Monday, December 08, 2008

Slaughtered Lamb in London, Farringdon

On the first day of the Kurban Bayrami (Eid al-Adha, The Festival of Sacrifice), one of the major Islamic holidays, millions of animals have been sacrificed, in some places, rather very unhygienically or unaesthetically. Families migrated across towns, villages, neighbourhoods in cities to come together, gather for lunch and evening meals and give each other presents and some "pocket money".

On a completely different agenda, ironically resembling the main activity of the Kurban Bayrami, I went to a pub called "Slaughtered Lamb" on Great Sutton Street near Farringdon in London last night. It is a well looked-after, cosy and large pub where people gather for evening meals and drinks, before heading home or to one of the most popular clubs of London in the area. However, if you go down the stairs in the pub, just before the toilets, on your right side, you would have the chance to walk into one of the coziest live music venues I have ever seen in London.

The downstairs of Slaughtered Lamb hosts many events, mainly produced by the London Electroacoustic club. The music room consists of a small bar, a small stage, 5-6 large leather couches, and 2 wall-side niche-like seating spots. The walls are made of bricks, painted black across the room. Together with the black leather couches and the dim light, the colors are quite dark inside, but the atmosphere is far from anything depressing.

On a very mellow evening, with only an audience of handful of people we saw two consecutive acts. Sam Beer is a folk singer/songwriter based in London, playing his harmonica and acoustic guitar, singing shyly into the decent crowd, and is recording his first album.

The second act was the cheerful, beautiful Alice McLaughlin who could not keep her feet still nor sit in her small chair, and stood up after the first song, singing the rest of her tunes dancing and jumping around on the carpet. She has, in the past, appeared as a guest singer with Oi Va Voi, a UK based Yiddish band with Hungarian origins. Alice's vocals were something extraordinary in the sweetest sense, added to her humble gestures through her show.

Both downstairs and upstairs of Slaughtered Lamb offer for a very nice evening-out, even on Mondays. It is one of those pubs in London, named after god knows what, but the experience of the place will probably keep you far from some sacrifice of animals elsewhere.

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