Regulars at the Sovereign are in for a real treat on Saturday night as not only is it the pub’s Christmas party, the fabulous dance band Section Eleven will be playing their infectious mix of Latin grooves.
I have to confess, the first time I heard them play I had been dragged rather reluctantly, protesting loudly “I don’t like Latin”, but was soon converted. Section Eleven play an eclectic mix of Latin sounds including Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, Colombian and Brazilian rhythms. The band certainly lived up to its ‘dance’ tagline and in fact I didn’t sit down once during their set, swept along with the band’s big sound and irresistible beat.
So when I heard they would be playing at the Sovereign again I caught up with Venetia Bennion – who plays both Alto and Soprano Saxophone as well as providing some of the vocals – to find out a little more about the band.
Oops, time for a little update: Unfortunately we got our facts a bit upside down. The cancellation of the Christmas bash was down to a licensing issue. Please have a look at Greg’s comment below to get the real deal.
Although the ‘winter’ lights have been up for while and the shop-fronts are festooned with decorations, you can tell that Christmas is really just around the corner when the first real trees start to appear. But don’t fret if, unlike some of your smug Facebook friends, you haven’t finished (or even started) your Christmas shopping because everything you could possibly need can be found right here in Stokey.
From miniscule budgets to those with no limits, from obvious choices like a book token for the ‘impossible to buy for’ friend or scented candles and picture frames from Hamilton’s, to a truly unique one-off original Stokey has it all.
After several vague promises to get in touch (mine, I shamefully admit), I finally had the chance to sit down with Stokey’s answer to Elvis and our very own Man in Black, Charlie Wilson – lead singer of the Brick Lane Boogie Boys.
Hello Charlie, The Boogie Boys are practically a Stokey institution and must be one of the areas best known bands. Tell us a little about them.
We’ve done well over 100 gigs in Stoke Newington in the last 10 years. But we’re not just a Stokey band – we play all over. We’ve appeared on the BBC Radio London Sessions five times as part of the Robert Elm show, which has spread us all around London. We do a lot of festivals in the summer too, both specialist and the mainstream ones. In fact we’ve done most of them.
On Friday, 27 November at 6pm, Stokey Fashion Rocks! will return to Abney Hall for a night of charity gala glam in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Already on its third outing, Stokey Fashion Rocks is a seasonal fashion show put on by our local independent boutiques and shops… this time Androulla Fashions, Hub, Red, Ribbons and Taylor, Rosa, Sunstone and Beaucatcher are taking part, and the lovely Isla Traquair will be there to help host the evening.
We are promised a return of our local firemen and other well known locals from pubs, shops, cafes and restaurants on the catwalk. This could be well interesting… who would you like to see? And in case you can’t make it, we hear that there will be a calendar on sale in mid December.
Tickets are £20 and apart from entry to this glorious event that includes a goodie bag (worth £30 alone), a meal (we know Atique Choudhury’s Yum Yum and Oishiii are involved) and a cocktail (apparently courtesy of The Three Crowns and soon to be reopened The Lion.) You don’t get that at the O2 Arena, do you?
We interrupt this site for a service announcement: If you’re looking for Stoke Newington t-shirts, mugs, bags, etc. to give away this Christmas you can now get a cool 15% off absolutely everything in our shop until 29 November by simply entering the code “NOVEMBERSALE” at check-out. Happy browsing!
If you are wondering why Church Street is being dug up yet again, causing untold traffic and transport problems, it isn’t to replace the Victorian waterpipes or the gas mains… this time it is all in the name of regeneration.
Church Street has long been seen as a focal point of Stokey, attracting locals and visitors alike to its shops, restaurants and pubs, and Hackney Council have decided to give it a multi-million pound facelift.
It’s that time of the year again. N16 Fringe time. From 20 to 23 August 2009 all Stoke Newington (and a lot of outlanders) will come out and play at our pubs, bars, warehouses, galleries, cafes, churches and wherever else we can have fun.
N16 Fringe Festival 2009
Oh, and is there goodness in store for you… art from Billy Childish, music from The Cesarians, Morning Bride and the City Farmers, readings by Michael Rosen and Iain Sinclair, workshops with Pinball Geoff, DJing from Mr. Andy Weatherall, and so much more. And, best of all, almost all of it is free.
Stereo Stokey says a sad farewell to Ocean Books on Church Street who, after trading for fifteen years, closed their doors for the last time on Sunday.
There is something special about bookshops in general and especially second-hand ones. It was easy to spend an hour or two browsing the great selection of second-hand books in Ocean. It is like diving into a treasure trove, you never knew what you might find… from the latest summer bonk-buster to a rare out of print poetry book by Leonard Cohen. Continue reading
In passing there doesn’t seem to be anything unusual about the bicycle tied to a lamppost opposite the Stoke Newington Railway, but then something doesn’t seem quite right… eventually it dawns on me that not only is it a white bike but the wheels are white too. What does it mean? Is it an East End art installation or a marketing gimmick?
Ghost Bike on Kingsland Road. Photo by Tom Taylor
Closer inspection reveals the bike has been painted and has a bunch of dried flowers hanging off the handlebars. Far from being trendy street furniture, the bike is part of a phenomenon known as ghost bikes – a memorial to cyclists that have been killed on the road. This particular one is for Lucinda Ferrier who died last year and there is another one further down the Kingsland Road at the corner of Middleton Road commemorating Antony Smith – also known as ‘Smudge’.