Notting Hill Carnival has been hailed as a success by organisers yet again; as London puts away it’s feather head dresses and string bikinis for yet another year…
With an estimated five tonnes of chicken consumed over the long weekend and 25,000 bottles of rum, thousands of revellers flocked to West London to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary.
With 16,000 records being played across 41 different sound systems, Notting Hill Carnival is renowned not only for it’s flamboyant parades and delicious food, but also it’s vast soundtrack – with DJs and MCs playing everything from reggae to dub, to socca, dancehall and hiphop. By far the best party of the weekend was the Red Bull Major Lazer Sound System – which saw the likes of Dave Rodigan and Diplo and Switch aka ‘Major Lazer’ entertain the gathered hordes of Carnival-goers. Playing everything from dancehall to electro, with a nod to Bob Marley, the all-day party ended in a fit of wonderful chaos, as fans climbed onto the stage and speakers.
As organisers now look to make Carnival 2012 one to remember when ‘all eyes will be on London’, the rest of us can all take a well earned and count down until next August.
They may not be the most conventional choice for tour guides but you cannot deny that London’s homeless community have a unique understanding of the capital.
As part of London’s Fringe festival, a number of homeless people will be hosting guided tours around the London Bridge and Shoreditch areas. The tickets are 5 pounds with nearly all the profits going to the guides.
Set up by The Sock Mob, an organisation that befriend and socialise with homeless people, it’s hoped the scheme will break down the social stigma of homelessness.
Boris Johnson’s flagship cycle hire scheme is being launched today with more than 11,000 people having signed up.
The Barclays Cycle Hire project will allow people in the capital to use bicycles stored at docking points in central London.
To begin with, only those who signed up will be able to use the bikes. Membership costs currently stand at £ 1 for 24 hours, £5 for 7 days and £45 for annual membership.
Those without membership will be able to hire bikes in a month or so, on a casual basis.
Docking station and cycle hire will be available in Camden, City of London, Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and several of the Royal Parks.
Despite a large number of supporters, Boris has expressed concern over the scheme saying: “I have no doubt lots of things will go wrong.”
He also added that the scheme will not necessarily be an immediate success:
“”It will be more of a gradual launch than a big bang”
After Paris, this is the world’s second largest urban cycle hire system. The French scheme, Velib, has proven very popular since its launch three years ago.
Speaking yesterday, Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport advisor, said: “Tomorrow morning the capital will awake to a cycle revolution.
Last night, Headway East London organised a dance marathon at Hoxton Hall, to raise money for people suffering from long term brain injuries.
As a patron of the charity, Jo Brand was on hand to offer support and advice to contestants who were expected to dance for a staggering 8 hours.
The event began at 3pm and lasted until 11pm – with contestants dancing to every genre from salsa to hip hop, provided by guest DJs the 9000, La Supercool Discotheque and the nine-piece The Funk Soul Brothers.
To find out more about the work Headway East London check out their site at www.headwayeastlondon.org
Jack Bruce is a classically trained musician. As a teenager he composed for string quartets and improvised on piano. Then he heard Thelonious Monk and Charlie Mingus and left home to play jazz bass. He found the London blues scene and joined John Mayall, Graham Bond and Manfred Mann. Then came Cream, the first Supergroup, selling 35 million albums in the two years in the late ’60’s. Jack co-wrote the hits with Pete Brown. Jack went on to record solo albums again ahead of their time and often too musically difficult for commercial success. www.jackbruce.com
I don’t think I heard Cream until I came to London in 1967. But I do remember buying Cream’s Disraeli Gears on vinyl of course for the first and not last time in NYC in 1968 . It was discounted at the now defunct Alexander’s department store whose slogan was “You’ll find Alexander’s has what you’re looking for; how lucky can you get?!” We had flown over to NYC on a Ronnie Scott’s jazz charter flight with John McLaughlin and Dave Holland on board who were apparently joining Miles Davis. We were visiting NYC to see friends, the City, buy records and listen to jazz.
Unbelievably, I heard the Bill Evans Trio at the Village Vanguard and talked to Bill. Also the Sun Ra Archestra in some inappropriate NY dive. My love of jazz worked with Cream, and especially with Jack Bruce. Some of the music was difficult like jazz, but that’s what I wanted.
I couldn’t get a ticket for their Farewell Concert in 1968 but drove by the Royal Albert Hall in the vain hope of buying one. I watched the show on TV much later. I made up for it to when Cream re-formed in 2005. I got to know Jack Bruce over the years in jazz and rock settings with Chris Spedding, John Mclaughlin, Billy Cobham, Carla Bley and Tony Williams. I even thought “Cream” was back with a vengeance when I heard Tony William’s Lifetime at the Croydon Fairfield Hall in late 1970 . Sadly they were ahead of their time and themselves. But jazz fusion had arrived alongside Miles Davis’ ” In a Silent Way “ and ” Bitches Brew ” , and John McLaughlin’s ” The Inner Mounting Flame ” .
