LondonNet Homepage
26 April 2001
Issue 77
AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...

Click here for Online Version of AHOY!

Contents:
WHAT'S UP

- London for Free
- Madonna
- Romeo and Juliet
LONDON DIARY
- What a Wag to Go
FEATURES

- Hotels
- Music
- Theatre
- Clubs
- Cinema
- London Tips
LONDON NEWS
- Latest news from London
USEFUL URLs
- "Must-see" pages on LondonNet
COMPETITION NEWS

- Win club tickets
AHOY! TALKBACK
- Readers say their piece
SPECIAL MESSAGES
- Help us to help you
- Linking to LondonNet
- Sponsoring AHOY
AHOY! MEMBERSHIP
- 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: Milk 'n' 2 Sugars
WE HAVE three pairs of tickets for Milk 'n' 2 Sugars upcoming birthday bash. Click here for competition details.

MADONNA: We have Tickets!
LONDON was today gripped with Madonna fever as tickets for her Earls Court stint went on sale. Tickets for the first date were sold out before they even went on sale. Yes, we think that's a contradiction in terms too, but there you go. As the day unfolded more nights have been announced and each in turn has sold out as well.

Thankfully, LondonNet has managed to get hold of a sizeable allocation for the event.

Our Madonna 2001 package includes a ticket, a night's stay at the nearby La Reserve hotel and full English breakfast the morning after.
Prices range from 129 UKP to 169 UKP per person, depending on the type of ticket included in your chosen package (based on two persons sharing a double or twin room).

To receive details of these offers the moment they are firmed up, please send your name, email address and telephone number to:

To book this package:
Call (020) 8949 5363 (from U.K.)
++44 20 8949 5363 (from overseas)
Our ticket office is open 9-5.30 Mon to Fri and 9.30-12.30 Sat
or email: [email protected] (include name, email address and telephone number)

LONDON DANCE: Romeo and Juliet
OUR FRIENDS down at the Royal Albert Hall have set aside a whole pile of top draw tickets for June's run of Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet. This acclaimed English National Ballet production only plays for 11 nights so be sure to book your tickets soon.
For more info see:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/music/balletfeature.html
To book tickets (020) 8949 5363 (from U.K.)
++44 20 8949 5363 (from overseas)
Our ticket office is open 9-5.30 Mon to Fri and 9.30-12.30 Sat
Or visit the Classical Ticket page:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/music/classicaltickets.html

LONDON DIARY by LondonNet's Editor David Clee:

What a Wag to Go

A lot of people who care about the soul of London shed a tear or two when it was announced this week that the Wag Club is to shut up shop to be replaced by yet another Irish theme pub, especially since there are already two Waxy O'Connor's within spitting distance of the Wag's Wardour Street base and another 6,347 ludicrous Oirish bars within a two mile radius.

Nil points to the dozy planners over at O'Neill's then, though maybe we should be careful about getting too precious about our favourite ex-haunts. The Wag is/was one of those eccentric places that we like to think make London such an interesting city. But it is not as if there aren't hundreds of other top clubs in which to while away the small hours, and slapping preservation orders and blue plaques on happening institutions kind of defeats their own modish purpose, I would have thought.

It is annoying that bland corporate interests are muscling in on every last corner of Soho, seemingly intent on turning it into a carbon copy of Basingstoke town centre or something, but the good news is that trendy types are usually handy at finding somewhere else to play, like Brixton, Hoxton or the Borough, for instance.

Non-Soho club promoters and geographically-adept barflies apart, the other winners in this game could be the anarchists come this year's May Day demonstrations. Thanks to the invasion of the West End by O'Neill's, Starbucks, All Bar One and their ilk, the rock-chuckers have never had so many targets at which to aim.

Related links:
News Headlines

http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/talk/news/headlines.html

London Diary Archive
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/london-diary.html

FEATURES Menu
-
Hotels
- Music
- Theatre
- Clubs
- Cinema
- London Tips

HOTEL NEWS by Peter D. Clee

A POSSE from the LondonNet office paid a visit to two of our most enduring hotels last night.

A winning formula
First up was the mighty Columbia Hotel, our biggest seller ever since its debut on the site several years ago. The Columbia defies most of the rules of modern hotel management. They set their room charges at a very competitive rate and avoid getting bogged down in the intricacies of 'yield management' whereby hotels (and airlines) seek a plethora of price points to 'maximise yield'. Gosh, what a mouthful. Thankfully at the Columbia what you see is what you get. Good honest value and a level of service only witnessed in independently owned hotels. That's the simple formula and their efforts are rewarded by a highly loyal gang of repeat visitors.

