Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bandstand Busking

Bandstand Busking is a London-based project that rules. As its name indicates, their goal is to set up little gigs in bandstands of the city that are otherwise unused.

Sleeping States

This project reminds me of sites such as La Blogothèque, Black Cab Sessions, If You Make It, etc. although the main difference is that Banstand Busking is primarily interested in the little gigs they organize. Granted, La Blogothèque sometimes sets gigs up in little intimate places (the Bon Iver one looks amazing), but most of the time that's not the case. With Banstand Busking we are all invited to enjoy the music, which is being recorded at the same time and put up later on their site.

And honestly, the atmosphere is great. Everyone is quiet, though sometimes (...or maybe most of the time) you can hear the 'click's of the cameras... And the location is awesome - I love bandstands.

The Twilight Sad

Among the bands that have played in a bandstand we can find, for instance, Asobi Seksu, First Aid Kit, Of Montreal, Black Lips, Slow Club, etc.

To put it in a nutshell (I find this expression hilarious), if you ever go to London and there happens to be a Bandstand Busking gig, don't hesitate and GO, because the experience is truly great.

Here's an "unofficial" video (they haven't posted this gig on their site yet) of The Twilight Sad playing on November 1, 2009 at Northampton Square. It was really good.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Duke Of Uke

First of all: what kind of name is this? The Duke Of Uke!! Best name ever.

Hello readers. Today I will talk about this awesome little store near Liverpool Street.

When I talked about Rough Trade the other day, I mentioned how cool Brick Lane and the surrounding area was. And here's more proof. This shop is located on 22, Hansbury Street and is specialized in ukeleles (as you can see on the pictures...), or, as they say: "Duke of Uke is London's one and only Ukulele and Banjo Emporium". Indeed, my friends, not only do they sell ukeleles, but also banjos, mandolines, acoustic guitars, and more.

And it doesn't end here (of course). They also teach how to play ukelele, and set up gigs in the store or other venues of the city. They also have a studio where you can record or rehearse your music. Not bad. What's more, it is really close to Spitalfields (which is, by the way, a really cool market that I will talk about in the future). As you can see (or will see, when reading more entries of this blog) (peculiar word, "blog"), Liverpool Street is a great area of London.

You may not want to buy a ukelele or a banjo, but it's definitely worth seeing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rough Trade

Hello! Here is Rough Trade:

This store (also record label) is a MUST for all music fans. As you can see on the pictures above, they have a pretty wide range of vinyl records, sorted out by genre. There are also some record players on the store so you can listen to the records before you actually buy them. But it doesn't end there. There's also a little café in the entrance, with some chairs and tables, where you can have coffee (obviously), other beverages, and food.

And for those of you who are not real fans of vinyl records, you can always browse through the cd section:

Another really interesting thing about the store is that sometimes they hold "instores", small free shows where bands usually come to play songs from their newest record. For instance, in May 2007 Lucero played a few songs, or recently, on December 2009, Yo La Tengo played as well. Although places are limited, so what you need to do is come get a wristband (you have to check their site in order to know when to do it) or, if places are still available after there are no more wristbands, it's first-come, first-serve. Here is a picture of First Aid Kit playing an instore a few weeks ago:

There's also a really cool photobooth where you can have your pictures taken, it's one of the few left where all four pictures are different. The background is black and you have the logo of the store on the top left corner (left? right? don't really remember), but sadly it's 3 pounds. You have to change the three pounds for a token on the counter, and instert it once you are inside of the booth. I must insist that you read the instructions before you actually insert the coin (yeah, I didn't read them, I'm extremely smart), because if you don't then you'll have approximately 40 flashes on your face all of a sudden, and the result will be you with a weird face. Which may be what you're looking for, who knows!

The store you see on these pictures is the one located on the East of London (Liverpool Street, to be more exact). There's another store on the West, although I haven't been there (yet). Besides, this Rough Trade is right next to Brick Lane, an awesome street, so you can walk around and discover a lot of little nice stores and vintage shops.

You can check this link for more information about the store.

And that's pretty much it! I hope you like it. I certainly do.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Hummingbird Bakery

Dear friends!

Today I'm sitting in my room listening to Osker's Idle Will Kill.

The Hummingbird Bakery is a little bakery situated on 133, Portobello Road, near Portobello Market (which is a market I highly recommend, but I'll talk about that another day). It rules. They specialize in cupcakes, although you can always find some pretty good looking cakes and beverages.
It is usually packed because since its opening in 2004 it has had plenty of success. In the UK you find muffins everywhere, but it's not that easy to find (good) cupcakes, which is why this small bakery decided to create their personal cupcakes. The place is really cosy, and although I've only tried one of the different varieties of cupcakes they offer, I can honestly say it's really good. I've also talked to some friends who have been there at some point and they all agree that it's worth going. So I guess that's pretty much it! The nearest tube station is Notting Hill Gate, in case you want to go check it out.
Here are a couple of pictures of the shop!

Greetings, internet-dwellers!

Dear friends of the world wide web,

I salute you.

This is a blog where I will talk about London, where I am currently living. My purpose here is to talk about nice places I find in this city, such as restaurants, shops, markets, etc. That way if I ever want to come back again or if my friends (or anybody, really) need advice on where to go in London, they'll have some information on here and they'll know what places to visit. Right?

I also take all the pictures you see here (unless otherwise stated).

I started this blog in Spanish a while ago, so if you'd rather read it in that language then here's a link. As you can see, there are quite a few entries, which I will translate (not really literally) little by little to post them here.

And here are some pictures of my room - extremely interesting and crucial data.