Issue 1 Summer 2013 UK 5.50 EU 7
The Tribe A quarterly lifestyle magazine
NW1 The Tribe 1
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Alina Zamanova © 2013
Editor’s letter / 6 Places to go / 9 Has music lost its Soul? / 12 Angel of “The Rumours” / 16 The Promises of Camden Music / 18 A perfect, vintage night out / 20 “Me and my Camden” / 22 Girls dressed to impress / 29 The Blues Kitchen, Serving Up Style and Soul / 30 “This is a man’s world” / 32
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Credits Editor / Sara Hesikova Sub editor / Beatrice Porbeni Sub editor / Alex Woodhal Journalist / Lidiya Kritenko Art director/ Layout / Daria Posrednikova This issue was made with the help of / Sharina Shahrin, Mark Buckley, Nabeela Dodds, Haley Nathalie Sintes, Alina Zamanova, Marie Bruce
The Tribeâ„˘, 40 Lime Grove London W12 8EA 020 7514 7400 Email: Thetribe@gmail.com wix.com/thetribe Twitter @ThetribeLondon Facebook The Tribe The Tribe 4
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Editor’s letter A quarterly lifestyle magazine focused on different tribes in London. The Tribe magazine was established in April 2013 by a group of fashion journalism students at London College of Fashion. London is one of the main metropolitan cities in the world, which consist of many subcultural villages. The aim of “The Tribe” is to explore the unknown cultural diversity of the areas in London, specifically the lifestyle of people that live there from an insider’s point of view. Every issue will contain in-depth reviews of many aspects of the community life such as, music, fashion, social life, and the art scene. Issue No. 1 This issue of “The Tribe” is focused on the North-Western part of London, Camden. Although the area is well-known for its thriving music scene, it has been noticed that there is a growing influence of the soul jazz community in Camden. The publication will include Amy Winehouse inspired editorial, interviews with the music industry insiders, fashion features and the overall area review.
The Tribe magazine team
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Sara Hesikova / Editor
Alex Woodhall / Sub editor
Beatrice Porbeni / Sub editor
A fashion writer with love for French chic style and future in the print pathway. Apart from currently being an editor of The Tribe magazine she is a former freelance writer for Fashion and Style section in an online magazine Topzine.cz.
Resident Writer at FashionBeans. com, Editor at WardrobeWarrior. net, Tweeter @AlexWoodhall and occasional Mr Hyde expert. He is a dedicated follower and commentator on menâ€™s fashion and style with a particular penchant for some timeless tailoring.
An aspiring future fashion journalist, aimed at exposing the natural beauty in African cultural. Attending fashion shows all over Africa, she is determined to bring awareness to newly developing fashion scene globaly.
Lidiya Kritenko / Journalist Daria Posrednikova / Art director A young and energetic reporter, who prefers tomboy style of clothing and is a big tumblr admirer. Enjoys meeting new people and be aware of what is going on. She has a wide experience of working for different social media platforms.
A former Harperâ€™s Bazaar PR assistant, is a student for the last six years, and wants to learn for the rest of her life. Interested in graphic and industrial design, fashion and movie making. The Tribe 7
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Places to go
text and images by Daria Posrednikova
Would you like to spend a sunny Sunday in Camden? Our small guide aims to make your decision easier. 10 am. Leyas Cafe 20 Camden High Street, London, NW1 0JH
12 am. Jewish Museum
At the end of the Camden High Street, this small coffee shop offers homemade food and a perfect cappuccino for a Sunday breakfast. A perfect place to begin a long walk through Camden.
Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street, London NW1 7NB To know more about one of the biggest British minorities – visit the Jewish Museum, which displays the cultural and day-to-day life of the community.
3 pm. Mega City Comics
For details visit jewishmuseum.org.uk
7 pm. The Lock Tavern
18 Inverness Street, Camden Town London NW1 7HJ
35 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8AJ
Even if are not collecting old comics or magazines, you might be interested in reviewing some old issues in this small shop on Inverness Street. You will definitely meet friendly stuff while holding a great 1960s graphic novels in your hands.
