On Music: The Garage Relaunches in February 2017

The CultureJukebox team has followed the recent ups and downs of London’s live music and club scene with a keen interest over the past year..

.. so, it was great to receive a press release this week about The Garage in Islington relaunching this February. Under new ownership and following extensive refurbishment, the venue is being transformed.

It’s always been about the music, so with plans for big club nights and a programme of gigs it looks like that is going to remain the priority. But the owners have clever plans. The building will also become home to a  daytime coffee spot, craft beer and cocktail bar and more.

It has been acquired by DHP Family, the team behind Oslo in Hackney and Nottingham’s awesome Rock City (a CultureJukebox favourite venue!) In addition to refurbishing the main music venue and adding a brand new sound system, three new spaces have also been created within the building, united under the Garage concept. The centre piece of the redevelopment is the venue itself; The Garage. This 600 capacity room will be restored to former glories, with a brand new PA and lighting.

At the front of the building, the former “Mini-Bar” will hark back to the filling station stores of small-town America with The General Store, an all-day café and bar serving craft beer and cocktails. The design of The General Store will feature reclaimed gas pumps, huge beer fridges and quality coffee.

Upstairs, Thousand Island will be an intimate space hosting breaking and specialist forward-thinking acts most evenings, and late-night socials later in the week featuring an unpretentious programme anchored by collaborative club nights and Thousand Island presents shows. Operating independently from the rest of the space, the room will feature a mirror ball-filled ceiling, faces of friends of the venue across one wall, and a well-stocked bar.

Since opening in 1993, The Garage has hosted artists as diverse as Radiohead, Lil Yachty, Mogwai, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and many more stellar names.

“The Garage has been on my radar for about 10 years now when I first looked to buy it. For one reason or another we have just missed out on taking over this iconic venue and breathing new life into it. Its location layout and history are perfect for what we are looking for in a venue and we look forward to reinventing the space for a new generation.” ~ George Akins, Managing Director

We can’t wait to see what this new venue is like! Follow the news on its Twitter feed. With Farringdon’s Fabric back with a bang, The Printworks opening in Canada Water, The Red Lion’s new ballroom in Leytonstone selling-out their club nights and more going on around the capital. 2017 is shaping up to be a good year for London nightlife..

 

On Wellness: FloVibe Festival Announced

Feeling good has never been more important to us, and to British festival-goers. So, this January it was really timely to receive a press release about the super cool sounding FloVibe Festival.

It’s an early-summer festival that sounds like the perfect way to discover and explore happier and healthier ways of looking at the world – learning from great yoga minds and enjoy awesome new music too. Great combination!

The festival will bring together wellness and new music in a unique weekend of discovery for the mind, body and soul.

Taking place in early June, it promises to be the summer’s best festival for everyone wishing to live a happier and healthier life. Perfect really, and something the CultureJukebox team can really endorse.

FloVibe Festival is part of a growing movement of people making a conscious choice to prioritise wellness in their day-to-day life. The festival will bring together music and mindfulness in a unique hybrid event that is unlike any other festival – with carefully curated music providing an unforgettable soundtrack to a weekend that will leave festival-goers feeling good in every way.

Breaking new ground, this festival unites like-minded people for a retreat meets festival. It will be a weekend of discovery where festival-goers are invited to play, to dance to new music and to flow. Reconnecting with their inner child at the start of the summer.

 “We’re bringing together a bit of everything we love: inspiring international yoga teachers, movers & shakers, workshop leaders, speakers, free thinkers, musicians, artists and DJs. It’s more than a weekend away, it’s an opportunity to explore a mindful approach to life where you don’t have to compromise on enjoyment.” ~ Jason Pooley, FloVibe Founder.

A small festival with a big vision for 2017, FloVibe creates the space to stretch out, breathe deep and collectively explore a more uplifting and sustainable way of being, on the yoga mat, in the festival field, and in daily life.

Jam Sandwich Live is curating the music – which promises to take festival-goers on a real journey of discovery.

“FloVibe Festival is an open-hearted and inclusive festival, inviting a bit of magic into people’s lives – this is perfectly aligned with JAM and the curation will match this. Genre-hopping, spellbinding and uplifting, interweaving live hip hop, jazz, roots, reggae, folk, electronic, disco & soul, at this breathtaking lakeside setting.” ~ Jam Sandwich Founder Lou Wellby.

For more FloVibe Festival information and to book tickets, check out the website here.

On Culture: Transcending Boundaries – new work from teamLab

Transcending Boundaries, an exhibition of works by future art dons teamLab, is opening in London later this month.

The exhibition features three rooms of immersive installations, two of which have never been seen before and will be on view from 25 January to 11 March 2017, at 6 Burlington Gardens in Mayfair.

The CultureJukebox team are huge fans of teamLab – we’ve blogged about them before here, and even visited one of their installations in Tokyo too.

Their new show in London Transcending Boundaries explores the role of digital technology in transcending the physical and conceptual boundaries that exist between different artworks, with imagery from one work breaking free of the frame and entering the space of another.

