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SALON NO. 15: LONDON PSYCHE


6.30pm April 24th 2014
Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street
London WC1
Admission: By advance ticket only from WeGotTickets

The occult history of London is often told by men as a story of men. But in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded at 17 Fitzroy Street, women held equal status with men and were some of the most interesting and influential members. SALON NO. 15: LONDON PSYCHE brings together occultist Caroline Wise and Strange Attractor curator Mark Pilkington to offer glimpses into the largely unknown magical London world of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.

Florence Farr was initiated into London’s Isis-Urania Temple of the Order of the Golden Dawn by the Irish poet Yeats in July 1890. A remarkable first wave feminist, successful actress, theatre producer, mistress of George Bernard Shaw and social activist, she became High Priestess of the temple in 1894.

Occult historian Caroline Wise will join us to tell Florence Farr’s story and those of some of the other turn-of-the-century London women involved in the capital’s magical revival, women who along with their radical predecessors, wished to bring about radical changes to society. They included actresses and authors, heiresses and artists, members of the Bohemian free-thinkers and a psychologist who presented rites of Isis and Pan in a Presbyterian Church in Belgravia.

When the occult Order of the Golden Dawn declined, it was succeeded by others including The Theosophical Society whose public lectures were attended by one Ethel Le Rossignol. Between 1920 and 1933 Ethel created a series of 44 paintings, a ‘series of psychic drawings given through her hand as an assurance of survival after death’, identifying herself only as the medium and a spirit known as ‘J.P.F’. as the actual artist. (J.P.F himself claimed to be channelling other spirits, who wanted to impart the secrets of the soul to those still on the physical plane). The paintings reveal a world of pure light, colour and energy with aspects of Art Deco, popular playbills, Eastern mysticism and miniatures. They radiate an ecstatic joy and are prescient of the psychedelic art that would emerge in London several decades later.

Strange Attractor’s Mark Pilkington will describe how he discovered the paintings at London’s College of Psychic Studies (to who Ethel had bequeathed them) and where they were on display in various rooms but largely forgotten. Only 21 remain (the rest have vanished) but his discovery sparked a fascination culminating in the recent extraordinary ‘A Goodly Company’ exhibition at The Horse Hospital which brought these deeply strange works together in one space for the first time.

Mark will relate the little that is known about Ethel’s London life based on the clues left in her writing and trace her interest in mediumistic spiritualism developed through her psychic studies in the London of the 1920s. He will show images of a selection of the paintings and read extracts from Ethel Le Rossignol’s book ‘A Goodly Company’

MARK PILKINGTON is the founder and curator of Strange Attractor who have carved out a unique cross-media platform for authors, anthropologists, historians, scientists, sorcerers, artists, film-makers and musicians since 2001. Strange Attractor Press have published four Journal anthologies, Phil Baker’s biography of Austin Osman Spare, the Wellcome Trust’s ‘Medical London’, Mike Jay’s ‘The Influencing Machine’, ‘Welcome to Mars’ and ‘The Bright Labyrinth’ by Ken Hollings, ‘London’s Lost Rivers’ by Tom Bolton and ‘Trip or Squeek’ by Savage Pencil.

CAROLINE WISE has worked at Psychic Press, publisher of the Spiritualist paper Psychic News, and as publisher at the renowned London secondhand book company Skoob Books. She is a former owner of the famous occult Atlantis Bookshop, a founder member of The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP). In 1993 she revived and produced the 1901 Egyptian-magic themed plays of the actress and Theosophist Florence Farr at the Rudolf Steiner Theatre. She has a particular interest in bringing the women in the magical revival to a wider audience, combined with a passion for mythic and legendary London. She leads walks on Legendary London.

Posted on Wednesday 2nd April 2014

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32 Londoners on The London Eye


1st May 2014
EDF Energy London Eye
Riverside Building, County Hall
20:00 – 23:00

BUY TICKETS HERE

A series of 32 talks on famous Londoners will take place on the EDF Energy London Eye on May 1st 2014.

In the fifteen years since it was first built the London Eye has come to be regarded as perhaps the capital’s most iconic landmark. So what more fitting place could there be to host a series of thirty-two talks on some of the men and women who helped make London one of the world’s pre-eminent cities?

The London Eye will be set to a special slow rotation speed and each of its 32 capsules will be given over to a talk by a well-known authority on a famous Londoner. The subjects will range from Thomas Becket to Joseph Bazalgette, from WS Gilbert to Ray Davies and from Queen Victoria to Zadie Smith. The lecturers themselves will be a roll call of those who have contributed to the capital’s cultural legacy: from former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, to ex-Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, film director Julien Temple, broadcaster Robert Elms and biographers Claire Tomalin and Kate Williams.

