London, world city

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I first started taking photographs of London venues named after foreign places in the summer of 2008, when a cafe called Madeira and a supermarket named Istanbul caught my eye.

In the interim, I've been to north, south, east and west - to Tooting, to Shepherds Bush, to Stratford and Cricklewood, taking photographs showing London's great cosmopolitanism. I've found more than a hundred venues, with the most popular names coming from the USA, Turkey, Portugal and Italy.

And now I've reached 100 images, I'm going to bring this project to a close. And to do that, here are four venues - Buenos Aires, Tokyo, New York and Paris - evoking great world cities, just as London is.

Buenos Aires café, Greenwich, London

Tokyo Diner, Soho, London

New York City clothes shop, Spitalfields, London

Paris beauty salon

Eliza Doolittle | Girls Can't Catch | Mini Viva | Rodrigo Moratto | Tecnoctitlan | Red Blooded Women

Friday, February 26, 2010

I've been to some see some ace popstars recently - Eliza Doolittle, Girls Can't Catch, Mini Viva at a Next Big Thing pop concert and Rodrigo Moratto, Tecnoctitlan and Red Blooded Women at EQ

Eliza Doolittle sings jazz low-fi pop songs with a classy-but-street verve. I was really surprised by the strength of her voice.

Eliza Doolittle @ Next Big Thing Concert, Jazz Cafe

Girls Can't Catch are an ace new girl band - bursting on stage all hair, teeth, glitter, sequins and "it's all about us" attitude. They drank their microphones, worked the mike stands, they worked the head-turns. If there was room on the stage, these girls would have been strutting. Great.

Girls Can't Catch @ Next Big Thing Concert, Jazz Cafe

Somehow Mini Viva made it happen. It was one long strut-a-thon for them. Over and back they went, over and back- like popstar ping pong. 

While strutting, they sung 4 songs- best of which was I left my heart in Tokyo with its energetic poppy verve. Their next song Do You Wanna Candy (since re-named One Touch) sounds amazing - a rip-rollicking Girls Aloud punch-tune with ace refrain "Hips Lips Fashion Status! / Kiss Kiss, it's contagious!"

Mini Viva @ Next Big Thing Concert, Jazz Cafe

At EQ, Brazilian singer Rodrigo Moratto brought latin dance pop with a certain male diva-ish swagger. He and his two dancers made good use of the small stage to liven up the crowd.

Rodrigo Moratto @ EQ Live

Argentinians Tecnoctitlan performed some driving electro-rock with a definite 80s feel, beat and rhythm. I love the female vocal and masculine beats - think INXS meets Eurhytmics but in the future. 

Tecnoctitlan @ EQ Live

And, last but not least, girl band Red Blooded Women who performed several songs with super-energy and fun-time attitude. These ladies look like they know to have a good time. Their performance was full of fun, and great singing. When the backing track to one of their songs failed, they performed the song acapella with great vocals. Their retort when it ended: "that's fucking showbiz!" Love it.

Red Blooded Women @ EQ Live

American-style, London-style

Friday, February 12, 2010

I first featured American-style venues from my 'foreign venues in London photos' on the day of the 2008 American presidential election.

More than a year on from Barack Obama's inauguration, it seems his profile could do with something of a makeover.

Maybe he could pop along to these venues - New York Nails, Las Vegas Nails and Hollywood Barbers and Hairdressers. Glam-o-rama.

New York Nails

Hollywood barbers & hairdressers

Las Vegas Nails