The London List Review: Bradford Cox opens for himself for a fantastic Deerhunter, Atlas Sound double-bill at Shepherd’s Bush EmpireThe London List

Posted in London, London List, Music
By Tim Baggott on 8 Nov 2015

If any other frontman chose to open for themselves on the final night of their UK tour, it would seem like a cynical move. But for some reason, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, gets away with it tonight. Show the rest of this post…

A reverb-drenched, improvisational opening set from Atlas Sound saw each song take on a new form. Featuring a haunting rendition of Shelia from 2009′s Logos and an almost unrecognisable version of Cold as Ice from 2008′s Let The Blind…, the set was as spellbinding as it was unpredictable.

Perhaps acting as a Bradford Cox palette cleanser, when Deerhunter finally take to the stage they open with Desire Lines, a track sung by Lockett Pundt (guitarist). The set that follows is dominated by tracks from the latest record, Fading Fontier. Album opener All the Same was delivered with resounding confidence and was definitely the punchiest of the new tracks.

However, it was still the fan favourites from 2008′s Microcastle that received the best response from the crowd. The crushing guitars on Cover Me (Slowly) sounded colossal, filling the venue from wall to wall and the build up during the extended conclusion of Nothing Ever Happened whips the audience into an all-too-brief, beautiful frenzy.

The London Listings: 6a Architects’ Hanover Yard House feels warm and lived-in yet effortlessly modernThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 5 Nov 2015

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Located on a private mews in suave Islington, this two-storey home by 6a Architects features an amazing open-plan space and stunning interior filled with picture frames, pottery and books, everywhere you look. Though unfortunately most of the lived-in warmth will leave with the current owners, the loft-style Hanover Yard House is still perfect for the new owners to make it their own. Show the rest of this post…

The kitchen, dining area and living space are all inter-connected, with the bedroom only loosely divided from the rest of the open-plan first floor. A spiral staircase connects to the fully-irrigated roof which also houses a number of solar panels, which alongside an eco-friendly heat pump and underfloor heating help the property to be environmentally-friendly. Downstairs, the ground floor features a reception room plus two separate artists’ studios, accessed from across the mews.

On the market for £3.8m, while a lot of the value is in the ultra-accessible location, such a unique, charismatic space doesn’t come up on the London property market very often either.

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The Hanover Yard House is on the market for £3.8m through The Modern House: www.themodernhouse.net/sales-list/hanover-yard

The London List: Ann Veronica Janssens latest installation explores colour and light at the Wellcome CollectionThe London List

Posted in Art, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 15 Oct 2015

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Invading the Wellcome Collection with mysterious coloured mist, Ann Veronica Janssens’ Yellowbluepink installation explores perception through the use of colour and light. One of the artists behind the Hayward Gallery’s remarkable Light Show back in 2013, Janssens again revels in the immateriality of such a medium, here playing with the notion of what you see, and how you see it. Yellowbluepink launches States of Mind, the Wellcome Collection’s year-long investigation into the experience of human consciousness.

Yellowbluepink is on show at the Wellcome Collection until 3rd January 2016
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

The London List: Alex Chinneck unveils his latest surrealist sculpture for this year’s London Design FestivalThe London List

Posted in Art, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 18 Sep 2015

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Best known for his gravity-defying installations, artist Alex Chinneck returns with another remarkable surrealist sculpture for the London Design Festival. Balancing a 35 metre-tall electricity pylon on its tip, A Bullet From A Shooting Star comprises 450 steel pieces, constructed from 1186 metres of steel weighing 15 tons. Taking residence on the Greenwich Penisula, the sculpture is one of the real highlights of this year’s festival and can be viewed from North Greenwich Station, the Emirates Airline cable car, the Thames Clipper service, Canary Wharf and all planes that fly to and from City Airport.

Alex Chinneck’s ‘A Bullet From A Shooting Star’ runs from September 19th-27th on the Greenwich Peninsula, London
www.nowgallery.co.uk/exhibitions/alex-chinneck-a-bullet-from-a-shooting-star/

The London List Review: Secret Cinema take on Star Wars for a hugely ambitious, and expensive, night of funThe London List

Posted in Film, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 7 Sep 2015

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Normally keeping the movie under wraps until you are through the door, Secret Cinema have recreated Star Wars much to the delight of fans across the country.

If you are not familiar with Secret Cinema, the ‘live cinema’ company curate events that fuse film and theatre, re-creating large-scale immersive experiences that blur the lines of fiction and reality. By now it probably sounds like a broken record, but yet again their latest production is their most ambitious yet. Show the rest of this post…

Taking on beloved cult franchise, Star Wars, for a remarkable four-month London run, the show is inspired by the A New Hope, with fans living the first of the original trilogy before watching sequel The Empire Strikes Back at the end of the night.

In line with the spirit of the event we can’t reveal much more about what happens on the night, but rest assured, the Secret Cinema team have meticulously recreated a world so treasured by fans across the globe.

