Thursday, June 30, 2011

Glastonbury Review #1

So I wrote up my review of Glastonbury today for the people at Beat Review which should be up soon but this is a personal review concentrating on specifics as opposed to a general overview (ish). So I decided to write something here, but at the moment I'm not really feeling any inspiration. So I ate some mackerel (brain food, you know). SO. Glastonbury. The big G. 
Pulled Apart by Horses
It was pretty amazing. There was a lot of mud for the most part, but that just made it all the more fun (kind of). We went up to the Stone Circle (hippy central) on the first night when we'd pitched the tent, which I wish we'd seen more of, met some cool Scottish people camping nearby and Thursday we explored and went to the headphone disco - which started out with shitty, generic indie and continued to some classic songs (I can't remember what exactly but I danced a lot). We also met up with some friends by the Brother's Cider stand which was very pleasant (both cider and friends).

Highlights of Friday included Two Door Cinema Club (they were bouncy and so grateful to be there and can I marry the lead singer?) and Asian Dub Foundation - I hadn't listened to them in aages (I used to listen to them when my brother wasn't in his room) and they're still really good! Brilliant political, dub-rap. They've drifted a bit away from more dubby stuff but are still intelligent, danceable and put on a brilliant show (I didn't even know they were still around until I saw them on the line-up). We also saw Metronomy who had the difficult task of kicking off the Pyramid Stage, and they did a really good job - as a band they were really tight.

Glastonbury Review #2

Saturday, the winners for me were The Kills (VV is my idol for being ridiculously cool). They played an amazing set which just exuded cool and energy - when she started playing guitar and the drums... Wow. It was a shame, though, because we were so far back, the people around us were fairly static and, well, I looked a bit of a fool doing the standard 'I'm-at-an-indie-gig-rocking-back-and-tapping-my-foot' dance. They were still amazing though. We stopped by the BBC Introducing Stage a few times too. Also Krafty Kuts deserve a mention, as although we only saw a little of their set, were SO GOOD and really got the crowd going (I have never seen so many DJ sets within such a short space of time). Pulled Apart by Horses. Oh my God. Amazing, full of energy and shouty as always and the guitarist was hot... Chemical Brothers - we weren't even going to see them, but boy am I glad we did. Blew me away - they mixed their own songs so skilfully and really built up the suspense.

Sunday - the last day. Started out watching some reggae-ish people in The Park (who played 54/46 by Toots & the Maytals) by the Glastonbury sign, and went to see Dan le Sac Vs. Scroobious Pip who were surprisingly enjoyable since I'm not really a fan on record - it was their MCing which really made it for me - they were funny! After that we saw the Vaccines for a bit but didn't really pay much attention, and then a glut of DJs overlapping. The Freestylers were really good - breaks and dubstep mostly; we only saw a little of DJ Fresh but there was a massive crowd and he cranked out the big beats; and then back for our final act of the festival - Plump DJs. They really interacted with the crowd and because we were so close we could see every expression - they were genuinely happy to be there. And played some AMAZING breaks.

So Glasto was a success - I think with all the mud I'll need a couple of weeks to recover until my next festival (2000 Trees). Oh and one other thing - if you go in 2013, go to the Hare Krishna tent and get free food! Amazing (and tasty).

A lovely view of Glastonbury's sunset over some er toilets.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I have just come back from Glastonbury - it was brilliant, I got covered in mud and saw some phenomenal acts. Now I'm home (via Cardiff for various reasons), I have been mostly recovering (and cleaning up) before I go back to work so there will be a review within the next couple of days.

Actually, maybe several reviews - there's just too much to fit in one post.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Beat Review

So I feel like a bit of a good Samaritan lately, promoting other people - perhaps because I've got a week's holiday to go to Cardiff and then Glastonbury or perhaps because I've just become a nicer person.


Anyway, you may not know that I do a bit of writing for Beat Review, an online music mag for Cardiff (why, you ask, am I writing about a place you don't live and let's face it, can never rarely afford to visit? Well, I don't know why but I know that I love music and Cardiff. And I can write. And they were desperate

I've just written an article for them (it was a long time coming since the last one) but from now on, there will be many more coming. This is my latest, about Primal Scream.

Sometimes controversial, sometimes funny and usually informative, you should read / follow / facebook if you don't already.