The downstairs rooms are as grand as any you might find across the capital's swanky establishments. The Columbia was, after all, home to the U.S. Officers Club throughout the last war. The bedrooms are simply furnished but always clean and in good order. Many are remarkably spacious too for the class of hotel. Those on the lower floors have seriously high ceilings. A good proportion of the rooms overlook Kensington Gardens; the nice part of Hyde Park.

Despite this year's tourist troubles in London and the countryside, the Columbia was completely full last night and is looking good for the months ahead. Several thousand of our readers have stayed at the Columbia and I have not once received a complaint about the hotel (so far!). Indeed, the feedback we do have ranges from the positive to the ecstatic.
The Columbia Hotel, Lancaster Gate
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/offercolumbia.html

Freshened up
Next stop was the recently refurbished Commodore Hotel. The results of the spruce up are dramatic, I felt I was visiting a different hotel to the one I had visited more than 2 years ago. Things change. Thankfully for the Commodore the changes have worked well and I see them attracting substantially greater interest over the coming season.

Accommodation varies from the better value standard rooms, through superior rooms to town house suites. Located on the same central square as the Columbia Hotel, the hotel is well situated for shopping and sightseeing expeditions.
The Commodore Hotel, Lancaster Gate
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/offercommodore.html

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
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/offercolumbia.html
2 (-) Chelsea Lodge
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/offerchelsealodge.html
3 (3) Hazlitt's
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/offerhazlitts.html
4 (-) Commodore
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/offercommodore.html
5 (-) Chesterfield
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/offerchesterfield.html
(*based on bookings between 12 - 26 April 2001. Previous issue's figures in brackets)

Related links
For the full range of London hotels now on offer please see:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/hotel-shop.html
For details of our office hours and contact info see our Helpdesk page at:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/help.html

Hotelgenie.com
For details of over 300 European city hotels available on our sister site Hotelgenie.com see:
http://www.hotelgenie.com/
TIP: To receive Hotelgenie.com'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

Richard Hawley
Friday, 27 April
Borders, Oxford St, 6.30pm

SOMETIMES the best gigs are in the least likely of places. Borders is one such place that has garnered a reputation for holding weekly music performances upstairs in the midst of the hordes of bookshelves.

More than just a bookshop and a million miles away from the beer-drenched sweatboxes, Borders finds a couple of metres of room amongst the shelves for talented musicians to showcase their work- recent guests include Linoleum, ex Dream City Film Club singer Michael Sheehy, alt-country star Ed Harcourt and indie-rockers Clearlake.

Not only is this the perfect chance to check out upcoming bands in the capital's music scene, but also has the added bonus of a fairly intimate atmosphere (with the chance to grab a coffee in the café later) and all for nought pence. Sheffield born singer Richard Hawley who played his first headline gig at The Monarch in March and supported erstwhile Pixies frontman Frank Black earlier this year, brings his gritty Americana to the bookstore this Friday, where he'll be performing songs from his Scott Walker-esque mini album, Prize Bingo.

The former Pulp and Longpigs guitarist, described as a 'guitarist guitarist who has found his voice' has the enviable ability to stamp each song with a timeless classicism that would have his contemporaries weep. You know the gentle guitars on All Saint's version of Under The Bridge? That was Richard Hawley.

See you on the second floor.

**The Americana section in music is now fully operational!
Click here:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/music/americana.html

Other Picks
Thur April 26, Kristen Hirsh, Shepherds Bush Empire

Former Throwing Muses singer returns for a solo acoustic gig playing newies from her fourth solo outing, Sunny Border Blue.

Sat April 27, Sonny Rollins, Barbican
Tenor sax septuagenarian who keeps on getting better with age returns to his London home.

Sun April 29, Amor Belhom Duo, Twisted am lounge, Windmill, Brixton
French avant pop continues in style this week after Air's performance on Tuesday, as this Paris duo - now relocated in Arizona - hop over to Brixton for an evening of improvised tunes with distinctly pop leanings. Regular collaborators with Calexico's Joey Burns and John Convertino, Naim and Thomas once ploughed the fields of Parisian hardcore before moving on to more experimental pastures.

Tue May 1, Slobberbone, Borderline
Fantastically-named Texan rockers kick out gritty alt-country gems.

Related Links:
Music Tickets:
You can book tickets for many of the top gigs in London through our online ticket shop:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/music/rockpoptickets.html
For more live listings see: http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/music/rockpoptickets.html
For our music guide see: http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/music/index.html

LONDON THEATRE by Helena 'Spid' Thompson

In the spotlight
History really can come to life. Real history, that is, not the stuff they make textbooks out of - and for proof, peddle on down to the Tricycle this week. South Africa's township uprising is the theme of this risk-taking venue's current gamble, Suip, a show which takes its title from the South African word for alcohol consumption.

