Author Archives: Joe Devine


Good Morning,

If it’s your bag, there’s a couple of exciting spoken word events at The Albany this weekend. Tonight there’s Chill Pill, a regular poetry night, featuring Soweto Kinch. You can buy tickets here:

Whilst tomorrow and Saturday there’s ‘Brand New Ancients’, a new show by Kate Tempest about ‘everyday Gods’. If you’ve never seen Kate perform before I wholeheartedly recommend you go see her. She is a seriously impressive performer; she dominates a stage. You can find out more and buy tickets here:

Also this Friday are various freshers nights, including at the New Cross Inn, with free entry for students/£3 otherwise; and at the Bussey Building, with secret headliner, free before 11.30/£3 after with student card/£5 otherwise

Finally today, the East London Line extension to Clapham Junction from Surrey Quays has been confirmed to open on December 9th. Trains will go via Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill and Clapham High Street. There’s a bit more in bland PR form on the TfL website:

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Pub Spotlight No. 4

New Cross House



The New Cross House is just very nice to sit and have a drink in. It is expensive, but the drink range is excellent and so is the quality of the food. I was sceptical when the old Goldsmiths Tavern was taken over and renovated, fearing the grim, prim spectre of gentrification; and whilst it’s right for the community-minded to be wary, I’m a fair sort, and this pub does have many good qualities, whilst being largely free from pram-wielding horrors. The people behind the New Cross House have turned it into a something really … nice. I’m going to be using the word ‘nice’ a lot in this review, much like the jazz club bloke from The Fast Show. It’s just the word that springs to mind most readily as I write about this place.

Since the take-over, the most obvious change is in décor, with dank cavern replaced by bright surroundings that make excellent use of the large space available, with the pub split between long rows of booths, and a more traditional dining area. The big windows at the front make the place especially bright during the daytime. Combined with the colourful mock-tiling and other ornate trappings, the place looks like the conservatory from some Edwardian Hotel-set crime drama. A place where Poirot has gathered all the suspects at the end in order to reveal the culprit; but, you know, crossed with a pub. The beer garden is also nice; it’s like someone’s big patio, but with a ping-pong table, and an ersatz rustic barn attached at the back.

In the evening the place gets a lot busier, with lots of people coming for dinner, especially for the pizzas, which you can see being cooked in a proper big pizza oven. They come in a variety of imaginative toppings and are available by the slice or whole. There is also a menu’s worth of very good pub grub.

The drinks are where the New Cross House really excels, though; they have arguably the best selection of quality booze in the immediate area- it’s probably a toss-up with the Albert and the Dog & Bell. The choices on tap include Erdinger and Vedett; along with some of the craft beers from Greenwich’s Meantime Brewery: the London Lager, and the fucking gorgeous London Pale Ale, keep it local, and drink it. Bottled beers include Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn Lager, Duvel and Modelo; there is also an excellent selection of wine, and a particularly good choice of whiskies.

Despite being quite pricey, you do get what you pay for. The New Cross House really does have excellent food and drink, and the atmosphere is lively in the evening all week. Considering pubs of this ilk, the place manages to avoid the very worst trappings, whilst offering greater choice to the punter. It’s done-up more than the other pubs in the area, it’s more expensive; it isn’t a terrible departure from the norm, but I would start to worry if more pubs like this popped-up. It would be churlish to say the New Cross House doesn’t offer something very enjoyable, though. It’s all just very nice.


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Sound System Social Club


Aside from all the freshers fun and games, tomorrow at The Albany Theatre is a night celebrating three generations of UK reggae sound systems . Including one of the UK’s oldest and bestest: King Tubby’s Hi-Fi.

Host for the evening is the one and only, the legendary Mr. Don Letts. This is going to be a serious night. You can buy tickets here

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The Word is Round


The Hill Station Cafe on Telegraph Hill is launching a new spoken word tonight. The night is a roundtable event, rather than stand-up performances on a stage. People are encouraged to bring along some of their own writing or, if they prefer, some poems or short stories that they happen to rather like, though you don’t have to read if you don’t want. The night is aimed towards being a relaxed exchange of creative writing.

The Hill Station Cafe is on Kitto Road at the very top of Telegraph Hill, and readings start around 8pm.

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Something For The Weekend


If you’re looking for something round these here parts on Saturday night, then South are launching their new night at the Peckham Palais at the top of Rye Lane. There are still tickets available, and there will also be a limited amount on the door. You can buy here:

Also on Saturday, Vanishing Point are hosting one of their immersive cinema screenings at Utrophia on Deptford High Street, which has been kitted out as a space freighter for the night. Showing is the cult 1972 SF movie ‘Silent Running’.  You can find out more on their website:,YGNV,6CBD9N,2VP1R,1

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Pub Spotlight No. 3:

New Cross Inn

323 New Cross Road, London, SE14 6AS

020 8355 4976

Open: Mon – Sat: Noon – 2am
Sun: Noon – 12:30AM.

20% off drinks Noon – 8PM.

In ever-changing publand, the New Cross Inn consistently puts on great live acts for your enjoyment. The venue hosts an eclectic range of events, from comedy open mics to punk nights to bass. There are a huge variety of different bands and performers on at the Inn, and the pub will always support local acts. They also put on some big names every now and then. Bad Manners brought the fucking house down when they performed here a couple of years ago; and Howard Marks did a great show a while back. The compact space makes for a brilliant atmosphere when a band really gets going. The Guardian even voted the pub in its Top 10 London Music Venues.

