Loving life and saluting style in the city

The Urbanite is the voice of Urban Villa, the boutique hotel which buzzes out of Brentford, West London. Follow us as we draw inspiration from the city: for succulent food, dizzying drink, white-hot beats and mind-widening urban adventures…



Wilderness Festival was in gloriously eccentric form again over the weekend. As the cheeky clip above reveals, this is the field party where anything goes: camp it up, get creative, boogie for your life or simply laze by the lake... Slip inside the cool cleansing water to feel the reeds graze away last night's sins! 

The Urbanite cut loose to The Showhawk Duo's stomping brand of A.D.M - that's acoustic dance music, dontcha know! Guitarists Jake and Mik are the renegade pair who bring a fresh, twangling ecstasy to electronic classics such as 'Till I Come' and 'Miserlou.' 

Equally awesome were The Brass Funkeys, an all-brass gang of lads who lured us into their sunset sweatbox with a raucous cover of The White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army.' Get your blast of brass here:

Over at The Bandstand, Jeremy Loops was in his element, propelling positive energy to cartwheeling kids and their cocktail-swigging folks with his loop pedal-driven folk-hop. Jeremy was joined by a boisterous MC, a quickfire drummer and a grooving guitarist: ideal ingredients for a feel-good set!

For her big Friday night bash, Bjork painted the sky pink, firing bombs of glittering powder from the main stage. Flamingo smoke then floated across the site in a flurry of Care Bear dreams...

You could tuck into hearty bangers & mash at the end of a hard day's partying, soaking up the gravy with sweet acoustic songstresses:

Everywhere you find yourself at Wilderness is alive with artistic vision: clay characters fashioned by party people are plastered to the trees; wooden mushrooms spring from gypsy wagons; banqueting halls and chill-out huts are draped in wild flowers and sprawling plants... 

This is a truly beautiful festival which is a celebration of art itself. The Urbanite urges you, get yourself there next year; g'wan, give yourself an art attack!

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The Urbanite was overjoyed to find our friends from Martin Miller's Gin lavishly ensconced in an octopus canopy tent at Wilderness Festival

Gin connoisseurs got deep into the spirit with Martin Miller's Masterclasses, sipping along to stories of botanicals and bathtub breweries. Party people also got their jig on to live music courtesy of awesome acoustic soul trio Lucinda & The Fox - check them out above!

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Experimental London club night Loose Lips, known for bringing unexpected beats to forward-thinking ravers, have just released a compilation which gives you a taste of their free-wheeling flavours.

 MS90's white noise-laden production is where your journey begins, with Ymothep picking up the baton and upping the tempo via stop-start percussive swipes. Next we go heavier with the techno stomp of The Casselle Miles Project, and the fidgety vibe continues via Zooash's progressive tune. Feel the cogs of your brain churning as Flex in the Mind brings sound to pensive thoughts, before letting them run riot along to junglist drums. Last comes Tony Jungle's complex production, which tessellates between vibes and influences to give your ears a thorough work-out!

Loose Lips' selections are never for the faint-hearted, but give them a spin to access soundscapes you certainly won't be led to explore elsewhere... 



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The Floating Cinema finale at Brentford Lock brought rare archive footage to life last night. A kaleidoscope of British life, scanning eras, moods, socio-cultural groups, industries & more, ebbed & flowed with imagery of our rugged waters. Brighton band British Sea Power provided the propulsive yet wistful soundtrack to Penny Woolcock's film, 'From the Sea to the Land Beyond.' Their music brought even more beauty to this curious selection of scenes. Brentford lock was the perfect spot to marvel at these moments, with the water which contains & reflects the vast memory of our island first lapping at our feet, then flurrying on still...

Up Projects have just announced that The Floating Cinema will be screening the Creative Time Summit live from the Venice Biennale. Head to the Canalside steps at Granary Square, King's Cross, N1C 4AA, from 11-13th August - £5 tickets are available from Eventbrite.
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Head down to Brentford Lock this Sunday to welcome the return of the awesome Floating Cinema, following its audio-visual adventure to Bristol and back. 

From the afternoon into the evening, the bristling water of Brentford Lock will reflect original films projected onto the big canal-side screen. With work by artists Yann Seznec, Penny Woolcook, Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope, as well as live music from the Dead Rat Orchestra, the Floating Cinema finale is set to be stunning. 

Created by Up Projects
Floating Cinema is a canal-side cultural marvel, supported by the BFI, The National Lottery, Arts Council England and the Canal & River Trust. 

The event is free to enjoy but you must book your place in advance: 

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Monday saw The Meltdown series launch at Urban Villa with An Introduction to Mindfulness. Esteemed Mindfulness Coach Leith Brown took us on an intergalactic tour of this mind-widening practice. Leith managed to touch upon an oceanic array of thoughts and topics in just one inspiring hour, and we were left oh-so-calm!

We learned how Mindfulness, in essence, is at the heart of every major faith. It is an openness to the wonder of the world around us, and the unending quest to throw off the monkey thoughts of the me-me-me ego-mind.

Central to this practical philosophy is connecting with the present moment via tuning back into your senses. Leith led us through a sensory meditation which was a curiously energizing experience in itself. We closed our eyes for a few minutes and allowed ourselves to hear, smell and even taste our surroundings. All the while, our pesky egos fell still and silent for a few precious moments...

Leith rounded off the workshop with another surprise: the humble raisin was touched, seen and tasted anew - crinkles morphed into cliff edges; tangy edges oozed forth Edenic juice! It was a beautifully simple exercise which grounded us in a simply beautiful moment. The lesson is just this: all we have is each present moment, and it is up to us to honour it as best as we can.

The Meltdown will return to Urban Villa soon for further mind-body-soul rejuvenation! We hope to be announcing a full Mindfulness course here... you can also learn more and find courses at bmindful.co.uk 

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