LondonNet Homepage
15 March 2001
Issue 74
AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...

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- London for Free
- London Zoo
- Editorial vacancy
- Animal Wrongs

- Hotels
- Music
- Theatre
- Clubs
- Cinema
- London Tips
- Latest news from London
- "Must-see" pages on LondonNet

- Win one of 10 pairs of club tickets
- Readers say their piece
- Help us to help you
- Linking to LondonNet
- Sponsoring AHOY
- Subscribe to AHOY! list
- Unsubscribe from AHOY! list

©Copyright Adonis 1996-2004. LondonNet and AHOY! are published by Adonis, London, UK.
© The names, words and styles AHOY!, LondonNet, londonnet, Londonnet, London Net and associated logos are all Copyright Adonis.
® All Rights Reserved

WHAT'S UP - What's new on LondonNet…

LONDON for FREE: Retro clubbing
THIS WEEK we have 4 pairs of tickets for 70s club Voulez Vous and 6 pairs for 80s night Club Fantastic to give away. Click here for competition details.

My favourite! A penguin at London ZooLONDON ZOO: New feature
REGULAR readers of Ahoy! will know that I have a soft spot for our furry friends down at Regent Park's London Zoo. They have been really generous to us over the past year, providing many sets of family tickets for our regular Ahoy! competitions.

It is with great pleasure therefore that we can now unveil our new guide to the attraction, produced in association with the Zoo's own online team. You will find lots of info about the animals, facilities and events, plus links to relevant sections of the official London Zoo website. Enjoy!

WE ARE currently holding interviews for a part-time Listings Assistant. If you hurry you can still send us your CV. For more details on this first-step-on-the-ladder position please see our Jobs page:

LONDON DIARY by LondonNet's Editor David Clee:

Animal Wrongs

There's a great sequence in 101 Dalmations in which a succession of dogs make contact with some stolen puppies by use of a kind of barking daisy chain system that boasts a faster connection speed than your average built-in modem. In the real world, we learn this week, elephants can communicate through seismic vibrations over distances of more than 20 miles merely by stomping up and down.

If only pigs, sheep and cows could call on such talents, they might have warned each other of the approach of farmers, government butchers and army snipers intent on mass slaughter in the continuing hysterical reaction to foot and mouth disease.

But given this evident lack of communication skills, surely our animal rights friends should be protesting on behalf of the afflicted? Hundreds of thousands of animals have been wiped out, not by the disease itself, which only in a few extreme cases is a killer, but by those seeking to safeguard the profits of the agricultural industry. That ought to be a great publicity angle for the animal rights lobby. They could draw on their hunt-sabbing experience, take to the hills and start a guerrilla war under the slogan 'You Can Stick Your Foot and Mouth Up Your Arse.'

Instead, they continue to target those trying to find cures for human diseases, scientists who use many, many fewer creatures for their work than are daily massacred by the government over foot and mouth. Mind you, I can see how beating up geeky boffins at Huntingdon Life Sciences represents a more relaxed Saturday afternoon outing than taking the crusade to sites of real power.

Related links:
News Headlines

London Diary Archive

- Music
- Theatre
- Clubs
- Cinema
- London Tips

HOTEL NEWS by Peter D. Clee

SOMETIMES a fresh perspective is useful when it comes to judging hotels.

Over the past few years I have visited literally hundreds of hotels both here in London and across Europe. Once in a while a real gem surfaces. This most commonly reveals itself in the shape of a dedication to duty on behalf of one or more members of staff. A select few of the world's finest hotels combine this spirit of staff excellence with a solid touch of history. The Ritz, Piccadilly is one such hotel. I could waffle on long and true about the astonishing levels of service, but that would rather miss the point.

A suite in the Ritz Hotel, LondonThe Ritz shines out because it is The Ritz. Conceived and designed by the world's most famous hotelier, Cesar Ritz, the London Ritz opened its doors in 1906. Over the past few years a magnificent restoration job has been achieved by the hotel's independent, private owners.

I know I was bowled over when I first saw the results of their work. But I wanted a more detached assessment. So, the natural choice was to send my parents there for a night. They are no strangers to some of the world's leading hotels (lucky them, drool) but both were blown away with the elegant transformation that has been attained since their last visit. So it's not just me, the place really is that good. And I haven't even mentioned the great restaurants, convenient location and views over St James Park. There done that now too.

