Gabby Young’s Top 5 in Kentish Town


Gabby Young at the Bull & Last (dreaming, no doubt, of a warm scotch egg) Photographer: Tom Medwell Mrs Kentishtowner …




Gabby Young at the Bull & Last (dreaming, no doubt, of a warm scotch egg)
Photographer: Tom Medwell

Mrs Kentishtowner loves nothing more than an eccentric local. And none more so than Gabby Young And Other Animals , an eight-piece collective who headline KOKO tonight for what they reckon is their biggest show ever.

Kentish Town girl Gabby Young is the avant-garde ringleader of the troop – or, as she calls them, a “menagerie of instrumentalists known as the Animals.” And my word, don’t they have lots of fans (for once Mrs Kentishtowner is not alone): Radio 4 even recently called them the “World’s Finest Purveyors of Circus Swing”.

Gabby promises – don’t they all? – that this homecoming show will be a “special one”: she’s being coy about exactly why, but expect something called the Carnival Collective (who hammer out “intoxicating rhythm on all manner of percussive instruments,”) and the intriguingly-named Melek Choir. Plus random stuff like “Gabberdashery” collective stalls, face-painting and animal hoods (!) We’re there with bells on.

Listen to some tunes here. And onto more important matters: here’s Gab’s guide to the manor:

1)Hampstead Heath
“I know it’s obvious but as a dog owner I love nothing more than to take him there for a few hours. I let him lead the way and get us completely lost. My favourite spot is the hollow tree, but I can never find it in a hurry. You can sit in it, which is what I do with my dog and my boyfriend – and smile.”

2)The recycle and re-use centre
“OK the recycling bit itself is not exactly captivating (although I do enjoy meeting people and have become friendly with the guys there), but the re-use centre is a gold mine. My boyfriend and I have redone our whole garden and flat using that place, and we have given a lot away to it too! It’s so nice to be part of a community that is happy to give away items for free to anyone that may need or want it.”

3)EARTH natural foods
“I’m not a vegetarian or particularly health conscious but I still love their range of ‘singers’ teas’, which I live on to keep my throat happy – and also the best banana chips in London!”

4)Upstairs at The Oxford
“I used to run little acoustic nights there. It’s such a great place to hear live music gems.”

5) Boma
“A haven for gardeners. Shame it’s a bit expensive but perfect for inspiration and plants that you know are great quality. Also the staff are very helpful especially when you walk around looking confused at the sheer choice of things. I got my water lily for our homemade pond there and it has flourished for 3 years now.”

Flourishing water lily aside, Gaby might just have some limited guestlist if you’re really quick to comment below or email us. Otherwise tickets are here. We’ll see you at the face-painting stall (be very afraid, Kentishtowners.)


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  • Leslie Wilson-Rutterford

    Great selection, with a few surprises, too!

  • alchemycontent

    Regis Road Recycling Centre in a top 5 – love it!