Kentishtowner Awards: Best Happening or Gig 2012

With the Olympics in town we weren’t short of a few big events in London this year. A variety of …

Party time in the sunshine at Alma St

With the Olympics in town we weren’t short of a few big events in London this year. A variety of Cultural Olympiad happenings caught your attention, from ‘the massive bouncy Stonehenge on the Heath’ to ‘watching the Opening Ceremony in big screens at The Oxford’.

The ‘50% off’ soft opening of the three Soho House restaurants was a big local hit, making them plenty of friends in the process. ‘Bought one burger, beer and fries at half price followed by getting 2 free burgers. Best thing to ‘happen’ to me all year,’ beamed one.

And what a range of gigs you’ve all been going to – and loving – around here this year. A huge variety of artists playing at Map Café, Jazz Café, Electric Ballroom, Blues Kitchen and the Camden Crawl all got thumbs up, as did intimate gigs like Willy Mason at the Colonel Fawcett and DJ Derrick at The Abbey.


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1. Alma Street Fair

Holding the #1 slot after throwing arguably their best event to date in 2012, the Inkerman area’s hyperlocal street fiesta was an all-conquering, sun-kissed hit. ‘A glorious day’, ‘delightful’, ‘simply joyous’ you gushed. And it really was all those things. With the fire brigade hosing down the kids, some of our favourite local foodie businesses hawking their lovely produce all along the street and Mr. Hudson’s Big Kids bringing the well lubricated dancing to a crescendo, it was a difficult Kentishtowner day out to fault. In fact, despite the rainy summer and the Olympics bumping some dates, the locale’s many street festivals were enduringly popular, with the Lady Somerset, South End Green and York Rise versions all getting votes too.

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2. Rihanna at The Forum

Was it the allocation of freebie tickets dished out to local shop keepers or the simple fact that we had a ‘secret’ gig going on near us? Either way, you can’t all have been at last month’s Rihanna appearance at The Forum, yet it grabs second place for the hype factor alone. The Forum came top for most local’s best gigs of 2012 too. Among others namechecked were Alabama Shakes, Kiss (playing on Independence Day), Jack White, Daniel Norgren, Graham Coxon, Libertines, Bat For Lashes, The Shins, Calexico, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Polyphonic Spree (playing the Rocky Horror Picture Show), Seun Kuti, Hurts, Refused, Bobby Womack and Rodrigo & Gabriella. Wow.

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3. Street Feast at Camden Town Brewery

Kentish Town’s street cred is now undisputed, for the simple fact that 2012 saw us hosting our very own bustling street food events. Camden Town Brewery Bar led the way with the drool-worthy sights and smells of a neat row of vendors lining the cobbles in front of their high tech fermentation tanks. Baps, wraps, sweet this ‘n thats to accompany an evening on those pints. And Wilkin Street Mews is not the only street nosh hotspot either. A stone’s throw away, The Grafton’s Street Food Takeover on Fridays have been going down a storm, Parliament Hill Farmer’s Market continues to delight on a Saturday morning, while over at Camden Lock, the Night Market has turned Thursdays into an alfresco smorgasbord.

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