If you’re looking for a Remedy

17 06 2010

Right, I’ve come out of blog-hibernation because there’s a big ol’ event going down tonight that I should’ve written about time ago. (Sorry Ash!) And I can’t possibly let it go by without shouting a little bit about it.

So, if you’re free tonight and happen to be eastish – actually, if you happen to be ANYWHERE – get yourself to the Rhythm Factory in Whitechapel.

Remedy Live is happening.

It’s run by the Music is Remedy team. The line up looks like this:

Ed Sheeran
XO Man
Kanna Ellie
Dean Atta
Sharika Medla

All supported by the Remedies.

Now I’ve already witnessed some of these artists at previous Writer’s Block events (yeah, you know I like to shout about them a bit too). And if you’d ever given up hope on the artistic talents of our fair Lost Generation, this is the place for it to be restored and rejuvenated. London is providing the goods. No joke.

And if you need real proof, take a look at the live rehearsal sessions over on Pinboard Blog. Candid and exclusive.

It’s a fiver.

Oh, and a bit-a twitter for you too:
Music is Remedy
Writer’s Block
Pinboard Blog



The Insulting Cabaret. Nuff said mate.

15 04 2010

There’s a festival of world literature going on in town. Oh yes.

It’s called Free the Word! and this is its 3rd year in London.

International PEN are in charge of it all. They believe words make the world go round. And ya damn right, too! Read about them here.

If you only make it to one of the Free the Word! events, you should go and see the Insulting Cabaret at the Southwark Playhouse tomorrow night (Friday 16th April 2010).

Why? Cos it’s gonna be an effin’ trip.

And also cos I haven’t seen it promoted anywhere. And I work in the Southwark/London Bridge area. I was lucky enough to be told about it by the Thayil half of Sridhar/Thayil*. So of course I’m gonna share this valuable information and implore you to get out there and do something different.

Sridhar/Thayil will be on that stage doing their thang with a bunch of other musical, wordy performers. This year’s theme is love and hate. Those universally elusive concepts.

You should also go cos it’s bloody well called the Insulting Cabaret. And if that doesn’t spark even a little curiosity in you, then your brain cells have obviously been numbed by the inane Leader’s Debate that was on TV earlier. So I suppose you can be forgiven.

I haven’t given you a potpourri parcel in a while, have I?

Here you go:

The Insulting Cabaret: Love Vs. Hate
Venue: Southwark Playhouse
Date: 16th April 2010
Time: 9.30pm
Price: 8 quid.

*if the name Thayil sounds familiar, it’s cos back in January I blogged about the anthology he edited (and contributed to). The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry. Remember?

(photo provided by whatmegsaid)

Back in a sweet minute

12 04 2010

I know, I know, I’ve been rubbish at posting.

I started a new job recently (yay!), and between that and shopping for bathroomy stuff for a loft conversion and other eastery family stuff, and a laptop with crappy internet, I’m surprisingly knackered. That ain’t right. I’m only 23.

Anyway, I promise to be back up on this soon as I get my act together.

In the meantime, you should join me at the Writer’s Block 2nd Birthday Party happening THIS Wednesday 14th April at Cargo in Shoreditch, London. If the name Writer’s Block sounds familiar, it’s cos you read about them here.

Jesse Boykins III will be performing specially for me.

Oh. I mean us. The audience. I guess.

And there’s a phenomenal line-up of other outta-this-world spoken-word artists, poets, musicians and general pioneers of creative beauty. I’ve seen them all before on the humble Writer’s Block stage at their usual Juno headquarters, and I can’t wait to see them tear it up again at Cargo.

You can buy your tickets in advance here.

Join in the celebrations. Bring everyone. It’s gonna be big.

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Paraiso!

9 03 2010

Some of you may know I’m part of the Paraiso School of Samba, London’s most authentic Brazilian Rio-style samba school.

(Here’s a picture of me and my fellow sambistas playing the part last Christmas:)

This year we’re celebrating International Women’s Day with the Lambeth Council presenting an all-female bateria (drum ensemble). We’ll be resurrecting the spirit of Rio’s carnival, only just laid to rest a couple of weeks ago,and bringing the party to the streets of Brixton. There’s no doubt we’re gonna be making the loudest sound there with our drums!

Here’s a little snippet from the Lambeth Council Website to give you an idea of what else you can get up to:

We have a range of activities on offer including free therapies, demonstrations, children’s corner, fashion and jewellery, sewing, employment, education and financial advice, dance and poetry and much, much more.

