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The 2013 A to Z of London Cool: from tablets at gigs to zombies

Posted at 4:30 pm, January 14, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment


Yes, 2012 was a pretty good year for London, but this city never rests- and neither do we. From the rise of Deptford to the triumph of barn dancing, here are our predictions for what’s going to be big in the capital over the next 12 months…

T is for… TABLETS AT GIGS Nope, not the kind people used to take to see the Happy Mondays. People filming bands with their iPads (or Samsung Galaxys if they must). Annoying, but they do provide more opportunity for band-app interaction, as Baltimore electro maestro Dan Deacon demonstrated at a recent gig at the Scala.

U is for…USEFUL ART Are you listening, Damien? We’re over luxury art, made for the international super-rich. This is art that’s functional, inclusive and non-elitist. And it’s coming up, on a wave of community enthusiasm led by groups like the DIY art activists of the Woodmill GP  and Grizedale Arts who make items that are actually useful (see HACKING).

V is for… VARIETY After a wave of cabaret which has tended towards the intimate, confessional and transgressive, it looks like it’s variety’s turn in the limelight. The swanky new cabaret space at the Hippodrome will draw on the venue’s music-hall past, recreating some century old acts. Elsewhere, Mat Ricardo’s London Varieties is back, now at Leicester Square Theatre. VESUVIUS KILLS EVERYONE IN SIGHT ‘Blockbuster’ is a hackneyed term for massive exhibitions, but the British Museum’s latest will see it enacted literally. ‘Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum’ opens March 28, promising art, artefacts and ashy apocalyptic action from the doomed Roman cities. Oh, and it’s going to be huge, so book now!

W is for… WITCHES Vampires are dead. This is officially the season of the witch. In February we’ll find out if gothic teen romance ‘Beautiful Creatures’ is the new ‘Twilight’. It’s the first film of a bestselling series of novels and stars Alice Englert (daughter of Jane Campion) as a 15-year-old witch whose powers will be claimed for the good or the dark on her sixteenth birthday. The trailer looks like a perfect brew of bitches, witches and hormones. ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ is out on February 22 – basically Hansel and Gretel all grown-up and slaying witches. (What happened to forgive and forget, you guys?) In March Sam Raimi’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ prequel hits cinemas. It’s ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’, with Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as the trio of family-friendly witches. Or, if you like a bit of gore with your gothic, wait for Rob Zombie’s ‘The Lords of Salem’, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea – the trailer features a witch licking a baby’s head. Ahh!

X is for… X-RATED Since everyone and their mum read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ on the tube, there are sex classes and swingers groups springing up all over the capital like randy mushrooms. You can learn everything from how to spank properly to how to tie your partner up in Japanese knots. Meanwhile, London, why not take our sex survey and tell us exactly how sexy you’re feeling in 2013? See . Y is for.. YELENA Yelena Popova, that is, currently showing at the Saatchi Gallery, who has her first solo show this year. Popova’s paintings – delicate geometric shapes on linen which look like Russian constructivist or abstract works – are assembled into brilliant ramshackle installations with pieces of discarded wood, door knobs and other bits of detritus she picks up.

Z is for… ZOMBIES TAKE OVER HOLLYWOOD Blimey, if it’s not witches, it’s the undead… The big zombie release this year is undoubtedly ‘World War Z’, in which Brad Pitt leads a sprawling international cast into battle against hordes of the walking dead. Elsewhere, there’s love in the graveyard in rom-zom-com ‘Warm Bodies’, a return for the grooviest of reanimated demons with a remake of ‘The Evil Dead’, cops meet corpses in black comedy ‘RIPD’, and the walking cadaver who started it all is back to show the original is usually the best in ‘I, Frankenstein’. Have a great year!

Read our predictions for the year from A-F, G-M and N-S.

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