Note that as of 16th March the UK government has issued new guidelines advising against all unnecessary travel or social contact. This will probably mean that most of the physical events displayed below will be cancelled.

Instead I'll start off with some virtual events/resources to keep you amused during lockdown:

Tom Carradine’s Self-Isolation Singalong
Every Thursday

Master of the Cockney singalong Tom Carradine brings his infamous knees-ups to cyberspace. So gather around the e-Joanna and commence caterwauling.

The Candlelight Club on Soundcloud
Live recordings made of some of the bands who play at the Candlelight Club (currently some 253 tracks available to stream for free). The Candlelight Club itself (www.thecandlelightclub.com) will presumably be on hold while public gatherings are verboten so this is the next best thing for now.

The Arkham Hillbilly
Fans of H.P. Lovecraft, the 1920s horror writer and creator of the Cthulhu mythos, will be delighted to learn that the Club’s own Darcy Sullivan has been spending these long weeks of self-isolation in the guise of country singer the Arkham Hillbilly, the man who brought you the ‘Miskatonic Blues’, ‘Jamboree at Innsmouth’ and ‘Doggone It, Dagon’. On this Facebook page you can see all his videos, where he sings down-home songs of the uncanny and the eldritch, as well as offering some good, old-fashioned advice about self-isolation itself. Sponsored by Gibbous Moonshine™—the only liquor made in Arkham in a well. That sometimes glows at night.
If you’re not on Facebook, check out his YouTube playlist.

Jack Calloway on the wireless
Every Sunday
10am, 2pm, 6pm and 10pm

Band leader Jack Calloway hosts his regular show on this internet radio station that plays dance music from 1925 to 1945. Jack’s show focuses on music from the 1930s. (And you can hear one of Jack’s own performances on the Candlelight Club Soundcloud page below.)

Sugarpush Vintage Dance
A range of dates
Start times vary

Dancer, dance teacher and DJ Holly France (a regular at the Candlelight Club) ported her solo jazz and Charleston lessons online via Zoom, but she now seems to be doing live classes again outdoors in parks and playgrounds, plus indoor sessions with socially distanced couples from the same bubble/household.. See the Facebook group above or www.sugarpushvintagedance.com.

Ewan Bleach's Sunday Serenade
Every Sunday

Ewan Bleach plays and sings two hours of old style jazz songs on piano, clarinet and saxophones every Sunday night, webcast live from Jamboree. Do feel free to partake in the live message thread that’ll run underneath the live stream link. Donations are appreciated via paypal.me/ewanbleach or you can buy Ewan’s music from www.ewanbleach.com/music.

Online Dance Classes with Swing Patrol
Throughout the month
See schedule at https://swingpatrollondon.dancecloud.com

A variety of online classes, including Charleston, Lindy Hop, solo jazz and even Swing Dance Cardio. You buy a ticket through the website and in return they send you a private YouTube link.

Rhythm & Book
Every Wednesday
Online: see www.hotjazzrag.com

Swing enthusiast Nicki Santilli runs this weekly schedule of Zoom talks by various guest speakers on aspects of music, dance, fashion and art from the first half of the 20th century. This month we have drummer Nick Ball on the history of drums in ragtime and swing music on the 7th; Mike Paul Smith on swing music in the 1950s on the 14th; and Mike Stephens on vintage and repoduction fashions on the 21st.

In Air and Fire
Until 12 September 2021 (extended from 28th March)
Royal Air Force Museum London, Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL
Admission: Free, but prebooking required

A collection of work exploring artists’ responses to the Battle of Britain and the Blitz (July 1940–May 1941) as they depicted evolving machinery, communications and urban landscapes, shaped by what was an unprecedented "war in the air". As sky battles unfolded across the South and East of England in the summer of 1940, followed by cities’ bombardment in proceeding months, artists produced a pictorial record of the war, many of their works commissioned and purchased by Sir Kenneth Clark’s War Artists’ Advisory Committee (WAAC).  The exhibition features works by Official War Artists, including Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Carel Weight, Anthony Gross, Richard Eurich and Eric Kennington, but also extends beyond the prominent male members of the British School, championed by Clark, to reflect the full range of war artists’ contributions. It seeks to bring together the stories and perspectives of artists from diverse backgrounds, highlighting the best of collection works from the period. Visitors can view over sixty works of art, several of which will be on display for the first time as part of this exhibition. See rafmuseum.org.uk/london for more details.

London Hat Week
Tuesday 6th–Monday 12th October
Various physical and online locations
See www.londonhatweek.com

The annual celebration of all things titfer-related returns, managing to include a fair few socially-distanced workshops and masterclasses, venue visits such as a day studying 19th-century hats at Wardown House in Luton, as well as a range of online lectures, lessons and their supplier fair. Note that the London Hat Walk, has had to be cancelled.

Cabarets of Death: Playing with Death and the Afterlife on the Stage
Tuesday 13th October
Online vi Zoom
Admission: £4 from Eventbrite

From 1892 until 1954, three cabaret-restaurants in Paris’ Montmartre district enraptured tourists with their grotesque portrayals of death in the afterworlds of Hell, Heaven, and Nothingness. Each had specialised cuisines and morbid visual displays with flashes of nudity and shocking optical illusions. These cabarets were considered the most curious and widely featured amusements in the city. Entrepreneurs even hawked graphic postcards of their ironic spectacles and otherworldly interiors.

