6 June 2001
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LONDON for FREE: Gatecrasher
ELECTION 2001: Hear Ye,
MY FAIR LADY: We have tickets
LONDON DANCE: Romeo and
The LondonNet editorial team
explain who they'll be voting for and why.
Peter Clee, Publisher:
First lets look at what
has been achieved:
Despite these milestones, Tony Blairs 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 Labours 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:
If you believe in the benevolence of the market, its good news tomorrow - you can choose between Hagues Tories and Blairs 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
Catherine Chambers, Assistant
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
'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
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."
I 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.
MADONNA: Ticket and Hotel
This week's hit-parade of the most popular hotels featured in our secure-booking site:
LondonNet's Top Five
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.
MADONNA: Ticket and Hotel
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
My Fair Lady
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
LondonNet Home: The big kahuna
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
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)
AHOY! Readers say their piece:
Send mail to [email protected]
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?
You would think that any cafe that spends so much time in France would know something about decent coffee - but no!
REPLY: That's more like the
Eurostar bashing we have become used to. Mail us your experiences
to: '[email protected]'
Harry, (who for some reason
is only 12th in line to the throne), was
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,
It's my theory, and I reckon it's the gear. Sorry Harry.
signed "The Squirrel"
REPLY: Thanks for sharing 'Squirrel"
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!
REPLY: Kris, you're preaching
to the converted mate. What do you think? Mail your views to
us at: '[email protected]'
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