16 August 2001
|AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...|
Adonis 1996-2004. LondonNet and AHOY! are published by Adonis,
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Five fun-filled years
All my favourite business stories involve outsiders taking on the established order from humdrum beginnings. Remember the one about Steve Jobs starting Apple in a garage in the late 1970s and taking on the might of IBM? True to this buccaneer spirit, I'm proud to say LondonNet started with two well-worn 66mhz Power Macs in a corner of my bedroom. Back then of course I wasn't sure whether the site would take over the world or suffer a quiet and unlamented death.
Everybody sells out sooner or later. It's the scale of your sell-out that measures you. After graduating to a two bedroom business we took the big leap forward in 1999 and set up shop in offices in a sprawling series of farm buildings in urban south London. No areon chairs, no flat screens, just a calm, relaxed work environment. Essential for keeping your head while all others about you seemed to lose theirs.
The LondonNet website you see before you now is curiously similar to the one planned back in 1996. We had a good idea of what our readers would want to know about London. Travel and accommodation information, entertainment listings and reviews and of course news from London. But all that has been done offline by a variety of mediums before us. What would make LondonNet different would be its interactivity.
Our Talkback bulletin boards (currently under re-development) have consistently drawn huge interest. The London arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet kicked off a vibrant debate between the general's supporters and detractors. The dialogue, which ran into thousands of pages, caused a software meltdown. Now it is used by researchers and writers around the world as a key source of the public reaction to the affair.
Interactivity does not stop at bulletin boards. Not only can you read reviews of London's best shows and hotels you can book them all online too.
There's been fun as well. Our readers have always managed to cling on to the zanier side of life. Witness our evergreen Diana Conspiracy pages or LondonNet's slow burning, but ever vigilant, hunt for the UFOs of Kent. Wallowing in diversity is what the web does so well.
Here on the farm, we are often prone to describe our growth as organic. Hackneyed as that phrase is, it does convey the democratic nature of our development. Many areas of our site have been tweaked following your feedback and suggestions. Indeed some topics only exist because you asked for them.
So keep on reading and giving us your feedback and we promise to do our best to grow LondonNet over the next five years.
Finally, here's the corny bit. I would like to thank all the people who have helped build LondonNet; our staff; our suppliers and partners and of course you the readers for tuning in.
D. Clee, Publisher
(and founder if you like webspeak)
David's on holiday this week, his diary will return in the next issue of Ahoy!
As this is LondonNet's 5th birthday edtion of Ahoy! I thought I would take the opportunity to let you know my own personal hotel picks.
For sheer indulgence and if price was no object I would have to head down to the Ritz. Famous for its afternoon tea, sumptious decor and impeccable service the Ritz never disappoints. Following its return to private ownership the hotel has been lovingly restored and for those who can afford it, this really should be your first stop.
Still at the pricey end of the scale I must say I do have a soft spot for London's first minimalist hotel, The Hempel. Since it opened in 1996 it has generated a clutch of modernist imitators, but none come close to Agnouska Hempel's wonderful futuristic vision.
Next down the price-scale I plump for the Gore. Thanks to our long standing relationship with them, we obtain big savings on standard rates which bring this characterful, antique laden curiosity into the reach of a wide range of our readers. I like the place so much that I have chosen this hotel to host our 5th birthday party. What more can I say.
Those with less cash to spend need have no worries. I have saved the best until last. The Columbia offers a good, yet simple, standard of accommodation in grandiose surroundings. Add a cracking location and the kind of attention to detail that so often comes with family run hotels and you'll see why it is consistently your favourite too.
Or why not head off to one of the European city's featured on our sister site Hotelgenie.com: http://www.hotelgenie.com/
This week's hit-parade of the most popular hotels featured in our secure-booking site:
LondonNet's Top Five
Gig Of The Week:
While there were many who possessed better vocals, few could thrill audiences with such energy-fuelled and impassioned live performances. Some of Brown's best work committed to vinyl was a live recording - on the 1963 release of Live At The Apollo he became a genuine star when the record made number 2 in the charts.
But it was during the late 60s that Brown hit commercial paydirt in the States, moving from R&B into funk with the infamous Papa Got A Brand New Bag - the song that won him mainstream appeal among the US white population.
The first half of the seventies
didn't bode well for the Godfather of Soul - his releases gave
the impression he'd all but burned out. But with the on-set of
rap music in the late 70s, and thus the sampling of his records,
Brown became hipper than ever.
Album of The Week
Mo Solid Gold
Mo Solid Gold are a London-based five-piece who've been hacking it out round shitty little pub venues - a hard but necessary slog that has paid off, having accrued them a rather enviable and devoted following who just can't get enough of their unforgettable energy-fuelled live set.
