Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Question Time

I can't watch Question Time anymore due to all the 'gammon' on there slagging off anyone who doesn't look as red or as grey as they do. But I can certainly listen to Question Time by rising star, Streatham rapper Dave, all the bloody time mate. It's a classic and I was lucky enough to speak with co-writer Fraser T Smith on the blower earlier in the year to discuss how it came about. It's an instant classic make no mistake and Fraser just so happens to be one of the nicest men we've come across in 'the biz'...

Read all about it here and listen to Question Time above...

We went to Vietnam and this is what we loved

Charlie don't surf...

Earlier in the spring we headed to the far east for the first time in our tiny, little lives. Flying into Bangkok, after a 12 hour, vomit filled journey, we then nipped over to Hoi An before finally landing in Hanoi for a week and a bit. With our only experience of this part of the world via our tellies and the likes of bloody war films Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now, we weren't sure what to expect other than being very sweaty. And potentially eating dogs? The former happened, the latter didn't but here's some of the highlights condensed into five easily digestible titbits perfect for our now puny attention spans...

Egg Coffee

As you may or not know, we're passionate fans of les oeufs on here so the idea of adding it to ANYTHING is always a great idea. Egg and southern fried chicken. Egg pasties. Egg on burgers. Eggs in space. Eggs and cacti. It's all good innit. We had the Vietnamese delicacy near Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum in Hanoi and it was so strong it could have brought his decaying corpse back to life. Zing? Zing.

Ho Chi Minh

Original bad man Ho Chi Minh is loved by pretty much everyone in Vietnam. Everyone. His face is all over the place and even though he's well dead, he's still venerated as the absolute big dog. It's hard not to get swept in all the hype.


The nosh in Vietnam is second to none. From the street corners where you'll find entire families huddled round a little stove, to their legendary Banh Mi butty, there's loads of things you can stuff in your gob. There was a lot of talk about eating pooches but thankfully we were spared pouring salt and pepper over someone's pet. Instead we ended up at a joint doing fried crickets and, after several light ales, decided a plateful would be a good vibe. They taste exactly as you might think. Chewy mate.

The chaos

Our host described Hanoi as place resembling somewhere after an earthquake has just given it a good shake up but its people are still trying to get from a to b as fast as humanly possible. It's stuck with us as it seems wholly accurate. Everyone moves at great pace although where they're all going is impossible to fathom. Throw in loads of noise and heat and it's a total mad house. Mega vibes.


Anywhere that calls its currency 'dong' has to be respected for all of eternity. It's as simple as that isn't it?

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Dancing on the ceiling

Sun, football, Brexit, Trump and Lionel Richie. Pour moi, these will be the defining vibes that memories of summer 2018 will hang from. 

How so? Well we had the delicious of pleasure of interviewing the king of smooth himself, Lionel Richie earlier in the year. Disappointingly, there was no secretive meeting in a Soho bar, where he slurped on oysters and caviar while regaling a star struck moi with lusty tales of bums and bombast from the seventies. Instead, it was all very ultra safe conducted via email through layers of management leaving both me and Lionel unscathed from coming up to close to the other. But just from the emails, I know we'd get along. 

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Raving for the Cause

In 2018, everyone who's anyone is heading to Tottenham to eat, drink or set up their own club or pub.

As the new stadium for Spurs nears completion, local businesses are getting ready to hopefully cash in from the huge anticipated numbers of additional visitors to the area. It's literally all to play for with the first games due to kick off this September so it's an exciting time for the place. Alongside the likes of Five Miles, The High Cross and the recently opened Bluecoats boozers, The Cause is one of the freshest additions to Tottenham's night time calendar. This new club boasts an incredible soundsystem, unrivalled outside space and late, late 5am licence while also raising dosh for local charities. Sounds good right?

Check out a wee interview we did with co-founder Stuart Glen on the venture and what it's doing to put Tottenham on the map for raving...

Monday, 25 June 2018

One giant step for the Arctic Monkeys

From kagoule wearing teens to Hollywood dwelling cosmonauts, there are few bands who’ve morphed in the same way as Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys.

There are also few who we’ve grown with, who’ve soundtracked so many moments, where we can mistily of eye claim to have been there at the beginning (we were – for a bit – but so was everyone else in Sheffield – so it’s no bigs - well it is a little bit to us).

Now they’re grown hair on their faces and developed a taste for Led Zeppelin-esque fashion but they’re still great. Latest album, Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino, initially divided but has subsequently conquered with its out-there collection of immaculately tailored songs, shifting more vinyl copies than anything else for years and is their most complete work to date.

