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London Culture Magazine Winter 2010/11 Free

Reading Between The Lines

dance magic comedy circus busking theatre burlesque





Music, Film, Fashion, Events

welcome to

the performance issue idn’t win the Euromillions again. Got a parking ticket outside my house. Made a zombie movie. Stole a packet of chewing gum. Took the tube to Tooting and then back from Tooting. Played Playstation. Watched some bands. Did some interviews. Got made redundant. Have you got a job yet? Do I want a job? Made pizza. Met chefs. Went to the cinema. Did a pub quiz. Ran out of toilet roll. Had a Radox bath. Took my girlfriend to the airport. Sat in traffic. Listened to Sting. 1min37 of each track. Turned Sting off. Travelled in time. Spurs 3 Inter Milan 1. Considered the Mongol Rally. Planned an Xmas party. Went to a pop up shop. Danced in my front room. Went on Facebook. Went off Facebook. Paid off my credit card. Watched the Apprentice. Slagged off The X Factor (It’s Wagner, you pronounce it with a V you racist twat). Half listened to Newsnight. Someone was not going to be involved in the wedding. I heard it as “Newsnight can confirm that they will not be involved in the Royal Wedding”. Should I give a shit that William has acknowledged that the country is in financial turmoil? He’s got to decide whether to have his wedding in St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey. If you’re concerned, Will, then I suggest you try the registry office followed by a Burger King party. Ed. x


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~ contents ~













































Who we are: Editor Sam Lassman Watts ( Creative Director Nathan May ( Sub Editor Joe Bridal ( Fashion Editor Brenna Duncan ( C ontributing Designers Rebecca Hall & Josh King C ontributing Writers Rick Leaf, Adam Richmond, Chloe George, Jeion Nejad, Rae-Rae Bridge, Luke Jermy Mike Nagle, Geoffrey Beene, Edward Valand, Philip Charter, Siam Goorwich, Matt Owen, Robert Vaughan C ontributing A rtists Gareth Axford, Francois Arnould, Matt Mclean, Kathy Archbold, Aniela Murphy, Tom Leighton, Lara Taylor Front C over P hoto KT Lindsay Become a TOSer : A dvertising enquiries : Editorial enquiries : © No reprinting of anything without our permission Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company


the other side


GUIDE BEST XMAS MOVIE Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without its share of crap TV. But modern man has come so far since the dark days of nothing more than Channel 4. With that in mind, we asked some TOSers to argue the case for their favourite Xmas movie

Die Hard

One man. A dirty vest. A tower block. A gang of Euro terrorists. The simplest of ingredients for what is the finest Christmas movie ever made. This is not your run-of-the-mill cloying, family get together and discovering the meaning of Christmas bullshitathon. This is real. And bloody. Using that most loathsome of backdrops as its start – the Xmas office party - Die Hard wittily and economically introduces us to the folk wot will be held hostage, giving us something to care about, and also serves up the greatest blue collar action hero of all time, John McLane. And the greatest baddie of all time, Alan Rickman. Inventive action, lashings of humanity and one of the finest action movies of all time. Not festive enough for you, what about the words ‘Now I have a machine gun, ho, ho, ho’ daubed in blood on a dead terrorist’s vest?

Home Alone

It has, as movies do when you watch them as a kid, firmly embedded itself in my head. A film about the ultimate xmas present. Something deeper than the latest toy or video game or bong (or whatever else children desire nowadays). It is about getting your independence, gift wrapped. I didn’t so much vicariously enjoy this movie as feel rampant jealousy towards Macaulay Culkin’s character. Yes, I wished little more than to bite the hand that feeds me turkey and stocking fillers. I wished my family away. I wished that exotic land of Adulthood upon myself. This movie, like its comparable but non-yuletide Big, delivered this fantasy in cinematic form. We could be adults, and we could bloody do it better.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Those aren’t pillows!’ And this aint, technically a Christmas movie. Not just one of the best comedies around, but one of the best films. Chalk (Steve Martin) and cheese (John Candy) get bound together as Chalk tries to get home for Thanksgiving. Again, a simple premise that is made to soar through great set ups, even funnier pay offs and gag after quotable gag – ‘If I wanted a joke, I’d follow you into the john and watch you take a leak. Now are you gonna help me or are you gonna stand there like a slab of meat with mittens?’ It’s heartfelt too, supplying a heart tugging ending that makes you tear up and want to call everyone you love and tell them how much you love them. Yes it does.


Say what you will about Will Ferrell (go on, I dare you), but when it comes to portraying man-children who shout non-sequiters and fall over, nobody, and I mean nobody, does it better. Anchorman is for the highbrow Ferrell fans, Elf is unaccountably for those with that small child inside alive and well. It takes the simplest of simple fish-out-of-water conceits, adds elves and Santa, and jumps in with both feet. It never winks at the audience, it’s not smug, or knowing, or ironic, it’s simple, wholesome fun, made all the better for Ferrell’s off kilter brand of humour – ‘You sit on a throne of lies… You smell of beef and cheese’. It also boasts a winsome and lovely Zooey Deschanel as the sweet love interest. Sure the ending is so sickly sweet you’ll probably get diabetes, but it is a festive movie, and that’s how these bad boys roll.


Retraining by chloe george

thestreets If you’ve read the papers or certain blogs in the last few months, you might have noticed the liberal media rallying round the worthy cause of what’s officially called street harassment


cores of women journalists, and many, many women and girls in response to them, confirmed that they had experienced everything on the spectrum of street harassment, from being whistled at to being groped by strangers. Lots of men joined them to give their support to behaviour they found cowardly and frankly unimaginative. Even as a woman who has been whistled at, hissed at, called a slag and generally shouted at in the street, I was shocked at the extent of what I read. It seems pretty much every female in the country has been on the receiving end of this kind of experience, not just once but many times, and more frequently and extremely in cities like London, especially if you dare to dress in a way that, for whatever pathetic reason, make a small minority of men think it’s ok to shout at you or whistle at you as if you are some kind of canine. But, close behind this outcry – about an issue that if not as serious as cancer or sex trafficking or famine, still makes hundreds of thousands of women feel

intimidated and uncomfortable every day - are the Daily Mailers, the misogynists and the general pull-yourself-together crowd, ready to deny and roll their eyes. It’s easy to think that, once there’s a general consensus amongst decent liberal folk that something is utterly unacceptable, change will fall into place and we can all skip out into the streets wearing pants and feel safe. Not so, when so many people still think

in school): you can do whatever you like, and be as free as you want, as long as you don’t encroach on anyone else’s freedom. When you start to do that, it’s harmful, and it’s no longer cool (a direct quote from Mr Mill circa 1860). That, my friend, is liberty. It takes time for people to learn that women don’t want to be sexualised by strangers when they’re walking to the post office, or to the pub, or cycling home from work, and it takes even longer to equip young women and men with a language of what is acceptable and what isn’t. I’m 28 now, and I can just about – sometimes – say to someone ‘please don’t shout at me, I find it unpleasant/ uncomfortable/ intimidating’. Even if I can’t, I know for sure that it is wrong, and I know why. But if women younger than me are being shouted at or whistled

Women don’t want to be sexualised by strangers women are making a fuss, that they have no sense of humour, that street harassment is a compliment and that we should just loosen up, girls! Funnily enough, they don’t like it when you wolf whistle at their girlfriends. These punks need to remember a bit of John Stuart Mill from their history lessons (possibly the most important thing you’ll ever learn


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at or worse at school or college, and we’re not giving them the tool of language to stand up for themselves, or teaching young men about the concept of harm, then we’re failing to make an actual difference. We’re just blogging. And it isn’t enough. It’s time to retrain the streets. For more go to:

bench press

Fighting fit

We are constantly told how we should shape up, pump iron and slim down. So, is it worth it? Philip Charter reports


High rollers Pay £50 per hour to have someone bark at them to do more sit ups and eat fewer crisps. British gym goers pay an average of £481 per year to be a member. That’s £5 a pop even for regular visitors. Could that money be better spent on less wasteful ways to achieve your fitness goals? There are lots of alternatives to visiting an air conditioned box to bounce up and down on treadmills like caged hamsters. Running is a great example of a ‘gym sport’ where you can train for free, join a club or compete in friendly races with a great atmosphere. Private class costs for aerobics, yoga or use of a swimming pool rarely top £5 per hour. They provide expert instruction and a schedule of weekly exercise. So why do we lock ourselves away in the gym? The carefully constructed image of gyms complete with ripped bodies definitely attract some punters. Others balk at the thought of paying money up front and prefer a monthly subscription. Gyms look like a very public way to exercise, but their draw for most is quite the opposite. People exercise in their own world, controlled by bleeps and digital displays. Headphones in, clamber onto your machine and put the blinkers on. Has exercise become as impersonal as the commute?

ou can’t go more than 50 yards in our image-conscious capital without seeing a Fitness-First, yet we spend more time paying lip service to exercising than actually working out! We all know someone who claims to go to ‘three spin classes every week’, and gets to one every three weeks. Likewise, there are plenty of people who think devouring Men’s Health from cover to cover is as good as an hour on the cross-trainer. Gyms certainly help people feel better about themselves. Memberships have risen from 4.2m in 2004, to 5.27m in 2010. Yet where is the drop in obesity? Where is the dramatic increase in sporting prowess of the country hosting the 2012 Olympic Games? It’s nowhere to be seen. That’s because around one third of gym members go less than once a month. Good value eh? So what about the people who do make it through the doors? Quick fixers People who get frustrated about not dropping a dress size in one week. Gym cheaters Those that spend time watching football games on screen whilst jogging slowly, or reading OK on an exercise bike. Team players Regulars at classes but don’t like exercising alone.


