Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood Of Colour


It is fair to say that a lot of hype has surrounded Enter Shikari ever since being listed on NME’s New Noise back in 2007. And to some extent they have met those high expectations with their debut album ‘Take To The Skies’ reaching number 4 on the UK official album charts. Following on from their debut success their second album ‘Common Dreads’ somewhat failed to live up to expectations peaking at number 16. Now 5 years since the success of their debut album the hype has built up again around the release of Enter Shikari’s third album ‘A Flash Flood Of Colour’.

Upon listening to the opening track of the album ‘System…’ it is immediately clear that the unorthodox style that made Enter Shikari so unique is back and better than ever. Mixing elements of hardcore and metal with various genres of electronic music they have made an album that sounds great, capitalising on the recent success of the dubstep scene in the UK. Enter Shikari wouldn’t be the same without the strong political messages running through the veins of each song and this is once again the case with ‘A Flash Flood Of Colour’. At a time when political activism and social unrest is at the forefront of society, Enter Shikari deliver strong and meaningful messages regarding issues such as capitalism and the failed economies of the world. However the final message is very different to many of the finger pointing activists around today. Enter Shikari finish the album with the deeply touching song ‘Constellations’ admitting that they do not have all the answers to the worlds problems but together we can all move in the right direction.

Overall a great sounding album with the right amounts of ‘lets party!’ and ‘we need change!’ to make it enjoyable yet meaningful.

8/10

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Wireless Festival 2012 Lineup Announced


The Wireless Festival held in London’s Hyde Park on the 6-8 of July has announced its headline acts for both the Saturday and Sunday. The main headliner for saturday is the Grammy nominated Drake which gives fans who missed out on his spring tour having sold out in less than 24 hours another chance to catch him live. Other acts announced to play on Saturday are be Example, Wiz Khalifa and Professor Green.

On Sunday the main headliner will be international superstar Rihanna who has announced that the Wireless Festival will be her only UK live appearance of 2012. Jessie J has been confirmed as Rihanna’s special guest with Calvin Harris and Labrinth also set to play on Sunday.

Other confirmed acts include US rapper J. Cole, hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks and dubstep pioneer Flux Pavilion.

However no news has been announced regarding the lineup on Friday.

Prices:

Drake standard ticket £55.25

Rihanna standard ticket £58.50

Two day ticket £106.70

Tickets are on presale from 9am, Thursday 2nd February.

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Bincho Soho


Situated on Old Compton Street in the heart of Soho, Bincho is not the typical Japanese restaurant that most Londoners have come to expect. Bincho has tried very hard to replicate the atmosphere of a Japanese izakaya, a traditional establishment which serves both food and drink. They are typically very popular amongst workers as it offers a very casual, relaxed atmosphere and offers good quality simple food with enough alcohol for workers to forget their daily stresses. This Japanese tradition had proved a hit in Soho, helping to relieve the stresses of London’s office workers with some funky music and an ice cold Japanese beer or cocktail. However this is not to say that Bincho is exclusively for a particular crowd. Due to the stylish interior, great music, exciting cocktails and reasonable prices (especially the set menus) it is also popular destination amongst students who want to catch up over some delicious food.

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Over the past decade sushi has taken the West End by storm becoming one of the most fashionable and desired of all cuisines. Yet you will not find any sushi on the menu of this particular Japanese restaurant. This is because Bincho specialises in the lesser known Japanese cuisine of Kushiyaki and Yakitori.  This is the art of cooking various different meats, fish and vegetables on a charcoal grill served up on individual skewers. The menu consists of popular favourites such as Gyu (beef rib), Momo (chicken) and Sake (salmon) as well as some more exotic options such as Gyutan (beef tongue) and Sunazuri (chicken gizzard). To compliment these skewers the menu offers larger grilled options such as my personal favourite Sake Teriyaki which is a salmon steak glazed in a sweet soy sauce. No Japanese meal would be complete without a bowl of rice (the garlic butter rice is particularly delicious) and miso soup which are also available.

Overall I would highly recommend Bincho as a fun and funky place to eat and hangout with friends. The menu encourages sharing and so to experience as much of the menu as possible its a good idea to go as a group. As long as you supplement the delicious kushiyaki with plenty of rice it is actually a very affordable place to eat especially considering its location in the heart of Soho on the doorstep of various theatres and attractions. An important point to note is that Bincho is regularly very busy even during the week. Booking is advised especially if you wish to sit at the impressive charcoal grill and watch the chefs delicately flip the skewers to perfection. 

