Community Music Palmers Green

Did we mention the Palmers Green festival…?

The weather is set to ‘sun’, and all the planning is done. This Sunday’s Palmers Green Festival is set to be huge. Held in Broomfield Park, it runs from 12-7, and music from the festival is is being streamed live on Tropical FM. Why not plan your visit with the help of this brilliant map from Pauline Hazelwood ( and the festival website

Art and Culture Community Music Palmers Green Sport

Get ready for the Palmers Green Festival!

The Palmers Green Festival is just a week away and the festival website is now live for you to plan your day.

Running from 12-7 on Sunday 2 September in Broomfield Park, the festival aims to offer something for everyone – food, music, dancing, crafts……. and our very own community games.

The aim of the Community Games is to bring the inspiration of London 2012 to Palmers Green –activities will include a chance to climb the world’s tallest climbing wall, 7 hours of nonstop dancing and dance lessons, children’s 5 a side football, girls rugby, tennis lessons and bowls. Many of the local sports groups will be welcoming new members – there is more information on how to get involved on the website.

If you don’t fancy getting hot and sweaty, there will be music from 20 performers during the day, including rock, folk, indie, Americana, rap and hard groove. Live performances will also be streamed on Tropical FM at (so being on holiday is no excuse!).

Funds raised by the festival will go to the on-going work of the Friends of Broomfield House and the new Improvement Opportunity Fund, which aims to help local people develop projects which will benefit the community (see last week’s post).

The organising committee have put a huge amount of work into the event. All they need now is for you to go along and make it all worthwhile!

Visit the Palmers Green Festival Website at


Art and Culture Community Music Palmers Green Sport

Palmers Green festival celebrates a new beginning

The sun may have taken an age to come, but it feels like time for a party. 

The Palmers Green Festival is just two weeks away, and this year is set to be the biggest and best event ever. Set in the historic Broomfield Park on Sunday 2 September, this year will feature community games, a top London DJ, 70 stalls, over 20 performers on stage at the bandstand and , more.

The festival promises to not only be a fantastic day out, but a launch pad for new activity aimed at improving life in Palmers Green. Half the proceeds are to go towards setting up a new Improvement Opportunity Fund – anyone with an interest in the local area will be able to apply for funding to assist with a project idea to improve the community. It could be anything from setting up a Credit Union, a community internet Radio station, improving a local green space or help buying equipment to set up a local sports club. There will also be ongoing support for successful applicants from community Mentors. The aim is, for a small amount of money, to see the largest possible impact on our community. More details will be available on the new festival website, coming very soon.

The event runs from 12 til 7. The full festival programme can be downloaded here

The festival team are already thinking about 2013 so if you are inspired by this year’s festival and want to make it even better next year, why not send your ideas to

Art and Culture Music Palmers Green

Improbably famous in Palmers Green #1: David Bowie

Bowie: Nice wig! (Image:

In November 1968, a 21 year old David Bowie appeared at the Intimate Theatre Palmers Green in a mime improv production called Pierrot in Turquoise.

At the time Bowie had only released one album as a solo artist and was still 8 months away from the breakthrough single Space Oddity. (Laughing Gnome had been released in 1967, but  would not be a hit until 1973).

Devised by dancer and coreographer Lindsay Kemp, who was to radically influence Bowie’s approach to performance, the five songs featured in the production were all written by Bowie. The four nights at Palmers Green appear to have been the last time the production was performed live.  However, the production was filmed in 1970 by Scottish TV as Pierrot in Turquoise/The Looking Glass Murders.

The website gives the plot synopsis of the TV version thus

 “Pierrot is a freaky mime who ventures into a mirror where he falls in love and rolls around with the equally grotesque Columbine. But when Columbine beds black stallion (in half-assless spandex) Harlequin, Pierrot’s jealousy takes over and drives him to murder. Cloud (Bowie) watches over the proceedings from his perch (on a ladder!) and narrates in song.”