To finish a day in Camden pay a visit to the Lock Tavern. Famous for its queues of the young and trendy and arbitrary entry policies, it’s a great spot to grab a burger and listen to live music. You might find yourself fortunate enough to be graced
For details visit www.megacitycomics.com
by Alex Turner from The Arctic Monkeys or Lykke Li, as they’ve been known to perform at the tavern previously. For details visit http://www.lock-tavern.com
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Has music lost its Soul?
by Beatrice Porbeni
Music is the international language for expressing emotion artistically. It is a heart to heart conversation that comprises of lyrics and melody. Music exudes all kinds of emotion, which many people can relate to, it is often called “the soundtrack of our lives”. However, Soul music on the other hand speaks directly to the soul. According to Katy, lead singer of popular Camden band, The Rumours describe it as “heartfelt, believable and honest.” When we talk about soul music we are of course referring to the blues-soul-jazz of the early 1960s, an era which housed musical icons to the tune of Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye. Soul music has really changed and developed over the years. Initially viewed as ‘race music’, soul and jazz is a product of the Black American experience of the late 1950s. It definitely has links to the idea of black pride and culture, which may be a principal reason for its “heartfelt” quality. People were, and still are, able to relate to the defining notion of soul, regardless of colour, and this is what makes it so powerful as a music genre. This same idea made soul music very “raw”. The departure from soul-Jazz music has gone really far, up till where we are today. When you turn up the radio, does one really expect to hear? The question is have we gone so far that it has been lost somewhere the blend of R‘n’B, Hip Hop and Techno? Do we as a society still have an appetite for this most pure style of music? Danny Kuperberg, who is the Head of Music Technology, at Woodhouse College explains that “the main difference is the advent of computers in music, you have soul producers who use modern technology, it sounds very perfect all the notes are exactly in time, so in a way when you don’t have live musicians jamming and just playing together with all the inaccuracies and mistakes that naturally happen, one looses a little bit of the soul of the natural feeling and passion of the music” he also adds that “if you listen to old records like Marvin Gaye, they are organic natural and delivered with a lot of passion”. What are people calling soul music today? The decline of soul can easily be traced to a modern maturity. The original leaders and influencers in the genre have passed and the fact of the matter is that soul is not what today’s generation wants to hear. If The Tribe 12
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you take a look at what has been toping the chats lately, its all about the hype and dance tracking. If the music doesn’t give you a nudge in your backside, we don’t want to hear it. Music is kind of like technology, it just gets more and more complicated, leaving behind the older generation most of the time. This is not to say that there are no good artists that produce good music. The closest artists to the original notion of soul musicians are the wildly successful Adele and Amy Winehouse. According to Danny, Adele’s music is quite soulful because it’s definitely expressing something real.” So essentially, “realness is definitely a factor that brings music to life, less materialistic and more true. We hear the artist of today talking dirty about sex, and yes Marvin Gaye did it too in the iconic 1982 record, Sexual Healing. But with some level of truthfulness and a bit of soul and blues, He made it sound so right to put you in just the best mood. Sexual Healing was released over three decades ago, yet it’s still just as popular today, now that’s the thing about soul music. It just never gets old. It’s genuinely timeless. Music replaced its soul? Soul music will always be soul music, but R’n’B is the next best alternative. After all R’n’B is a product of soul music. Unlike Hip Hop and Rock, R’n’B may be seen as the common ground, which Soul music once provided. Now I’m not talking about the Nicki Minaj type of “R’n’B” mixed with a bit of rap and all, I’m referring to pure unadulterated R’n’B with artists like Mariah Carey and occasionally Justin Timberlake, more so with his recent release, the 20/20 experience. The soul, jazz inspiration is clear in Timberlake’s most recent venture. In fact his music is described as combining “high-tech rhythmic effects with oldschool strings and classic Seventies soul styles”, by Adrian Thrills, a Mail Online reporter. So it is really a mixture of soul and jazz, with fine tuned beats that has culminated in the soul music of the modern day. The gentleman in the “suit and tie” is no Marvin Gaye, but he certainly has that special something that makes music what it should be. The soundtrack of our lives.
