The Pheasantry inside

The Pheasantry is a special venue and I’m looking forward to playing there on 23rd Oct, with my band. This place is a historical Georgian dwelling, the former home of Russian Princess Seraphine Astafieva, Margot Fonteyn’s ballet teacher.  She opened it in 1916 as the Russian Dancing Academy. It has been literally ever since, a prime avant-garde hangout. UK bands like Queen, Hawkwind and Lou Reed made early appearances here and Eric Clapton lived for some time on the top floor. The club still has a reputation for hosting music that really straddles genres and boundaries, including rock, jazz, cabaret and musical theatre. Recent acts have been Clarke Peters, Never the Bride, Fascinating Aida and Anoushka Lucas and many, many others. Did you know that If you book now, you can spend your New Year’s Eve watching the full line-up of Shakatak? The history right from the word go, is intriguing and highly unusual. When Pizza on the Park, in Marble Arch, closed its doors, manager Ross Dines ingeniously transplanted the piano, staff and equipment to  King’s Rd. Ever since, The Pheasantry has gone from strength to strength to become the hive of great music that it is now and with a reputation that keeps on growing.

It’s a beautiful building from an aesthetic point of view, with deco stylings both inside and out. In 2012 The Pheasantry won 2nd place in the London Lifestyle Awards Best Live Music Venue – beaten (but only just) by the royal Albert Hall. Apparently Madame Astafieva’s mirrors and practice barre remain as a feature on the first floor…somewhere? I found that out from online library archives – and can’t wait to verify that for myself, if I get a chance.

The Pheasantry

From left to right, Serafine Astafieva and early promotional poster.

astafieva-02-1kellys-1933

Dave Walker local librarian and author of ‘The Library Time Machine’, a fascinating blog about the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, writes:

”The Pheasantry is so-called because a farmer named Evans formerly sold live pheasants from the site. But the building served all kinds of purposes in its day. The cabinet makers and interior design company of Felix Joubert and his family worked from  there for many years. From 1932 until the mid 1960s it was a nightclub. You can make out the words Pheasantry Club above the door.

The club closed in 1966 when the then owner Mario Cazzini died. It was in 1969 when Bevis Hillier wrote: “what a profoundly insipid name for this perverted palace, which might be a chapel of Beelzebub, Aleister Crowley’s pied a terre, A crèche for Rosemary’s baby or a finishing school for vampires…”

I love the sense of decadence and atmosphere that quote inspires….

(Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of watching singer-songwriter Anoushka Lucas play here, pretty much fresh from her success at the ‘Love Supreme’ Jazz Festival. She’s one to watch, so check out her tunes and online news. A unique blend of styles and even languages. One thing she does, is a great chanson type vibe…evocative gypsy sounding guitar finger picking and self-penned, perfectly executed French lyrics.  Effortless, soaring voice and blues piano. She also has an inventive band – a simultaneous drummer/extra guitarist (a guitdrummist?) and acoustic bass which packs a gentle, but effective punch.)

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Well anyway…come to historic home of music and dance, The Pheasantry and see my show on Wed 23rd Oct.  It’s a gig but it’s also my birthday – and a huge celebration, so come and share it.

CLICK HERE  for online booking.

Wed 23rd Oct  – Doors open 7pm. Show at 8.30pm. Entry £15.

The Pheasantry, 152-154 Kings Rd, London, SW3 4UT.

Bookings: 08456 027 017  /  0207 439 4962

Online booking now available and recommended.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW.

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