Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Numbers, lorded over by Scottish party boy Jackmaster, is one of my favourite record labels and their latest release - BIPP by SOPHIE - is one of the best they've stuck out in recent times. It's just so fucking weird. It's the first tune for some time that I've reloaded over and over on YouTube to try and get my puny mind round. 

You can read the full review either below or on the Hyponik website here. Below the review you can check out the lead tune. And get your ears pinned back. It's a biggggyyyy...

Friday, 21 June 2013

Don't Look Now

Yet again we're going through a bit of a purple patch for fresh sounding aural delights. There's almost, dare I say it (yet again), too much to for the ears to chomp on.

Can you remember the first time you used a spoon?

2013 has been characterised by strong displays all round. From the pub to the wardrobe, we've been upping the ante and we're not even half way in. There's plenty of flex still to be found in the '013. Here's just a small handful of visual highlights from the year so far...

Carboot triumphs again

On the chicken

Ahoy there fromage

Five pound doughnut

Brighton's Great Escape. A day of pretending to be a music journalist


Weatherall is on our wall

Kebabs vs cops

Lil junior loves his whacky new tee
Bubble and squeak teng
So fly they do their own fridge magnets

On the way to Mary Stopes to deliver this bat. Serious

Flummoxed by food

The Fresh Pooch of London Fields


Breakfast in N16

Raspberry jam

Haven't you heard

Fucking breakfast la

Spencer rinsing the Tweakaholic

Caught out cross dressing

Waiting in a sweaty basement wth loads of kids to interview Lethal Bizzle

Cheese twist crisis


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A foodie's one stop tour of Brockley

Brockley is part of London which lies south of the Thames aka 'no man's land' for a die in the wool northerner such as me sen. I was down there just at the weekend and had the pleasure of visiting Brockley's Fish Bar. Let me tell you it must be one of the area's top five foodie secrets. They batter a sausage like no other. Although when you throw donner meat and chips into the mix, it really is something else. If you're in the zone, then you need to open your gob and enjoy a right big nosh...

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Stone Roses @Finsbury Park

At 31, it can sometimes feel like you’re still acting the giddy goat by getting in a state every Friday and Saturday. 'What should a bro or sis be doing?', I hear you cry. Knuckling down and saving dosh for that all important home deposit? Cutting out bread and getting into exercise? Exchanging intake of narcs for consumption of Neal's Yard produce? 

Whatever floats your boat - but if the inadvertent avoidance of maturity is a cause for worry or concern, then you should have been at the Stone Roses gig last weekend in Finsbury Park. If you'd attended, you could have witnessed the example set by the majority of the lairy blokes who rocked up. Ignore the attractions of fitness! Let it all hang out! Pep up your moobs with as much lager as possible! Put on that Reni hat - it's like being back at Spike Island! Have that other shy slice of Laughing Cow!

By the time we’d landed and found a ticket from a tout, nearly everyone we encountered was totally out of their tree. So out of it, they would have had difficulty in finding the tree from whence they had come. Or remembering that it was in fact a tree that they’d just got out of. 

Indeed, people were going crazy. One young lad got as far as the gate then got turned away for involuntarily slapping a security guard. Why would you do that? Once inside it was also clear that the grass of Finsbury Park will never be the same again. There were hundreds of elderly dudes gurning up to the fences and taking a leak everywhere. Some of them didn't bother going up to the fence and just had a piss where they stood. If synchronised weeing was a sport, then sacks of gold medals would have been dished out. Shitloads. 

But once you'd got through the gate, avoided the wee, laughed at the lads, saw the massive mess going on and bought an overpriced Fosters, it was all total vibes. The collective sense of giddy euphoria was overwhelming and before we knew it, we were getting as lairy as the rest of them, buying delicious small bottles of Echo Falls as chasers to our £4.50 pints. 

