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Gallagher Rocks, Keynes’s Picasso, Digital Diva: London Weekend

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The cover of the CD "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds." The U.K. songwriter's album teams him with a new band post Oasis. Source: Mercury via Bloomberg

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The Mexican guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela are adding a little Havana spice to their music, performing with the band C.U.B.A.

The duo has spent a decade building up a fearsome live reputation with their dueling acoustic guitars. Now their flamenco, Latin and rock tunes get an even bigger sound.

In a busy weekend for music fans, admirers of Oasis will be heading for the O2, where Noel Gallagher’s new band High Flying Birds features a guitar attack of a more traditional rock kind.

Rodrigo y Gabriela with C.U.B.A., Brixton O2 Academy, 211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL, Feb. 24. Information: +44-844-477-2000,,

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Reverend and the Makers, Feb. 26 at O2, Peninsula Sq., SE10 0DX. Information:, or +44-20-8463-2000. Some tickets are available online with the shows likely to sell out.


Who knew?

Economist John Maynard Keynes was one of Britain’s earliest Picasso buyers. The suggestive still life he picked up at auction now hangs in “Picasso & Modern British Art” at Tate Britain. So does a sketch of Keynes’s future wife, a Russian ballerina who made sure she wasn’t alone when Picasso drew her.

The show plots Picasso’s emergence in British collections and his influence on local art. The Spaniard dominates, though in the final rooms, Bacon and Hockney offer clever ripostes. Bacon derives his bulbous figures from a tentacular Picasso beach scene. Hockney draws himself naked and seated opposite the Iberian maestro, who wears his signature sailor top.

The show ends July 15 at Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG. Information: or +44-20-7887-8888.

Saturday Night

An aspirational mom wants her son Tony to marry his rich cousin.

Sadly, Tony can’t stand Constance in the National Theatre’s new production of the mistaken-identity comedy “She Stoops to Conquer” (penned in 1773 by Oliver Goldsmith). That doesn’t stop Mrs. Hardcastle’s campaign to rise above her station: She feigns an upper-class accent, and performs a courtly curtsey that lasts far longer than she ever intended.

Sophie Thompson is a hoot as the social-climbing parent. “She Stoops to Conquer” ends April 21 at the National Theatre: or +44-20-7452-3000.

Laughing Gravy is an inexpensive restaurant and bar a 20-minute walk from the National Theatre. Chef Michael Facey cooks seasonal British dishes with truly local ingredients: The herbs and vegetables come from the community garden next door. or +44-20-7998-1707.


Imogen Heap, the Grammy-winning classically trained musician known as the “digital diva” for her 1.6 million Twitter followers, plays the Roundhouse on Sunday.

Heap performs her a capella soundtrack for the silent 1928 French surrealist movie “The Seashell and the Clergyman” as part of Reverb 2012, a five-day festival of classical musicians who are redefining the genre through new sounds and venues.

At the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH. Information: or +44-844-482-8008.

L’Absinthe is an unpretentious bistro a short walk from the Roundhouse, serving French fare: snails, steak frites, Toulouse sausage. There are daily specials and a good-value wine list. Information: or +44-20-7483-4848.

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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