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With audience members taking real pleasure in dressing up as characters from the film, don’t miss the start of the event as things instantly kick into gear. With actors recreating story lines from A New Hope in a number of picture-perfect sets, it’s a great experience and you really feel part of the action. Though the sheer scale of the audience can make you feel lost in the production at times, if you explore and talk to the characters there’s plenty to do and you might even kick off some of the night’s big events.

Newcomers to Star Wars (yes, there are some out there) shouldn’t be put off, and it’s not a precursor that you be a huge franchise buff, but at £78 per ticket and £52 for children you probably need to a fan to justify the expense. You’ll easily spend another £30 on food and drinks on the night too.

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Because of the price, Secret Cinema’s The Empire Strikes Back production is not an unmissable experience. Few nights out in London can justify a £100+ all-in price tag, and though this production does come close, I’d be lying if I thought it was totally worth it. That said, fans are still flocking to the event in their droves and there’s no doubt you’ll have a lot of fun, just here’s hoping the next production doesn’t jump in price again, with tickets costing almost double what they used to just three years ago.

Secret Cinema presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back runs until September 27th. Tickets are available from the Secret Cinema website: www.secretcinema.org/tickets.html

Photography by Olivia Weetch, Marianne Chua, Al Overdrive and Mike Massaro, respectively.

The London List: Artist Grayson Perry’s ‘House for Essex’ experiment is a technicolour ode to fictional saint Julie CopeThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 15 May 2015

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Comissioned by Living Architecture, famous for their boat perched atop London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, House for Essex is a fantasy art experiment by Greyson Perry. Design in collaboration with FAT Architecture, the building is inspired by fairy tales and a fictional ‘saint’ Julie Cope. Show the rest of this post…

Her husband Rob commissioned the house in her memory after she was knocked down and killed by a curry delivery driver in Colchester, with each room telling the story of her life. A riot of colour and religious iconography, House For Essex sleeps four is available for 2-3 night stays from £850-£1800. A ballot for tickets is open now on the Living Architecture website: www.living-architecture.co.uk/the-houses/a-house-for-essex/overview

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The London List Review: The horde is upon you in zombie immersive theatre production ‘The Generation of Z’The London List

Posted in London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 4 May 2015

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Taking over a derelict basement in East London, The Generation of Z is the latest in a long line of immersive theatre productions, hot on the heels of The Heist, The Drowned Man, and to a lesser extent, Secret Cinema. Show the rest of this post…

Turning a 25,000 square-foot space into an apocalyptic wasteland, it’s still 2015 but London has fallen, with the deadly Z virus transforming the global population into a rabid horde of the infected. The Armed Rescue Coalition are the only hope so when one of our own starts coughing up blood, it sets off a thrilling 60 minutes of twists, turns and gnarly-looking zombies.

Unlike the free-form 2.8 Hours Later where you have to run for your life, in The Generation of Z everything is carefully scripted promenade theatre. The main cast of A.R.C. officers are drilled and know their lines and timings to a tee, but it all feels like you’re living the action live as the action is genuinely riveting and, at times, terrifying too.

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During the performance the group splits and then splits again, so you end up in one of four parties. It means there’s replay value in going back for a second, third or fourth time but on a solo trip it did make it difficult to pick up the entirety of the plot. However, it was great that you felt like you were impacting on the narrative; decisions you make during the production change course of events, with your group deciding the fate of tertiary characters in plot.

At the end you’re invited back into the living stage to take a selfie with the zombies and you can even volunteer to be on the other side of the curtain and be one of the hoarde on a future production.

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The Generation of Z is a lot of fun, best enjoyed with friends, and another wonderfully unique night out in London. At just under £40 mid-week and £42.50 on Friday and Saturdays it is an expensive event, but given that the latest Secret Cinema is selling out at £78 at ticket, that’s unfortunately now the going rate. And to its credit, The Generation of Z feels worthy of the money, with fantastic set design and an engaging cast. If you want to live out your Walking Dead fantasies, this is the perfect chance.

The Generation of Z runs until July 5th, for more information and to buy tickets please head to their website: www.thegenerationofz.com
The Generation of Z, 69-89 Mile End Road, London, E1 4TT

The London Listings: The Framehouse in Hackney Central creates a bright and spacious escape from urban lifeThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 23 Apr 2015

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Designed by Marcus Lee, former associate director at Richard Rogers Partnership, and featured on Channel 4′s Grand Designs, The Framehouse in Hackney Central recently went on the market through The Modern House. At the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on Rowe Lane, the five-bedroom eco home is split over three floors and features a big open-plan kitchen-living room, with floor to ceiling windows letting light billow in. The Framehouse is on the market at £1.6m. Show the rest of this post…

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The Framehouse is listed through The Modern House, head to their site to register your interest: www.themodernhouse.net/sales-list/the-framehouse-rowe-lane-london-e9

The London List: Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers chocolatiers open their long-awaited Shoreditch storeThe London List

Posted in Food, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 6 Apr 2015

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Hip chocolatier brothers, Rick ahd Michael Mast, have become the go-to independent chocolate makers. Out of their Brooklyn factory and shop, Mast Brothers has built up a almost cult-like following, and have now opened their long-awaited flagship location in London. A factory in the back and shop and brewbar in the front – separated by little other than a wall-to-wall glass window – Mast Brothers have taken up residence on Shoreditch’s happening Redchurch Street. Following their pop-up at the Ace Hotel around the corner, the Redchurch Street factory/store offers Mast Brothers’ full range of bars, gift boxes and handmade truffles plus their brewed chocolate hot drinks.

