L.O.B. vs MZF – Keep Playin’

Keep Playin'
The latest third-person account of my weekly attempt to play eight-a-side football – we wear grey… Keep playin’

The Greys started with a scramble tonight against MZF, and were two players down when referee Ash Pedantic blew for kick-off. Luckily, by the time MZF took their first throw-in our heroes in grey were back up to full strength.

Passing the ball around well at the back and steadily building momentum, the Greys launched a wave of positive attacks. Still, they couldn’t catch a break.

At one point it seemed like MZF’s keeper had done a Roy Carroll and literally thrown the ball into his own net, but a last-gasp intervention by one of his defenders spared him further embarrassment.

Smelling blood the greys went in for the kill, but all of a sudden MZF’s keeper turned into Superman, making saves down low and palming away long range belters like the ghost of Neville Southall.

Eventually Ahmed and Adam combined to steer a bouncing ball towards Alex, who bravely stuck a leg in and beat the keeper to make it 1-0.

Killing the party off almost immediately, however, MZF pulled one back when they made the most of the space the Greys were giving them down the left wing.

The Greys had most of the chances in the second half, and Adam came closest with a somewhat speculative effort that clattered off the frame of MZF’s goal.

Meanwhile, MZF’s angry beardos appealed every decision like it was a World Cup final, totally losing it when something as trivial as a throw-in went the other way. And their token Mourinho on the sideline’s definitely getting a caution from the FA in the morning.

Sadly, MZF made the most of their one second half chance when the Greys failed to deal with a corner that rebounded off the post. Reacting first, a wide-eyed MZF striker smashed the loose ball into the roof of the net to seal an unlikely 2-1 defeat.


Timeslides – This Is the End

This Is the End

Here’s a little song I wrote. You might want to sing it note for note… On top of playing drums for “dark tropical” indie rockers Crash Island and James-Blunt-meets-The-Exploited punk-rock rejects Paperjets, I also tend to write my own songs from time to time.

“This Is the End” is my third solo song as Timeslides. And again, Crash Island’s Jeremy Levy played the keys and synths and handled the mixing. So big thumbs up to him! I designed the cover – still haven’t seen those damn Northern Lights.

Wavves – V (Ghost Ramp/Warner Bros.)

Wavves - V

Wavves – V (2015)
Ghost Ramp/Warner Bros.

Waves of fuzzy, technicolour-dream guitars wear a smooth coat, anchored to steady pop punk beats and antibody forming vocal melodies; they’re that catchy. San Diego, California’s Wavves might have gone all Led Zeppelin titling their fifth album, V, but really, it’s the antithesis of such self-indulgence. Instead, it courses with urgency, freshness and thrifty pop-punk energy.

V mixes tie-dyed, stoner weirdness and Ramones-inspired punk rock with a yearning sense of self-assured uncertainty. There’s a defiant confidence in being unconfident, or purpose in being aimless that’s infectious. And straight away, it’s the brightest and most cohesive Wavves have ever sounded. The first five songs fly by in 13 and-a-half manic minutes; hooks flailing, every song catchier than the one before.

A slight dark detour soon rejoins the art-school, pop-punk super highway, before vocalist Nathan Williams’ big ending, “Cry Baby.” “They don’t know the creatures in my head, somewhere between a life and freezing dead” he sings, before things get really weird and the album ends with him screaming “Can’t breathe” over and over again, until he literally… can’t breathe.

L.O.B. vs St. Bids – Keep Playin’

Keep Playin'
The latest third-person account of my weekly attempt to play eight-a-side football – we wear grey… Keep playin’

Punching above their weight a bit, the Greys took on England last night. Yep, England! But fortunately, Roy Hodgson picked a typical line-up of unknowns who’d all watched one Premier League game together in a pub once and liked the look of it.

Seriously though, who the hell do St. Bids think they are playing in the England kit, Jamie Vardy? Meanwhile, the Greys were one man down and recruited a young winger named Mike to make up the numbers.