Much of this is due to charismatic frontman K who is as ballsy as they come, and well, if you've seen MSG live, is a bona-fide rock star in the making. And his sexy, swaggering vocals dominate Brand New Testament - essentially a party album crammed full of musical gems, not least live favourite 'Solid Gold'.
The only duff moment comes with a rather botched job of Massive Attack's Safe From Harm. But as the rest of Brand New Testament is somewhat toe-curlingly good, we'll forgive them for it. Yes, now you CAN boogie.
Shame though, that they share the same acronym as 80s German rockers (featuring one time UFO member) Michael Schenker Group. Ah well, you can't have everything
WE HAVE 3 COPIES UP FOR GRABS!
See this week's competition (below) for entry details.
Music Feature: Festivals
In the spotlight
It helps that writer Lee Hall and director Tim Supple get on better with each other than the hapless comrades the creative duo bring to life. Together, they tell the tale of the wily servant who lands himself two jobs, two dinners and a whole lot of trouble, sweeping even the most cynical audience member along. So if you don't mind drying bed sheets for the actors as they hide from each other or keeping their various secrets as they deceive each other on stage, this highbrow pantomime is sure to serve up all you fancy.
Furthermore, Supple's thoroughly modern revamp of an 18th century farce seems all the fitter for its globetrotting. Fresh from a world tour, it's just a shame the show won't be flexing its muscles beyond August 25th.
Up and Coming
LondonNet's Top Five
Club Night of the Week:
YOU KNOW there's an element
of style and glamour involved when the club host poses under
the name Victor De Milo.
Upstairs DJs Black Night (Cigarettes
& Alcohol) and Rock HUnter spin a selection of classic pop
tunes from the Beatles to Bowie, Blondie and Blur. Downstairs
Sy Clone (gr-oan!) will be creating a chilled-out vibe of sleazy
FIVE PAIRS OF GUEST LIST TICKETS TO GARAGE CITY's 10th [email protected] Fabric on August 24 UP FOR GRABS. Just answer this easy-peasy question: What is the nearest tube to Fabric? See this week's competition (below) for entry details.
Film of the Week:
Other New Releases:
Aguirre, Wrath Of God ****
News from London
LondonNet Home: The big kahuna
CDs- Mo Solid Gold: Brand
Question: Name MSG's charismatic frontman...
HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is send an email
with the correct answers and the subject header "Brand
New Testament" to:
RULES and INFO: First out of the Editor's hat win a prize, details will be sent to the winners. The Editor's decision is final. Closing Date: 23 August 2001.
FIVE PAIRS OF GUEST LIST
TICKETS TO GARAGE CITY's 10th ANNIVERSARY
HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is send an email
with the correct answers and the subject header "Garage
RULES and INFO: First out of the Editor's hat win a prize, details will be sent to the winners. The Editor's decision is final. Closing Date: 18 August 2001.
Last Issues Competition Winners:
(3 August 2001, Ahoy)
5 winners each receive an invite for 2 to LondonNet's 5th Birthday Party:
Matt Lane (London W14 9BQ), Sarah Davis (London E98 1XY), Ben Taylor
(Mortimer Crescent), Lise Olsen (Drayton Park), Pia Shantee Johnson (London
Qu: On what date did www.londonnet.co.uk go live?
Answer: 23 August 1996
AHOY! Readers say their piece:
Send mail to [email protected]
We are a couple from Italy who's coming over to London in late August to enjoy, as we often do, a bit of the city life and a quick trip to Portsmouth's Festival of the Sea. We are determined to make the most of this short stay, so we decided to see a musical and a good old Shakespearian play at the new Globe Theatre to have a taste of the real thing.
We tried to reserve the tickets on line, but, I must say, if it weren't for you, we would have had to give up!! No accurate search seemed to bring us any good information about the Globe Theatre or anything better than a standing place for the Macbeth.
As I am registered with your site, I happened to receive just on those days one of your newsletters supplying full details on the Globe Theatre, so I could grab the telephone number and get through to it, and now I'm the proud owner of a pair of respectable, longed-for, much loved tickets!!! I'll think of you when I'm there, relishing every word of the play and any sight of this much talked about theatre!!
Not to mention the loads of useful information you regularly send me and that I treasure for when I come to London, which is at least twice a year.
Keep up the good work!
Daniela Pratesi, Pisa, Italy
REPLY: Thanks Daniella, it's good to hear we were of service to you. (Ed)
I think the Eurostar sucks, a lot cheaper to get the ferry. What a shame the prices for a day return are so high. Looks as though Euro-tunnel will end up shutting down unless they slash prices and do more deals.
Eurostar really needs to offer a competitive standby ticket for those of us who feel like turning up and chancing it at either Waterloo or Ashford...GET COMPETITIVE...
REPLY: We agree with both of you. (Ed)
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