As you soar high over two thousand years of London’s history in the hands of our expert guides what better insight could you have into the lives and works of the influential figures who have shaped the heritage, culture and image of our ancient and celebrated capital?

To commemorate the occasion Hendrick’s Gin have devised 32 bespoke cocktails, one in honour of each London borough. Each guest will be served a complimentary cocktail of their choice during the lecture. After disembarkation there will be an opportunity to share a drink with your fellow participants and speakers and discuss this singular and inspirational event.

32 Londoners has been curated by Antique Beat and A Curious Invitation as a unique experience intended to strengthen the cultural connection of Londoners with the city in which they live and work.


THE TALKS

Anne Duggan on THOMAS BECKET – Saint, b. 1118 Cheapside
Henry Eliot on GEOFFREY CHAUCER – Poet, b.1343 London
Dan Cruickshank on JOHN STOW – Historian, b. 1525 Cornhill
Claire Tomalin on SAMUEL PEPYS – Diarist, b. 1633 Fleet Street
Martin Rowson on WILLIAM HOGARTH – Satirist, b. 1697 Clerkenwell
Ian Kelly on BEAU BRUMMEL – Dandy, b. 1778 St James
Matt Brown on MICHAEL FARADAY – Scientist, b. 1791 Southwark
Sir Andrew Motion on JOHN KEATS – Poet, b. 1795 Moorgate
Kate Williams on QUEEN VICTORIA – Monarch, b. 1819 Kensington
Stephen Halliday on JOSEPH BAZALGETTE – Engineer, b. 1819 Enfield
Martin Lamb on WS GILBERT – Composer, b. 1836 The Strand
Essie Fox on MARIE LLOYD – Singer, b. 1870 Hoxton
Geoffrey Beare on WILLIAM HEATH ROBINSON – Cartoonist, b. 1872 Finsbury Park
Charles Elford on SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR – Composer, b. 1875 Holborn
Ken Livingstone on HERBERT MORRISON – Politician, b. 1888 Lambeth
Bryony Dixon on CHARLIE CHAPLIN – Actor, b. 1889 Walworth
Nathalie Morris on ALFRED HITCHCOCK – Film Director, b. 1899 Leytonstone
D J Taylor on EVELYN WAUGH – Writer, b. 1903 West Hampstead
Hugo Vickers on CECIL BEATON – Photographer, b. 1904 Hampstead
Peter Berthoud on PHYLLIS PEARSALL – Inventor of the A-Z, b. 1906 East Dulwich
Jude Kelly on JOAN LITTLEWOOD – Theatre director, b. 1914 Stockwell
David Stafford on LIONEL BART – Composer, b. 1930 Stepney
Kate Kray on THE KRAYS – Gangters, b. 1933 Hoxton
Robert Elms on ADAM FAITH – Pop Star, b. 1940 Acton
Grant Fleming on BOBBY MOORE – Footballer, b. 1941 Barking
Julien Temple on RAY DAVIES – Musician, b. 1944 Muswell Hill
Geoffrey Marsh on DAVID BOWIE – Musician, b. 1947 Brixton
DJ Nihal on JAZZIE B – Music producer, b. 1963 Hornsey
Gavin Evans on LENNOX LEWIS – Boxer, b. 1965 West Ham
Jacqueline Shaw on OZWALD BOATENG – Fashion designer, b. 1967 Muswell Hill
Lesley-Ann Jones on NAOMI CAMPBELL – Model, b. 1970 Streatham
Philippa Thomas on ZADIE SMITH – Writer, b. 1975 Brent

Each ticket includes a complimentary Hendrick’s Gin cocktail with a unique recipe for each of London’s 32 boroughs and admission to the exclusive Featherless Flight Lounge in Jubilee Gardens next to County Hall.

BUY TICKETS HERE

Posted on Tuesday 25th March 2014

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SALON NO. 14: THE MYTH OF ‘THE CITY’


6.30pm March 27th 2014
Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street
London WC1
Admission: By advance ticket only from WeGotTickets

The ancient district known as “The Square Mile” whilst only a small physical part of contemporary London projects a gigantic, international image. But it remains rather mysterious to most who don’t work there. Salon No 14: The Myth of ‘The City’ brings together a satirist and an economist to investigate the contrasting myths and images of this most peculiar London combination of labyrinthine streets, money and global influence – from within and from without.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.

