Antenna Studios has been in my radar since South London Press newspaper days and as a resident of the Upper Norwood / Crystal Palace area, it has been a consistent go-to for a range of music and art happenings, some of which I’ve blogged about over the years.
So, it was with delight that I was offered the opportunity to manage the new Café Thing at the studios upon my return to South London after 2 and half years in Paris.
The café was built upon an idea of providing a comfortable space for the musicians, dancers, actors, photographers and artists who use the studios, and of course a refreshing space for the local community to sit and chill, work, collaborate and network. It’s working name the café thing has stuck, because clearly, it’s more than a café and because in Scandinavia (where the owner of the studios originates), “thing,” means meeting place.
The past 7 days of running the café thing have proven to be joyous, exciting and chatty. Having only ever been behind a bar one once before (while documenting Converse’s log cabin at Pitchfork Festival), I’ve come to realise that the role is an abstract mix of hostess, counsellor, child-minder, publicist and curator (& welcoming a fair amount of musicians & superheroes). It’s pretty much my dream job.
People come in for a coffee and before you know it, they’ve either told you their entire life story, a story about Crystal Palace’s rich local history, what they’re growing in their garden or which band they’ve seen recently. A guy called Brian’s initial visit for a coffee which involved the names of the houses on the street, cricket bats he’d bought at Bambino’s, trips to Paris and more, was proceeded today, with a thank-you for a winning horse that’d he’d betted on called Dancing with Georgie.
It’s a nice place to be, made nicer by the fact that people genuinely appreciate our no fuss approach to coffee which here, is quite simply, strong, Colombian and filter (often served with a bowl of Icelandic chocolate raisins). Also appreciated is the fact that it’s somewhat of a hide-away from the Crystal Palace triangle, which as lovely as it is, is also the prime place to be spotted by EVERYONE when you’re looking like death-warmed-up crawling along the pavement in search of hangover grease.
We’ve just issued our first Antenna Connexion newsletter with details of our forthcoming events which commence tomorrow evening (Friday 17th of August) with my girl Breezy (pictured above) and her Spaceshipman.
Next month I will be showing some photos as part of our new photography & film event.
Check our TUMBLR and give me a shout if you would like to get involved with the café musically, artistically or otherwise!