Wednesday, 14 December 2016

It's not all bad ... but it's not all good...

End of the year means it's time for content providers across the land to compile list after list after list of 'things' that happened over the preceding 12 months and what might happen over the next 12. This is all hung, drawn and quartered by 'critics' in as many digital slices as possible.

This traditional load of 'content' baloney is driven by Christmas and the fact that all anyone wants to do in the Western world is get pissed, eat and generally act like a slob for a few days. This is of course infinitely preferable to being at work and attempting to drum up anything newsworthy to crow about. But the online news machine needs feeding, hence desperate hacks resorting to recycling what's gone and what might happen many times over for our tired old eyes to tuck into again, again and again until they fall out. 

This year comes with the additional addendum that 2016 has been the worst 12 months 'ever' due to Trump, Brexit, Prince, Bowie, Cohen, AA Gill and every other cultural totem passing on. Jesus h. Get some fucking perspective you yaa yaa bores.

Tottenham Community Press

Tottenham has been our ends since mid-September and the vibes have been big and strong ever since we landed. Bruce Grove is our hood and it's been on point, from the Italian joint San Marco's to Aldi, the Beehive boozer and the Bruce Castle Park. We've been having a lovely time scrabbling around the post code and attempting to embrace the place, or at least uncover the boozers which will let us quaff ales with our sprog past 8pm without giving us a scolding. Don't judge us. Purleaseeeee.

As part of that, I've started putting together words for the Tottenham Community Press, a new social enterprise aimed at shining a light on the area and the good stuff that's going on in a community that feels like it's on the brink of taking off. Check out their website here and dig into the first piece I've written for them, on the next wave of grime to come in your ears.

Read issue one via PDF. 

Going live with Soho Radio

The second half of 2017 has disappeared in what Sonic Youth might describe as an explosion of heat, whirl and flash but there have been vibes a plenty to wade through.

First up is that worky tings have started doing a monthly show on bastion of all things independent radio, Soho Radio.We’ve thus far featured myself presenting nervously and interviews with HiFi Sean and Luke Haines, previously of the Auteurs acclaim.

For anyone who might have ventured to a Kiss the Fist or a Rough Disko we used to run, they are something of a bumpy two hour ride but that's par. You can have a wee listen to what we’ve been up to below and, as long as we can maintain a steadyish stream of willing victims to speak to, we’ll be on there every month for the foreseeable…

You can listen live here >

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Audrey 'Dre' Faye Ottewill

She's here - born on 30 September 2016 weighing in at 9 pounds, 14, Audrey 'Dre' is in the house and after your milk. Lock up your sons and get some extra pints in...

Bill Brewster's 100 disco killers for under a tenner

Ace DJ and disco historian Bill Brewster has put together this list of 100 killer disco 12 inches for under a tenner. It's riposte to FACT magazine doing a similar post but compiling either the blindingly obvious or the ludicrously expensive.

Check the ace list here and get on these heaters culled from it below...

Playing the Bass With Three Hands

Rock'n'roll biographies often follow a certain formula - get in a band, get famous, get fucked up, get dropped, get lost. But Playing the Bass With Three Hands by Will Carruthers is a different kind of beast.

As bass player in Spaceman 3 and Spiritualised, Will has played with two of the most cracked and fractious space rock groups the UK has spawned. But despite authoring a tome exploring his adventures with the bands, his tale is not one of success, nor one stuffed with the bragging so often afforded to musicians turned writers. Instead, his work follows him unceremoniously losing the plot and taking on jobs on building sites and abattoirs to fund his musical endeavours. The bleakness of the tall tale is off set by Will's self deprecatory tone, which takes on the eloquent rakish wit of a Victorian magician. I had the pleasure of meeting Will for an interview earlier in the year - we liaised in the lobby of a non-descript hotel in Fitzrovia and talked in its garden of his book tour and maiming song birds to make them sing sweeter. He drank a 10am Corona and smoked a series of small, gnarly little roll ups. It felt like I was holding court with a devilish gentlemen who, from his book and real life persona, has always been unsure of where fun stops and trouble begins. Read the book - it's ace..

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Balearic Mike heads to a Desert Island Disco

Balearic Mike is one of our favourite DJs and was recently on Lauren Laverne's BBC 6 Music show to put together a selection for being stranded on a desert island. Here it is. It's fucking mega chums...

If you're not living on the edge, then you're taking up too much room...

Upping sticks and moving gaff can be a big ting, especially when it comes to leaving an area you've become a part of, that gives you a sense of self and purpose. But so it goes. You can't stand still.You're just getting in the way. Move on motherfuckers!

We high tailed it out of Dalston in mid-September to our new ends of Tottenham after a year of trying. Turning mid-thirties means it's probably time to give up our old place and make way for the next wave of starry eyed dreamers who believe life starts and ends in the N16 post code. Or at least, those who can afford it - elegant slumming such as this comes at a price. But for us, with the car boot at the bottom of our bed, the Marquis of Lansdowne across the road, Super Kebab, the Basak Off Licence, the weird grumpy guys in Kristina Records, the trendy overpriced clothes in Huh, Dalston and Hackney have become embossed in our very beings.

