Four Nights Of Free Music In Newham Later This Month, ‘Under The Stars’…

Bolstering the London Borough of Newham’s cultural output for 2020, later this month the borough will host four nights of free musical performances. Taking place from 15 to 18 August, ‘Under The Stars‘ will take place in East Ham’s Central Park, covering musical styles from jazz to orchestral.

On 15 August the park hosts an evening of jazz, with acid jazz combo Incognito, The Brand New Heavies, Ciyo Brown and DJ sets from James Anthony and Ash Selector
On 16 August, it’s the turn of Asian culture with Eastern Beats, which will feature fire-eaters, Bollywood dance routines and live sets presented by Kiss FM’s DJ Neeve
On 17th, boogie nights are back with a set from Boney M and Liz Mitchell, Imagination featuring Leee John, The Real Thing and the best of funk and disco from the 70s and 80s
On Sunday 18 August things get a little more sophisticated when the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra put in an appearance – they will be performing pieces by Brahms, Grieg and others. Under The Stars will close with a firework spectacular at the end of the evening.

Free live music in Newham later this month – what’s not to like?…

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Cobra 10th Annual Brick Lane Curry Festival

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Cobra Brick Lane Curry Festival, a two week celebration of south Asian culture and cuisine, which starts tomorrow and runs until 4 June.

The launch of the event took place at the Clifton, a very well appointed restaurant right at the bottom of Brick Lane and the area’s oldest. The invited guests were addressed by several local dignitaries, including Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, the founder of Cobra Beer and who is very well respected by the local community being one of the most succesful Indian entrepeneurs living in the UK. Bajloor Rashid, president of the long-established Bangladeshi Caterers Association, also spoke and reminded the assembled crowd that not only does 2010 mark the tenth anniversary of the Curry Festival, but also the 20th anniversary of Cobra Beer, and 50 years since the Association came into existence. We also heard from Tower Hamlet’s Mayor, Councillor Ahmed Adam Omer, who was clearly extremely proud of what the people of Brick Lane have achieved over the years.

There are several special events taking place to mark this year’s Curry Festival, including Baisakhi Mela this coming Sunday, when Brick Lane will be pedestrianised for the day and where there will be lots of live music and other performances by the local community. The Cobra Beer Mela will take place at the Vibe Bar on 31 May, an all day festival that will see live music from famous international artists including Bobby Friction and Nerm, and there will even be some dramatic Bollywood dancing! The event will also include the climax of the Best of Brick Lane Awards where the public will be judging the People’s Choice Brick Lane Curry 2010 from a shortlist which includes dishes from several of the area’s most notable restaurants – the Mango, the Clifton, The Clipper, Reema Balti House and Cafe Naz.

If you can’t make it on those particular dates, the good news is that restaurants that are participating in the Curry Festival will be offering 20% off their normal prices and creating special festival dishes throughout, so now’s the time to get down to Brick Lane to sample some curry if you’ve never visited before (and take it from me that they’re already very reasonably priced in comparison to curry houses elsewhere in London). Brick Lane is a fantastic and colourful place to visit, and it definitely gets the thumbs up from me, not least because in addition to the many, many restaurants it also plays host to one of my favourite live music venues, 93 Feet East.…

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Iconic Images Of London

Typical London scenes don’t normally feature on the Londoneer, but a change is as good as a rest, so I hope you’ll enjoy looking at some photographs snapped earlier today on Whitehall in Central London.

First, a member of the Queen’s Life Guard, part of the Household Cavalry, two of whom flank the entrance to Horse Guards Parade wearing their glistening armour and sitting astride their beautifully turned out horses every day – the tradition is that they remain motionless when they are at their post, so if you want to see them actually moving then turn up at 11am (or 10am on Sundays) to witness their elaborate changing ceremony.

Second, two magnificent beasts of the mechanical kind, parked on a side street on the opposite side of Whitehall – a vintage Routemaster which serves the ‘Heritage Route 9′ between Olympia in West London and Trafalgar Square, and another which goes from Trafalgar square to Tower Hill on ‘Heritage Route 15′ (these buses are serviced by mechanics at the West Ham Bus Garage, which you can see in this post). You might be interested to know that the Routemaster’s 21st century replacement is due to enter service in London later this year…


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The Royal Ballet’s ‘Raven Girl’ & ‘Symphony in C’ – A Review

Sarah Lamb as Raven Girl in Raven Girl © ROH / Johan Persson 2013

A brand new work by Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor is always something to look forward to, and I booked for Raven Girl at the Royal Opera House well before there was much information about what it would be like. It turned out to be a modern fairytale, the result of a collaboration between McGregor and Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveller’s Wife, with music specially composed by Gabriel Yared. With all that talent combined, why did I find it disappointing?