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Angel of “The Rumours”
by Sara Hesikova
Katy ‘Angel’ Anderson from a soul band The Rumours reveals something about her style for the stage in Camden’s Blues Kitchen, who inspires her and where she shops to light up the stage. When asked how she would characterise her style words like “classic, funky and quirky” (at least she likes to think so as she says) come to her mind. Katy Anderson, the leading singer of The Rumours, is definitely a character and a fun person to be around. Thanks to her reddish bob, her fringe and always perfectly drawn cat eye she often gets compliments like “she looks very French” (and she most definitely does) which she comments on as “interesting” before bursting into laughter. Going by the nickname ‘Angel’ that she came up with when leaving college where she studied performance arts, she may be considered to be the guardian angel of The Rumours, as she draws attention to the band. The Rumours as a whole plays amazing music but Katy is the eye candy thanks to her almost 1960s mod-inspired style, bubbly personality and dance moves. Just like every performer Katy’s day-to-day style slightly differs from her stage look which is mostly inspired by iconic jazz and soul female singers such as Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday or Dusty Springfield and “that classic kind of jazzy-souly look” as she describes it. “And me, of course. It’s got to be me,” she emphasises. “I think it’s more of an extension,” she says. The shock comes when she reveals that her biggest style idol though is Gwen Stefani. “I know I don’t particularly dress like her but she’s just got that amazing classic style with that brilliant red lipstick so it’s kind of like ‘20s, ‘40s almost but then so now,” she says with such passion in her voice. Always being a No Doubt fan she admires her look and for Katy, Gwen “nails it every time” with her attitude. Her stage wardrobe includes (besides other things) “pretty” floating dresses, chequered playsuit, top with wide pleated sleeve in which Katy really looks a little bit like an angel, always accessorised with big statement earrings. And high-heeled shoes of course. “I love my big platform heels which just kind of rock it up a little bit.” Katy’s favourite places to shop for stage clothes are markets for original vintage finds. “The vintage thing has always been around in Camden but it has come back even more.” Therefore it is clear that the Camden market or the Spitalfields is one of her favourites which she “loves at the moment”. And then she swears by high-street of course, especially Topshop whether it is from the small one in her native Durham in North West England or the flagship on
Oxford Street. Her regular style for work – which is at radio BBC - is not so different from her style on stage though, just quieter. “I generally don’t wear what I’d wear on stage during the day because it might be a little bit too much,” she explains. “It’s just more relaxed during the day.” But the overall style stays the same, the mod-meets-French minus the high platforms that are replaced by a pair of flat ankle boots. She says that the people who come to the bars like The Blues Kitchen “have a style that they care about” which she thinks is what characterises them. And we say the same about her. Katy Anderson definitely cares about the way she looks.
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Images by Michael Leckie
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The promises of Camden music
by Sara Hesikova
Who are the new names to know in soul jazz music coming from Camden? Profiles of up and coming musicians rising from three famous bars in Camden – The Blues Kitchen, Jazz Cafe and Bar Solo. The Rumours The Rumours, formed specifically to fill a weekly Soul Night slot at the popular bar come restaurant The Blues Kitchen. Inspired by immortal tunes from icons such as Marvin Gaye or Aretha Franklin, The Rumours are all about the classic and vintage soul appeal. This four-man band is comprised of the lead singer and occasional flautist Katy Anderson also known as ‘Angel’ (Angel of The Rumours on page 16), singer and guitarist Guy Bennett, bass guitarist Charles Benfield and drummer James Ryan. “The guitarist [Guy] and drummer [James] have been friends since they were babies” explains Katy, who came on board after an adlib audition on stage in the Carnaby Street blues bar Nothing But The Blues. Katy fought off competition from a number of female vocalists to secure an exclusive spot on this ambitious four-piece. The Rumours perform in The Blues Kitchen every Wednesday from 10 pm as part of the Soul Nights.