The City, the financial district of London, built upon the square mile of the original Roman Londinium in time became a sort of English, commercial version of the Roman Vatican as the metropolis developed around it. Despite having a residential population of less than 7000, it holds city status in its own right with its own cathedral and police force. It is a separate ceremonial county with a worldwide constituency.

Professor Andrew Scott of the London Business School will explain The City’s development from its Mediaeval origins into today’s global financial hub and the world’s greatest foreign exchange market. During a long and distinguished history it has continued to grow, mutate and extend itself both geographically and in terms of influence. But will it continue to do so?

The City is often touted as one of the great British success stories although it has always been dependent on foreign talent and exchange. But is it an essential asset for the UK, the powerhouse of our economy or a global intruder separating London from the rest of the country and the home of avaricious, selfish bankers?

Following the crash of 2008, the bankers seemed briefly to be on the back foot. But it seems business as usual has been resumed and the politicians have left any critique to the satirists. So we will be joined by Russell Taylor, co-author of the Alex cartoon, whose satire gives a privates glimpse inside this secretive shiny world of high finance.

Russell works with a variety of London insiders to ensure the Alex cartoon reflects the scandals and rumours inside The City. And he will chart a more recent history – one in which a very English and relatively sedate world of conservative stock brokers was replaced by a global coterie of high octane international financiers. With them came more visible changes – new iconic buildings such as The Shard and The Gherkin, new potential, new risks and new profound – and comic – opportunities.

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Andrew Scott is Professor of Economics and Deputy Dean at London Business School and a Fellow of All Souls Oxford and the Centre for Economic Policy Research. He has taught at Harvard and Oxford.

Russell Taylor MBE is a British writer, journalist and film music composer. In addition to the Alex cartoons, he has written books on Russia and marathon running. Alex cartoon was turned into a stage play and is rumoured to be in production as a film.

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LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS

Posted on Friday 28th February 2014

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SALON NO. 13: WALKING THE CITY


6.30pm February 27th 2014
Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street
London WC1
Admission: £4 / £7 By advance ticket only from WeGotTickets

For writers such as Dickens and Blake, walking London was an essential part of their creative process. More recently, Will Self and Iain Sinclair have described it as a ‘psycho-geographical’ activity. Salon No.13: Walking The City will explore the magical potential of urban perambulation with readings, anecdotes and images.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.

“Toni and I were strolling along Oxford Street, trying to look like flaneurs. This wasn’t as easy as it might sound. For a start, you usually need a quai, or at the very least, a boulevard. In Paris you would be leaving behind some rumpled couch in a chamber particuliere; over here we had just left behind Tottenham Court Road..” (Julian Barnes, Metroland).

Our first guest Duncan Minshull writer, walker and producer of BBC’s Book of the Week will talk about the art of the urban walk, referring to works from various authors who have recorded their excursions along, yes, Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, but also along brighter – and darker – London streets. For London has always been walked. Often for reasons that are basic and barely examined – to save money, for lack of an alternative, for physical exercise. But Duncan will tell that there are other less obvious reasons too, reasons that are altogether more interesting and complicated. The city is walked to satisfy creative, psychological and even spiritual needs. And the impulse to set off and set out has been caught in various novels, travelogues and memoirs through the centuries.

Then author Melissa Harrison will read from her novel Clay, which has at its core a series of memorable city outings: “A boy tiptoes from a high-rise block in the half-light of dawn to see the neat prints left by a fox on the frosty grass. He is TC, eight years old and skipping to school to spend his time exploring the city’s waste ground and forgotten wild corners. At school and at home he is barely missed..”

Whilst guided walks abound in the city, can we understand it and our own life in it by personal perambulations? Melissa and Duncan will discuss, share their strolling stories and provide some tips on re-imaging the city by foot.

Their readings and discussion will be accompanied by a selection of slides by Esoteric London blog photographer Roger Dean drawn from his recent book of its selected images. (Holloway Road shown here middle left).

It is good to collect things, but better to go on walks” – Anatole France

If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.” – Charles Dickens

Posted on Tuesday 4th February 2014

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Salon No 12: SEX IN THE CITY


6.30pm January 30th 2014

Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street
London WC1

Admission: £4 / £7 By advance ticket only from WeGotTickets

What is it about the small district of Soho that has made it such an intense collision of business, entertainment, history, bohemia and sleaze? What is a day in the life of a Soho sex worker like? The province of Bohemians, Italians, Maltese, Chinese, spivs, gangsters, pimps, prostitutes and most recently the gay community, it remains the London district most associated with sexual activity and is still controversial. Why? Salon Number 12: Sex in the City investigates.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.

