‘Ladies Night,’ ‘Celebrate’ – for many, Kool and the Gang will conjure up shameful dance floor memories. As the girl who has previously slut dropped to ‘Get Down On It’ at the end of the night, this was definitely something I felt strongly about…that is, until I saw them live. My boyfriend is a huge soul fan so off to South London we went to watch their one night show at the Electric in Brixton.
Before the show, we wanted to check out a few places in Brixton Village Market, a once rundown arcade that is now filled with some of London’s hidden restaurant gems. I wanted to try Okan, a tiny and basic Japanese restaurant specialising in street food, particularly okonomiyaki – savoury pancakes with a flour, egg and shredded cabbage base.
Fragrant clouds of steam billow around a tiny room whilst the sound of sizzling meat and batter fills the air. There’s a very pared back aesthetic here, with Japanese masks and paper lanterns adding smatterings of colour to the bare walls. We started off with some miso aubergine and a couple of Asahi’s as I impatiently waited for this mysterious okonomiyaki, something I had been desperate to try for months.
Kool and the Gang were phenomenal, in fact I haven’t enjoyed a concert like that since Usher’s 8701 tour in 2002! Kool and his Gang were shimmying around the stage with all the zest and pazazz of men in their twenties. Their spirit was infectious with not a single stationary body in the crowd. People both young and old were dancing and singing along to the classics and my haunting memory of the slut drop has been permanently erased..finally!
If you’re in the Brixton area then a visit to the market is a must. Get there early and beat the insanely long queues to Honest Burger and Franco Manca which, in my opinion are the best. Cornercopia was packed as was Mama Lan, a family run cafe specializing in Beijing street food. To be honest, all of the restaurants here will be good and because of the huge variety of cuisine, it’s really just personal preference or mood. Italian, Pakistani, English and more, one thing that won’t be missing on any menu is a generous serving of charm.