Danny Kuperberg This 43-year-old jazz pianist and singer takes a lot of heart from inspiring others. After meeting a professional pianist living nearby during his formative years, a 12 year old Danny was inspired to just play and play without being forced and he hopes to pass on this same creative spur in his own students. A private piano and music technology tutor, Danny, however spends most of his professional time as Head of Music Technology at North London sixth form college, Woodhouse College, nurturing future talent much in the same way he was helped in his adolescence. Danny performs with his keyboard almost every week in Camden’s Bar Solo as part of Zarathustras Live Sessions. Apart from Bar Solo, Danny can be occasionally seen gigging in nearby Bar Vinyl or The Pigalle
Club in Piccadilly. He also likes to organise gigs all over London for his beloved students, something that makes him a very proud teacher. Danny Kuperberg performs in Bar Solo almost every Wednesday as part of Zarathustras Live Sessions from 7 pm.
Nostalgia 77 Nostalgia 77 is a studio project and band lead by a musician Ben Lamdin who likes to mix unexpected genres of music together. Think a surprising blend of modern hip-hop with classic jazz. The main influences of the band include spiritual jazz, blues and soul, among many others. The Jazz Café recently (24th May) played host to an exclusive performance from the band, following a sixmonth break, to celebrate the coming release of their new album. Supported by jazz singer/songwriter Sara Mitra, whose album actually Ben Lamdin produced, the gig at the Café was Nostalgia 77’s “first run in the wild” after their extended break. Prior to this break, their previous performance was a hugely successful part in the annual London Jazz Festival in November 2012. They played some new music from their awaiting album but also some old tunes familiar to the Jazz Cafe audience, as they returned to the ‘scene of crime’ from when they were just starting out. For upcoming Nostalgia 77’s performances keep an eye on http:// nostalgia77.com.
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A perfect, vintage night out
by Lidiya Kritenko
As the June season of live music begins, Camden is preparing a number of events ready to entertain. From talented live bands playing at The Blues Kitchen and famed Jazz Café, to massive music festivals such as Camden Rock. Each and every venue in North West London strives to offer a wide array of talent over the coming month. With the borough busying, The Tribe took it upon themselves to explore the movers and shakers behind the scenes that organize the talent on show at NW1. Our three insiders from different bars and clubs explain how they go about organizing a good event and discovering a great band. We also pick their brains on breaking into the industry, staying there and ultimately rising to the top. Three successful bars in Camden open their doors for us as we delve right into the heart and soul of the Camden jazz, blues and R‘n’B Scene. Liam Hart, booking manager at The Blues Kitchen, who takes charge of the selection of bands that play at the venue, explains the inherent beauty of blues. “I always say if you come to a jazz bar or trance or disco club you’ve got to know about them to enjoy them. While with blues you don’t need to know about it, it is so natural, it’s a very primal form of music.” For him, a rockabilly restaurant with a live band on the stage is the perfect completion to a Camden day. “You would come to Camden to shop some vintage clothes in the market during a day and then have a perfect, vintage night out at the evening, dancing to a live band playing something from the fifties or the seventies”. What differentiates The Blues Kitchen from other music venues around the area is the significant gastronomic component. A 2005 trip to Hamburg, Germany opened the eyes of a formative, 19 year old Liam. “How much more you can get for the same money [out there], that you can enjoy a great meal and listen to a great music at the same time. While in London you could hardly get a drink for the [same] price”. Inspired and determined Liam, who had always harbored a penchant for Rhythm and Blues, along with two friends took the plunge and opened The Blues Kitchen in 2009; a reinvention of the archetypical 1950s Americano restaurant. With his two associates handling the interior conception and cuisine, Mr Hart set about organizing and arranging the pivotal musical element of the venue, the soul of it all if you will. On the 11th of June, the Blues Kitchen is bringing a