Other words you'll learn include Boer (farmer), Naaiers (f****rs), Toyi Toyi (dance song of political protest) and Jas (out of your mind). That's the vocabulary of a particularly insidious form of expoitation, and don't worry if you're not in the mood for learning a new language - the tale of farmers getting paid in beer and ending up as Bergies (homeless people) won't pass you by. For one thing the action is accompanied by specially devised live music that heightens the emotions at stake. For another there are no scenes, so the downward spiral of the narrative feels more like an endless journey than any well-made three-act play could hope to.

The result of a 1993 student project carried out through research on the streets close to election time, Suip makes a necessary departure from the traditions of Western theatre. It exposes the wounds that need to heal before the dream of a New South Africa can become a reality - and it proves that the theatre that brought us the Colour of Justice is committed as ever to staging what demands public attention.

Up and Coming
The Vagina Monolgoues, The New Ambassadors, Leicester Square tube

Eve Ensler lets women shout out about what gives them pleasure.

Highlights
Semi-Monde, The Lyric Shaftesbury, Piccadilly Circus tube

Noel Coward dares to show his softer side in this glitzy staging of the play the censors banned.

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:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/theatre.html

My Fair Lady
We have tickets!

For the show's run at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/theatre_tickets.html

Related Links:
London Theatre Menu
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/theatre.html
London Theatre Tickets
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/theatre_tickets.html

LONDON CLUBS by Catherine Chambers

The Wag RIP

THIS week we were sad to announce that The Wag will open its doors for the last time next Saturday, May 5th. In what is a soul-destroying move which many will see as yet another commercialist assault on Soho, the club leaseholders have thrust upon London yet another droll, characterless pub. Yes folks, they've sold the venue's lease to the O'Neils pub chain.

The Wag was a regular haunt for many celebrities including screen legend Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, David Bowie, Mick Jagger during the 80s, at the height of the new-romantic era. The 90s played host to memorable club nights including the ever-popular Blow Up. Every Saturday queues would line Wardour St as clubbers queue to get their weekly fix of 60s R&B, psychedelic and classic pop tunes. Blow up, which has seen The Wag as its home for the last five years, are planning to give the venue a send off in style, having the honour of hosting the last night The Wag will be open.

"It is a prime example of how enormous UBRs (uniform business
rates) combined with later licensing for bars and pubs is directly affecting established music and club venues, leading to radical restructuring of club nights and, in some cases, closure," said former Blow Up promoter Jo Kendall. "It seems the only way to compete in modern night time entertainment is to dumb down - cheap entry, cheap booze, populist jukebox, novelty attractions. As Paul Weller said in 'Going Underground', 'The public wants what the public gets' chain businesses are the safe brand for a lot of people."

Following the closure, Blow UP will move to The Syndrome, formerly known as Le Scandale, on Berwick St. The first Blow Up at its new home will take place on Saturday, May 12.

Have your say! What do you think about the gradual commercialisation of Soho and the closure of London venues to make way for soulless pubs? Email us with your views: [email protected]

This weeks picks:

Fri, Catch 23 1st Birthday, Onefourfour, 144 Charing Cross Rd, WC, 10pm-6am
Those who like their hard house and trance should manoeuvre themselves in the direction of the Onefourfour (formerly the Asylum) - named after its address. Clever! Wonder how long it took 'em to dream that one up.

Fri, Afro Turf, The Blue Angel, Torrens Street, Off City Road, EC1 9.30pm-2am
Roots and Reggae are on the musical menu at The Blue Angel, with plenty of soul-stirring stuff (ahem!) as well. LondonNet publisher Peter Clee can often be found here, extolling the virtues of Bob Marley and The Wailers to unsuspecting punters.

Sat, Saturday Night, The Electric Ballroom, NW1, 11pm-3am
Ah, yet another inventively- named club night! It must take hours to think up such an snappy title. Thankfully the music is more than up to scratch with a fine mix of classic 70s to 90s disco, funk pop and disco house on the main floor with thumping house and garage upstairs.

Sun, They Do Play Records Don't They, The Embassy, 119 Essex Rd, N1 1pm-10.30pm
Fab fortnighter that allows artists to spin their favourite tunes. Tonight it's the turn of The Cocteau Twins.

