Annbjorg Lien and Swedish guitarist Roger Tallroth treated us to a straight ninety minutes of Scandinavian folk. It was staged as part of the London Jazz Festival, ironically enough. And they were brilliant, magical, carrying you away on ever-ascending spirals of song, rhythm, and melody. A spellbinding evening. Catch them if they ever come your way.
And to make it even better, it all took place at a venue that I've never visited before, a terrific arts center called King's Place on York Way, very nicely designed and laid out and with a cafe backing out onto a houseboat filled cutting of the Regent's Canal, so that the evening was memorably picturesque as well. I wish I'd taken my camera along, and shall next time. And all this in an area of London -- north of King's Cross station -- which had quite a nasty reputation not so long ago, a grubby red-light district and the scene of gang fights and some pretty notorious crimes. Some people believe that gentrification is a bad thing. I'm not one of them.
Five top books about the history of booze
5 hours ago