Tag Archives: London Gigs

Freak(y) Frico Styley

I promised to be more present in here, I know. Sailor promises. As usual! And you should know that.

I’m not in the greatest mood as this 2016 so far brought just some shit storms and took away from us people like Bowie, Prince and, last but not least, my good friend Andrea. You surely have read everywhere about the first two so, on the notes of the beautiful Purple Rain, I wanted to let y’all know how great Andy was and how many times his honest smile made me and a lot of his friends feeling at home. You’ll never be forgotten my friend. NEVER. And wherever you are I hope one day I’ll be able to find you and to remind you how shit SSC Napoli is at football.

Andrew

In terms of food I’m still failing with a proper diet, which is the good news. The bad news, if you’re a B&G old school fan, is that recently I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of writing stuff in this page (sorry Mike Hodge) – But not to worry B&G Amigos, you can still have a look at all the beautiful things I’ve demolished in the past two months by clicking here.

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This beauty up here is called Frico and it’s a dish from Friuli-Venezia Giulia (North-East part of Italy) which consists of a wafer of shredded cheese and potatoes heated by baking or frying until crisp. #CrispPorn would be the perfect hashtag to use in this case.

Damiano and his friend Marco started recently this new adventure which goes by the name of Freak Frico and they’re now in the bureaucratic process of moving their stand from The Boiler House in Brick Lane to The Pump in Shoreditch. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for them in order to get this cheesy and crispy orgasmic dish (and their homemade tiramisu) back to the streets of London ASAP!


And now the music bit…

Tuesday 3rd May: Mark Lanegan @ Union Chapel in Islington. The concert left me speechless. I’ve met a good friend of mine at the gig and at one point he looked at me and said “Dude. I’m crying!” – That says it all…

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There’s a short video on the B&G Instagram page that is definitely worth checking.

I don’t want to sound bossy but if you don’t know who Lanegan is please cancel whatever you planned for tonight –  Go home instead, switch off your phone, light up some candles, pour some good wine and start your journey into planet Mark Lanegan. Be careful though, it can be addictive.

Alla prossima X

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Silk Road (No Bitcoins accepted) & Bibs+Gigs on Instagram!!

Spring is coming dear B&G lovers! You happy? Well I hope so… In case you are not I have great news for you: Bibs & Gigs is now on Instagram!! I know I mentioned Facebook in the last poll (thanks for the ones who voted, especially who gave their preference to the Smelly Armpits option) but I’m 100% sure that starting a FB page will make me lazy towards the blog activities.

So stop doing whatever you’re doing (unless you’re having a delicious meal or some great oral sex), open Instagram, find the B&G Marshmallow Man and click follow (or simply click the picture below)!

B&G
Stay Puft, Follow Bibs+Gigs!

Talking about food (and not about drugs): I went to Silk Road in Camberwell (click here for their menu) last Sunday after hearing a lot of great things about it.

Silk Road - Pork
Double Cooked Pork Slices – Silk Road

 

 

The food was a bit oily but pretty good (the Double Cooked Pork Slices and the Home Style Aubergines were soooo tasty!) and, since I’ve been in China during my travels, I felt while in there a sort of tradition which I never came across when having dinner in Chinatown.

Silk Road - Pork II
Double Cooked Pork Slices II – Silk Road

 

Silk Road - Aubergines
Home Style Aubergines
Silk Road - dumplings
Beef & Onion handmade dumplings

 

As me and Lucy were very hungry as usual we also ordered a bunch of ox tripe and lamb skewers, some freshly prepared handmade dumplings and a very big portion of hand-pulled noodles with lamb.

Cheap prices, friendly and quick staff, relaxed atmosphere, generous servings. Will definitely come back!

 

Silk Road - Tripe
Ox Tripe – Silk Rd.
Silk Road - Lamb
Lamb skewers – Silk Road
Silk Road (Noodles)
Hand-pulled Noodles

Gigs&Tips: Going to see Swingin’ Utters tonight at the Pipeline and since I’m around there I may go to have some tacos at Lupita… I’ll let you know how it goes!

Happy Friday 13th my dear misfits!

 

An extraordinary evening with the Mad Caddies..

.. that started with a Chilango burrito, some beers and a quick chat with Sascha (guitar) and Ed (trombone) from the band just before the show. We got talking about when I arrived late to their gig in Milan in 2003 and we ended up playing the dices and getting drunk, then, as soon as me and my friends got in, we found the perfect spot to watch the great performance they put together, just in-between the bar and the stage.

