Friday 24th November

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Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Last Thursday, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy played a soulful, stylistically varied stripped-back set at Islington’s atmospheric Union Chapel.

Will Oldham is a riddle.  He’s recorded tracks constantly since the early nineties, carving out a cult following whether performing under his given name, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy or variations of the word ‘Palace’.  He’s developed his own brand of troubled folk with a punk aesthetic, written for John Legend and had a song covered by Johnny Cash.  And yet he’s never had what could truly be termed a ‘hit’, neither is he widely recognised in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky – let alone in the UK.

Befitting one of music’s great enigmas, Oldham walked purposefully onto the dark stage in a pair of white slacks and a light blue shirt scattered with silver reflective stars, before starting his minimalist show with barely a word or smile.

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Category: Music
Tom Gamble
Tom Gamble

Playerist Comedy Night 2 // Poetry Café // Review

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A school night if not for half term, those in the know braved the dullest weather to arrive at a sparkling evening of comedy by Playerist Performance Collective at the Poetry Café.

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Category: Art
Amy Neilson Smith
Amy Neilson Smith

Poetry Café: Playerist Comedy Night – Review

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I was thrilled to present the Comedy Night for Playerist Literary Magazine at the Poetry Society in Covent Garden. Needing to ensure spot-on timing felt a little like operating a conveyor-belt. But what a conveyor-belt. It’s rare to be privy to such a collection of talent, and so pleasing to see a full-house at this venerated venue. The Poetry Café is smartly situated, central but hidden, in the heart of the city. This year saw Jillian Miller come aboard as the magazine’s patron, and she kicked-off proceedings with much appreciated verse by John Cooper Clarke. Drawing on two decades of public speaking, as CEO of an international charity, Jillian sparkled and lit the touchpaper. Next up was Brighton poetess (self-termed) Amy Neilson Smith who recited her naughty-but-nice rhymes. This girl has gumption and little wonder she’s in such demand, as fellow of the iPoets collective that last summer performed at the Royal Festival Hall.

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Category: Comedy
Poster - new

Poetry Café: Playerist Comedy Night – October 17

Playerist’ is an annual literary magazine featuring a range of emergent and established writers and artists. It’s now reached its third launch event – Thursday October 17, 8pm – at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden’s Betterton Street. No ‘Better’ route to an early weekend! Apologies, the jokes will be better than this and the Basement is a delightful spot to relax; one of those hidden treasures of the city. As always the quality of work is astounding. London playwright Tanja Mariadoss will perform her wincing-ly observant story ‘The Very Tired Man on the Train’ and any male commuter will wonder if it’s about him. If you can pick yourself up off the floor, comedy actor Imogen Miller Porter’s well-sharpened wordage will blow the gaffe on another typically-English pastime.

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Category: Comedy
THE GALLERY CAFE - KAZ3 -
Kaz Simmons performing live at the Café Gallery, Bethnal Green. Photo by Mike Watts.

Gig in a Gallery: Melissa James + Kaz Simmons

Rating:

2013 Series

Café Gallery, Bethnal Green

‘Gig in a Gallery’ is a live music event with heart and soul. A tonic on a school night, it makes for a terrific evening at the scrumptious Café Gallery in Bethnal Green – and the menu is mouth-wateringly tempting! As often goes with smaller gigs, the sound-checks and warm-ups accommodated the 7pm start. But this unhurried event proved an excellent opportunity to kick-off those working shoes and fully relax. The first of a series, it featured the talented and personable folk chanteuse Kaz Simmons supporting a fresh yet accomplished set by a radiant Melissa James. Ensure not to miss Malory Torr on August 14th performing at Canvas in Wimbledon Village High Street. Kevin Leo will follow on September 12 at the House Gallery in Camberwell Church Street. And by no means least, Tom Robinson headlines the Queen of Hoxton on October 30th.

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Category: Art