We have some excellent rates at the hotel, for more info please see:

This week's hit-parade of the most popular hotels featured in our secure-booking site:

LondonNet's Top Five Hotels*:
1 (1) The Columbia
2 (2) The Gore
3 (3) La Reserve
4 (-) Royal Garden
5 (-) Chelsea Lodge
(*based on bookings between 1-14 March 2001. Previous issue's figures in brackets)

Related links
For the full range of London hotels now on offer please see:
For details of our office hours and contact info see our Helpdesk page at:
For details of over 350 European city hotels available on our sister site see:
TIP: To receive's regular newsletter "Wishes" with details of the latest European hotels added to the site send your email address to:
[email protected]

LONDON MUSIC by Catherine Chambers

Shepherds Bush Empire
Thursday, March 22

Quietly stirring up a tender subliminal storm, husband and wife duo Alan Sparhawk (guitars, piano) and Mimi Parker (drums) together with bassist Zak Sally craft songs that slip into the subconscious with the minimum of fuss.

Content to drift along at their own unhurried pace - for which they attracted the tag 'slowcore' - Low are capable of bringing time to a standstill. Their latest and fifth LP, Things We Lost In The Fire is Low at their best, from the chiming guitars on hymnal-like opener 'Sunflower' to the magical 'White Tail', while 'Dinosaur Act' finds them stepping tentatively into stranger territory: rocking out. And even though it's an over-used phrase 'achingly beautiful' seems to fit Duluth, Minnesota's Low like a glove, as frail guitar textures cross paths with Parker's evocative vocals.

When the trio visited these shores last November they played the Union Chapel, a venue perfectly suited to their beguiling sounds. This time it's the Shepherds Bush Empire, while not quite as intimate, is still the best of the bigger-sized venues in terms of atmosphere - an all-important factor when the trio work their magic on a spellbound audience.

Slowly but surely, even the most hardened of listeners will surrender to Low's spiritual hypnosis.

Other picks

Thur March 15, Craig David, London Arena
Poor Craig. He's not having a good time of late, what with losing out at the Brits and now being sued by his former manager. However, this doesn't seem to be affecting his popularity as tickets for his latest tour are selling out like hot cakes.

Fri March 16, Mocca, Water Rats
Brum-based guitar rockers bring their lo-fi mood-stylings to the better end of London's toilet circuit.

Fri March 16 and Sat March 17, Soft Cell, Ocean
This week sees brand new music venue Ocean opening its doors, and 80s synth popsters Soft Cell are given the christening honours by being the first band to play there. But do we really need another 80s reformation, I hear you cry? Well, over 2000 punters seem to think so, and the fact that this gig sold out ages ago suggests that the 80s revival is far from over.

Mon March 19, Richard Hawley + Chineseburn, Monarch
Sheffield-based singer songwriter showcases songs from his eponymous debut, a fine-tuned collection of bittersweet Americana. Support comes from alt-country and Twisted am Lounge faves, Chineseburn.

Mon, Patrick Duffy, Borderline
Radiohead cited them as an influence, Suede took them on tour and their records garnered critical acclaim. But Strangelove never reached the heights they deserved and called it quits after just three albums, their frontman, Patrick Duffy doing solo acoustic gigs. Tonight he offers a performance with a difference, as he provides a dark soundtrack to Hitchcock's 1939 film, The Ring.

Related Links:
Music Tickets:
You can book tickets for many of the top gigs in London through our online ticket shop:
For more live listings see:
For our music guide see:

LONDON THEATRE by Helena 'Spid' Thompson

In the spotlight

If you want to lament lost innocence the theatre is the place to be. Childhood rituals are getting plenty of stage play - although nostalgia's not exactly the name of the game.

Child prostitution is what award winning James Martin Charlton makes the subject of his new play at the Finborough. 'ecstacy and GRACE' shows the real side of child pornography through the traumas of a game-boy-playing-trainer-wearing thirteen year old. And it's an HIV positive man's feelings for an underage boy that kick starts Kevin Elyot 's passionate drama, 'Mouth to Mouth.'

The Royal Court's other controversial play, 'Spirit,' also lives up to its name with a candid exploration of child-adult relationships. Breathing life into the world of bedtime stories, the show's use of mime and puppetry takes its cue from Cultural Industry's current collaboration, Shockheaded Peter (the hair-raiser about parents who bury their offspring alive continues to sell out at the Piccadilly).

