Saturday 23rd September

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Bongo's Bingo

Bongo’s Bingo at Clapham’s The Grand

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A week on Friday, Clapham’s The Grand hosts its latest Bongo’s Bingo extravaganza – a wild night of drinking, dancing, cavorting and … well, bingo, but not as you know it.  

Last month, Samm Abbott headed south of the river to check out the silliness for herself, and reported back for What’s On London on why this event has become so popular in the UK and beyond.

What’s Bongo’s Bingo, you ask?  Well, it isn’t your grandma’s bingo, so don’t head along if you’re hoping for a quiet night floating in a sea of blue rinses and hearing aides.

Bongo's Bingo London - summer dates announcedBongo’s Bingo is bingo on speed, featuring dance-offs, fantastic music, rave interludes, bouts of bingo and some awesome – and some not-so-awesome – prizes.

It started two years ago in Liverpool, aimed at bringing back a healthy dollop of unadulterated fun and escapism to nights out.  From these humble beginnings, it’s spread across the world, even to Ibiza, Spain and Dubai.  And last month, its Australian launch saw two Sydney shows selling out in under half an hour.  So it’s very much a brand on the rise.

Joshua Burke, one of Bongo’s Bingo’s co-founders, explained: “We’re loving our London events and are incredibly happy at Clapham Grand – a really beautiful and intimate venue for our shows.

“This summer’s looking really good: we’re launching in locations around the world and our UK events are going from strength to strength.  We expect these to sell out quickly!”

Burke’s prophecy is likely to be fulfilled because – as I can testify – Bongo’s Bingo’s just so raucous and infectious.  My pals and I danced, drank and played bingo until the early hours, buoyed by the electric atmosphere.

Winning a bottle of Malibu was a highlight, but it was really the hosts that kept the vibes flowing.  Full of energy, they danced around, hyped up guests and kept things as far from geriatric as you could imagine – an example being when they forced British Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton on stage to compete in a dance-off caught on camera!

You’d better get in quickly before the July and August events sell-out.  It’s the bingo we wish was on every weekend.

Bongo’s Bingo is taking place at Clapham’s The Grand on Friday 14th July and Friday 18th August from 6pm.  For tickets and more information, head to the official website.  You can also follow the brand on Facebook here or on Twitter @bongosbingo88.

Category: Clubs
London

What’s On, London? 16th – 18th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

It’s been another tragic week for London with the full consequences of the Grenfell Tower fire still emerging.  One thing’s clear: never again can people be exposed to such danger.  Londoners must do all we can to ensure our politicians act quickly to help those affected and prevent any repeat.  The only silver lining to this awful cloud has been the response: money donated, items provided and fundraising efforts set in motion.  So while again we have no choice but to try to carry on with our lives, making the most of the positive things happening in our city (listed below), we include a special section highlighting the events coming up to raise funds for the victims and their families.

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Category: Clubs
London

What’s On, London? 8th – 11th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Last weekend was a tragic one for London.  But we can’t let mindless, hateful morons stop us doing what we do best: making the most of the amazing things this great city has to offer everyone – whatever your tastes and interests.  We carry on.  We must and we will.  With that in mind, the next few days offer plenty of opportunities for Londoners to seek escapism, to laugh and to marvel at the creative contributions people make to our shared culture every day.

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Category: Art
Kenesha
Photograph by Martin Slidel

Kenesha @ Alley Cat

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I rocked up at the great Alley Cat Club about eightish when unusually for live gigs the party had already started. In retrospect unsurprising as the popular Kenesha had not one but three top-level support acts. I made it in to the soulful yet gravely voice of Alex Bay for spot-on delivery of his David Gray-esque Love Never Dies. Next up was Blues singer Winston Skerritt whose gently styled speech-singing was matched by sensitive and rhythmic guitar. Terrific changes of tempo and dynamics included the slowed-down end of the hypnotic The One That Got AwayJoe Garvey’s clever and witty ramble Long Way to Fall boasted admirable articulation of otherwise tongue-twisting lyrics. This followed with what else but a down-and-dirty version of MJ’s Beat It.

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Category: Clubs
Matthew Trusler
Matthew Trusler

1901 Arts Club: Matthew Trusler & Gordon Back

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1901 Arts Club // Waterloo

It’s worth getting to 1901 Arts Club early. I arrived about ten minutes after doors open, and the charming and elegant upstairs bar was buzzing. The first in a series of Hattori Foundation Birthday Recitals was pretty much sold out – so book your tickets soon. Erich Gruenberg, chairman of the trust that supports young and gifted musicians, commenced proceedings with an entertaining and enlightening introduction. His pleasure in sharing two of the world’s “favourite sonatas” was infectious.

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Category: Clubs
Woody at work
Woody at work on the decks

Sublime Soundcrash Scares

Soundcrash hosts a night of DJing excellence to thrill audiophiles and revellers alike.

Sitting on a side road off Shoreditch High Street, Village Underground is fronted by a bustling stream of people. Most are in a jubilant mood though some are plastered in a palette of deathly face paint which belies the general atmosphere of merriment.

It’s the night after Halloween – traditionally a time when those of a Catholic persuasion are preparing for All Souls’ Day. But Soundcrash wants to extend the spook-filled festivities of the previous night for a few more hours. They’ve commandeered the venue and have assembled three of the world’s finest DJs, Messrs Yoda, Woody, and Cheeba, to entertain, guide, and perhaps even frighten revellers until the early hours of the morning.

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Category: Clubs
Streets of Peace
From left to right, Chiu Dat, Chris Helme, Glenda Jaxson with East End Promises on the Bottom

Streets of Peace Review

The Colosseum night club is home to London’s niche culture with an array of  urban and LGBT club nights. The Streets of Peace aimed to promote peace through “art and positivity”, so this seemed like a culturally rich venue. Inside the main room was a small stage surrounded by a large dance floor. This was scattered with press, who were armed with professional cameras and access all area passes. I hoped that as the night progressed it would get busier, after all Londoners should be supporting an event that promotes peace on their streets.

The Acts

The Soul Mavericks were performing when I arrived. The best way to describe these dancers, would be a mixture of urban street funk like in You Got Served and contemporary break dancing. I don’t use contemporary lightly – there is no other way to describe these young talents as anything but urban and fresh. Throughout the performance it felt like the dancers were battling with an invisible enemy. This seemed to be a lasting metaphor throughout the event, as young people seek to be individual but face opposition from older generations. Streets of Peace aimed to unite people despite the traditional barriers of age, sex and culture. I felt that the Soul Mavericks embodied this message very well. This is street dance at it’s finest.

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Category: Clubs
Clubbing

Top clubbing areas in London town

Get on your party gear  and enjoy London’s Nightlife

So far we have touched on events and/or activities that you can enjoy during the day. All at a moderate price, you’ll be sure to to have some change left to enjoy some of the nightlife that London has to offer too! With a wide range of clubs and clubbing areas to choose from it can be hard to decide on a starting point. We have found a few areas that you should get yourself down to and dance the night away in and around the capital.

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Category: Clubs