a quirky look at London Life

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Foy Vance & The Ulster Orchestra. Indiscriminate Act Of Kind

See on Scoop.itMusic for a London Life

Only a thoroughly decent person could pen such a song ..a gentle man as well as a totally talented musician..words almost fail me .what a sensitive, beautifully rendered song.

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Craft NI Perspective Exhibition at Craft Central

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An exhibition of some of Northern Ireland’s finest contemporary craftspeople is happening at Craft Central, Clerkenwell, London from 11-15 March

Venue: Craft Central, 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS



A word from the Curator, Professor Karen Fleming:


Perspective: Inspiration Unveiled offers a glance at the work of some of the finest and most talented designer-makers living and working in Northern Ireland. The exhibition presents a diverse range of handcrafted products that combine a modern sensibility and edginess with the makers’ respect for materials and craftmanship. Innovative processes such as cast resin and quirky sculptured willow take their place alongside silversmithing, ceramics and the sparkling colours of glass and textiles.


Northern Ireland is a very unique part of the United Kingdom with a dramatic and varied landscape, exceptional heritage and a remarkable history of trade. A common theme in most definitions of the creative industries and creative places is that they arise from individual creativity, skill and talent. The synergy of creativity, craft and design and commerce that characterises the region today arises from a heritage spanning world-leading linen and shirt-making to shipbuilding and engineering. There is a higher concentration of small enterprises in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the UK.


Inspired by the unique landscape and culture of Northern Ireland, all the makers in Perspective: Inspiration Unveiled bring a distinctive perspective and a contemporary edge to their creative products.


for more info about the makers:!makersandcurator/c1t44


Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

Being from Northern Ireland myself, I am very proud of my Irish heritage.I am really looking forward to seeing some of the best contemporary craft from NI being showcased right here, down the road from me, in cool Clerkenwell! If you love all things Irish, creative and crafty, then get to this exhibition for a celebration with a difference… a perfect pre-St Patrick’s treat!

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Foy Vance – Joy Of Nothing

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Foy Vance’s ‘Joy Of Nothing’ from his forthcoming album, Joy Of Nothing, out Summer 2013. iTunes: Spotify:

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

thanks to Mike Watts for letting us know about this wonderful video and now we can enjoy the anticipation of Foy Vance’s ‘Joy of Nothing’ album, out Summer 2013

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Black Maria User Club – Between Dreams Granary Building, The Crossing, King’s Cross

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12.00—18.00 28 Feb 2013

The Cob Gallery presents Fee Greening, Between Dreams, a visual theatre in which to contemplate different sleep states and the act of dreaming. The installation will consist of a layered tableau of Greenings illustrations, created as a backdrop to a series of events (talks and performances) that will further explore the theme of dreams. Greening explores the sensations and surreality of everyday scientific phenomena, such as the hypnic jerk, reinterpreting them into visual metaphors. Between Dreams is a pre-cursor to a group exhibition at The Cob Gallery in May 2013 in collaboration with Guts for Garters.


See more at:

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

At 5pm today, The Little Theatre of Dolls will perform ‘The Holy Dress’ @ the Granary Building.

for more info, visit:


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Sunday, March 3: Venus Nights @ The Hippodrome

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Venus Nights will celebrate women in song and raise funds for three women’s charities


“A TALENTED array of all female musicians is set to honour iconic performers Patsy Cline, Sarah Vaughan and Big Mama Thornton this weekend, to kick-start celebrations for International Women’s Day and raise money for three women’s charities.

The inaugural Venus Nights concert takes place this Sunday, March 3 2013 from 6pm at The Matcham Room, London Hippodrome in Leicester Square.

Venus Nights founder, Irish performer Fiona McElroy, said: “Back home, I worked on a national project called VDAY Ireland, the charity arm of the Vagina Monologues, which produced and performed the Vagina Monologues in four Irish cities, raising money for seven difference organisations that work to prevent violence against women.

“The idea behind Venus Nights is to create a similar collective of fabulous women but working to promote female music and talent, while using that talent and dedication to raise money and awareness for related charities, which is why we have chosen female (Dress for Success and Eaves) and music (Nordoff Robbins) focused charities. Every single performer (including the band) on the night is female. The plan is to run this event annually around International Women’s Day – 2013 is only the beginning for Venus Nights!”

Appearing on this smoking line-up are multi-award winning blues diva, Dana Gillespie, Mozambican “nu-soul diva” Maiuko, jazz & blues starlet Emma Divine, soulful Katie Bradley, risqué blues with soul Fiona McElroy, Rhythm & Blues singer Valenka Johanna, rockabilly meets blues & jazz singer Scarlett Rae, cabaret/blues singer Ana Bon-Bon, the original Sister Cookie and a coming together of an amazing all female band!