southern American tradition to the North West of London. Continuing they’re own tradition of Americano inspiration, the venue is doing a take on the famous Deep South Crawfish Boil. Involving a long table settled through the restaurant, with a challenge stirring, all-youcan-eat crustacean celebration, all while The Basin St Brawles bring some additional New Orleans flavor to the stage. At a bargain £20 per person, Liam certainly aims to deliver on his earlier promise of bringing that German value for money across the continent to London. Taking pride in the talent he books to get people moving and feeling in The Blues Kitchen, for Liam, nothing is more important in a band than simple “the ability to make people dance”. This mantra has built up a great reputation for the venue and the lively, fun-loving atmosphere it brings to Camden High Street. With that in mind he fully appreciates when a band has it’s own style and ultimately stays true to it. Keen not to lose touch with the restaurant’s foremost roots and inspiration, the manager and his colleagues travel around America year by year. Visiting restaurants and clubs in Louisiana and Texas in order to get more ideas and strategies for the venue. The Blues Kitchen vision doesn’t just reside in Camden. In future, they aim to open more Blues Kitchens around England and one day, cross the Atlantic to their spiritual home in The States. Two crossroads away from the Blues Kitchen there is the famous Jazz Café. Established by Ronnie Scott in 1990, who is now running his own venue in Soho, it has the biggest jazz influence in London. Since February 2013 the Café has been managed by 28 year old John Tunley, who, surprisingly, has never personally been all that interested in jazz. “When I was offered the job here, the first thing I said was ‘I don’t really know that much about jazz’ and the response I got was ‘Don’t worry, we’re not really a jazz venue’ and now I think it’s a common misconception about this venue. Although our name is quite specific I think so far we have had only one jazz night, when, in general, we do 300 nights a year and they are mostly soul, hip hop and dance.” When booking a band the Jazz Cafe is always aiming
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to find the next big thing. The fact that bands like The Faithless had their first gig here, and singers like Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding starred at the venue during the infancy of their now hugely successful careers, proves that the strategy is working well. Unlike The Blues Kitchen, the Jazz Café is famed for its performers, while the menu comes as a simple addition. “When we had Larry Graham on, who had a wireless bass guitar and wanted to basically walk down the venue playing. We asked the costumers if they minded moving off their tables, as ‘Larry wants to stand on your table and play his bass’ and after the show the guests would come and say thanks and that this has totally made their night, because they came all the way from Glasgow to see Larry. Imagine in any restaurant, someone says if the people can move off their tables so someone could come and stand on it, they probably would be a bit annoyed, while in the Jazz Café it’s kind of a tendency” explains John. This June the Jazz Café took part in the Camden Rock festival as one of the twelve venues that host over a hundred bands. Playing Rock ’n’ Roll gigs all over the borough the whole day, which again proves the flexibility of the Café to welcome all kinds of music. While on June the 8th Nick Waterhouse will cross the Atlantic, brining with him a vintage appeal to grace the Café’s famous stage. With 13 years of promoting under his belt, John personally realizes that “you begin to appreciate a good show over a particular style of music.” Waterhouse is guaranteed to light up the stage with both his talent and gravitas. A mere 10 minutes walk away, there are two clubs managed by 47 year old Zaid Joseph. With the majority of his working life based in South London, Mr. Joseph has migrated north to focus his attention on Camden as it presents “much more opportunities”. For Joseph, who heads both Bar Vinyl, where icons such as Pete Doherty have been known to perform, and Bar Solo, where the inimitable late Amy Winehouse frequented to quench her first, the most important thing is to promote upcoming artists, ‘If they’ve got the potential, get their music ‘out there”. Joseph’s main duty is to make sure that the actual show goes well, the sound is perfect and both the band and audience are happy. “My strategy is simple. Firstly, you invite artists to work with you, treat them like kings, feed them, buy them drinks and just do your work as
good as you can. After that, they will keep coming back to you, because they remember your attitude and your approach.” For small venues like Bar Solo and Bar Vinyl the image is crucial, that is why they are so strongly connected to their identity. Mainly, the clubs host acoustic nights, indie and rock music gigs, which have always been a “major kind of music” in Camden in Joseph’s point of view. Every Sunday and Tuesday Bar Vinyl hosts free “Acoustic Club” nights, managed by Zaid, who invites different artists each week, while Bar Solo offers up “Live sessions” on Wednesdays, featuring singer-songwriters and live acts. Due to the venues like these and the unique visions of the people behind them, the atmosphere of Camden is very much still alive and continues to attract millions of tourists every year, because where else in the world would you ever find a better vintage night out.
