Well talk about a mixed month when it comes to the weather. I’ll be the first to say that the weather does effect the music I listen to. When it’s dark and rainy I’m far more likely to get either some sad jams or some form of post rock on the go. So here comes my July Jams, the second in my Monthly Music series (see June here). This month had both extremes, it started with glorious sunshine, and rather than my usual go to pop-punk playlists (bands like Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, NFG & Modern Baseball) I wanted something to reflect my current mood, and at the start of July it was pretty damn good.
I’ve a few gigs coming up in August so my suggestions from then will likely feature a few of them. These include the likes of Hevy Fest (Thrice, Coheed & Cambria, Dillinger Escape Plan etc), The Smith Street Band and American Football.
La Luz– It’s Alive
This quartet from Seattle play infectious surf punk that’ll have you dancing and swaying your way around the living room and make you think you’re at the beach. Absolutely perfect for a summers day or for a day you want to pretend is sunny. I went along to see them in Leeds a couple of years ago and despite being full of jet lag after returning from a couple of weeks in the States at Fest in Gainesville they managed to get me up and dancing. The album is from 2013 and they’ve another being released soon, so keep your eyes out:
Spraynard – Mable
Holy. Shit. This album. It had me from the opening gargle at the start of Applebee’s Bar and kept me engrossed throughout. The album only came out this month it’s currently my favourite release of the year. If you’re fed up with bands just singing about girls not wanting to date them and want some genuine life angst then get this in your ears. If you’re new to Spraynard also check out Funtitled from 2011. I’ve had Mable on repeat for pretty much the whole second half of the month. Basically have days where I’ll listen to nothing but this at the moment.
“I, I just want to know, what it’s like to to be alright”
Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown
Enter the shitty weather, oh and my housewarming. This album is a “certified banger”. I am well aware that many of my readers probably aren’t in to the heavier music and those that are will already know who these guys are. I’ve been listening to this album a lot this summer and am getting pretty excited for their multi-night-multi-venue stint in London in November! Stick this on loud and get a few beers in.
A few weeks ago my friend Erica bagged me an invite to the Staub/Zwilling press event in Tower Bridge, you can read her write up for the event here and see some of my own photos below. The evening included a couple of demos from leading chefs including Jeremy Pang (from School of Wok, read about my visit here) and Tom Kerridge of multiple restaurant fame. While the temperature inside Tower Bridge was enough to make me lose about 5,000lbs the evening was great fun and getting to see the pieces in action was a great opportunity.
Jeremy Pang trying his best to combat the heat and wrong flour he was supplied with
Erica pressing her hand against the window and looking longingly at the fresh air
The other week I attended an event at Tower Bridge (more on this coming up soon) and I was introduced to the people from School of Wok while Jeremy Pang, the founder, was giving a demo in the extreme heat and with the wrong flour. The next week they got in touch and invited me along to try out Chinese Unchopped, one of the newer offerings at School of Wok and this time, ran by Jeremy himself. I eagerly accepted and got my crab claw ready (you’ll see).
As I’ve mentioned a few times lately, I recently moved into a new place in Bow. I decided to try and take advantage of the good weather we’ve been having as well as the shared garden we have out the back of our flats. I decided to have a few friends over for a BBQ/Housewarming/Gin party. I stocked up on Meat from Turner & George (I got a voucher after their event lately and you can read about that here) and my friend Erica (I’m Being Erica) came round a couple of hours beforehand so she could make some poached chicken and summer rolls (or at least the bits she could do one handed since she broke her pinky and they stuck it in a cast). I also made a pretty good Summer Berry Pie but I got a bit drunk and forgot to photograph it, what you gonna do aye?
As I mentioned in my post about my chocolate tart I was invited by the guys at Selfridges to attend a Burger Masterclass up on their rooftop terrace and hosted by the butchers, Turner & George. As many of you know, I take my burgers fairly seriously (there’s a whole column in my restaurant spreadsheet dedicated to patty quality) and for me to get an invite to see how they go about making their famous Black Label Burger was a pretty great chance.
Warning, this post is not suitable for vegetarians (this isn’t here as a joke, it contains raw meat)