This gathering of top female performers will benefit three charities. Dress for Success London helps women on low incomes find work and become financially independent, Eaves works to expose domestic abuse, sexual violence and the exploitation of women, and Nordoff Robbins transforms the lives of vulnerable children and adults across the UK through music therapy.”



Tickets are available at All proceeds from ticket sales will be divided equally between the chosen charities. For more info visit


Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

This fundraiser will benefit three charites that support the most vulnerable amongst us. It also promises to be a great night of music. Be there!

Free Tickets for Two Gentlemen of Verona @ Shakespeare’s Globe this Friday! Be Quick! And wrap up warm!!

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Friday 1 March

Conservatory Acting students from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, spend their entire third year of study at Shakespeare’s Globe. The students take classes in acting, voice, movement, text, dance, dialect, singing and stage combat, and immerse themselves in London life, history and culture.

The students end their Globe residency with a performance on the Globe stage before returning to Rutgers for their final year of training. This year’s play, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, is directed by Tim Carroll.


18.30 – 20.30


Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre


A limited number of free tickets are available for this workshop performance.


Please email

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March 10, 2013 … Wales comes to Cecil Sharp House!

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A wizard day of Welsh music gets set to cast a Celtic spell on the capital

Hot on the heels of St David’s Day, a wealth of Welsh music and traditional folk arts is about to cast a Celtic spell over the capital – in a rare day-long event staged at Cecil Sharp House, London.

Curated by Welsh folk development organisation trac (Traddodiadau Cerdd Cymru), in partnership with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) the bumper Welsh showcase promises vibrant performances by some of the country’s signature roots bands plus poetry, workshops, talks, family activities, an afternoon twmpath(ceilidh), Welsh clogging and much more.

A day that aims to capture the essence of the Welsh folk culture, it will be played out across three stages at Camden’s Cecil Sharp House. The family friendly event will hardly pause for breath with non-stop entertainment from lunchtime to late, kicking off at 1pm.

Says trac director DannyKilBride: “It will be a rare chance to totally immerse yourself in the very best of Welsh culture. The exciting project came to us from EFDSS who are keen to reinvigorate their relationship with the traditional arts of the rest of the British Isles. They wanted to know why Welsh acts were not accessing the English markets, how they could find musicians who were doing interesting things with our traditions and how they could help bring a showcase to London. They suggested that we curate a day there and we were delighted to rise to the challenge.”

Leading the pack will be top young “of the moment” Welsh bands Calan (pictured above) and Jamie Smith’s Mabon. The five piece Calan will provide the finale with an evening concert while in the afternoon the award winning “Interceltic” act Jamie Smith’s Mabon will take to the concert hall stage. (2012 Spiral Awards Best Instrumental Album)


Calan, dubbed “the new ambassadors of Welsh cool” have come a long way since busking the streets of Cardiff. They are now festival favourites, blasting their way through old reels, jugs and hornpipes and then seamlessly morphing into mellow and haunting songs.


With their unique instrumental blend, not to mention the percussive sound of the Welsh clogs, Calan’s line-up is Patrick Rimes (fiddle, bagpipes, whistle,); fiddler Angharad Sian Jenkins; Bethan Rhiannon – main vocal, accordion and step dancing, Alaw Jones on harp and Sam Humphries on guitar.


Calan’s most recent CD is Jonah. Hear the title track


Taking to the stage at 4.15pm will be the prodigiously talented Jamie Smith’s Mabon, probably one of the best live acts on the circuit. Fast making their unique and vibrant mark on the roots scene with their signature “InterCeltic” music, the five-piece is led by tunesmeister and accordionist extraordinaire Jamie Smith.


Mabon scooped the coveted Best Instrumental Album title (for their Porthcawl-recorded Live at the Grand Pavilion) in the 2011 Spiral Awards, run by music website Spiral Earth – an album that captured all the energy and pizzazz of their acclaimed live show as does the critically acclaimed follow-up album released last autumn, Windblown..

Jamie Smith’s Mabon

A new diversion for the previously all-instrumental band is the weaving of songs, penned by Smith, into the set – including the aptly named Yes We Sing Now (!) as well as some exciting shifts in style and sound.

But it is Smith’s inspired, eclectic tunes that continue to dominate the material that delves into every Celtic corner – from their native Wales to Brittany, Scotland, Ireland, Galicia and beyond. Watch JSM at Celtic Connections Festival:

That genius of comic rhyme Les Barker will be holding court in the library as he presents “Poems, Chairs and Cynghanedd”. The “alternative Poet Laureate” is Mancunian- born but now resident in Wrexham and a self-declared “born again Welshman”! Festival favourite Les who has learnt Welsh, will deliver his punchy and pithy poems and show how he has mastered the intricacies of writing poetry in cynghanedd –an ancient form of poetic rhyme.