We've seen and done many things while in Dalston. One of the weirdest was nicking a doob off the youths downstairs, smoking it, then hallucinating we were being attacked by a helicopter to the point where I woke up and ran out into the street to find out what was happening. Or when we got so battered at Bar Tipsy that the owners had to carry us home. Or when I lost my keys after my work Xmas party, so had to sleep on the steps, Or when we had people back and ripped the breakfast bar off the wall. Good times yeah.

But now it's all change. Particularly with the Nordic Loft Space next door, possibly sign posting what the future of N16 is going to look like, At least in the eyes of developers who are really those who hold the cards when it comes to etching our future. So see you later Dalston. You've been kind if not very, very silly...

The view

A grand a month and you could get all this

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Midland and an abundance

Producer and DJ Midland has gone from a bit of a no one to a bit of some one over recent times with both his work in the studio and on the dancefloor. Maybe it's his growing of a tache, or his unabashed love for disco, maybe something deeper but whatever's got inside him and his music, it's one frisky mother.

Final credits is his big tune and has been a lean, mean, raving machine right through the 2016 summer.

Alongside this, he's just chosen to share his favourite mixes, a collection of 55 sets and over 80 hours of music. We've only touched its surface but it's already proved a reliable source in an age of ever increasing noise and online baloney. Get stuck in below...

Summer in the city in the '016

Summer in and out of the city and the weather has been good. Too good at times for our teeny flat - it’s been a warm one and when you live in a box atop a number of other boxes then you can struggle to ventilate effectively. Especially when you’re expecting. But no matter, we’ve tasted sunshine on numerous occasions over these clement months and it’s been as jolly as it has been sweaty.

What have we been doing I hear no one cry? Well it’s all go innit. There’s been potential home purchases attempting to be made, then sprogs flying all over the place from various nooks and crannies across the UK. While we’ve been learning how to be humans, with all this growing up going on, it’s also been vibes to keep it foolish yeah? So there have been a few late, late, late ones, then some consistent little ones to keep the beery fires burning. We’ve eaten lots of ice, had our eyes scalded by some pornographic toilets (Hunter S - I’m looking at you here), feasted on supermarket trifle, read like readings been going out of fashion and done some business at Notting Hill. Check out what a g’wan. Now, in many ways, it’s going to get real…

Stegasaurus shaped scrambled egg

Monkey with a blue dick? 

A meal for champions

Les gaff

The worst chair in our Solar System

Must read

It is like an addiction

Bra head


Home made tapas


Captains of the local fishing industry

Dessert for one

Lips bogs

Just don't yeah? 

'They see me rolling'

Notting Hill

Nob heads

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Boys don't cry

Summer 2016 has been a hot one and for such occasions, a suitable soundtrack is required. So here's what been keeping our walls reverberating during July and August while we've been sipping on gin and juice ...

Shizzle my brizzle

In Brizzle do what brizzlionians do which on our latest jaunt involved kipping on our mate's floor, BBQing chicken and setting light to a big dock off fire in his garden. Oh yes. For this is the land of the free, where cab drivers have sub woofers in the boots of their vehicles, kids can run around bare foot and dancehall gets blasted out of the back of hot hatches at a bottom shaking volume. Brizzle me nizzle!


Starting fires

Original tree hugger

The only way to test whether your pasta is al dente or not



Sub woofer in the taxi yo


Sunday, 7 August 2016

Have you ever drunk red wine from Walla Walla in the pale moonlight?

Have you ever quaffed the best red wine Walla Walla has to offer? Have you ever troffed so much Ranch Dressing that your face takes on its mayo and herb like consistency? Have you ever slept rough under a truck in a car park?

After our recent jaunt to the USA, half of the four of our travelling party could answer 'yes' to all three of the above. These achievements were thanks to some erudite planning earlier in the year, which meant we managed to be in the United States for 4th July, a bizarre, deeply American splurge of strange, stodgy, yet delicious foods, much patriotic chest beating and shouting around of the word 'freedom'.  

Our trip, like all good ones should, began in a pub at London Gatwick airport via a cocktail of breakfast pints and pain killers. Oh yes. It meant that the nine hour flight passed in the hazy blink of a heavily lidded eye, interspersing sweaty sleep with watching (and promptly forgetting) blockbuster films. Before we knew it, we'd landed and were doing the zombie shuffle around Vancouver's airport attempting to wake up and force our four bulging cases into a Nissan hire car. After much pushing, we eventually found one we could squeeze our garms into and we were off - the road trip, in a practical family saloon with an efficient ratio of miles to the gallon, had begun.

Night one was spent in the Salish Lodge near Snoqualimie Falls - this oasis of peace and delightful wooden scents was the location for the filming of the opening sequence of cult series Twin Peaks so provided a suitably ominous opening to our jaunt. We never bumped into Bob or found the Log Lady. But it did make for much surrealism, enhanced by high levels of sleep deprivation and a typically unfriendly welcome on the US border from security. We witnessed one poor unfortunate get hand cuffed and carted away, so, despite the bad vibes, we kept a lid on it, denied everything and they let us in.

