18th and 19th March 2017 gigs

Gig news for the 18th and 19th March 2017

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Saturday 18th March 2017, 8-11pm Join us for an evening of live music and dance by Shkembe Soup in aid of Greenwich Mencap.

Venue: Mycenae House, 90 Mycenae Road, Blackheath, London SE3 7SE

All ticket proceeds and donations on the night will go to Greenwich Mencap. Greenwich Mencap runs a range of support services for adults and children with learning disabilities and their families in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Tickets £10 in advance. For tickets contact: Kameel Khan- Anna Marie- James Thorpe on 020 8305 2245 ex 204 Kameel Khan on 020 305 2245 ex 212

Sunday 19th March 2017 at 2pm Your East End festival at the Museum of London Docklands

We are performing as part of this weekend festival. Here’s more about it.

Join us for a celebration of all things local at this exciting family festival weekend. Diverse, creative and exciting, East London is home to many stories and memories. Explore other people’s and share your own at this fun family weekend. Get hands-on with crafts and workshops for the whole family to enjoy, or sit back, relax and enjoy performances from some of the area’s local talent. This festival has been developed in partnership with local people so come along to celebrate your East End. Free.


11 March 17 is Shkembe Soup at MostArt Centre

We’re back with performance favourites and new songs and dance.

So now we are back with performance favourites and new songs and dance. We’ll hear about Angeline the Baker, we’ll go lassoing with some wild cowgirls and boys and we’ll all sing and dance together to some classics like Daglar and Çadırımın üstüne (Rampi, Rampi) and The Ace of Spades. Come and dance the night away like we did last … month when our spirits soared. We are 11 musicians, dancers and singers with loving souls who strum, pluck, beat and whirl.

Join us and dance, sing, eat and drink. £5.00 and concessions on the door.

Book a table on 020 7686 8184. Venue: 86 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7PA

Shkembe Soup – Solstice


Join Shkembe Soup and friends at the Winter Solstice as we celebrate the wheel of life turning from dark to light. Dancing, live music, singing and reeling vinyl … Free event. 

The Royal Sovereign, 64 Northwold Road, Clapton, E5 8RL

The image you can see on below is an Iron Age Swirling Wheel Ornament from Birkenes, Norway ca 300 CE. It reminds me of the Buddhist Wheel of Life, which symbolises the continuous-repeating circle of birth, life and death.

swirling wheel

Shkembe Soup + vinyl

We are performing at the Royal Sovereign, 64 Northwold Road, Clapton, London E5 8RL on Saturday 12th November 2016. The evening will start at 8 pm til late. Free event

As well as Shkembe Soup, vinyl djs John and Damian will be playing loads of fantastic dancing soul, funk and popcorn music. Hope you can come. We are looking forward to seeing old friends and new at this fantastic East End pub.

More news to come.


Dance Around the World 2016

Last Saturday we performed at the wonderful Cecil Sharp House in Camden as part of the Dance Around the World festival for 2016. We kicked off the festival with three songs from different traditions and places around the world.

The first song was Bailava en Tetuan (Dancing in Tetuan). This is a Moroccan Sephardic/Arabic song hailing from Medieval times.

Next we played Rompi Rompi – an old and very popular Turkish folk song. It is known as a song that bands play when a dancer requests a song with a 9/8 rhythm. The words say that in spite of its hardships – life is good.

The last song we performed is called Habibi – my darling. This is a popular Egyptian song from 1996. Fiona and Linda, the dancers, drew on Egyptian and Mediterranean influences in their choreography.

After our performance we sat and watched lots of other fantastic performers and saw many different dance traditions and styles such as the Haka, Lancashire Clog Dancing and a very moving Ukrainian folk dancing set. There were many more highlights.

Some of us took part in a South Eastern European dance workshop and learnt some new moves and met some lovely people. We will definitely go there again next year. This weekend is thoroughly recommended for everyone interested in dance and music.


All the fun of the outdoor air


We had such a beautiful day performing in Victoria Park yesterday. Lots of friends, family and many park folk came and laughed and sang and danced.

