LondonNet Homepage
10 May 2001
Issue 78
AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...

Click here for Online Version of AHOY!


- London for Free
- Election 2001
- Romeo and Juliet
- Queen Gives PM History Lesson

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

- Win 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.
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® All Rights Reserved

WHAT'S UP - What's new on LondonNet…

LONDON for FREE: Tickets and CDs
WE HAVE 3 Pairs of tickets for Garage Fever and 4 copies of the GF compilation CD are up for grabs! Not forgetting 2 signed copies of the new Marshall Jefferson mix CD!!! Click here for competition details.

Who's a pretty boy then? Prime Minister Tony Blair looks set to deliver Labour's first back to back election victoryELECTION 2001: LondonNet's guide to the June 7th Poll
So it's chocks away as Britain's politicians seek to ensure their seats on the gravy train for another term. We take a look at the parties fighting for seats, make a few predictions and bring you the latest polls and news from the campaign. See:

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:
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:

LONDON DIARY by LondonNet's Editor David Clee:

Queen Gives PM History Lesson

BEFORE calling an election, British Prime Ministers have to visit the Queen to ask her permission. Yon Tuesday it was Tony Blair's turn. This is what happened:

Royal aide: Your Majesty, I give you the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Tony Blair MP.
Tony (bowing): Don't get up, please. So, hah, I take it you'll have no objection to an election next month, ma'am?
Queen (highlighting must-see shows with fluorescent marker in a TV guide): No, I don't think there's any racing on that day.
(embarrassing silence)
Tony (suddenly triumphant at having come up with a subject): So, seen anything good on the telly recently ma'am?
Queen (pats the footstool for him to sit down): Yes, actually, there was a rather good little history programme all about one of my forebears, Charles I. Do you know Charlie?
Tony: Err, no, but I'm told some of the younger members of your brood know charlie only too well, eh, ma'am, if you don't mind me gently pulling your majestic leg.
Queen (gives him a right royal look over her half-moon glasses): It appears Charles had a very high opinion of himself, was married to a Catholic and only used parliament when it suited him.
Tony: Touche! Ha, ha. Next you'll tell me he had trouble with the farmers.
Queen: He had trouble with the farmers. They were fed up with the taxes he kept piling on to fund his stupid, costly, grandiose schemes.
Tony: Ungrateful bastards. Don't they know what we've done for them in this foot and mouth thing? It's not far short of treachery, ma'am, it really isn't.
Queen: That's what Charles said…
Tony: Good for him! (rallies to his subject) I'm sick of the cynics who knock what we are trying to do. Let me tell you, ma'am, what we want in this election is a mandate not just to win your vote but to win your heart for the challenges of the future, we are not just for continuity but for change, for a Britain strong, modern and fair.
Queen: and then they chopped off his head.
Tony (feels his collar): Can they do that?
Queen: Evidently.
Tony (rises, bows and sidles towards the door): I think I'd better drop that anti-fox hunting bill.
Queen: You are a wise Prime Minister.

Related links:
News Headlines

Election 2001 Feature
London Diary Archive

- Music
- Theatre
- Clubs
- Cinema
- London Tips

HOTEL NEWS by Peter D. Clee

Most of the packages in our Madonna 2001 special offer have now sold out. The response was amazing after we announced details in the last issue of Ahoy! For info see below.

MADONNA: Ticket and Hotel package
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 for the remaining packages are 169 UKP each (NB price is per person - cost for two people is 338 UKP - based on two persons sharing a double or twin room). We still have availability for two nights; Mon 9th and Tues 10th July 2001.

To book this package:
Secure Booking Form:
Or Email: [email protected] (include name, email address and telephone number)

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 (-) The Gore
3 (-) Hempel
4 (2) Chelsea Lodge
5 (-) Howard
(*based on bookings between 26 April - 10 May 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 300 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

Lee 'Scratch' Perry
Sunday, May 13

Genius? Or completely bonkers? Whilst a fair few claim Lee 'Scratch' Perry is off his rocker, there are legions more queuing up to herald him as the greatest reggae producer ever to walk this earth.

Credited, alongside King Tubby, with developing the sound of dub, the diminutive Perry (the Jamaican is a mere 4ft 11) ranks among the most influential figures in reggae music. His work with Bob Marley and The Wailers helped thrust him into the international limelight where he proved to be more than a one-trick pony as he lent his production talents to punk and The Clash.

Despite stories of substance abuse which allegedly led to the mentally fragile Perry burning down the studio where he produced some of the most famous works, the man known as 'Scratch' moved to Switzerland and continued to produce a head-screwing psychedelic brew that showed he'd lost none of his 'scratching' skills.

While the work of Marley may overshadow his own releases, Perry is still held in high regard by reggae aficionados and musicians alike - his impact on music can be felt directly through his protégés such as The Mad Professor and Prince Buster. In 1994 The Beastie Boys paid tribute to the Jamaican legend by name-dropping him on the mega-selling Ill Communication album, and in 1998 recorded an instrumental track with Perry on Hello Nasty.