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Aniela Murphy (www

LONDON LIFE You just gotta love livin’ in this fantabulous burg. Doncha?! There’s just such a lot happenin’. If Marvellous Marvin (Gaye) were to spring back and sing “Hey brother, what’s goin’ on?” Y’might haveta sit him down awhile and describe to him all the happenin’s. I shall urge upon ya just a few irst up, and this is a curious one I know, a film on the very edges of cinema: The Arbor, a genre-busting cinematic experience that almost defies description. At heart it is the tale of a family in great turmoil; the choices and consequences that have befallen them; the responsibilities reneged on and the dignity of people most of us choose not to look at. Weird to have a film in a performance section for sure, but this is a special film in which the performances


are key. Not because they are trite ‘Oscar-winning’ performances, but because the technical demands placed on the actors would seem to relegate them to the role of puppets, but instead give untrammelled dignity to the characters they portray. In short, the words spoken are by real people from an estate near Bradford, but acted/mimed by professional actors. The result is that, without a camera and cloaked in anonymity, the original testimonies are free from fear or


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vanity and are then emboldened by the presence of dissociated and very able performers. The effect is brutal and paints a picture of Britain that many of us won’t recognise and more will not like. The question the film asks of the viewer is whether we are prepared to take a measure of responsibility: Are we prepared to perform a function in the lives of those less fortunate than us? Well, are ya? Next up is the forthcoming traipse around parts British by those mad mavericks of the Music Scene that are Bellowhead. They have a new musical disc available from all good shopping emporiums and on the www called ‘Hedonism’ (surely headonism?). Produced by the inestimable John Leckie, of great and deserved

fame, the new disc sees the Heads stomp into new aural ground. The songs are great, the arrangements genius and the whole package delightful. Watch out for Sally Rackets near the end, she’ll get yer goat. Guaranteed. If ya wanna have a laugh and don’t mind dipping your toes into what has become the Mainstream by dint of being really rather brilliant you will not get more larfing per squid splashed than if ya catch Bill ‘The Troll’ Bailey in the West End for his stint spinning his Dandelion Mind. I nearly die every time I see Mr B perform such is his ability to choke my breathing tracts with loud guffaws and unstoppable mirth and merriment. I just was listening to the Stones from way way back, a rather good track called “Dancing with Mr D”, I can think of little that would bring me more joy than “Laughing with Mr B”. An’ if sport be yer bag and you want performance of an entirely mind altering variety, you gotta check out the Spurs at White Vart Lane. I know Chelski sit atop the Prem, but their supporters are either meedya poseurs or hardcore thugs, The Arse lie second today but why-oh-why wouldya wanna watch footie in a library? Fulham are quaint down at the Cottage, but struggling with a change of leadership. West Ham? Don’t make me laugh. Then there’s the ‘oops and Charlton, Brentford and Orient. BUT, if ya want Thrills and Spills and a White-Knuckle Ride it’s gotta be the Lane. High quality performances and high quality blunders in the blink of an eye: It would be hilarious if it weren’t quite so predictable to those of us

who’ve known the vagueries of supporting Tottenham all these years. And now a private treat from the hard shoulder of a road rarely travelled. Well not really private, more a protected delight, that as yet seems undiscovered by the masses. In Crouch End, in a pub (the King’s Head) in the basement on the last Tuesday of every month (except December

it, even if Jazz does not happen to be your bag! This is performance at its improvised, exuberant and exhilarating best. And now a note of hope. A wish sent out into the ether. A dream I share with all of youse. Whilst attending a performance of whatever description could we please desist from yakking through it! Swapping phone numbers/ discussing past holidays/ shopping

“sweat drips and the cheeks and jowls coexist in harmony” and January I believe) is an event that’ll blow your socks clean off. GILLESPIANA. Last time I went there musta been a dozen saxes of various sizes and configurations, six trumpets, three trombones, coupla tubas, a piano player and timpani up the kazoo! They riff on the songbook of the eponymous Diz, but take flight and achieve a glorious lift off. This is not the rarefied atmosphere of the Fest hall or the Barbicant, it’s a rough and ready basement where the sweat drips and the cheeks and jowls coexist in harmony. Music as it was meant to be and thrilling to boot. Proper songs extrapolated without indulgent noodling. This is performance in its essence. I cannot urge you hard enough to take a chance on


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trips or sumptuous meals whilst said performance is in progress? Its not on. It’s f*cking rude. I know we all gotta meet and greet our intendeds someplace and to get to know them a little better over time, but can I just suggest that a performance of someone else’s Thang, that others have paid to witness, is neither that time or place. Please. Most joints have a bar these days and there are always the bogs to get better acquainted if that’s yer trip, but the auditorium is a sacred space for a union twixt performer and audient. Let’s keep it that way and immerse ourselves in the glorious diversity of all our bright city has to offer. Please. Hear more from Cardorowski @

stage fright

Mucking An Edward Valand production

about in tights Ssssssssssssshhh! Turn off your phone. Sit up straight. Pay attention – this is art, yeh? »

“bad acting is like bad sex: over-excited, awkward and self-indulgent”

“the actress playing Miss Julie used to be one of the twins in Hollyoaks”

“I would argue that the same effect can be achieved by hanging around a busy kebab shop” 10

the other side

like the idea of the theatre, but the reality doesn’t – in my experience at least – live up to the promise. Good theatre should be about doing away with artifice, forcing the audience to forget for a couple of hours that what they’re watching is ‘acting’ and to believe that it is ‘being’. It doesn’t take much to shatter the illusion though. Hearing a novelty ring-tone of ‘Is this the Way to Amarillo?’ during the final act of Ibsen’s The Master Builder is a bit like finding a pubic hair in a Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the Difference’ lasagne; it spoils the exquisitely crafted mood that was being strived for and ruins it for everybody. Similarly, the experience of going to see a bit of Strindberg in a provincial community arts centre is diluted when all you can think of is how the actress playing Miss Julie used to be one of the twins in Hollyoaks. It’s an unwarranted intrusion of sordid reality into something that should be beautiful and profound.


KEBABS Acolytes of the theatre – whether they’re actors, playwrights or just terminally pretentious – will argue that theatre gives us something we can’t experience anywhere else: something that is happening ‘in the now’, something risk-taking and completely immersive. I would argue that much the same effect can be achieved by hanging around a busy London kebab shop in the early hours of the morning. You’ll experience pretty much the full gamut of what the theatre has to offer – drama, comedy, action, despair, violence, music

and romance – for a fraction of the cost. I’m not saying you’ll see much beauty necessarily, but if you’re lucky someone might get their tits out. And if we’re talking about taking risks, eating a large lamb doner with extra chilli sauce at 3am is right up there with the Russian roulette scene in The Deer Hunter. The best plays I’ve ever seen have taken place in my head. Reading Shakespeare is always going to be enlightening, entertaining and moving. And you don’t have to be sitting with hundreds of complete strangers in a dark room to do it. In the wrong hands though, seeing Shakespeare being performed on stage can be excruciating – the kind of thing that puts people off literature for life and can only really be enjoyed by English teachers because they can laugh at the ‘funny’ bits to show that they’re in on the joke, and the actors involved because it gives them an excuse to wear tights. Bad acting is like bad sex: over-excited, awkward and selfindulgent, with the emphasis on all the wrong places. And it usually ends with someone standing by a window, looking out and sobbing. Frequently, theatre can just be piss-poor and embarrassing. An actor playing a middle-aged alcoholic New Yorker is all well and good if the actor in question is Jeff Goldblum, but if it’s a 22-year-old drama graduate from Biggleswade called Rupert, the illusion vanishes quicker than Jason Donovan’s dignity during a performance of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. One of the strengths of the theatre is that it forces the audience to engage in some way


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with what is happening in front of them. It is difficult, for example, to ignore a real human being who is pacing up and down six feet from you, emoting loudly and waving their arms around in an attempt to convey a sense of crushing existential angst. Of course, in this situation, ‘engaging’ is in all likelihood just going to involve thinking “What a prick” and trying to avoid eye contact. CRAPFEST Theatre in general seems to be very impressed with itself. It is often seen as being in some way more ‘legitimate’ than, say, cinema, and carries an air of pofaced seriousness around with it. It’s fairly common for big-name Hollywood stars to slum it for a few months by appearing in a West End production of Pinter so that they can add some muchneeded credibility to their CV, before jetting back to LA to appear in Jerry Bruckheimer’s latest blockbuster crapfest. Even Danny Dyer’s at it. SPECTACLES I suppose what I’m trying to say is that theatre rarely comes up to the high standards it sets itself. It is either something stuffy and elitist, hamstrung by its own pretensions coupled with mediocrity, or it is brash, loud and filled with more spectacle than a branch of Dollond and Aitchison. It really doesn’t need to be though, and it isn’t always like this – there are some great things being done in theatres of all sizes in London that are well worth going to – but if I were you, I’d probably take a book just in case.

Highgate to The Olympic Stadium This is the time of year where we eat copious amounts of food and sit vacantly staring at the TV. This year you could walk off some of those Quality Street on the Capital Ring whilst taking in the Olympic Stadium. From Highgate to Finsbury Park you’ll walk along the remnants of the Old North London Line and then from Finsbury Park to Hackney Wick you can wander along the towpath by the Lee Navigation waterway. It’s eight miles from start to finish but it’s mostly flat.


15 Dec 8pm - 2am £5 / £4adv The Macbeth, 70 Hoxton Street You know those gigs you go to where one year later you can say to your mates, “I was there”, well, the TOS xmas party will be a bit like that. Two bands from the now infamous Blessing Force movement from Oxford, Chad Valley and Trophy Wife will be joining North London’s very own Othello Woolf performing live. Expect mince pies, eggnog, christmas jumpers and chestnuts roasting on an open fire plus plenty of DJs and dancing.

Boris Bike it on christmas Morning

BHVU Christmas Art Market

There are few times during the year where London is reminiscent of 28 Days Later, but one of them is Christmas morning. We suggest you get up early. We’re talking 6am here and head to town with a camera, collect a Boris Bike and enjoy the freedom of cycling down Oxford Street or around Picadilly circus roundabout without being taken down by a 91 Bus, a white van or a gnarly cabbie.

The BHVU will be holding a Christmas Art Market over four weekends from November 27th until December 18th/19th (open 12 - 6pm) alongside an exhibition showcasing works by over 40 artists. The market will feature rotating stalls selling handmade gifts, cards, jewellery, fashion and other unique christmas gifts.

Get your key from

Unit A, Leswin Place, London N16 7NJ

Move: Choreographing You

Drawing Fashion at the Design Museum

Use your mind and body to gain a new understanding of perception this autumn. Become a participant - and in some cases a dancer - in installations and sculptures by internationally renowned visual artists and choreographers from the last 50 years. The exhibition explores how dance has been a driving force in the development of contemporary art since the 1960s.

Drawing Fashion celebrates a unique collection of some of the most remarkable fashion illustrations from the twentieth and twenty first centuries. With drawings from top fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior, Comme des Garcons and many more. This is an ideal opportunity to see over 30 years worth of fashion drawings, rare magazine covers and examples of some of the clothes shown in the illustrations.

