Friday, June 17, 2011
King’s Cross music scene’s fine start to summer
Mirroring the area as a whole, Kings Cross’ live music scene is small but wonderfully diverse. It’s also really buzzing at the moment, nowhere more so than at the 1150 capacity Scala which this week was chosen for two warm-up gigs by stadium and festival headliners The Killers. The concerts are next Wednesday and Thursday and not surprisingly sold out in minutes.
- The Scala
Our other famous old venue - Water Rats - hosts indie bands nearly every night of the week and on Wednesday (while The Killers are on down at the Scala) will be witnessing a gig by Deaf School, credited by veteran music journalist Paul du Noyer as being the link between The Beatles and the Liverpool music scene of the early 80s.
Apart from the warehouse clubs and DJ bars, that used to be all there was for proper concert venues until along came Kings Place, whose two concert halls host an amazing range of musical genres, which their Songlines mini-festival (23 - 25 June) exemplifies perfectly with a line-up including Bulgarian folk, Portuguese Fado and a Finnish harmonica quartet.
Next up is St Pancras Old Church, a site of Christian worship since the 4th Century, which started hosting live music last year and is where Emmy the Great just kicked off her latest tour. Next week it’s visited by Canadian singer Dan Mangan.
- St Pancras Old Church recently acquired an alcohol licence
- Emmy the Great, St Pancras Old Church 10th June
The St Pancras Station Sessions began in 2009 and returned this week with their most ambitious programme to date: a 6-week festival of free concerts taking place every weekday evening on several stages around the station. Tonight’s performance is by Nerina Pallot.
- Guillemots, St Pancras Station, 15th June 2011
Finally, the British Library’s calendar occasionally includes live music and tonight their Out of this World sci-fi season is the theme for an amazing-sounding Late at the Library night that includes Global Communication, The Radio Science Orchestra, Rob da Bank and Jon Hopkins. Sadly I’ll be missing that, because despite spending this morning writing about the King’s Cross music scene, I already have a ticket to see Half Man Half Biscuit at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
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Friday, June 10, 2011
Here’s a round-up of what’s changed in King’s Cross St Pancras and what’s new on KXLDN.
- Coffee to Go on Caledonian Road. It doesn’t look much from the outside but this is a smart little coffee and sandwich place from the people who also run the café attached to the main Post Office.
The Ruby Lounge on Caledonian Road - one of the first DJ bars in the area in the 1990s. A sign outside says that a branch of B@1 bars is on its way.
Crêpeaffaire at St Pancras
Kings Café & Sandwich Bar on Chalton Street
New on KXLDN
Transport section - information and links on trains, tube, buses, cycles and taxis.
Bigger events section - as well as the listings at the main venues we now have a Club nights & smaller events page: DJ bars, boat trips, cult film nights, Scrabble sessions - you can find all of these happening in King’s Cross.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Seb Coe. PR people with clipboards. Schoolchildren. Yes it’s another Olympic event at St Pancras - this time the unveiling of The Torch, a slim gold perforated cone (someone’s already tweeted that they want a Flake with theirs).
I popped down and took some pics:
How much espresso will Lord Coe get through between now and summer 2012?
Presenting partners: Sir John Betjeman and Coca Cola
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Update: August 2011
Platform 9¾ has moved yet again. See the Platform 9¾ page in our Attractions section for more details.
Important news for Harry Potter fans and anyone else travelling to Hogwarts.
Official Network Rail document refers to “muggles”
As the construction of the new King’s Cross station concourse continues, Network Rail have produced a leaflet explaining how the station layout will be affected by the renovation of Platform 8 (which is where Platform 9¾ was until recently).
As well as affecting access routes and bicycle racks, the work also means that Platform 9¾ has moved again and - just to keep me on my toes - will probably move again over the next summer months, as the leaflet explains:
Magical Platform 9¾
The legendary entrance will relocate itself several times between now and September, materialising in a number of locations around the station to accommodate this short phase of work. Any muggles trying to find Platform 9¾ should ask station staff to point them in the right direction.
You can find this information in a PDF on First Capital Connect’s website.
So, Platform 9¾ is now at the front of the station where it’s getting noticed by many more people than when it was hidden away in a quiet corner. It still has a pretend wall but with so much re-location going on we can probably live with that.
Find more photos and directions on KXLDN’s Platform 9¾ page.
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