Chilango
Pulled pork burrito at Chilango

It’s impossible to fully describe how I felt, but I can promise you that when they played Macho Nachos, Road Rash and Leavin’ I was completely taken back  to the late nineties/early noughties, when it was all about skateboarding (or at least trying to) and Punk Rock music.

Needless to say that I was crying a little bit during that trip down memory lane, but y’all know how soft I am.

Mad Caddies

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Last night the boys from Santa Barbara were absolutely impeccable, and since they started 20 years ago they’ve only got better and better, especially live. Chuck’s voice is still amazing, Dustin smashed it at the keyboards, Graham and Todd did the same on the bass and on the drums, Sascha is still looking like a kid but he now plays like a pro, and Eddie the Sexy-Mexi wasn’t just epic at the trombone, but he also managed to jump all over the stage for the entire show and play the last song from the bar just behind where we were standing. S-U-P-E-R-B!!!!

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Unfortunately Keith, Caddies’ trumpet player since they started back in 1995, is on tour with Mariachi El Bronx, so wasn’t there to enjoy the party. I’m pretty sure he’s still having a good time though.

Mad Caddies

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Dear Mad Caddies, thanks a lot for being the soundtrack of my youth and for making feel like a kid again during your show yesterday. Funny enough it happened to be just 5 days before my 30th birthday, so I’ll take it as a pretty cool present.

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One more post before Xmas amigos, and I promise it won’t be about music this time.

Take’er easy dudes…. I know you will.

Truckfighters, Tinariwen and Jack White

The past week was again full of live music excitement..

Last Friday Truckfighters played at the O2 Academy in Islington and, even with a pretty fucking late arrival (AGAIN!!),  me and Cozza managed to see them performing the last 4 songs..

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Jesus Christ I love these guys so much! And I truly love Desert Cruiser; they finish all their gigs with that song, with everyone in the house singing along, even the sweaty walls!

Sorry boys, next time I’ll try to drink less beers prior to the show and rock up on time.

TF3

Talking about desert, Tinariwen (which in the Tamasheq language literally means ‘deserts’) and their West African guitar-driven sound, rocked the Roundhouse the following Sunday.

Tinariwen 1

Imagine being stuck in a big tent in the middle of the Sahara Desert with a group of local musicians, where the only thing that you can do, apart from asking for more tea, is listening to the music they are playing.. Well, that is the best explanation that I can give you about the atmosphere that these northern Malian rock rebels created during the gig, apart from beer and cider served instead of the tea.

Tinariwen

I discovered these guys this summer through my girlfriend’s dad Damian, the coolest 70 years old dude that I know, and since then I got addicted to their sound. If you still don’t know them then you should.

Not the best video quality, but will surely give you an idea..

Wednesday was the turn of Jack White at the O2 Arena..

I’m not a big fan of the Millennium Dome in all honesty, as I prefer more intimate gigs, but I had this thing in my head about seeing crazy Jack live that made me not care too much about the location.. Plus I got the tickets for my birthday (thanks Lucy) so why not.

JW (1)

I much appreciated the fact that on top of White’s solo stuff (Freedom at 21 & Lazaretto) some great tunes by The White Stripes (Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground, Fell in Love With a Girl, Astro & Hotel Yorba) and The Raconteurs (Top Yourself & Steady As She Goes) were also played, but unfortunately at the end of the show I wasn’t as impressed as I though I would be.

Jack White O2

Maybe it was just the place, or Jack not being great in communicating with the crowd, or some of the musicians playing not matching at all that type of music, or maybe my expectations for this gig were too big, who knows? What I do know is that for the first time in my life I left a concert before the last song had been played, and that should explain everything.

Next gig will be Mad Caddies at the little O2 in Islington, the perfect band to play out the year..

Ciao B&G lovers, have a great weekend!

Four gigs in a week – Part 2: Death From Above 1979 + Brant Bjork

We have all been there at some point: One of your favourite bands have just announced that they will be playing a show in London in a couple of months and tickets will be available online the following morning at 9am… You get very excited, you let all your friends know, you set up the alarm ridiculously early and for once you rock up at the office on time…

You prepared everything: The card number is copied and ready to be pasted in the appropriate box, you already had 5 coffees and that makes you look like you’ve been out all night on the booze, you open the webpage 5 minutes earlier feeling really clever compared to all the other idiots that are surely still sleeping, and then… and then something goes wrong…

.. The page is really slow and when it comes back to life it tells that you are number 875 in the queue. You refresh, and refresh, and swear in all the possible languages against all the Saints from above, then you refresh again, then a “little” punch hits either the desk or the laptop, you refresh one more time… And then it’s over… Sold Out in less than 3 minutes!

And that’s what happened to me when I tried to get tickets for Death From Above 1979 at the Electric Ballroom..

The goddamned tickets disappeared within 5 minutes of appearing online.. Huge disappointment and hundreds of thousands of unkind words towards all of the Last Supper attendees.

Luckily my friend Cozza is a living legend and somehow he managed to get me a 20 bucks ticket a couple of hours before gig, completely erasing my plans for a quiet and cozy Monday night at home.

DFA ticket

A lot of beers were involved, before, during and after the show, so I don’t remember a lot of details. All I know is that the wall of sound that these 2 fellas from Canada created was like a punch in the face! What an epic gig, and what a tremendous atmosphere!

Right On Frankenstein!Virgins and Cheap Talk (my 3 favourite tracks from their monumental latest release The Physical World) played at the very beginning of the show not just gave a strong shake to all the souls filling the Ballroom, but also made me and my friends going crazy with the bar orders..

DFA1979

I’m not saying that it was a bad idea, but unfortunately the whole “drinking-like-idiots-shenanigans” made me forget about the rest of the show. As said, it was a great fucking gig, and sometimes when you’re having fun, details are not really necessary.

 


Not even the time to recover from a terrible two day hangover and Brant Bjork played The Garage just outside Highbury and Islington station.

Impossible not to drink a couple of lagers when BB was on stage, but this time me and Cozza behaved like if we were invited for a 5pm tea at Buckingham Palace, and no crazy shit happened before/during/after the show.

Me and Cozza
Just one!

Even if he’s a drummer by nature (Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Vista Chino) it didn’t surprise me seeing him being such a great front-man.

Both guitar riffs and vocals have that touch of desert sound that makes you want to be at the wheel of a really old Chevrolet El Camino, driving without destination through the Sky Valley.

BB (1)

The good thing about The Garage is that it never gets really full and you can easily wander around the venue without getting crazy (I remember being able to walk from the bar to the toilet in less than 20 seconds during a Franz Ferdinand gig).

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Not much sing-along on my side, as I concentrating more on the music and on that type of “being stoned” kinda feeling created by the four dudes on stage. They played for 90 minutes more or less, without a single dull or boring moments.

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If you are into Low Desert Punk you’ll love this song..


Next gigs on the diary:

Friday 14th November – Truckfighters @ the O2 Academy in Islington

Sunday 16th November – Tinariwen @ the Roundhouse

Wednesday 19th November – Jack White @ the O2 Arena

YEAH!

 

Four gigs in a week – Part 1: The Lawrence Arms + Fat Freddy’s Drop

.. The only disappointment in going to see 4 gigs in a week is the fact that the budget for food is very very tight, like 50p late evening deals on Waitrose’s sandwiches just before the show, or a big plate of pasta with whatever-is-in-the-cupboard type of sauce when you come back home drunk as a skunk right after it.

But for some Rock ‘n’ Roll I reckon is a pretty fair price to pay.

It all started last Wednesday with The Lawrence Arms @ the O2 Academy in Islington.

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Larrys 3

No one wanted to come so I bought the ticket online at 4pm on the very same day (pretty risky to do that for a London gig), cooked some dinner, jumped on my Vespa and boom, here I am under the stage singing out loud old timers like The Devil’s Takin’ Names, Great Lakes/Great Escapes, Like a Record Player, Quincentuple Your Money, 100 Resolutions and new great songs like Seventeener and You Are Here from their last album Metropole.

Larrys 4
Chris (guitar) and Neil (drums)

I love these guys! The mix of melancholic lyrics and constant drunkenness makes the Chicago trio one of the best Punk Rock bands around, since 1999!

Larrys 2
Brendan Kelly (bass)

Last time I saw them was in 2010. Same place, same feelings during the show and a lot of beers shared with my best mate Alessandro. Since then he got married and he’s now father of a beautiful girl called Chiara. And what about me? No wife and no kids, but I’m still pretty good on getting drunk on a regular basis.

Even if they didn’t play it this song is still one of my favourite..

Starring: Cocky Balboa


Saturday was the turn of Fat Freddy’s Drop @ Ally Pally..

Mr Scruff was opening… But we missed him (insert Sad Face here)! However I had the pleasure to see him earlier this  year at Koko’s and God he was good! If you don’t know him go check it out!

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Quick watered down beer with an extraordinary taste of piss, quick look at the toilets just to realise that I’m not in the mood to queue for 45 minutes just to get rid of some liquids and then lights went down and the Kiwis appeared on stage, making the whole crowd go bananas!!

FFD logo
Great logo!

Just to give you a bit of knowledge, the Wellington music collective started back in 2005, when they released their first studio album called Based on a true story. The album went gold on its first day. Recorded in a basement studio in the home of one of the band members, it was released on the band’s own label, The Drop. It was the first independently distributed album to hit number one on the New Zealand album charts. Dr. Boondigga & The Big BW came next, followed by their latest masterpiece Blackbird.

And the Ally pally night was the perfect occasion for Joe Dukie and his gang to play some great songs from this new  fabulous album, Mother Mother and Silver and Gold for example, with the addition of old tunes like This Room and the mind-blowing cover of Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley.

One hour and forty minutes of greatness! No pictures and zero trips to the bar, just music, good vibes and the entertaining crazy little dances of sweaty pants Hopepa, Fat Freddy’s trombone player. What a dude!

Click here for some pics, click play on the video below for some beats..

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Beck @ Roundhouse (iTunes Festival) – 2nd September 2014

I have to admit that coming back to London after 3 weeks in the Philippines (click here if you missed the last post about my adventures over there) wasn’t too bad..

And that joy about returning was not caused by the clouds over Heathrow Airport when we landed, neither by the pile of bullshit that I got on Monday morning at the office; it all came from 2 sexy tickets that I won for Beck at the iTunes Festival!!

Beck B&G iTunes

I’ve fucking loved Beck since the tender age of 16. His ways of experimenting through music are simply marvellous and you never know what to expect in his next album. On top of that he’s a really good guitar player, he’s got a great voice and on stage he’s a crazy motherfucker.

Beck iTunes

I didn’t take many pictures during the show, not just because I hate iPhones and tablets at gigs, but also because it was one of the best live performances I’ve seen in ages and I didn’t want to miss a single second of it, at a point of almost peeing my pants on more than one occasion…

B&G Beck setlist
Setlist

 

As you can see from the above setlist, Beck and his impeccable musician fellas played all the hits (when they came back and ‘Sexx Laws‘ started the crowd went nuts!), ending up the show with the classic ‘Where It’s At’, made even more awesome by the addition of ‘Miss You’ (Rolling Stones) and ‘Do Ya Think I’m sexy (Rod Stewart) snippets.

Beck B&G

I’ve also applied for Elbow and Gregory Porter but I wasn’t blessed by the Lord (or by Steve Jobs) for those ones, and that was unfortunate and disappointing.

What about you B&G lovers? Any lucky iTunes festival stories or will you need to wait for next year’s “apply to win” shenanigans?


Bibs&Tips: Next time you go to an event around that area make sure you stop at Thanh Binh for some dinner before the show. It’s one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in London and it’s located in front of the Camden Stables Market main doors, 5 minutes walking from the Roundhouse.

What the Duck!?!

Most of you already know a lot of stuff about the Duck & Waffle: in the heart of the City, great place for a date, breathtaking view, super fast lift, amazing food & cocktails, reasonable prices, open 24/7 etc. So I won’t mention any of that as you’ll probably get bored after 2 seconds.

But what I will do is give you a quick summary of my recent lunch experience.

It wasn’t a date, unfortunately, but a convenient business lunch paid by my company. To be honest though, who needs romance when free food is on the table?

Duck and Waffle

I opted for a beer, rather than a cocktail, but by the look of the bar I can tell that they definitely know what they’re doing with the mixers!

Their signature dish, the Duck & Waffle, is delicious, so is the roasted octopus – fresh and cooked to perfection, which is not easy to find in London.

Duck And Waffle - Octopus

The only disappointment for me was the fillet of Angus beef Carpaccio – way too much Pecorino cheese, as you can see from the picture, and not enough meat.

Duck and Waffle - Carpaccio

Also, the menu is a bit too fancy and not clear enough – If it wasn’t for the lovely waiter explaining it to me I’d probably still be there choosing what to eat.

Don’t get me wrong folks, it was a lovely experience, and even if I promised I wouldn’t mention the view, it really will leave you speechless. Get the table in the corner if you can and make sure you book in advance for lunch and dinner.


Gigs&Tips: Next week it will be my flatmate Alban’s birthday and since I love buying gig tickets for friends (despite the fact that he’s never read my blog – what a simpleton!) I’ve booked to go and see The Mad Caddies in November at the O2 Academy in Angel…

Have a great week you cheeky Monkeys.

Less Talk, More Noodles!

Ho-Fun Lido

Lido in Chinatown is not just a paradise for Dim Sum and Noodle lovers, but it also has that type of chilled out environment I normally look for when trying to get rid of terrible hangovers.

Since the day my flatmate Alban talked to me about this place it became my favourite within the area of Chinatown: Good food, friendly staff, reasonable prices.

Lido 3

A couple of times I tried following Time Out’s advice about some other good restaurants around there and not only was I disappointed, I was also absolutely pissed off about the shit food, the bad service received and the fact that I still follow suggestions from these “We-know-everything-everywhere” hipsters!

 

Yesterday at lunch time I was around Shaftesbury Avenue for work, so I decided to go there on my own, as my colleague is on that period of the year where if you drink, eat, sneeze or fart before the sunset you’ll be cursed by for the rest of your life.

 

Trying to be on a diet is depressing for a million of reasons, the good thing though is that I didn’t go crazy when ordering the food as I normally do when going there with friends for Dim Sum on Sunday lunch time.

I “just” got a portion of really tasty Malaysian style Ho-Fun Noodles (Ho-Fun are the wide, flat, rice noodles, the Chinese version of Italian Tagliatelle) and a delicious Crab+Seafood (3 dumplings in total) Dim Sum.

Ho-Fun and Dim Sum

Needless to say that this time a doggy bag wasn’t necessary…

Lido 1

As mentioned before, if you spent the all Saturday night up to no good, Lido Restaurant will be the right place to spend your Sunday lunch. Order a can of Coke and get messy with their wide choice of Dim Sum platters, you surely won’t regret it!


Gigs&Tips: Up the pints people! It’s Friday, it’s sunny, the storm is over and The Black Keys just announced a UK tour coming this March..

BK

Fucked Up @ La Scala – 18th June 2014

Fucked Up

If you spend a night in a sweaty mosh pit at a hardcore punk show you have to bare in mind that the next day in the office will suck big fucking time! And those suicidal tendencies I’m having this morning are not because of the bruises all over my body…. It’s all caused by the fact that punk rock and hardcore punk shows are making me feel so ALIVE, bringing back beautiful memories of my early 20’s, when music wasn’t as mainstream as today and everything related to it was more romantic.

No Spotify, no YouTube, sometimes not even the Internet. Just Compact Discs and Cassettes. I still possess the glorious one that introduced me to this world: Straight Ahead by Pennywise on side A and Ballads from the Revolution by Good Riddance on side B.

Also going to gigs was much more fun: you firstly had to find the money, then a car, then a friend keen to drive until Milano, Genova or Torino, then a little shop to buy beers and then, most difficult part, the venue!

I think we reached the bottom of the barrel when we got lost on our way to Fat Wreck Tour in 2003. When we got there the gig was over, the fans have left and the only people in the venue were the barman of a deserted bar and some Mad Caddies and Lawrence Arms members playing dices. They obviously laughed at us, but just before the sadness in our faces was about to turn into tears, they invited us to their table and we spent the entire night up to no good with our new friends.

Fucked Up

Time to leave Memory Lane now and start talking about these Fucked Up Canadians and the immense gig they played yesterday.

 

Damian Abraham and co. had the brilliant idea to start the show with Echo Boomer, the opening track of their new album Glass Boys (Matador Records) followed by Queen of Hearts. I’m not complaining about that, it was the best start they could have possibly done, but I’m not exaggerating in saying that the floor almost collapsed.

The rest of the night was all about mosh pit, sweat, crowd surfing, beers and great songs like Black Albino Bones, The Other Side, Led by Hand, Sun Glass and Paper the House.

Fucked Up

I need to mention as well the fact that the singer Damian was never on stage! That dude can’t stay away from the action and from the love of his fans to a point that he spent the entire time in the middle of us, hugging everyone and smiling like a little child when people were kissing his bald head.

Fucked Up

I also managed to give him a big hug when the concert was over and you can really tell there’s nothing fake in that incredible human being!!

Great night, Great show, Great bunch of Fucked Up people!


Bibs&Tips: The Kings Cross Honest Burgers branch is literally 45 seconds walking distance (Angel direction) from La Scala… and we all know how good their burgers are!