From left to right: Liam Hart from The Blues Kitchen; Bar Solo entrance on Saturday night; John Tunley from The Jazz Cafe. On the opposite page: the windows of The Jazz Cafe. All images by The Tribe.
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â€œMe and my Camdenâ€?
by Daria Posrednikova
This year could be a so-called Winehouse year, due to an enormous interest in her personality and musical legacy, even though she is no longer alive, her soul continues to live on. (Continues on page 24)
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Photographer / Beatrice Porbeni Style / The Tribe Model / Nabeela Dodds Make-up / Marie Bruce Hair / Mark Buckley
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This year could be a so-called Winehouse year, due to an enormous interest in her personality and musical legacy, even though she is no longer alive, her soul continues to live on. Recently, there was a nomination for Brit Awards 2013, and a song cover, featured in one of the most awaited movies of the season - Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. As well as an upcoming documentary and a family exhibition in the Jewish museum, all dedicated to Amy Winehouse. The former Camden resident, Winehouse after her death in 2011, left a unique musical heritage, as well as her spirit on the streets of this North London district. Today you’re likely to find the late singer immortalised in street art and graffiti on almost every NW1 street. Talking to local people, one can always get a chance to find out stories about Amy. How she would drink in The Hawley Arms, or visit a gig in Bar Solo. After her death she became somewhat of a myth for tourists. Her death intrigues tourists; salesmen and locals tell stories about her character and life in Camden, something that never fails to grasp their attention. She’s become an inspiration for many musicians in the area. For instance - Danieal, a singer from Birmingham, performing in Bar Solo has pointed out that she included Amy’s songs to “honour the musician in the area she lived in”. She says that it is to “add a soul of Camden to the performance.” Katy Anderson, lead singer of The Rumours, also describes Amy Winehouse as one of her inspirations. Amy was a pioneer in the modern soul and pop-jazz music scene, and subsequently paved a way into the music industry for British singers such as Duffy, Adele and Emeli Sande. Along with Emeli, she was nominated for a Brit Award this year. Even though the award was eventually taken by Sande, all the attention was on Amy. The Jewish singer will also be honoured by her people, as the Museum hosts an exhibition named “Amy Winehouse: Family Portrait”, with support of her brother Alex and
sister-in-law Riva. “The main idea came from Amy’s family. They wanted to show, how she was connected with her family and her nation. The person that she was inside her family, hidden from public.” explains Elizabeth Selby, the exhibition curator. To reveal the mystery behind the singer, a BAFTA winning [Senna (2010)] director Asif Kapadia has set about making a documentary on her life and career that is due to in 2013. The documentary will reveal personal and hidden aspects of Amy’s life, something that the Jewish Museum aims to do also. While that all sounds like a good marketing hook, we live in a time, when not sex, but death sells. Camden is also set to immortalised Ms Winehouse in a more tangible, lasting manner. The Roundhouse, a former railway engine shed and one of he most recognised buildings in the area, is soon to welcome a statue of Amy. The location makes a sensible and fitting choice. Winehouse graced the venue with gigs and also played host to a number of tribute following her death. A statue of the singer, cast in bronze, will watch over Camden High Street from the top of the building’s terrace. A fitting tribute to an icon of the area who is fondly remembered by it’s residents. This North Western district of Inner London was home to Amy, and despite her death still is. Amy Winehouse’s passing has left not only a musical legacy, she’s also become a part of Camden, and forever will be. With graffiti, her face on the t-shirts at the market, and now a statue, people will always remember her and her Camden.
