News

London's housing boom is pushing businesses out of the West End, a leading commercial property advisor has warned.

Parties: Who's in the coffin, Alice?

There's a queue snaking around the block outside London's quirky Riflemaker Gallery – an appropriate verb, given they are awaiting admittance to a private view of Voodoo, an exhibition of "writers, artists and musicians who acknowledge the need to reach an altered state in order to create their work".

Boundary, 2-4 Boundary Street, London E2

Anyone looking for a neat illustration of the Two Britains would find the polarity starkly showcased in the Shoreditch area of east London. Just off Shoreditch High Street, where Brick Lane market peters out into a grungy warren of warehouses and strip pubs, are hidden some of the capital's most opulent palaces of entertainment.

Ketamine tops cocaine as new drug of choice

Government advisor ranks class C drug as more harmful than Ecstasy

Boy George 'handcuffed escort to side of his bed'

Former Culture Club singer goes on trial for false imprisonment

Boy George 'chained up and beat male escort'

Singer Boy George chained a male escort to his bedroom wall and beat him with a metal chain as he tried to escape after a naked photo shoot, a court heard today.

Herman Dune, The Old Blue Last, London

Nearly a decade since they formed, Herman Dune are still playing venues like the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, east London – a boozer used to hosting far younger and more questionable talents. It's obviously by choice. Downstairs, in the bar, hopeful fans queue – and downstairs is where they'll stay. Last year, the French group packed out King's College, a space roughly four times the size of the OBL.

Cyclo-therapy: For every knocked-off bike being sold in Brick Lane, there's a heart-broken owner

It's always struck me as rather perverse that it's so very easy to get your hands on a stolen bike in London. Just about everyone knows that if you take a trip down to the end of Brick Lane in Shoreditch, east London, on a Sunday morning, you'll find dozens of kids peddling (not pedalling) expensive and often shiny new bicycles for knock-down prices. Yet even though this is common knowledge, the police never seem to do anything about it.

The Creed of Martin's silence

The Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed has used both sound and movement in his art (as you read this, athletes are still dashing past visitors in Tate Britain for Work No.850) so it was only a matter of time before he set up his own band. Playing at this weekend's Gold festival in London's Shoreditch, the three-piece will perform a 20-minute "minimalist punk" set.

I stripped for Spencer Tunick

He's the artist who gets people to undress in the name of art. Our correspondent bared all for him

Portico Quartet, Rough Trade East, London

Get yourself down to the National Theatre without delay. There's a good chance that you might catch Portico Quartet busking outside it. To see this genre-defying south London four-piece is to witness four young, very talented instrumentalists crafting sounds like you've never heard. Besides, how many Mercury Prize nominees do you know who still work the streets?

Cover Stories: Jenny Colgan; Alistair Cooke; Booker longlist

* At the first Literary Salon at Shoreditch House, London, on Tuesday, Jenny Colgan revealed that she is working on a "secret book" that she will release under a pseudonym in September. "It's for all those people who loved books set in boarding schools as kids and wonder why nobody writes them any more," she said.

Boutique owner Emily Chalmers doesn't buy things for her home, she just acquires them

I like places that are a bit weird. I'm more interested in what you might call dwellings than purpose-built houses. I like the idea of turning an unusual space into a home, which is what we've done in this converted warehouse flat in Shoreditch.

The Way We Live Now: Office politics

When Jimmy Savile said that thing about "office gentlemen and office ladies" in the famous 1981 British Rail ad, everyone knew exactly what he meant. It was about going to the hive and getting a buzz. Back then, more people were going to offices and fewer to factories, and the accepted view of the future of work was that it would look like Canary Wharf.

Very Be Careful, Cargo, London

This is an LA sound we're hardly used to. Very Be Careful draw on the driving mid-20th-century versions of Colombia's cumbia and vallenato music, styles forged from a mixture of African slave, Amerindian and Spanish traditions with rock'n'roll's polyglot energy, which spread through Latin America. The way this band play, long into the night, even this club in Shoreditch starts to feel like a back-street cantina.

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