Overall 9/10

16 Old Compton Street W1D 4TL

http://www.bincho.co.uk/about-bincho-soho

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Punk Soho


Although situated down a side street just off Oxford Street in what would normally be considered West End clubbing territory, Punk is very unapologetically Soho in every way. Many clubs in the West End attract crowds with the promise of glitz, glamour, diamonds and champagne when all they really have to offer is plastic chandeliers and cheap sparkling wine. Punk has gone for a very different approach to its neighbours adopting a more funky and edgy feel that would be more at home in the trendy club scenes of Shoreditch or Soho. The ultra trendy surroundings partnered with excellent DJs who regularly mash up chart favourites with more alternative sounds satisfy all the different tastes keeping everyone happy. The crowd as expected is less glamorous than other West End clubs but in many ways just as fashionable. Every now and then you will bump into people dressed in wonderfully garish outfits which are more than welcome at Punk.

For the average West End clubber the drinks in Punk may not seem expensive but students on a budget will disagree. Even on a cheaper night you can expect to pay £5 for a beer and close to £10 for a double spirit and mixer. However on a more positive note entrance to the club is normally very reasonable usually between £5-£10. As mentioned before the crowd is less glamorous and so there is no specific dress code as such. However it is still a relatively smart venue so wearing your muddy trainers isn’t recommended but a clean pair and some smart jeans should be fine. So if you sometimes find the West End a bit pretentious and feel more at home in the funky ambience of Soho then Punk is definitely worth a try.

Overall 8/10

14 Soho Street, W1D 3DN

http://www.punksoho.co.uk/

Punk SoHo

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Download Festival 2012 Lineup Announced


A really strong lineup has been announced for one of the biggest music festivals in the United Kingdom. With both Metallica and Biffy Clyro who headlined last years Sonisphere Festival alongside big names such as The Prodigy and Black Sabbath it appears Download 2012 will be one to remember.

Prices:

Weekend ticket + 5 nights camping £190

Weekend ticket + 3 nights camping £180

Weekend ticket arena only £155

http://www.downloadfestival.co.uk/

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The Rhythm Factory


The Rhythm Factory is a relatively small club situated on a stretch of road near Whitechapel underground station between the popular club scenes of Shoreditch and Bricklane. It’s dark and industrial appearance can be daunting at first but don’t be discouraged from entering. Once inside you are met with the bar area which usually plays more ambient tunes. This area really gives off a relaxed and welcoming vibe with plenty of seating for those who want to sit and chat amongst friends. The décor inside is rough and ready yet somewhat stylish with artistic photography on the walls and  exposed brickwork and metal throughout.

The main dance floor area is a dark, moderately sized open space lit only by the occasional UV/Neon light or projection which helps create a really intimate atmosphere.  The main feature is the elevated DJ booth which has been host to some of the best in the business. There is also a second smaller room that is usually opened for the larger events in the year when they play different genres of music. It is worth noting that both of the dance floors have their own separate bars so it is easy to get drinks throughout the night without much queuing. A favourable point worth mentioning is that The Rhythym Factory closes very late, often as late as 6am which is considerably later than many of its nearby rivals in Bricklane which can close as early as 1am. As with most clubs the prices of drinks and entry change significantly from each night and event. However I would consider the prices to be around average for both entry (usually around £5-£10) and alcohol.

Although it originally made its name as an alternative rock venue, The Rhythm Factory has gradually changed over the years. Now you can expect to hear more in the form of electronic music such as Drum and Bass or Dubstep. Due to the DJ orientated nights at The Rhythm Factory the music will vary greatly from night to night and so it is definitely worth checking out the particular artists playing to get a feel for the kind of music.

In conclusion I would highly suggest The Rhythm Factory for those who are interested in electronic music or the alternative scene in general. The atmosphere is very relaxed and everyone is welcome with no particular dress code in place. However if you prefer to dance to more mainstream music then this is probably not the club for you.

Overall 7/10

16-18 Whitechapel Rd, E1 1EW

http://www.rhythmfactory.co.uk/

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Hello world!


Welcome to the LondonStudentGuide!

The aim of the LondonStudentGuide is to provide students in London with all the information they need to not only survive university but to enjoy it. This blog will feature articles about various topics including nightclubs, bars, restaurants, music concerts and much more.

About me : My name is Ray, I am 20 years old and currently studying at Queen Mary UoL. I am in my second year at university and once I have graduated I hope to work in journalism. My hobbies include both watching and playing sports, eating out at restaurants,  going out to bars and clubs, reading books and playing computer games.I have lived in and around London for most of my life and hope to use my personal experiences to help others navigate around this beautiful city.

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