Saturday, 31 July 2010


26th July in a packed, baking hot room in the Vibe Bar, East London. A couple of hundred people were there for the single launch of Graffiti6 song 'Annie You Save Me'. The single has been getting good airplay in the UK, and it's a corker of a song.

Graffiti6 is a collaboration between producer Tommy D and singer/songwriter Jamie Scott. To be honest, it's like no sound I've heard before, and its this sound that has been on my headphones a lot recently. It's pretty chilled out and uplifting, and as a live 6 piece they are absolutely cracking. On top of all that, they are both friendly and funny. Their collaboration is completed with the addition of artist Jimi Crayon, whose artwork is distinctive, unusual and used in their live shows in background projections, and on their merchandise... (my pink graffiti6 t-shirt is absolutely one of the favourite things I own now).

Graffiti6 have already played a mini uk tour and have had sold out shows in the Netherlands. Definitely one to watch, here's the video for the single Annie You Save Me.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Temper Trap, Somerset House

Last night I went with friends to see The Temper Trap. I don't remember exactly what first got me listening to them, it was a while ago, but this is an Aussie band that I really like, although I can't exactly put my finger on why.

The lead singer knows how to work the stage, he moved around it all snake hips like, and switched between instruments a number of times - my favourite moment being a drum bashing once they'd poured water onto the top. The bass player mainly stuck out to me for his wacky hair and lovely black shiny bass guitar.

It had been a while since I'd listened through the album, and I couldn't really remember most of the songs, but I found that the stage show, the lighting and just the general atmosphere made up for that. They finished with the fantastic Sweet Disposition, and set against the backdrop of Somerset House, where the sound always comes across so well, and the beautiful lighting, it just added so much to the atmosphere. One of the best all round shows I've seen this year.

AIR, Somerset House

I'd never really heard of AIR, but Rob is quite a fan, so we got tickets to see them in the Somerset House summer season.

I did know a few more songs than I thought I did, Cherry Blossom Girl being one of them.

Overally, I thought the gig was OK, but thought the tickets were a bit overpriced. For £30 a head once you've added on the fees, it would normally be a band I really liked who would get me to spend that much to see them live. I found the music quite repetitive, but the other people in the crowd seemed to be having a good time, so maybe it was just me.

All in all, a more chilled out affair than the gigs we saw last year. I think I prefer to listen to that sort of music straight off a CD, the live gig-ness doesn't add much for me personally.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

L'Autre Pied

Last year, E and I went to the restaurant Pied à Terre and munched through 10 courses of goodness. Birthday time came around again, and this year we decided to try the sister restaurant, L'Autre Pied.

It really wasn't difficult for either of us to decide on the 7 course tasting menu, and being a little bit cheeky this time I got the camera out to take a snap of each course. E decided to also have the six wine sampler with each of the courses. Knowing that I struggle with posh food and fancy wine together, I decided to be good and stuck with the gin.

So, first up... Chiled Carrot and Ginger Soup, Blood Orange, Cristallized Ginger, Coriander Cress

Very impressive from the first mouthful, it was deliciously velvety and we were able to taste all the different flavours individually. I found it quite filling, it looked like a small portion in the bowl, but there was more in there than I expected! We had some tasty olive bread to go alongside.

Second course... Poached and Roasted Breast of Quail, Broad Beans, Wild Garlic and Herb Broth

Again, great flavours. The egg was a lovely touch, the quail was tender and the broth was just light and delicious. I could have happily drunk a pint of it. The portion was the perfect size and not too heavy.

Third up...Pan Fried Cod, Wye Valley Asparagus, Jersey Royal Potatoes, Lightly Smoked Sabayon

The cod was falling apart lovliness, the potatoes were perfectly crushed underneath and again, each of the flavours individually stood out - even the tiniest piece of herb on the top of the fish.

Onto four...Roasted Loin of Pork, Potato Fondant, Peas a la Francaise, Tarragon Jus

Starting to get a bit full at this point, but the pork was deliciously tender. The potato and peas had a lovely bit of bite and the sauce was delicious (I love sauce of any kind really).

Fifth course... almost there now... Selection of French and British Farm House Cheeses

Bit disappointing here... the waitress brought out a platter of 6 cheeses and explained them each to us, but then it seemed like we couldn't say 'all of them please' so we ended up picking 3. We ate them along with some tasty crackers and I thought they were all nice but not outstanding.

Number six course... Vanilla Panacotta, Cinnamon Foam, Poached Rhubarb

After a decent selection of meat, fish, bird and veg, it was nice to have something light here. It was melty in the mouth, again the flavour of vanilla, cinnamon and rhubarb coming through in equal measure.

Finally at the end...White Chocolate Mousse, Toasted Almonds, Strawberry Sorbet, Almond Foam

I'm not personally a fan of white chocolate or strawberry sorbet, but this was perfectly fine to finish off with... light and tasty and a nice ending to the meal. Being very full at this point, I really didn't need anything heavy.

As with all the dishes, the presentation of the food was immaculate, as you can see from the photographs. The ambience of L'Autre Pied is very very different from that of Pied à Terre. The former has more of a bustle to it, it's a little more for casual eating with groups of friends. The latter you talk to your dining companions in whispers and it is a much calmer atmosphere. All in all though, the food was excellent, I'd definitely eat here again. 8.5/10.