My London: The Jezabels

Heather Shannon is a piano and keyboard player for four piece Australian group The Jezabels. Here she bigs up London’s Broadway Market, Bookmarks and Busaba Eatthai…

‘I am currently in a hotel room in New York trying to deal with a hangover from last night. We had a show last night at the Bowery Ball Room. It was sold out!

I miss scotch eggs, ale, the Thames, markets, Boris bikes, greasy English breakfasts, Indian food.

It’s strange that when you travel a lot, most international cities are surprisingly similar on first impression. Although when you spend more time in a place, you come to realise how different the people are, and then you start to see reflections of the people in the way the city is set up. Just details I guess.

I have discovered some pretty awesome restaurants [in London]. One called Tayyabs in East Aldgate, and another called Busaba Eatthai on Old Street. I think I would say it is the best Thai food I have ever eaten and I come from Sydney where Thai food is extremely good. I also like the Broadway Market on Saturdays, and the Pub on the Park in London Fields.

The first time I went to London I visited the Tate Modern. It was the best gallery experience I have ever had. I love the building and the way they have organised the exhibitions. It’s so clear and straightforward. Usually you see some kind of pretentiousness in art galleries, but I did not see it here. It is really for the people and is very open. It has a great bookshop too.

My perfect London day would involve sunshine, a bicycle ride, markets, a couple of beers, friends, a cupcake from Happy Kitchen. Maybe hanging at a bar or pub somewhere on Broadway Market, getting a few drinks and some dinner. Walking or riding along the water at night is really beautiful.

We have a rehearsal space in Hackney called the Premises. That is where all the creative stuff happens. We set up there for a few days and play music. There are other bands that rehearse there too, so it is a very creative atmosphere.

I still haven’t been to the Globe yet. I think that is something that everyone needs to experience when in London. It seems like there are a lot of little hidden places around the city in alleyways. I have come across some really great bookshops. One called Bookmarks. It’s a socialist bookshop.

Elgar’s Enigma Variations definitely captures the countryside for me. It is a very English piece of music. I’m not quite sure what makes it that way though. It somehow conjures up images of England. Maybe it’s the nostalgic feeling in the music, mixed with excerpts or hints of folk themes.

Sometimes I feel a bit claustrophobic in the City of London, because you can only really see as far as the building in front of you. It isn’t as bad though when it is sunny.

Here are two pieces of advice that go hand in hand in the creative industries; say yes to every opportunity that comes your way, then, you will get to a point where you have to learn to say no.’

The Jezabels play London’s Electric Brixton on Thursday 17 May at:

Electric Brixton
Town Hall Parade

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