Visit London Blog » hammersmith apollo Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Where To Party Like It’s The End Of The World Thu, 13 Dec 2012 14:01:57 +0000 If you’re a fan of disaster films, you’ve probably seen London destroyed on the big screen a fair few times. If the Mayans were right, however, you might soon see it for real, as the ancient civilisation predicted that 21 December 2012 would be the end of the world. Although this might seem like a good excuse to hide under the duvet, London’s finest party organisers are giving you plenty of opportunity to go out in style. We’ve rounded up some of the best ways to spend your last hours in London – nice knowing you!

The End of the World Party, Village Underground

Hosted by the team that has put on more than 50 “end of the world” parties in the last four years (they must be a fairly pessimistic bunch…), this Shoreditch party is guaranteed to be one of the most detailed and debauched in town. Starting at 10pm, the night allows you to choose the songs you dance to, live out your final fantasies in the Last Wish room and generally behave as if you won’t have to worry about a hangover in the morning. Tickets are £8, get yours quick before they sell out.  21 Dec

The End of the World Party, Proud Camden

Head to this popular venue’s Stables Bar for a night of half-price drinks, doomsday shenanigans and music from top DJs – including a special guest at midnight. Highlights include confetti cannon, the chance to confess your sins and an air raid siren that heralds the advent of half price shots. Entry is free if you’re on the guestlist, see the website for full details. 20 Dec

Brian Cox and Robin Ince’s End of the World Show, Hammersmith Apollo.

Go out laughing at this logical comedy show from the hosts of BBC Radio 4′s Infinite Monkey Cage. Brian Cox and Robin Ince bring some of the finest minds in comedy, science and music together to celebrate human achievement in earth’s final hours. Tickets start from £25. 21 Dec

The Last Supper Club, Shoreditch

Make your last meal a memorable one at this exclusive dining experience in Shoreditch. You can choose between dining in the Ark, which has an eclectic and regularly changing selection of three-course menus, or make your apocalypse a bit more casual in the street food area. A doom-fuelled selection of drinks is also available and booking in advance is highly recommended – see their website for full details. 6-22 Dec

Popstarz at Hidden, Vauxhall

The world’s first alternative gay night is hosting a special End of the World Party in Vauxhall, featuring giveaways, apocalyptic makeovers and a special stage show at midnight. Entry is free before 11pm, see the flyer for full details. 21 Dec

Real Nice and Eta Present the End of the World, West London

Spending your final hours in a West London warehouse might not sound too appealing, but when you factor in world-class DJs, a killer light and sound system and a fair few apocalyptic surprises it suddenly sounds like a plan. Tickets are £20. 21 Dec

Pirate Radio Party Presents Aztec Mixdeck: A World’s End Boat Party

Cruise down the Thames with the Pirate Radio Party, who promise music, theatrics and “the best atmosphere this side of the apocalypse”. Seen from the river, London at night is certainly one of the prettiest last views you can get. Tickets are £20 if you’re quick. 21 Dec

Loud Noise End of the World Party at Cable

Head to South London for an apocalyptic party featuring a huge line-up of top DJs. Tickets start from £8. 21 Dec

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Creating Bowiefest: The UK’s First David Bowie Film Festival Fri, 31 Aug 2012 09:00:35 +0000

The UK’s first David Bowie film festival opens at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) on Friday. I had a chat with its curators to find out how the project came about.

How Bowiefest was born

For a performer who is now notoriously reclusive, David Bowie is strikingly present in London. The British rock icon’s music featured in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games, and next year the Victoria and Albert Museum will display Bowie’s extravagant costumes in an exhibition.

But Bowie’s substantial and eccentric work as an actor has – surprisingly – never been celebrated with an event in the UK. This realisation hit the festival’s curators Natasha Dack and Oli Harbottle when they were out one night at the Hot Docs documentary festival in Canada last year.”We realised we were both massive Bowie fans,” says Oli. “A Bowie film festival had never been done and it seemed like a no-brainer – films are such a big element of his career. It’s been a crazy path ever since and we can’t believe that we’re the lucky ones that had the idea.”

The pair approached the ICA, a venue whose rock pedigree includes gigs from Pink Floyd and The Clash, not to mention a move-for-move re-enactment of Bowie’s final performance as his character Ziggy Stardust, organised by artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard in 1998.

Natasha and Oli whittled Bowiefest’s content down to eight films focusing on classic movies from the 1970s and 1980s, such as fantasy film Labyrinth where Bowie rules over Jim Henson’s puppets as the Goblin king Jareth. There are also two documentaries following Bowie on stage and talks with directors Alan Yentob and Nicolas Roeg.

Compare Bowie’s otherworldly film roles like an alien in The Man Who Fell to Earth with performances such as his turn as a WWII prisoner of war in Japan in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, and it could be hard to spot a connection. But one thread runs through all of his characters, according to Natasha: “There is a unifying theme with the characters he played: he’s always been an outsider in films. That’s quintessential Bowie.”

Ziggy Startdust was the iconic stage persona Bowie took on for barely a year, before “retiring” the character in London at a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon (now the Hammersmith Apollo) in 1973. That night is the subject of one of the festival’s documentary films, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

The documentaries have had few cinema outings, explains Oli: “People rarely get to sit in the cinema with other Bowie fans and watch these amazing moments. In Cracked Actor, which follows his 1974 Diamond Dogs tour, you see Bowie at his most creative. But he also looks and he acts very vulnerable and emaciated – it’s a real insight into him as a person because he talks about creating his personas.”

Bowiefest takes place from 31 August to 2 September at the ICA. To book tickets visit

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Visit London Asks: What’s Your Favourite Place in London to Hear Music? Mon, 17 Jan 2011 11:42:13 +0000

Following last week’s announcement that The O2 is the world’s most popular music venue, we asked our Visit London Facebook fans What’s Your Favourite Place in London To Hear Music?

There was a big response. Plenty of you agree The O2 is excellent, and other large venues such as HMV Hammersmith Apollo, Royal Albert Hall, The Roundhouse and The Barbican were mentioned.

Smaller venue favourites include Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, Camden’s Electric Ballroom, Vortex Jazz Club in Hackney, Union Chapel Islington and The Archduke at Waterloo.

Lots of people rate London’s buskers, music outdoors in Covent Garden, Regent’s Park (in summer!) and Trafalgar Square, and several of you professed a love for candlelit concerts at St Martin in the Fields.

So what’s your favourite place in London to hear music? Leave a comment below…

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Top Five Comedy Shows to Look Out for in 2011 Mon, 03 Jan 2011 10:00:15 +0000 There’s some top comedy in London coming up this year. Five stand-up comedians touring in 2011 that you should buy tickets for now are:

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