Category Archives: Our Neighbourhood: East London

Our Neighbourhood: Bare Brew opens in Wanstead

Wanstead is blessed with some of the best places to eat & drink in East London – and the offering has gone up a notch with this summer’s opening of Bare Brew.

Found at number 7 on Wanstead High Street, the cafe has a light and creative feel. More Shoreditch than Snaresbrook really! We’re big fans of the wallpaper (when you see it, you’ll know what we mean…), the super-cool paintwork and design.

Just hanging today…

A post shared by Bare Brew (@barebrew) on

Its owned and run by Gemma & Lisa; two women with a passion for coffee, fitness, arts & music.

So, what about the menu? It has awesome Square Mile coffee,  Hans Sloane hot choc, Tea & The Gang teas and daily smoothie specials. Food-wise; there’s tempting cakes, and changing brunch and lunch menus.

It seems like a great place to get some work done too. Has free wifi, USB ports and even offers pre and post workout snacks.  Kids are welcome, there’s board games etc and Bare Brew is really doggy friendly too. There’s plenty of treats for four-legged friends.

The CultureJukebox team will definitely be regulars here.. We think it’ll be a great place for late-opening and live-music too.. Watch this space! Find out more about Bare Brew here.

 

On Culture: HighTide Festival comes to Walthamstow

Fantastic news for East Londoners who love progressive new writing and theatre – HighTide Festival is coming to our capital.

The Suffolk festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016, and later this year makes its debut in Walthamstow in a temporary theatre space in partnership with Waltham Forest Council.

Kanye the First: Photography by Helen Maybanks and Rebecca Pitt

HighTide Theatre will present two world premiere productions in 2017, Heroine by Nessah Muthy (Host) directed by the Festival’s Artistic Director Steven Atkinson and comic dramaKanye The First by Sam Steiner (Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons) directed by HighTide Theatre Associate Director Andrew Twyman. A co-production with Theatre Clwyd, Muthy’s devastating exploration of patriotism and nativism in modern Britain follows young ex-soldier Grace as she struggles to reassimilate into society following a medical discharge from the army. Steiner’s first commissioned, and highly original, play will chart the second coming of global pop icon Kanye West. The play takes a timely look at identity and guilt in contemporary culture. Kanye The First is a co-production between HighTide Theatre and Paul Jellis in association with The Marlowe and The North Wall. Alongside these productions Theresa Ikoko’s Girls, joint winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), is set to return. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Ikoko wrote Girls to highlight the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news. Girls is a co-production between HighTide Theatre, Talawa Theatre Company and Martha Rose Wilson.

New work: Heroine, Photography by Helen Maybanks and Rebecca Pitt  

This year we’re focused on what HighTide Theatre is renowned for: commissioning bold and timely plays from the best new writers. We look forward to developing and previewing these world premiere productions in our beautiful home of Aldeburgh, and then for the first time bringing the whole festival to Walthamstow, alongside showcasing work by local artists. This new producing model for HighTide Theatre of two festivals allows us to take risks and continue to develop our productions with the input of our audiences in Aldeburgh. And then our new partnership with Waltham Forest Council and the National Theatre enables us to bring our fully formed productions all together to Greater London, where they can be seen by a wider and diverse community who would like a greater cultural provision in their area.” ~ Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director of HighTide Theatre 

It will be in Walthamstow town centre for 12 days after its Aldeburgh season, bringing an eclectic arts programme to an area of London. The programmes in both locations will include three headline plays (two of which are world premieres) and a programme of comedy, cabaret, talks and music.

HighTide 2017 Walthamstow Artist’s Impression, by SKA

The Walthamstow Festival will run 26 September – 8 October with Press Nights on 26 & 27 September.

“Waltham Forest Council is delighted to be partnering with HighTide Theatre for the first time this year.  Whilst the borough has a thriving cultural scene we do not have any bespoke theatres and a recent survey of residents showed that this was the cultural provision they felt was most lacking.  By bringing the Festival to Walthamstow Town Centre we are able to provide theatre right on residents’ doorsteps. Some of our talented local artists are included in the programme and a number of our young people will have the chance to gain first-hand experience of a professional theatre. We’re proud that our borough is home to one of the most diverse populations in the country and it’s of the utmost importance to us that our cultural programme reflects this diversity. We’re sure that the range of shows on offer will appeal to a wide cross-section of our residents. We also look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to experience Waltham Forest’s creative buzz.” ~ Lorna Lee, Head of Culture & Heritage, Waltham Forest Council

