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)...

The Andrew Weatherall weekender

I reached the ripe old age of 36 last month and to get over it, we went to the Andrew Weatherall weekender in Sete in the south of France for two nights of nocturnal shits and giggles... here's what happened...

The dusty old nooks and crannies of Sete's Theatre de la Mer are perhaps more used to dramatic re-enactments of classic tomes and high brow cultural bashes than electronic knees ups.

But at the end of September this amazing, coast hugging venue throbbed luridly to the beats of Convenanza, Andrew Weatherall's annual music festival.

Dedicated to the passions and talent of the almost mid fifties acid house veteran, the event was previously located in Carcassone within the walls of a medieval count's castle. You'd walk up through the town past the elderly tourists choffing on snails and red wine with bats circling overhead before entering the lair. This year, the crew exchanged the castle for the theatre, heading to the sea and over two nights, held one of the most spectacular shindigs you could wish for.

It's obvious that 'the guvnor' (as AW is affectionately referred to by the crew of gnarled ravers in attendance) is well used to throwing a rave in a suitably incongruous location. But while the setting helps, it's the on point musical selections and programming that always makes it special. From the live electronica of Autarkic to Weatherall's own psychobilly sets, the soundtrack riffs and kicks across all bases.

Sete is a balearic working port in the day, still heated by the late September sun, but when night fell, strobes and smoke beamed out from the venue like electronic sirens urging ravers to come and crash on its salty shores.

As you'd expect, the crowd was a sausage fest but more than made up for this lack of diversity by being totally up for it. No nobs, as the grizzled late 40 sometings we made friends with gurned at us. They might be old but they were hardened, willing to go in over the two evenings while the baby sitters back in the UK worked as hard as they raved. I know our's did. And of course the line up, all cherry picked by Weatherall's exquisite taste. It was so good I returned to the UK with 35 euros worth of drinks tokens while the only French food we ate was a cheese toastie and a burger. You could buy oysters, dance dangerously on steps and even buy scrambled eggs from the food vendors. It's a bizarre mix of the civilised and deranged and is like nowt else... they even finished with this on the Friday which was a fitting tune to stagger off and have a cry to. Ooof...

Drinking beer in Tottenham

We've been in Tottenham for just over a year and in that time it's gone from being home of the Carling binge drinker to the capital's craftiest postcode. Coincidence? I think not mi familia. We're setting the bench mark for taste buds all over the north of London. With so much good beer on offer and the trendies who over run Hackney yet to take over our environs, we've been out and about sampling many of N17's best aley wares.

Check out the latest issue of the Tottenham Community Press for a piece exploring Tottenham's new beer mile...

Read Tottenham Community Press issue six

Summer in the city

Summer has gone and we're now bracing ourselves for a winter shit sandwich of Trump, Brexit, May, North Korea, David Davis and more. Turn your televisions off and don the helmets as the gross get grosser and the stupid get even more stupid innit. It's been pretty hectic round these parts hence the catastrophically long gap between posts but vibes are for living right? Right - check out how we do via this handy photo montage...

We had no hot water for ten days and suddenly we'd started a fucking trend. 

Inside is outside innit 

The end of days

Soul power


A suckling pig


John Willies!

Halloumi fries in Liverpool yo 

The Low End

Daylight marauders

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Get yoursens down Monty's Deli

Other than world peace, is there anything more palatable than an overfilled meat sandwich? Monty's Deli is in Hoxton, achingly trendy but do a fucking immense butty which comes with a pickle the size of your conk. Check it.

A very Scottish wedding

We travelled up the spine of the UK at the end of July for a wedding in Scotland. The wedding was bo (big up Bron and Phil) but one of the major moments was discovering a new food. The Macaroni pie! Right on Nicola Sturgeon for allowing this to happen in her lands. May - take note you troll.

A new species of food 

Inspecting the aga

Where Nicola Sturgeon does all her dumps 

A very long sausage roll

A rainbow - I deleted a load of photos and apps to make space for it, then five minutes later it rained so hard that we couldn't see anything

Cloud eggs

It's hard to say how much our gaff loves eggs but in every shape, size and form, we're huge, dedicated fans. From scrambled to scotch, we'll snaffle them up whatever way they come with a snarl on our chops and a wanton disregard for becoming eggbound.

