Why do you live in London?
Estella: I was born in London and grew up here, so it feels like home. I lived in York for about 8 years but couldn’t resist moving back eventually.
Steph: I moved here when I was 18 to go to university in Kingston. I’d always wanted to live in London so after I graduated I moved to South London and I’ve been here ever since.
Chardine: I am from London, moved to the Midlands and then back again when I was 19. I’ve recently left the capital after 15 years to live in Sheffield.
What are your go-to places to eat and drink?
E: Katakata in Brixton is conveniently close to where we rehearse and serves up delicious vegan and gluten-free galettes. Travancore on Stoke Newington Church Street does delicious Indian food that caters to a range of different diets and allergen requirements, so there’s something for everyone. Neither of these will break the bank either, which is always a plus for me. I don’t actually drink that much, but DIY Space for London has an extremely affordable bar, a good selection of soft drinks and alcoholic drinks and usually a couple of fun cocktails on the menu.
S: I loved Mildred’s which is a vegetarian restaurant in Camden. The Waiting Room cafe and The Full Nelson in Deptford are my favourite places in South East. For Caribbean food I love Roti Joupa in Clapham and Refill in Brixton.
C: Roti Joupa in Clapham North. It’s probably the best Trinidadian take away in London. Ichiban in Brixton for good Japanese food and Manzes in Peckham for the best Pie’n’Mash.
London’s starting to cool off, what’s the best way to enjoy the autumnal feel of the city?
E: It’s easy to find stuff that’s indoors and cheap, like gigs in smaller venues, free galleries, little cafes, stuff like that.
S: Stay indoors out of the cold. There are always really cool exhibitions on so that’s a good way to spend an evening. Or come to our gigs!
C: Put a jumper on and subscribe to Netflix. Cook a stew. Enjoy the many parks.
What’s the best way to spend one really good day here?
S: I think it’s always nice to go to one of the parks like Richmond Park and see a different side of the city. The good thing about London is that you can kinda get away from the concrete and the hustle if you look for it.
C: If you are spending one day in London I would say to get on the Thames Clipper and travel along the Thames.
Do you have any favourite outdoor spaces?
E: You can get some great views of the city from the grounds by Alexandra Palace.
S: I like the outdoor space by the river near the Royal Festival Hall. It’s nice to see a communal space that’s always being used no matter what time of year it is.
C: Probably Brockwell Lido or Brockwell Park. Epping Forest is a good walk too.
What’s the bit of London that you live in got that the rest of London hasn’t?
E: My street stars in a Just-Eat advert involving jazz dancers and a levitating moped, so there’s that…
S: I guess other parts of London might have a similar thing but South East is so hilly that at the right point you can see all across London. Plus it has cheap rents you can’t find anywhere else.
C: Well I don’t live in London anymore, however in Brixton the best thing is the community and the history of the West Indian community there in such places as the Black Cultural Archives and 198 Gallery.
What’s the worst thing about London?
S: Having to live an extended student life sharing flats with friends and having no money to live a decent life. It makes band life hard because you don’t have enough time to focus on writing new songs and practicing.
C: Rent prices are crippling for creatives. That’s why we are seeing artists moving to cheaper cities. If London is not careful it will be a playground for rich people with bad taste.
Do you have any favourite venues?
E: DIY Space for London for making the effort to be accessible, welcoming and open to a multitude of different types of events. And for also having the nicest sound people in London. Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club for that beautiful heart on the stage and the friendly staff. Moth Club for its abundance of gold glitter. Paper Dress Vintage because I get to go shopping in my head while I’m there.
S: Yeah DIY Space is pretty close to our hearts. More people need to visit it as it always has some of the best bands on the punk scene. I love The Dome in North London, The Shacklewell Arms and The Victoria in Dalston.
C: DIY Space has a great ethos and community around it.
Does living here influence the music you write?
E: I think being exposed to so many different styles of music here makes me feel less inhibited about trying out less conventional sounds and styles, and drawing from different influences.
S: I think definitely in terms of how I write. Not having enough time because of how rushed the city is makes you means I can only write in short bursts which actually gives me more time to think about a song and keep coming back to it.
C: Not sure. As everything’s so accessible now I don’t think being based in London means you have wider influences than someone based elsewhere. Unless you want to write about rent prices all the time.
How would you advise someone to get the most out of London?
E: If you’re new to London then don’t be afraid to go to events on your own, you’ll soon find your people here.
S: Never go to central London, South is where everything’s at and remember for all of the noise and the crowds there are so many people here you’ll be able to find at least ten people who are into the same things as you are. You’ll always find a community.
C: Be open to talking to people, Londoners are actually friendly unlike the stereotypes. See all the sights, go to the markets but don’t let it swallow you up. Be sure to get outside it once in a while.
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