a quirky look at London Life

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE – “Rather You Shot Me Down”

Official video for The Urban Voodoo Machine’s 2012 Valentine single “Rather You Shot Me Down”. Directed by Sin Bozkurt and Anthony Ratcliffe. 


"Dr. John meets Tom Waits in some sort of Tarantino universe. This loosely wound London collective plays bourbon soaked Gypsy Blues like you have never heard it before."


With thanks to The Falcon’s Nest go explore)

for this recommendation.

So glad to have found these guys!

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Lost In The Cosmos from Sons Of Bill

‘Sons of Bill perform “Lost In The Cosmos” off their new album “Love and Logic” at the Bent Creek Warehouse. ‘


2015 !

Sounding Good!


The Sons Of Bill are embarking on a European tour and are coming to London at the end of February. Well worth seeking out. Book before those tickets fly out the door.


tour details

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Falling on and off the wagon in January, I decided in February not to plunge too readily into the daily “house wine” syndrome and go for the LESS IS MORE approach, in other words go up market a bit or snoop around my local supermarkets looking for more expensive – or even more interesting wines.

And boy, do they have them! Sainsbury’s (O2) have a SELECT range and Waitrose (Finchley Rd) have a FINE WINE rack – and the prices aren’t all that put-off-able, given that the intention is to buy less!
But were the wines any good?

There were a couple of expensive disappointments –especially in the Pinot Noir sections and in the English wines on display, but there were also some really great wines that did demonstrate that if you go for the more expensive, you will get better. ça va sans dire perhaps, but not toujours!

Dining at home, I had decided to try to match these “better” wines with thought-out food which led to some stupendous results – let me preface this by saying that I was trying in these experiments to find food to match the wine and not the other way around!

So, first (from Waitrose) the wickedly named THE HEDONIST, a sensous Shiraz, grown biodynamically, dark and silky- a fabulous wine from McLaren Vale and currently on offer at £10.99 down from £13.99. I drank it with my own ragu. I have read that in Bologna they don’t “do” Spaghetti Bolognese – it’s ragu – mostly meat with a light tomato sauce – I used (a very few) on-the-vine pomodoro tomatoes melted in butter and garlic and a touch of bouillon on best beef mince.


Then (again from Waitrose) a Rolf Binder blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes – this had a truly opulent finish – real quality, just what I’d been looking for and (again) on offer at £10.99 from £13.99. This to accompany a mushroom and spinach risotto.


From Sainsbury’s then one of my favourite wines – a Gavi di Gavi, this one from the famous Ascheri winery; it came with a bouquet of violets; this was a mild mannered white but with a good mineral finish. This with some plaice and butter and parsley and new potatoes from Whole Foods in Piccadilly. The wine is on offer until March reduced from £14 to £11.


And again from Sainsbury’s a Jean Garde un-oaked Chardonnay, refined and I thought perfect with an up market Chinese take away on the 24th to celebrate Chinese New Year, great price too – £8.75! So the Chardonnay with Beijing’s most famous dish – Peking Duck and from the Co-op a tangy Marlborough Brancrot Estate Sauvignon Blanc (£10.49) with the sweet and sour shrimp course starter.


And for dessert, perhaps some poetry from the noble T’ang dynasty (618-907AD) to befit this February of 2015 –

From poet, Po Chu-i

Newly brewed green-ants wine,
A little stove of red clay.
This evening it looks like snow,
Can you drink a cup with me?

Or this from Liu Yu-hsi, from his poem “Sitting at Leisure..”

On my desk are open ancient books,
By my elbow chests of herbs and medicines ..
I reduce my reading to save my sight,
I stop worrying to nourish my heart.
When will your wine be ready?
Let us lead each other into the land of intoxication .

Some things never change!
I have enjoyed this month being at home alone with my wine and the poetry; it was an upgrade from the day-to-day; rather like a first class carriage on a quite ordinary train. However I didn’t much enjoy the endless cooking and its attendant washing up. I look forward to getting out and about again.
London awaits!