Posted on Tuesday 7th January 2014

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Get the new The Real Tuesday Weld mini-album for Christmas


Treat yourself or a friend to a most special and unique christmas present. For the last seven years The Real Tuesday Weld have produced a limited edition audio Christmas card with brand new music.

This year has arrived and looks and sounds gorgeous. With a beautiful cover designed by animator Alex Budovsky, the card contains a mini cd and download token for five tracks, including our first release of the much requested (Return I Will to Old) Brazil – the soundtrack to Alex’s amazing video.

The card can be signed and dedicated to you and we can even send it to someone on your behalf by request.

You can get it here with a selection of other curious and bespoke gift in the Antique Beat Boutique.


Seasons Greeting’s to all our friends past, present and future.

Posted on Thursday 21st November 2013

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SALON NO. 11: LONDON OPIATE – LOST LIMEHOUSE


6.30pm November 28th 2013
Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street
London WC1

Admission: £4 / £7 By advance ticket only from WeGotTickets

Like many other London locales, the eastern district of Limehouse is becoming indistinguishable from adjacent neighbourhoods. But once its very name conjured up a particularly distinct image – even for those unfamiliar with the capital. For it was thought to be the home of the opium den and the malevolent Chinese opium dealer – the exotic bogeyman of the Victorian city imagined by its writers – Dickens, Wilde and Arthur Ward amongst them.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.


At Salon No. 11, writer Phil Baker will consider Limehouse as a place of fabulous oriental menace, looking at anti-Chinese xenophobia and the myth of the East London opium dens. These intertwined anxieties and desires have their fullest flowering in the work of Sax Rohmer (the literary pseudonym of Arthur Ward), king of pulp exotica and creator of Doctor Fu Manchu: the yellow peril incarnate in one man. Despite Rohmer’s claim that Fu Manchu was based on real Chinese figures he encountered during his time as a crime reporter, his work is now abhorred for its perpetration of racist stereotypes.

However, writing in the tradition of Imperial Gothic and obsessed with both the contamination spreading back from the Empire and the allure of alien esoterica, Rohmer not only demonized the Chinese but idealised them. Phil will argue that his world is more complex than it first seems and that the diabolical Limehouse-based Doctor is, in fact, the hero of the series.

Then, Salon alumni and historian Tom Bolton will take us on a journey through the real Limehouse – from its beginnings as a pleasant riverside hamlet downwind of the City of London to its emergence as the capital’s first Chinatown. A neighbourhood adjacent to the river when London was the most important port in the world, it became an unparalleled cultural cross-roads, the home of immigrants, dockers, sex workers and sailors, a place associated with drugs, degenerates and exotic doings (plus other, unnamed evils) and one which fascinated the world.

Was this reputation based in truth? Did Limehouse even really exist as a defined place and if it did, are there any traces left in the spaces between the office blocks, council estates and pseudo-dockland apartments of London E14.

The Salon will herald next year’s publication by Strange Attractor press of “Lord of Strange Deaths: The Fiendish World of Sax Rohmer” edited by Phil Baker and Anthony Clayton – a collection of essays by Alan Moore, Christopher Frayling and Clive Bloom amongst others.

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Phil Baker’s books include “Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist” and “The Devil Is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley”.

Tom Bolton has written “London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide” and is currently working on “London’s Lost Places: Ten Forgotten Neighbourhoods”, which will include chapters on Limehouse and its Chinatown.

LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS

Posted on Monday 4th November 2013

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LONDON DAY OF THE DEAD: CURIOUS CORPOREAL EVENTS


LAST ORDERS: THE HOUR
October 12th 6.00pm – 7.00pm
33 FITZROY SQUARE
LONDON
W1T 6EU

BUY TICKETS
“When evening quickens in the street, comes a pause in the day’s occupation that is known as the cocktail hour.” So said Bernard de Voto.
The Cocktail Hour is the most delightful ritual, and one worth considered cogitation. Join Hendrick’s Ambassador, Duncan McRae on a journey through the final mystical twilight hour between light and darkness.

Cocktails and canapés included, of course.


DRESSES TO DIE FOR
October 12th 6.30pm – 7.15pm
33 FITZROY SQUARE
LONDON
W1T 6EU

FREE – but limited places.