So with this kind of fire in our loins, you can imagine how excited we were to learn of the new 'craze' for cloud eggs. They resemble cumulus nimbus with yolks and involve separating the whites and beating them into stiff peaks, then baking the blighters. Who doesn't like getting on that? Yeah mate.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Out in the Styx

If you go out in the styx today, you're probably going to get a big surprise ...  well if you end up in Tottenham Hale you might be surprised to learn that there's more popping than just JD Sports, Pizza Hut and an inexplicably busy Costa Coffee. Arts venue Styx is almost next to the bus station but you'll need to be slightly in the know to discover its mix of clubs, theatre and cocktails. Seek and ye shall find? Or check out this interview with the team behind the venue in the latest issue of the Tottenham Community Press...

Visit for the whole shebang...

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Soho Radio jazz special

I forgot to throw this up online so to speak, but here's the last show we did (as M magazine) on Soho Radio back in June. This was a jazz special and was one of the best installments yet, in part due to the average age in the studio being below 30 for the first time since we started doing it. It smells less stale for sure... You can listen below and check out the archive of the previous episodes by heading here and searching for M magazine. It's much missed by me in some ways... however, no longer doing it means my hair is a little less grey than before...

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Bill Withers

One of the highlights of my now old job was getting to meet heroes. And meeting soul man Bill Withers was one of the best.  

Yep the duck in a microwave Bill Withers of the very same. He's almost 80 and got the wry cynical sense of humour of a fella at least half his years.

We spoke in Bill's hotel bar over a couple of waters back in May and spent half an hour deliberating what a tool Donald Trump is. After we finished he took me to the hotel's Starbucks and made the lady serving promise to give me a donut every time I went in. Right on Bill!

Read the Bill Withers feature

We survived Glastonbury 2017

I have no photos of Glastonbury 2017 other than the one above of the shitty little tent I got from Lidl two days before going.

I only spent about five minutes in it over the four or so days we were there but for the sake of posterity, there she blows. Thankfully there was much more on offer than just this tent although it's taken us until now to piece the narrative together. Still however much was forgotten, I'm never going to forget how much it hurt coming back on the Monday. Sloping back into Tottenham at 10am that morning having not slept for the past two nights and with only a Babybell and the crumbs of a bacon butty as fuel meant for a massive, grizzly ouch. Here is a list of the best things we can (kind of) vaguely remember...

Craig David

Turns out he can kill it on the main stage when he's got a laptop full of big R&B bangers and some pure syrup coming out of his gob. The whole site must blatantly have been pissed when he played on the Friday afternoon as he got tongues wagging for the duration of the festival. It's hardly Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock but whatevs, 2017 isn't as good as 1969 is it?

The Crow's Nest 

Perhaps the coolest spot in the whole place, this bar at the top of the Park gives you a bird's eye view of the entire site and some of the best musical selections of the weekend. We were there on Sunday for the final hurrah which meant some huge chugging techno courtesy of one of Jagwa Ma. It was extreme as minds frayed ever closer to the edge.


Every other weekend of the year I would say Thatchers is the most disgusting liquid you could insert in your mouth. Even bleach is more appealing. But somehow at Glastonbury it works as the perfect fuel to keep you standing upright when you really should be having a lie down. Nice work Thatchers. You've got a well deserved reputation as loopy juice.


Sure Justice haven't progressed their sound too much from the early 2000s but jesus god it sounded extremely large and ravey when they headlined the West Holts on Sunday night. They still smoke, have big lights, a weird god complex and the biggest kick drums this side of Van Halen. The perfect antidote to flagging spirits.

Dancing in tents 

Away from Radiohead and Ed Sheeran one finds oneself dancing to no mark DJs but with big tunes in their bag at all times of the day. Sunday morning was a case in point. Although I've no idea where we were or who they were. Props to the underdogs without any rep. I haven't a clue about your identities but you kept it large and in charge.

