PCPC at Electrowerkz

Andy returned after a long absence – in which he let his south London flat and cycled to China, where he was turned back by border guards – with tickets to “supergroup” PCPC at Electrowerkz.

PCPC is made up of members of Parquet Courts and PC Worship. Like McBusted gone bad.

Cramped on the tiny stage they started with a wall of noise and feedback from which we waited for a tune to emerge.

Two gorgeous girls made their way back from the stage and left stony faced. We should have seen the writing on the wall.

More feedback, some what sounded like tuning up. A bit of playing random notes in random orders. They’re experimenting. Trying stuff out under a pseudonym.

Some more people left.

The band – 4 guitars, a sax and drummer – glugged liberally from bottles of wine and cans of Red Stripe. I thought that might be the key to it and got us four more Red Stripe.

Then came the Beat poetry.

First the singer recited the stoner ramblings from his notebook. When he’d exhausted that line he grabbed the nearest magazine, it looked a copy of Yachting Times, and started reciting that too.

I’m afraid we got the giggles at that point.

Andy, who organised the tickets, refused to take payment.

The worst gig I’ve ever been to. Brilliant though.


Bob Dylan at the Royal Albert Hall


Magic evening with Bob Dylan last night at the Royal Albert Hall.

The songs from Tempest sounded great live, climaxing with Long and Wasted Years which brought everyone to their feet. Other highlights included Pay in Blood and a highly emotive Forgetful Heart, which seemed to have the entire audience in an awed silence.

This must be about the tenth time I’ve seen Bob Dylan. It really is a privilege, as Christopher Ricks said, to be alive at the same time as the great man.

Songs for driving

Highway 61 Revisited


To celebrate the repairing of my my car stereo after months out of action (1980s car electrics can’t cope¬†with modern stereo output apparently) today I’m listing the 10 albums that get played the most in my car, starting with the first to come on as I turned the ignition key this morning…

Highway 61 Revisited
Exile on Main Street
Led Zeppelin IV
Back in Black
Highway to Hell
Songs for Swinging Lovers
Born to Run
Appetite for Destruction
Blonde on Blonde

Looking at that list I start to realise why I might have blown the stereo in the first place!

An Autumn walk

River Beult

“Let’s walk to the pub,” I said.

Except that the pub was a good hour away across rarely-trodden and newly saturated fields, we had four young children in tow, one of them in a pram, and only a handful of daylight hours left to get there, get fed and watered, and get back.

But what else are you going to do on a Sunday afternoon in the country in Autumn?

The pub in question was The Stile Bridge, and the walk took us across and along the River Beult – in spate after all the recent rain – through water meadows and past ancient oaks and, bizarrely, via the home circuit of the Kent Model Rallycross Club.

Lunch was excellent: roast beef with all the trimmings, washed down with Gadds’ No. 5 from Ramsgate.

We took a more direct route home along country lanes, but finished up walking through a large muddy field that was home to more than a dozen inquisitive horses, eyeing us warily and hungrily in silhouette against the setting sun. Some of our party later revealed that the horse encounter was, frankly, terrifying. Though not the children.

We arrived home in darkness, lit a fire, and had tea and scones with May’s Kitchen strawberry jam.

If you’re a simple soul, like me, it doesn’t get much better than that.


Half way there

Now we’re talking! Sam and I worked our way through a tonne of Cox last weekend.

It took all day but we made Appletinis to keep us going in between each pressing.

That’s 750 litres cider made so far. Half way there for my intended 1500 litres this year.

I’m taking this weekend off to watch Star Wars for the first time with my boys (I am clearly even more excited than them!) and to go fishing.

But then it’s back into the pressing, hopefully with another tonne delivered the weekend after.


First apple pressing of the season

I got down to my first serious apple pressing of the season this weekend: about 300 kilos of Windsors and Grenadiers from the orchards of Bob Thompson in Chainhurst.

We made 50 litres last weekend from Discovery apples but this was the first real test of my new hydropress and mill.

Have to say I’m delighted with the results. Even working on my own I got through the apples in no time. Indeed, in time to get down to Dungeness to catch my first codling of the coming Winter.

I’ll be pressing the same again this weekend. Then we’ll be looking to order some apples by the ton and I’ll really see what this new press is made of.