the first phase of the development, which includes the relocation of Ovalhouse Theatre to Brixton. “The overall project will deliver more than 300 new homes, a new nursery and community and commercial space on a number of sites along the west side of Somerleyton Road in Brixton. “The council has worked closely with community group Brixton Green on their proposal for the remainder of the site, however significant legal and financial challenges have been identified in their proposal which means the council cannot proceed with it. “However, the council is absolutely committed to moving forward with
the overall scheme and to continuing to work with them and the local community to ensure continued community involvement at the heart of this exciting project.” Homes for Lambeth’s business plan was adopted by the council in January. It proposes to build an initial 300 new homes and to have more than 500 newly built homes under management in five years on a range of projects. The council said this business plan does not include Somerleyton Road. Homes for Lambeth will be in charge of the demolition and rebuilding of the Cressingham Gardens estate overlooking Brockwell Park – a plan that has also infuriated residents and led to accusations that the council is not listening to local people as it strives to build more homes.