Comments IMDB contributor Vinnie Rattolle:

 “Weird” doesn’t begin to describe this one. It begins and ends with a man playing piano, but no sound is emitted. The sparse production doesn’t betray its theatrical roots — there’s a grand total of two sets and they make no attempt to disguise the fact they’re thrown together on stages. While I’ve never found mimes as unsettling as most, the trio in this film are REALLY creepy. And although it has a short running time of 26 minutes, it’s so tediously strange and surreal that it felt like it was three hours long.”

Judge for yourself! You can view a clip here.

Did you see Pierrot in Turquoise in Palmers Green? Tell us more!

For further information about David Bowie’s early performances, visit


Art and Culture History Music Uncategorized

Southgate singer becomes a ‘Listed Londoner’

Brian Kotz in action

Back to Zero front man and local lad Brian Kotz this week joined the ranks of the capital’s listed Londoners.

The feature, on Robert Elms’ popular show on BBC London, invites London’s celebrities and personalities to answer 15 questions about their favourite buildings, open spaces, shops and drinking holes as well as talking about their lives and concocting their ideal London day out.

Osidge born Kotz spoke of his early memories of Southgate, and Southgate Underground station in particular. The station was designed by Charles Holden and opened in  1933. “I can imagine when it was built – Southgate was mostly fields at that point – it must have looked like something had arrived from outer space. And for me, it was a kind of space portal..! I knew that half an hour away was where I wanted to work, be, see bands play….and its a beautiful building.”

Kotz’s first escape into the wider world was in 1975 when the Record Mirror advertised for young people to take part in a new pop quiz, Pop Quest. Run by Yorkshire TV, the show featured  teams from  different regions of Britain in a knock out contest. Kotz’s encylopeadic memory, honed through years of radio listening and access to his older brother’s record collection, helped secure success for the Thames team.  After Pop Quest Kotz went on to win Quiz Kid on Radio 1, which was in its final year of being presented by Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman.

In 1979 with the coming of the mod revival, he became a performer himself. “Your side of heaven” was Back to Zero’s only single release, but is now regarded as a cult classic. Since then, Kotz has continued to make guest appearances and sung with a number of bands, as well as becoming a regular on the London music scene as a performer, DJ, gig goer, collector and enthusiast – not just music but (as the son of a blue badge guide who grew up surrounded by his father’s books about the capital), anything London related.

In June he walked 149 miles from London to Utrecht to raise money for the Oncology Department of the Diakonessenhuis in Utrecht, in memory of his friend Michel Terstegen, who ran Da Capo records in the city. The walk was also in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Ward at UCH.

Kotz responses to the ‘famous 15 questions included

  • Favourite building: Lord Leighton’s house – ‘when you walk in it’s a transplanted Moorish temple in gorgeous vivid turquoise….”
  • Least favourite building:  Archway Tower  ‘protruding like a rotten tooth’.
  • Favourite Open Space:  Waterlow Park
  • Favourite Watering Hole: The Clissold Arms in Fortis Green “Where the Davies brothers played their first gigs…the Landlord has done a terrific job in turning the front of the pub into a Kinks room.”
  • Favourite London book: Angel Pavement by J B Priestley.

The interview can be heard on BBC iplayer until Sunday at

Donations are still open following the London to Utrecht walk


Art and Culture Community History Music

Dont miss tomorrow’s Fancy Fair

There really can have been few festivals that have been put on with such energy, commitment, joy and sense of fun and heritage as Winchmore Hill’s N21 Festival. The tireless organising committee put on a programme of 120 events in the course of a single week, including talks, films, exhibitions, parades and classes.

History boards put up all over Winchmore Hill for the N21 festival

I have attended just a few, but all have been wonderful, warm and fascinating, including Graham Dalling’s talk on Southgate before the first world war, Joe Studman‘s entertaining exploration of the Dark Side of Winchmore Hill (perhaps I will stay down here where its safe in PG)  and a wonderful show of films about the area. Many are being repeated in the coming weeks having sold out. Check for more details.

The festival ends tomorrow, with the Winchmore Hill Fancy Fair. The day will start at 10 O’clock with a grand opening, with the Mayor of Enfield, David Burrowes MP and some of Winchmore Hill’s 98 and 100-year-old residents. There will be stalls, performances, a chill out zone and children’s area, and much more. See the Fancy Fair section of the N21 site for more details.

And see you there.