St. Bids took an early lead when the Greys’ defence switched off and failed to deal with a short corner in time to stop it falling to an England shirt on the edge of the box. The St. Bids striker turned neatly, gave Greys keeper Yusuf the eyes and stuck it in the corner.

Soon afterwards another set-piece caught the Greys napping at the back again, as a flicked-on throw-in fell to a St. Bids striker waiting, unmarked, on the back post; Déjà vu, and something of a recurring theme at the moment.

Momentarily deflated, the Greys’ eyes lit up again when St. Bids’ Bald Joe Hart fumbled a thumping cross by midfielder Chris and Mike tapped in the loose ball to make it 2-1. Hart can say goodbye to that Head & Shoulders endorsement.

Suddenly cooking with gas, the Greys kept pushing, and eventually in-form striker Alex bravely drove in an Adam corner to level the score just before half-time.

The Greys were all over St. Bids in the second half and played some of their best football of the season. Capitalising on the early pressure, Adam and Alex teamed up again to make it 3-2 to the Greys when Alex reacted first and stuck Adam’s spilled shot in the back of the net.

Not long after that the Greys were in two-goal-cushion dreamland, when Alex found himself one on one with Bald Joe Hart and kept his cool, placing the ball in the bottom right corner for his hat-trick.

Still, St. Bids weren’t going down without a fight. And another corner undid the Greys’ defence. This time Yusuf parried the first shot, but the Greys reacted like a bendy bus taking a hairpin corner and couldn’t stop a grateful St. Bids striker smashing the loose ball into the crossbar. The ball bounced off the post and hit Yusuf on the back of the head; so technically, it was an own goal.

Holding on to their one goal lead, the Greys fought for every loose ball like their lives depended on it. I’ve never seen such heart and steely determination, as everyone shouted, tackled and stood firm.

But the last “three minutes” dragged on for what felt like an eternity, and when Yusuf parried another stinging long range St. Bids effort the only person who reacted to the loose ball was wearing an England shirt. The unmarked striker smashed the ball home to level the score at 4-4. It was heart-breaking.

The air in the change-room was ripe with disappointment and anguish, as if the Greys had just lost a cup final. And the worst part is, they were the better team tonight, undone by four moments. Four lapses in concentration. And sadly, that’s all it took…

The Burger Chronicles #3 – Homeburger

Bacon Bungalow With Cheese
The Bacon Bungalow With Cheese

Mental note: Wednesday’s a good night to order Homeburger! To be fair, the relatively new, Holloway Road-based joint always does a tasty burger, but last night they NAILED it.

Perhaps it was the lack of weekend rush – or the work of a mid-week burger chef with OCD – who knows. But in terms of takeaway burgers delivered to your front door while you watch the football, my Bacon Bungalow With Cheese came pretty damn close to burger perfection.

As the name suggests, Homeburger’s takeaway only. And for the uninitiated, a Bacon Bungalow With Cheese is exactly what it sounds like: a single-storey beef patty topped with oak-smoked bacon, cheddar and “American Cheese,” onion relish, pickles, salad, and “Homesauce,” all lovingly nestled in a glazed toasted bun. Simple, to the point, yet mouth-wateringly decadent and delicious.

Homeburger's neat packaging
It’s all in the details

Side-stepping flashiness and ostentation, Homeburger knows exactly where its strengths lie: in the details. And while it may not offer the blue cheese sauce, bacon jam and croquette-tinted extravagance of rival burger shops, it plays its burger hand with confidence and flair.

Homeburger’s neat packaging and stylish design adds to the experience, and with every burger safely tucked away behind its own burger seatbelt you can be sure they’ll arrive looking as good as they taste. Throw in a side of Homefries and a tub of Homeslaw and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed home run…

Blues Kitchen, Camden

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Back to the Future 2

Nike Air Mag
via: Neon Gods

So today is “Back to the Future Day,” the day Marty McFly and “Doc” Brown travelled to in classic 1989 sequel Back to the Future 2. And while we might not have the flying cars and hover boards the film promised – or Michael Jackson – we do have Nike Air Mags, Pepsi Perfect and Jaws 19 – well, not really with that last one. To celebrate, here are 10 things you might not know about the film.