We had lots of new members to our band yesterday. We had Ruby, our new youngest member, and Vicky on the djembe. Tom, from the Mingus E l a s t i c Band, played drums and we had a lot of fun on t’bandstand and off it.

We played lots of songs, from Bailava en Tetuan to Silver Raven and ended with Keep Wearing Purple (and, of course we should). Our own song, The Dogs of Alcibiades, written by Tom and Fiona, about walking through the park, playing in The Cabin and performing in a Hackney churchyard and a soaring version of Someone Like You, a heartbreaking ballad, written by our friend Neil Saye.

Our dancers were stunning in jewel-like costumes and scarves. There were red flowers, golden wings and flamey fans. Does the word ‘flamey’ exist? it does now.

Our special guests Mingus E l a s t i c Band were rockin and folk could hear them as their rock n roll vibe travelled through the wind and trees to the Victoria Memorial Drinking Fountain and beyond.

We celebrated Ferg’s birthday and the young and old partied like it’s …

Thanks for coming. Let’s do it again. Shkembe Soup.


Dancing on the Bandstand

We are delighted to be back dancing, singing and playing in our favourite East End Victoria Park as part of the Bandstand season. We are performing on the Bandstand from 2 pm on Bank Holiday Sunday 29th May 2016.We are having a picnic first from midday. Special guests Mingus E l a s t i c Band are joining us to play their fantastic music too.

Come along. Victoria Park Bandstand. E3 5TB

Here’s the poster.

Bandstand 29May16

May the Farce was with us

Shkembe May The Farce
Shkembe Soup at May The Farce Be With You

We had such a good time at this cabaret at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s club. We really enjoyed performing and watching all our fellow artists and aliens from all over the solar system and beyond.  I lost my heart to a starship trooper, but maybe, an intergalactic adventure has begun. More gig news tomorrow.

Sally, Shkembe Soup




May The Farce Be With You

We are performing two songs at this event on Wednesday 4th May 2016 at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. Here’s the details of this fabulous stellar evening.

Join us on International Star Wars Day for our 3rd Cabaret celebration of the world’s most popular sci-fi universe.

After our our first two events, hosted by – respectively – the Empire and the Rebels, our third outing will be an (uneasy) collaboration between both sides, held in the neutral space of Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana, featuring a chance to hear representatives from both sides debate head-to-head for the first time ever in our galactic hustings.

Hosted by Tom Baker and Dominic Jones (as Admiral Gent and Admiral Akbar)

Starring –

Dusty Limits
This dark prince of the UK cabaret scene will be channeling Emperor Palpatine himself. Darkling, indeed…

Lilly Snatchdragon
Having wowed our first audience with her erotic take on Endor’s natives, Lilly returns with more Ewok Burlesque!

The Fabulous Bakewell Boys
These beleagured northern working men’s club Luchadors bring their trademark laconic wit, bad puns and wrestling chops.

Luce Lemons
One of our regular T’wilek girls, and the maker of Akbar’s mask, Luce will be taking to the stage with an illuminated hula hoop routine.

Carmen Mon Oxide
Diva, compere and all-round force of nature. High art culture meets low rent sci-fi in an operatic extravaganza.

Niki Stevens
Following her songs of unrequited intergalactic love from the previous events, Niki returns with another freshly penned Star Wars ditty.

Simon Lukacs
This fantastic character comedian, fresh from his triumph as an Alan Bennet-inspired Grand Moff Tarkin last time, is creating a brand new piece for our pleasure.

Shkembe soup
Gypsy/Arabic belly dance with a sci -fi Rock ‘n roll twist

Fred Snow
This absurdist comedian and notorious bandleader of the Top Shelf Band will incarnate as a certain notorious space smuggler.

‘Like Spike Milligan on MDMA’ (The List). Now a regular face on the London comedy circuit and at festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe, Cheekykita’s performance has been described as ‘part physical clowning, part Alan Partridge meets CBBC’ (Three Weeks). Chewie, we’re home indeed.

Plus live swing music from our house band The Rag Tag Rebels,
alien showgirls, and a fancy dress competition.

And Jar Jar in drag…


4 May the Force image
‘May The Farce Be With You’ image