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 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

5 things we learned about grime godfather Wiley from reading Eskiboy

UK grime would be a much more boring place without Wiley. 

His musical releases might be erratic but his behaviour is entertainingly so, from leaking huge Zip Files of music to slagging off Glastonbury ('Fuck your farm') and uploading YouTube videos of him making his breakfast, there are fewer weirder personalities in grime. Or at least, if there are, they keep it under wraps for fear of losing fans. But not Wiley. He lets it all hang out in the best way possible. So if you read his new Eskiboy biog, then you'll be unsurprised to discover that this is all over the place too.

He compares himself to football clubs and martial arts experts within the same paragraph... 

'I was like Ajax. Ajax train players. It's nuts. They put time into people, they work them hard. And then they sell them. That's something that I have done. And no other musician has. But I was just helping people. I didn't expect anything from it. I don't take anything from them. I don't sell them. I'm like a Kung Fu master.'

Sting helped inspire him 

'Eskimo Dance used to be mad. It used to be properly underground. It all came from Sting you know.'

He spent a lot of money (according to his sister) 

'One day he called me from Manchester. I need you to pay our hotel bill. It's a lot. £48,000. He'd taken over a whole floor of the Hilton in Manchester for a week.'

He is an efficient multi-tasker (according to Scratchy)

'Recently we were out in Cyprus and even just driving down the road with him was hilarious. He was on his phone and he was eating, drinking some kind of slushy red daiquiri thing and bombing down the road with the boot of his car flying open. I was looking at him juggling this ridiculous ice drink in one hand with chips in his mouth and he just looked at me like, 'What?'

He's into roast dinners

'Yorkshire pudding, my god.'

Someone needs to give this man his own TV show...

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

The latter quarter of 2017 had plenty of highlights including getting some Facebook likes from Lee Scratch Perry (see above), monkeying about on the grave of Jeremy Beadle and consuming some great culinary shit (see below). There was plenty of other slices of action in between but here are what we recorded via our phones innit...

Soulwax strike the Roundhouse

Soulwax's new live set up has three drummers. Three! It's a lot but were there even three? Were there four? Or ten? Who's counting other than the players themselves?

For many of us, Soulwax just sounded like one huge Robocop-esque synthetic machine, only intent on taking the very roof of London's Roundhouse off rather than doing any high-end maths.

We were lucky enough to clock them in the midst of December when they took over the venue for two nights. Their arrival was a relief as they cut through the festive chaos with their white suits and sleek electronics. But we, by contrast, were all over the place, lighting up snouts inside and hollering at every opportunity. We missed Jarvis Cocker's DJ set as were too busy getting pissed in the pub across the road, can just about remember the start of their set, went back to our buddy's with about 30 cans of czech lager, then woke up on the sofa fully clothed and in total disarray the next morning. It took a lot of beige food items, including Scotch eggs, Mcdonald cheeseburgers, chicken burgers, pork pies and even a quiche to feel anywhere near present or correct the following day. Brap to all crew involved. A strong showing indeed...

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Stick your blue passport up yo ass

Every year starts and ends with a list. And the sound of witless hacks and scribes scraping the bottom of the content barrel. They realise that what was it in has long since been sucked dry at a time of year when most people have nothing better to do than flick aimlessly through cyberspace, waiting for their thumbs to find them something gratifying.

So rather than any new pictures online of dogs doing magical things, cooking up bananas or smooching with your wife, you’re gonna get all the old ones you’ve seen before but compiled into a one stop shop for all your dog wife smooching needs. Thank you oh powerful content curators. Without your handy signposting, we would be all lost, adrift in a culturally dank existence. Amid all the total bollocks of the last 12 months, here’s what we’ve been listening to as Trump felches and May fails. Fuck your blue passports, fuck you Rupert Murdoch capiche? You can’t tell us what to think.


Been caning this one song by shoegazing returnees Slowdive all year. The rest of the album has gone unheard but this really does it for us...


Scottish lad Jackmaster is almost as well known for his ability to stay awake forever as he is for his astute choice of tuneage but this Eros moment from his Essential Mix was one of the best...


Another old bunch of bastards making satisfying guitar music for old farts like me...


This isn't by Bicep but is taken from their Beats in Space show. Like an italo 10cc...

DJ Harvey 

He's back and he's still the man. This is the opener from his 2017 mixtape for legendary Ibiza institution Pikes...

LCD Soundsystem 

LCD returned to great fanfare in 2017 with their best record yet by miles. Hats off to Murphy et all for pulling it out of the bag...

Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things returned and was, surprisingly, not shit. Phew. The music was as addictive and as satisfying as anything else made in the '017...

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Hall and Oates vs Steely Dan

As celebrity death matches go, a tussle between two elderly veterans of pop music sheen, the very venerable Hall and Oates and even more doddery Steely Dan, couldn't be nicer.

Both are proponents of tunes smooth enough to buff your best crockery with. Although you might argue that the latter are slightly more prickly than their hair plug sporting counterparts. But whatever, both peddle 'AOR' of the most excellent variety. Rather than watching them putting their dukes up and slugging it out in the ring, we had the pleasure of catching them both play over consecutive nights as part of the Blues Fest at London's cavernous, vertigo inducing arena at the O2.

Saturday night was all about Hall and Oates who successfully transported some California sunshine to Greenwich. Thankfully, they didn't dilly dally with new material, instead just wheeling out a dazzling set of total bangers from Private Eyes to I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) and sporting some delightfully buffonic hair do's. One of the funnest aspects of watching an old band is the old audience and we felt incredibly young as we went through the airport style security of the arena. We were also the only punters on our side of the stadium to ingest too many Stellas and dance in the aisles while simultaneously shitting it that we might come a cropper and tumble to an almost certain death from our vertigo-inducingly high seats. But we lived to tell the tale. Whoooop.

Sunday evening was spent feeling a little more stale and watching Steely Dan from the vantage of the BT corporate box on the other side of the stadium.Our contact got us in on the lure of a cheapish ticket, plus free booze and food. But while we were ushered into the venue via the VIP entrance, the promise of gratis stuff to stick in our gobs never materialised. Instead one of our party spent £7.50 on a bowl of nuts and we again got on the Stellas. Steely Dan went through a greatest hits style set with one of the slickest band of session musicians you'd ever did see. And while they'd lost a member in the form of the sadly departed Walter Becker, a lone unused microphone paid tribute while Donald Fagan twitched his way through some of the best, jazzy-pop bits... these guys might be fucking ancient but they've still got it...

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Hey London - let's oppose the developers

Unless you go to bed at 7pm or don't ever look outside, then you should be well aware of the struggle and strife London's LGBTQ+ venues have been facing in recent times. The capital has lost more than half in the last decade but campaigners are now taking a stand and attempting to block the tide of gentrification running over and exchanging the city's best night spots for shit, luxury flats. 

The battle to save the Joiners Arms pub in Hackney has been at the centre of this fight with campaigners recently winning in their bid to guarantee that a redevelopment must see an LGBTQ+ club included in any plans for at least 25 years. 

Well done to the Friends of the Joiners Arms and read this piece I put together for Mixmag on the fight (it was published just before news of the victory)...