Related Links:
Club Menu
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/clubs.html
Club Tickets - You can now book tickets for many of the top clubs in London through our online ticket shop:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/club-tickets.html
Club Previews
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/clubs-previews.html

LONDON CINEMA by Catherine Chambers

This Week's Big Releases

La Captive ****
Director Chantal Ackerman
Starring Stanislav Merhar, Sylvie Testud

After an absence of several years, venerable French director Chantal Akerman (Je, Tu, Il, Elle) returns with La Captive. Based on La Prisonniere, from Proust's A la Recherche de Temps Perdu, the film eschews the nineteenth century for contemporary Paris... click here for full review

Exit Wounds *
Director Andrzej Bartowiak
Starring Steven Segal, DMX, Isiah Washington

Seagal toplines as Boyd, a cop on the edge whose disliking of the police nomenclature has him demoted to orchestrating the traffic instead of busting bad guys. But as he stumbles upon a case of crooked cops and dope dealing hoods he finds a chance to redeem his career... click here for full review

Other new releases this week:

Bread and Roses ****
Director Ken Loach
Immigrant cleaners in LA fight for their rights in well-observed drama. (15)

The Mexican ***
Director Gore Verbinsky

Brad Pitt is up to his eyes in mob mischief in intelligent, amusing tale also featuring Julia Roberts. (15)

Related Links:

Cinema Menu
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/cinema.html
Film Listings - Full London listings with our easy to use guide
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/cinema/index.html

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]

Dear London Tips,

Take next Thursday off work. The tubes are on strike again. If the last time was anything to go by, I would rather attempt to board Noah's Ark as the rain starts than board a bus on a strike day.

Ken Jones, Hackney

LONDON NEWS

News from London

News Headlines
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/talk/news/headlines.html
Straw Wants 30,000 Asylum Seekers Kicked Out
- Thousands of immigration officers needed to meet target
British Film Company Secure Bridget Sequel
- Working Title sign rights to second film about the scatterbrain singleton
London Turning Japanese
- Oriental arts festival comes to town
Sport News
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/talk/news/sport.html
Glenn to Get Guardiola
- Barca legend to sign for Tottenham this summer
News Talkback
http://talkback-news.londonnet.co.uk/

USEFUL URLs

LondonNet Home: The big kahuna
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/
LondonNet News Headlines: Award winning updates from the capital of cool
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/talk/news/headlines.html
Guide to London: "The must-see guide for visitors to London" - msn.co.uk
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/index.html
Hotel Shop: LondonNet's selection of the best hotels in town
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/guide/resources/hotel-shop.html
Ticket Shop: Theatre and Music Bookings and Helpdesk
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/help.html
Out on the Town: LondonNet's entertainment listings and features
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/index.html
Hotelgenie: Fine European city hotels
http://www.hotelgenie.com/

COMPETITION NEWS

Milk 'n' 2 Sugars COMPIE:
WE HAVE three pairs of tickets for Milk 'n' 2 Sugars upcoming birthday bash.

Question: Name the venue for Milk 'n' 2 Sugars?
Tip: See the Garage House clubs page:
http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/ent/clubs-garage-house.html

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is send an email with the correct answer and the subject header "MN2S" 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 a prize, details will be sent to the winners. The Editor's decision is final. Closing Date: 5 May 2001.



Last Issues Competition Winners:
(12 April 2001, Ahoy)
Bridget Jones Compie:
Jane Holiday (London SW17), Chantal Palvadeau (Bouillé-Courdault, France),
Gayle Tonaki (Honolulu, Hawaii), Juarez Oliveira Júnior (Fortaleza Ceara,
Brazil), Marybeth Brush (London W1U), Margi Salih (Norwich, Norfolk), Tine
Agelmo (London W1V), Janalle McMeekin (New Malden, Surrey), Catherine
Monahan (London W6), Mark Jefferson (London N1), Sam Okoh (London N12), Nancy Watson (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France)

AHOY! TALKBACK

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: http://talkback.londonnet.co.uk/
We welcome your views on any subject, questions about your visit and of course feedback about the newsletter or website.

Dear Helenka @ LondonNet,I just would like to give you a little feedback.

Everything worked very well and it was no problem to get our tickets. We really enjoyed the musical and had a great time.

Thanks for all your support

Reinhard

REPLY: Glad to hear you like the show and our service Reinhard (Ed).

Dear Catherine @ LondonNet,

That HEY BOY HEY GIRL piece on Londonnet was brill- thank U!!! Yes we had some Londonnetters in- will get the exact figure if you're interested. The launch went well although numbers could have been a bit higher- well, launching into a new venue with a new club name was never gonna be easy - but everyone had a good time! Loads of Good Wishes etc

Herb (at HBHG)

REPLY: Good luck with the future dates Herb (Ed).

SPECIAL MESSAGES

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Copyright 1996-2004. AHOY! The LondonNet Newsletter is published by Adonis. All Rights Reserved.