Some more articles that are worth a wee read:

Jobseekers - Connor Cupples (Co-ed)
Spotify - Charlotte Coxhead (Me, if you didn't know)
Twitter - John Shortland (Contributor)
Wimbledon Weather - Harriet Mould (Contributor)
Eurovision - Sprink Laysson (Contributor)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I took this week off work for Glastonbury so I came home. On Saturday I met up with a friend and went to a food festival where Lindsay was showing off her work (it was amazing - loads of really nice food and she was dressed up as Alice in Wonderland. Also, I got some nice olives and discovered pickled garlic - sounds disgusting and I don't even like garlic, but I am completely addicted now). And I went out in Oswestry (my home town), which was simultaneously amazing and cretinous as usual.

Tomorrow I'm preparing to go to Glastonbury. When I say preparing, I am thinking about buying some wellies which I still haven't done (when I typed 'wellies' into a word document, autocorrect changed it to 'willies'. Interesting). I have a tent (zebra print so I don't lose it), I have a ticket and apparently there's a line-up clash app I can download. So I'm kind of ready.

I'm going to Cardiff tomorrow with my mate beforehand for a couple of days, and we'll go out to a bar (on a Monday night! How exciting!) and probably spend Tuesday panic-buying wellies from Primarni ( I couldn't face going to the Oxford Street jumble sale branch so I'll get my necessaries from Cardiff. I am very excited (and can't think of a witty ending sentence so this will have to do).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lindsay's Cakery

Cake-lovers, sit up, there's a new baker in town.

Lindsay's Cakery is one one of the newest businesses in Shropshire area but her 'sweet treats and savoury delights' have attracted a lot of local press interest, and from the locals of course. She makes flapjacks, shortbread and birthday cakes amongst others but it is her cupcakes that have been a roaring success - with plenty of icing and handmade sugarcraft decorations.

Established only in July 2010,  it is still a new business but she has been preparing for this her whole life - we didn't listen to her when she was 12 and talking about owning a cakery because she liked the word 'cakery', but this dream is now a reality. She gains new followers every time she goes to a food event, having recently done a wedding order for 160 cupcakes (a growing trend, a quirky alternative to ANOTHER fruit cake). 

I've got my eye on her cakey pops - like chupa chups if they were made of cake and covered in chocolate. Maybe she'll let me try one *cough* freepublicity *cough*.

Check out her website for full gallery, contact or if you're just bored and hungry. If you're not doing anything, you should probably go to one of the events she's at over this summer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spuntino Review: Eating my Words

I am currently engaging in my least favourite past-time: Admitting I'm wrong. It's hard, but someone has to do it. I went to Spuntino last night, expecting to be simultaneously unimpressed and intimidated but had a lovely time. Well, that's what I get from believing everything I read in the Evening Standard, I suppose.

Anyway, once I found the all-day place (after wondering confusedly down an alley full of dodgy sex shops and peep shows), I easily claimed two seats by the bar and was offered water straight away by a waiter / barman. There are no tables, just a bar with stools all around (it is a fairly small venue). As I awaited my friend, I looked around and noted its minimalist - menus are brown paper placemats, wine is served in tumblers and food is served in tin camping crockery.

My friend arrived, we ordered wine (which came in said tumblers - well, it's something different), and then food, a selection of nibbles. The eggplant chips with fennel yoghurt were incredibly moreish, as was the baked chicory - mackerel burger didn't really taste of mackerel (a vital characteristic for me) and my friend's eton-mess-y dessert was a little claggy (strawberry to meringue / cream ratio is vital), but mostly the food was a delight. We had a couple of cocktails afterwards which went down a treat (one had egg white in, one was a Moscow Mule with a twist). The walls were now lined with people waiting for a seat (the gap inbetween the bar and wall is just large enough for a small person to walk through, but not without making awkward body contact with those standing up)

Overall, it was an enjoyable eating experience - staff were not intrusive, but accessible and friendly (and wouldn't be out of place in Artrocker), food was a little bit different (I was actually very tempted by the boiled egg and soldiers) and it looks like a fairly cool, bright place. And I had a lovely catch-up. The only downside, as you would expect from a place like this is the price - the food and drinks add up easily. Such is London life...

Picture credit: LondonEater

Monday, June 13, 2011

œuf à la coque

It's been about a month now since I left the flat in Queen's Park so I decided to meet up with my ex-flatmate (she pencilled me in for two weeks time because she's very busy and important unlike me ('You want to meet up tonight? On the other side of London? I'll be there in ten minutes. In fact, I'm already halfway there on the offchance').

Anyway, that is now tomorrow and she emailed me today with the website of a bar that's 'supposed to be pretty cool'.