Mast Brothers London, 19-29 Redchurch St, London E2 7DJ
www.mastbrothers.com

The London List Review: The Landmark London HotelThe London List

Posted in Hotels, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 23 Mar 2015

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The Landmark London is a unique 5-star hotel, steeped in history and regarded as one of the best classical hotels in London. Show the rest of this post…

Location and building

The Landmark London is a mere stone’s throw from Marylebone Station and first opened as The Great Central Hotel in 1899, one of the last of the great Victorian railway hotels of that era. The imposing Gothic Revival facades steep the hotel in grandeur but it is the remarkable central atrium that wows upon arrival. An extension of the road for guests arriving by horse and cart, the glass-roofed courtyard at the heart of the hotel was converted into a dance floor during the “roaring twenties” and now hosts the hotel’s main restaurant, the Winter Garden.

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The local Marylebone area has undergone an impressive regeneration in recent years. Marylebone High Street is now bustling with clothing, homeware and artisan food stores, plus a fantastic local market every weekend. Chiltern Street is now home to the hip Chiltern Firehouse restaurant too, plus the Monocle cafe and stores. A little further south, Selfridges and Oxford Street are both accessible by foot.

Just a five-minute walk to Baker Street or Edgware Road Tube stations, The Landmark Hotel is very well connected within London while Marylebone Station runs connecting trains to Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham and beyond.

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Rooms

We stayed in an extremely spacious Marylebone Studio suite, though the Landmark London is renowned for their space and comfort in all rooms.

Welcomed with some chocolates and an exotic fruit bowl, we couldn’t have felt more at home and immediately sank into the big comfy sofa in the living space. The Landmark London decor is a warm and friendly, classic hotel style. The upholstery and features are reserved yet luxurious, with plush carpet underfoot, a desk should you need to work and big TV in both the living and bedroom spaces.

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The kingsize bed was a dream and you’ll have no trouble getting a superb night’s sleep at the Landmark London, with an armchair for dressing and ample cupboard and drawer space for clothes.

Landmark London suites also feature Nespresso machines, speaker systems and DVD players.

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Bathroom

The bathroom was equally spacious, with luxurious fixtures and fittings and comfy waffle gowns. The bathroom was split into three mini-rooms, the first with big his and hers washbasins leading to the walk-in shower and lavish bathtub, and finally a separate WC at the end of the walkway.

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Amenities

In a recent change, The Landmark London now offer free WiFi throughout the hotel, including every room, plus free access to the pool and health club.

The 15-metre pool is perfect for morning laps or a relaxing afternoon swim, with plenty of floats and foam boards on hand. The health club also boasts a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and two excellent monsoon showers. The pool has two designated periods for children, while at all other times it is intended for adult use only.

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As part of the health club, the Landmark London also offers a state of the art gym plus spa treatments in adjoining specialist suites.

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Hotel guests can expect the usual range of services from a 5-star hotel, including a laundry services, complimentary newspapers to your room every day, continental power sockets, and extremely plush bathrobes and slippers.

Restaurant and bars

The Winter Garden restaurant is the main restaurant at the Landmark London, situated in the breathtaking central courtyard. Particularly magnificent under spotlights at night, the restaurant serves a modern British menu. The food is excellent and we sampled the Seared Scallops and Cauliflower to start – the scallops cooked to complete perfection – and the excellent Rack of Lamb and Seabass dishes for main. The knowledgable waiting staff and sommelier will help you pick a wine or cocktail to compliment your meal and be sure to have a desert too, the Sticky Toffee Pudding is sumptuous to finish.

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The Winter Garden is also home to the Landmark London’s amazing breakfast buffet, the best we’ve experienced in London. With everything from freshly squeezed juices, pastries, hot dishes, fruit, sourdough breads and more, it’s a glorious feast not to be missed. Every Sunday, the Landmark London offer a famous Champagne Brunch with unlimited champagne and an equally impressive buffet for £90-a-head, while the Winter Garden is known for an excellent afternoon tea too.

Guests can find a more traditional dining experience in the twentytwentytwo restaurant and bar, or intimate cocktails at the Mirror Bar.

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Verdict

The Landmark London’s relaxed and subtly luxurious atmosphere makes the hotel a wonderfully warm and approachable stay. The unique courtyard space and excellent Winter Garden restaurant are the hotel’s trump card but the spacious rooms and supremely comfortable beds don’t come far behind either. The Landmark London is for people looking for a more classical hotel in the capital, steeped in history with great access to attractions nearby. Long may it continue.

For reservations and more, please visit: www.landmarklondon.co.uk
The Landmark London Hotel, 222 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 6JQ

FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

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