Whether or not he appears to be as mad as a March hare, live, you can still count on 'Scratch' to be 'on the wire.'

Other Picks
Thur 10 May, Arab Strap, Shepherds Bush Empire
Emotional doom and gloom will always do the rounds as long as Scots AS are around.New LP 'The Red Thread' meanders through the usual subject matter - lowlife relationships, sexual and emotional trauma. More of the same then, which can only be a good thing.

Sat 12 May, Tangerine Dream, Shepherds Bush Empire
Prog-rock returns! 20 minute long songs! Chin-stroking (or should that say beard) grey-haired music bods! Need you ask more?

Mon 14 May, The Handsome Family, Borderline
Husband and wife team unveil darkly beguiling gems.

MADONNA: Ticket and Hotel package
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 for the remaining packages are 169 UKP each. We still have availability for two nights; Mon 9th and Tues 10th July 2001.
(NB price is per person - cost for two people is 338 UKP - based on two persons sharing a double or twin room).
Secure Booking Form:

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
Competition between the Soho Theatre and the Royal Court proves an old truth - what doesn't kill live performance makes it stronger. If you want to see the Soho's revival of Conor 'The Weir' McPherson's early works or the Court's on going retrospective of Sarah 'suicide' Kane's work, you'll have to fight for your ticket.

It's been hard work all the way for these two new writing advocates. The one-time cinema that became the Royal Court scarcely survived the Blitz bombing of the forties and by the nineties stood in breach of health and safety regulations for flooding, dodgy lights and creaking seats. Only a few years later, when the Soho (founded in the sixties) was struggling to produce site-specific work, did the Arts Council and the National Lottery come to the rescue of both with an award big enough to fund major refurbishment.

Still committed after all these years, these theatres have gone from strength to strength. While The Court can afford to stage revivals (and is pairing Kane with the work of her greatest fan, Pinter) the Soho has honed an eye for the best of touring productions. Most recently they poached the entertainingly accessible, 'Art and Guff', attracting a non-theatregoing audience with Welsh writer Cath Tregenna's full-blooded tale of two small town boys in the big smoke.

But whether it was the Soho or the Royal Court which first staged the likes of Sue Townsend, Hanif Kureshi, and Timberlake Wertenbaker is likely to be a head-scratching matter even for theatre buffs. Certainly American talent Christopher Shinn has moved freely between both venues, premiering at the Court with 'Four' (the hit of the Young Writers' Festival) before lighting up the Soho with 'The Coming World.'

Shinn says he would like to be considered as a 'gay playwright,' and he's not alone in courting the controversial. The press hailed Kane 'the vilest writer around' - whilst Chris Chibnall's 'Kiss Me Like You Mean It,' soon to hit the Soho, is candidly billed as a drama of, 'choices, curry-condoms... oh, and love.' Whichever contemporary play you plump for, you're bound to find something to argue about.

Up and Coming
Closer to Heaven, The Arts Theatre, Leicester Square tube
Streetwise drug dealers and ambitious pop managers vie for control of London's clubland in a new take on the traditional musical.

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:

My Fair Lady
We have tickets!

For the show's run at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Related Links:
London Theatre Menu
London Theatre Tickets

LONDON CLUBS by Catherine Chambers

Garage Fever
Saturday May 12
Alexandra Palace

UK Garage fans unite! Some of the biggest names on the scene will be heading to Alexandra Palace this Saturday for the launch album party of the year!

Reckoned to be the 'biggest ever UK garage event', Garage Fever boasts a killer line-up including DJ Spoony, So Solid Crew, EZ, Pied Piper and live PA's from DJ Luck and MC Neat, chart-topper Artful Dodger, Robbie Craig and Genius Crew. Corkin!

In the Palace Suite, Steve Sutherland, Psycho and T Money will be the decknicians, while there's chance to check out new talent in the VUP room, where a selection of the finest performers round the UK will be showcasing their turntablist skills.

The event celebrates the launch of the Garage Fever compilation album comprising 3 CDs of the freshest underground cuts mixed by the UK's top DJs including Mike Ruff Cut Lloyd, So Solid Crew and Pied Piper.

For those who can't make it down on the night but have access to Sky Digital, fear not as the whole rave-up will be broadcast on the small screen through Rapture TV, channel 458. An 'interactive live broadcast' will enable viewers to send emails, text messages to DJs and clubbers which will then be displayed on a banner at the bottom of the screen and at Ally Pally itself. But for the real test to see whether UK garage is alive and kicking there's only one answer:

B There.

This weeks picks:

Fri May 11, Fabric, Fabric 10pm-7am UKP15
This week John Digweed, Jon Marsh man the decks in room one. Terry Francis, Kevin Saunderson, Cari Lekebusch give em a run for their money in room two and in room three Swayzak presents Voltmusik.

Fri May 11, Submaniac, Crash, Arch 66, Vauxhall 10pm-6am UKP10
Hard-house from Max Alien Trax in the main room, uplifting trance from residents Marcus Thomas, Paul Doran. (Tsunani) Anthony Dean (Surge) and Frank McCarthy (Fundamentals).