The main issue is the general gloominess, both in the story and on stage where the dancers battle manfully against an almost jet-black set, sporadically lit. With dancers of the calibre of Ed Watson and Sarah Lamb you want to be able to see every detail of their movement; having them appear fitfully in the spotlight is such a waste. The second issue, sadly, is that the choreography is just not interesting enough. Yes, there are some beautiful moments for Sarah Lamb when she acquires her wings – and some scary ones when she constructs a tower from chairs and climbs up it – and the detail of Watson’s portrayal of the Postman and his love for the Raven (Olivia Cowley, affecting despite the handicap of a black mask) is a joy. But the dance of the ravens is too simplistic – we want to see them soar, not trot, and the pas de deux for Sarah Lamb and Eric Underwood (riveting as always – such an undervalued dancer!) while bringing a welcome touch of excitement, is very much business as usual for a McGregor ballet.

It was such a relief to come back after the interval to Symphony in C and see how an old master like Balanchine does it. Bright lights, plain blue backcloth, dancers in white tutus and all the emphasis on the dancing. And what dancing! The inimitable elegance of Marianela Nunez, impeccably partnered by Thiago Soares; Stephen McRae and Yuhui Choe fizzing with energy and humour. A supporting lineup that demonstrated what a wealth of talent the Royal has waiting just below the top rank. But above all, choreography of wit and charm, subtly becoming more challenging both for dancers to perform and audience to follow, performed with a sense of fun by dancers at the top of their game. The audience went wild – and rightly.…

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The Future Of Microwave Cooking: What To Expect?

The odds that you have a microwave at your home is pretty much high. Microwave has become one of the most useful appliances which are used by the people. In recent times, Microwave has become an indispensable part of the kitchen and rightly so. The appliance has got multiple uses and reduces the work of a person very much. In addition to this, the appliance is also pretty simple to operate. The question that arises now is, will this thing be useful in the future as much as it is now. Many people have a doubt regarding the future of microwave cooking. What will it be? What to expect? Will a replacement come? Well, let’s find out.

Replacement of magnetron based Microwaves

Well, we all know that Microwaves that are used today are based on magnetron technology. The microwaves with this technology have ruled into the kitchen of a common household for quite some time now, but it seems like things are about tochange. In the not very distant future, the magnetron based Microwaves are set to disappear. They are going to be replaced by solid-state RF energy. The magnetron based Microwaves have been in use for so long, that it might seem impossible that something can replace them, but believe us, it’s soon going to happen.

The benefits of solid-state RF energy


Well, there is a wide range of benefits of the solid-state RF energy which cannot be ignored and it is the major reason because of which it is speculated that it will replace the magnetron based microwaves. The biggest advantage that solid-state RF energy has over the magnetron based Microwaves is that it cooks food more precisely in comparison to the latter one. Another aspect is that more amount of healthier food can be prepared on the solid-state RF energy. This is one of the functions because of which it will find a connection between a large group of people nowadays. The vast majority of people are going for healthier alternatives for food nowadays. The problem with microwaves is that when you think about it, healthy food will come into your mind.

Increase of players producing solid-state RF energy

When companies come to see the possibility of a product they are automatically attracted to it. Similarly, it is happening in the case of solid-state RF energy. There are multiple organizations such as the MACOM and REFA that are hell-bent on unlocking the full potential of the solid-state RF energy.

The magnetron based microwaves might be ruling the households for some time now, but with the onset of the solid-state RF energy, it is surely going to lose a large number of its users. This is because the solid-state RF energy has got way advanced features as compared to the magnetron based Microwaves. It is also able to cooking food which is tastier as well as healthier. …

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Happy Christmas, Doctor

But I’m not terribly optimistic for the New Year. The Doctor Who Christmas Special today was a *titanic* disaster – really poor writing and lots of hammy overacting and hackneyed one-liners – even Queenie got a very corny look-in, and there were a few bars from “My Heart Will Go On”…!

