February 26, 2010, 11:23 am
Filed under: WHEAT

A little lacking in spin right now, as we just played the show of our lives last night and my whole body, inside and out, ACHES. But we, the full eight piece LC! (let’s just call it “LC!”) will be playing in these places, on these dates.

(All details to be posted shortly. To confirm, the Toronto show is DEFINITELY all ages. Most of these shows will be)

17 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s
18 Laval, Quebec Maison des Arts De Lava
19 Burlington VT Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
20 Toronto, ONT Phoenix Theatre
22 New York, NY Irving Plaza
23 Princeton, NJ Terrace Club at Princeton University
24 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club (18+)
27 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
28 Covington KY Mad Hatter Club
29 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre
30 Chicago, IL Cabaret Metro
01 Minneapolis MN First Avenue
04 Seattle, WA Showbox Theatre
05 Portland OR Hawthorne Theatre
07 San Francisco, CA The Regency Ballroom
08 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
10 Pomona CA The Glass House
11 San Diego CA San Diego Women’s Club

Food Review: Derby 18/02/2010 by Ollie
February 24, 2010, 8:50 pm
Filed under: CHAFF

Mark from Islet made a joke during their show, asking, as there was The Venue, does that mean that was “The Pub”, “The Shop”, etc.  I didn’t find “The Restaurant”, but there was a Chinese restaurant above The Venue so some of us went there.

The menu was pretty widespread and cheap.  I fancied something different from my usual so I went for Roast Duck in Plum Sauce.  I had a whole breast of Duck, unfortunately, like what happens to Duck a lot, it had been overcooked and was very dry.  It was flavoursome, the plum sauce had cooked into the duck and had given it a sweet taste.  The sauce was very runny, but had a glorious sugaryness to it.  The only evidence of plums was in the flavouring of the sauce.  Some sliced plums would have worked really well.  The moistness of the plums would have covered up at the dryness of the duck.

This plus rice was £7.50, and we got given a lot of prawn crackers, which were very good.  Crunchy and not too much of a prawn flavour.  Perhaps I should have gone with something that would have been safer.

Food Review: Edinburgh 17/02/2010 by Ollie
February 22, 2010, 6:17 pm
Filed under: CHAFF

When I was young we used to go to a place called Pizza Land for birthdays and other special occasions.  They had a pizza, which I would probably hate now, but I used to love then; Fish and Chip pizza.  It was probably the most stupid concept for a pizza since Heinz’s failed attempt at a Baked Bean Pizza.  Pizza Land got bought by Pizza Hut and it closed down.  Then a few years later Pizza Express opened in my hometown of Taunton.  Pizza Express had managed to make mass produced pizza good.  They had altered the way that big chains looked at pizza and paved the way for other upscale pizzerias like Zizzi’s.  Taunton’s Pizza Express is still doing really well, there are three in Cardiff and as far as I am aware there are three in Edinburgh.  One of which we found ourselves in when we were in Edinburgh.

The restaurant was so busy that we decided to get Take Out.  Fortunately we had someone with us who is in the Orange Mobile Network.  Orange has started doing Orange Wednesdays with Pizza Express; you get two pizzas for the price of one, plus two starters of either Garlic Bread or Dough Balls.

Now we ordered our pizza at 6.20pm, the woman said it would be 40 minutes and said come back at 7.10pm.  Anyone see the problem?  We came back at 6.50pm and our pizza was only mildly warm.  Who knows what it would have been like if we had come back at 7.10pm?

I’m normally impressed with Pizza Express Margherita Pizzas but as it had gone slightly cold, the cheese had gone rubbery and the tomato sauce had caused the base to go soggy.  It just felt like soggy bread.  The tomato sauce was good with a rich tomato flavour complemented with oregano and basil.

The garlic bread looked like it had been cooked for too long and the dough balls were pretty bland without the garlic butter.  It was pretty disappointing but the Orange deal made up for it; two pizzas, garlic bread and dough balls for £8.50, that’s a good deal.

Food Review: Dundee 16/02/2010 by Ollie
February 21, 2010, 4:27 pm
Filed under: CHAFF

When you are on tour, its always nice to eat in new places that you may never have heard of before, but sometimes its good to know what you’re getting.  After several failed attempts at finding food we happened across a Wetherspoons in Dundee called The Counting House.  It was pretty busy and didn’t have the feel that you might get your head kicked in.

It was Steak Night but I decided to go for the Beef and Abbot Ale Pie.  Pretty much everything on the menu had some sort of award winning ingredient in it; this time being the meat.

The pie came with carrots and broccoli, which were clearly frozen and had been cooked so much that they tasted of water.  The vitamin benefits of these vegetables had clearly gone down the sink.  The mashed potato had been heated up so was a bit dry but you could taste the butter in it, and it was seasoned well.

The pie was great.  The pastry, short and crumbly.  The meat was tender and required little chewing.  Abbot Ale is one of my favourite beers and you could really taste it in the gravy, it was rich and meaty.  There were some mushrooms and onions in the pie, which gave it some more flavour.  Unfortunately some of the onions had missed the slicer and I found some whopping great bits of onion in it.

