The wonderful, wierd and wacky merry go-round world of What's Cookin' is currently at...

LEYTONSTONE EX-SERVICEMENS CLUB. An old haunt of the rock'n'roll kitchen. Its a nice function room, it has its own bar, and does real ale. And its cheap bar prices! Shows are normally EVERY Wednesday and the 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month (and additionally the 5th Saturday if there is one). Doors open 8.30pm and we're normally done'n'dusted by 11.00pm-ish. As usual it'll be a free entry night with a collection to pay the musicians. PLEASE BE GENEROUS! Its the way we make the night work. Accompanied children aged 11+ allowed.

What's Cookin'...
Upstairs @ Leytonstone Ex-Servicemens Club
Harvey Road
Leytonstone, London E11 3DB

Leytonstone Underground (2 min)
Leytonstone High Road BR Station (10 min)

What's Cookin' SUNDAY SESSIONS @ THE UNION CHAPEL. The Sunday dates will vary so check the On The Menu page for what's happening. Doors open 2.30pm and we're normally finished by 6.00pm. These will be ticketed/pay on the door shows and prices will vary. Accompanied children aged 14+ allowed.

What's Cookin'...
Compton Terrace,
Upper Street,
Islington, London N1 2UN

Highbury & Islington Underground/Overground (2 min)
Essex Road Station (10 min)

Info on the lovely chapel here:

In Brief

Wed 29th Apr; New Stargazers
Sat 2nd May; MFC Chicken / The Mobbs
Sunday 3 May; The Lucky Strikes / Stick in the Wheel / The Littlest Birds @ The Union Chapel 2.30pm
Wed 6th May; Wes McGhee / Benjamin Folke Thomas
Wed 13th May; Porchlight Smoker / Hubert Murray
Wed 20th May; Morton Valence / Dusty Stray
Wed 27th May; No Show!
Sat 30th May; The Hanging Stars / Big Girls

the detail...

whats kickin vol5,

y'aint heard nutkin yet,
whats kickin vol4,

whats kickin vol3

whats kickin vol2

whats kickin vol1

Wednesday 29th April

New Stargazers

New Stargazers blend high-energy rockabilly with garage and soul. The New Stargazers did their first spot for us a few months back when they supported Oh! Gunquit and went down a storm, so we have them back for their own show.

MFC Chicken

The Mobbs

Saturday 2nd May

MFC Chicken / The Mobbs

Formed on top of a dirty chicken shop on Holloway Road, MFC Chicken play raw, sax-fueled rock and roll tunes about fast food and broken hearts. This poultry loving group have become one of the hottest garage rock'n'roll acts in London, setting clubs alight with their own red hot rock'n'roll. Having spent a good year or more honing their set and finding out which of their songs make girls dance (i.e. all of them), their debut LP, "Music for Chicken", cemented the globe-spanning gang as the finest purveyors of Pacific Northwest rhythm and blues in the land. So if you love dancing but hate contemporary music, are desperate to hear garage rock'n'roll really taken back to its roots, you are most definitely ready for that indescribable, unstoppable Chicken sound - "The latest and greatest item on the rock'n'roll dance menu".

From the heart of England and unashamedly dressed like all filthy gentlemen should be, The Mobbs play garage punk, rock & roll with an infectious ferocity second to none. Hailing from the old shoe town of Northampton, The Mobbs have traveled Europe ruining the eardrums of hopeless idiots everywhere. In the past few years The Mobbs have released four albums, two 7"s and have been played on many radio stations including BBC 6Music, XFM and Absolute Radio. Now wash your hands and wipe your feet.

The Lucky Strikes

Stick in the Wheel

The Littlest Birds

SUNDAY 3rd May

Sunday Sessions @ The Union Chapel

The Lucky Strikes / Stick in the Wheel / The Littlest Birds, Doors 2.30pm

Tickets £8.00 Advance / £10.00 Door from

This is our last show at the chapel until September so come and get some Sunday Session triple band action!

The Lucky Strikes have been described as blues/garage/americana/spaghetti-western/fiddle powered,howlin',heavin' rock and roll. Yep, that sums them up pretty well, though this will be a slightly more acoustic set from them.

"Dark and dirty Americana to chill your soul from the rock n roll wastelands of Essex - inspired buy Tom Waits, The Band and Neil Young", CLASSIC ROCK.

