Local Area NewsJul 2014
Big Easy - Maiden Lane, WC2
The communal dining experience is alive and well in the capital. Long tables, big portions and live blues have been shipped across the Atlantic in order to give an enthusiastic public a taste of New Orleans high livin' and low inhibitions. BBQ, lobster, giant shrimp and steak all feature heavily on the menu and can be ordered in a variety of styles and combinations. Of course, Big Easy are by no means the first outfit to combine meat and fire in London; neither will they be the last.
What they do bring to this converted power station in Covent Garden, is hardware: lots of it. Glowing BBQ pits, huge upright smokers and a massive lobster tank are all visible as you are shown to your seat. There is plenty of stateside expertise on the premises as well. Even the wood for the ovens is imported. The St Louis ribs are a must-try. It's a common misconception that meat should fall off the bone in order to be delicious. These ribs stay firm, succulent and delicious, southern-style.
British Summer Time - Hyde Park
This series of open-air extravaganzas aims to take Londoners through the full spectrum of stadium rock from times past and present. Live act specialists, Arcade Fire, will kick off July with their unique brand of rock theatre and will feature a couple of surprise guest vocalists. The next day on July 4th will see veteran heavy metal pioneers, Black Sabbath crank their amps up to 11 with the hope that their legendary front man Ozzy Osbourne will last the distance. It'll be fun watching the half cartoon, half delinquent trying to remember what continent he's in, let alone the song words.
6th July is teen guitar pop time as Ozzy's spiritual grand kids show their adoring fans that they too know their way around a power chord. The Vamps, Lawson and Neon Jungle may be fresher faced than the likes of Arcade Fire but they are sophisticated beyond their years and will have no trouble filling Hyde Park with all manner of punky noise. Neil Young will round off the series of gigs with a typically barnstorming set. He comes to these shores with the confident knowledge that although he is in his sixth decade in the business, he is being constantly rediscovered by people one third his age.
Limbo - South Bank Centre
The South Bank has gained a reputation for staging edgy circus entertainment during the summer months. This July sees a provocatively sexy and stylish show take up residence in the shadow of the London Eye. Limbo is a scintillating mixture of variety, illusion and acrobatics that takes the audience on a 60 minute ride of their lives. There's a loose musical theme based on the battle between good and evil and a few connecting dance manoeuvres but the main focus stays on the individual acts.
Danik Abishev's balances between beams of light and gives the impression of an exotic caged animal. There is an incredible feat of speed and agility provided by Mikael Bres, who drops a feather from a great height before zooming down the pole in order to intercept it. Brashly uncomplicated, this is punk circus that feels no need to waste time racking up the tension. Fire breathing an sword swallowing are used as wacky interludes as the next eye-popping act prepares to astound and amaze.