NYC Downlow

The best club in the world? Quite possibly, this alive and voguing shrine to the meat packing district raves of seventies down town New York is the one, especially when they crank it up and all you can see are amyl cracking drag queens. Intense, crazy and weird. 

Acting like a caveman 

There's a lot to be said for changing one's pants and socks in the real world. Your rep will be mud if you have stinking toes and halitosis. But at Glastonbury, who cares. I didn't take my shoes off the whole weekend and felt all the better for it. 

We went to Glastonbury in 2015 too and this is what happened...

Monday, 3 July 2017

10 tunes to get our juice oozing and flowing

We've been sucking up new tunes as fast as they emerge so here's a top ten of recent hits round our way. All go well with a Theresa May meme.

First up is this killer from Shoegazers Ride. If you didn't know, they're back and I can't get enough of this. It's produced by Erol Alkan and the verses are masterclasses in swirling, dreamy guitar aceness.

I've no idea who Wooden Shjips are and what These Shadows is about but Jarvis Cocker opened his Sunday Service with it a while back and I was instantly smitten. Goes good with crumpets innit.


Chris and Cosey have always been at the back of the class throwing LSD tabs and dildos at the teachers when it comes to electronica. Exotika is an amazing slice of proto house business capable of destroying any party, whether it's been going for three hours or three days. Stonker mate. Get inside it.

Slowdive were a band who started out before I had a clue what was going on because I was into the Supernaturals and Grass Show. But now, like EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD, they're back with new music. Unlike everyone else though, they sound fucking huge and immense. Star Roving from their new self-titled album is the one.


I've no idea who Hugh Pascall but this remix manages to make the church organ sound both creepy and balearic. Hats off to Max Cooper for bringing it.

Thundercat is making 22nd century yacht rock. Check it. It's perfect for sipping pina coladas by the pool at beach resorts on Mars. It's killer and features some of the originals.


Mura Masa makes music for people in their twenties and soundtracks shit clothing ads on ITV 3 during the Love Island ads. There are plenty of drippy synths and steel pans. But I don't care, it's addictive as fuck.


Apart from Jeremy Corbyn, Stormzy is the man of 2016. Or at least no one else is riding such a huge wave of hype. Or got as many tongues waving in the post Glastonbury dust storm, This one is the best off a meh meh album...

The Brian Jonestown Massacre have been in our lives since we hosted a gig with them as headliners in Sheffield back in the mid 2000s. We got hammered, they requested peyote, they fell out with each other and when we eventually got out of bed the next day, there was a big unexplained puddle on the front room carpet. Years later they've still got it and here's the proof...

It's hard to argue with the Thin White Duke and it's even harder to argue with this. Kills it every time...

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

10 of the best things we stuffed in our faces in Trump's America

We spent three weeks in Donald Trump's America at the start of April. This was a lengthy holiday masquerading as parental leave but however you billed it, it meant we were in the United States of America for three whole weeks. Three. Despite their new leader being a massive racist baby, it was a luxurious time make no mistake.

Our flight landed in Los Angeles where we had three nights down near Venice Beach before taking in a further four nights in Palm Springs, plus a whole two weeks in Portland, Oregon. Oooof. Rather than post pictures of us and our kid marauding around the place, here's a break down of the ten best things we ate. It's hard to go out raving all night when you have a six month old baby so instead the vibe was all about pure gluttony. Open wide and take a look inside...

Ronnie's Diner, Los Angeles

Diners are in some ways the ultimate American eating experience. Big portions, limitless coffee, nutters at every turn. And breakfast can be peak when it comes to visiting. The casual abandon with which the Americans mix sweet and savoury is something to behold. So at Ronnie's Diner (see above), a greasy spoon-esque joint near our place in Marina Del Ray, we went in on a 'scramble', French toast and grits. 'Are grits nice?' is a question I'm still asking and still don't know the answer to.

The Blue Coyote, Palm Springs

This is a Mexican joint on the main drag in Palm Springs. Mexican places are everywhere in this town but the Coyote could be the best partly because they go heavy on the cheese on the plates and even heavier on the tequila in their drinks. We had two margaritas and walked home cross eyed attempting to avoid steering the pram into the road.