Well, it looks er, minimalist. It's got NY roots I think, and there's not a website as such, as a URL with a single page stating 'No bookings' and 'No telephone'. I mean, come on. Luckily she sent me a review which confirmed my suspicions even further - they serve soft-boiled eggs and soldiers as nibbles - which sounds wholesome enough, but it's probably very now and a mechanism for Soho types to discuss, you know, wasted childhood and chicken foetuses. Probably.

Naturally I emailed back straight away saying 'OH MY GOD IT SOUNDS SO PRETENTIOUS! Let's go!!' - and as my work is closer, come 5.45 tomorrow, I will be sitting there, fighting for dear life to save two seats, looking horrifically out of place and resisting the urge to ask if they have cheerios as well. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

London Waits for no Man (or Woman)

I think it was somewhere in between eating the discarded pasta from last night when I woke up and getting halfway through the series of the weak shitcom I was watching that it became very clear I had to stop this pattern. I had not really got out of bed for 1 1/2 days, the pile of Evening Standards I'd taken home has been getting increasingly higher (because I must re-read that article about that interesting artist, which I never do), made slightly higher by the pizza boxes that have been there for a week. I was rejecting invitations to go out, even the half-hearted one at 9.30pm yesterday for a drink (I had fully resigned to my bed by then).

I had just about given up on the day, and decided to ring my cousin to see what her plans were that week - she invited me over. I went over there a couple of hours later and after a pleasant evening of chat and abusing her contacts book, walked to the tube station. I was out there again: tasting the air, pounding the street with my faux worker boots, tapping my oyster card on the reader with a flourish and praying I didn't mis-time my entrance and walk into the barrier, eying the tube passengers and looking away when I made eye contact and ignoring the canoodling couple a few seats away making noises that made me increasingly nauseated and grateful that I was getting off at the next stop.

Finally, I’m ready to embrace London once more - life goes on.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Top 7 Mash-Ups

I love mash-ups. One of my favourite pastimes is to trawl music blogs to see if I can find ones I haven't yet come across (cool, I know), but if you dig through all the crap, there is some talent out there. Theese are my favourites. The links mostly go to HypeMachine where you can listen and then download an mp3 if you so wish.

I love M.I.A.'s funky raps, I love Mylo's lush synths and Mylo just makes her more upbeat and summery. 

This is just amazing - such a ridiculous juxtaposition of songs - "tweetly tweet -" and bam, Kurt Cobain's gravelly voice cuts in and it gets all kind of amazing. Go Home Productions is a master of mash-ups.

One of Modest Mouse's finest songs, and I didn't think it was possible for it to sound cooler... But it is.

This is amazing, it not for the fact that I know the first verse of 'I Wish' - also for the fact that these songs seem made for each other - and then for the suspense when the rhythm guitar kicks in after the bass on 'Cannonball'.

For anyone who found the Christina original a bit abrasive, this is much more fun and danceable.

Two classic rock soon which mesh perfectly together. And we still get to hear Debbie Harry's amazing rapping.

There's just a touch of DC at the beginning, but as Dolly Parton fades away to Royksopp there is a definite feeling of dreamy euphoria - perhaps not a mash-up in the sense that the rest of these have been, but still brilliant - perhaps better listened to in the whole album context, but it works for me.

Cardiff and hand-sticking-down-pants

It's been a while... Why I've been putting off something I love for so long eludes me - too busy? (nah), not enough inspiration? (I'm in London ffs) errr... Can't be arsed? You choose.

Anyway. I finally got over being in a room of hipster Wayne's World fans and have been mostly meeting friends in overpriced bars in Soho, making plans to eat mung beans every day and live on 5 p a day (I'm getting there) and getting annoyed with other, more successful writers who are shit (they're not really, I'm just jealous).

I'm currently listening to classical music as listening to LMFAO doesn't seem to breed creativity - I spend most of the song waiting for that guy to say 'Every day I'm shufflin', and do a little seat-dance when he does. I'm not really sure what this post is about yet, if I'm honest... 

I have been doing exciting, really - the other day, I went to Cardiff, which was amazing - I went to Barry Island and dug a hole in some sand and danced in a  club 'til I was dragged away (apparently it's not cool to dance to S Club when there are 10 other people on the dance floor). Oh, and I saw someone from Big Brother who apparently tried to stick his hand down my friend's pants in the middle of the dance floor a couple of years ago.

I am really at a loss as to why he didn't tell anyone.


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