I go on Amazing Radio's reviews show with Xfm's John Kennedy – and we start a band

Posted on by Kate Hutchinson

The wonderful producers at Amazing Radio, Lucy Dearlove and Charlie Ashcroft, asked me back to be a panelist on John Hillcock's reviews round table show, It's Amazing, last week. Me,. Hillcock and Xfm's John Kennedy brought the lolz, reviewed some new music  and had all the BANTS. I can't tell you how much I love doing this show. We even started a band – The Hot Desks. The show features some far better, IRL bands and artists, however, like Oceaan and Keebo, so do have a listen.

Time Out Feature: Sword-fighting in London

Posted on by Kate Hutchinson

Inspired by Game of Thrones, I tried out sword-fighting for Time Out's weekly 'Whatever Next?' column. Read about my exploits over on the Time Out blog or below.

This article originally appeared in Time Out London, Issue May 14-20 2013.

©David Tett

©David Tett

Heavy metal: Kate Hutchinson tries her hand at longsword fighting

As decreed by Time Out readers, Kate Hutchinson must face an ordeal by cold steel.

As a proud modern-day feminist, I like to think I’ve got most man-skills nailed. Unblocking a toilet? No sweat. Sinking six pints? Piece of cake! Sword fighting? Ah, that’s something that very few of us, no matter what bits we’ve got, can do. Fencing aside, it pretty much died out a century ago but there are places in London dedicated to keeping the spirit of the flashing blade alive.

I encounter the London Longsword Academy on a Monday night at City YMCA. Their motto promises that ‘one day the bullets will run out’, and when they do, the beefy men attending this class of four will be the equivalent of cruise missiles. Two of them could crush me with a glance and while the other one looks gentle, I’m guessing he has the nimbleness of Legolas from ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Thankfully, the medieval longswords that we are using are blunt, but they’re still Thor-hammer-heavy. ‘I am Brienne of Tarth!’ I think, as I almost drop the thing on my foot.

We launch straight into sparring, without a warm-up, so I soon get used to the feel of holding a sword two-handed. But what I can’t adjust to is the class’s pace. I’ve barely figured out how to advance before I’m swinging the three-foot blade above my head like a granny wielding a walking stick.

‘This is the plow, the food, the ox and day,’ says instructor Dave Rawlins, pointing his sword in different positions as I try to keep up. ‘Now we’re going to do a wrath strike from the right, turning into a feint, with an attack to the ear.’ I’ve no clue what’s going on. Now I must face the bitter realisation that my knowledge of pointy things you can stick into people extends only as far as the workings of the fork.

The next feat we try is even less straightforward, though Rawlins makes it look like ballet with blades. ‘Sorry if this hurts,’ I apologise, as I’m told to strike Legolas, then put my hand on the flat of the sword and push it into his neck, forcing himto the ground. Fortunately for him, I stagger around clumsily like a knight who’s quaffed too much mead. It’s a shame, really. Done properly, that move would kick some serious butt.

Soon our 90 minutes are up. I’m reassured that I did well, but I feel more like the Black Knight from ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ than Uma Thurman in ‘Kill Bill’. For those with more combat savvy, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place for sword practice. The next time I want to get my medieval kicks, though, maybe I’ll try live-action role-play.

Where: Location varies.

When: Six nights a week (not Sat).

How much: £14 per session.

For info, see

Mixtape: Bump & Rewind

Posted on by Kate Hutchinson

This week I put out my first mixtape with my dear colleague (and amazing, underrated and undiscovered DJ) Oliver Keens. There's been a huge renaissance in ’90s R&B over the past few years, with loads of nostalgic and ironic club nights around east London, but, lately, a lot of the best underground club DJs have been remixing classic R&B tunes and blending them with clickety house, UKG and even disco. So we've spun it all into a taster mix. Take a listen and let us know what you think.

Review: End of the Road Festival 2011

Posted on by Kate Hutchinson

A couple of weeks ago, I went to review End of the Road festival for Drowned in Sound. I was an organisational disaster, but it was a super-lovely weekend in the end, and, best of all, I got to DJ with Anthony Chalmers from God Don't Like It inside a boat suspended above a flashing dancefloor while young children breakdanced. I am currently resisting the urge to say YEAHBEATTHAT. I suppose this is also the part where I tell you that I've been playing the odd record here and there since February and I rather like it.

Anyway, wonderfully, The Guardian have captured a split second of that moment in this short film about the festival.

You can read my review of it on Drowned in Sound here too, if you please. I swooned over Beirut rather a lot.