1. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Breakin Convention 2013


    Somewhere you should go… Breakin Convention 2013

    10 years in existence,  Breakin Convention continues to be a celebration of Hip Hop dance – and where else could this be hosted other than Sadlers Wells? Okay, so maybe a few other places before that, but this festival is a good opportunity to see Wells become a more accessible dance establishment, open to all walk of life and ages and alive with a hip-hop inspired youth culture.

    The groups showing this year will be from around the globe including, Korea, France, Spain, and USA. For the first time the festival will have a UK only night, showcasing the latest in UK urban dance style. UK groups including Blue Boy Entertainment, ZooNation (yes! the ones from the M&S Christmas advert) and the influential Plague, who move in near flawless formation.


    Big names such as the Electric Boogaloos from the USA will be performing, and will present the opportunity to see those moves you thought Michael Jackson invented, performed by the actual creators.

    Others to look out for include the Next Level Squad from Brooklyn, whose moves defy natural science and bring a new meaning to the saying ‘twist my rubber arm! There will also be a whole host of all-girl groups performing including Zamounda, an ultra stylish French group who have more than a few championship titles under their arm.  The festival is set to be roaring success so get your tickets fast. The festival will no doubt be a great opportunity to see how urban dance and hip-hop style has become one of the most captivating dance forms today. (Words: Laura Thornley)

    Breakin’ Convention is on May 4-6. For more info, visit: www.breakinconvention.com/events/festival 


  2. New Post: Somewhere you should go… The London Coffee Festival


    Somewhere you should go… The London Coffee Festival

    If you have noticed some odd behaviour from your fellow citizens of late, sweating, agitation or sudden bursts of nervous energy, you may have encountered yet another victim to a growing trend consuming our nation: the love of a coffee. Gone are the days when a ceramic pot and home knitted cosy were the staple home brewing kit; a metaphorical peace offering, outstretched friendly arms, a potion to unleash your worries over- no, today we have chrome, grinding machines, switches, machinery, strong spellbinding caramel aromas… Okay, so coffee has been around and loved for a while, since 1652 to be exact, but its latest fashionable heights are growing as exponentially as its caffeine-filled legs can carry it.


    Cue The London Coffee Festival, which will welcome 15,000 visitors over four days at the Old Truman Brewery and showcase just how refined and sophisticated coffee has become (so leave your granules at the door). Divided into ‘zones’, the latest in artisan, coffee science, roasteries, food-to-be-enjoyed-with-coffee and music-to-release-your-coffee-energy-to, gets explored. While there are a few suspect coffee chains on the attendees list (that is not in the spirit of the coffee following, methinks) there are many keen and enthusiastic artisans around as well. Look out for Ozone Coffee Roasters (NZ owned East London café) and Caravan in the True Artisan Café area (don’t miss their brunch either) and Rapha Cycle Club representing an unlikely union of bike and brew. And for a slightly different twist, The Shoreditch Grind will be serving Alfagato treats (the drunken coffee and ice-cream Italian desert) and there will no doubt be a few coffee martinis doing the rounds.


    For us creative types, the festival will also host a Twin Peaks pop-up art exhibition – a celebration of the cult shows 20th anniversary – so don’t be surprised if you spot a pareidolia in the milk foam.

    Judging by the past years success, the festival will be an exciting look at the latest movers and shakers in the business, including the opportunity to see the UK barista championship in action. So if you are partial to the mighty coffee bean, wild caffeine-charged horses shouldn’t keep you away. (Words: Laura Thornley)

    The London Coffee Festival takes place from April 25-28th. For more info, visit: www.londoncoffeefestival.com


  3. New Post: What we’ve been up to… cheering at the London Marathon 2013


    What we’ve been up to… cheering at the London Marathon 2013

    In light of last week’s Boston bombings, this year’s London Marathon took on a whole new meaning, giving runners  in the capital an opportunity to  show solidarity to remember those affected.  A 30 second silence was held at the start of the race, before  36,000 runners began the 26.2 mile challenge, watched by a reported 700,000 spectators (a record!) who lined the streets at various points along the course.  As a member of Run Dem Crew, I made  a beeline for Mile 21 – between Westferry and Limehouse –  where “cheerdemcrew” members set up camp to support everyone who hit this milestone.  With great weather and plenty of amusing costumes to spot, it was a joyous occasion, so check out some of the pics from the day, just below:








  4. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Lazybones


    What we’ve been up to… Lazybones

    They’ve been open for just over a month, but from our recent visit it’s easy to see how Lazybones could soon become the hottest spot for American food in the City. From the trendy decor to the quirky ambience – and that DIY popcorn seasoning bar (you gotta see it to believe it), this American cocktail bar and diner hasn’t missed a trick in impressing the locals – and unlike those outlets that go for style first, menu second, the food on offer is exceptionally good and slow cooked to perfection.



