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