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Related: Swinging London - UK

Trendy UK

"The U.K. likes discovering trends," Rushton says. "Because of the way that the media works, dance culture happens very quickly. It's not hard to hype something up." House slotted right into the mainstream English pop taste for fast, four-on-the-floor black dance music that began with Tamla in the early '60s (for many English people the first black music they heard). In the '70s, obscure mid-'60s Detroit area records had been turned into a way of life, a religion even, in the style called "Northern Soul" by dance writer Dave Godin. Other trends discoverd by British music journalists are rare groove, jazz-funk, acid-jazz, speed garage, northern soul, acid house, balearic, electro funk and techno.

London art radio

Resonance104.4fm is London's first radio art station, brought to you by London Musicians' Collective. It started broadcasting on May 1st 2002. Its brief? To provide a radical alternative to the universal formulae of mainstream broadcasting. It features programmes made by musicians, artists and critics who represent the diversity of London's arts scenes, with regular contributions from Billy Jenkins, Savage Pencil, John Bisset, Mike Barnes, Matthew Glammore, Peter Cusack, Caroline Kraabel, Clive Graham, Viv Corringham, Chris Cutler, David Quantick, Art Terry, Dave Mandl, Magz Hall, Harmon E. Phraisyar, Paul Hood, These Records, Dave Draper, Reg Hall, and the Kosmische Club; special guests including Faust, John Sinclair, Santiago Sierra, Throbbing Gristle, Gavin Turk, Iroqim Theatre Co., Stanley Chapman, Shirley Collins and The Magic Band; plus numerous unique broadcasts by artists on the weekday "Clear Spot".

Alternative Cinemas in London

We all love going to the cinema - well, at least the majority of us do. But, sometimes, the idea of watching the typical Hollywood blockbuster (replete with snappy one-liners and a whole host of explosions) just doesn't appeal. It is in these circumstances that you should try an Independent cinema.

In one of these you'll find world cinema, arthouse, indie films and all manner of other foreign, small release and just plain weird offerings. Before you scoff remember that if it hadn't been for independent and arthouse cinemas championing foreign films we would never have had Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Delicatessen.

So, these are the places to visit.

First up is The Electric Cinema - 191 Portobello Road, W11 (020) 7908 9696. It's an excellent looking place (a old cinema conversion - so lots of lovely early 20th century décor) that specializes in arthouse fare and the latest in high profile foreign releases. They do double bills on Sunday too…

For those of you who really enjoy French cinema then we suggest you take a trip to Cine-Lumiere - Institut Francais Cultural Centre, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 (020) 7073 1350. They show UK premieres of French releases as well as classics, recent European releases and rare movies. In other words - not only is it an excellent place to catch some very good stuff but also a fantastic place to take a date. (further info - listings)

Although it's a fair distance from the nearest tube (about 10 minutes walk) it is definitely worthwhile visiting the Chelsea Cinema - 209 King's Road, SW3. (020) 7351 3742. The single screen is of a very high standard (and very large). In fact, it's probably the biggest screen you'll get to see arthouse cinema on in London. In addition, the chairs are remarkably comfortable - especially the ones in rows F and G…

Of course, you could always visit the Barbican Centre - Silk Street, EC2. On the downside it isn't easy to find at all (no matter whether it's clearly signposted or not) but, on the other hand, it does have a variety of films and special events that only the NFT can match. So, well worth the visit - if you can find it!

The ICA - 12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall, SW1 (020) 7930 0493 is situated right on The Mall. It specialises in arthouse fare and (this is where it scores really highly) has an excellent bar - free internet terminals, comfy sofas, good food, live entertainment…the list goes on. Membership only costs £25 per annum - not much to pay for good films and a top bar!

No run-down of alternative cinemas could afford to miss out the OTHER Cinema - Rupert House, 19 Rupert Street, W1. (020) 7734 1506. For a start its central location (just off Piccadilly Circus) is top-notch. For another thing, it plays host each year to the Raindance Film Festival - showing independent films that are looking for a distributor. As they don't always get one, it might be the only time you ever see the film.

Next is the Phoenix - 52 High road, N2. (020) 8883 4080. This is the oldest purpose built cinema in the UK - and it shows in the unique art-deco auditorium. They specialise in independent, arthouse and world cinema - so there's always plenty to see! (further info - listings)

Finally, we recommend the Tricycle - 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6. (020) 7372 6611. Now, they are arthouse specialists - but that doesn't mean it's a small cinema. Nope, it's a 300-seat, luxury behemoth. Very, very nice. In addition, they host an annual Irish Film Festival and a Black Film Festival as well as numerous other special events. All in all, a top notch venue! (furthr info - listings)

So, that's a wrap!

Words: Eoin Sanders http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/home_feat_where_cinemas.asp

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