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Girls Dressed to Impress
by Sara Hesikova
Camden is a major London music hub that caters to all genres. It’s also somewhat of a centre of style, with a variety of people and their fashion nuances on show. This blend of music and fashion makes Camden a cultural hotspot, especially with the well-documented importance of the intertwined roots between the two. The people of Camden dress in way that communicates an appreciation and whole-hearted love of music, but everyone loves music differently and everyone loves different music. But what remains constant is the widespread vintage charm that runs deep through the borough. It is part of its atmosphere and spirit, particularly when it comes to the soul jazz scene where it is especially reflected in the clothes, the venues and of course, the music itself. “The vintage thing has always been around in Camden, but it has come back even more, now it has kind of come back around,” agrees lead singer of The Rumours Katy Anderson. Let’s see how the girls dress up when going for a night out to a soul jazz gig (find out more in A Perfect, Vintage Night Out on page 20) to some of the famous bars and clubs that Camden has to offer, namely Bar Solo, The Blues Kitchen and Jazz Cafe which are the focus of this issue. Whether they are students wanting to see and listen to something different than the mainstream music in Central London or the working women having a drink with friends after work, listening to nostalgic music and loosening up a little. So come down to one of these venues to listen to some soul and jazz and experience the eclectic, fun-loving atmosphere they and their patrons’ breed.
Photographer / Beatrice Porbeni
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The Blues Kitchen, Serving Up Style and Soul by Alex Woodhall
Style is on the menu nightly at The Blues Kitchen in Camden. I chew the fat and people watch with menswear writer Mr Murray Clark, as we dissect the perfect wardrobe choices for an after-hours visit to a Jazz and Soul club. The Blues Kitchen in Camden on a Wednesday night cuts an atmosphere that promises a lively midweek escape from the strains of London living. Attracting a hoard of professionals, the bustling bar-come-restaurant offers a pace not too dissimilar to that of the not-sodistant evening commute. The vibe offered up however, is one of excitement and relaxation rather than the rage-inducing rush that passed not hours ago. With a stream of live music to come, the ambient business talk provides nothing but a minor distraction and the front tables quickly fill as a crowd congregates at the foot of the stage. Amidst the gathering, distinct tribes materialise as the punters form a healthy mix of creatives, professionals, enthusiasts and fans. This eclectic group is brought together by an inherent love of blues and soul, something that typifies the surrounding area of Camden. Battening down a complete profile of the professional Camden man isn’t an easy task but judging by the showing at The Blues Kitchen, he knows his way around a wardrobe. There is of course a sea of the usual post-rat race smart-casual ensembles that frequent any London bar after hours. Think tie removed, a button or two undone and trousers that break that bit too much. There are also the few who inexplicably fill a stereotype by donning an unflattering verging on the inappropriate piece of headwear. A blues, soul or jazz club fortunately doesn’t come with a fedora obligation yet some take it as so. Don’t be one of those guys. Thankfully, between the unnoticeable, undesirable and unoriginal styles on show, there’s a quantity and quality of individuals and groups showcasing styles worth taking influence from. Smart to an extent is most definitely on the menu at The Blues Kitchen. While some of the musicians may get away with a well fitted t-shirt and lived in jeans on
