LondonNet Homepage
6 June 2001
Issue 80
AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...

Click here for Online Version of AHOY!


- London for Free
- Election 2001
- My Fair Lady
- Romeo and Juliet
- Hear Ye, Hear Ye...

- 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

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WHAT'S UP - What's new on LondonNet…

SOME OF YOU have had difficulty reading the new HTML (web style) format of AHOY! since it was launched earlier this year. Hopefully we now have the answer. The new ListBuilder software used to send this issue out promises to deliver the newsletter in the best format for your email software. Most of you will still get it in HTML. Others, who had problems before, should now get it in Plain Text. We welcome your comments.
mailto:[email protected]

LONDON for FREE: Gatecrasher
WE HAVE a pair of tickets for Gatecrasher - Sound System 2001
on Friday June 16 at Turweston Aerodrome, Buckinghamshire. Click here for competition details.

ELECTION 2001: Hear Ye, Hear Ye...
(As if any of you care) the editorial team at LondonNet explain who they'll be voting for and why. Click here for our Election special.
NB. David Clee's London Diary returns in the next issue of AHOY!

MY FAIR LADY: We have tickets
FOR the show's run at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane which starts in July.
To book tickets 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

LONDON DANCE: Romeo and Juliet
We have a few tickets and packages left for the Royal Albert Hall's June run of Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet.
For more info see:
To book tickets 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 visit the Classical Ticket page:

ELECTION 2001 Hear Ye, Hear Ye...

The LondonNet editorial team explain who they'll be voting for and why.
(NB. David Clee's London Diary returns in the next issue of AHOY!)

Peter Clee, Publisher:
"I’ll be voting Labour and here’s why.

First let’s look at what has been achieved:
- Unemployment below 1 million (the lowest rate for over 20 years).
- The minimum wage (set 20 per cent higher than the USA’s).
- The Social Chapter (bringing Britain into line with European labour policy).
- Steady economic growth (no boom and bust).
- Low inflation and interest rates (meaning cheaper mortgages).
- The Macpherson Inquiry (the establishment forced to come clean about institutional racism).
- Redistribution of wealth (the poorest 10 per cent have seen their incomes rise 18 times faster than under the Tories)

Despite these milestones, Tony Blair’s administration has disappointed many. Too much spin and too little action they say.

Key public services such as health and education remain under-funded compared to our European neighbours. Crucially, though, Labour have arrested the decline inflicted by the Tories in the 1980s and 1990s. As a next step, Labour is committed to increase spending on schools and hospitals to meet the European average by 2006.

People agree with Labour’s shift toward greater public expenditure, but everyone wants the results to come faster. Life is not so simple. To keep up the momentum, the answer is clear: vote Labour and help build a fairer and more prosperous future."

David Clee, Editor:
"All over the world people feel increasingly repelled by those who govern them. There is a simple reason for this. Politicians in the major progressive parties, from the US Democrats and the German SDP to the Labour Party, have joined their erstwhile conservative foes and sold themselves to big business, as, in London, with Labour’s rabid desire to privatise the Tube.

If you believe in the benevolence of the market, it’s good news tomorrow - you can choose between Hague’s Tories and Blair’s Tories (as The Economist labelled New Labour this week).

But if your eyes are open to the vicious treatment of the developing world at the hands of the financial system, to the wholesale destruction of communities, even the idea of community, in vast areas of the rich world, not to mention the brutal lobotomisation of culture everywhere, you need another choice.

In a quarter of seats, that choice is the Socialist Alliance, an
amalgamation of revolutionaries, anti-capitalists and large numbers of refugees from the Labour Party. In the rest, abstention is the way forward. Otherwise, they’ll only use your vote in evidence against you."

Catherine Chambers, Assistant Editor:
"Okay, since it's pretty much going to be a dead cert for Blair and his cronies, does it really matter how I vote one way or another?

This election campaign has been pretty uneventful. The only time I actually took time to read anything that mentioned the word 'election', 'Blair', 'Hague' or the Liberal leader whose name escapes me, was when John Prescott got an egg-full. Ho-hum.

That said, I won't be leaving my ballot card to rot underneath piles of magazines. Slap-head Hague is definitely a no-no and the only interesting fact about the Liberals is, according to reports, that they might overtake the Conservatives as the second party. So, like last time, I'll probably vote Labour. What's the alternative? Exactly."

Helena Thompson, Theatre Editor:
"SKUNK ANANSIE said it first - 'We Love Your Apathy,' 'Everything's Political.' At least, those are the songs on the radio as another letter from my local Liberal Democrat plops on the doormat.