The compact interior was made less sardine-tinny last year when the place was refurbished; shifting the bar from invasive horseshoe to ‘bit in the corner’. The old bar took up around half the floor space in an already small venue, and extended out to within about two foot of the stage, splitting the pub in the half. The only way to move from one part to the other was to squeeze through this narrow passage, always chock-full of the fattest, sweatiest, most lecherous oafs in the building. Now, thankfully, with the more space-efficient layout, you no longer need to be a feline contortionist to avoid brushing up against icky jowls and waistline overspill. Hurray!

Drink prices are etched in chalk high-up on the wall by the bar: something I wish more places would do. They have a good selection of lagers and spirits, and also some nice ales and ciders on the pumps, including Weston’s Old Rosie: a drink with the power to end worlds. It’s moreish, lethal loveliness in a glass.

As I said at the start, the New Cross Inn will always provide good bands and good nights, so go and enjoy.

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Londonist’s 10 Best Pubs in Greenwich

Afternoon, has published their Top Ten Best Pubs in Greenwich, as voted for by their readers, which you can read here: They’re following this poll through with a serious scientific field study in the form of a pub crawl. It’s on Monday 24th September at 6.30, starting at The Greenwich Union. You do need to e-mail in order to attend.

If you’re a visitor, or new to the area, the list gives a good idea of where and where not to drink. On the whole, I agree with their top five, The Greenwich Union is certainly the best, though expensive; and the last few times I went in The Gypsy Moth it smelt badly of sick. We’ll be doing our own reviews of some of Greenwich’s finest boozeholes in the coming weeks. It’s just up the road, after all.

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Pub Spotlight No. 2:

The Hobgoblin

272 New Cross Road, New Cross, London SE14 6AA

08713 322264

Mon-Sat: 11am-11pm
Sun: 12noon-10.30pm

The Hobgoblin is just kind of there. It’s not great, but you end up going there a lot. Inside, it’s like the hull of a miserable ship; one that smells of stale beer, and has sofas, and really uncomfortable wooden church pews instead of hammocks. There’s a lot of wood panelling, and with the bright lights the whole place is bathed in an oppressive amber hue.

Aside from the decor, my main problem with The Hobgoblin is that the staff tend to be quite rude. All the time. They must be indoctrinated in it by the main men: three rugger buggers who appear to run the place. I don’t know if they’re related, but they all look vaguely similar; they’re like cauliflowered trolls, with beer bellies flopping out of British Lions rugby jerseys. Their heads are distended and warped into the shapes of various root vegetables, and they all have a rather blunt and passive-aggressive demeanour. And they love rugby, which is enough to turn you off anyone.

Though eggchasing is the primary pastime (they really love it, far too much), the place is pretty good for watching football. You usually get a decent-sized crowd watching games and there is a big screen in the conservatory.

The place gets extremely busy on Wednesday nights during term time, for Ladies Night, when said gender is entitled to various drink offers. There are lots of cheap spirits flung back, as the place acts as departure lounge for the Flight into Hell that is Club Sandwich at Goldsmiths Student Union. If you do plan on going Sandwich, it’s definitely worth flinging as many down your neck as you can, and if you’re not, well, the pub is nice and lively until closing every Wednesday anyway. So enjoy.

There’s a middling selection of draught beers, the usual lagers plus Heineken; and Doom Bar, London Pride, and, um, Hobgoblin. A pint of Guinness is £3.70 and normally pretty good. And they often have bottles of Green Goblin cider, which is fucking great. The Thai food is also excellent and reasonably priced.

To be honest, if you’re from somewhere horrible like Stoke or Hull, you’ll probably love this place. If not, well, it’s kinda just OK. It’s convenient; and a good atmosphere can build when it gets busy, particularly the beer garden in the summer, or on a Wednesday night. When it is packed out, you can ignore the rude staff and shit interior, but otherwise they bring it down if you’re just after a quiet pint.

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Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen


A little off-manor but definitely worth a visit, if you fancy some amazing home-cooking this weekend then head up over to the Peanut Factory in Hackney Wick for Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. This little pop-up restaurant serves some of the tastiest West African food around, all in a wonderfully relaxed and intimate environment.

Just back from a stint in Berlin, this will be the last Ghana Kitchen for a while, so get over and try the amazing Peanut Butter Stew, as well as some other traditional dishes like Red Red or Goat with Jollof rice. The restaurant is open for lunchtime (1-4pm) and evening seatings (7-11pm) on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th, though you will need to book in advance. There is either a meat or veggie option, priced at just £20 per person for three courses, along with a free drink on the house. It’s great value. Zoe also operates a BYOB policy.

To book, follow the link to the facebook page:

Or, you can e-mail:

The address is as follows:
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen,
The Peanut Factory,
56 Dace Road,
Hackney Wick
London E3 2NG

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Thirty Five Years

This week saw the 35th Anniversary of the Battle of Lewisham. When local people and anti-fascists stood and opposed an NF march through the area, on August 13th 1977. Follow the link to read the always excellent Transpontine’s fascinating account of those events:

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