That’s like a baby’s toy

Elijah Wood - Back to the Future 2
via: Screen Junkies

The bratty kid that writes Wild Gunman off as a “baby’s toy” in Cafe ’80s is played by an eight-year-old Elijah Wood making his big screen debut. Still very much a fan, here’s what Wood had to say about Back to the Future Day – although he did get the date wrong.

Tacky premonitions

Doc Brown's cowboy shirt
via: International Business Times

It may look like “Doc” Brown borrowed his cowboy and train shirt from Seinfeld‘s Cosmo Kramer, but it’s really a tacky flashforward Friday to the end of the third film.

Old Biff Dies

Biff Dies
via Movieclips Extras

When old Biff returns to Hilldale in 2015, after giving 1955 Biff Marty’s Grays Sports Almanac, we see him lurking behind a car, wearing a smug look but writhing in pain. And the reason is: he’s dying. In the alternate reality old Biff’s actions create, new billionaire Biff is ultimately shot and killed by his wife, Marty’s mother Lorraine. As such, old Biff doesn’t exist anymore. In a deleted scene, Biff falls to the floor and starts to fade away.

Antique Easter eggs

BTTF 2 Antique Coins
via Futurepedia

The window of the antique store Marty McFly buys his fateful Grays Sports Almanac from features a Roger Rabbit doll, the first two Jaws films and the denim jacket Michael J. Fox wore in the first film. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was directed by Back to the future co-writer and director Robert Zemeckis and Jaws was directed by producer Steven Spielberg.


Needles, Back to the Future 2
via: Movieclips

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, who plays Marty’s rival Needles in both Back to the Future sequels, barely remembers filming his scenes for Part 2. “We did it all in one day,” he told Rolling Stone. “I had to fly back to the tour that night. That’s my real memory. It’s just a blur, and I lost the sweater that my grandmother had knitted me somewhere on the trip.”

Will the real George McFly please stand up

George McFly
via: Business Insider

Unhappy with the ending of the first film, Crispin Glover, who played Marty’s dad George, kicked up a fuss. And reportedly, when he found out he was getting paid considerably less for the sequel than his returning co-stars, Glover demanded a fee producers were simply not willing to pay – and according to some accounts, he wanted script approval as well. Instead, producers cut George’s part, killed him off in an alternate reality and put actor Jeffrey Weissman in moulds taken from Glover’s face for his old-age George scenes in Part 1. George was also resigned to the background, shot upside down and obscured as much as possible. In the end, Glover sued for the illegal use of his likeness and the case was settled out of court.

Godzilla 2015

Back to the Future - Jaws 19
via Mongo

In the original draft of the script, Back to the Future‘s iconic Jaws 19 hologram scene was going to feature a similar larger-than-life ad for Godzilla 2015 – which would be funnier if the 2014 Godzilla blockbuster had come out a year later.

If the Shue fits…

Jennifer McFly
via Elisabeth Shue

Elisabeth Shue was the third actress cast to play Marty’s girlfriend-turned-wife Jennifer Parker. In the first film, Jennifer was played by Claudia Wells, who turned down the sequel and temporarily retired from acting to care for her sick mother. Before that, when Eric Stoltz was still cast as Marty, Melora Hardin temporarily landed the role. However, when Michael J. Fox was brought in to replace Stoltz, Hardin was deemed too tall and promptly replaced by Wells.

The Ides of March

George McFly Murdered
via Prop Bay

In the twisted alternate version of 1985, Marty’s dad George is dead and his mother Lorraine is married to Biff, who’s a millionaire. And to top it all off, it turns out Biff shot and killed George on March 15; a date synonymous with the Ides of March and the assassination of Julius Caesar.