'Dear Helena Thompson, you will soon make a very important and personal decision ' my MP informs me, obviously mistaking politics for careers advice. Like the sane little graduate that I am I can scan it for the usual litany of scare tactics - starved NHS funds, privatised tubes, increased crimes - and throw it away.

Don't get me wrong. Unlike an estimated forty percent of the population, I will vote in the hope of making a difference. The problem is I don't know who to support because neither advertising campaigns of politicians morphing into each other nor relentless letter campaigns strike me as particularly sincere. Keen as the next skint young thing to show my concern about late trains and expensive health care, I only wish PR meant proportional representation rather than spin doctoring. I'll vote Labour, but it doesn't mean I have faith in them."

Tracy Bymoen, Editorial Assistant:
"I admit I landed in London well into the election campaign, but I'll tell you why this Canadian would vote for Blair, were I given the chance.

Blair is the cool candidate. You can't go wrong with a relaxed guy who takes time out of the campaign to enjoy a pint with friends, right? Cast against baldish Hague and the ever-stressed looking Kennedy, Blair is by far the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch.

On a more serious note, I agree with the Labour Party's global vision for Britain. North Americans see Britain as a defensive nation of conservative, fare-skinned men and women. Those who back Hague will be voting to keep that image intact. Blair, meanwhile, is not hampered by such narrowness. He calls Britain a "sea-faring country forever looking outward beyond its borders," and says the UK must construct her future appropriately. As a first step to creating a stronger relationship with the world, Britain needs to embrace the EU, a key alliance sitting right on her doorstep.

While Hague says his Judo training leads him to believe fights can be won in the last second, I think he's kidding himself. Regardless, Blair has already won my vote, albeit a non-existent one."

What do you say?
Drop us a line with your views on the candidates, their policies and the campaign.
Emails to: [email protected]

Related links:
Election 2001 Feature
News Headlines
London Diary Archive

- Music
- Theatre
- Clubs
- Cinema
- London Tips

HOTEL NEWS by Peter D. Clee

The Hempel, LondonI had lunch at The Hempel last week. A recent addition to the site, the hotel was London's first minimalist establishment.

The Hempel oozes elegance. The restrained decoration, lack of clutter and subdued lighting puts one at ease and aids the escape from the bustle outside. The chilled ambience is the work of owner/designer Anouska Hempel. Her dedication to clean lines and simplicity is evident in the public spaces and throughout each uniquely crafted room. Bathroom fittings are mostly Japanese in form and style - a rare and welcome deviance from the norm.

The Hempel concentrates great efforts on its cuisine. Food is a fusion of Japanese, Thai and Italian. Night-time diners eat downstairs in the acclaimed I-Thai restaurant. Weather permitting, lunch is served in the hotel's very own garden square. I was treated to a selection of eats from the new menu, due for launch the following day. I go nuts for a good sushi and was not disappointed. We overran by an hour and a half as I sat back and enjoyed course after course from bento box after bento box.

We have secured a couple of special offers, available exclusively to LondonNet and Hotelgenie readers. See The Hempel's page for info.
The Hempel:

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 (3) Chelsea Lodge
3 (-) Cranley
4 (-) Hempel
5 (2) The Gore
(*based on bookings between 24 May-6 June 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

Turin Brakes
Thursday June 7, ULU
Friday June 8, Union Chapel

Crafty buggers. Contrary to what their name suggests, Turin Brakes are not from the city of Juventus, Fiat and The Shroud. They are in fact from somewhere a little closer to home - Balham, Sarf London.

That isn't the only interesting fact about this duo. Before they became 'promising musical hopes', Ollie Knights and Gale Paridjanian were in the dubious profession of being in church choir. Mind you, it could help explain the spiritual psychosis that pervades their critically acclaimed debut album, 'The Optimist LP'.

Primarily, the instrument of choice we're dealing with is the acoustic guitar - a fact that may well see Turin Brakes lumped under the dreaded New Acoustic Movement. There are, admittedly, big bastard irritating moments on The Optimist LP. There are times when you feel like screaming in disgust when they write songs as weak and anaemic as 'Future Boy'.

Then as quick as a meteorite flash, comes the dreamy slide guitar textures of 'The Door', punctuated with Ollie's gorgeous rustic-tinged vocals redolent of Elliot Smith. Gentle strumming pervades much of the album. But this isn't a plod-othon. 'Slack' and 'Mind Over Money' demonstrate the Balham Boys aren't afraid to rock out.

With the hype showing no signs of slowing down - they've already toured with the Stereophonics at the band's request - and hyperventilating reactions bordering on hysteria it looks like Turin Brakes could be fast accelerating into the big-league.

