From November onwards, Christmas songs become ever more inescapable. You’ll hear them at any Christmas party, while you’re doing your Christmas shopping, and pretty much any time you turn on a TV or radio. When it comes to making your own Christmas playlist, you’ll probably want a perfect festive blend of tried and tested favourites – Wham!, Mariah, The Pogues and Kirsty – and slightly less familiar yuletide tunes. This list has both in droves, so put on your Santa hat and get fully into the Christmas spirit.
Ticket prices. Booking fees. Uber rides. That ill-advised round of shots. All in all, going to big gigs can be a wallet-wincing pursuit. But there are places you can go to see some genuinely massive bands without it costing a massive price. Moth Club With its sparkly gold walls and ‘if you know you know’ side-street location, it’s no surprise that Hackney’s Moth Club has become the go-to spot for ridiculous secret shows. In its short lifespan, Lady Gaga and Jarvis Cocker have popped along for a sing-song, while only last month Dave Grohl and Rick Astley launched the newly returned Club NME there with a set that only cost punters £5. Keep your eyes peeled: Lord knows who might turn up next. Old Trades Hall, Valette St, E9 6NU. Hackney Central Overground. mothclub.co.uk Rough Trade EastLondon’s mecca for vinyl buffs, off-Brick Lane staple Rough Trade East isn’t just good for finding that rare Aphex Twin import that’ll make you look cool to your workmates. Every week it hosts album launch in-stores, which are free to attend if you preorder or buy the record. And we’re not just talking leftfield muso fare either: everyone from Queens Of The Stone Age to Stormzy has passed through its doors, while you can look forward to Metronomy, Thurston Moore and, er, Keane in the coming weeks. Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL. Liverpool St tube. roughtrade.com Banquet RecordsBanquet has been the king of Kingston for more than a decade now, and it continues to deliver the goods
After the hustle, bustle and general madness of Christmastime and the inevitable indulgence of New Year's Eve, January can often be a quiet time for staying inside from the bitterly cold weather at home to save money after the expenditure of the festive period. Admittedly, January is a quiet month for London's music scene. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of great gigs and world-class artists passing through our city. From homegrown talent to visiting pop royalty, there's bound to be something to give your January that added sprinkle of winter magic. Here’s our January gig guide – book now or regret it later! RECOMMENDED: Your guide to the best gigs and festivals in London
The sights, sounds and smells of Notting Hill Carnival can be overwhelming. What’s more, with an estimated 2.5 million people making their way to west London over the bank holiday weekend, it's totally understandable that you might get turned around, lost or just be in need of a reminder of where you are after a couple of cans of Red Stripe. That’s where we come in: we’re here to help you navigate your way through this year’s NHC with our map of the parade, soundsystems, tube stops – and most importantly, toilets! Click on the map to make it bigger. RECOMMENDED: Read the full Notting Hill Carnival guide
Given that an estimated two million people attended last year, Notting Hill Carnival totally deserves its reputation as Europe’s biggest street festival. The annual event is a vivid and thrilling spectacle that celebrates and showcases London’s rich, varied and magnificent multicultural past and present. And for any party lovers, the Carnival weekend is a vital date in the calendar. Still, the sheer size and excitement of Carnival can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure of exactly what you should be doing. So, to get totally prepared and ready for the celebrations, don’t go anywhere without reading our guide, which includes invaluable information, tips and travel details about Notting Hill Carnival 2019. What is Notting Hill Carnival?A yearly celebration of London’s Caribbean communities, their culture and traditions, which has been taking place since 1966. The Carnival takes places over two days and features a parade and fantastic live music, including reggae, dub and salsa. There are also 36 static sound systems, soca floats, steel bands and a whole lot of delicious Caribbean food. Where does Notting Hill Carnival take place? The Carnival spreads throughout W10 and W11 in West London, with celebrations taking over the areas of Notting Hill (obvs), Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park. The main parade begins on Great Western Road, moving its way along Chepstow Road, before leading on to Westbourne Grove. It then travels down Ladbroke Grove. When does Notting Hill
It’s that time of year again — Notting Hill Carnival is almost upon us. London’s annual celebration of Caribbean history and culture is always one of the year’s highlights, with warm-up and afterparties also setting the mood over August bank holiday weekend. Carnival is more than just Europe’s largest street festival, however. Along with an estimated 2.5 million attendees that make their way to W10 and W11 over the long weekend, there are the floats, trucks and, of course, the soundsystems. And this year, to mark two years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there will also be a 72-second silence at 3pm on both days in memory of each of the victims. With so much going on and so many people, it can be tricky to figure out exactly what you need to know to have the time of your life while also staying safe. So get prepared with all the must-know information before you head to west London…WHICH DAY TO GO? If you’re after a more chilled NHC experience, the Sunday (August 25) is family day, while the Monday (August 26) is the more hard-partying parade.THE TIMETABLEThe festivities kick off with the opening ceremony at 10am on Sunday, with the parade starting at 10.30am, while Monday’s parade starts at 10am. Judging of Carnival’s many mas bands finishes at 6.30pm. Soundsystems play on both days, with a strict noise curfew of 7pm, giving floats, trucks and parade bands time to clear the streets by 8.30pm.TRAVEL – UndergroundThe nearest tube stations without significant disruptions a
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