FAUSTO DOES: Two Men. One Oven.

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Ever sat at your desk staring across the canopy of dull suits and corporate hairstyles and questioned the meaning of your very existence? Well fortunately for Jack and Eddie, this moment came in unison as their empty eyes met above the screen and they decided to do something about it. Like true lads the brainstorm session was focused and short.

What do we like? ….Pizza!
But how can we make money? …. Sell it!
Hmmm a 5-year plan? …Pizza AND Beer!

And the rest is history. Using only passion, bravery and friendship as ingredients these baking bandaleros have cooked up a tasty business and are generating a cult following of foodies wherever they pop up.

I first found them in the cosy beer garden of The Gunmakers Arms in clerkenwell. Where they had largely underestimated themselves with only enough ingredients for about 70 pizzas at this relic of a pub. They sold out in less than an hour with names allocated to empty plates while we enviously waited for each pizza to be painstakingly prepared. Clearly a labour of love as each one was cradled to the custom stone oven and timed by sight alone. Finally my turn(!) and I chose the cured meat as a companion for the aged Italian Tomato, nutty Parmesan flakes and fresh Basil from a local aquaponic urban farm….

Impressionable as ever, I made them my favourite pizza in London and became a FAUSTO DOES junkie adding them on twitter and Facebook to track them down for my next fix. Too lazy to chase the dragon down to The Gunmakers on a Friday? They even do house calls (like any good dealer) so you can book them to pop-up at your party and get all your friends hooked too!

I’m suddenly hungry.

Derelicht D02 – Secret Location Leak!

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Searching for that immersive experience where colours and sounds merge and pulsate to the rhythm of your heart leaving you forever in sync with the once minor details of your surroundings… want to feel like time has paused and you have a window into the past as you gyrate with the masses in unison?

No we’re not recommending the most magical of mushrooms but you’re close!

The Derelicht Project is running a series of Live electronic performances in amazing abandoned buildings in Ipswich which itself is establishing as an arts and culture hub. The first Project (D01) was in a big old warehouse and saw marathon sets from ThermalBear, Sian and Auntie Flo but now they’re ready to step it up a notch and we’ve found out where it will be…

Think army grade, think metal, think cold war, think American!….. I have no idea how they pulled it off but the next instalment will be in a genuine military Jet Engine Test Facility on the US Air Force site Bentwaters!!

This 1942 structure was built to support sneaky Cold War operations with previous line-ups including the mighty Spitfire Mk IX, Gloster Meteor F3 and the A-10 “Warthog” tankbuster! So no pressure for James Zabiela, Tom Demac and ThermalBear then… This Hardenend Aircraft Shelter (HAS) is affectionately known as the “Hush house” because it doesn’t leak a whisper of sound and I’m no sound expert but I’m sure that equates to some stomach rumbling bass!! (and no signal on my phone…)

To top it all off the Kinetica Museum and Balint Bolygo have arranged an art influenced light installation just to push you over the edge! Take that WHP!

P.S I’d normally promote sneaking in through Exits or jumping fences but… this is on an American Army Base so I’d get a ticket here.

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Satta Skates London – No ordinary Joe…

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The website states- “SATTA is about positive livity, freedom of spirit, endless and overflowing stoke, rolling for the sake of rolling, shredding the sidewalks, and an appreciation for the natural world.”

I know what you’re thinking…. WTF is overflowing stoke?! …and if you’re as cynical as me you’ll be excused for thinking… bolloks! Its just wood on wheels!…But this guy and the works of art he produces are the real deal and I’ll tell you why.

The boards are made from reclaimed pieces of wood which are painstakingly assembled, shaped and sanded before original artworks by himself or artist friends such as Malarko and Hypebeast adorn the deck. With grip an optional extra, these are not your composite material massed produced kickflip shit for kids, but rather a grown up “boutique-board” which can be hung on the wall of a bachelor pad or used for stylish cruising (preferably barefoot) past the coffee-shop audiences of east london.

The creator of these objects of desire epitomises an urban-hippie donning Vans with wild dreadlocks and tattoos tracing the scars from the trade and the wipeouts. Being quite fickle and impressionable I instantly became a voyeur of this incense burning vegan whose Instagram photos toggle between board shaping, yoga poses and the skate park. His natural aurora of calm and serenity is projected onto the boards and has an almost tangible quality to it…

Want to get your hands on one of these bad boys? Well they start at a tantalising £65 for entry boards but once you see the others I challenge you to restrain from blowing the budget on a bells and whistles collaboration piece…. I’m still negotiating with the misses for mine.

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RoWdy London Club Guide

oooowie!
Bouncers aside… London has some of the best venues pulling every crowd pleaser wishing to strut their stuff for an experienced yet appreciative crowd no matter the genre.

The Big Question is WHERE?! Here are some of the Rowdiest:

Corsica Studios (Elephant & Castle)- Proper warehouse style party in a big space with two rooms. Really relaxed and gritty with the cloak room being literally some rails outside. The bathroom rattles from the bass which is always nice… and the last time I was there one room was jamaican dancehall while the other was bleepy house.. Genius! Bouncers? what bouncers? theres nothing to steal! Just make sure its open.

Bussey Buildings (Peckham) – Growing in popularity with the uber trendy ironic location hunters as this place is down an alley in sketchy Peckham. This characterful warehouse features 2 floors of sweaty concrete walls and sticky floors. Staff are super chill and although the crowd might be slightly younger its usually a good vibe. Expect dirty break beats and people tripping balls.

Fire/Light box (Vauxhall) – Grouped these together as I’ve been to them both only to realise they are separate rooms of pretty much the same club. Slowly becoming one of my favourite places to end up at the end of a blurry saturday night. The music is always banging… queues are fast, sound and lighting is superb and it never seems too packed. Only painful thing is the £4 cans of beer but I guess they need to appease the club gods some how as entrance is usually surprisingly cheap. Bouncers here don’t seem to suffer from any childhood issues and are generally good natured if  not banterous… weird right?! Oh and the party goes on till 12 noon on sunday… just saying.

Fabric (Farringdon)- It pains me to be cliche and recommend the same thing as your lonely planet, but this place is the dogs bolloks! It was clearly built as a super club. Not some arty farty reclaimed space yada yada… this bad boy has speakers in the FLOOR, a balcony to look over main stage… a lounge bed area where you can get tangled with strangers… lasers… more lasers and the bar has a constant supply of water to keep you hydrated! What more do you need?! Feeling risque? Hit up FabricLive on a friday night and get your skank on to some of the UKs Drum & Bass and grime scenes finest! Beware…Bouncers are hard as nails and drinks are £8 each so don’t offer to get a round in. Have it Large!!

Ministry of Sound (Elephant & Castle)- Such a versatile music label that the music and crowd vary  like my girlfriend’s moods. Keep your nerve through the outrageous queue, metal detectors and pat downs, and you’ll be rewarded with a mid sized space with three easily configured rooms + VIP lounge (as if). The sound quality is perfect and the bar staff are fast so settle into the pitch black main room and immerse yourself in the music. