Thursday, 31 March 2011

Cuts, cuts and more fucking cuts

Coalition smoalition - that's what you would have heard if you'd been kicking back on Embankment last Saturday. It was one of many other chants on the TUC demonstration against the government's willy nilly attitude. The best one ended in 'Cameron, Fuck off'. Stan. We marched. We drank. We drank a little bit more. Ended up watching some characters with hoods smash up a vendor of chutney in the west end. Then went Maccy d's. Then had some more beers. Then some sudofen. Cue 7 o'clock bed time. Cue tears on Monday. Cue tears on Tuesday. Cue point fucking made. Don't mess with our march. Don't mess with our bills. You fuckers.

Big fuck off Ben mate

Where's me lager crew

Take your hands off our kids

A well needed refreshment break

Where's me wizard crew at?


Fortnum & Mason getting murked

Not lit. Note. This bottle of really nasty cheap wine was not lit

The only way to finish socking one to the man - Big Mac and fries mate. I'm famished

That Most Incredible, Most Amazing Thing

Ballet. It's a new one on me. But lo, after the other weekend, when the lager count was too high to quantify, one member (H-Bomb - props) of our party decided to take direct action. It didn't mean taking a vow of temperance but instead a movement outside of the 4 walls of the nearest pub. Thank god. Just for a night. One night where only two small bottles of beer were consumed.

More importantly it meant getting the collective high brow out and sharing it for an evening down at Sadler's Well. We saw The Most Incredible Thing, put together by the Pet Shop Boys and Javier de Frutos who is apparently a polite, yet big noise in ballet circles. Apparently. There was dancing, some militant Commie looking slogans and a plot which was only discernible by the non-ballet moments. When the characters spoke and that. I've no idea if ballet usually possesses a distinctive linear narrative - this one didn't but the look, the moves and the Bobby O style rhythms meant the whole shebang romped by in a very enjoyable fashion. Culture is allreet innit...

Above is real, live proof that civilised behaviour does occur. We even had a sit down meal at Pizza Express going. On vouchers natch but the prove is hidden in the dough... This bit of Bobby O is also next level. You can take the ravers out of the rave but you can't get it all the way out. Can you?

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Let's go low

You experience a culinary high - And it's so high that the only way is south, going south with yer mouth. Or more of a zig zag from all day breakfast sandwich to near starvation. It's been an emotional rollercoaster ride through the darkness. Take a torch if you're gonna go in...

Street food

A very greasy breakfast

It's a lifestyle choice

The inexplicable bit of a very small bird


A light dinner

Lightbox - want one

Gaslamp killer

Long tings in the chicken shop queue

Smokey joes

It's last tube kinda ting


Lager lager lager / Shouting / Lager lager lager

Premium strength lager has always been a good, if not the main, reason to get out of bed on a daily basis and head to work. But last Saturday we happened on a small test of how well we knew the beverages that we splurge our wages on every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.

Imaginatively entitled the 'Lager Challenge' four cans of (premium lager) were purchased, opened and poured into glasses by an independent adjucator. Then we sampled the various nectars and attempted to guess their names. Going into this test of mental and tasting agility, I was totally 'balls out in the shower'. The list featured Heineken, Grolsch, Red Stripe and Stella which are all lagers we know intimately. And when you spend more than ten years drinking too many of them, it stands to reason that you'd get a bit cocky.

But the reality of the endeavour was much more confusing than you'd think. Our marks were disappointingly low (I got two - my opponent? a fat zilch) and proved that the snobbery I'd shown to certain high street fizzy beers was completely ill-founded. The conclusion derived from our rigorous testing? They all taste exactly the fucking same. Going to the pub will noe never be the same.

The score sheets

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

How I learned to stop worrying and love Scotch eggs

Sometimes opportunities appear which you just can't ignore. They come to you trussed up ready to be roasted - and you'd be a churl if you were to do anything other than grasp them by the scruff of the neck and give 'em a good wringing. Don't fight it. Slip your curled up claw inside and feel it.

When a copy of Manzine turned up with a recipe for Scotch eggs lolling on the page, it was obvious what time it was. The stars all pointed to getting in the kitchen, dusting off the megaphone and hollering 'more talk, more action. Let's make this shit real'.

According to this new tome, these meaty treats are part of some sort of new man/bachelordom kinda vibe which they're pushing for 2011. It's like Loaded but with less tits (although they do acknowledge them and their milky wonder) and more emphasis on offal foods. Fair dos. This may well be the case. But Scotch eggs have held a strange, intoxicating fascination for time without the dawn of a golden era of manliness being heralded. They appeal for a multitude of sinful reasons possibly too numerous, weird or obvious to number. In part, it's the mixture of great ingredients - eggs and meat in one feral breadcrumby ball - and their spatchcocking of different foody vibes - they've got one breadcrumbed paw in a gutter made of plastic wrapping and gassy scents. The other lives up the aspirational organic chef's sleeve.

It was a big day - The early afternoon was spent sourcing the ingredients. There's something very Enid Blyton about getting your tote out in the sunshine like a smug prick and dilly dallying between supermarkets searching out breadcrumbs. Proper, smug White Isle vibes going on. To be honest, if the hangover hadn't been so big, they could all have been sourced from the corner shop. But the Friday night delirium was still writ large, which was itself something to revel in.

The cooking process took a wee while but step by step these little morselets were pieced together with the help of regular breaks for snouts and cups of tea. Boiling the fuck out of the eggs, massaging the sausage meat, then slathering them in each other. In some ways, it's probably the most erotic experience of the year thus far. Which says a lot about the sort of year it's been. The only real difficulty wasn't in the compiling but in the cooking. The first batch came out looking slightly frazzled, but once bitten twice shy was not the mantra for the moment. It just increased the determination to really nail the next lot and made the whole process a shitload easier. And the taste? With a little tabasco, they were to die for.

Props to Manzine for pointing a brother in the right culinary path - This could possibly be the highlight of the year so far...

My take on the recipe (didn't get any of ingredient 8 until 4am the next morning. Too late)

The arsenal

The first crucial, yet tentative steps

Let the games begin

The opposition

Surprisingly they both got on rather well

Into the boiling fire hazard...

Boiling boiling boiling

(over) Done

I also got out of bed on Sunday still somewhat inebriated but with a burning desire to let the editorial staff at Manzine know that I'd got off my arse and done summat about this fixation. Here's what I drunkenly wrote to them... I need to get a fucking life...

"On 20 Mar 2011, at 13:55, Jim Ottewill wrote:


How are we? It's early Sunday afternoon and the stains of last night have run pretty deep. My eyes are red and my head is heavy. However, I'd like to email saying 'many kind thanks' for the latest issue of your fine publication. My Sheffield-residing buddy visited us in Hackney just the other week and arrived equipped with a copy - to use twattish terms, it's brought on many a 'LOL' round these parts.

Yesterday was possibly one of the most beautiful days of the year. So it seemed the perfect time to lock the doors, shut out the sun and take on your Scotch egg recipe. I've been an ardent supporter of this savoury snack for some time. Due to living in London Fields (I'd like to point out I'm from Oldham originally. I'm not sure why this matters. It probably doesn't does it? But it's good context), there are numerous vendors of artisan scotch eggs round these parts. Curiousity has often got the better of me and I've given a man in an apron as much as £4 for a Scotch egg infused with various foodstuffs - black pudding was the one for me - the verdict? Greasy as fook. But I'm a lover of the Scotched egg in it's most feral form - Service station, Pork Farms, in the gob, sweats, shivers - You can't touch that feeling.

So Saturday was a big day - I hunted down the ingredients from Peter Lyle's recipe (couldn't grab any panko so went in on the Paxo instead) and got to work - doubled the DNA dose as it's a mate's birthday today and thought I could impress by getting cocky in the kitchen. There were a few breaks to smoke and drink tea but after 2 hours worth of endeavour I was dancing round the kitchen with a grin on my face as wide as the Menai Straits. I haven't been that happy for some time. There were a few hairy moments during the deep frying stage - One of the eggs part exploded and I was vaguely worried that we might have a fire on our hands - but, apart from these mild moments of worry, it almost seemed too easy. There they were - these orange, sausagey balls of wonder. Flavoursome as fuck, especially with tabasco.

Please see the attached images - and I'd like to say thanks again. Life has changed in the last 24 hours and for once I think it's moving in a positive direction.

Nice one,


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit?

Wiley has long been a talking point round our way. His twitter feed is on point while his unwillingness to compromise is legendary. No one else who's sold SO MANY records would be willing to give it away for free. His self belief is enviable but he also comes across as a genuinely normal dude. The sort of dude who films himself making egg and toast and sticks it on the internet is the sort of the dude I'd like to be friends with. This shit is unreal. Game changing.

