February’s Last Friday is Kuma Lisa

Kuma Lisa has recently grown from a songwriting duo into a four-piece band, featuring vocals tinged with lyrical piano, jazz and folk-rock influences, with Bulgarian roots. Formed in Walthamstow, London, with original members from the Netherlands (Rob Stutterheim) and Bulgaria (Mariana Bogdanova), the band now play with UK-born double bassist Julia Doyle and drummer Peter Udall.

In 2012, the band appeared live on BBC London with Simon Lederman and in 2013 played on BBC6 Music’s ‘Tom Robinson Introducing’ with Dance of the Fly (mixtape Fresh on the Net). In 2014 the debut album Kuma Lisa was launched at the Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston. Other locations have included St Moritz Club Soho, The Troubadour, the Library in Islington, and St Mary’s Church Walthamstow.

Following a four-year break where life temporarily took us to different locations, the band reformed in 2019, and released the single All the Luck in 2021. In October 2023, a folk-rock collaboration between Kuma Lisa and friends led to the release of four-track EP Furniture Talkback.

Their latest EP Birds in Wells is a moody dream scape of energies, moving through themes of surrealist contemplation of pressures to perform in life (Working at the Circus), disillusionment and coping with being let down (Promised You a Diamond) and visions of landscapes for human effort (Sand Sea).

Recorded at Studio45 in London and mastered at Camden Records, the three-track EP will be released 31 January 2024.

Doors open 1900, music starts 1930. There will be pizzas!


CrickleUkers Comes to the Library

It’s what you’ve all been waiting for – a local ukulele jam, at your favourite library, right on your doorstep.

Yes, that’s right – from Friday 1 March, (7.30-9pm) we’ll be running a monthly drop in ukulele jam for anyone with a yearning to play the world’s cutest instrument. It really is possible to pick up a uke and play a song with only three chords, within the space of an hour and a half. If you don’t believe me, come along and find out.

We have about 7 ukes you can try, so you’re welcome to come along and take a chance on getting one, or dig out the uke you bought in lockdown and dust it off and come along. We have some spare tuners too, so we can get yours tuned up and ready to rock it out.

We have two volunteer jam leaders – Brendan and Alvaro – who will get the tunes going and lead the playing.

Gwan – you know you want to! Head over here to reserve your free place.

Crickleknitters Yarn Appeal

The amazing knitting enthusiasts of our weekly Wednesday group, Crickleknitters, have submitted their annual report for this year. It has been an incredible year and they’ve turned out so many wonderful garments for a variety of good causes. Don’t take my word for it – read below what one of the group’s regulars, Amanda, has to say:

Crickleknitters have been very busy this year and loved every minute of it. We have knitted little cardigans and blankets for UCL Hospital. Purple hats for the neonatal ward, for World Prematurity Week, at St. Marys Hospital, and 50 Orange and white hats for the Maternity ward there. Cosmic at St. Mary’s crowd funded to buy the wool. Scarves and hats for the Seafarers Mission. Baby cardigans and hats for Coventry and Warwick Hospital. Hats for the premature babies at the Royal Free Hospital. Baby hats and cardigans for the Royal Brompton Hospital. Hats, scarves and mittens for Homeless Women at Glass Door. We have knitted out own Bunting and a Christmas Garland for the library as well as our own projects!

I’m sure you’ll agree the things they’ve made are gorgeous, and the causes very, very worthy.

They’re making an appeal for yarn and needles in order to allow new knitters to get started straight away when they join. Oh, and they’d love some new members too! If you have any lying around at home that you’d like to see put to good use, please drop it off at the library desk.

Cricklereaders January 2024 – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

New book is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Waterstones said:

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with – of all things – her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (‘combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride’) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

Next meeting Sunday 7 January at 1030. Please note there is now a waiting list for membership of this group.

December’s Last Friday is a Magic Show!

Magic Show with Ian Saville.

For more than 30 years, Ian Saville has been presenting his socialistist Magic and ventriloquism.
Whereas David Copperfield is content with little tricks like making the Statue of Liberty disappear, Ian Saville aims at the much more ambitious goal of making International Capitalism and exploitation disappear. True, he hasn’t quite succeeded, but he keeps on trying.
This is a funny, magical, thought-provoking and topical celebration of Socialism, which will keep you well awake, even if you’re not all that woke.

Suitable for adults, and children aged 8+.