The Ace Hotel, Palm Springs

The Ace Hotel brand is synonymous with the trendy and the Palm Springs branch may well be the trendiest. It's full of silly young things in uniform shades preening and pouting and generally crossing their fingers that they might get 'discovered' there by someone to give meaning to their meaningless, yet highly instagrammable lives. Even if its the silliest, most vacuous black hole on the planet, they do a mean breakfast. Avocado on toast was the one.

Oh my gosh this place may well be the best. They do big portions with just the right balance of grease, stodge and vegetables to make it not seem like you're scoffing down a heart attack on a plate. Although you most probably are. The staff in there are so horizontally laid back, it makes you want to own your brunch spot and just lope around serving people scrambled eggs until you die. It's simple, yet killer fare dudes.  

Pig 'n Pancake, Astoria

One of the local folk told us not to go to Pig 'n Pancake as it's too skutty. But they were talking to the wrong people. This cavernous diner offered the perfect vibe for our slightly hungover morning in Astoria (the town where the Goonies was filmed). Again, there were grits, again there was a scramble and the green Tabasco sauce so prevalent (and delicious) in the US. Can we get this in the UK? Questions, questions. Plus there were American folk of all shapes and sizes eating all sorts of weird shit early in the morning. Steak and syrup? I don't think so...

Everyone bangs on about the chicken wings at Pok Pok in Portland. But that's because they are the BEST thing you can ever put in your mouth. Originally a food cart, the success has been so gargantuan that they've got a permanent restaurant with a permanent queue outside, plus cookbooks and worldwide acclaim. These wings will redefine your thoughts on chicken. Like totally. They use fish sauce and it will blow your mind. 

If I was on death row and I was asked what I'd like for my final meal, I might be tempted to ask for the so-called 'dirty fries' from Lardo in Portland. I'd probably want them with a scotch egg, a pork pie and a side order of scrambled eggs but I'd definitely want them. They are fucking amazing. Look at them there above. They are fries, with hot peppers, bacon scraps and chunks coated in Parmesan cheese. There is no nutritional value to be had in them and they're all the better for it. The sign on the wall of Lardo says 'pig out' and it'd be rude not to obey. 

One of the worst hangovers we had on our recent trip was after the 1st birthday bash of the Toffee Club. The next day was one of serious hard work, anxiety and beer-induced paranoia. Perhaps the one good thing to come out of it was stumbling upon the HunnyMilk pop up breakfast spot. I hate the concept of a pop as much as the next normal but this was something else. Ribs, grits with a carrot cake waffle for afters? All for 20 dollars? Excuse me! 

After three weeks in American, we'd started becoming more American. Not to the point where we wanted to shoot anyone. Or not let them into our country due to the colour of their skin. But where the concept of sweet and savoury didn't seem like the worst idea ever. We were of course brutally hungover when we went to Screen Door and ordered chicken with waffles. But when they arrived, we ate every last crumb. Game changing. 

The Holiday Inn, LAX 

After many amazing breakfasts, our last hurrah was at the Holiday Inn near the airport in LA. You'd be forgiven for thinking that we were going out on a bit of a low ebb but not a bit of it. We arrived late at the all you could eat breakfast. But, despite being tardy, they still let us go mad on every bit of it. So we did. God bless America. And the French Toast that resides within you.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Record Shop in the Tottenham Community Press

The Record Shop is an initiative in Tottenham aiming to give a platform to local youths who want to record their own music.

It's a wee studio which enables people to waltz in off the street and into a record booth which is a pretty vibes creation especially in these ends where opportunities like this are few and far between.

We quizzed Mary from the initiative for the latest issue of the Tottenham Community Press.

Get it here 

Bright lights, big city

Spring was big. It always is. But this year particularly so. Here are some things we saw, we heard and inserted into our gobs. Delicious...
Little and large

Breakfast for din dins

The Seven Sisters snail

'chicken experts' - trust!

'Do you not think she's a bit hot?' 

Fuck you Goldman


Yes boss