Sunday, 1 July 2018

Raving for the Cause

In 2018, everyone who's anyone is heading to Tottenham to eat, drink or set up their own club or pub.

As the new stadium for Spurs nears completion, local businesses are getting ready to hopefully cash in from the huge anticipated numbers of additional visitors to the area. It's literally all to play for with the first games due to kick off this September so it's an exciting time for the place. Alongside the likes of Five Miles, The High Cross and the recently opened Bluecoats boozers, The Cause is one of the freshest additions to Tottenham's night time calendar. This new club boasts an incredible soundsystem, unrivalled outside space and late, late 5am licence while also raising dosh for local charities. Sounds good right?

Check out a wee interview we did with co-founder Stuart Glen on the venture and what it's doing to put Tottenham on the map for raving...

Monday, 25 June 2018

One giant step for the Arctic Monkeys

From kagoule wearing teens to Hollywood dwelling cosmonauts, there are few bands who’ve morphed in the same way as Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys.

There are also few who we’ve grown with, who’ve soundtracked so many moments, where we can mistily of eye claim to have been there at the beginning (we were – for a bit – but so was everyone else in Sheffield – so it’s no bigs - well it is a little bit to us).

Now they’re grown hair on their faces and developed a taste for Led Zeppelin-esque fashion but they’re still great. Latest album, Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino, initially divided but has subsequently conquered with its out-there collection of immaculately tailored songs, shifting more vinyl copies than anything else for years and is their most complete work to date.

Like their new wardrobes, it’s some distance from those initial teenage rushes of Fake Tales of San Francisco. You can’t help thinking that if you’d shown the young Alex Turner a picture of his adult self and the style tips he’s been taking, he would have snorted with derision. He might have also snorted if you’d said they’d been playing the Royal Albert Hall but the other Thursday we were among the lucky few thousand to pack into the venue for their first gig back on UK soil.

Organised at the lastish minute for War Child, this charity affair was two hours of new stuff and old stuff led by frontman Alex Turner. While the crowd was made up of lads in shades and Oasis style do's still lusting for the past, the band sounded like they'd gone into the future, and didn't let the pressure drop under the towering roof of the iconic venue. The new material, initially obtuse and difficult to crack, is now up there with their best and have given them a platform to achieve lift off in any direction they want. Boom! We left sweaty and pissed which is the best way to enjoy anything... Phew. One of the best gigs we'd ever been to? You'd better believe it...

Friday, 20 April 2018

UK hip hop is having a moment

It's been a while since I moved onto new pastures from M magazine but February and March saw us back on the editorial prowl for them, writing this little number about the health of UK hip hop and how a new wave of artists including Ms Banks, Lady Sanity and Yxng Bane...

Check out the full feature in the latest issue of M mag and online now.

Raver tots: Beats, bass and breast feeding mums in the club

Fag ends, puddles of manky old ale and a mum breast feeding her little baby. An incongruous combination you'd imagine but one thrown together by the concept of the 'baby rave'.

While clubs attract dancers of all ages, those with babies and young children may find it harder to get out of a Saturday night, bosh a load of garies and still remain capable of looking after their brood on a few minutes of teeth gnashingly brief shut eye. So step forward the kiddy rave concept. Obviously, they're not full of families all bog eyed and crazy but they do provide two hours of raving vibes, complete with actual DJs in an actual gnarly club. For anyone sans kids, they could well be seen as an appalling attack on the wide eyed evangelical hedonism of early acid house, equally as grotesque as the sober Morning Glory fitness dances. But for those with them who miss getting loose? It's almost like the real thing. If not pretty fucking weird.

The baby rave we went to took place at Hangar in London Fields on a Sunday afternoon with drum and bass legend Nicky Blackmarket on the ones, the twos and maybe even the threes. Going in at 2pm means rather than a salubrious fitness vibe, it feels more like you're taking your kid to a bizarre after, after hours party at a gritty club. You get searched going in, then park your buggy next to all the others at the door of the club amidst the puddles of detritus from the previous evening. Inside, it's £5 a warm Carlsberg and full of mums necking rum and cokes while their children run totally amok.

With the soundsystem cranked up to standard club levels, strobes set to stun and Blackmarket laying it down amidst some glitter cannons, it feels pretty similar to a student drum and bass night with the exception of the soft play area and the scally kids throwing themselves around just like their parents used to when they could get off their nuts. We lasted two hours before it all got too weird and we had to leave, clutching our hard fought Carlsbergs and went to the nearest playground to go and decompress. So in many, many ways, not too different from past lives at all...

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Sir Mick vs The Quince

While the winter of 2017/18 has been long and deep, alongside our domestic vibes and circle of chums, two key things have been leading us to the spring. One is the above image of Mick Jagger on his holibobs. The other is the full and frank Quincy Jones interview published back in February. If you look at these two things daily for the six cold months of the year, then it's possible that you'll never scowl or feel cold ever again. Try it.

Five Miles might well be our favourite place to drink pints

A shockingly controversial headline I'll think you'll agree as, if we're being totally honest, anywhere we drink pints is usually our favourite place. At least until we leave and begin drinking pints somewhere else. Whether that be the nearest bin or the bar, wherever pours some of those frothy mothers is usually somewhere we adore.

But Five Miles near Seven Sisters is certainly high up there in our list of beer swilling affections. Not only does it have a huge array of taps and craft but it has a mighty fine sound system, discerning taste in visiting selectors and a welcoming attitude to mid-30-something 'parents' with a penchant for pushing their luck and an addiction to beer. As such, I found some time to get the skinny with them for the latest issue of the Tottenham Community Press to find out more about how they came to land in Seven Sisters and what the vibe is behind the place.

Check out this latest issue and feature now and visit the Five Miles website for more info on them and their shenanigans...

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Finding sunshine in the bleakest month

February is short, dark and quick full of dank mornings and ever danker nights. The best way to get through it is to draw the curtains on returning from work, crank up the heating and flick the v's at anything more demanding. Hence the radio silence on here - but never fear, once you're out then it's the homeward ride to spring - hello sunshine! Aside from eating eggs three times a week, here's what helped us thrive in Feb...

Take that establishment

The super moon
Dreamland in Margate looking dreamy

It got windy
Turkey Street


Thursday mornings

'Mint' Burmese scran


Hungover Mr Fox