The Hayward Gallery Until 9th January

Until March £5-8.50

Mason and Taylor

A new pub in Bethnal Green The team behind the Duke of Wellington in Dalston are opening a new drinking den on the premises of what used to be Green & Red on Redchurch St. It’s going to be serving locally sourced fine ales, traditional and local British food. We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for the pre-opening on 8th Dec where you can go and taste some of the food and drink their booze. Just email with your name before 6th Dec to be in with a chance of winning.

Find more great places in London @


hen I was eleven I was invited by the music teacher Mrs Arthur to play Prince Charming in the school production of Cinderella. It was my first real taste of the stage and also involved me having to kiss a girl. I’ve been on TV too, the most memorable was Top Banana which was a 90s Saturday morning kids’ show. I was the one who had to answer the questions. The first contestant was asked “How many bags of wool did Baa Baa Black Sheep have?” Then they asked me where the Grand Canyon was! I was nine and it wasn’t fair. However, I did get a majorly cool orange bum bag and an Aswad record. These days performance is all around us, and the mainstream is going overboard. You could watch something like 20 hours of The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing over a weekend (if you wanted to). There’s so much more to performance than crap TV. Burlesque, Cabaret, Lindy Hop... you name it, London has it. Turn the telly off and get out of the house, ’cos one day it’ll be too late and you’ll regret the fact you wasted your life watching Simon Cowell chat shit. I give you...

the performance issue


burles que dance

circus magic T comedy e r T t a P the


urn h e age

*a ludicrous imitation or caricature... Burlesque. That’s just fancy stripping isn’t it? What the middle class cognoscenti do for titillation because they’re too snooty for pound in a pint glass boozers. Well yes. But there’s feathers and tassels. And dinner is served, so it’s just more classy than the stick-floored Griffins of this world. But where to go you ask? Well, read our handy guide of the key venues in London...


The Wam Bam Club This burlesque malarkey aint cheap, and it’s not all about boobs neither, there’s cabaret (which generally means bawdy double entendres from a man in drag) as well as tassles. The Wam Bam club costs 35 quid in advance, and 50 quid on the door. I imagine that’s to dissuade boozed up priapic ne’er do wells from stumbling in to sneak a look at some tit. The interiors are opulent and old school, so you get something for your buck. Shows are on throughout December. / CAFE DE PARIS, PICADILLY

Proud Cabaret Held in a elegant, ornate surroundings, at Proud Cabaret you can dine in the style of a Hollywood supper club. Aint that swell? The performers are suitably classy and bare of flesh – that’s blokes and birds. Voix De Ville offers up the usual mix of cabaret and burlesque with a swing and blues soundtrack, while The Tassel Club serves up, er, tits and tassels, and circus acts. There aint no party like a Camden party and with a 4am closing every Wednesday to Saturday in December, this is the place to be. / CAMDEN

Cellar Door On Saturdays, CellarDoor hosts burlesque classes followed by camp cabaret and burlesque inspired entertainment. Prices are £29 for the class or £55 for the class and show. / COVENT GARDEN

The Peacock

This little bolthole serves up its burlesque early on in the evening, priming the club happy folks with a bit of sauce before the club nights get properly banging. It serves up Belgian beers and 2-for-1 cocktails in the week, and throughout Christmas is running an impressively glitzy Hollywood Stars Xmas Dinner. CLAPHAM

Chaz Royal’s New Years Eve Burlesque Ball

A sterling line up of the best in classic striptease and variety acts, ring the new year surrounded by the beautiful people, why don’t you? Acts include Betty D’Light (she is one) and Beau Rocks (boy does she). Tickets are between £30-£50, and as per every new year, it will book up early, so don’t be a mug. / BUSH HALL


This calls itself the most decadent little supper club in town, and you couldn’t ask for something more central. Well, I suppose the Wam Bam in Picadilly counts as more central, but at Volupte you can avoid the West End scum and stick to the periphery and go for something a little more low key. They’ve got a lovely Christmas menu and events throughout December. / HOLBORN

For the full chat & more snaps go to Image by Neil Kendall.

Kitty Bang Bang is the remarkable result of a grounding in classical ballet and an upbringing of a decidedly ‘Irish’ nature. Siam Goorwich took some time out of her day to meet the “gin-soaked Princess of British Burlesque” How did you get Burlesque scene ?



I trained as a dancer when I was younger and went on to work as a commercial dancer and choreographer while doing my degree in English. When I left university I worked for magazines and missed performance but didn’t really have time to do shows. One day a model friend called to say she’d been approached to perform a burlesque dance at a product launch and would I help her put a show together. I had no idea what burlesque was really so I went away and did some research and put together a show for her. I had so much fun that I ended up doing the show with her and I’ve never looked back since. Journalism fell by the wayside and now I perform professionally full time. What is your favourite Burlesque performance ?


Some shows that stood out for me have been the Palazzo Grassi in Venice during the Venice Carnival. I’d never been to Venice before and we stayed in an amazing hotel. The carnival was so spectacular and I spent three days running around Venice swathed in rhinestones and fur, drinking endless bellinis. I also loved being part of a huge event for Beefeater gin that was run by Boom Boom Club, a club in East London that I perform regularly at. They built


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an actual hedged maze in a square in Madrid with a gin fountain and a stage at the centre. There were Spanish TV crews everywhere and the gin was free flowing. It was such a glamorous fun event and I had a beautiful Westwoodesq gown specially made for me. Other stand out shows have been in Las Vegas and performing in a Bollywood film over in India. I love all of the travel that this job affords me. What is your favourite Burlesque club in London ?

Boom Boom which is held every Thursday at The Bathhouse in East London. They are consistently the most creative, anarchic and fun bunch of people to work with. The acts that they manage to get to perform there are of such a high standard. You’ll see some of the cast of La Soiree pop in, famous faces and East London characters... It’s always really really good fun. Who is your Burlesque idol? I don’t really have a burlesque idol per se. The performers that I like are generally the ones who bring humour to their acts or some sort of skill like ballet or fire. Currently I love watching Dirty Martini, Fancy Chance and Laurie Hagen. All three girls are sexy but funny, sometimes political and all move beautifully. But I wouldn’t call them my idols... I’m lucky they are my friends!


Laughter & forgetting

Jerry Seinfeld notes that people’s number one fear is talking in front of an audience and that their second is death… so if you’re at a funeral you’d rather be the guy in the coffin, thaN the guy giving the eulogy. With that in mind, Jeion Nejad takes the bold step of trying to be funny, in front of an audience


erformance for me is a compulsion; I am an addict. Some gigs bestow an indescribable sensation, perhaps even one of a spiritual nature. Others have seen me lose my mind and end up in hospital. Up until recently my role in these recitals has been almost exclusively as a guitar player working within various bands, and although my musical exploits have not waned, I have of late found myself drawn to a new neighbourhood of performance: stand-up comedy. I asked myself, why am I doing this and what makes a good stand-up? But before worrying too much about the answers I thought it best to go and do some, “One step at a time, Martin”, as the dad in the Kellogg’s ad used to say. I wrote five minutes of incredibly self-indulgent material that included an impression of

myself as a horny fourteen yearold with OCD, and a cringeworthy anecdote about a recent visit to the urology clinic. My first gig was downstairs at the Plum Tree in Farringdon, performing to about ten other comedians and five punters. It went well, people laughed, the other comics told me I should continue to do stand-up. Laughter, validation from peers; I felt very pleased with myself. The next gig, Comedy Car Crash in Piccadilly’s Bar Rumba was a names-out-of-a-hat, long-haul, open-mic affair. By the time I went on I had been at the venue for over three hours and I was nervous. The atmosphere was flat. How was my theatrical, self-referential material going to be received? I did what my inner guitar player would do: play it punk style. Bad move. Performing with more intensity distanced me from the audience and as I ranted on I felt increasingly akin to the


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mad preacher with an ASBO that used to stand outside Oxford Circus. I was left feeling empty and reassessing my approach and indeed my intentions for even doing stand-up. In Milan Kundera’s ‘The Book of Laughter and Forgetting’, he condemns those people who, at a certain point in their lives, decide to write a novel regardless of their inability to achieve the task and their ignorance of the world around them. Was my aspiration to do stand up reasonable, or was I just another poor ego-manic, desperate to be heard because, “I’ve got stuff to say”? Luckily, I was saved from my existential, comedic crisis by an obligation to write a best man speech in honour of my close friend, Ralph. I was happy working within the conventions of the wedding speech; the limitations meant I could focus

in on expressing my relationship with Ralph through jokes, honest thoughts and occasional lies, all the while performing in a natural and non-confrontational style. The speech was a resounding success and my ego was massaged by many a drunken uncle. And thusly I had an epiphany: the stand-up I should perform (and I emphasise, I) should be somewhere between a best man’s speech and a theatrical act, and should adhere to many of the conventions of a musical performance; self indulgence followed by audience inclusion, tempo changes, varying arrangements, alternating dynamics, and even silence. Having established a few guidelines I felt it necessary to do some research. Without a doubt, the two acts whom inspire me the most are Stewart Lee and Daniel Kitson. Over the years they have

pushed the boundaries of what the art form can achieve in terms of delivery, content and structure (you will note that I refer to stand up as an art form, and if you have seen them live I am certain you’d agree). They have too many attributes for me to go into in detail, but on revisiting some of their material I decided that if I could combine Kitson’s master story-telling and Lee’s ruthless pragmatism I would be, for want of a better word, chuffed. And so to my latest gig as compere at a folk night for Oxjam. I ended up doing two sets totalling about twenty-five minutes of performance. I delivered some loosely prepared material about folk music and esoteric culture, and spent the rest of the time referencing the surroundings and the acts. Something happened in the initial set that gave me my first taste of comedic triumph: I told


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a short story about being cajoled into going to a Christian youth club at the age of eight, and I ended the skit with a whispered prayer. This latter portion went down very well and I managed to set a good rhythm and pace, which allowed laughter after every line. Rather than let the piece end I then began to reference the audience’s reaction as part of the prayer, commenting on their silence during my exposition and their resultant laughter. This real-time analysis of the joke is a popular technique that modern comedians employ and I have to admit I felt relatively smug pulling it off. To paraphrase Stewart Lee’s address to his audience in his show, 90s comedian: “I’m not saying I’m Jesus; that’s for you to decide”, I am not saying on this occasion I was as good as Stewart Lee; that, is for you to decide. After three gigs and a best man’s speech, I am hooked. I am, at the end of the day, a geek, spending much of my time furthering my abilities as a guitar player and songwriter by listening, experimenting and practising. Stand-up requires exactly the same approach if one is to craft a quality set. Originality, as with music, will come from learning the rules in order to break them, and working around set parameters with the intention of innovating from within. I have a long way to go though. I feel the following review by an audience member at my last gig best describes my current proficiency: “Well done mate. Shit jokes, great delivery.”

