We’re tremendously excited to get Twenty Years Of Trouble underway this week and to spend a few days hanging out with our favourite bands and everyone who’s coming to the shows, some of whom are travelling a long way to be here. To make it more fun, with a little help from our Facebook friends, we’ve put together a list of our favourite places to eat and drink near each of the venues. You’re going to need sustenance; it’s going to be emotional!
Wednesday 22nd March – MOTH Club
Opening night party with Special Guests + Simon Love & The Old Romantics + Two White Cranes, Passing In The Hallway + Stolen Wine Social Club DJs
For those of you looking for a proper boozer in which to drink before the show, we heartily recommend The Cock Tavern on Mare Street (great pickled eggs) and, slightly further from MOTH, The Chesham Arms. Neither pub does grub but you can order in from the excellent Yard Sale Pizza. There’s also a fab new cocktail bar called Every Cloud just around the corner from MOTH, or down towards Hackney Central there’s Paper Dress Vintage where you can upgrade your wardrobe while perusing their well-stocked bar.
Food-wise, we can recommend Tre Viet and Hai-ha (Vietnamese), Sutton & Sons (fish and chips), Tad (Turkish, no evidence that it’s actually named after the 90s grunger) and Tonkotsu (ramen). The vegans amongst you will love the Black Cat Café ten minutes walk away towards Clapton, Palm Vaults (“London’s most Instagrammable café”, see also Café Miami) and, closer to MOTH, Temple of Hackney for all your vegan fried chicken needs.
Thursday 23rd March, 6:30pm – Bush Hall
Withered Hand + The Ballet + Pete Astor + Would-Be-Goods + DJ Ian Watson (How Does It Feel To Be Loved?)
For a drink before any gig at Bush Hall we love the Defector’s Weld, which is great for craft beer, or the Princess Victoria for reasonable, homemade gastropub food and loads of gin. Also nearby is the newly renovated Bush Theatre’s Library Bar with food, drinks, and a garden terrace if the weather cooperates.
Everyone coming to the gig gets a 15% discount at the Bush Hall Dining Rooms, so we’d be remiss not to mention that even if they didn’t serve awesome pizzas. But if you fancy going a little further from the venue, there’s Patio for Polish food, Ho-ja for cheap and cheerful Taiwanese, Esarn for North-Eastern Thai cuisine, and don’t overlook the food court on the first floor of Westfield – there’s everything from tapas to cocktail bars there, as long as you don’t mind, you know, being in a shopping mall.
Friday 24th March, 6:30pm – Islington Assembly Hall
The Butterflies Of Love + Sodastream + Flowers + Darren Hayman + DJ Declan Allen
For pre-show boozing there’s the Compton Arms, a weirdly relaxed village style pub behind the Union Chapel, but we’re also fond of The New Rose down on Essex Road, and the John Salt comes highly recommended. All three do food. And if you are on Essex Road it’s worth checking out Tierra Peru (Peruvian) and Akari (Japanese).
You’re spoiled for choice around here – there’s Gallipoli for traditional Turkish, Black Axe Mangal for rock’n’roll Turkish kebabs, Meat Liquor for burgers, Chinese Laundry for Chinese, Oldroyd for Mediterranean, Jamon Jamon for tapas, and Le Mercury, a three-floor French bistro. A bit high-end and not one if you’re on a budget, but Ottolenghi‘s is good for veggies (and has amazing cakes).
Slim Jim’s is a good place for continuing to drink until really late. We condone this.
Saturday 25th March, 3pm – Tufnell Park Dome / Boston Music Room (all dayer)
Comet Gain + The Proper Ornaments + Evans The Death + The Loves + Mammoth Penguins + Milky Wimpshake + Bearsuit + September Girls + Tigercats + DJ Paul Wright (The Track & Field Organisation) upstairs + Shrag DJs downstairs + Fortuna POP! DJs until 2am
It’s an all-dayer, so forgive us if we don’t recommend tons of other pubs in the area, but you’re going to need something to line your stomach. Aces & Eights couldn’t be more conveniently located: it’s right across from the venue, serves good pizza and beer, and won’t look at vegans crosseyed. Also right around the corner and great for vegetarians, vegans, and meat fiends alike is Lalibela for Ethiopian food.
If none of that suits your fancy, there’s Del Parc for North African-influenced Spanish tapas, local cafe Stingray for Italian snacks and pizzas (including a gluten-free option), and backstreet boozer The Star for decent pub grub and a beer garden. Five minutes away from the Dome is Monsoon, a fantastic Indian place (BYOB, off-license kindly located next door).
There’s dancing until 2am, so fill up on carbs.
Sunday 26th March, 12 noon – The Lexington
By this point, if you’re going the distance, you’re probably a bit broken. Good thing we’ve arranged a recreation of the dearly departed Hangover Lounge back at its spiritual home, The Lexington — and even better that The Lexington itself does Sunday roasts and damn fine Bloody Marys. You can reserve a table, too.
Also nearby and open from 10 for brunch is the King’s Cross branch of Soho veggie/vegan stalwart Mildred’s, conveniently about halfway up the road between the station and the venue. King’s Cross is overflowing with brunch opportunities – further afield you have Caravan (amazing coffee, great food) and Dishoom (Indian) if you wanna treat yourself. Dishoom is expensive and has long queues but it’s blow your mind tasty.
Not into brunch or roasts? Indian Veg on Chapel Market is the classic choice–an incredibly cheap vegetarian all-you-can-eat buffet (BYOB)–but there’s also Delhi Grill and Bibigo Korean, both of which are also veggie/vegan friendly.
If you prefer the hair of the dog to get you through, the Craft Beer Co is just around the corner, serving craft beer and real ale from 26 kegs, ten casks and more bottles than we can actually read through. And further away on Acton Street, but well worth the visit, is another winner for craft beer aficionados, The Queen’s Head.
Sunday 26th March, 6:30pm – Scala
Martha + Joanna Gruesome + The Spook School + Chorusgirl + DJ Paul Richards (Scared To Dance)
We’re nearing the end now but there’s still time for a decent nosh up before the evening show starts. Many of the places we’ve already mentioned above stay open into the evening but there are other options too: The Paolina Thai Café doesn’t look much but it does a good line in classic Thai dishes at budget prices, or there’s Chilli Cool, a cafe-style Chinese specialising in traditional, hot Sichuan cooking. Honest Burger does what it says on the tin, while Pizza Union does good, cheap pizza, and they’re quick too, or if you’re feeling fancy try the tapas at Camino.
If you really can’t bear the idea of being out of a pub, the King Charles 1st is a good bet. They don’t serve food but they have menus for a good Thai place around the corner that will deliver to the pub. Or for the sophisticated amongst you, check out one of the glamorous cocktail bars in the Great Northern Hotel or The Gilbert Scott and enjoy a rare moment of calm before it all kicks off again.
And then…? The after party is at The Lexington until 2am, by which time you really will wish you’d booked Monday off work.