Free or discounted tickets will be available to those with a Waltham Forest postcode and HighTide Theatre will be working to help young people find routes into creative roles, in collaboration with local organisation Big Creative Training, hosting a traineeship and work experience placements. The full programme in Walthamstow will include a late night comedy and cabaret strand, a series of talks, a site-specific production,Mobile, and a strand of work showcasing and supporting local creative talent. The comedy line-up is set to include: Phil Wang, Suzi Ruffell, Dane Baptiste, Tez Ilyas and Jayde Adams. Cabaret and music artists include Joe Stilgoe who will perform Songs on Film, The Beatbox Collective and an exclusive preview of new music from Arthur Darvill.

More information is online.

On Beer: East London’s Burgeoning Beer Mile (and a bit)

The CultureJukebox team are fond of a real ale or two (or three or four…)  So, it’s great to hear about some awesome new breweries opening up close to our home in East London.

In fact, the team here thrilled that some of these new breweries are putting purpose before profit too. Opening up near each other, this new brewing scene is top tribute to a fantastic beer culture that is brewing in our corner of the capital.

So, what’s new?

The Magic Spells Brewery, Leyton

The newest and latest independent Craft Brewery in East London currently produces three bottled beers:  A Craft Lager, a Pale Ale (called Hackney Hare) and an IPA.

Magic Spells’ beers are a somewhere between modern brewing techniques and old styles and methods; taking inspiration from classics and adding a modern twist. The brewery creates distinct flavour profiles for the beers – an up front and bold hoppy flavour, a satisfying bite to the beer, smoothly balanced due to a nice malty body and warming alcohol.

The brewery sources most of the malt used in its beers from the UK plus British hops boosted by punchy flavoured hops from New Zealand and America.

It was founded by Jas Hare, an Eastender born-and-bred, who has a fantastic track record in the drinks industry as well as being a craft beer enthusiast.

Magic Spells Beers are available in both 330ml and 500ml bottles with an RRP of £2.49 and £2.99 respectively. They’re all available online, and in venues around London too.

 

Nirvana Brewery, Leyton

Another new brewery for 2017, Nirvana does something completely different. A low / no-alcohol brewery – sure a great idea for our increasingly health-conscious times.

It’s the UK’s only micro brewery dedicated to zero and low ABV craft beers. Beers on offer include Mantra (an IPA at 0.7% ABV), Kosmic (a stout at 0% ABV), and Chakra (a stout at 1% ABV). The team at Nirvana promise “no compromises” on flavour, so we’re excited about our first visit!

Pretty Decent Beer

Opening up just down the road in Forest Gate, Pretty Decent Beer Co has just opened its doors.

On Sheridan Road in Forest Gate, near Cann Hall Road, this brewery looks like one to watch. The team promise: “We make decent beer and do decent things with the money you spend drinking it. We brew our beer in London and every bottle helps to fund sustainable water projects around the world.”

 

The CultureJukebox team hasn’t had chance to visit yet, but this brewery promises to be really superb – we like what we’ve seen on Instagram so far.

And Pretty Decent Beer Co is just a few minutes walk from some of Forest Gate’s best independent venues – The Wanstead Tap for an incredible selection of real ale and provocative programming, Burgess & Hall for beautiful wines; and the quirky and delicious Hawkes cider HQ.

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A proper round-up of some of Forest Gate, Leyton and Leytonstone’s best watering holes for this summer is coming soon. Where do you think should be on the list? Send us a Tweet and let us know where we should visit..

 

Our Neighbourhood: Shake The High Road festival unveiled

Great news for Leytonstone, a new festival has been announced for this summer – Shake The High Road.

It takes place on Saturday May 27th 2017 across several venues all in the vicinity of Leytonstone High Road, E11.

Shake The High Road promises more than 30 live bands and DJs, a pop-up record fair, afternoon funk and soul session. Organiers are also promising a few surprises from East London’s music scene too..

Leytonstone is blessed with some really characterful and unique venues, sure Shake The High Road festival will make good use of these… The Red Lion BallroomAll You Read Is Love, and The Luna Lounge are all signed up already with more to be announced soon.