Stick in the Wheel play the music of the people. They sing in their own accents. They record in their kitchens and living rooms. This is their culture, their tradition. Quite simply one of the best folk acts in the UK at the moment. And they've only just gone and been nominated for two awards in this year's Radio 2 Folk Awards - Best Emerging Act and Best Traditional Track.

"The hottest new folk band for ages", fRoots magazine. "A real discovery", TOM ROBINSON, BBC6MUSIC.

The Littlest Birds are a cello and banjo duo from the western United States, featuring David Huebner on cello and Sharon Martinson on clawhammer banjo. Together since 2010 they've taken their unique Americana sound across 34 US States, Canada, and Europe. Their sound is hard to describe as it seems to capture something both familiar and yet altogether unique. Like many of the great artists in American folk music that have come before them, they are contributing by the stories they tell and the images created by their music.

"Full of life, love, and ideas, a band who love what they do and give that love to audiences, whether live or on record", NO DEPRESSION.

Wes McGhee

Benjamin Folke Thomas

Wednesday 6th May

Wes McGhee / Benjamin Folke Thomas

If you really do judge a man by the company he keeps, you have to take Wes McGhee very seriously indeed. Ask around in Austin, Texas and they'll tell you he's the real thing - a great songwriter, musician and entertainer whose talents are undisputed, whether as band leader, guest musician or solo artist. Given that they know a bit about music in Texas, that marks Wes McGhee as special. A Wes McGhee show is likely to include pretty well every major branch of 'roots' music you can name - from blues, Tex-Mex, rock'n'roll and pure honky-tonk to powerful, evocative and lyrical songs in the best singer-songwriter tradition - all seamlessly meshed together by a great band, some of whom have been with Wes for over twenty years.

Over the years Wes has worked with many Texas legends, including Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmour and Alvin Crow. In 1984 he became the first non-Texan to be awarded a Songwriter's Recognition Night by the Austin Chronicle at Austin's famous Soap Creek Saloon, where he also recorded his seminal live album, 'Thanks for the Chicken'. His overflowing CV includes spells as a record producer (for Freddie Krc, Ponty Bone, Texan poet Roxy Gordon, singer-songwriter Terry Clarke and Irish singer Joe Giltrap) and as a guitar-playing guest on albums by the likes of Kimmie Rhodes, Richard Dobson, Randy (RC) Banks, Heather Myles and Billy Swan.

Wes is currently recording a new album due anytime soon, but in the meantime you time wanna check out his 3CD retrospective 'Bead Mountain, Bad Roads & Borders'.

What's Cookin' favourite Ben Folke Thomas is on the up and up. After his eleven-date UK tour with his band which marked the launch of his latest album "Rogue State Of Mind", Ben pops in to treat us to a special solo performance. Inspired by Warren Zevon, Leonard Cohen and early Dylan, Ben is now based in his native Sweden, but over his years in the UK has has built a substantial following playing venues large and small as well as festival appearances at Glastonbury, Green Man, Larmer Tree and Cropredy among others. Last year, he travelled to Nashville with legendary radio presenter Bob Harris as part of a BBC Introducing initiative. "Ben can really hold an audience," Bob says, "so catch his show if you can and enjoy his instrumental virtuosity, sophisticated songwriting, and passionate vocals".

Porchlight Smoker

Hubert Murray

Wednesday 13th May

Porchlight Smoker / Hubert Murray

"Water Into Sand" is the third album by Sussex based roots/Americana band Porchlight Smoker. Originally formed as a duo in 2008 by Kent-born Fred Gregory (mandolin, guitars, vocals) and Scott Smith, from Wichita, Kansas (lap-steel, guitars, banjo, harmonica, clarinet, vocals), the band went on to add Steve Bell from Dundee (banjo,mandolin, guitars, vocals) and Scott Warman (double-bass,vocals). All four band members contribute to the songwriting, with each bringing a range of different musical influences to the table, from Celtic right through to American Roots, all perfectly blended to create their unique sound. The band's self-titled debut album was released in 2009, and described by one critic as "perfectly flawed". Album number two, imaginatively titled "2", received national and regional airplay, along with some great reviews along the way.

"Porchlight Smoker are a lovely band", BOB HARRIS BBC Radio 2, "A timeless record, fusing elements of folk, bluegrass and country", TOM ROBINSON, BBC Radio 6

Hubert Murray, aka Blindboymurray, is an extraordinary singer and guitarist from Galway. Having cut his teeth on the pub circuit for many years, singing everything he had to sing to avoid being beaten up by the regulars, he moved to London to perform his own beautifully crafted folk and blues songs. His soulful voice is full of raw energy, accompanied by his guitar playing that ranges from delicate fingerpicking to slide guitar and shredding solos.