Bragod will bring their magical medieval Welsh music to the party. Instrumentalist Robert Evans and vocalist Mary-Anne Robertson form the only musical ensemble dedicated to exploring the performance of medieval and renaissance Welsh music and poetry in an historically-informed way. They sing Welsh poetry ranging from stanzas of the Gododdin (6th century) to ritual and popular songs of the 18th and 19th century. Robert, who will also deliver a talk-demonstration on the origins of string music, plays the ancient six-stringed lyre known as the crwth.

Other music acts appearing include:

Rag Foundation-The South Wales band have perfected their electrifying brand of edgy, harmony-rich urban folk and have supported the likes of Robert Plant, Billy Bragg and The Levellers. Jack Harris –The 27 year-old singer songwriter from Builth Wells won the 2005 New Folk Songwriting Competition at Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, the first non-American to do so and has been described as “a priest of song” by singer Anais Mitchell.

Alaw (Welsh for “melody”) features guitarist Dylan Fowler and Mabon fiddler Oli Wilson-Dickson in collaboration with Mabon frontman Jamie Smith. At the heart of their set is a passion for the old tunes of Wales. 

If all the music has got your feet itching to dance Huw Williams will demonstrate the art of Welsh clogging and dancers of all abilities are welcome while the Grassie Busville Band will provide the music for what promises to be a high energy afternoon family ceilidh.


There will also be a chance to learn about the Welsh midwinter tradition of the Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) – a wassail-like, luck-bringing ritual in which participants accompany a person disguised as a horse from house to house , singing in the hope of gaining admittance and being rewarded with food and drink. Children will get the chance to make a mini Mari.

The entertainment will continue in the bar where there will be performances by harmony group Parti Cut Lloi as well as Plus DnA, Cerdd Cegin and Blanche Rowen & Mike Gulston. Bring instruments if you would like to join in – or just your voice!

Great value tickets for the day’s entertainment are £12 adults and £6 for under 12s, Under 2s go free. They are available from /0844 888 991 or www./

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:



What a great way to kick off the traces of Winter and a great place to throw away those inhibitions. If you can’t sing or play a musical instrument, just get out there and clog dance! And if you still feel shy and need further convincing to hot foot it to CSH ..take a listen to the classy contemporary celtic music lineup ..some real treats in store! I also can’t wait to hear the medievally inspired Bragod live.


Why not treat your mother for Mother’s Day? Take the entire family! A fun day is inevitable as  I suspect no one will be able to stay on the sidelines for long! I hope the cafe is open ..I’ve had some great food @ CSH. 

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Last Day! Franck Allais @ KK Outlet Hoxton

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Franck Allais In Passing

KK Outlet is proud to announce the first solo show of French photographer Franck Allais. In Passing will present two of Allais’ projects that encapsulate his skill of taking a simple concept and executing it with his trademark flair and wit.

Opening the show, Allais presents Subverting The City – a collection of images featuring city boys dressed in drab conservative clothes from the waist up but who are a little more flamboyant in skirts and heels from the waist down. The composition of these images are so seamless and their motion so natural that you have to look twice and call your judgment into question.

In Passing, also features The Weight of Words. Originally Allais wanted to create a series about the movement, sound and chaos of traffic. After setting up his camera on a tripod and taking photos of passing traffic, Allais noticed that he was ignoring what should have been obvious: what was written on the vehicles. “Instead of seeing vans and trucks, I saw words floating by like a visual  dialogue, messages bombarding my brain that were instantly forgotten. I realized I had hit on something both playful and disturbing.”

Brands are ubiquitous; they are the pollution of the built landscape. As a visual language they make everywhere familiar. Brands are the reason why all British high streets look the same and why when you fly halfway round the world on the surface it’s all the same.

The suspended brands and see-through promises in Allais work remind us that no matter where we are there’s always someone trying to sell us something.

Allais’ work asks the viewer to suspend disbelief, whilst at the same time questioning what is accepted as the everyday norm. He does this without being judgmental or dogmatic. Most of all, he does this whilst having fun.

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

only a few days left to see this intriguing exhib! closes on 26th Feb

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Dining in Shoreditch: Interview with Bottega Prelibato Founder Gianfilippo Matteoli | Made in Shoreditch – A Magazine About Style, Innovation, Dining, Nightlife and People in Shoreditch

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Made in Shoreditch – A Magazine About Innovation, Style, Dining, Culture, Nightlife and People in Shoreditch

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

check it out!

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The Look of the Irish: Fetching Collars from Lakeside Leather

See on Scoop.itIrish Life

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

reading the recent post from NYC based blogger Look of the Irish made me smile out loud ..not a mean achievement,on a dull London Monday! Thanks Jacinta! Nice dog you got there! Cute collar too!

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