Wednesday, 23 January 2013

HELEN McCOOKERYBOOK: Martin Stephenson live at the Kalamazoo Club

The Kalamazoo Klub has been ejected from its former home under the King's Head in Crouch End. No longer known as 'Squatter's Bottom', Crouch End is becoming increasingly chichi (you thought it was already? think again!) and is changing flavour from being the home of wealthy bohemians, having caught a fatal does of bankeritis.

So here we are at the Islington Metalworks, a slice of 1990s Berlin within sneezing distance of the Angel tube station. In a room-within-a-room, flashing squiggly  red and green lights rotate on the floor, inflatables with projected oil bubbles loom at each side of the stage, and a backdrop of twinkling lights proclaim 'Wedding!' in assertive twinkly-light voices.

The young sound chap, who hails from Philadelphia, is sane and calm and tones down the lighting a little; the guys from Blinking Buzzard, a clutch of old-timey music fans who not only run the club but also act as support band, start moving upholstered ammo-boxes into position at the front of the stage, and soon it actually looks like a gig. The black-clad security fellers turn out to be sweethearts; the loos are clean and the whole place becomes an intriguing and friendly space. Spotlights are turned round to illuminate the stage and very soon the whole room fills (I'd say half as many people again as the King's Head venue pulls, possibly because of the proximity to the tube station).

Lots of Geordie expats are here and the atmosphere is buzzing.

Read on...

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