Another bar I like is The Spot in 29 Maiden Lane, London WC2 (071-379 5900). It features amateur singers on Sundays, but I like the comedy night on a Monday - I'm thinking of trying a stand-up set there.
Just up the road is Cotton's Rhum Shop, in Chalk Farm, London NW3 (071-482 1096) a West Indian restaurant run by my friend Michelle. It's pretty authentic food, modified for European tastes. They do something called 'Belly Can't Bawl', which is a huge platter of rice, peas, fried fish, chicken . . . everything] The decor is cool - an old bicycle hanging up, shutters made of odd, coloured planks, and those very small bright bulbs hanging from copper wire for that just-about-to-be-rewired look.
It looks like a shabeen, but there's a real shabeen on Holloway Rd, above the mini cab office by the railway bridge. There's no hassle about dressing up: I just go in, get a Dragon Stout, sit down and catch up on the music. It's not heavy at all, black and white mix, but it doesn't get going until about midnight. It's a drop-in place, just known as the 'mini-cab shabeen really'.
Geff Francis plays Michael in C4's Desmond's, and is in a new play called 'Elsewhere' at the King's Head, London N1 (071-226 1916) from 3 to 27 Mar
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