Sat May 12, Strange Fruit, Upstairs at The Garage 8pm-3am UKP4
Wonderful post-rock and off-kilter indie from the Strange Fruit crew. Tonight poses to be more of an electronic night with live music from Blusher and Saloon. Late-comers need not apply - last time SF sold out within an hour of opening!

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

The Dish ****
Director: Rob Sitch
Starring: Sam Neill, Kevin Harrington, Tom Long

The Parkes Radio telescope in New South Wales was never intended to take centre stage in the Apollo XI mission; but a last minute flight schedule change means that now, the first images of man walking on the Moon will be relayed to the rest of the world from a sheep paddock... (12) click here for full review

Other new releases this week:

Alfie ****
Director Lewis Gilbert

1960s swinging London classic with Michael Caine as the bird-pulling monster with a wisecrack. (15)
The Broken Hearts Club ***

Director Greg Berlanti

Young LA gay men have a few laughs. (15)
The King is Alive ****

Director Kristian Levring

Coach crash survivors stage King Lear in imaginative Dogme effort. (15)
The Terrorist ***

Director Santosh Sivan

Overblown film about a beautiful suicide bomber. (15)

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]

This week's tip comes straight from the LondonNet office.

It concerns getting a cab home from town late at night. Londoners in the know always recommend black cabs for their value, security and reliability. Problem is if you find yourself in the heart of the West End late at night you will struggle to hail a traditional Hackney cab. If you do secure one and tell them you live in south London (like me) chances are they will speed off into the distance.

The big no-no is to jump aboard an unofficial cab. These can be seen lurking around the capital's squares with their drivers, often uninsured, trying to tout your custom. Avoid these, they are unsafe and often very expensive.

So, my tip is to head for a a reliable mini-cab firm. Reliable and mini-cab are two words not often found in the same sentence. I am pleased to inform you I have found the answer. Despite them having traded for over 30 years, I only discovered them a month ago. I have now used them 4 times. The longest wait has been 2 minutes and the prices are remarkably cheap (18 UKP for my ride home, compared to approx 30 UKP in a black cab). Their details:
Swift and Safe Mini Cabs, 34 Cranboun Street (next to Leicester Square tube). Telephone 020 7836 5268
This may have sounded like an advert. It is not. Swift and safe don't even know that this 'happy customer' is giving them a plug. But good service deserves recognition. Cheers, guys.


News from London

News Headlines
Strikes Keep Tube at Top of Election Agenda
- Blair-Livingstone backroom deal fails to calm privatisation fears
Hague: I'm No 'Soft Touch' on Asylum
- Tories return to refugee issue as election campaign begins
Sport News
Lampard Junior Next Out of Upton Park
- Redknapp repercussions not over yet
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


Tickets and CDs COMPIE:

WE HAVE 3 Pairs of tickets for Garage Fever and 4 copies of the GF compilation CD are up for grabs! Not forgetting 2 signed copies of the new Marshall Jefferson mix CD!!!

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is send an email with the correct answer and the subject header "May 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 nine out of the Editor's hat win a prize, details will be sent to the winners. The Editor's decision is final. Closing Date: 17 May 2001.

Last Issues Competition Winners:
(26 April 2001, Ahoy)
Th End Compie:
Amber Fossey (London NW1), Horun Meah (London SE1), Brett Smiley (London SW11)


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,

What a load of crap Eurostar is. Get the prices down or offer some deal for the working class scum like me..

Nick Taylor

REPLY: Seems like our campaign is finally ruffling a few privileged feathers down at Eursotar HQ. Their advertising agency recently told us (unprompted) that they could not entertain using our site because of our criticism of their client. Let's get the record straight on this, no amount of indirect pressure from their suits is going to stop us relaying your concerns about rip-off pricing. Hey if they cut their prices, we might be nice to them and they might spend a few bucks on LondonNet encouraging you to travel with them. Yeah, we reckon hell will freeze over first too. Mail your views to us at: '[email protected]' (Ed).
Eurostar Feature:

Dear Helenka @ LondonNet,


Thanks, Helenka, and I hope the weather is improving a bit. It was a bit on the sopping/nippy side when I was over there at the end of March! I really enjoy "Ahoy" and save them to review for info and ideas before I visit London!

Our love to Betty Windsor (as she is known over here!)

William Langley

REPLY: No problem, William (Ed).

Dear LondonNet,

The guide you have put together, that lists all the clubs in london is EXCELLENT. My club knowledge has improved and I now always know what events are happening at which bars and clubs each nite of the week.

thankx alot!

Diana Papas.

REPLY: Glad to hear you like it Diana (Ed).
Club Guide:

Dear LondonNet,

Hey, just a quick email to say thanks for your fab website. I am going shopping in London Tomorrow on a coach trip ahhhhhhh !!! BUT I am determined to make the most out of it, as I often find that in London you walk around in circles or just get lost. HENCE the website.

Thanks again and keep up the good work, oh do you have any tips on where to go for a drink, a really trendy place where the celebs hang out?

Cheers Chaps, Linda Selvey

REPLY: Try some of the top places on our Bars and Pubs page: (Ed).


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