Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Stoke Newington Literary Festival

Stoke Newington Literary Festival (1st - 3rd June2012) is now in it's third year of existence and has been described as eclectic, inspiring, sometimes audacious and always brilliant. Set up to celebrate the area's radical thinking and literary heritage.

We decided to pick out a few events that are our favorites below but there's plenty more to choose from. The full programme can be seen online here.

Meet two brilliant writers who are obsessive about London. Mark Mason walked the entire London Underground system above ground – all 403 miles of it – uncovering some astonishing insights and a wealth of fascinating trivia along the way. Craig Taylor spent five years listening to the London residents who make the city such a vibrant place to live.  With a cast featuring undertakers, plumbers, gardeners, rappers, Mark Twain and Karl Marx, this event will amaze, inform, delight and inspire you to look at the city with fresh eyes.

When George Orwell described his perfect pub – the ‘Moon Under Water’ – he wasn’t thinking of a Wetherspoon’s. Last year Robin Turner travelled the UK in search of Orwell’s vision, visiting pubs and talking to people, including a session with N16 beer scribe Pete Brown in The Jolly Butchers.
Pete’s next book – Shakespeare’s Local – tells the 500-year history of the George Inn in Southwark. So we decided to reunite the pair to compare notes and figure out what characterises London’s best pubs.
Beer will be served (Over 18′s only)

Return of the popular music and music-writing panel, hosted by World’s Coolest Librarian(TM) Richard Boon, who invites four renowned writers to each play the track that made them want to write about music, then discuss where serious writing about music is going, or has gone, and whether music and its writing matters in the way it once did. This year, on an NME tip, with its biographer Pat Long and past writers David Quantick, James Brown and Barney Hoskyns. A ‘Hit’ not to ‘Miss.’

Nick Coleman was a music journalist whose world changed overnight when he lost his hearing.  His forced rediscovery of sound and the music-scapes that had shaped his identity brought with it some astonishing insight. He discusses ‘taste’ in music, the personal soundtracks to our lives and enormous record collections with fellow music writer Barney Hoskyns.

Monday, 14 May 2012


Tomorrow evening at 7pm (Tuesday 15th May), Rough Trade East will play host of an event entitled Communist Hipsters Meets Hoxtonites. Lida Hujic, author of The First to Know: How Hipsters and Mavericks Shape the Zeitgeist is known as a 'Hoxtonite' trend-setter. But, few realise that she was part of the radical radio station Omladinski Program (1987 - 1992) that turned communism on its head. When Yugoslavia collapsed, this network became the strongest anti-war movement. 

Chat and Q & A with Lida and friends. Daft psychometric test, pub style quiz, to measure your hipness level. Discover if you're a 'communist/Eastern Bloc' hipster, 'Hoxtonite/East End' hipster or not hip at all, to win an exceptional goodie bag containing original collector clothing accessories from 1984 Sarajevo Olympics (be retro chic this summer!), T-shirt with the iconic 'Sarajevo' Coke ad-busting image and a signed copy of The First to Know. Live set by Bosnian born, hot DJ/Producer Erol Sabadosh (residencies W Hotel, Ponystep; fashion Vivienne Westwood; PPQ; remixes The Strokes, Lady Gaga) plus Erol's remix of Laibach, who were heavily endorsed by Omladinski Program, to celebrate this radio's legacy.

Erol's remix of Laibach's B Mashina can be downloaded here...

More information on Lida's book 'The First To Know' can be found here 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Caught By The River 5th Birthday!

In our East store, in the book section, appropriately nestled between the categories marked Drugs and London, is a small section of titles carefully selected, well-loved and thoroughly recommended by our friends at Caught By The River. But while London, Sex and Rock And Roll all seem self explanatory as category headers, what is this other strange selection that shares its space here? Caught By The River is hard to pin down, I guess. It's a literary website. But it's cooler than just that - it's a literary website with a rural, nature loving bent. But it can be as muscular as it can twee. It features music and art and poetry and essays. It's a publishing house. It's punk and it's libertarian and it's brilliantly, steadfastly democratic.
It's also five years old this year, a wonderful achievement for a thing dedicated to beauty, art and nature as opposed to commerce and cynicism. To celebrate this landmark, as well as the launch of the paper-back of their brilliant first book, A Collection Of Words On Water, the Purcell Room in the South Bank Centre will for one night on the 25th of May become Caught By The River. For one night it will be a physical place, full of words, music, people of a like-mind and probably more than a couple of Barbour jackets... I don't exaggerate when I say that this site, as well as the myriad of books it has both spawned and believed in, is one of the greatest things out there in web-world. But even better, even more exciting than the site, is the prospect of seeing it all unfurl, Chis Yates, John Andrews, Chris Watson, Richard Norris, Robert MacFarlane et al, in the flesh on the 25th.

Get yourself down there.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Acclaimed French artist FAFI is coming in to Rough Trade East for a signing session this Thursday evening at 7pm to celebrate the launch of her new book The Carmine Vault.

Born and raised in Toulouse France, Fafi's strong presence in the graffiti and fine arts scene was first witnessed on her hometown walls in 1994. Back then, as she was painting and hustling, her sexy, funny, and sometimes aggressive girl characters made the whole world look and help kickstart a new graphic language; by exploring femininity through stereotypes, and using it to her advantage, she drew enormous attention and thus started to travel the world with thousands of Fafinettes in her brushes and paint cans. Europe, USA, Japan, Hong-Kong, the planet is a playground. And it's only started.

Soon enough Sony would ask her to design a six character toy set for the Time Capsules collection, an almost natural move for the three-dimensional measures. other successful figurines would follow, as well as numerous expositions and collaborations with Colette, Adidas, LeSportSac, Coca-Cola, M.A.C cosmetics and countless press stories in the mot prestigious magazines (ie. Vogue, Elle, the Face, XLR8R, Yen, etc...).

The animation world started to eyeblink her vision in Mark Ronson video featuring a Fafi-ed Lily Allen. Her multi-faceted work was all documented in her books GIRLS ROCK (2003) and LOVE AND FAFINESS (2006), both being also successful prints in museum libraries and selected shops.

As for 2007, Fafi entered a new phase. Having become mother and moving to Paris made her introduce a new depth to her creations. Now not only the Fafinettes are fly girls, they also run a whole universe of creatures, homes and vehicles. It's called The Carmine Vault. It's a dreamy and peculiar place. She depicts this world in a graphic novel "The Carmine Vault" and gives her characters a whole new dimension, a tone and a place to evaluate.

More information can be found here...