So what happened? Well we arrived in time for the warm up DJ who played a classic indie disco set of housey classics probably last heard at the likes of 5th Avenue or 42nd Street back in Manchester the other Friday. Then The Stone Roses bounced on stage. The roar of approval was big enough to be heard on the other side of London and may have even have reached Sale if the wind had been blowing in the right direction. The holler was more like being at a football match, which was the vibe. Total matey camaraderie over a band rather than the direction of the ball. Nostalgia, being pissed, the teenage rush, Ian Brown's cheek bones and one of the best musical trios the world has ever seen. Watching and hearing Reni, Mani and John Squire (with a thick bouffonic plumage of hair and awful arts teacher waistcoat) lock it down is one of the most magical things you can ever treat your ears to. 

Over almost two hours, the Roses blessed us with some of their finest moments - and lo, everything sounded fucking great. Made of Stone, Standing Here, Elephant Stone and This is the One were just some of the highlights out of many - all which were married to increasingly trippy visuals and lasers transmitting their music into space. Despite seeming like they'd been brought in from a 60s psychedelic film, the sights perfectly fit their groove. Especially when they took it way out on Fools Gold with Captain Reni at the helm. 

It's obvious that they've long since put the demons of Reading '96 to bed (although granted this is the actual original band rather than a bunch of session musos) and are now sounding as tight and as sleek as you like. Even Ian Brown's voice sounds great. It's pretty much perfect. What a night. What a band. Ooofffff...

Joe Bloggs sets his flares alight


Monday, 3 June 2013

Not mentioning hair to Tim Burgess

Tim Burgess used to be known as the lead singer of The Charlatans and for being fancied by any self-respecting indie loving teenage girl. Now he's perhaps most famous for being teetotal and having, what some might say, is really bad hair.

I had the pleasure of speaking to him twice over the past two weeks for interviews on different tacks. On neither occasion did I ask him about what was going on top of his head. Instead I spent more time prying on into was going on in his head. A chance missed? You decide below...

Read the full interview with Tim about songwriting.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch ting

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is quite the mouthful. As is, arguably, much of the Welsh vernacular.

On a recent Bank Holiday flex, we did our best to embrace this dialect as much as possible by journeying along the coast of North Wales and memorising the Welsh bits on all the road signs. It wasn't the sole point of our voyage, it certainly spiced up our short tour of the more glamorous parts of the north west. While we were of a Welsh bent, it seemed only natural to pay our respects to the town with the longest place name in Europe.

As fucking daft as that name is, it turns out townsfolk made it up for their railway station so they could get themselves the accolade of having the longest moniker. Which undermines the whole point. And says much for the mentality of the town's inhabitants. Or at least how fucking bored they must have been.

If you’ve ever visited this small spot on the lower cheek of Anglesey, you’ll know that apart from the train station and the peculiar shop with huge amounts of tat inside it, there’s absolutely fuck all there. We acquired as much merch and photos as we felt we could get away with before doing quick one to find somewhere more interesting to basque in the bank holiday heat. 

The rest of our time in Wales had been wonderfully pleasantly passed. We’d stayed at the Liverpool Arms Hotel in Beaumaris the previous evening which had greeted us with a dilapidated sign falling over the entrance. That sign's vibe was heavily reminiscent of the League of Gentlemen which is a fair description for the whole place. Exploring Beaumaris takes all of 20 minutes before you settle into what the rest of the populace seem to love doing. Drinking. There’s more pubs here than anything else some of which are weird and others just well weird.

So after checking out some cows and bulls, we ended up at a boozer with live music from dynamic acoustic duo Kev and Miv. I felt a bit sorry for Kev as it seemed some of the punters were into the idea of giving him a bit of verbal lip and blowing a communal trumpet when he tried to sing. Despite his nerdy appearance, it seemed he could take it. Big up Kev. Nice chords mate. You smashed it.