But what about the tunes you say! Well, Shake The High Road looks to have an awesome programme of familiar faces and new music.  Mystery Jets are doing a DJ set, Woman’s Hour (on uber cool label Secretly Canadian – home of The War On Drugs) are playing their first live show in a year, and if funk is your thing Fela Kuti’s former band member Dele Sosimi is coming to East London for a performance of Nigerian-inspired funk. One half of The 2 Bears Raf Daddy is also coming to the festival for an essential selection of dance tunes. The festival line-up is here (with more acts announced soon!)

Follow the festival on all the usual social media channels, including its Facebook page.

Our Neighbourhood: frosty Wanstead Flats

We love living in E12 – there’s so much green space, and time to think. And this December the cold snap means we’ve had chance to experience our neighbourhood and Wanstead Flats in a totally different way.

We hope to take many more photographs through the winter! See some more #EastLondon images on our Instagram feed too.

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And an image from E12, looking out over Forest Gate and across East London. We love living here! #Aldersbrook

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On Art: The Waldorf Project’s Remarkable Journey Through Time, Taste & Touch

The CultureJukebox team have been fans of The Waldorf Project since day one, writing about it a few times. We were invited to Chapter Three last week, and the third instalment is in our opinion the most powerful work yet.

It’s a journey through time, taste and touch and is unlike anything else. It invites people to really feel.


Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Stepping into the show (taking place at HereEast – the Olympic Park / Hackney Wick) you step into somewhere other from the very first moment. The room is dark, and the atmosphere is dark too.

You’re dragged backwards, forwards, and manhandled by a series of beautiful and strong performers. The Waldorf Project is part dance, part immersive theatre, and part experimental food & drink experience.

It’s the drinks that really focus the mind. The first involves balloons and some sort of chemistry experiment. Later, the audience kneels at an altar as a warm, sweet drink is aggressively poured down your mouth.

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Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Things get weirder throughout the show. You’re bundled through tunnels, you have to grasp strangers, and you do things in-between large sheets of plastic. It’s just brilliantly imaginative.

The production is based around the Japanese emotion of AMAE, a temporary surrender. And that’s what you have to do.

The audience has to surrender their comforts, surrender their conceptions of taste and also disconnect. This disconnection from technology and the usual sounds and distractions of everyday life has a huge impact on the feeling around the performance.

There’s strictly no phones, which means you’re focused on the music, the flavours and the people. I was dreaming of lost nights in warehouses in East London, the sounds making me reconsider what these nights meant and what the future holds.

We often don’t consider these things, or how other people consider us. But surrendering to The Waldorf Project’s spell allowed new connections to be born, and started a new way of looking at things.

The superb lighting design helps focus these unconnected thoughts, and drives a loose structure that holds the experience together – illuminating the space and the spaces within ourselves too.

8c9f562d035436ae00adf81253e93d13Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Everyone is separated, but brought together by the light, by the characters living in this remarkable place, and by the sound and structure as you experience this unique show. You’re never really alone.

And maybe that’s the truth. Maybe we do have more in common, and maybe we are more connected than we first thought? Perhaps, by tasting, trying and touching new things we can grow and see things differently?

We thought the show was truly amazing, well done Sean Rogg. It’s open until December 4th, tickets and more details are here.

Our Neighbourhood: DJ Cash Money live in Leytonstone

Is great to live in E12, loads of great new places opening up. Not least the new ballroom at The Red Lion in Leytonstone.

The venue has booked legendary turntablist DJ Cash Money for a party early December – details here.

DJ Cash Money is a Philadelphia-based turntablist and legend of the hip-hop scene (he was the first inductee into the DJ Hall of Fame!).

He emerged from the Philadelphia hip hop scene in the late 1980s alongside his rival Jazzy Jeff. He went on to remix tracks for big-name artists such as Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and Public Enemy.

The Moose Funk Squad are the support acts,  alongside Droppin’ Science DJs; Matman & Daredevil. Buy your tickets here for what promises to be a high quality night of Hip Hop in East London. (There’s a Central Line night tube to get you home right next door too!)

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On Culture: The Waldorf Project is back

The Waldorf Project: Chapter Three / FUTURO is returning to London in its biggest and most ambitious incarnation yet. Chapter Three / FUTURO will guide participants through the vast abyss, manipulating their emotions and responses in a genre-defying, multi-sensory experience – expressed in a universe of black and white alone.

One of the CultureJukebox team’s favourite London creative crews – this is a truly expansive immersive experience. Not to be missed.

The event is take place at Here East, London’s home for making, is – as a hub for entrepreneurs and pioneers of technology – the perfect stage for The Waldorf Project’s latest Chapter, presenting a world full of intrigue and wonder, unimaginable even to the most seasoned of Waldorf Project devotees.