This illustrated talk will tell the story of the death-themed cabarets of Paris, revealing their history within the context of other death-themed amusements—from phantasmagoria shows to Grand Guiginol to Coney Island’s disaster spectacles—in the age of rationality and beyond.

This talk will be followed with an in-conversation between Joanna Ebenstein and Stephen Coates investigating her work with Morbid Anatomy and her new book, Anatomica.

Tickets £4 early bird available for a limited time only including a 20% donation to NHS Charities Together. Sales stop at 5pm on the day of the event and ticket-holders will receive a Zoom link at 6pm.

sfd NSC Quiz Night
Wednesday 14th October
Admission: Free

Our virtual pub quizzes continue, held via Zoom meeting and hosted by a different Club Member each time—this time it's Baron Solf. You'll need the (free) Zoom app installed, which should launch automatically when you click on the meeting's weblink—this is posted on the Facebook page and here too, if I remember. The meeting starts about 15 minutes early to allow people to register their teams if they haven't already done so. The quiz usually has six rounds with an interval, and each team can play their joker on one round in advance, which doubles the points they receive for that round.

Calling the Spirits—A History of Seances
Monday 19th October
Currently online (and it seems unlikely that physical presence will be possible, appropriately enough)
Admission: Free, though you are asked to make a donation to Conway Hall of £5–£20. Book at conwayhall.ticketsolve.com/shows/1173605265

Lisa Morton investigates the eerie history of our conversations with the dead, from necromancy in Homer’s Odyssey to the emergence of Spiritualism – when Victorians were entranced by mediums and the seance was born.
Among our cast are the Fox sisters, teenagers surrounded by ‘spirit rappings’; Daniel Dunglas Home, the ‘greatest medium of all time’; Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose unlikely friendship was forged, then riven, by the afterlife; and Helen Duncan, the medium whose trial in 1944 for witchcraft proved more popular to the public than news about the war.

At the time of announcement this is an ONLINE only event—however, the organisers may in the future also make physical tickets available. If this becomes possible they will announce it at www.facebook.com/events/810226259732216.

NSC Pub Crawl
Saturday 24th October
Various pubs between Wapping and Tower Bridge
Admission: Free but bring beer money

Club Member and CAMRA stalwart Ian White has doggedly scheduled our traditional annual NSC pub crawl, despite the various restrictions which currently shackle the hospitality industry. Rather than seek out new pubs this time, Ian has focused on reliable venues in the Wapping and Tower Bridge areas, which should not be too busy when we visit and which mostly have gardens (assuming the weather permits their enjoyment). Note that the current Rule of Six means that if there are more than six of us (and there usually are) we will have to split into functional units of no more than six. Please remember to bring face masks for public transport, etc. Note also that pubs currently have to close at 10pm.

Feel free to join or leave at any point. However, in order to coordinate so that we do not inadvertantly form a single group larger than six, we will have to run a pre-booking system. Please email Ian at whiteik@icloud.com, by 3pm on the day of the event, to let him know that you will be in attendance and at which point you will be joining the crawl.

Here is the intinerary:

Tube: Wapping

4pm: The Captain Kidd
108 Wapping High Street, E1W 2NE
Sams Smith's

5pm: The Prospect of Whitby
57 Wapping Wall, E1W 3SH
Green King

Then one stop on London Overground under the Thames to Rotherhithe.

Tube: Rotherhithe/Bermondsey

6pm The Angel
101 Bermondsey Wall East, SE16 4NB
Sams Smith's

Tube: Bermondsey

7pm The Gregorian
96 Jamaica Road, SE16 4SQ

Tube: Bermondsey/LondonBridge

8–10pm The Anchor Tap
20 Horselydown Lane, SE1 2LN
Sam Smith's

sfd NSC Club Night
Wednesday 4th November
7pm–11pm (lecture at 8pm)
Upstairs, The Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JB
Members: Free
Non-Members: £2 (first visit free)

In celebration of the African and Carribean regiments' war memorial in Windrush Square (and to tie in with Black History Month), Ensign Polyethyl will tell the story (mostly likely by webcast) of The British West Indies Regiment. "Created in 1915 as a Labour Corp they became a Machine Gun Corp in Mesopotamia," she explains. "A post-armistice mutiny in Taranto set in train the political liberation of the Carribean."


Noël Coward: Art & Style
Friday 20th November–Sunday 16th May (currently Fridays to Sundays only)
Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, London EC2V 5AE
Admission: Free, but booking required as numbers are being limited

'Noël Coward: Art & Style' celebrates the dazzling visual side of Coward’s life and work by taking a fresh and vibrant look at the glittering world that Coward created. Bringing together never-before-seen materials from the Coward Archive, the exhibition demonstrates vividly the enormous impact that he and his creative circle had on the fashion and culture of his time, and how his legacy and influence still resonate today. The world première of this new exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of Noël Coward’s West End debut as a 19-year-old playwright.

sfd NSC Club Night
Wednesday 2nd December
7pm–11pm (lecture at 8pm)
Upstairs, The Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JB
Members: Free
Non-Members: £2 (first visit free)

Luca Jellinek will be posing the pugnacious question, What’s so great about Art Deco? Will he? I've been saying this almost monthly since April, but eventually it will be true…