Day two was spent driving across country in the baking heat to Hayden Lake and a lovely family lake house for the holiday celebrations. The drive from there to the holiday destination, in deepest Idaho, is a boring one with little to look at except for flat fields and truck stops. So it was with some relief that we made it to the lake house and a very warm welcome with the in-laws we were staying with. From that point, it was full immersion in the American dream and the 4 July celebrations - we swam in the lake, enjoyed some serious sun bathing action, partook of numerous IPAs including this beaut from the New Belgian brewery and ate some, at times, bizarre scran where sweet and savoury items - rather than kept at arm's length, are encouraged to mate.

On the 4 July itself we went into nearby town Coeur D'Alene to witness their parade full of Donald Trump fans, old people in costumes (including one keen OAP dressed as a shark riding a bike) and roller skating Napoleon Dynamites. We topped it off with a Gooey, a dessert as big as a baby. Our server, Brandy, was amazed that we were from 'Engerlandddddd' and talked much of the US gun laws, how many she had and how much heat people would be packing in the restaurant. We shut up, ate our Gooey and left after giving her a fat tip. She was promising to come to visit the UK at some point. Looking forward to it Brandy.

The next stop on our tour was Portland. Which seemed close on the map, but in reality was nine hours of driving away. Nine hours, it turns out, is quite a long time to be trapped in a car with your buddies, a box of donuts, a large hangover and a bottomless bag of pretzels. Reaching the brilliantly named Bozo Burger was peak. The other bits aren’t worth talking about ever again.

We’ve been to Portland previously and always had an absolute belter, so this time was just as Balearic once we’d recovered from the journey and could bare to stomach each other again. We drank smoothies, did yoga, visited Nike’s Oregon HQ, ate from street carts and got lost in Powell’s, the US of A’s biggest independent gift shop, ate a shit load of turnips and saw the best sign ever. We also spent a fair amount of time in hype new football boozer, The Toffee Club watching football, listening to rave as well as visiting Farma, the legal dope smoking joint up the road. We partook of a point five of a g of the so-called hazy kush and dog walker from the expert seller inside the shop. Rather than a seedy, underhand kind of affair, this was sanitised, shiny white and glistening with the sort of customer service John Lewis would die for. They even sold t-shirts in there. Take note Amsterdam.

Seattle was our next calling point, a mere three hours up the road from Portland, all in one straight line north up the coast of the country. Known for grunge and plaid in equal measure, our first night was spent ignoring any culture vibes and instead focused on sampling the kush and the dog walker. Our expert back in PDX had advised us that the former was for ‘going out and doing shit, like museums’ while the latter was to be imbibed if you wanted to relax. As nice as he was, I strongly disagreed with his prognosis, being totally unable to talk or move following a hit of the kush. It was a deep burn no doubt.

Our days were spent traversing the touristy bits while the evenings in the bars of Ballard, playing shoot ‘em ups and drinking strong IPAs. Tourism involved the Space Needle, one of Seattle’s most iconic land marks, a Jetson’s like structure impaling the sky from its central location. For less than 30 bucks, we went up it in the lift and enjoyed/endured shitting ourselves at the top, looking down on a city where the people resembled ants and our collective death drives were doing some serious over time.

The final stop on our jaunt was Vancouver, a Canadian city a good few hours jaunt up from Seattle. We queued all the way into the city, with one of our party dry heaving into a plastic bag all the way there. Hi-jinks. When we got to the Air BNB, there also appeared to be a cycle race going on outside the front door meaning we had to drive around the nearby road East Hastings. East Hastings is mainly noticeable for the huge number of homeless folk, drunks and drug heads marauding around the streets. Our flat backed onto a car park with a great view of the Vancouver’s favourite Country Pub, a really, really, really skutty boozer we threatened to go into but didn’t get chance. Instead of potentially risking our lives, fraternising with smack heads we instead chose to again test our fear of heights by journeying up to the Capilano suspension bridge, a very wobbly wooden bridge standing proud at a height of 70 metres. We didn’t as much walk over it as totter but we managed it nonetheless. Our final evening was spent eating sushi and playing board games with fake, made up names before we woke up hungover the next day and dragged our weary selves to the airport with tears in our eyes. Proper boo hoo. Props to the four man crew, as well as all those who put us up and those who put up with us. Let's do it again soon...

First burger 

Twin Peaks diner

Oi oi oi oi oi 

World's best dip - post dipping 

World famous 

Now you see it 

Now you don't 

Bozo burger 


Old school 

The best sign in the entire universe


A pint of Boneyard - aka delicious



Trump on trump 

The needle 

At the top of the Space Needle and in no way is anyone worried by the height. Not scared at all.

Inside the Space Needle.

Baked watching grease and enjoying this scene

A Seattle crow 

Seattle by sea

Capital Hill 

Fuzzy Wuzzy

You ask for orange juice - and you get this

Terrifying wobbly suspension bridge 

Goose night 


At the airport - time for one last burger 


at the top of the Space Needle 

That bag lasted two weeks

Terrified of heights for ever and ever