Senor Spielbergo

Max Spielberg
via: /Film

According to its billing at the Hill Valley Holomax, Jaws 19 was directed by Max Spielberg, the real-life son of producer Steven Spielberg.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer #3

It’s weird that I still care so much about Star Wars. You’d have thought that those three god-awful prequels would have beaten it out of me. Yet here I sit, next to my French bulldog Yoda, excited as hell by this latest teaser for J. J. Abrams and Disney’s resuscitating new instalment Star Wars: The Force Awakens, due out December 18.

By all accounts, Star Wars is getting a new lease of life, sans Jake Lloyd, Jar Jar Binks, Hayden Christensen and George Lucas. And nobody seems happier about it than The Force Awakens star John Boyega.

El Vy Playing “Return to the Moon” On Conan

Dark-and-broody The National frontman Matt Berninger and his multi-instrumentalist buddy Brent Knopf (aka Ramona Falls) release Return to the Moon, their debut album as El Vy, on October 30 through 4AD. Here they are playing the album’s title track on Conan on September 30. And in case there’s any confusion, it’s “pronounced like a plural of Elvis; rhymes with hell pie.”

The Burger Chronicles #2 – BIRD Islington

The Original Waffle Burger

I have to admit, when I heard chicken joint BIRD was opening a new shop in Holloway Road, I was pretty excited. A friend of mine doesn’t stop going on about their damn waffle burgers, and to tell you truth, I’ve had one; they’re awesome.

BIRD’s mission is to do for chicken what companies like Patty & Bun and Honest Burgers have done for the humble hamburger. The promise: “best free range fried chicken you’ve ever tasted.”

The shop looks exactly how I thought it would: hip, orange and to the point. I order my waffle burger, fries and creamy slaw and sip on an ice cold pint of Camden Pale Ale, taking in my bright, modern-twist-on-a-classic-diner surroundings. My favourite local haunt Max’s Sandwich Shop has new competition.

Moving on to the main course; “The Original Waffle Burger” is two crunchy-on-the-outside, buttery-soft-and-juicy-on-the inside boneless chicken thighs, bacon, “American cheese,” hot sauce and Canadian maple syrup hedonistically sandwiched between two fluffy, yet perfectly griddled waffles. And believe me, it’s every bit as decadent and life-affirming as it sounds. In fact, to date, it is the best free range fried chicken I’ve ever tasted. In fact, it’s the best chicken burger I’ve ever tasted.


L.O.B. vs Crus Missiles – Keep Playin’

Keep Playin'
The latest third-person account of my weekly attempt to play eight-a-side football – we wear grey… Keep playin’

Sometimes the score doesn’t offer a true reflection of how things really went down. Tonight was one of those games, and if the Greys had made the most of their chances and kept their concentration, things could have ended a lot differently – or at least, more respectably. Instead, the Greys’ recent winning streak came to a crashing 4-0 end, courtesy of current league leaders Crus Missiles.

Crus Missiles flexed their muscles first, unleashing a wave of early pressure that ended with the ball in the back of the Greys’ net. Thankfully, the unfamiliar-looking referee noticed the foul on Greys keeper Yusuf and disallowed the goal.

But ten minutes later Crus Missiles took the lead for real when pacy striker “Siya” neatly converted a one-on-one breakaway. Incensed, the Greys fought back immediately, and midfielder Chris was unlucky to see his well-controlled volley smash against the inside of the upright and, somehow, fly wide.

Early in the second half, against the run of play, Crus Missiles capitalised on a Greys defensive error and “Siya” popped up again to double their lead. Soon afterwards a well taken corner found an unmarked Crus Missiles head and it was three nil.

To their credit the Greys never gave up the ghost and chances fell to Mark, Paolo, Julien and Alex in quick succession. Yet somehow the Greys’ just couldn’t find the back of the net. Right at the death, just to pour salt in their wounds, a long range Crus Missiles shot fell to “Siya,” who tapped it in for his hat-trick and his team’s fourth.