April sees the return of the Udderbelly Festival to the South Bank. The giant upside down purple cow will host comedy, circus and cabaret from 9th April right through till 19th July with headline acts including Mock the Week comedians Katherine Ryan, Sara Pascoe and James Acaster. This increasingly popular festival has something for everyone with children being really well-catered for.
If you love your beer there’s the Wandsworth Common Beer Festival at Le Gothique in the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building from 1st-5th April. As well as 120 beers, there are ciders and wines as well as food and live music. Admission is £4.
Two of Britain’s most famous sporting events take place this month. On Saturday 11th a little bit of history will be made at Putney in the Boat Race(s) when the women’s teams race for the first time on the same course as the men. Apparently, CEO of women’s race sponsors Newton Investment, Helena Morrisey, insisted on this overdue move to equality. See our article from last year about how to get into rowing.
We also wrote last year about how to get into running, and on Sunday 26th it’s the 35th London Marathon. It’s all about Kenya this year, as in the women’s race Edna Kiplagat, reigning world and London champion, faces a strong challenge from three of her countrywomen, including two former winners, while in the men’s its Kipsang (reigning London Champion) v. Kimetto (world record holder). Paula Radcliffe, who still holds the world record she set in London back in 2003, runs her farewell marathon this year. Recommended viewing point – Tower Bridge
Two of our South London jazz clubs celebrate anniversaries this year. Firstly, the Crypt in Camberwell, run by Jazzlive, has its 20th birthday. We went there just over a year ago to see the newly refurbished club beneath St. Giles church. It’s a small place and you are really close to the band, giving it an intimate atmosphere and it’s not expensive either with entry around £7-8 with drinks and food at very reasonable prices.
The Hideaway in Streatham, one of our favourite South London venues, celebrates its 5th anniversary this year and on 9th-11th one of the highlights is Soul Street, featuring Sharlene Hector and Vula Malinga (both ex-Basement Jaxx), a night of jazz, funk and soul with two of the best female vocalists around that’ll have the place rocking.
If you like Northern Soul you might like to try Soulshaker at the Gowlett in Peckham on Friday 3rd and every first Friday of the month
South London Art Map (SLAM) is an umbrella organisation for galleries and studios in South London, which organises an event called SLAM Friday, taking place on the last Friday of every month. There’s free entry to all the galleries in its three ‘hubs’ of Deptford, Peckham and Bankside and you can have a drink too! SLAM also organises personalised art tours with an artist or curator for £10 per person.
An exhibition we liked and running till 26th April is at the Jane Newbery Gallery in Dulwich where you can see ‘The Dulwich Seasons’ by local photographer Max A Rush. A stunning series of photos, taken at different times of the year, shows some of South London’s most beautiful parks and gardens.
A photo/art exhibition celebrating Putney’s connection to the Boat Race has just started at the Putney Exchange shopping centre and runs through April, appropriately including photos about women’s rowing.
If you like popup restaurants look at London Popups and Edible Experiences. A couple of Brixton based popups take place in April/May. The Billingsfield Kitchen host one on 9-11th April at Beehive Place featuring seven sharing plates plus welcome cocktail for £40 (BYO event). Edible Experiences present a Lobster Love-in on 28th May hosted by Nicos Popupalot. Tickets will probably go quickly, hence advance warning.
As always, check with venues to confirm details. Have an awesome April!