Week fifteen -Food & Music

Happy belated Record Store Day to everyone!

This week’s post is actually about two of my most favourite things (if I was at all musically-minded, I could rework the Sound of Music classic right about there). Food is good. Music is good. Together, we have a magical, beautiful combination.

Record Store Day, which happened yesterday, is a fun day and a special occasion where musicians release special editions of vinyl for our listening pleasure. It’s also a great opportunity to see live music, especially music that you wouldn’t necessarily choose to go see off your own back.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before Saturday, came Friday. And Friday means Free Music Fridays at The Alex in Southampton. This week’s offerings were a few musicians including Patrick Craig http://www.pcraiguk.com, and Tim OT who I’ve seen play a few times. Special mention to Tim for being the first ‘doubler’ for this year’s Live Music Mission – three and he’ll get a badge. http://www.timot1.bandcamp.com

Tim’s music is an inspiring mix of heart-break, politics and the intensity of life. It’s well worth a listen and he’s definitely worth going to see live. One of my new favourite songs is “Let It Rain” (don’t get confused with the David Duchovny version – who knew?!)

Anyway, you might be wondering when the food side of things is entering this story. Well, I convinced my dear, impressionable friend Jemma to come join me in my quest for live music. I met her from work and she needed food. As The Alex wasn’t serving food, we grabbed a burrito to go and headed back to the corner to enjoy the music. It was actually a really lovely way to hangout Jemma and spend a Friday evening. The band on at that time were performing their own version of “The Bad Touch” by The Bloodhound gang. Random, I know.

Have you experienced Burrito & Bad Touch? Free Music Fridays definitely bring the unexpected.

Saturday brought another dish to the menu. Record Store Day was all about Pie & Vinyl.

Pie & Vinyl is a record cafe in Southsea. It’s one of my favourite places, not least because they serve cordial out of tea-pots. http://www.pieandvinyl.co.uk

If you haven’t been, you should visit at your nearest opportunity.

Pie & Vinyl were running a market and music celebration down the closed off Castle Road. I dragged my brother down the M27 on the promise of music, pies and cakes (always cakes at a market) to head to the musical mecca.

We browsed the racks of records, we stuffed delicious pies in our faces and stood in the rain to watch random bands play. It was pretty damn fun. We were short on time but we managed to see a few bands. My favourite was a band I’d never heard of before this weekend.

Emptifish. Ring any bells? Me neither. Apparently they started in the 80s as a punk, surf band.

I first clocked one of them carrying the equipment to the stage through the crowd between bands. He was sharply dressed in a black suit, black sunglasses, had a 50s quiff and the fag hanging from the side of his lip never seemed to move despite his physical exertions. He was cool personified (kids, don’t smoke, it’s not cool).

They played some energetic, punk songs with great riffs and the sunglasses stayed on in spite of the onslaught of rain. Yet their demeanour stayed cool and unmoved, even when they did their ZZ Top style synchronised leg dips. I’d never heard of them, but I’d wager they have some influence on the new bands of today; I definitely was reminded of watching Slaves.

With Record Store Day done, I hope that it’s not another year before people make another trip to Pie & Vinyl. I know I’ll be back for my tipple of choice soon. And I know that I’ll be back to The Alex for some more music and food on their Free Music Fridays.

There is no excuse not to get out and support the musicians who travel around the country trying to make a living and flogging their CDs every day of the year. Patrick Craig has a money-box tin with a mouth for the slot saying “Feed me money, get a CD” (was that right? I think you have to say it with a certain rhythm – I forget, I was drunk on burrito and cordial).

Music is for life, not just for Record Store Day.


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