Morton Valence

Dusty Stray

Wednesday 20th May

Morton Valence / Dusty Stray

Hailing from South London, Morton Valence have been in existence for nearly 10 years and whilst undergoing various incarnations along the way, the vocal pairing of songwriter Robert "Hacker" Jessett and Anne Gilpin has been the one constant. During this time they have released three critically acclaimed albums with a fourth due for release this Spring and have played live throughout the UK and Europe, including The Electric Picnic, the Reeperbahn Festival and recently headlining two sell-out shows at London's Union Chapel.

With the release of "Another Country", Morton Valence's fourth album sees them having produced their most cohesive work to date, the definitive "urban country" album and in a sense a culmination of 10 years work. Rather than a particular sound, style or look, urban country is about tapping into the spirit of the genre, with the song narrative as its core component, featuring real-life characters, unearthing the extraordinary in the everyday and dealing with the tribulations of the real world. This is the world Morton Valence inhabit, and the world they capture on "Another Country".


"...wrought and deeply stirring", **** MOJO. "Alluring and seductive" 8/10 UNCUT. "...a rich treasure trove of songs", **** Q. "Country is about the spirit, not the trappings, something understood by Londoners Morton Valence on their harrowing, cinematic urban country", THE GUARDIAN.

The man behind the band Dusty Stray is Jonathan Brown. Born in Taiwan. Grew up in Texas as son of a preacher man. Raised on songs about death and resurrection. Went to college. Discovered vast archive of early American folk music from the 20's and 30's. Began writing his own songs. Moved to Austin where he first performed his music. Travelled with guitar through Central America where he met a Belgian woman and followed her to Europe. Met a Spanish woman. Moved to Barcelona. Formed a bluegrass band, a psychedelic rock band and a freak folk band. Met a Dutch woman. Moved to the Netherlands where he remains today (with the same Dutch woman).

Dusty Stray like a murder ballad or three, and sing songs about love-gone-bad, drowning horses being swept out to sea, screaming babies. Influences include Harry Smith (Anthology Of American Folk Music), The Handsome Family, Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Gillian Welch, and The Flaming Lips. 3rd album 'Family Album' produced by legendary American producer KRAMER (Low, Ween, Urge Overkill, Galaxie 500) is out now.

"It's all delightfully dark and the trick of allying beautiful and tapalong music to dark words has rarely been performed as well", AMERICANA.UK. "Makes the eyes cry not because of sorrow but joy", MAVERICK.

Wednesday 27th May

No Show!

The Hanging Stars

Saturday 30th May

The Hanging Stars / Big Girls

The Hanging Stars were an epiphany visited upon the rain soaked air of England's green and pleasant land, becoming whole, tangible and real in the Californian desert. There they formed there mix of lush harmonies, cosmic americana and tuneful folk creating something halfway between the Mississippi and the Mersey, the desert's beating sun and the dark skies of London. Their sound is something timeless and yet somehow new, simultaneously nostalgic and prophetic. They vary in number, yet wherever they go they carry the rain and the sand with them. Their debut single is a double A side 'Golden Vanity' / 'Floodbound' out now on lovely 7" vinyl.

Big Girls (ex-Fabulous Penetrators) play confused little popular songs with guitars and drums and bass and all by confused amateur popular stars in their pyjamas from the basement of a Hackney Japanese restaurant. Featuring fumbling hits on hot topics such as the metric system, dreams of cats, rock formations in the west of Ireland, the future in long hair and the rise and fall of the milk float.

Coming up...

Wed 3rd June; Kingsize Slim Trio
Sat 6th June; TBC
Wed 10th June; The Alan Tyler Show / Forty Elephant Gang
Wed 17th June; TBC / Tupelo Uncles
Sat 20th June; TBC
Wed 24th June; Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue (USA)

For all the latest developments please phone 07904 210218 or email Ramblin Steve

And don't worry yer details will not be passed
on to any pesky third parties!

check out the cd's "what's kickin... vol 1", 'What's Kickin'...Vol.2', 'What's Kickin'...Vol.3'
and our latest release 'What's Kickin'...Vol.4'

rockin' country fried music...