Staff picks and highlights from the twelve month rollercoaster that was 2019…
Turning one during such an incendiary year brings a peculiar sense of irony with it: for everything we’re excited to shine a light on for the first time, there is a flip side – a necessary cynicism towards those that make transformative arts more difficult to provide.
Within the music industry in London, the past decade has been characterised with closures of some of the city’s most beloved spaces and venues. Brexit also leaves a huge question mark over the future of touring for international artists. And yet we hope the last few years will also be remembered for the grass root establishment of new, independent spaces and provisions for culture, including EartH.
At our home of 11-17 Stoke Newington Road we pushed on regardless, programming everything from talents at the start of their ascent to musicians decades into their legacies. We hosted outspoken panels, podcasts and comedy nights, and continued to showcase some of the most innovative and unique voices from around the world. Little Simz laid down her crown at a sold out homecoming show in our EartH Hall, where Fat White Family also played a rollicking four night run and Tinariwen, Places + Faces, The Pharcyde, Black Midi, Mind Against and Ibibio Sound Machine brought the house down in their own, entirely distinct, ways.
Upstairs, Bat For Lashes, The Glory’s MAN UP!, Hailu Mergia, ComposHER, Benjamin Zephaniah, Vampire Weekend and the London African Gospel Choir filled our Art Deco theatre once more with an enraptured crowd hanging onto every note, instruction and chorus. Meanwhile The Receipts Podcast, James Acaster, Ruby Wax, gal-dem and Akala brought thought-provoking discussions and proper-belly-laugh comedy to the stage.
At our first birthday in September, Worldwide FM, Superstition and the Hackney Comedy Experience helped us celebrate our first full year of boundary-pushing perspective in art and culture.
Our EartH Jams brought some incredible parties to our Kitchen space, giving a stage to artists at the start of their careers via monthly open mic sessions for emerging talents – watch this space for dates of our next one!
As well as launching Shuk, our new food pop-up, we also opened up our EartH Kitchen as a community space, offering a place for local and social groups. We are keenly aware of the constraints artists face in the city, and the need for creative outlets here, for people of all different ages. That’s why we now offer our kitchen space in order to provide free or low-cost for community-led creative projects to use between 10am and 5pm, find out more here.
We’ll be talking more about this work in 2020, discussing how we’re working towards becoming as green a venue as possible, whilst reducing our impact on the environment and carbon footprint. We’re also in the midst of undertaking a huge piece of research to find out more about you, our audience – if you have three minutes over the Christmas break, please let us know how we can improve your time at EartH, here.
Below, we’ve collected up some of our staff favourites from the past 12 months. All that remains for us to say is have an incredible, restful, winter break – we’ll see you on the other side, when there’ll be a whole lot more where all this came from! ONWARDS!
Amelie Snyers, Esteemed Team Member
1/ Best album – Bedouine, Bird Songs of a Killjoy
2/ Best track – Helado Negro, Running
3/ Best cultural moment – Ava & Keelan’s wedding
4/ Best book – I think it’s the one I’m reading now, The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai and Convenient Store Woman
5/ Best film – The Farewell
Radek Kieczka, Bar Manager
1/ Best Album Mgła – “Age of excuse “
2/ Best track – Frostmoon Eclipse “A room A grave “
3/ Best cultural event – Ava and Keelan’s wedding
4/ Best book – A lot of them, is really hard to choice one: S.King “outsider”, Zulczyk “czarne slonce”, Cherezińska “wojenna korona” and 20 more
5/ Best film Midsommar
Josh Watts, Operations
Here is where I show my true colours…. and I’m even not sorry
1/ Best album – Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
2/ Best track – Lizzo – Juice
3/ Ava and Keelan and Alan’s Wedding
4/ The book I keep going back to all year round this year – BOSH Vegan cookbook!
5/ Best Film – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Bronya Francis, EartH Marketing Team Leader
My lame obsession with Kehlani revealed….
1/ Best album (according to Spotify Wrapped) – Kehlani – While We Wait
2/ Best track (according to Spotify Wrapped) – AGAIN Kehlani ft Ty Dolla Sign – Nights Like This
3/ Best Cultural Moment – Ava and Keelan’s Wedding
4/ Best Book I Read – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half Of A Yellow Sun
5/ Best Film I Watched – Running For Good
Kara Harris, Marketing and Community Events
1/ Best Album – Shea Butter Baby – Ari Lennox
2/ Best Track – Playing Games – Summer Walker ft. Bryson Tiller
3/ Best Cultural Moment – Hot Girl Summer (Coined by Megan the Stallion)
4/ Best Book I Read – I read Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami for the sixteenth time
5/ Best Film I Watched – Joker
Toby Chaplin, Event Sales and Business Development Manager
1/ Best Album – JME – Grime MC
2/ Best Track – Tit for Tat – Jesse James Solomon ft. Giggs & Farhot
3/ Best Cultural Moment – Cricket World Cup won by England in England
4/ Best Book I Read – A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
5/ Best Film I Watched – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Graziella Affinita, EartH Jam Sessions Host and Junior Programmer
1/ Best album – EartH Jam Spotify Playlist
2/ Best track – Blood And Bones – Laville
3/ Best cultural moment – EartH Jam
4/ Best book I read – American Gods – Neil Gaiman / Vurt – Jeff noon
5/ Best film I saw – Joker
Harry Peters, Operations and Production
1/ Best album – Revenge of the Dreamers III by Dreamville
2/ Best track – Elephant by DJ Limited
3/ Best cultural moment – Ava & keelan s wedding
4/ Best book I read – White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty
5/ Best film – Midsommar
Greg Phizacklea, Head of Production
1/ Best Album (according to wrapped) Kurt Vile Bottle In (2018 but cained it this year)
2/ Best Track (according to wrapped) Uranium Club – Who Made The Man
3/ Best Cultural Moment -taking Ernie to see Metallica and watching his mind explode
4/ Best Book I Read – Tim Flannery Here on Earth
5/ Best Film – Back To The Future (Again, watching Ernies mind explode!)
Zweli Chimbumba, Administration Assistant
1/ Best Album – Hoodies All Summer by Kano
2/ Best Track – Outside by D Block Europe
3/ Best Cultural Moment – Stormzy headlining Glasto in the Banksy vest
4/ Best Book I Read – How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
5/ Best Film I Watched – Joker