'You've got to appreciate the egg and soldiers. You must never forget that. Trust me.'

I love this guy so much. He's supposedly touring in April the week before the London Marathon. If he just turns up and boils an egg, I'll be more than content...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Rhythm is a chancer

This is the stuff that dreams are made of...

We used to take our tops off all the time

It was Chinchilla Price's b-day this time last week - and to celebrate we went and ate a delicious burger. The cow which was turned into the glorious thing you see above was fed beer and given massages before being mercilessly butchered. As ways of passing on, it sounds allreet...


The cock



Hudson Mohawe paints Jamie Woon all purple

Jamie Woon is one of these names which was spewed up during all the hubble and bubble which musique critics get themselves into at the start of a new year. I've yet to listen to him on his own as a result. But this new remix by the ever oddly shaped Hudson Mohawke has pricked my fancy. It's purple, it's got drums and it's as catchy as fook although it's Hudmo's skills on the choral rave chorus which make this for us. Out in April. Oomph.

Lady Luck (Hudson Mohawke's Schmink Wolf Re-fix) by woon

Tighten up

Me and the pen have been getting on recently to the extent where we've taken our relationship outside of this mouldy corner of the internet and attempted to show it off somewhere else. It wasn't long until we came running back here but on the brief foray into the real world we trussed up some reviews and left 'em out to rot elsewhere. No one usually bothers reading them but you can check them out via the links below...

Egyptrixx - Bible Eyes (Night Slugs) album review

Ilya Santana - Transborder (Leatherette/Minogue remixes)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Choose life - choose getting out of the bed in the morning

The majority of Saturdays usually start late amidst a fuggy haze of mild paranoia and no little regret. And, no matter how much shit food one stuffs down one's cakehole, this doesn't disperse until the liquid horse is found and remounted. It's a vicious circle akin to playing chicken with your own brain and self rather than a car. It invariably culminates in making a number of Monday night promises all beaming with good intention. And equally as invariably these positive vibes will have the smiles wiped off their faces by Wednesday, then be smashed up like a tray of pint pots over someone's head. Fuck it. Rules, especially ones you've set yourself, are there to be broken...

But, against all the odds, and markedly out of kilter with the recent vibe, last Saturday just past was very different - Sure we didn't hit the hay until about 5 on the Saturday in the am (which was very in character with recent behavioural traits) but the morning was clocked and by the early afternoon, we were off to Brighton. Unbelieveable.

The day was big - There were some real culinary high points both on the journey to and while mooching round the seaside itself. The scotch eggs, the cheese toastie (served by a peculiar Scotch chap in non-matching crocs - a statement?) and the gourmet burger kitchen were all big looks. We threw stones in the sea, saw a photo exhibition and sneered at some of the smug faces sitting about guffawing. So thankfully, and as karma dictates, there were also some moments of proper fear to balance the enjoyable bits of the jaunt out.

Wise know-it-alls suggest that confronting summat that truly terrifies you is the best approach to getting over it. So, having taken this mantra to heart, I've been getting on roller coasters for time. This is despite being a big, fat wuss when it comes to heights. I don't wimper at the sight of a step ladder but have been known to not peer over the edge of a wall when confronted with a mild drop.

So boarding the roller coaster at the end of Brighton's pier was another attempt to prove mysen to mysen. And, as with previous endeavours, it didn't work. I was shaking like a puny, vein-ridden leaf by the time it'd finished with us. And I kept my stupid eyes tightly locked for the entire journey. The rust, the proximity of the sea and the loose fitting belt thing all zapped my confidence. It wasn't until we'd found a pub that the equilibrium had been restored. The moral of the story? It's good to do something you don't know. But it's nice to know what you know. You know?


Sobering up next to a right pair

The sea!


Mum and dad

Ginger child eyeing up the Pump Room - oof

Full fat milk - pervert

Proper pervert

I got 3 bits rather than 2 - Think the old Scottish sailor had the hots for us

Classic seaside humour

So fucking shit

Tension begins to run high

Shooting shit up


Shit scared and in the queue for the roller coaster

Fucking terrifyingly shit scared

Very, very scared. Eyes tight shut hanging on for dear life

Still very scared

On the dodgems

Running tings

At the wheel