The installations also dissolve distinctions between artwork and exhibition space, and involve the viewer through interactivity.

Debuting new works, Transcending Boundaries will reveal teamLab’s commitment to the advancement of digital art, as well as its unique ability to nurture creativity and curiosity through technology.

“We are honoured to share some of our most recently created artworks and hope the universality of their themes—creativity, play, exploration, immersion, life, and fluidity—will seep into the broader conscience.” ~ Toshiyuki Inoko, teamLab founder

The largest room in the exhibition will include six works and feature Universe of Water Particles, Transcending Boundaries (2017), a virtual waterfall that extends beyond the gallery wall onto the floor, flowing through the exhibition space and around the feet of the viewer. It engages with the concept of Ultra Subjective Space, central to teamLab’s practice, referencing the non-perspectival depiction of space in premodern Japanese art and situating the viewer directly within the realm of the artwork.

Encompassing the second room, Dark Waves (2016) is a simulation of the movement of waves based on the behaviour of hundreds of thousands of water particles. The waves are created in a three- dimensional virtual space, expressing water as a living entity that immerses the viewer and suggests an intrinsic connection with nature.

In the last room, the darkened space is transformed by the presence of the viewer, which activates Flowers Bloom on People (2017). With the body as a canvas for the projections, flowers are in a process of continuous change—growing, decaying and scattering in direct response to the viewer’s movements.

Follow the latest teamLab news on Instagram here. The CultureJukebox team hope to have a few images from the private view to share too!

On Culture: The Greatest Sneakers of All Time?

One for the sneaker heads; a super cool exhibition created in search and celebration of the 25 greatest kicks of all time is launching in London later this month

The top trainers were ranked by an international poll of the general public and industry experts. Dubbed G.O.A.T. Sneakers’ the show moves on to New York after the London opening.

Announced by Lyst, the world’s largest fashion shopping website, the project has been curated by leading international sneaker expert, Neal Heard. It promises to be both a history and an homage – revealing the secret stories behind the creation of the most iconic sneakers ever made. The CultureJukebox team are keen on their kicks, so we’re looking forward to this exhibition.

 

The project features a 3,000-year timeline, G.O.A.T Sneakers will tell the story of early shoes before chronicling their evolution to the modern day. It will tell extraordinary stories surrounding the creation of the most iconic brands and designs over the years and how they were variously appropriated by successive generations of cultural tribes around the world.

The centrepiece of the exhibition will be an entire wall devoted to the twenty-five greatest sneakers of all time, as voted for by an international online poll of the general from a longlist created by an international panel of over 25 industry experts including DJ Clark Kent, Dave Hewitson (80s Casuals), Jockey (Transalpino Liverpool); Gwarizm Gary Warnett; Nick Santora (Classic Kicks), Air Rev (Sneakernews) and Atip (High Snobriety) – with an individual history for each of the sneakers.

Exploring the obsessive devotion inspired by sneakers, the exhibition will also offer a look ‘Inside The Mind of a Sneakerhead’ in the form of a hidden installation featuring the highlights of the renowned collections of two sneaker obsessives, Brooksy and Kish Kash.

 

The exhibition opens at The Archivist’s Gallery (N1 5ET) on January 26th. Check our Lyst for more details too.

 

On Arts: UK City Of Culture? Hull 2017 Makes It Mark

It was one of Hull’s best known voices that said: “Nothing, like something, happens anywhere”.

That was Philip Larkin, and this year *something* is happening in Hull – it’s the UK Capital of Culture this year and has a mind-expanding programme of events, arts and cultural happenings going on that is really going to put the Humberside city on the map.

On New Year’s Day thousands of people gathered to watch fireworks and a stunning multimedia installation to open the year of culture in the City. This brought to life stories of the city and its people from the past 70-years.

Image c/o Getty

Sean McAllister, a documentary filmmaker from Hull, said the Made in Hull event – would show the world that Hull has a remarkable hidden culture.

He said: “We’re finally going to share our secret. If you’re from Hull, we always knew we had culture, it’s just the world didn’t know, so the secret’s out. Finally we’ve had to let them in. In a way we’ve kind of had these doors up to keep everybody out of our culture.

Sean added: “It’s just for us, we’ve had it as a subculture but, damn it, we’ve finally had to open the door to the international world and let them in. They can come and see what we’ve been enjoying.” 

Image c/o Getty

From the devastating bombing during the second world war, to the disappearance of its fishing fleet in the 1970s due to the cod wars, to the decimation of its shipping industry, Hull has struggled during the last seven decades.

Officials hope Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2017 will breathe new life into the city. It is the second city to be given this honour, following Derry-Londonderry four years ago. Hull was selected four years-ago from a shortlist which included Dundee, Leicester and Swansea.

I grew up a few miles outside of Hull and will be covering 2017 in some detail. Here are a few highlights to watch out for over coming months:

Voices Across The Humber, April 1st

This sounds like a fantastic introduction to the region’s character, through its unique voices.