meet the performers Gary Colman, Comedian Is this your day job? No, by day I work a couple of hours a week as a freelance General Practitioner. Why did you choose it? Since I was a kid I always wanted to do comedy, however growing up on a council estate in Newcastle I had no idea about how to become a performer (think Billy Elliot with fewer leotards). I ended up working as a doctor in the army, before eventually doing my first gig aged about 36. Tell us about your best performance... I generally love all my shows. I tend to enjoy longer sets so I’m very much enjoying doing my one hour show ‘Gary Colman is... very rarely wrong’. Most embarrassing performance... I once hosted a ‘new act’ comedy night at the infamous Goth themed Intrepid Fox pub in Soho. The acts were always dreadful, often clinically insane, not so much stand-up comedy, more care in the community. To drum up passing trade one hot summer night I decorated the fake gargoyles outside the venue with balloons and advertised ‘ free ice-cream’ (it was meant to be ironic). The only punters we got in were a family of Malaysian tourists (mum, dad, a dozen or so kids) who had assumed from the posters that this was a family friendly show. As ‘emcee’ I spent an excruciating evening in a dungeon themed bar, introducing a succession of increasingly dreadful new acts – all of whom had chosen rape and/or paedophilia for the subject of their gags. After each act I had to go back on stage to a stunned mum and dad and a confused bunch of kids wolfing down my choc-ices. I can only hope they didn’t speak English and thought they were watching an alternative version of The Chuckle Brothers. What’s the most money you have ever made from one performance ? I got £350 for a 20 minute set for a birthday party. What is your favourite London haunt? I like the bar in the Kings Head Theatre, Islington.

Roses Urquhart, Cabaret writer

Is this your day job? Yes, but I also work as a drama facilitator and have a cabaret act, Circularity Thinking: a spoof business presentation bringing hula-hooping to the boardroom that’s on the cabaret and corporate circuit. Why did you choose it? I trained as a classical actress and the Night Kitchen (which Roses writes and directs) has character actors at its core, but other family members played by dancers, musicians and circus performers and it’s really exhilarating being around new people and skills. Tell us about your best performance... The Big Green Gathering festival in 2007. I first created The Night Kitchen for the festival circuit because I wanted to build a bridge between my world of classical theatre and the riotous energy of festivals that I found so compelling. Most embarrassing performance... I was playing Mia/Oberon in ‘The Donkey Show’ – a New York disco Midsummer Night’s Dream – and during a dance sequence my wig flew off into the audience and I was left in my wig cap! Have you ever actually ‘broken a leg’? No but I’ve swung an ice-skate into my forehead! Where can we catch you performing next? The next Night Kitchen will be The Imbolc Blues at Clerkenwell Theatre, Exmouth Market, 27-30 Jan and 3-6 Feb 2011.


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Nicola R aby, Actress Is this your day job? I work freelance as an actress and I’m also head of client relations at theatrical agency, Red Hot Entertainment. Why did you choose it? According to my mum I have been plotting my way into the entertainment business since I was three years old and watching Blue Peter. They were doing a Christmas pantomime and I asked ‘how do I do that?’

Kamala Devam, Dancer

Is this your day job? Yes. A do a bit of teaching now and again, mostly for GSCE dance students, but I mostly work two to six month contracts dancing for other choreographers.

Tell us about your best performance... I loved being part of BBC One’s ‘Doctors’. I played a sassy and determined ‘Alison Fields’.The team on Doctors work so fast, you barely get a rehearsal, so I’m glad when I watch it back you can’t actually see I am flying by the seat of my pants!

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Tell us about your best performance... The first time I performed at the Queen Elizabeth What’s the most money you have ever made Hall on the Southbank was amazing. Walking out from one performance ? onto the stage facing 900+ seats was surreal. I really In the early years I was in a popular fast food company felt like I had made it. TV commercial. I looked very fetching in the baseball cap! It was my first taste of the commercial world; the drivers, the Winnebago’s, the immense catering and Most embarrassing performance... I ended up screwing up a really important unison silly amounts of money they pay you to say one line. sequence at that first show at QEH! I remember What is your favourite London haunt? freaking out for only three seconds, I was mortified! The Hackney Empire. I played ‘Sally’ in the sell out Have you ever actually ‘broken a leg’? production of ‘The Brothers’ written by Angie Le Mar. No, but I broke a nose once! Where can we see you performing next? I am part of the site specific theatre company Where can we see you performing next? Check for upcoming shows. ‘The Squat Collective’

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thumbs up for theatre...


Audience participation? Not on my watch! by rae-rae bridge


he Brits love it, for all their stiff upper lip and emotional restraint, nothing beats a bit of panto for a middleaged parent with little tots. I can’t stand it. I do not like audience participation. The phrase, ‘he’s behind you’ is a sentence that is not just an irritant to my ears; it makes me want to rip them off. It’s a phrase that in any other situation would have us defecating ourselves, and wondering who the hell is behind us?! Horror films are a prime example, this sentence usually has the words ‘Watch out’ belted out prior to delivery, and before the actor loses their head. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where audience participation has become integral, started in the seventies in the US with the UK following a few years later. Audience participation has grown to such an extent that the audience can buy props in order to contribute to the performance, and it has become de rigueur to dress up, whether in basques, stockings or heels (this is certainly not female subjective,) their golden rule ‘There will always be someone who looks more out of place,’ is a key note to remember.

Audience members are asked, “are you a virgin?” and like a nervous new member pledging into a fraternity, it is those who are required to participate on stage. In order to ease nerves and to not appear as a ‘virgin,’ an online guide can be found giving the rundown on what’s to be expected (a dancing audience), what not to wear (striped sweatshirts) and what is shouted at certain characters (Brad is an arsehole and Janet is a slut.) This I like. It is when one turns up blind to a show, paying for a ticket because it sounds good, and then expected to participate, that is where the trouble starts. Personally, I have an immense fear of this, I sit through the entire show writhing around in my seat hiding behind people and avoiding eye contact in order not to get picked on. When the performer approaches they receive a look, a look I have perfected that screams “Do not, I repeat do not fucking touch me or I will go psycho on your ass.” Watching an audience member dragged on to stage to then suffer from a massive panic attack is not what I paid to watch, or personally endure, (although there will always be some sicko


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out to enjoy this sort of thing) and nor have the rest of the audience. It’s completely cringe-inducing and there is always some sort of attempt at awkward humour from an embarrassed participant. It just adds to the gripping pain, especially when the audience inevitably do not laugh. While watching Meow Meow, a gorgeous, glittering cabaret act at Soho theatre, who was truly exquisite, you could see and hear the years of classical training. Plus, her ability to quaff half the audience’s wine while crowd surfing was impressive. But members of the audience were called upon to help her out. Particularly male. One forty-something gentleman was asked, and surprisingly leapt at the chance. You could see his wife squirming and straining to control an anxiety twitch that had developed in her forehead, her mouth was cast into a strangled grimace. She was clearly uncomfortable with her husband’s face squashed deep in another woman’s breasts whilst she sang love songs and stroked his bald head. What is an audience to do? Get the latest theatre news @

Busking We followed five buskers around London...

words and pictures by françois arnould

Vasha I can’t remember the last time I saw someone play with so much passion. I first met Vasha in Piccadilly Circus. The place was empty, no cars passing by at that time of night, and his saxophone sounds could be heard all over the place. He mostly plays during the night around Piccadilly Circus and Green Park. It is almost as if he is trying to find the best outdoor acoustics in London, rather than doing it for the money. »

Max the manic busker He’s quite a personality! You can see him every week at Canary Wharf Jubilee Line tube station. He is very knowledgeable – during our little conversation (that must have lasted 15min at least) he told me about his violin, which he prefers to call a fiddle, as there is a subtle difference apparently, and upon hearing that I was a French-speaking Belgian, played a classic French lullaby.


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John was playing blues guitar in Waterloo station when I stumbled across him. You could hear the sound of his wailing guitar from quite a distance. He had that sort of honesty, simplicity and warmth about him – just like the music he played. Iomel (below left) was playing accordion under a bridge near Little Venice, on a busy summer’s afternoon. He is originally from Romania, and played without even thinking about what he was doing. He was one of those buskers who does it not out of passion, but rather someone who was trying to survive. Lewis Floyd Henry (below right) is a one-man-band with a guitar, drums and a mic. He can be seen in Brick Lane and Whitechapel, amongst the people emptying their attic on the street. He does always attract quite a crowd. He plays a mixture of Rage Against the Machine and Jimi Hendrix!


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vegas baby!

The Magic Man

Paul Stone has spent the last 30 years producing magic and variety shows both in the UK and Vegas. Mike Nagle went to meet him

You’ve organised magic shows in the UK and in Vegas. What’s the main differences ? Audiences are much more ‘up for magic’ in Vegas because they’re used to seeing headliners like Siegfried & Roy, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller etc… whereas in London good magic shows are much rarer. The venues themselves are totally different too. London shows are in traditional theatres with plenty of technical support, front curtains and most importantly deep stages and wings. In Vegas we tend to work in showrooms where space for setting up props and illusions is limited. So

what’s the best performance

you’ve ever seen ?

Undoubtedly the most spectacular magic show I’ve ever seen was Siegfried & Roy performing at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. I was also a big fan of Doug Henning.

{TOS did a bit of digging and discovered that the late Doug Henning was a Canadian magician whose tag line was ‘anything the mind can conceive is possible, nothing is impossible’. He used to do TV specials on NBC and there’s a story that once one of his tigers escaped and ran through the network’s corridors. But it does kind of beg the question ‘why do magician’s insist on working with tigers!?’ Surely that’s just asking for trouble. Talking of which…}

worked at the Showboat Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and had a terrific personality. And huge hands! His magic was funny, entertaining and baffling. He billed himself as the ‘amusing and confusing’ Johnny Paul.