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The Waldorf Project is staged under the concept of the Japanese emotion ‘AMAE’, meaning ‘a temporary surrender in perfect safety’. As in its previous chapters, The Waldorf Project unites the most pioneering practitioners in the worlds of environment design, product design, sound design, choreography, costume and textile design, and gastronomy, engendering through the birth of a new art form a rare synergy.

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Orchestrated and directed by artist Sean Rogg, the experience takes place between individual stages, or environments (each creating a new emotive synchronisation of taste, sound, touch and sight), participants will be immersed in the void of the cathedral-like sensation. Lost in the vacuum, they will be guided to move both as individuals and as a newly formed cumulative organism. Using exciting technologies and emotional manipulation, The Waldorf Project will explore new ways of implementing its algorithmic methods to manipulate the group, as developed in previous chapters; the ‘organism’, by interacting with its environment, will, ultimately, bring it to life and even learn to control it.

“We are not thinking beings that feel; we are feeling beings that think” ~ Antonio Domasio, Professor of Neuroscience, University of California

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“Those attending the experience will have their minds opened to the fanciful and phenomenal possibilities envisaged by preceding generations, before worldly pressures took over and stifled such thinking. By taking our guests on a journey, guided by their senses and interactions with hosts and fellow guests, we aim to satiate their inquisitiveness of these progressive worlds. Upon entering and experiencing Chapter Three / FUTURO, the environment we all live our daily lives in may seem a little humdrum to the initiated” ~
artist, Sean Rogg

The Waldorf Project: Chapter Three / FUTURO runs for nine nights, Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th November and Tuesday 15th – Sunday 20th November 2016.

For further information and for tickets visit www.waldorfproject.com

 

On Culture: The Wanstead Fringe

This month, Wanstead’s annual Fringe Festival begins its fantastic celebration of some of East London’s most creative residents and venues.

With a more than thirty events taking place venues around Wanstead and beyond – people can enjoy live comedy, open-air cinema, poetry, a vinyl record night, a cult pop quiz,  art exhibitions and much more.

If you’ve not been to Wanstead before, it’s the perfect excuse to hop on the Central Line and head East..

Wanstead Kinema, c/o Geoff Wilkinson
Wanstead Kinema, c/o Geoff Wilkinson

The literary events are one of the highlights. The CultureJukebox team are looking forward to Aldersbrook resident and Guardian journalist Hugh Muir joining local author John Rogers on a discussion about the changing face of London’s suburbs. The talk will cover place, space and the future of East London.

Locals are also looking forward to some of the live music – with East London rising stars Recoupes and Luna Blaze (Tues 13th) at the brilliant Wanstead Tap. Finally, a live acoustic night in the Manor House sees Wanstead-based acts take to the stage in a  special event called  Keep your Freak Flag Flying.

The Duke, Wanstead

Other eclectic events include nocturnal photography walks, a guided gardening tour and yoga among the trees. There’s also a cornucopia of events for families, children and particularly foodies..

.. in fact, some of Wanstead’s best independent eateries are offering food and menus at a discount, as part of Wanstead Restaurant Week. With this summer’s arrival of Bombetta, The Ginger Pig and a beautiful new greengrocer alongside some of the area’s old foodie-favourites doing great business – it’s a brill time to visit the area.

Bombetta
Bombetta

For more information on The Wanstead Fringe, see here: https://wansteadfringe.wansteadium.com/

Our Neighbourhood: plans for new Stratford Waterfront Culture Quarter unveiled

So much going on around East London these days – so was great to read about the new cultural quarter opening up in a few years in the Olympic Park. Called the Stratford Waterfront.

Bringing together education, arts & culture, design and digital/tech. Ambitious plans.

We cycle through the Olympic Park most days, and these plans do look impressive. There’s some brilliant partners involved (V&A, UCL, Sadler’s Wells and London College of Fashion). Now, let’s hope they inspire further independent creative businesses to head East too..

“In a few short years we will see not only a new cultural and education district in east London with some of the world’s leading institutions sitting in the heart of the park, but new neighbourhoods and business districts and hugely successful sporting venues delivering on the legacy promises made for the 2012 Games. This is the perfect illustration of how London is open, and will remain so.” ~ Rosanna Lawes, regeneration head at the London Legacy Development Corporation

image c/o Future.Londonimage c/o Future.London

The full story in the Evening Standard here and for more details on the plans check out Future.London