    As they’re all about slow cooked meats and messy eats, we went for the sweet and spicy chicken wings (massive and juicy), the New York hot dog (as awesome as the real deal) and the extremely flavoursome brisket chilli and crushed guacamole, which just about left us room to tuck into the homemade brownie which comes with cornish ice cream.  And the pricing for everything averaged at a more than comfortable £30 for two people (not including drinks).



    It was a shame we didn’t manage to try the craft beers and pulled pork which we’ve heard amazing things about – but from our first impression, this is just two more reasons to give Lazybones another visit (hopefully sooner than later).


    For more info, visit: www.lazybones.uk.com


  5. New Post: Enjoy Priceless Theatre with Mastercard


    Enjoy Priceless Theatre with Mastercard


    You know, we know it: London’s Theatre scene ROCKS – and from the forthcoming shows we’ve got our sights on such as To Kill A Mockingbird  and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the long runners we haven’t seen yet  ( *cough*The Lion King, Billy Elliot, The Woman In Black, Chicago *cough*), we know that the West End always delivers, making us even more proud of this good city.   It’s also why we’re liking the latest we’re hearing from Priceless London – the programme which has been hooking up Mastercard customers with Priceless Moments in the capital in the most remarkable ways.  They’re now offering theatre fans the chance join the casts of three of the biggest musicals in the world on stage: so if the idea of participating in a backstage tour and photoshoot with the Wicked cast or joining the dress rehearsals of Les Miserables and We Will Rock You sounds good, read on.


    This once in a lifetime opportunity also includes pre and post dinner,  and as they’re all Olivier Award winners, you’ll then get the chance to live it up at the 37th Olivier Awards.  As the headline sponsors of this year’s ceremony, MasterCard will give two winners the chance to walk the red carpet, rub shoulders with the biggest stars in theatre including hosts Sheridan Smith and Hugh Bonneville, enjoy the ceremony itself, dine at a Michelin starred restaurant, head to the afterparty and  stay in  luxury digs. Four friends and/or family will get a look in too, letting you share the experience with loved ones.  Fabulous, right?  Well you only have until April 22nd to get involved, so visit  www.pricelesslondon.co.uk for more unforgettable experiences.  Mastercard Customers can register by visiting  www.pricelesstheatre.co.uk.

    Sponsored Post 


  6. New Post: Something you should see… Claire Aho: Studio Works at The Photographers’ Gallery


    Something you should see… Claire Aho: Studio Works at The Photographers’ Gallery

    Artist Claire Aho began her career as a photographer during a time when men dominated the industry. A cultural icon in her native Finland, British audiences now have the chance to see the images that made Aho’s name at London’s Photographers’ Gallery. The exhibition concentrates on Aho’s career from 1950 to 1970 – a period where her use of colour and inventive style made her a leading name in the world of advertising, editorial and fashion photography. Studio Works is the first solo exhibition of Aho’s work in the UK and will include the original Finnish lifestyle magazines featuring Aho’s cover pictures, as well as images from her archive.


    Considered a pioneer of Finnish colour photography, Aho started her career in film before establishing her own commercial studio in the 1950s. Aho’s photographs from this era depicted domestic life around Finland and many of these images will be on view. Aho’s pictures are saturated with colour and contrasting palettes usually appear side by side. It was the quality of Aho’s colour photography that created a commercial demand for her services across a range of industries. If colour is thematic in the work of Aho, so is humour and audiences will definitely get a sense of that at the show. Photographs such as Compressor Refrigerator, which depicts a children’s tea party wouldn’t feel out of place in a current ad run for Ikea. The fun and playful quality that underscores much of Aho’s images at the show should connect with audiences.


    Claire Aho says she never saw her work as pioneering during the 1950s, she ‘just worked hard’. But you need only watch the travails of Peggy Olson from the fictional show Mad Men to realise just how hard that must have been. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Claire Aho: Studio Works is on at The Photographers’ Gallery, from 19 April -21 July. For more info, visit www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk


  7. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Sundance London Film and Music Festival 2013


    Somewhere you should go… Sundance London Film and Music Festival 2013

    The appearance of a great variety of extinguished guests, from trip hop pioneer Tricky to HRH The Prince of Wales was one of the many things that made last year’s Sundance London such an absolute joy. Now as the film and music festival returns to the O2, will it be able to offer once again a highly eclectic and diverse audio-visual experience?