So how do we go about becoming a magician ? Actually, I recently produced a convention in Las Vegas specifically for magicians called The Innovention (see what he’s done there). The convention The internet is rife with videos featured lectures and workshops of magic performances gone presented by the top magicians in wrong that look incredibly their particular field of magic, and embarrassing, not to mention included sessions about stage and cabaret performances, comedy, painful. Seen any personally? I’ve seen several! Probably the most manipulation and sleight of hand. embarrassing was an escapologist who was chained inside a steel And could anyone go ? box. The problem was he couldn’t Yes, there was quite a cross section get out…with 500 people in the of people there from youngsters audience getting steadily more who were just starting out in their impatient. They eventually had to performing careers to experienced cut his large padlocks to get him! professionals. Getting

What about us folks in the UK. Is there anything on the horizon any magician (dead or alive) who for us ? Well you should look out for a would it be ? A ‘Hospitality Magician’ Penn & Teller’s 90 minute ITV called Johnny Paul. He Special which is due to be aired in the New Year. back to good magic, if

you could get a personal show off

You can catch Paul’s next UK show on 19th September 2011 at the London Palladium.


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Jam packed with all sorts from city workers to cool kids, absolute beginners to a few lindy hopping pros, the class was like taking a step back in time


by brenna duncan

What She Said : I’ve loved dancing since I was a kid, but I didn’t think it could ever be this good. Lindy hop is fun. Really fun. Even boys like it!


asy to learn, nice crowd, great teacher, cool tunes and you don’t even need to go with a partner…I’m definitely going back next week, even if HE doesn’t! TOS went to The London Swing Dance Society in Holborn taught by dance champ Simon Selmon. (£ 6 per class/ £11 to dance and then

What He Said : The only dancing I had done before this was in Baja Beach Club, and that was the Macarena. But the Lindy hop class was actually great fun.

7pm, beginners Two Brewers Bar, Clapham Common, SW4 7pm, absolute beginners ~ Wednesdays ~ practice till late at the Wild Times Passing Clouds, Dalston Lounge downstairs. Don’t worry 7pm and 8.15pm, beginners if you can’t make that one, here is ~ Thursdays ~ a list of alternatives: Mildmay Club, Newington Green ~ Mondays ~ 7pm, absolute beginners The Blues Kitchen, Camden 7pm, absolute beginners The best website to check is ~ Tuesdays ~ Royal Inn on the Park, Viccy Park for details of other classes!

Is it time for the circus to hang up its boots?


or decades people have been writing the obituary of the circus. Over the years, radio, TV and the internet have meant that you no longer have to trudge through a muddy field and sit in a big top to get your thrills. But still, in that section of the park not good enough for a football pitch, the circus continues to come to town. But how long can it last? Sea lions pretending to clap – yawn; a horse doing basic arithmetic with its feet – crap; a cat walking on its front legs – why? And as the animal rights charity PETA points out: Bears, elephants, tigers and other animals do not voluntarily ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. Or at least if they do, they wait till our backs are turned. That’s not to say all circus acts should be dismissed with a snobbish waft of the hand.

Years ago Cirque du Soleil made a step away from the traditional performing animals and custard pie-wielding clowns and concentrated on the physical spectacles such as trapeze work and acrobats, guaranteeing them a slot on the Royal Variety Performance and a polite handclap from Her Majesty for years to come.

slant, and not a prancing pony or exploding clown car in sight. The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow played to hundreds of thousands as part of the Lollapalooza tour, while the versatile Preacher Muad’dib recently won a support slot with Alice Cooper… impressing everyone’s favourite horror-show rocker by switching on an industrial drill and sticking it up his own nose. His more family-friendly stunts include grinding his face into broken glass and body stapling. It makes a squirty flower seem a bit tame.

And even the biggest of circus haters has to admit that festivals become that bit more special because of the inclusion of bizarre variety acts, jugglers (in moderation) and the general carnival atmosphere created But where are the old-fashioned by the ladies and gentlemen in freak show acts? The wolf boys behind bars, the bearded ladies? leotards and sequins. Circus sideshows were one of the Burlesque cherry-picks the only ways of making a living for razzamatazz, performance, tricks those unfortunate to have been and the glitter and gold of circus. born with disfiguring conditions. And the Brickhouse on Brick Lane recently held successful shows by Frank Lentini seemed to have Cirque Des Ombres, including come out of it all right. Born fire-eaters, contortionists and with three legs (and two sets of snake handlers – all traditional genitals), he toured with Barnum’s circus acts given a new cooler circus and lived a reasonably


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Or, my personal favourite, Sacco the Famous Fasting Man. Roll up! Step right this way and you’ll be guaranteed to see a man not eat. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, not a morsel will pass But for every great act, there’s one his lips as you sit in amazement. that doesn’t quite set the pulse rating. For every Joy Division, It’s true, there was exploitation of a ‘let’s dance to Joy Division’. the disabled and deformed, but There was probably only a limited before the advent of the welfare lifespan in the circus heyday act state, the circus was arguably of George Del Kano, who had the the best option for some people. ‘normal’ life. He married and fathered children (one at a time, I believe). Even today, I’d pay good money to see that – well, the three legs anyway.

linked. Roll up, roll up, and see the Amazing Singing Not Stunningly Attractive Lady. You may not fancy her, but she can’t half hold a tune! It’s not a million miles away from El Hoppo the frog man, Lucy Moore the Mountain of Humanity, or the CauliflowerButtocked Triplets of Tadcaster*. So are circuses dead and buried? Consigned to the history books? I hope not. I’d like to see circuses last and not go the way of music hall. To paraphrase Alexei Sayle: ‘There are all sorts of theories about why music hall died out: socioeconomic developments, political transformation, technological innovation etc. But the real reason is it was crap.’ Circus isn’t crap. Dated, possibly. Cruel, in parts. But crap, no.

proud boast of being ‘the only man in the world dancing a jig on red-hot iron with his bare feet’. George, mate, if you’re the only man doing it, it’s probably for a reason. Good luck with it though.

Sure, they were stared at, pointed at and laughed at, but is it that different to the millions who tune in to mock the car-crash TV performances on X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent?

And how much would you pay to see the mediocre-sounding Jessie Allyne the Long-haired Lady? My! Your hair is long… it’s much longer than the queue to see you.

Countless people billed and cooed over Susan Boyle after she brought to light the earth-shattering revelation that attractiveness and vocal ability aren’t inextricably


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If you don’t agree, hop on your unicycle and go to the Museum of Everything in Sharpleshall St, Primrose Hill. Their current exhibition, curated by Sir Peter Blake no less, is on till Christmas and alongside mind-blowing circus memorabilia there are rooms full of bizarre, beautiful and creepy curios which I won’t give away here. The circus still has some magic, roll-up, roll-up… *OK I made this one up Words: Joe Bridal Illustration: Gareth Axford (


Almost every description you hear of a new band’s style tends to either be vague or inaccurate...

2010 has been a great year for new music. But we’re dead keen to learn what 2011 has in store and whether it will have the goods to top this year. Oxford’s Trophy Wife have secured a spot at the top of our shortlist. They are working hard at ending 2010 on a high; and with the launch of their first single, a stint touring with Foals, and some refreshing new material, we’re pretty sure that they’ve set themselves up for a very exciting 2011. We caught up with the guys to find more:

Trophy Wife

We just wanted to be described by something that would relate to how the songs were written. It’s mainly about the ideas of restraint we try to employ and the sense of perpetual motion we feel when writing. weren’t going to be using a typical live band format. When thinking Over the years Oxford has in this way, decisions like using unveiled some truly great, music. a 20 year-old hand made drum sculpture, or switching from bass to Why do you think this is ? There has been a wealth of guitar amp mid track, just seemed musicians in Oxford who have natural and exciting to make. We striven to do something new. fully intend to expand and change About six years ago there was a up in the future aswell. I think with lot of experimental music going every new set of songs will come on which is when we first started developments in the live show. playing together. It’s such a small place but there’s been a few very What do we have to look forward successful bands that have come to in terms of releases for 2011? from here which makes people raise We’re looking to put something else their game a bit. Understandably, out in the early part of next year. there’s a perception in some places We’ve got a good idea of the song we that Oxford is populated by elite want it to be but alot more writing academics but the music scene here will occur in the coming months so has always been very separate from we’ll see. We’re planning to batten that world. The more colourful, down the hatches in December creatively vibrant quarter of town and set ourselves up in the garage has always been the Cowley Road. to write and record.

You’ve had a pretty exciting few months. What’s been going on ? Things have been quite frantic over the past couple of months. We’ve spent most of our time getting things ready for playing live, rewiring plugs and getting big flight cases made. Aside from the live dates with Foals everything has been centred around Microlite coming out. We’ve been playing some of the songs acoustically recently which is something we’d Clearly a lot of thought and like to do more of in the future. energy goes into your live show... With Trophy Wife we wanted to A lot of people are picking up on experiment and have fun with the the “ambitionless office disco” way we perform the music live. reference you’ve given yourselves. The songs were written in a very lucid way and we realised that we Can you explain a bit more ?


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Trophy Wife’s single Microlite is available now from Moshi Moshi records. The band will be joining Chad Valley and Othello Woolf at TOS Xmas Party on 15 December at the Macbeth in Shoredtich. Tickets:

Chad Valley



Hugo Manuel aka Chad Valley talks about Blessing Force, Fesitvals & Jonquil This year’s seen you getting out to Europe as well as getting on the festival circuit for a bit, how do you find that? I just love playing shows so much, and I’ve had the fortune to play a huge range of places, from clubs to laundrettes. I did this short tour from Istanbul to Budapest, totally DIY, getting the train between cities. That was one of the best things I’ve done in a band so far; I felt like a travelling troubadour or something.

for a decent pop song. However, the gestation happened in the same way to be honest; with me jotting down ideas and recording samples – in the case of Sunny Casinos, it was all found sound samples, and for Chad Valley, its all about sampling 80s pop music. Would you mind telling us a bit Blessing Force ? How important is it to the Oxford more about

scene that is creating a lot of

great music right now? Your other project Jonquil began Blessing Force is a result of years as a solo project as well, how did of living in Oxford and getting fed the gestation of these projects up with the ‘traditional’ way doing differ in their beginnings ? You things in a band. We are helping seem like you are coming from a each other out, and generally very different place to when you providing support and mutual appreciation. We are not a cult, made Sunny Casinos (Jonquil). Yeah, things have changed a as some people would like to make huge amount since the time that out. Its a natural extension with Sunny Casinos was made. I think what has been happening in Oxford the change has really been the among our group of friends for realisation that I wanted to make the last year, and the artistic side, pop music, and do it without although it hasn’t been mentioned shame. It used to be a kinda dirty much, is as strong as ever. word when I was younger; when something was described as ‘pop’, How do you feel you slot in with it would be a put-down. Now, for your contemporaries ? me, it’s all about the hooks and the I am mostly influenced by music structuring, which is what you need from the past than by anything


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contemporary. There are a few things at the moment I am really into, Caribou in particular. Twin Shadow is a new discovery that I am really into... but I think that these are people who I share a similar musical history with, perhaps somewhat presumptuously. I think it’s really important to absorb new music, but I am cautious of getting immersed in the latest scenes or whatever the hottest shit is. I always make sure I listen to plenty of Queen, David Bowie and Can to ground myself.


you still doing a lot of

remixing ?