All this came to £6.99.  It mean seem like I didn’t like it, but this meal had been one of my favourite on the tour so far.  It was old school pub grub, not a meal you would eat if you were on a nice meal out, but a meal perfect for a cold night in Dundee.  Now if only Michael Moore’s Butchers in Cambusbarron started selling their steak pies to Wetherspoons?

And for any of you getting bored of my food reviews I’m sure somebody else will post something more entertaining soon.

Food Review: Aberdeen 15/02/2010 by Ollie
February 17, 2010, 3:32 pm
Filed under: CHAFF

We have friends in the Aberdeen area and they had promised to take us to a cracking restaurant for lunch.  We went to Carmine’s and ended up sitting in, what felt like, the front room.  We seemed to take up the entire room and everyone else having lunch was on first name terms with the owner and the staff.  The kitchen was in the same room so you could watch him prepare everything.

Carmine’s has a three course lunch time menu which is what we went for.  I picked the soup which today was Minestrone.  It was nice sized portion with plenty of pasta and vegetables floating in a lightly herb tomato stock.  It was a wet and miserable day in Aberdeen, so this really warmed me up.

For my main I went for a Penne Arabiatta.  The pasta was slightly overcooked for my liking but the sauce made up for it.  Arabiatta can sometimes have so much chilli in it, that all you can taste is that.  This one however, was a nice level, leaving a nice tingle on your tongue whilst still allowing you to taste the other flavours.  The tomatoes seemed to be sun dried and though they were quite oily they were packed with loads of flavour, the tingle of the chillies bringing it out even more.

Dessert was a slightly strange Tiramisu.  It was almost a cross between Tiramisu and a trifle as the ricotta filling was more the consistency of custard.  I’m not sure if this is what they were trying to achieve or whether it had gone off I don’t know.  It met with mixed reviews amongst LC!

The crazy thing about this meal was that for three courses it was £4.50, and with drinks and coffee it ended up being £7!  The staff were a bit blunt at times, but that may be because we weren’t local.  I’m sure if you became a regular, and I probably would if I lived in the Aberdeen area, that they would warm to you.

Food Review: York 13/02/2010 by Ollie
February 16, 2010, 6:46 pm
Filed under: CHAFF

Coming from Somerset I seem to have a fondness for Cream Teas.  When I was 15 we went on holiday to Woolacombe in North Devon.  There I decided that when I got old/ rich etc. I would go round the country reviewing cream teas.  Mama Campesinos! pointed out that I didn’t like Tea so how could I do a proper review?  For some reason I’ve started to drink Tea now so my dream can be fulfilled.

In York there is an establishment called Betty’s, a tea room serving British and Swiss cuisine.  Nobody actually knows who Betty was, if anybody does know, answers on a postcard please.  We got there and the queue was around the building, we eventually got in.  The décor and the uniforms of the staff made it feel like I should have worn a shirt and tie.

From the vast menu I decided to go for the Yorkshire Cream Tea.  It came on a cake tower which was quite cute.  The scones had already been sliced, which I thought was a bit odd.  To work out how fresh a scone is, you should be able to just break it in half, no need for a knife.  If you need a knife then it ain’t fresh.  My scone was disappointingly very dry.  It could have been baked that day, but then had been sliced and had gotten dry.  The fruit in it allowed it to be slightly moist but it was still disappointing.  The cream was nice and thick with big clots, it was smooth and very fresh.  The jam was sweet and had real bits of strawberries in it, though it didn’t have that home made taste to it.  The tea was refreshing and light, unfortunately my tea tasting is not that broad so I can’t comment that much yet.

For two scones and tea it cost £7.95.  I feel like most of that was going towards being in Betty’s, whoever she is, tearoom rather than “Maggie’s” round the corner.  I’ve had ones a lot better for half the price in other places.

It leaves me to ask one final question.  Cream then jam, or jam then cream?

Food Review: Liverpool 12/02/2010 by Ollie
February 13, 2010, 6:27 pm
Filed under: CHAFF

So as many of you had suggested Egg we went to it last night.  Gareth and Kim had been to it earlier and had come back praising it.  There was a nice amount of choice.  I went for the Dahl and opted for half rice, half salad.  When it appeared it was a massive plate of food.

The Dahl was quite thick but it was quite nice, the lentils had been cooked so that they were nice and soft but still retained some bite.  There were green beans in it but not much else was visible or distinctive.  It could have been slightly spicier.  The amount of salad was massive, with a variety of different ones ranging from lettuce to pasta to a mixed bean salad.  It was a lot of salad and perhaps the amount of different flavours affected my pallet.  That was my own fault as I said I would eat all of them.

It was an enjoyable meal and for once I failed to finish it.  Moreover, it was superb value, only £5.95 for a massive plate of food.  The surroundings were very relaxed, though when they turned the lights town, me and Tom felt like we could have had a nap, especially after all that nice food.

Food Review – Wrexham 11/02/2010 by Ollie
February 12, 2010, 4:51 pm
Filed under: CHAFF

Tonights catering was in Yales Café Bar attached to the Central Station.  I opted to go for the pasta, which comprised roasted Mediterranean vegetables in a spicy sauce and garlic bread.

