I'm at a poker festival in an east London casino and with more than 300 tournament players around 34 tables the room is thrumming with the muttering of calls and raises. There is a victory whoop here, a groan of defeat there, and the constant clacking of chips riffled by players contemplating their next move...
The singer Joni Mitchell startled her friends by appearing at a Halloween party 40 years ago disguised as a black man in pimp-like garb. It would be unacceptable today but times were different then, her friends argue. Others disagree. Whichever view you take, her black alter ego was a reflection of her intense identification with black music, writes Kris Griffiths.
Today is the shortest day of the year, so it should follow that mornings will start getting brighter from now on, shouldn't it? Not necessarily, writes Kris Griffiths. This Sunday, 21 December, the northern hemisphere will experience the shortest day of its year, marked at 23:03 GMT by an astronomical phenomenon known as the winter solstice - the moment the North Pole is tilted furthest
It's the annual school arts festival and a hush falls upon the assembly hall audience as a nervous Year 9 girl takes to the stage with a cheap acoustic guitar. An outsider whose family has not long arrived in the country from the United States, she is terrified, having had difficulties settling in and now facing her first public performance. Her Joni Mitchell-style composition, while not as polished as the preceding older students' acts, is greeted
It’s been 25 years since we first saw the famous Twin Peaks waterfall disgorging through the show’s opening credits, and the town’s kooky characters speaking enigmatically over their cherry pies in the local diner. David Lynch’s masterwork was so effective in evoking this small-town atmosphere because he used actual localities of Washington State in the Pacific Northwest to depict his fictional world.
Kris Griffiths takes a tour of the birthplace of reggae, following in the footsteps of Jamaica’s most famous son, Bob Marley, on what would have been his 70th birthday. Reggae music was born in the downtrodden townships of this Caribbean island. It’s a genre that has managed to captivate most of the globe with its bouncing riddims and One-Love jubilation
An Australian news website has warned that Brits are about to become "unbearable" following the possibility of England winning the Ashes. It aims to take the swagger out of the UK's stride by arguing, among other things, that British beer is tasteless: "Hence the longtime popularity for Foster's, an Australian brand". But how Australian is Foster's, and other lager brands?
A product of the British Empire, with a mixture of Western and Indian names, customs and complexions, 2,000 Anglo-Indians are to attend a reunion in Calcutta. But their communities in both the UK and the subcontinent are disappearing, writes Anglo-Indian Kris Griffiths.
It’s been a tragedy for the people of Zimbabwe that the country has garnered so much unfavourable publicity over the last ten years, with headlines ranging from its controversial land redistribution programme to the ensuing collapsed economy. In the last few years, however, it has made a steady recovery following a new
Over 200 years have passed since Britain’s first curry establishment opened in London (the Hindoostane Coffee House) and Britain's love of spice has only grown. Always a British favourite, Indian cuisine in this country has been enjoying a renaissance of late. In 2014, Gymkhana in Mayfair was named National Restaurant of the Year, while in 2016
Once moving to the UK was a well-worn path for many young Australians. Now the numbers arriving on British shores are falling. Kris Griffiths asks why. Rising migration might be a source of much British soul-searching, but the numbers of one long-standing immigrant group appear to be receding
New Cross outfit My Tiger My Timing have been liberally classified, among many styles, as “tribal electro”, as a “south London Gang Gang Dance”, with a broadsheet advancing this comparison. Thing is, while GGD is an outré experimental NYC act known for polyrhythmic discordance, MTMT bears little resemblance beyond
It’s nigh on 30 years since Andy Bell answered an advert by Vince Clarke and, on the evidence of this energetic display, it’s as if Andy’s still trying to win over club audiences to their camped-up, melodic synth-pop. Throwing subtlety to the wind, he burst on stage in glittery ringmaster get-up and barely stopped gyrating and gesticulating for the entire hits-keep-coming set.
It’s fair to say that both component outfits in this concept-driven, glam-pop collaboration, FFS, have seen better days. Franz Ferdinand peaked early with the post-punk revival of 10-odd years ago, while Sparks’ last UK hit single was in 1979. So FFS is a timely shot in the arm for both acts, and their revitalised enthusiasm was plain to see.