I listened to Jack’s second solo album Harmony Row, a favourite, at his house before it was released. We sat on the floor around a record player and I swear Jack’s eyes were closed during both sides of the album. I tried to do the same but obviously failed. That taught me something about listening to music and I’m better at it now. And I’m not sleeping.
I haven’t read Harry Shapiro’s biography of Jack Bruce yet but I know that Jack’s powerful voice and the rhythm will be there. Harry Shapiro is an author, journalist and lecturer who has written widely on drugs, popular music and film. He wrote Waiting For The Man: The Story Of Drugs And Popular Music, Shooting Stars: Drugs, Hollywood And The Movies, Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy and biographies of Graham Bond and Alexis Korner. Harry is a leading commentator on drugs and has written in depth and with feeling about music. I’d rather listen than read about music, but Harry gets very close to the sounds on paper.
Jack and Cream have a special place in many people’s lives. I was at Sixth Avenue Skatepark in Nashville TN recently with my skateboarding musician son Andy when to my amazement a young skateboarder took off a pop CD and replaced it with Cream. I asked him why and he said his Dad had introduced him to Cream and had followed the band around the USA. Sunshine of Your Love mixed with the sound of trucks on decks in a skatepark never sounded better.
Jack Bruce is a shy straight forward Scot with a cheeky sense of humour whose life hasn’t been without tradegy. Drugs and a liver transplant to begin with. We always had plenty to talk about including fast cars. Yet curiously, he doesn’t seem to appreciate his eminent position in music and doubts whether anyone could learn anything from him. I expect Harry’s biography to reveal otherwise.
Jack Bruce - Composing Himself - The Authorised Biography by Harry Shapiro
Come to the Launch on Thursday 11th March 2010 at 7pm – Hornsey Library, Haringey Park, Crouch End, London N8 9NJ – Call 020 8489 1429 to book.
Published: February 2010
London Fashion Week was a mix of fabulous, flirty fun as femininity reclaimed its place back into the heart of the fashion capital.
Topping the list of best shows came from fashion favourites Burberry. They transformed the traditional trench coat into a thigh skimming mini in pale pink satin while silk chiffon and gauze featured heavily which was not only easy on the eye, but completely wearable unlike some of the tacky pieces which graced the catwalk this season.
Burberry was by far the biggest draw of London Fashion Week and the British power house said it was thrilled to be back in the capital for the 25th anniversary of the event. Anna Wintour graced the front row of a starry climax to the event. Along with style icons Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham and emerging fashionista Emma Watson. Read more »
Nature necessarily moves on, infinitely transforming itself, adapting, evolving, forever locked in a constant state of fluidity and flux… Taking this natural paradigm as a template for his own clothing ranges, Marki Liu’s ‘Zero Waste’ fashion attempts to expand upon previous notions of ecologically minded clothing, providing a series of innovative and intricate patterns that merge and combine with one another in an endless jigsaw of fabric, which can also be summed by a minimal waste of fabric.
Well it seems that London Fashion Week will be THE place to show this coming autumn, with the latest news that Matthew Williamson is following hot on the heels of Burberry to return to the British catwalks for the spring/summer 2010 shows.
It seems that the rumoured-to-be best ever LFW has attracted some of the country’s best designers back home to celebrate the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week and the British Fashion Council. With celebrities and fashionistas expected to be out in force for the London shows it’s no wonder that designers want to be a part of it. Read more »
Devotees of home-grown fashion will be merry today following the news that quintessentially British label Burberry is to return to the catwalks of London Fashion Week to show its Prorsum spring/summer 2010 collection.
It has long been a bone of contention with LFW followers that many British labels leave the capital of cool for the (some say more ‘high-fashion’) catwalks of Milan and Paris. Luella, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen are among those designers who have chosen to show their collections on the continent instead of London. Read more »
An art lover has won a £3,000 Banksy piece in a raffle for one penny. Joe O’Donoghue, 30, won the graffiti art ‘Trolley’ piece after entering prize draw with 10,000 other hopefuls. The final 500 were invited to a secret draw in a studio near Carnaby Street, where O’ Donoghue was picked as having the winning ticket number.
In a hilarious turn of events Joe almost missed out on the prize after all, because he did not expect to win, he realised that he didn’t actually have a penny on him. But a member of the crowd was happy to help and he was able to collect his prize. The advertising executive from Maida Vale said “I could not believe I had won it- it was an amazing feeling. Most young people know about Banksy, he is an artist of our times. To win one of his prints – which is also pretty valuable – is brilliant”.