Yes, I am remixing all the time, and its something that I really love doing. The Harrys Gym remix I did recently was a particular favourite to work on. I love any remixes where I get to work with female vocals, as its something that I don’t get to do producing my own music!

Tell us a bit more about how your 2011 is shaping up? Doing SXSW in March with Jonquil, another Chad Valley EP, lots more touring, ritualistic drones. Performing LIVE at our event!

Othello Woolf

The boy who cried Woolf


thello Woolf spans the genres, he’s a quiet chap who likes to spend a winter’s day on Hampstead Heath. His music gets compared to Bryan Ferry on a constant basis which according to Woolf is “just a lazy comparison” which we tend to agree with. It’s just too easy for music reviewers to simply copy and paste what they saw in a blog the week before without so much as listening to or thinking about the music in question. Woolf’s music is effortless and laid back, fusing soul, funk, pop and dare I say it 90s Brit Pop. His influences lie in Stevie Wonder, Prince, The Smiths, Bowie, and endless Hip Hop acts… and if you listen hard enough you’ll hear elements of each from within his tracks, but however much you compare it to one sound, it definitely reeks of originality. Woolf has been around the block. He’s been in bands since he was 15, starting as a keyboard player before quickly progressing to front man.

Do you prefer having a backing band to being in a band ? It’s more laid back because there’s not the potential for constant infighting that happens within bands where everyone is at loggerheads over who writes the songs, whether this or that bassline is better etc. Not saying all bands are like that, but my experience is that when it comes to bands, the idea of ‘democracy’ is a bad idea.

As a friend of Oli’s (Othello) it’s been strange to watch him snowball over the last few years, and stranger still was interviewing him. After spending a year cooped up in his bedroom recording, mastering and producing his album he quickly found his way onto the London scene. It was a thoroughly interesting process watching a band form around Woolf, then management, press and more before joining up with Young and Lost. He released his first single earlier this year and the future looks good for Othello.

Purdie on drums, James Jamerson on bass, Greg Phillinganes on keys. It’s clear that you’ve got to have a sense of style being on the London scene, and Woolf’s is very clearly defined. Perhaps it is his smart, Englishness where these Roxy Music comparisons arise.


it important for a band to have a good style ? Was that a big part of choosing your backing band ?

To an extent. If they want to be commercially successful then probably. It’s more important for me that they’ve got good songs and can play their instruments well enough and have some kind of charisma. But image certainly sells, look at someone like Lady Gaga – strip away the image and you find that the music itself is a horrific mess of European 90s trance and happy hardcore. Most people don’t care though.

What are you listening to at the moment? Not much at the moment actually. I’ve been drowning myself in so much music throughout this year that I’m having a bit of time off!

Who is in your dream backing Woolf is set to release a miniband – dead or alive ? It would have to be legendary session musicians because if it’s huge personalities then it wouldn’t really be fair on them or me! Johnny Marr, for instance, is just too good a songwriter in his own right to be in a backing band. So I’d have to say people like Bernard ‘Pretty’


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album in the next six months as well as continuing his live dates. Watch this space because Othello Woolf could be 2011’s big star.


Othello will be playing at The Other Side’s Xmas Party @ the Macbeth



d j









d d


y r o

Wednesday December

15th, The Macbeth, 70 Hoxton Street, Shoreditch

Chad Valley (live) Trophy Wife (live) Othello Woolf (live) - plus -

3 Super Receptor DJ’s K DJ Kate Bones 7 Young Ornithol ogists DJ’s 9 j Anorak DJ’s r Videopia DJ’s d and Other Side DJ’s d Tickets £4 adv - £5 on the door, For tickets go to

In association with

Super Receptor


as modern man’s premier myth-making apparatus, is cinema failing us in its representation of women? Adam richmond breaks the fourth wall and takes hollywood to task


flipped out recently. Flipped. Out. Someone told me about the Bechdel Test. It’s a simple test for movies from a comic strip by Alison Bechdel which asks the following questions:

• Does the film have at least two women in it? • Do they talk to each other? • Do they talk to each other about something besides a man? It seems a whole lot of the films don’t pass the test. There are not only a large number, but they’re the most well known films ever. At this point, my face started to twitch. Some of my favourite films don’t pass – Fight Club, The Big


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Lebowski, Swingers, Ghostbusters, Milk, The Princess Bride, Point Break, Pulp Fiction, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Trainspotting, Seven – plus a lot of big budget shit I hate (Lord of the Rings, Men in Black, Transformers 2, the Pirates films). What does this mean and why are bloody women trying to ruin another bloody thing for me with their precious sense of self? First they get the right to vote, then sexual harassment law… is nothing sacred? Is the test demanding that every film crowbar some arbitrary female characters into their plots to make everyone equal? Is that what those crazy bra burners want? Well no, that would be stupid. It’s apparent

fact it’s mostly men who have the top jobs of writing and directing. These are not the dull complaints of po-faced grumblers; these are the light, satirical, pomposity puncturing attacks from the ignored and underrepresented. Films are not just something to be consumed. They tell us stories for us to escape to, learn from or be challenged by. They are supposed to excite and inspire our imaginations, help us lose ourselves or see something from a different point of view.

rainbow happy land, let’s all be friends way, but just because it’s more interesting. Do we really need to see two white men who are on a road trip who hate each other at first but then grow to like each other (Due Date)? We already have Planes, Trains and Automobiles, so the director of The Hangover can kindly fuck off. We can’t force more female roles into mainstream film with moral outrage or banning buddy movies, but like other underrepresented minorities, it’s when they do get

“Films tell us stories for us to escape to, learn from or be challenged by” to anyone with a working brain that the Bechdel Test is not meant to act as a feminist scorecard. Instead it shows, through sheer numbers, that there is a pattern… an unsettling pattern. That so many movies fail the test suggests that Hollywood (in particular) has serious issues when it comes to dealing with gender (never mind race or sexuality, that’s for another time). What the naysers and the ‘why don’t you lighten up it’s just harmless fun’ brigade miss most about this kind of discourse is the wit and playfulness of these outsider attacks - and women are outsiders in this Hollywood machine, as evidenced by the

Unfortunately we’re constantly being fed one-note bullshit of the highest order. Women want to see their stories on screen. Their lives, problems, characters up there, as part of our everyday lives. And men should want to see them as part of our stories too. Because we all live and work and socialise together. No one is asking for a quota system so no one gets upset, because tokenistic gestures are not the way to go. I don’t think true equality is achieved by fixing the numbers so every sex, race, religion whatever gets its slice of representational pie. What’s important is that there is a real spread of people’s experiences that are represented. Not in some


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their voices heard they come up with something far more interesting that whatever is going on in the mainstream (Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone both spring to mind). Art has a responsibility to itself and us to have at least questioned its values and the messages it sends out. We need to be able to engage and question the culture that surrounds us without hysterical naysayers shouting us down for taking stuff too seriously. The fuckin stupid pricks. Get the latest film reviews from Adam Richmond online @


Fa s h i o n is

treated too much as news rather

than what it is, what it does and how it


GaGa and her rump

bowie at his finest


As soon as you get up and utter the words, ‘What am I going to wear’, the show has begun! ike it or not, your outward appearance is judged, whether you are a trend-led clothes horse or unmindful soul, oblivious to the fanatical world that is fashion. Where did this obsession come from? Back in the day most nations’ royalty and upper classes, whose duties were performed in the limelight, controlled fashion trends. The term ‘Fashion Police’ was a lot more true to life during the likes of the Middle Ages! If you were seen wearing a certain style or a particular fabric that was reserved for sovereigns and the like, you would most probably be thrown into the nearest ratinfested dungeon. This outlook has radically evolved; the cult of the modern day celebrity has lead to mass interpretation. A performance of an outfit on a red carpet is rated in mainstream fashion glossies and a more economical version of this is splattered all over the high street.


As we adorn our frames with these replications for events such as that all important interview or a much revered first date, we are looking to achieve the ultimate performance! Fashion is an expression, just like any other art form, which allows designers to use the most brilliant creation on earth, the body. According to the Turkish designer Mihrican Damba, her collections are “…a unique reference of performing arts through garments. As fashion designers we put a non-visual imagination into practice and change it into a visual form by wrapping the human body in it, making the garment come alive”. Fashion designers throughout time have made that cross over to the theatrical side from Coco Chanel’s costumes for the Ballets Russes to John Galliano’s Madame Butterfly-inspired collection. The catwalk show evoked splendour, sensitivity, narrative and emotion, similar to that of an Opera itself. According to some, fashion transcends everything, but does it really, or is that a view of a deluded mass that have been led to believe


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that image matters? Would the almighty Lady Gaga be half as successful if she rocked up to the MTV awards in a twin set and pearls? I think not! Her outlandish outfits and idiosyncratic sense of fashion set the tone of her performances, from the infamous ‘Meat dress’ to her array of eccentric hats. Of course what Gaga’s doing isn’t new; the idea of this ‘Costume Idol’ has been explored before, a diamond of an example is David Bowie’s fictional rock star, Ziggy Stardust. As soon as Stardust took to that stage in his astral themed spandex suits, Dave was no more! Words: Becca Thorpe

Enchanted Palace Kensington Palace has been transformed into The Enchanted Palace, in collaboration with fashion designers like Vivienne Westwood. From £5.50. Fashion as a Performance Avant garde Japanese fashion design from the early 80’s to the present day (Barbican).

street style

IN THE WATER CLOSET It’s rock night at the Queen of Hoxton and the TOS fashion team are loitering in the loos. Men clad in denim and leather. girls wearing black lace and ripped tights. We picked out our favourite rock gods and goddesses nipping to the toilets in style...

