Bubbling under in Iceland – and Phildel makes waves

I haven’t posted here for a while as I’ve been in Iceland. What an awesome, beautiful, hauntingly strange land, combined with the most chilled and friendly people. My mind is still somewhere in the lava fields but I’m back, physically anyway, in England. While travelling I learned some interesting stuff from locals about Icelandic music,…

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Mixing it up at Bush Hall: Phildel and Ali Warren Band

As you make your way from Shepherd’s Bush tube station to Bush Hall, endless temptation assails you: fruit smoothie stalls and Arab coffee shops with trays of pistachio-sprinkled pastries. Nestled among the food emporia is miniature Bush Hall, with its rich red velvet drapes, majestic chandeliers and VIP-size upstairs bar with viewing gallery. Such swagger…

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Location, location: music for 2013 in unforgettable venues

From tiny, friendly gigs where you feel as if you’re in someone’s living room, to the big, bold and outlandish, 2013 is all about statement venues. Here are a few to whet the appetite. 1. February 17: Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush, west London. Only £5. A mellow Sunday evening under the chandeliers beckons at this…

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Down in Kentish Town: great music and Thai curry

Oh for a good old-fashioned English high street, a scruffy one, with no Starbucks, Accessorize and Oliver Bonas popping up everywhere. Well that’s pretty much Kentish Town for you, where you’ll find newsagents, printer shops, friendly market stalls and even a library – granted a Costa lurks, but it doesn’t seem to have ushered in…

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King’s Place for food, drinks, art and alt-country band, ahab

We saw ahab at King’s Place as part of the King’s Cross venue’s folk sessions. Just for the record, Ahab (upper-case) are a German funeral doom-metal outfit – to be remembered when googling them. ahab (lower case) saunter on stage at King’s Place. First on is Callum Anderson, playing the first few chords of a beautiful-sounding…

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Mental Elf – New Year at Hebden Bridge Trades Club

New Year’s Eve 2012. I asked various people how they intended to celebrate. Mostly, it seemed, this was to be the year of the “quiet night in”. How boring, I thought to myself. I need to go out and do some dancing. It’s fair enough to accept when one can no longer head off to…

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Review: Lady Cora of Downton at The Troubadour

The Troubadour at Earls Court. Upstairs is the quirky coffee house and restaurant which I don’t think has changed in appearance since I first visited it in the 70s. Downstairs is a venue at the heart of London’s music scene, a cramped cellar which has seen the likes of Bob Dylan grace its stage. Last night…

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Music Festivals – what’s on the horizon?

2012 has not been an easy year for festivals. The economic situation and the depressing wet weather took their toll. The season kicked off with a disastrously sodden Isle of Wight, followed by similar problems at Creamfields dance weekender, and Wakestock in Wales. Even Morrisons, the supermarket chain, was due to get in on the…

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