Other Picks
Wed June 6, Alien Ant Farm, Garage

Papa Roach protégé's AAF are signed to the Roach's New Noize Label. But, thankfully, they don't emulate their label-bosses, instead choosing to serve up a tasty rap/funk/metal hybrid. Which quite frankly rocks bigger than a dinosaur's bell-end.
Wed June 6, Fish, Mean Fiddler

Evocative Scotsman who once fronted melodic (don't mention prog!) rockers Marillion returns with his new album, Fellini Days.
Friday, June 8, AC/DC, Milton Keynes Bowl

Let there be rock! The greatest rock 'n' roll band return for their first and only UK appearance this year. Expect big ballsy riffs and balding guitarist Angus Young to be in fine fettle. Decked out in school uniform of course.

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

I confess - I am addicted to bad musicals. There's something about the combination of terrible pop music, unadulterated glitz and the best of intentions that can make for evenings as heart-warming as the worthiest of well-made plays.

Sadly, the long awaited All You Need is Love falls short of the winning formula. For all the snazzy allure of the West End's Queen's Theatre, Keith Strachan's spurious kiddipop arrangements make you yearn for the raw sound of the original album.

And if you're searching for proof that the West End's gone to seed, look no further. Set pieces wobble, follow spots don't follow and the piece-de-resistance the night I plumped for proved to be the interval curtain, which flew in while the leading lady was bravely belting out the closing phrase of Let It Be.

Fine choreography fails to redeem music banal enough to set Lennon spinning in his grave faster than any of the dancers. Close your ears and you could be in a concert version of Grease ; open them and the pappy S Club 7 treatment of these great songs will make you wish you hadn't. All you need is love? Spend your money on champagne and roses and have an early night.

Up and Coming
A Woman in Waiting, The New Ambassadors Theatre, Leicester Square tube

New female writers bring South Africa's history to the stage.

Semi-Monde, The Lyric Shaftesbury, Piccadilly Circus tube
Noel Coward dares to show his softer side in this sensitive 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

Sound System 2001
Friday June 16
Turweston Aerodrome, Buckinghamshire

OKAY so we're venturing outside of the capital, but this one is THE biggie - which is why we're banging on about it now. Having drummed up a formidable reputation as a groundbreaking superclub, Gatecrasher broke new ground in dance festivals with last year's Summer Sound System. Now, Gatecrasher is gearing up for another massive dance spectacular - and it looks set to be a corker.

With 10 arenas, 60 DJs and top-notch live acts you really can't go wrong. The Summer Sound System 2001 features no less than Craig David, hip-hop sensations Outkast, and the Chemical Brothers - making their only UK festival appearance this year - on the live stage. The DJ line-up is even better - how does Carl Cox, Danny Rampling, Roni Size, Artful Dodger, Gilles Peterson, sound? Exactly!

The main arena features the cream of the world's DJs, including Perfecto, Paul Oakenfold, Pete Tong, Sasha, Paul Van Dyk and Seb Fontaine. There's also an arena dedicated to the UK's progressive dance movement with Way Out West genius Nick Warren, Dutch maestro Sander Klienenberg, Renaissance fave Jon Pleased and rising stars Hybrid.

Uplifting house and garage fans won't be disappointed either - French avant-popsters Cassius share the Red Not Bed arena with the likes of Allister Whitehead, while the best of UK garage are on hand with chart-bashers Artful Dodger joining the Dreem Team and MJ Cole.

Elsewhere, Mercury Prize winner Roni Size takes on the Legend of The Dark Black Arena, which is home to underground drum and bass, break beat and Jungle. Finally Judge Jules teams up with Tom Wainwright, Seb Fontaine and Cream resident Yousef on the Radio1 stage.

Reckoned - and rightly so - to be the biggest dance event of the summer, Gatecrasher promises 18 hours of non-stop partying.
June 16: Turweston Aerodrome - Get down to Gatecrasher.

Other Picks
Friday June 8, Fabric Live, 10pm-5am
A DJ set from UNKLE, Howie B live, Scratch Perverts and Touche DJ Hype and Optical - in short all the usual ingredients for a top night out at Fabric.
Sat June 9, Passenger, Form Greek St, 9pm-3am
DJs: Mastomic, Unsung Heroes, Ali B, Steve Blonde spin a head-mashing mix of breaks & beats
Sat June 9, Telepathy, United Kingdom of Drum 'n' Bass, EQ Arena Stratford
2 arenas of cutting edge drum 'n' bass from DJ Rap, Randall, Shy FX, Phantasym plus projections and laser shows.

