Each week in our new column, "No Sleep Til...," we'll be talking to cool kids around the globe, asking them to fill us in about the bands, DJs, music venues and night spots they and their friends are obsessing over. Next time you visit their home city, leave your Fodor's and Lonely Planet guides behind and go party like a local instead.
Where do you live?
Stoke Newington, London. Stoke Newington is an area of Northeast London with a great music scene and a huge amount of bars and live music venues playing everything from Turkish folk to dance music. It has a large population of musicians and creative people and is also one of the few places in London that has a village-type feel and a very warm and welcoming community.
What do you do?
Guitar player for Treetop Flyers & Graphic Designer
What British bands or DJs are you obsessed with and that you think Americans might not know yet?
I'm heavily into [classic] British rock and folk rock. Aside from [super well-known bands] like Fleetwood Mac and Black Sabbath, I like Fairport Convention, Fotheringay, Pentangle, Heads Hands & Feet and Steeleye Span. These bands all have insane guitar tones, something that seems to be a dying art. There are way too many bands playing now with complete awful guitar tones -- people seem to think it's ok to go on stage with an acoustic that sounds like someone scrapping a fork across a wire fence!
Where are the cool places to see live music in London?
There are great venues in Stoke Newington and around Hackney. There's great jazz at The Haggerston on Sunday nights in Dalston, which is free and always really packed.
What's your favorite bar/nightclub? Why do you like this place? What's its vibe like? What crowd goes there?
My favourite bar is probably the Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington as they have an amazing selection of beers -- or the ScooterCaffè in Waterloo. I don't really go to clubs so in terms of that, I'd say [my favorite is] a music bar like the Quecum Bar on Battersea High street, which has amazing live Gypsy Jazz. It's a really mellow bar with great food and wine and really good sound.
What's a bar or nightclub you would NEVER go to in London?
Fabric or any of the super clubs. I can't stand the idea of paying £20 to listen to music that sounds like a car alarm!
Check out Laurie's band recs:
Fairport Convention -- "Who Knows Where the Time Goes"
Fotheringay -- "Nothing More
Pentangle -- "Hunting Song"
Heads Hands & Feet -- "Safety In Numbers"
Steeleye Span -- "All Around My Hat"
Check out Laurie's nightlife listings:
The Haggerston, 438 Kingsland Rd London E8 4AA
Jolly Butchers, 204 Stoke Newington High St London, Greater London N16 7HU
ScooterCaffè, 132 Lower Marsh London, Greater London SE1 7AE
Le QuecumBar, 42-44 Battersea High St London, Battersea, London SW11 3HX
No Sleep Til...Paris
No Sleep Til...Sydney
No Sleep Til...Brussels
No Sleep Til...Bogotá
No Sleep Til...Copenhagen
No Sleep Til...Seoul
No Sleep Til...Oslo
No Sleep Til...Johannesburg
No Sleep Til...Gothenburg
No Sleep Til...Hamburg
No Sleep Til...Mumbai
No Sleep Til...Cartagena