Take your seat (a fabulous Eames chair) and get inspired for what to wear on your own big day. London style icon, DJ and fashion historian AMBER JANE BUTCHART will provide us with a ‘brief history of black’ as she waltzes us through the Victorian Fetish for Funereal Fashion in a presentation on the gorgeous depths of sentimental sartorial style, and corporeal couture in nineteenth century London.


LONDON UNDEAD
October 12th 7.30pm – 8.30pm
33 FITZROY SQUARE
LONDON
W1T 6EU

FREE – but limited places

Take to the cinema to join British Film Institute curator WILL FOWLER as he explores, digs up and puts a stake through the heart of the Highgate Vampire legend with music, movie clips, stories and images of Highgate cemetery. Take a spooky and introspective trip into British Horror cinema with this glorious venture into the macabre world of cult film, mondo exploitation and the myths they inspired. No Garlic allowed.


THE LAST SUPPER
October 12th 7.30pm – 11.00pm
33 FITZROY SQUARE
LONDON
W1T 6EU

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Prepare to indulge yourselves as though this meal was your last. Set within the gothic grandeur of 33 Fitzroy Square, this ghoulish meal will take you on a journey through the darkest recesses of your imagination. Featuring delicious cocktails, frightening entertainments and a cornucopia of decadent delights from the warped minds of the world-renowned chefs at The Clove Club.

Posted on Monday 7th October 2013

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LONDON DAY OF THE DEAD: FREE WORKSHOPS


DEATH MASKS 1.00pm – 3.00pm

October 12th 1.00pm – 3.00pm

33 FITZROY SQUARE
LONDON
W1T 6EU

FREE

We will be gone one day. Face it!
In the beautiful surroundings of a Grade I listed parlour, Craft mistresses KAREN SHAND and JOANNA WHELAN of Use it up – Wear it Out’ London’s foremost pop-up craft events will erect their mobile workshop to stimulate and guide you through the making of your own gorgeous mask of death. With jewellery, haberdashery, trimmings and embellishments, they will help participants to create their own non-self image to wear, take home or to offer up on our Day Of The Dead Shrine.



LAST WORDS

October 12th 3.30pm – 5.30pm

33 FITZROY SQUARE
LONDON
W1T 6EU

FREE

Our Last Will and Testament is our final chance to address the world we are leaving behind us – but only a third of those now living in London have made one. Why?
And what happens to our Facebook and twitter accounts after our final updates? JAMES NORRIS of Dead Social will be on hand In the Grade I listed drawing room to answer these and other questions and show that not only is it possible to enjoy creating a legacy for the next life but that doing so will improve this one. Participants will be guided through the process of making a will with a genuine Hendricks Last Will and Testament legal document.



MEET THE UNDERTAKER

October 12th 7.30pm – 9.00pm
33 FITZROY SQUARE
LONDON
W1T 6EU

FREE

Is it possible to be buried in central London? What would it cost? What are the other options?
What are the top ten London funerary songs? What are the strangest things that people put in the coffin with their loved ones? What happens to the parts of us that won’t burn? RICHARD PUTT of Levertons, one of the oldest and best established funeral directors in London, and undertakers to the Royal Family, Margaret Thatcher and many others will join us in the grandeur of the Robert Adam Grade I listed parlour. He will offer attendees the chance to ask all the questions they have always wanted to about the options for the days after their own demise or “a day in the life of death for a London Undertaker.”

Posted on Monday 7th October 2013

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THE LONDON WAY OF DEATH


HENDRICKS CARNIVAL OF KNOWLEDGE: LONDON DAY OF THE DEAD
October 12th 3.30pm – 5.30pm

33 FITZROY SQUARE
LONDON
W1T 6EU

TICKETS HERE
Admission includes one specially designed cocktail.
Join Matt Brown and Brian Parsons to explore ‘London Undone’.

When death overtakes us, who will undertake us? And where in London will they take us? Around 250 people die in London every day. What has happened to them all? Writer, embalmer and historian BRIAN PARSONS author of The London Way of Death, the definitive history of undertaking in the city and various other acclaimed works on cemeteries and cremation, provides a fascinating insight into the history and practice of London undertaking. Brian will show how the city’s cultural character is reflected in its funerals and burial rituals.

What do Blackfriars, Denmark Street, Regents Park and Colney Hatch have in common? Many London deaths come about unexpectedly and unfortunately by accidents of various sorts. And whilst we may imagine that the times of mass fatalities are long behind us and well documented, Londonist editor, archivist and historian MATT BROWN reveals how the capital has accidentally seen off large numbers of its inhabitants in strange, tragic and surprising ways.

Followed by conversation, questions and answers.

Posted on Monday 7th October 2013

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