Some of the vegetables hadn’t really been roasted.  The pepper and tomato was still pretty much raw and despite it providing a nice contrasting texture with the courgette and aubergine, it wasn’t really what I had expected.  In, say, an Arrabiatta, you would expect to find chillies, but this sauce seemed very peppery and spicy, more similar to a Mexican chilli.  It would have felt more like a pasta dish if there had been some herbs present such as Basil.  The pasta was overcooked as well.  Despite this the garlic bread was good, with nice levels of garlic and herbs and the bread had been toasted enough so that you got that crunch when you bit into it.

Perhaps this dish would be better served with some rice and nachos?  Adding some kidney beans would give it a whole different feel as well.

Food Reviews: UK 2010 – Volume One by Ollie
February 10, 2010, 10:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So i’ve been expanding my vocabulary over the past few months.  I’ve been avidly reading Nigel Slater’s Food Column in the Sunday Observer to see what sexy and salivating words he uses.  For anyone who doesn’t know who he is, he is the greatest food writer ever.

So if you want to suggest somewhere; not McDonald’s or somewhere that requires a 40 minute taxi ride.  Or you want to suggest an adjective, you know what to do.

Dates and places below.

(with Islet and Swanton Bombs)
11 Feb Wrexham, Central Station (14+)
12 Feb Liverpool, EVOL@O2 (14+)
13 Feb York, Fibbers (14+)
15 Feb Aberdeen, Tunnels (14+)
16 Feb Dundee, Dog House (14+)
17 Feb Edinburgh, Bongo (18+)
18 Feb Derby, The Venue (14+)
19 Feb Leicester, The Musician (14+)
21 Feb Cambridge, Junction (14+)
22 Feb Norwich, Arts Centre (14+)
23 Feb Brighton, Audio New Slang Night (16+)
24 Feb Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms (14+)
25 Feb London, KOKO (15+)
26 Feb Falmouth, Princess Pavillion (ALL AGES)
27 Feb Bristol, Thekla (14+)
01 Mar Birmingham, The Rainbow (18+)
02 Mar Northampton, Roadmender (14+)
03 Mar Reading, Plug & Play (16+)
04 Mar Kingston, Banquet New Slang (18+)

Predictable Predictions by Ellen
February 9, 2010, 8:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Oscars fall between our UK and European Tour which is just perfect timing for me as it means I am available to attend!

Mr Oscar give me an invite!

The cinematographer from “All About Steve” must need a date?!

(Actually him)

You could nominate me in the “Best Use of Recently Reinvented Soap Opera Theme Tune in a Tour film” category?! They would have that category if this was like The Grammys.

I’ll become a scientologist if you want?

Fine. I shall stay up all night wearing a frock, sobbing into my sparkling wine and caressing my sisters cut out of R-Patz.

Anyway, here are my predictions for the over long fake and ridiculous ceremony of dreams.

Best Supporting Actress: Pen Cruz has been nominated for her role in Nine which involved her rolling around on the floor splaying her breasts and was hardly a taxing part for such an accomplished actress and whilst Farmiga is good in “Up In The Air” I feel Kendrick is better. However neither has the drama lama on their side, which falls to former star of The Parkers (I loved that show) Mo’Nique.

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz deserves to not only win this Oscars but thump Damon in the face with it whist close lining Plummer, elbowing Tucci in the esophagus and kneeing Harrelson in the  testicles.

Best Actress: I didnt like either Julie or Julia and I see this nomination as pointless. Close call between Mulligan and Sidibe though, but Sidibe has the backstory and the skillz and Mulligan only has elf hair.

Best Actor: So many of these films haven’t even come out here yet, DAMM YOU. On hearsay alone im going with Firth, as he is meant to be eye wettingly amazing, however I have a soft spot for Renner who is outstanding in The Hurt Locker and should be in more stuff. Clooney is smug and undeserving and can take his Nespresso and fuck off. Like he doesnt have a coffee minion.

Best Director: Cameron vs Bigelow. Jodi Picoult vs Shakespeare. Robin Vs Batman. You see what I’m saying. But Tarantino should win. He wont though, Daniels will.

Writing: In The Loop got a nod, which is exceptionally great, but a bit of a outsider…this one is hard to judge, I haven’t even seen Precious yet but I have a feeling it will do a grand sweepy, but maybe An Education will sneak in here. Let the British win something other then best visuals for Harry Potter. Again.

Best Picture: Avatar can go fuck itself in Pandora with a giant blue Siquorny Weaver smurf fern gulley, it’s mindless entertaining tosh and THAT’S ALL. I am rooting for the Basterds/ The Locker of Pain and or the unrelenting yet wonderful depressiveness that was Precious and DONT YOU MAKE ME CHOOSE.

Now don’t you even pretend you care about the rest.

And here is a a joyous treat (in some ways) a video from our “Drowned in Sound” Takeover I made. It shows us on our tour adventures with the Cribs over the holiday period. Enjoy.

Ellen x