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

Our cinema guide is updated every Thursday. As this special Election 2001 edition of Ahoy! is going out a day early we are unable to bring you our usual guide to the week's hottest film releases.

Fret not, the cinema reviews and listings will be online from tomorrow afternoon as usual.

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,

I am sure I registered to vote last Autumn but have not received my polling card. I have tried to get through to the election bods at the council but with no joy. I pay taxes so why can't I vote.

Ant Coal

REPLY: Fret not Ant. If you registered you can still vote. You don't need to show your polling card; just go down to the polling station as usual and tell the election officer your name and address. That should suffice, might be an idea to take some ID along though just in case. (Ed).


News from London

News Headlines
Blair in Battle Over Thatcher Legacy
- Eve of poll 'Yes You are, No I'm Not' commotion for PM
Young Voters in Election Turn-Off
- Poll finds low interest as Brown vetoes youth wage rise

LondonNet's guide to the June 7th vote
A guide to the parties fighting for seats, a few predictions and the latest polls and news from the campaign. See:

Sport News
Wenger Chases Ferguson
- Rangers midfielder is a UKP12 million Arsenal target
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 COMPIE:

WE HAVE a pair of tickets for Gatecrasher - Sound System 2001
on Friday June 16 at Turweston Aerodrome, Buckinghamshire. For more info about the event read Catherine's club piece above.

QUESTION: Name the R&B sensation who topped the charts with Fill Me In ?

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is send an email with the correct answer and the subject header "Gatecrasher 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 out of the Editor's hat win a prize, details will be sent to the winner. The Editor's decision is final. Closing Date: 11 June 2001.

Last Issues Competition Winners:
(24 May 2001, Ahoy)

Heaven Compie:
Janalle McMeekin (New Malden, Surrey), Eric Wragge (London, N4)


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.

Hi LondonNet,

My wife, daughter and I took the midweek round trip special from London to Paris last July for 50 pounds each. I don't know how often you can get this deal but it is quite a bargain.

Syd (Boyd Creech, Chicago, Illinois USA)

REPLY: Were you riding in the boxcar Syd? Sounds like you got the bargain of the cenury. Anyone else manage to get a steal-away price from the vultures down at Eurostar?

Dear LondonNet,

You would think that any cafe that spends so much time in France would know something about decent coffee - but no!

Robin Kershaw

REPLY: That's more like the Eurostar bashing we have become used to. Mail us your experiences to: '[email protected]' (Ed).
Eurostar Feature:

Dear LondonNet,

From reading trash magazines etc. with an analytical eye, the following is clear:

Harry, (who for some reason is only 12th in line to the throne), was
fathered by Major James Hewitt. Check the ears, the freckles - no wonder Charles said "he's got red hair" when he saw Harry come out. Of course, their marriage then went down forever (and Camilla came back having been out of the picture for a while) immediately after its happiest period, which apparently had been just prior to Harry's birth. Apparently Diana officially took up with James when she was 6 months pregant - yeah right - even though he'd been her riding instructor for some years. Interesting the obvious unofficial media ban on publishing James' photo too - he is conspicuously missing from the mags for some years after claiming paternity.

Obviously this is why the Queen hates Diana, Charles cannot forgive her and she attempted suicide at the time.

So, supposing Diana gets married to Dodi. What royal secrets might she give away? Perhaps she would be likely to claim custody of Harry? How many scandals can the royal family weather - or is it safer to remove the threat to this multi million/ billion dollar business empire? Given that public sympathies were with Diana and the royals were under fire for being out of control and modern (eg family structure falling apart), what affect would this question of heredity vs. fitness to rule have had on the monarchy? - not a good prospect for monarchists and the existing power/ economic structure, one imagines.

MI6 might even have done it without the Queen's consent - or maybe the Queen dispatches daughters-in-law as she does pheasants - if necessary.

Obviously, they picked Henri Paul because he had a history of drugs,
doctored the autopsy, & cleared away the crash so no-one would find the traces of the white Fiat that disappeared into the government compound after ramming them into the tunnel partition. Hired paparazzi. Body guard's in on it - secret service. QED.

It's my theory, and I reckon it's the gear. Sorry Harry.

signed "The Squirrel"

REPLY: Thanks for sharing 'Squirrel" (Ed)
More Diana Conspiracies:

Dear LondonNet,

Eurostar SUCKS!!!! I find their pricing to be a total rip-off. It's too bad I have to use them to get to Belgium on time, or else I'd take the ferry!

Kris Muskiewicz

REPLY: Kris, you're preaching to the converted mate. What do you think? Mail your views to us at: '[email protected]' (Ed).
Eurostar Feature:


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