stage, the crowd put their faith in a more refined style. Whether it’s the rakish man in the three-piece suit that alleviates itself from the office via some accessorises that, nonchalantly inject personality, or the man who takes the weight off his geometric shirt with a bold burgundy blazer and black slim-fit jeans. One sartorially inclined gent who counts himself a Blues Kitchen patron is menswear copywriter Mr Murray Clark. Making clever use of a neckerchief peeking under a white shirt and a tailored navy fleck blazer layered over the top, Mr Clark provides an astute example of the calibre of style on show at the Camden Jazz and Soul scene and more specifically at The Blues Kitchen. “I tend to favour a creative smart-casual approach. Throwing in individual touches through accessories is a big part of my style and I make a lot of use of this when coming to this place [The Blues Kitchen] and the Jazz Café down the road. The style bar is set pretty high here.” Opting for tailoring alongside something more relaxed is clearly a popular choice for the stylish men frequenting the Camden Jazz bars. From classic navy blazers alongside a pair of jeans or chinos to a bolder more trend-led print or coloured variant that speaks volumes of the creative culture that Camden characteristically breeds and breathes. While chewing the fat and sipping Old-Fashioneds with Mr Clark, our eyes are continually drawn to the strong, stylish outfits among the crowd. Much like a flock of lads will degradingly rate the passing skirt on a night down a back-alley, piss-sodden club, Murray and myself take note of the style on show. Passing judgement in a manner that has an air of appreciation rather than chauvinism. “The guy with the fedora looks begrudgingly sharp. You can tell he knows how to pull it off well and is clearly comfortable wearing it. I’m jealous. There’s
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nothing worse than a cheap fedora worn circa 2002 fauxpunk with a t-shirt and waistcoat.” While it’s safe to say that donning some out of character millinery on a visit to a Jazz club isn’t the most sartorial of moves, as discussed above. For a man who’s familiar with the inner workings of headwear and wears it with confidence and panache it provides an astute statement and accessory. While the smart-casual straddle rules the roost after hours, there are a number of notable more off-duty styles congregated among the crowd. One man who opts for a printed back-panel denim jacket over a sparse star-patterned shirt and crop tan trousers alongside some timeless brogues catches both mine and Murray’s eye in particular. As does a gent who has stripped back his style completely while retaining a standout quality. With just a navy turtleneck, grey suit trousers and black loafers on, his attire offers no statement of intent yet it stands out as much as the guy before, who’s made a clear, conscious effort to divide himself from the crowd. “His clothes fit superbly and the simple things are done perfectly. That is genuine timeless style right there” states Mr Clark, and I’m inclined to agree with him. The intricacies of the man’s style speaks volumes about the level of sartorial nous that frequent these bars on a weekly basis. As our chat slowly comes to a close, I address the issue of Mr Clark’s top recommendations for effortless style when dressing for the Camden Jazz scene. “Don’t force it, keep it simple and timeless while retaining a sense of your own individual style. A blazer over a shirt and clean-cut denim and loafers is a perfect no-effort approach that will serve you well. If you want to get more creative with it, throw in some of-the-moment print and maybe an unexpected touch or two. One guy who caught my eye last time had this amazing little gold lapel pin on his blazer and it was small but really did elevate him above everyone else style-wise.” The easy-going atmosphere that Jazz and Soul lend themselves to makes dressing for their respective clubs not too much of a challenge. With a subtle nod to the genre’s sartorial inclination, personified through icons such as Sinatra, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr. and Bob Crosby, keep it classic, clean and err on the smarter side of casual for a failsafe look that will help you keep pace with this stylish lot. Pictures from http:/theblueskitchen.com
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This is a manâ€™s world Photographer / Sharina Shahrin Style / Daria Posrednikova Assistants / Lidiya Kritenko / Sara Hesikova / Beatrice Porbeni Model / Haley Nathalie Sintes
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A quarterly lifestyle magazine
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Issue 1 Summer 2013 UK 5.50 EU 7