But for those keen to dig up less sordid secrets, 'The Secret Garden' at the Aldwych promises a magical appeal. One girl's discovery of a crippled playmate and a beautiful garden redeems the cynics around her. Fortunately the Arts Council windfall grants encourages theatre programmers to heed that moral and take children's feelings seriously.

Up and Coming
Blue/Orange, The Duchess Theatre, Leiceister Square tube
Joe Penhall's audience-dividing psycho drama puts the N.H.S. in the spotlight.

Shockheaded Peter, Piccadilly Theatre, Piccadilly Circus tube
High pitched junk opera crammed with shock, horror, and delight.

Theatre Choice
Best Play:
Stones in his Pockets - Hollywood comes to provincial Ireland in this hilarious two-hander from Marie Jones
Best Musical: Cats - Lloyd Webber tames Eliot's feline poems
- For details, tickets and reviews see:

Related Links:
London Theatre Menu
London Theatre Tickets

LONDON CLUBS by Catherine Chambers

Fri March 16, Essential Relief, Deep South, Home 6pm-3am
Pete Tong, Norman Cook, Danny Rampling, Seb Fontaine and Jon Carter head down to Home this week all in aid of Red Nose Day.

Fri March 16, Surgery, Clinic, 10pm-4am
Cross Section Records' Ray Gibbons and Magoo are joined by Dr Pepper, Case B and Funkwit for some fresh funky beats.

Sat March 17, Freedom, Bagleys Studios, 10pm-7am
Lisa Pin-up and Lisa Lashes unleash some hard house, Colin Aubrey and MC Sting get down with some garage and Dean Lambert spins classic house.

Sat March 17, Fabric, EC1 10pm-7am
Sasha, Lee Burridge, Bill Brewster are among this week's top quality main floor line-up, while upstairs IG Culture and Earl Gateshead lose themselves in funky turnablist heaven.

Sat March 17, Passenger 3rd Birthday, Form, W1 9pm-3am
Steve Blonde, Ali B spin a cutting selection of breaks, beats and disco tunes as the weekly club night celebrates its third year.

Related Links:
Club Menu
Club Tickets - You can now book tickets for many of the top clubs in London through our online ticket shop:
Club Previews

LONDON CINEMA by Catherine Chambers

This Week's Big Releases

Enemy At The GatesEnemy At The Gates ***
Director Jean-Jacques Annaud
Starring Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Ed Harris, Rachel Weisz

Another year, another World War II movie. Enemy At The Gates possesses all the requisites for a Hollywood war blockbuster, piled high with tension, personal rivalry and, of course, action to die for... click here for full review

Thirteen Days ***
Director Roger Donaldson
Starring Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp

The title is apt in more ways than one. Yes it refers to the dangerous span of the Cuban Missile Crisis, that moment in US history when the nuclear threat suddenly seemed about to tip over into full-on reality... click here for full review

Other new releases this week:

Audition ****
Director Miike Takashi
Film-maker uses autition to find a wife but finds a whole lot more besides. (18)

Elvis: That's the Way it Is ****
Director Denis Sanders
Re-release for the King's fascinating rehearsal and concert movie. (U)

Last Resort ***
Director Paul Pavlikovsky
Beautiful and moving drama follows asylum seeker's faltering first steps in UK. (15)

Maleena **
Director Giuseppe Tornatore
Adolescent boy fancies gorgeous woman in sentimental effort from Cinema Paradiso director. (15)

The Terminator ***
Director James Cameron
Re-release for well-regarded Arnie vehicle. (18)

Related Links:

Cinema Menu
Film Listings - Full London listings with our easy to use guide

LONDON TIPS - Secrets of the City

Welcome to the section where Ahoy! readers submit their top tips for visitors to London and visitors ask for help. To ask a question or submit a tip for your fellow readers send us an email to:
[email protected]

Hello London Tips,

Hop on the bus. It is the best way to travel around central London as it is cheap (with a zone one travelcard) and gives you great views of the city.


Duane (Harlesden, London, UK).