Jax, lawyer Top: Topshop Skirt: American Apparel Belt: Mum’s from the 60s Scarf: Borrowed from Dad

» 37

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Lee, drummer, dj and promoter Bluebird tee: Monach, Camden Jeans: Zara, Belt: River Island Jewellery: Australia & River Island Trainers: Converse

Daniel Hat: F , who knows r Waistc om Gothenb ? Shirt: Loat: Beyond urg Retro Trouse evi’s r Shoes: s: Acne Brothe r

> Noel, digital designer and musician

Melt Banana tee signed by the band Jeans, WeSC Shoes, Clarks Photography Tinker Taylor With thanks to The Queen of Hoxton by Brenna Duncan

Sam, Jacket: Vin musician tage shop T-shirt: From a record label in Leed Jeans: Urban s Out Shoes: Take fitters n from a friend’s bi n Socks: stolen from dad

et er mak mark , filman Road ers utfitt : Rom Shirt: Urban O Skirt : Primark s Boot

a Laur

Lucy, fashion Cardigan: Charity shop Dress and shoes: Topshop Necklace: Urban Outfitters Socks: Accessorize

< {far} Toni, fashion student Shirt dress, Laden Showroom on Brick Lane / Baby-G watch < {near} Sophie, fashion student Lace top, Topshop / Old school uniform cycling shorts


Stu, dj Jacket, stolen / Jeans & T-shirt, Camden market / Converse trainers

Ich bin ein Berliner Berlin, a city that has a real history and an exciting future. The German people are in touch with their past â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more than any other nation around the world â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and there seems little evidence that people are trying to hide what has gone before

Words: Sam Lassman Watts Photos: Tom Leighton

we heart berlin

n the centre of Berlin by the Reichstag (the German parliament) lies a 19,000 square-metre memorial to the Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. It’s a striking vision. Here 2,711 stones (one for each page of the Jewish holy book the Talmud) of varying heights are placed next to each other, designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, with the whole sculpture a representation of an ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. Below there is an information centre, one of the most interesting places you can visit, where you can lose yourself in the history of the whole of Europe: recollections and memories of those who survived and the stories of those who died.


Garden rave On the way into the city from the airport, we spotted a rave in what looked like someone’s garden. This diversity was represented throughout our weekend in Berlin. You could neither describe

it as a city full of youth looking for reminiscent of 1980s NYC. The parties or that of elders thinking artist community’s thriving on “don’t be fooled into cheap rents, great cafes and an thinking you can do openness and tolerance that could only be expected from a city that berlin in a weekend” is so in touch with itself. You feel about their ancestors. The yourself slipping into being a variety is there for all to see and is Berliner after only two days there represented in the tourists, as well and it’s hard to leave. as the locals. Berlin is a city where you feel trabant tour relaxed, a huge place, yet the Our time in Berlin took us right calmest place you can imagine, around the city; we were lucky even when standing around scores enough to meet a tour guide (www. of tourists looking at the obvious on our flight hot spots. Don’t be fooled into who put us on the right tracks. thinking you can do Berlin in a It’s worth taking a tour of some weekend, there’s just too much kind, such a fascinating city needs to see and if you are there for a someone who knows what they cultural/party mixup then you are talking about. You can tour should definitely think about on Segways, bicycles, foot or even in Trabants. Tours that follow the pacing yourself. It’s OK if you don’t have breakfast path of the Wall, ones that follow where you are staying because on the Nazi footsteps and more. For practically every corner you’ll find the really adventurous you can a bakery producing strudels and take a train (25mins) to Wannsee pretzels that would put your local where the Final Solution – Hitler’s systematic plan to exterminate all Greggs to shame. As you delve into Berlin you European Jews – was drafted. Once you’ve taken the tour and » can start to see something that is


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The East Side Gallery is the longest section of the Berlin Wall still standing, covered with paintings and murals. After the wall fell in 1989, hundreds of artists from all over the world came to Berlin to transform the grim and grey wall into a piece of art. They covered the east side of the former border, which had been untouchable up to then, with more than 100 paintings. had your fill of history it’s time to catch up on the present. If there was one thing I could tell you that you had to do in Berlin, it would simply be that you spend a whole Sunday there. Book a late flight, or extend your stay to go back on the Monday. Because Sunday in Berlin is the best day anywhere – fact. It’s taking chilled to a new level, the big shops are closed and everything stops for the day. We suggest you saunter East,

toward the Wall Park. There are numerous flea markets you can head too on your way there, with the largest in the park. The best was on Arkona platz, an excellent market in Prenzlauer Berg and not overrun with tourists (See more fleamarkets at tos). The market is set on a square and is surrounded by awesome cafes serving up brunch. Big plates of cheese, ham and salad with a beer wash away Saturday’s late


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night/early morning partying. It’s worth having a mooch around some of the vintage shops too, they can be found at Oderberger strasse and the Eberswalder strasse! Or perhaps checking out the East Side gallery or one of Berlin’s many thriving art projects. Whatever night it is finish it up at Dr Pong, where every night Berlin’s youth take to the table for a game of killer pong.

Every Sunday at the Wall Park in East Berlin there is a huge flea market as well as a gathering of thousands of people to watch outdoor karaoke which was started by an Irish courier a few years back. A trip to Berlin is not complete without watching two girls dressed in pink tutus butcher Aqua...if you can butcher an Aqua song! Check out our video at

We asked the Twittersphere their top tips for Berlin. And cos we’re totally fucking mexico we’ll just retweet everything... RT @aklettner the restaurant Henne, where JFK once ate - the tastiest chicken in the world, washed down with local beer. RT @OneEyeGrey I also like the Z-Bar in Mitte as my mate Gunter runs it. I could just write zillions of tweets about Berlin but I won’t. RT @ Sim0nwebb There’s an awesome cocktail bar called Victoria Bar, head waiter looks like Charlie Watts. RT @mmarjolein My favo place in Berlin is Barbie Deinhoff: a bar with nice electro, a wondeful mixture of weirdo’s and affordable drinks. RT@ Vialuce my favorite place in Berlin? Just one? Monster Ronson’s karaoke bar, crazy parties combined with some old school karaoke.

Follow our ramblings on Twitter @theothersidemag

Stay at the Michelberger Hotel, drink at CCCP Bar & if you are feeling flush then try rodeo on Auguststrasse in the old post office. most of all explore, because you’ll probably find something completely unexpected through that dark alley 43

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London’s mexican food

by matt owen

Britain has been responsible for some great things; computers. Jet engines. Winnie the Pooh. And yet the culinary arts seem destined to elude us. It’s been said that the British crave disappointment, and that’s never truer than at lunch

Fortunately things have taken a turn for the buena in London lately. All across town small restaurants are opening, selling food that’s great for fighting off your yearly dose of Tube-flu; mountains of fresh veg, spices that will make a vindaloo addict’s eyes water, with a side-order of hard liquor. US mega-chain Chipotle is new in London, signalling mainstream adoption of Mexican, but travel around the city and you’ll uncover distinct regional tastes. For the

London bound taco-fiend, the journey starts in leafy Fitzrovia, where you’ll be faced with great choices representing different aspects of Mexican cookery (and wildly different approaches to restaurant design). La Perla’s been here longest, hiding out on Charlotte Street and serving mountains of South American cuisine. There’s good food and an approach to interior design that can be summed up in one word: Boobs. BOOBS AND BURRITOS

Saucy pictures of Carnival and a few that seem to have emerged from a 1982 copy of Razzle festoon the place – watch the first-date couples trying to pay attention to each other while various magnificent Latino bosoms hove into view at regular intervals. Not to worry if tits aren’t your thing though, there’s still spice to

be had round the corner at Benito’s Hat, a Tex Mex bar that’s decided the key to success lies in enormous wall-art featuring Volkswagens. No-one seems to know what’s going on in Benito’s and most of the staff are crazed Zoolander types. It doesn’t matter. FAST FOLDED FOOD

The Mexican wave isn’t limited to Soho, Notting Hill currently boasts great cantinas. ‘Tequila Tex-Mex’ on Bayswater Rd has decent food and elephantine portions, while Westbourne Park has the magnificently named Crazy Homies where everything you order is exactly the same, folded slightly differently. It’s all delicious though. Finally, head over to Leather Lane in Farringdon, home of Daddy D’s, where the guacamole is the freshest and best in the city by a wide mark.

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how to cook

PIZZA or the best pizza in the city, try Fantozzi in Southgate at the end of the Piccadilly Line or go to the other side of London to Franco Manca in Brixton market (open noon – 5pm). The best for delivery is Firezza who do pizza by the metre and give 20 percent off to their Facebook fans. Which brings me nicely onto making pizza at home. It really is all kinds of fun, if a little messy. It’s an afternoon challenge best done with a few Morettis. This recipe has a twist and it’s something that you might see on the streets of Palermo. I first encountered it at a wedding in Trapani. After making the dough you fry the Pizza, which cooks it really quickly. If this is being served as finger food, make them small, you’ll want to eat a lot of them!


Every region in Italy has its own way of making pizza. Neapolitans make a thin crispy pizza and top it with locally sourced buffalo mozzarella, whereas in Sicily the base is thicker and has more toppings. In Rome, the chances of stumbling into a tourist trap and getting a Dr Oetker is pretty high – that said the best Pizza I ever ate was in Rome – it’s all swings and roundabouts, and each Italian stands defiant over their pizza being the best. In London, things are different. Ask, Pizza Express et al get their dough from the same manufacturer...

For the Pizza base 1kg strong white bread flour Sea salt Dried yeast (two sachets) Lukewarm water

for about two minutes then remove with a slotted spoon before adding some passata. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Get your dough and separate it into small balls, flattening each one to form a mini pizza base. In a pan heat 2cm of vegetable oil. Add the pizza bases to the hot oil and cook for about 30 seconds on each side. The air inside will expand and you’ll get delicious light pizza bases. At the wedding the tomato sauce was spooned on and the pizza was finished with some buffalo mozzarella and a sprig of basil. For the more adventurous, add extra toppings, or if you make a bigger pizza, why not pop it under the grill and melt the mozzarella.