Motivational seminars
You can also attend one of three motivational seminars offering practical tips on:

  • ‘How to reorder your life’
  • ‘Feel the fear – do it anyway’
  • ‘How to make your money matter’.

Come and show your support, have a little boogie, and check out all the other activities going down at the Lambeth Town Hall this Saturday 13 March from midday til 4pm.

If you like words

8 02 2010

The most awesome proprietors of the revolutionary Writer’s Block (see blogroll to the right, yo) are putting on their first show of the decade! And you should come along for these reasons:

  1. You are guaranteed to see/hear the most inspiring and talented acts this century, whether they’re poets, musicians, film-makers, graffiti artists, the DJ or the most charming compere, Tracy D.
  2. The bar, Juno, serves fantastic food.
  3. Because I said so. Obviously!

But seriously. I first got into spoken word and performance poetry while studying in NYC where I frequented the ultra-quirky Bowery Poetry Club. Their regular Tuesday open mic night, the Urbana Poetry Slam featured some of the MOST blindingly talented wordsmiths I had ever come across. Every time I went, I left the buzzing atmosphere with goosebumps, and probably fancying one of the poets for I am, indeed, a sucker for a well-articulated mofo.

I came back to London desperate to witness the same level of overly inspiring, vibrant and unique showcasing of talent. Of course poetry is around in many forms and personas in the city, but I had yet to experience the bumpin’, audience-participatory, almost-party vibe that the Bowery had offered.

My poetry-prayers were answered in the form of Writer’s Block. After failing to successfully make it down to the Shoreditch location a few times, I eventually reached it in June of last year and was completely blown away! With the warm June sun shining outside (yeah, remember when the sunshine was actually HOT?) the bar was packed and after each act, there was a buzzing consensus that we had all just witnessed some of the rawest and genuine talent to come from this fledgling, ‘lost’ generation in the past few years.

And although never exactly the same, subsequent Writers Block events have always featured the same high level of talent from already-established as well as up-and-coming artists. And with people from all kinds of backgrounds, the stories they bring to the stage are always infallibly varied and fascinating. There’s bound to be something that grabs your attention by the collars, comes right close up to its face and lays on a gigantic smacker, leaving you enamoured, if only for a sweet minute.

If that’s not enough to persuade you, then check out the review of the September 2009 Writer’s Block on the Bookfreeq blog here. (If you take a quick glance at the blogroll you’ll see her freeqy self perched among other very cool links!).

I’ll now present to you, as always, all the finely-scented details in a neat little parcel pour toi:

Writer’s Block “Passion” Show
Date: Thursday Feb 11th 2010
Time: 8pm onwards (but I’d advise getting there early as it gets packed fairly quickly)
Location: Juno, 134-135 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JE
Price: £5

If you want to stalk Writer’s Block (they won’t mind):

See you there fellow wordlovers!

If Motown and Bollywood had a one-night stand…

8 01 2010

Their illicit birthchild would be Mollywood? Err, nope. Maybe in some twisted alternate universe.

Instead, what exists in our fair world is the fusiontastic ensemble: Botown.

I first read about them in the Evening Standard and tore the article out because my short-term memory is basically non-existant (I blame the internet) and I knew I’d never remember to look it up. Also, more importantly, because the combination of Bollywood music and Motown music is basically my brain.

Described on their website as “a super-tight Asian Soul Funk band, performing Bollywood grooves reborn with a soul funk twist”, they’re the perfect example of what I’m trying to promote on this blog – levels of cultural defiance to make your brain fizzle!

As a massive fan of retro Bollywood myself, I’m eager to check out what this Botown business is all about. I’ve already listened to a few tracks on their Myspace page, and their choices of 1970s classics Churaliaya and Roop Tera (sampling a Ray Charles riff in the intro of the latter) definitely gets the Bollywood in my blood flowing. Unfortunately, the following audience reaction pieces are not the most enlightening, most of them sticking with “really really good” or “fantastic”.

Here’s hoping their forthcoming gig at the eclectic Jazz Cafe venue in March attracts a curious and diverse crowd.  

Your humble Findu plans to make it there and scribble down a few notes to be transformed into a review to be posted right hurrrr.

In the meantime, here’s all the gig info in a neat potpourri parcel:

Botown – “the Soul of Bollywood”
Venue: Jazz Cafe
Date: 11 March 2010
Time: Doors open 7pm
Price: a decent £12