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Hirst’s Smelly Show, Jon Regen’s Pop: London Weekend

Jon Regen
New York singer-songwriter Jon Regen plays dates at the London Jazz Festival. Regen's album "Revolution" was listed by Bloomberg rock critic Mark Beech as one of the best of 2011. Source: Regen Music/Mike Figgis via Bloomberg

April 27 (Bloomberg) -- Jon Regen is in town to show off his jazz-meets-pop album “Revolution.”

It features Andy Summers of the Police on catchy tracks such as “Spirits of the Soul,” which Regen will play with P.J. Phillips on bass and John Miller on drums. Hear Regen before he gets big: His sound has echoes of Bruce Hornsby and Billy Joel, and he’s good enough to beat both.

April 27-29 at Pizza Express Jazz Club, 10 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 3RW and May 2 at the Pheasantry, 152 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW3 4UT. Information: http://pizzaexpresslive.com and http://www.jonregen.com/

Saturday

There’s a faint smell wafting through a corner of the crowded Damien Hirst retrospective at Tate Modern.

A bleeding cow’s head lies in a vitrine, feasted on by freshly incubated flies that get zapped on the spot by an insect-o-cutor. The dead bovine is starting to emit an acrid odor; the show goes on for another four and a half months.

Another dead cow is chopped in half and pickled. You can walk through the two halves, tightly sealed in individual vitrines. Or you can contemplate living creatures: butterflies that hatch inside a hot room and flit around. There’s a line to go in; the butterflies would die in the stampede, otherwise.

“Damien Hirst” is at Tate Modern, Bankside, London, through Sept. 9. Information: http://www.tate.org.uk or +44-20-7887-8888.

Saturday Night

Catch it while you can: “The King’s Speech” is closing two months early on May 12, despite fairly positive reviews. (The producers say it probably came out too soon after the movie). But Charles Edwards is absolutely worth seeing as the future king.

Information: http://www.kingsspeechtheplay.com/ or +44-844-482-5136.

Good Mexican food can be hard to find in London. The latest venue is La Bodega Negra, a restaurant and cafe near the Wyndham’s Theatre. The food is spicy and the drinks are cool. Just don’t go there in search of fine dining. Information: http://www.labodeganegra.com/ or +44-20-7758-4100.

Sunday

Drink yourself awake at the coffee festival.

You’ll catch baristas and professional coffee roasters in action, and sample a cup or two from an independent cafe (i.e. not a high-street chain), with unexpected ingredients such as salt and popcorn-infused milk.

The London Coffee Festival runs April 27 to 29 at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, London E1 6QL. Information: http://www.londoncoffeefestival.com.

Hawksmoor Spitalfields, near Brick Lane, is known for serving some of the finest steaks in London. The new bar downstairs is gaining fans for its cocktails and snacks.

157 Commercial Street, E1 6BJ. Information: +20-7426-4850 or http://thehawksmoor.com/locations/spitalfields#map

Today’s Muse highlights include: Martin Gayford reviews Ron Mueck’s art show in London: Rich Jaroslovsky on Kindle; Jason Harper on the Ford Taurus SHO.

(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri in London at farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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