Ours is a place with distinct DNA, inimitable character and high spirits – a true energy estuary. Rich in history and talent, both banks of the Humber will come together to perform an exciting choral, orchestral and visually stimulating concert celebrating our region’s proud maritime heritage.

Led by Hull Choral Union, one of the area’s longest standing and best loved choirs, the show will unite choirs aged 7 to 90, renewing old partnerships, forging new relationships and connecting communities from across the river.

Flood, Feb 1st to October 1st

This experimental performance works with the city’s unique geography and brings to mind some of the recent heartbreaking disasters in and around the region.

image c/o Hull 2017

An epic adventure about the end of our world, set in the future, told in many parts.

Flood is the story of what happens to Hull when the waters come.

Slung Low makes adventures for audiences outside conventional theatre spaces, each with a powerful, moving story at its heart. Their political, mythical and explosive storytelling has wowed audiences nationally, transporting them to new worlds and making them see familiar places afresh.

Flood is the company’s most ambitious and experimental project to date, using live performance, special effects, digital manifestations and other platforms to tell a story across an entire year.

Back To Ours, Feb 22nd to Feb 25th

As part of the celebrations there’s creativity coming to every corner of the city.

There’s a buzz in the air as we bring award-winning shows to every corner of Hull, with big names sharing the stage with familiar and favourite local artists. We’re transforming venues in the heart of local communities; from schools to shopping centres, there’s a festival hotspot right on your doorstep.

We’ve got something for everyone as we shine a spotlight on comedy, music, circus, theatre, cabaret, dance and film. There are stories that will bring a tear to the eye, belly-laugh jokes, magical moments and even a bit of puppet nudity. So what are you waiting for?

Bring a friend. Bring your parents. Bring your kids.

Heck, bring everyone Back To Ours.

COUM Transmissions, Feb 3rd to March 22nd

A subversive exploration of the Hull-formed artists who challenged societal conventions.

Explore the life of COUM Transmissions in the first exhibition of materials drawn from the personal archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge. Live events organised by The Quietus will trace the conception and legacy of COUM, combining music, talks and discussions among original COUM members.

Founded in Hull during the late 1960s by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, COUM Transmissions was a collective whose work confronted, subverted and challenged societal conventions.

Labelled ‘the wreckers of civilisation’ by a Conservative MP following COUM’s Prostitution show at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the group’s end in 1976 heralded the formation of the musical collective Throbbing Gristle.

 

Mind On The Run – The Basil Kirchin Story, Feb 17th to 19th

Another experimental ambient happening – inside the mind of a post-war sonic genius.

Image c/o Anna Bean

What connects the first British rock’n’roll discs of the 1950s, Vincent Price and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, the Nagra tape recorder and the industrial sounds of the north? The answer is Basil Kirchin.

Basil Kirchin is the forgotten genius of post-war British music. His remarkable life stretched from the days when British dance music mutated into rock’n’roll, through a headlong succession of film scores and pop songwriting, before retreating to Hull, where he created sonic landscapes that still challenge convention while seeking out an increasingly reclusive existence until his death in 2005.

A pioneer of musique concrète described by Brian Eno as “a founding father of ambient”, Kirchin’s intriguing history represents a collision of popular and experimental musical cultures that predate and define much of the music we hear today.

A live music festival celebrating the legacy of Hessle Road’s creative genius.

John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay, TBC

A four-day music festival celebrating the best in Nordic creativity and influence taking over Hull city centre.

Hull goes international as it celebrates the city’s Nordic links in this experimental music festival.

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter John Grant will curate a brand new, experimental music festival celebrating Hull’s Nordic and international links, while exploring the best in sonic creativity as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

A host of Nordic and international artists are coming to the city over May Day bank holiday weekend, including Icelandic electronic dance collective GusGus, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer Lindstrøm and Wrangler, a project that brings together Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire fame, Phil Winter from Tunng and John Foxx collaborator Benge.

Fila Brazillia’s Steve Cobby and acclaimed writer Russ Litten have teamed up for a unique musical journey. In 1968 three trawlers from Hull sank off the coast of Iceland within two months of each other. 58 Hull men died. There was one survivor. Combining Litten’s prose poetry with Cobby’s soundscapes they will perform four commissioned pieces to reflect the experiences of trawlermen. Making a ghost ship out of words and music and bringing their fore-fathers back home.

North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay will feature a variety of electronica, contemporary classical, avant-garde and experimental music, as well as one-off collaborations. Venues around the city hosting the festival include Hull City Hall and Gate Nº5, with other venues to be confirmed. More details about performers and shows and what to expect at this major music event will be announced in due course.

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More than £30m is being spent on the year’s events and £25m has been invested in revamping the city centre and refurbishing the (brilliant!) Ferens Art Gallery and the city’s main theatre.

Other happenings planned for 2017 include a visit by the Turner prize and a much-anticipated one-off gig from David Bowie’s old backing band, the Spiders from Mars.

And it’s not just culture. The city recently secured a £310m commitment by the German-owned firm Siemens to build new offshore wind turbines in the city, creating up to 1,000 jobs. More information and ticket details are on the Hull 2017 website here.