The first evening of our adventure had seen us take on the Wirral's only club entitled 'The Grange' for a 30th do. One sharply dressed susan sported the timeless look of jeans with an embroidered dragon on the flank. Which was rather in keeping with the Welsh theme. Big up to that dude for ensuring his sartorial flex was on point. Wales ting!

The station


In the Welsh desert

You always get a wonky welcome at the Liverpool Arms Hotel

Cryptic bench vibes

Moo crew

'Let's get wrecked on cheap...' what? 

Kev and Miv doing their ting


A map

Weekenders at Stafford station

The man with the dragon sewn into his arse

Provocatively poor parking

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Brandishing an AK47 in Amsterdam

‘I’ll have the AK47 please. And two cappucinos’.

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was some sort of relaxed arms deal. But nothing was blown away in this transaction. Apart from perhaps our minds. 

This opening exchange went down in the first of many visits to various cafés in Amsterdam. Oh yes. After plenty of talk, action had taken place and we’d made it across the sea to the Dutch home of nefarious behaviour. As such the middle of day one on our recent jaunt seemed as apt a time as any to start chonging on the good shit - we spent the next 36 hours cackling like hysterical, red-eyed hyenas. 

Our trip had begun the previous evening via an overnight ferry to take advantage of the first bank holiday of the year. And the tone had been already set by getting extremely carried away by the wonderful attraction of a smoking room on the boat. Despite this small, foggy oasis seeming to be full of chain smoking children, we  sat back and supped on lagers and smokes until the bar keep had to shut up shop and usher us to bed. 

Unsurprisingly, our first morning was one born of much confusion. Woken up by the ship’s alarm call of ‘Don’t Worry - Be Happy’ at what felt like an early hour, we’d rushed down to breakfast almost too late to eat owt. We made the most of the five minutes given to us by making a heap of bacon butties, tying them up in serviettes and legging it off the boat just in time to catch the train to the ‘dam.

Our stay was to the west of the city in the apartment of a camp, muscly dude called Anthony who’d I found on the internet. His apartment was lovely with a walk in shower thing and plenty of cruising ground flyers but we barely spent any time in there apart from to kip. The vertigo-inducing, anorexic flight of stairs which he bounded down to greet us when we arrived added an extra frisson of danger to our two days of going Dutch. 

Our wee stay involved a relaxing routine of walking up to Anne Frank’s house and looking on the queue in aghast, then hitting up a coffee joint for a sugary hit of caffeine and massive bifter. When the smoke got too pungent, we’d level out with a refreshing lager and a bacon butty we’d nabbed from the boat. And so the routine for our stay was set. One of the realest moments was seeing a fellow elderly toker finish a particularly stinky reefer, then make off really slowly on a mobility scooter. Vibes to that old man. 

We were in bed by ten on the Saturday due to being overly baked but got up the next day to take bikes round Vondelpark at a very pedestrian pace, then hit up the café scene for more vibes, this time in the sleazy heart of the Red Light District. It's undoubtedly a pretty weird place. Liberating, otherworldly, bleak, shocking take your pick. But going for a mooch round there baked is probably wise. Then hitting up Amsterdam’s cheese museum with shit loads of free samples is even wiser. We didn’t pay for one piece of that fromage.

It was at this point of cheesey overindulgence that our good luck came to an end. After eating the starter of a thai curry, we realised it was hugely expensive and did one before becoming hugely lost on the canals. We and walking around in circles for an hour and a half.before being forced to hail a taxi back to our home. Which turned out to be just around the corner from where we’d set off. Classic stoned flex. 

Leaving Amsterdam is where the fun of the last two days catches up with you. My paranoid fug didn’t abate for a couple of days while I was incapable of navigation or rational thought on the way home. Thank god for the cinema on the ferry back. A Good Day to Die Hard has never felt more apt…

Unfortunately timed sign

Anthony's bathtime friend

Honk honk


Pork pies on the ferry

Viva le smokey room

Bev ting

Captain of the ship

Scran for days and days

Landing in the dam after 4 hours kip