    The film section of the festival does include a stellar line up of films (fiction, documentaries and short films) that left the best of impressions at the latest Sundance film festival. A case in point is Mud. It’s directed by Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter), a filmmaker who may be the most interesting new voice in the American independent cinema, and stars Matthew McConaughey, who had a brilliant year ever since he decided to move away from romcoms and prove his acting chops in more demanding projects.  The story has the unparalleled enchantment of a fable as two teenage boys try to reunite a charismatic outlaw with his true love, so  it’s no wonder the film has received high praise by the critics. Another critics’ darling, Michael Winterbottom, will be present at the festival to present his latest film The Look of Love, a flamboyant biopic of the notorious “king of Soho” Paul Raymond. The fact that Raymond is played by Steve Coogan should be worth the admission fee alone.
    Moving on to the documentaries, Blood Brother presents the inspiring story of Rocky Braat who after meeting a group of children with HIV in India,  decides to stay there and restart his life dedicating himself to the  well-being of those children. Having won both the audience award and the grand jury prize at Sundance, the film will undoubtedly be a life affirming experience. For thrill seekers, there is The Summit that uses found footage as well as realistic re-enactments to convey to the viewer the breath taking experience of climbing K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth. In August 2008, 18 out of 24 climbers reached the summit of K2. 28 hours later, 11 people were dead. Up to this day we do not know what exactly happened on that fateful date.

    The music section of this year’s festival offers a far more joyful but equally electrifying experience. History Of The Eagles Part One showcases not only the defining tunes but also the stormy conflicts between the members of this classic band. Members of The Eagles will do an extended Q&A session after the screening of the film to shine more light on their fascinating story. Another American legend, Gregg Allman (of The Allman Brothers Band), will be joined by John Paul White (of The Civil Wars), to present Muscle Shoals, a documentary about the glorious “Muscle Shoals sound”, featuring interviews with Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Alicia Keys. They’ll also be performing an intimate acoustic 45 minute live performance. Last but certainly not least, the sui-generis Merrill Beth Nisker aka Peaches will grace the festival with her presence not just delivering one of her characteristic ferocious gigs but also presenting her first feature, aptly entitled Peaches Does Herself, an electro rock opera about her affair with a beautiful she-male.

    With a programme then that includes a bit of everything, it’s clear the second ever Sundance London will surpass the already high expectations. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)
    Sundance London Film and Music Festival 2013 will take place at the O2 from April 25-28. For further information visit: www.sundance-london.com


  8. New Post: Something you should see… Rebecca Ward at Ronchini Gallery


    Something you should see… Rebecca Ward at Ronchini Gallery

    Rebecca Ward’s canvasses have been through a lot. Scrunched up, kicked around and soaked in bleach for so long that they are burnt through with holes, they are then stretched taut across wooden frames to bare the scars of their abuse history. ‘I treat the materials as I would sculpture,’ the young Texan artist tells TCé.  But in mounting the canvasses and hanging them on the walls of Ronchini Gallery we see Ward checking her violently expressive acts, reigning the work in with regulatory lines and angles. The hysterically marbled fabric is given architectural structure by Ward’s ruler straight bands painted onto the surface, and their frenetic patterning is cut short by rectilinear gauze-like panels, which she creates by pulling threads one by one from the canvas.


    ‘Bleach and I are acquaintances now’ laughs Ward. ‘You have to get to know your materials’. She is experimental in her studio; the burn holes for one were not originally intentional, but appeared after she left the canvas in bleach for three hours. ‘It’s interesting how mistakes can actually be rewards’. She engages imperfections without suffocating them with her abstract interventions,  masterfully administering dialogues between shape and colour, clarity and disorder, spontaneity and regulation.

    The ghostly lines you see on the floor of Ronchini Gallery are a visual memory of Ward’s previous exhibition at the gallery, when she divided the stone floor with gaudy adhesive tape. Both shows were organised by Artnesia, a curatorial body set on staying ahead of the game when it comes to identifying relatively unexplored areas of art production. Following exhibitions on emerging artists from Turkey and Iran, their most recent fascination has been the abstract works conceived in the hot bed of talent that is the young New York art scene.