News from London

News Headlines
Suicide Farmers Force Charles To Act
- 'Risks are heightened' says Prince
National Says Ello to Enry Iggins
- First night for flower girl McCutcheon, flu permitting
Sport News
Wenger Steps Up to the Marko
- Hertha star in talks with Arsenal
News Talkback


LondonNet Home: The big kahuna
LondonNet News Headlines: Award winning updates from the capital of cool
Guide to London: "The must-see guide for visitors to London" -
Hotel Shop: LondonNet's selection of the best hotels in town
Ticket Shop: Theatre and Music Bookings and Helpdesk
Out on the Town: LondonNet's entertainment listings and features
Hotelgenie: Fine European city hotels


Retro Clubs COMPIE:
THIS WEEK we have 4 pairs of tickets for 70s club Voulez Vous and 6 pairs for 80s night Club Fantastic to give away.

Question: Club Fantastic takes place every Saturday night in the heart of London's West End. Name the venue:
Tip: Take a look at our Retro clubs page:

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is send an email with the correct answer and the subject header "Retro Club Compie" to:
[email protected],
NB Include email, telephone number and postal address (which will only be used for this compie-guaranteed). If you don't include your address we can't send you the prize!

RULES and INFO: First ten correct answers out of the Editor's hat win the prize, details will be sent to the winners. The Editor's decision is final. Closing Date: 22 March 2001.

Last Issues Competition Winners:

(1 March 2001, Ahoy)
In The Nude CD Winners
Garry Beran (West Didsbury, Manchester), Marni Neenos (New York, USA), Adeline Darling (Bournemouth, Dorset), Catherine Pegg (Dover, Kent) Justin Stilla (London, SE24), Lise Olsen (London, N5), Sean Giacometti (Victoria, Australia), Sigmund Melberg (Hafrsfjord, Norway), Ayla Carpe (London, SE23), Mike Gresk (Illinois, USA)


AHOY! Readers say their piece: Send mail to [email protected]
Notes: The Editor reserves the right to amend your contributions for reasons of elegance, space, legality and plain sheer bloodymindedness. The following letters have been received direct here at Ahoy! Talkback or on our News Talkback forum. Join the diverse debate by sending us an email or posting a message on the forum:
We welcome your views on any subject, questions about your visit and of course feedback about the newsletter or website.

Dear LondonNet,

I want to voice my support for your fair prices on Eurostar campaign. I would love to travel through the tunnel to Paris but no way can I afford it.

Tom (Ealing, London, UK)

REPLY: Thanks Tom. Eurostar seem to think the tunnel is under the Atlantic not the English Channel. This week we had to send our travel manager Antoinette Coll to a hotel seminar in Paris. The cost for a day return was a whopping 300 UKP. Easily enough to fly you to the east if not the west coast of the U.S.A.. Airfares between London and Paris are little better, 280 UKP was the best BA fare we were quoted. The proximity of the fares could have something to do with BA's stake in Eurostar. Or is that too cynical? (Ed).
Eurostar Campaign Page:

Dear Talkback,

RE: Death of Princess Diana.

In fact Di was pregnant at the time with Dodi's child. The thought of the future King of England having an arab brother was too much for the Royals to handle, therefore it was a conspiracy from a specialist services agency.

The weekend of the death was the weekend the Royal Family should have went shooting somewhere in Scotland, as they have done for the last 200 years. They cancelled the trip two days prior to this......Why?

Living near to Durham I know of a guy that works for Special Branch in charge of security for Tony Blair. He has is own theories, however two pieces of info I have from him.

1) When something like this happens always believe the first reports you hear. The first report of the crash was that Diana had a broken arm and concussion. Within hours of this she had died. Now unless she died from a broken arm???? I think a botched assasination attempt, that when realised,Diana was executed.
2) Tony Blair has a personal jet that was flown into his home near Durham. The specialist service guy was briefed that the crew on board needed food and the official dress had to be set out for them and Blair etc. When he got on board to see how many uniforms were needed the pilot told him they were already kitted out. He asked how when they were scrambled immediately to collect Blair. To this the Captain advised they had been on standby for 2 days. They had been waiting for something to happen but were not told what.

The papparazzi that follow the Royals all know each other, however on the night of the accident a lot more turned up who were not known by the rest. Apparently they were the same papparazzi on the scooters, who funnily enough were detained for 12 or so hours after the accident. A de-briefing perhaps?? Special agents, MI6????

Security cameras on the route they took were not working.

Was Trevor Rees Jones in on the conspiracy?? The only survivor??

We will never know.

Gary Annis (Durham, UK)

REPLY: Some juicy titbits there Gary, keep digging... (Ed).
For more Diana conspiracy rants see:


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