London – You May Enjoy The Month Of May!

Is it really May already? We are heading towards summer (and snap General Election to boot!) It’s also time to stop eating those Easter leftovers- but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself this month. As well as studying and revising for upcoming exams, Downing Students believe that May is a great month to go out and socialise too. You can start soaking in the Vitamin D from the sun as the British weather will just get better and better.

Not only that, there are some fantastic new releases and activities this month you can enjoy in that all-important down time. Keep some time back for reading a brand new book, soak up some cool sounds at a local gig, watch a new movie (with popcorn, naturally!) and grab a too-good-to-miss student meal deal at a cool café or restaurant in the town.

Don’t worry, our team of London experts have the month of May all sorted out for you!

Book release- Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

2nd May

The long awaited follow up to Paula Hawkins’ best seller and global phenomenon, The Girl On The Train, is here. It is with the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that the writer delivers a gripping and compelling read that hinges on the stories we tell about our pasts and their power to destroy the lives we live now

In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.

But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.

And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .

More information about Into The Water can be found here.

Album release- I Can Spin A Rainbow by Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel

5th May

I Can Spin A Rainbow marks the first full-length collaboration between Palmer and Ka-Spel, founding member of visionary Anglo-Dutch band The Legendary Pink Dots and one of her greatest artistic heroes. The album is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for Palmer, an avowed fan of Ka-Spel and the Legendary Pink Dots since discovering their psycho-theatrical, multi-textural work in her teens.

Recorded largely on Ka-Spel’s computer, I Can Spin A Rainbow is a truly collaborative effort, “a spiritual experience,” says Palmer, in which both artists’ stories, song fragments, poems, and lyrics became totally meshed with loops, melancholy piano, and unusual rhythms. The results range from the enchantingly minimal The Clock at the Back of the Cage and the album-opening track Pulp Fiction which is both mysterious and broadly theatrical.

More information about I Can Spin A Rainbow can be found here.

Concert- Michael Kiwanuka at The Royal Albert Hall

5th May

Michael Kiwanuka is London-based roots and blues acoustic singer-songwriter who released his debut EP ‘Tell Me A Tale’ in 2011 and his debut album, “Home Again” in 2012, followed by 2016’s Mercury Prize-nominated “Love & Hate”. This May, he brings his own brand of folksy acoustic blues to Cambridge.

Michael won the BBC Sound of 2012 award and his debut album was nominated for the 2012 Mercury Music Prize. His follow-up album, 2016’s “Love & Hate” went straight to number one in the UK albums chart.

More information about this gig can be found here.

Film release- Alien: Covenant

12th May

Director Ridley Scott continues to terrify us all over again with the latest instalment of his iconic Alien sci-fi horror franchise:  Alien: Covenant. The film chronicles the voyage of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a distant planet, whose crew makes a terrible discovery. They’re undertaking the first large-scale colonisation mission, and their new world was supposed to be a paradise.

But in reality, it’s a hell: as the crew discover threats and creatures more horrific than they can imagine, their quest for a new home quickly turns into a desperate attempt to escape.

More information about Alien: Covenant can be found here.

Bar and club: The Crobar


This place has possibly the worst toilets in London and tables that are way too close together for comfort. But don’t let this put you off! If you like your rock music and you like an authentic rock atmosphere then this is your idea of a great night out.  It has a well-stocked rock/classic rock/metal juke box and occasionally you will spot people from well-known rock bands wandering around and jostling and joking with music journalists at the bar. The staff are always friendly and the walls are festooned with musical trophies of one kind or another. Oh, and you can buy Crobar tees and vests from the bar as well as your drinks (Dave Grohl loves the place and has one!) Regulars will happily tell you – NOTHING compares to this place in the rock world.

More information here.

Food- Garlic & Shots


Fond of garlic? You get more than your money’s worth at this place. Garlic & Shots is Low-lit, gothic-style bar with 101 flavoured vodkas and cantina-style food, all with lots of garlic. They even have large jugs of parsley to help neutralise you taste buds after your meal. And, as the name suggest, yes- they DO have garlic in the shots and beers. And desserts too. It is inescapable. This one really truly has to be experienced to be believed!  Just hold your nose and carry on! You will also be able to people watch here as all manner of characters are known to float into this place from the streets of Soho- from bikers to rock bands. Just don’t breathe on anyone!

For more information go here.