Like their new wardrobes, it’s some distance from those initial teenage rushes of Fake Tales of San Francisco. You can’t help thinking that if you’d shown the young Alex Turner a picture of his adult self and the style tips he’s been taking, he would have snorted with derision. He might have also snorted if you’d said they’d been playing the Royal Albert Hall but the other Thursday we were among the lucky few thousand to pack into the venue for their first gig back on UK soil.

Organised at the lastish minute for War Child, this charity affair was two hours of new stuff and old stuff led by frontman Alex Turner. While the crowd was made up of lads in shades and Oasis style do's still lusting for the past, the band sounded like they'd gone into the future, and didn't let the pressure drop under the towering roof of the iconic venue. The new material, initially obtuse and difficult to crack, is now up there with their best and have given them a platform to achieve lift off in any direction they want. Boom! We left sweaty and pissed which is the best way to enjoy anything... Phew. One of the best gigs we'd ever been to? You'd better believe it...

Friday, 20 April 2018

UK hip hop is having a moment

It's been a while since I moved onto new pastures from M magazine but February and March saw us back on the editorial prowl for them, writing this little number about the health of UK hip hop and how a new wave of artists including Ms Banks, Lady Sanity and Yxng Bane...

Check out the full feature in the latest issue of M mag and online now.

Raver tots: Beats, bass and breast feeding mums in the club

Fag ends, puddles of manky old ale and a mum breast feeding her little baby. An incongruous combination you'd imagine but one thrown together by the concept of the 'baby rave'.

While clubs attract dancers of all ages, those with babies and young children may find it harder to get out of a Saturday night, bosh a load of garies and still remain capable of looking after their brood on a few minutes of teeth gnashingly brief shut eye. So step forward the kiddy rave concept. Obviously, they're not full of families all bog eyed and crazy but they do provide two hours of raving vibes, complete with actual DJs in an actual gnarly club. For anyone sans kids, they could well be seen as an appalling attack on the wide eyed evangelical hedonism of early acid house, equally as grotesque as the sober Morning Glory fitness dances. But for those with them who miss getting loose? It's almost like the real thing. If not pretty fucking weird.

The baby rave we went to took place at Hangar in London Fields on a Sunday afternoon with drum and bass legend Nicky Blackmarket on the ones, the twos and maybe even the threes. Going in at 2pm means rather than a salubrious fitness vibe, it feels more like you're taking your kid to a bizarre after, after hours party at a gritty club. You get searched going in, then park your buggy next to all the others at the door of the club amidst the puddles of detritus from the previous evening. Inside, it's £5 a warm Carlsberg and full of mums necking rum and cokes while their children run totally amok.

With the soundsystem cranked up to standard club levels, strobes set to stun and Blackmarket laying it down amidst some glitter cannons, it feels pretty similar to a student drum and bass night with the exception of the soft play area and the scally kids throwing themselves around just like their parents used to when they could get off their nuts. We lasted two hours before it all got too weird and we had to leave, clutching our hard fought Carlsbergs and went to the nearest playground to go and decompress. So in many, many ways, not too different from past lives at all...

> Find out more <

Sir Mick vs The Quince

While the winter of 2017/18 has been long and deep, alongside our domestic vibes and circle of chums, two key things have been leading us to the spring. One is the above image of Mick Jagger on his holibobs. The other is the full and frank Quincy Jones interview published back in February. If you look at these two things daily for the six cold months of the year, then it's possible that you'll never scowl or feel cold ever again. Try it.

Five Miles might well be our favourite place to drink pints

A shockingly controversial headline I'll think you'll agree as, if we're being totally honest, anywhere we drink pints is usually our favourite place. At least until we leave and begin drinking pints somewhere else. Whether that be the nearest bin or the bar, wherever pours some of those frothy mothers is usually somewhere we adore.

But Five Miles near Seven Sisters is certainly high up there in our list of beer swilling affections. Not only does it have a huge array of taps and craft but it has a mighty fine sound system, discerning taste in visiting selectors and a welcoming attitude to mid-30-something 'parents' with a penchant for pushing their luck and an addiction to beer. As such, I found some time to get the skinny with them for the latest issue of the Tottenham Community Press to find out more about how they came to land in Seven Sisters and what the vibe is behind the place.

Check out this latest issue and feature now and visit the Five Miles website for more info on them and their shenanigans...

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...