The Forge Venue New Season Launch

Watering can cocktails at the Forge Venue

Jeanie Barton Writes:

The Caponata restaurant, and the bijou arts centre The Forge in Delancey Street, Camden Town, cuts a classy, calm, creative retreat among the bustling streets around it. Their “Pop-up Musical Garden Party” to launch the new season was – thankfully weatherwise – an indoor affair. The organizers had ingeniously bought a tranquil, rural outside in.

The impressive modern development designed by Burd Haward Architects is a versatile bright and airy space, which can be enjoyed open plan or sectioned in to three distinct areas with sliding doors. In between the Forge performance area at the rear and the restaurant/bar at the front is a glass courtyard with a dramatic “living wall” of ferns and creepers so lush I had to touch them to be sure they weren’t plastic.

On a balcony opposite the “Florin” a classical trio played an Austro-Hungarian repertoire while we sipped our Pimms and tucked into cucumber sandwiches. Although having been open for two years and already playing host to many great jazz performances, this evening served as a re-launch, where we were treated to three mini sets previewing the newly released Autumn programme.

Experimental soul and folk enthused neo African singer Randolph Matthews accompanied himself with the aid of a loop station; his music highlighted their intension to promote more artists from the folk and world music scenes. Opera singers Melanie Pappenheim and Rebecca Askew performed an excerpt from their upcoming show FLAM an unaccompanied theatrical vocal piece which was wittily described as an opera argument. Singer/songwriter Adriana Vasques at the Steinway performed her own rhythmic, contemporary classical enthused compositions with Andres Ticino on percussion – her Italian roots complimenting the fact that the Caponata is a family run business specialising in Sicilian cuisine.

The focus of programming does appear to be shifting towards folk and world music. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of jazz artists scheduled to play live and the venue will be hosting performances from the 11th-13th November as part of this year’s London Jazz Festival.

I would like to return to see Adriano Adewale’s Quartet on the 9th September and Acoustic Triangle (a trio of Malcolm Creese, Tim Garland and Gwilym Simcock) on the 12th October among others . The Forge should be applauded and supported by Londoners, as well as visitors, for promoting innovative live music. As far as I’m concerned, the blurring of the lines between genres is a hit.

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Categories: miscellaneous

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