Solitary Diner (Indoors)

A Blast From The Past: Nina Simone-Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood


I spent yesterday afternoon  listening to Nina Simone on replay and marvelling anew at her musical muscle , her dignity., her seriousness.Truly aura-inspiring.  What a great way to forget you  are actually doing mundane household chores  as you listen intently. You have no other choice, when this lady sings. She gives each performance her heart and her soul and all we have to do in return , wherever we are’ whatever we are doing, is stop for a few minutes, listen and applaud.

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MFLL Wednesday Music : Johanna Glaza ~ Letter to New York

The official video for Letter to New York by Johanna Glaza. EP Letter to New York is out now.


From The Archives

October 2014


You can  catch Johanna live @ Heath Street Baptist Church, Hampstead on Tuesday Oct 7  


MFLL has  heard it’s a great venue for acoustic music … See you there! 


Info here

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MFLL Tuesday Music Choice: YETI LOVE ‘Dear John (We’re Human)

Images by Russell JD Photography Music by YETI LOVE Purchase their debut album here:


All the way from South London! Thanks guys.Good start to our day.

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LL Theatre Choice: We’re Not Going Back – Red Ladder Theatre Company@Pleasance Islington

Red Ladder Theatre Company and Unite the Union present We’re Not Going Back, a hard hitting musical comedy about the 1984/85 miners’ strike.


For one night only @ Pleasance 

17 Feb 

For more info and to book

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Chelsea Buns Anyone?


What better way to enjoy Valentines’s than to burrow down for the weekend with your beloved one, with only a box of cakes for company? And if you are thinking special sweet treat, the delectable dainties on offer @ Megan’s on the Kings Road should hit the spot. I’m not a great fan of buttercream but fortunately I know someone special who is, so big thumbs (lips?) up from him for the Kiss Cake. I managed to steal the white chocolate and the very berry meringuey bit before it disappeared, almost in a single bite ..

Did our lips meet in the middle as suggested in the accompanying brochure ? Now that would be kiss and telling.

You could tell the Earl Grey cupcake was top notch, guided by the speed at which it was devoured by aforementioned soulmate. Just as well , because .. oh crumbs! I scoffed almost all of the truffle chocolate brownie, and very quickly too.

In several gulps, actually. I nearly died. From pleasure. That brownie was seriously good, so rich and moist! Felt no guilt whatsoever, as there were still other visually appealing choices left on my mother’s china. Much loved and entirely missed, she’d have loved all this sweet-toothed party-time.

Step forward the Viennese Heart biscuit, utterly buttery I believe, though again this somehow wasn’t exactly a sharing platter, can’t vouch for it, as this whole sampling business became a bit of a race to the finish. But who minds? We had fun scoffing our favourites greedily with much ensuing mirth and many falling crumbs and there is good news for those who do not believe sweet should be an occasional treat.

All these cakes are available after Valentine fervour has been and gone ..well, at least until the end of this month, when the bakery at Megan’s will roll out tempting new collections of home-baked goodies. I can’t think of anything more delightful than sitting in Megan’s romantic arbour of a sunny Spring afternoon, taking my time over that delectable (I kid you not) chocolate brownie., perhaps after sampling some of the savouries at their deli cafe.

Why not join all the sweet young Chelseaites merrily munching their way through the fancies as they catch up on the latest celeb gossip? Like scoffing the cakes, eavesdropping is naughty. But terribly nice.






From the turntable of Feb 2012 ..and now for Feb 2015 ..where oh where did those years go! Enjoy Eurythmics ** Love Is A Stranger ** Valentine’s Day Special!







and!  My True Love -a personal favourite from the wonderful Peace album:



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First Aid Kit – Walk Unafraid

Watch the official film trailer – Official Film Website – As she hiked the Pacific Crest…


First Aid Kit cover of R.E.M / Walk Unafraid, from the soundtrack of the film "Wild".

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