London is famous for its club scene and it's a great place for electronic music.
I would recommend Phonox (personally my favorite), XOYO, Village Underground, Fabric. Fabric recently reopened and now has very strict security measures, making club entrance look more like an airport, but it's still worth a visit.
XOYO, The Nest, Phonox, The Printworks (opens Feb), fabric, Corsica Studios, LWE events at Tobacco Dock and Village Underground.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Ministry of Sound - just five minute walk from Elephant and Castle.
Obviously Fabric, XOYO, Village Underground etc.
Yes, without a doubt. If you notice there has been a recent trend towards high-end gins and vodkas. The industry is sending us a very clear message that drinking high-end spirits is sophisticated and that tends to appeal to a younger, more affluent audience. I wouldn’t necessarily say they are aimed specifically at women – but it’s clear these are the drinks women consume more than men.
The alcohol content in these upmarket spirits is pretty high, they’re strong drinks. They tend to have a much higher alcohol content than the spirits you’d ordinarily find in pubs. In pubs they’re about 30 per cent, and the higher end ones are nearer to 40 per cent. So they tend to be stronger.
"The drinks industry has, by and large, got men fairly sown up as habitual consumers of alcohol. So they’ve had to create a new market – young people and women in particular."
RTDs (Ready to Drink – typically drinks like Smirnoff Ice that are combination of a spirit and a mixer, typically lemonade), are almost an invention of the last 15 years. These are clearly aimed at women because they’re sweet drinks. They came from the alcopop boom originally. I’m not sure home drinking was the driver for these drinks. The main driver was the need to create a new market for the product. The drinks industry has, by and large, got men fairly sown up as habitual consumers of alcohol. So they’ve had to create a new market – young people and women in particular. Not least because women have every bit as much disposable income as men these days – certainly younger women.
Barcelona is amazing. The architecture is fantastic – modern and old. There are lots of sculptures to see and loads of random obstacles and surfaces to work on. There are so many plazas all over the city and every corner has some of the best stair sets that you’ve ridden in your life. It’s as if the whole city has been designed for street riding, and Barcelona's been a legendary spot within the BMX and skateboard scenes for a while now. It’s a must-see destination for anyone who’s into any street sports.
Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities to ride in, too. I made my first major film for Inspired Bicycles there, but it’s a very different place to Barcelona. The city is a little bit older, which means there's less random surfaces to try out, I guess because they were so much more expensive to build when they were made out of sandstone. But the city has plenty of interesting lines to ride; you just have to look a bit harder. One of my favourite spots has to be Hunter’s Square. It has a small, raised plaza area. It’s not so good for BMX or skateboarders, but for a street trials rider it has plenty of interesting walls and stair sets to explore.
We actually had a massive police incident two weeks ago (a burglar evading the police, big roped off area, lots of activity). So it's pretty much business as usual. For the most part people are just standing about on the Green. I think unless you were on the actual tube it's hard to really know the extent. Massive police presence but people seem calm and just chatting.Â
My brother was on tube that got stopped at Putney Bridge too.
Someone just said that an eye witness saw a fireball. I'm guessing not huge, but meant that it was some kind of incendiary. Lots of reporters.
I think it’s the notion of escape; that everyday reality is a suburban heterosexual couple with kids and the fantasy is a beautiful, funky life with a swimming pool. Of course, heterosexuals think that way too, but I’ve seen in gay teenagers this need to get away from that suburban heterosexual society, and music is one route you can go down.
You can establish street cred as well, so as well as being the weird kid in the corner because you’re in a minority, you can become the minority of being a celebrity and therefore a super-minority, so you’ve flipped the whole situation around!
Another more aesthetic aspect might be the element of self-disgust, and what you want to do is literally make beautiful music and inhabit a more beautiful space through creativity. So, it’s about self-expression, saying ‘I want to be me’, to be autonomous; and self-empowerment, getting the hell of out there, and getting money and new friends and connections without having to fit into any corporate guidelines.
You might have a fantasy of making lots of money in banking, but you’d have much less autonomy that way. I also think it’s to do with a feeling that, if you grow up gay, that people don’t like you very much, because of homophobic bullying, so there’s that feeling – wouldn’t it be great to be a hero, to be admired? To feed off that sense of marginalisation.
What is clearly true is the traditional party landscape as it was in the 1950s and 60s has completely broken down. We are no longer a two party system, which were 90 percent of the population are voting for Labour and the Conservatives as they did in those years. Now we have a multi-party system but we have the same electoral system as always: First Past The Post. So it’s not new parties that are needed. We’ve got quite a few new ones in existence already: UKIP, Greens, etc. What you need is a new electoral system because that’s the only way a new political formation can possibly emerge.
As it stands the current system, with its regional variations will always make it a fight between the two biggest parties with the third party getting the crumbs from the table, and sometimes less than that. People can pronounce all they like on new parties, or new coalitions as some people in the Labour Party have suggested recently, but unless electoral reform takes place nothing will radically change.
“A new electoral system is the only way a new political formation can possible emerge.”
And you would have to say the prospect for electoral reform given the vote on the recent referendum – that’s the other referendum, which took place in 2011 on proportional representation – is very now unlikely. There are too many vested interests in the current system, wherever you are on the political spectrum. If you’re in a position of power, giving it up is not really an instinct you have.
There is always the possibility that a new, third party could overtake either Labour or the Conservatives and become one of the big two. It happened historically when Labour overtook the Liberal Party in the early part of the 20th century, but in recent political memory it just hasn’t happened.
There were times in the early 1980s where the polls suggested the Social Democratic Party might make that kind of breakthrough because Labour were unpopular, but it didn’t happen. So it’s an extraordinarily difficult task. Look at the vote UKIP amassed at the 2015 General Election: nearly 13 percent, more than the Liberal Democrats, which you would say is some sort of breakthrough. Yet they only got one MP, Douglas Carswell. So it’s incredibly difficult for a new party to break through under First Past The Post. The arithmetic is nearly immovable.
The best chance for a new party to emerge is if one of the major parties reconfigures itself – and you’re could argue that is what is happening to Labour right now. But it will be a new version of an existing party, rather than a new choice for people at the election.