Pour the flour onto a clean surface. Add the yeast, sugar and water together and leave until it bubbles. Then pour the mixture into a well in the middle of your flour. Mix this together, it will be sticky but don’t worry about getting your hands doughy. When the dough starts to come together you can knead it for about ten minutes until your dough is springy and smooth. Flour the top and cover, leave it to rest for half an hour. Now for the Tomato sauce: Gently fry some garlic in olive oil Recipe: Sam Lassman Watts


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Oliver Rowe

Some of you may know Oliver Rowe following a stint on TV a few years back when he opened a restaurant using produce that was sourced from within the M25. we meet up to chat about food, life, the universe AND everything – but mostly fooD


e’re at The Modern Pantry in Farringdon, a dining space where they take inspiration from all over the world. Oliver is clearly a fan and as we eat he suggests: “Fusion cooking is something you can get wrong very easily, but at the Pantry they do it pretty damn well.” Early lunch was a prawn omelette which provided us with our first topic for debate. We don’t do them enough and we should be doing more for the omelette cause, an essential food that crops up everywhere, tortilla, frittata, the sushi omelette. My favourite is tortilla, and at present I love Barrica on Goodge Street. Dishes are reminiscent of Moro on Exmouth Market where chef James Knight hails from. Oliver also trained at Moro and explains the secret to a good tortilla: “You need one third egg, one third onion and one third potato. Cook the onions for a long time, slice them crosswise so they release more liquid and

starch which turns to sugar. The traditional way to do the potatoes is by using a small knife and break them apart. Then deep fry. Bind it all with just enough egg to keep it together and cook.” Rowe is an Arsenal fan, but everyone has their issues. I arrived early at the Inter Milan game to be greeted by hoards of burger vans – it’s to be expected. I can’t do it to myself, its just not right, but a halftime hot drink definitely is ok. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate or Bovril are your choices. The hot chocolate at Arsenal reminded Oliver of a phrase in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when Arthur Dent goes to get a cup of tea from the food dispenser on the spaceship, the Heart of Gold. The cup of pale brown liquid that comes out was almost but not entirely quite like tea. You could certainly say that about the tea at Spurs, but it doesn’t stop us. I asked Oliver what his best hot chocolate ever was. “It was in Venice,” he told me,


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“and it was how hot chocolate should be. A cup of chocolate.” Mine was in Paris, in Café Angelina, where you get hot chocolate and out-of-this-world cakes. Oliver’s café used to serve hot chocolate and he explained the secret of making a decent one: “Chunks of Valrhona chocolate, half milk, half cream and warm it on the stove with a bit of sugar.” We met again a few weeks later at Euphorium Bakery on Chapel Market, Islington. With investments in markets, not just money wise, but socially too, it’s important that we recognise them for what they are. Places that centre on food and are great community builders, this is something we’ve lacked in the past few years. Oliver believes that the recession and a revival of food in the UK have helped to build these markets. And in London they are becoming more and more a part of our food culture. Yet at places like Borough, people are feeling it is becoming more of a tourist trap,

enjoyed, the way that the Sicilians will stand on the side of the road with six fish that they caught that morning or in Paris amongst the big veg stalls the lady selling spring onions that she’d picked at 6am. Would markets be more appealing if we knew that there would be great food easily accessible? Markets are, and have always been, key to London life, Smithfields meat market, Spitalfields, Covent Garden for the veg and Billingsgate for fresh fish. There used to be a cattle market on York Way where the farmers would drink in the evening and strike their deals. Times have

the table, the goose was behind schedule, some aunties had already started tucking into the Christmas fayre. Whilst poking around inside the goose I found the plastic bag which I tried to pull out with a pair of tongs, splitting the bag and sending goose juice and giblet juice all over the place, covering all the kids.” If you’re after a goose for Christmas, ask your local butcher. But you’ll need to order one straight away. “People ask for Christmas tips,” Oliver explains, “but they are all the same as what you already know so the best tip we should be

Saturday. But is it a farmers’ market if the farmers are there selling and not on the land? Perhaps, it could be perceived as a farmers’ assistant market. The problem, according to Oliver, is that “it’s not an all round shopping solution. It’s an extra drop.” We both talked about some of the markets in Europe that we’d

changed since then. And what about Christmas. It’s coming after all. And apparently goose has overtaken the turkey. But Oliver had a bit of a run-in with a goose last year. “Whilst cooking the family Xmas dinner I made the mistake of leaving the giblets in the plastic. Everyone was sitting around

offering is to gather everyone in a room, ask them to chill out, give them a big glass of booze and then get them to peel their potatoes.” My tip, keep it plastic. Not the turkey or the goose, but the plates & the cutlery – no washing up.

Kathy Archbold

the prices are high and there are big crowds. The traders are also starting to feel this too. We debated why we go to supermarkets – when a greengrocer is half the price, the food is generally locally sourced and you can get exactly what you need. Columbia Road Market isn’t a food market, but it has an individual character which hasn’t been destroyed by its popularity. It’s Londoners who go there to just hang out. The farmers’ markets don’t have the sort of history or belonging of some markets. At Chapel Market they have a farmers’ market on a


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Go online for the video interview @


Pe rf or ma nc e

pi ec e Âť A short story by Adam Richmond


Submit your own short story to



t’s cold up here and they’re all looking. Waiting for me to do something. The others have worn garish costumes, held up signs, or hectored through a tinny speaker system. The echoey hiss of trivialities and circular logic. It’s high up here. Higher than you might think. People, arms extended in a half-hearted Nazi salute peer through the eye of a mobile phone. Experience once removed. My skin itches as the glue and the sweat loosen the soft plastic pouches clinging to my pores. A corner falls away beneath my right nipple, another has fallen down my trouser leg. There’s no rush though. I have 54 minutes yet. The crowd thins as my stillness does nothing for their day out. Someone else had thrown paper planes out into the square, so much flying as floating, gusted down to the pigeon-shitted floor. The fumbling hands of excited children prying open the paper, eager for some mystery to be resolved, faces dropping when they realise it’s some ineffectual adult homily about the evils of global warming. Or battery farmed chickens. Or the hidden salt in our ready meals. Or something. Another let down. Another pointless bit of information when all they wanted was a bit of awe. Magic. Each opened paper plane just another chip away to their wideeyed hope. * ‘Do something you mug.’ It’s a distant echo but I catch the important word. The wind filters out the insistence and venom until it’s just a series of spastic syllables dropping at my feet. I shift my weight from right to left, easing the throb digging into my heel. But there was nowhere else to hide it, so I bear the niggle. Another pouch has worked itself loose. It’s a shame that I will have to pour the petrol over me with this series of hand-sized sachets. Hand-sized sachets that pull away from my skin, catching at my tucked in shirt or socks. The impressive effect of tipping a red can over my head – petrol dousing and sloshing over my hair and face, stinging my eyes and throat, snorted up my nose, clinging to my skin and clothes – has, unfortunately, no place here. The sheer fuck you of it all. The sheer volume covering you from head to toe, a statement of intent all by itself. But no. I’ll have to squeeze sachets one by one, like I was a dry piece of chicken and all I had where single serving sachets of mayonnaise. The effect, the statement, will have to reside in the flames. The power in the sparking of the lighter pressing into my foot. The planning and foresight and will to action making up for the lack of a red can. They would never have allowed it. But it’s for their good and what use am I if not to show them what someone can do? My deceit may be distasteful, but no more than theirs. The flames will burn it all away anyway. People join the dotted crowd, just as people leave. Under my shirt I tear the plastic of a few pouches, the sharp petrol stink filling my eyes, pooling in my shirt and seeping into my clothes. I can’t see the faces, but all this can be is some poorly conceived performance art. What else? I push against the remaining bags on my legs until they give and burst. A cool trickle. I bend down and pull out some of the fallen sachets from my socks. Can they see me? I tear them and wash my face with the last of it. There is movement in the crowd and the yellow jackets of security stumble out of the observation van. If petrol wasn’t up my nose I would be able to smell their fear. The lighter is in my hand and I graze the rough of my thumb against its metal teeth. With the cameras on me I spark the flame and hold it to my chest. It catches in an instant. Orange and black fighting for attention. Skin cracking and fat melting. Screams. Mine and someone else’s. I drop to my knees as the fire searches for fresh petrol to burn, claim and discover all that is undiscovered unclaimed. My eyes are engulfed with tears, throat choked with smoke, sirens of London no longer background noise. A purple cherry picker judders up towards me and the plinth, twitching yellow jackets and eager extinguishers. Not yet. Not till I’m dead. Not till they’ve seen.


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Have you ever thought of a building as more than just concrete pillars? We spoke to Pablo Bronstein about his love of Architecture ronstein is an Argentinean I don’t mind the building per-se, artist now based in London. because its so kitsch I guess, but I He specialises in architectural hate the fact that these juggernaut sketches set in ornate frames, with many of his images being imagined buildings. He is also involved in performance art and is one of the curators at the Move exhibition currently taking place at the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank. We caught up with Pablo for a quick chat. You ran an architectural tour of London right? Which buildings do you recommend we go and look at this weekend


makes them so special ?

Yes, I did a tour of famous and infamous buildings from the 1980s’ for the Frieze Art Fair projects. The best building we covered is No 1 Poultry, designed by James Stirling and slated by Prince Charles for looking like a transistor radio. It is clad in rhubarb and custard stripes, and has a restaurant on the roof. French formal gardens replete with topiary and gravel walkways overlooking the Bank of England, has to be seen to be believed. What do you think of the shard that has appeared in our skyline ?

Magnificent Triumphal Arch in Pompeian Colours 2010 Courtesy Herald St, London Photo © Hugo Glendinning

stairs. But they also condition us through the use of ornament and decoration. Sometimes we can tell when a building wants us to like it – a boutique for example, or when a building wants us to fear it – a prison. My piece for Move is a mock-up of a triumphal arch, in which the dancer’s behaviour is affected by it, adoring and admiring it vocally. Partly the work is a parody of our relationship with buildings. What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen in London ? Mark Leckey’s The Destructors from 2004 at the Conway Hall about five years ago. He had the guts to stop when it wasn’t going well, and start again. Brave and rock n’ roll.

Where do you go for inspiration ? buildings cast so much shadow The World of Interiors magazine. onto the surrounding streets. Its Not joking. not like we live in the Bahamas and could do with the shade. What do you have planned for the future ? Do you feel a connection between I have a solo show in a museum in Copenhagen, choreographing a buildings and dance ? I think buildings organise us in new ballet based on a Jean Genet immediate and very simple ways, play for Tramway in Glasgow, i.e you can walk through this and publishing a book about door into this room or go up these Renaissance painting.


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The Other Side Performance issue  
The Other Side Performance issue  

The performance issue features everything from Art, burlesque, theatre to upcoming bands and more. We've got interviews, features, competiti...