Ah well, at least today marks the day when the Queen finally entered the 21st Century, with a YouTube Channel no less – here’s her Christmas message, which is more watchable than Doctor Who if I’m going to be brutally honest!

Happy Christmas everyone!…

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‘Smoke – A London Peculiar’ Finally Makes It Into the 21st Century…

As you’ll know if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, I really love receiving the little magazine which focuses on our wonderful city; ‘Smoke – A London Peculiar’. It has unique mix of short stories, poems, photography and of course the regular ‘Bus Of The Month’ column, and it usually keeps me occupied for weeks as I dip in and out of it.

With that in mind, you might be interested to learn that the guys behind the magazine have finally come up to date with their own Facebook page. I’m copying the missive I just received from them in its entirety so you can find out a little more, and get a feel for the sentiments of the creative team behind it…

“Hello, dearly beloved supporter of Smoke: A London Peculiar!

I, Jude Rogers, co-founder of the quarterly love letter to our city that many of you have known and loved since 2003, is here to tell you that our magazine – Good God – finally has a page on Facebook.!/pages/London-United-Kingdom/Smoke-A-London-Peculiar/157174527655789

Regular (and nervous) readers, fear not… we have not turned ourselves into something fancy and “virtual” in our sabbatical from print. But we *are* preparing ourselves for a Very Exciting Announcement, and wanted to prepare you all properly too…

So like us, share us with your friends, and get ready!…

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Smoke – A London Peculiar #16

It’s time for another edition of Smoke – A London Peculiar. Number sixteen includes a tall tale about Leyton, a letter from Columbia Road, and an enticing little story by Tricity Bendix, ‘The Nun With The Eagle Tattoo’. If that doesn’t persuade you to pick up a copy, this month’s bus is the No 100, and the ‘elephant’ of the month is the weird three-pillar statue at Bakers Arms…

You can order a copy of Smoke – A London Peculiar online here, and it’s also available in a couple of the specialist bookshops across town. It’s only £2.90 a go, well worth it for it’s interesting slant on all things London.…

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Londoneer: Two Foodie Events – Ben & Jerry’s and Free Bagels

There are two food-related events coming up that I thought readers might be interested in.


First is the annual Ben & Jerry’s Double Scoop Sundae Festival, which takes place on Clapham Common on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th July. 15,000 tickets are available on each day and this year’s festival is being headlined by Maxïmo Park and Ocean Colour Scene. Maxïmo Park will be supported on Saturday by Ash, Fun Lovin Criminals and others, while on Sunday Gary Numan, The Duke & The King, Little Comets and Sound Of Rum will be adding to the atmosphere for headliners Ocean Colour Scene.

You’ll also be able to visit the staple of Ben & Jerry’s festivals, a petting zoo, and there’ll also be a fairground and bare toe wrestling competitions… Unsigned bands are also being invited to take up slots on the main stage through a competition called ‘Be Herd’. Acts can submit music and video at the festival site and also be in line for a cool £1000 prize to the overall winners. Tickets are now on sale at £17, but as this is a decidedly family-friendly festival children 5 years or under are admitted free (as long as they’re with an ice-cream loving responsible adult of course!). Keep an eye on Ben & Jerry’s Facebook and Twitter for further announcements regarding acts that will be appearing on stage. 


Secondly, there’s a freebie coming up in the form of free bagels from the New York Bakery Co. who are celebrating American Independence Day on 4 July. Head over to Canvey Street, behind the Tate Modern, from 12 lunchtime and you’ll be able to sample one of their bagels, but don’t wait too long otherwise the bagels will run out!…

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Simon Rimmer’s J20 White Blend Recipes

If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll remember I was swinging a hundred or so feet above the Southbank as Simon Rimmer from the BBC’s Something For The Weekend food show prepared a couple of dishes he’d created to match with the new range of J20 White Blend drinks.

I’ve now managed to get hold of the videos where Simon demonstrates how these dishes were created, a refreshing Italian Panzanella dish for the summer and a really warming venison sausage and mash (with really more-ish onion rings) for when the autumn closes in. There are also two other recipes which I’ve uploaded to Google Docs for you to have a look at; Smoked Duck and Plum Salad, and Penne with Turkey and Smoked Salmon. I hope you enjoy creating these for yourself!…

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