    Shoppers, take a break from Oxford Street’s flashing phone-unlockers and floor full of fast food wrappers and escape down a side street to Ward’s sanctuary of abstraction at Ronchini Gallery. Dealers, dig deep. This girl’s gonna be big. (Words: Florence Ritter) 

    On until May 18th.  For more info, visit: www.ronchinigallery.com


  9. New Post: Somewhere you should eat… Zoilo


    Somewhere you should eat… Zoilo

    You may have noticed that South America is enjoying a foodie makeover at the moment. Every week in London and beyond, new Peruvian, Paraguayan, Argentinean restaurants are popping up in a resurgence of culinary interest in this lesser-known tasty continent. Couple that with the meat revolution that has taken hold of the capital recently and you can see why chef Diego Lacquet could be onto a winner with his new Argentinean cocina.


    This slick restaurant is behind Bond Street tube on the way up to Marylebone. The entrance is cloaked in a thick black curtain, beyond which stylish black and white tiles dot the floor and a long bar hosts clientele for food and drinks. We are led downstairs to the kitchen seating; front row seats at the Parilla. The chefs busy around the kitchen, tending the grill, building the plates; all with expert timing and professionalism. The wine list is chalked on a board and not surprisingly, features an extensive range of Malbec – both by the glass or carafe. But, we opt for house cocktails, Sweet Fernando and Chamame.


    Although Argentinean rarely calls to mind anything other than beef, the menu is a healthy mix, rich in seafood and some less thoughtful vegetarian dishes. It’s a small plates place, which means you get to try a few different things. We order some homemade bread, provoletta and empanadas – which form our starter round. The bread comes in three kinds and makes the perfect accompaniment to the chewy rich proveletta, laced with honey and almonds. The empanadas are a little disappointing but the beef filling rich and delicious.


    Next our Sous-vide pork belly arrives; a modern take on an ancient cooking technique (originally it would have been cooked in a stomach but now it’s more sealed plastic and stainless steel bain maries). It’s topped with chorizo and charred king prawn. The pork is utterly melt-in-the-mouth with the smoky oil of the chorizo matching the caramel flavours of the fat to a tee. It’s impossible not to try the beef – we order the flank steak with celeriac and bone marrow. Neither the bone marrow nor the celeriac were particularly noticeable but the beef was cooked to perfection; caramelised on the outside and blood pink on the inside. We also sample the garrapinada and beetroot, which is okay but pales into insignificance next to the meat dishes. Other orders flying out of the kitchen include the octopus and the chips provencal.


    Zoilo is a great addition to the South American food craze: classy and delicious. Diego Lacquet has attempted to broaden our understanding of Argentinean, and he has, but only to the extent of highlighting the food from the coast. And for that reason, best to leave the vegetarians at home.

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    For more info, visit: www.zoilo.co.uk


  10. New Post: Somewhere you should go… SLAM Last Fridays


    Somewhere you should go… SLAM Last Fridays

    SLAM Last Fridays, the fresh naughty little sister of the monthly late night openings, will be coming around again at the end of the month. Compared with East London’s well-established First Thursdays and Fitzrovia’s well-heeled Lates on every last Thursday, South London’s offering to the mix is more diverse and widespread, and is an important fixture for your art diaries. Galleries and studios in Bankside, Peckham, Deptford and Bermondsey open their doors into the evening and welcome those who want to kick off the weekend with a good hit of culture, and maybe a cheeky beer or two.


    So print off a map, round up some pals and hit those buzzing cultural seedbeds south of the river. SLAM organisers recommend sticking to one district but the more adventurous can zip between galleries by bus, bike or rollerblades, whatever you fancy. South London Art Tours are organised across each of the areas, on a strictly pay-what-you-can (or -like) basis. Follow one of their specialist tour guides to a selection of art hotspots, wander freestyle, or have a gander at these shows handpicked by your beloved TCé:
    Bankside’s CUL DE SAC Gallery will be exploring misrepresentation, authority and the individual in contemporary China in a series of parodic and absurd works in performance and video.
    • Exhibiting artist Melanie Jackson will be giving a talk in Peckham’s Flat Time House on her weird and wonderful futuristic botanicals, in a recently opened display of ceramic and video work. (April 26th)
    • Over in Bermondsey, a brilliant show at The Drawing Room interrogates the blurred boundaries of media categorisation with a showcase of artists working between drawing and sculpture.

    If all this art gets you in the mood for cheap drinks and dancing don’t forget the official after parties held in each of the different areas – slammin’! (Words: Florence Ritter) 

    For more info, visit www.southlondonartmap.com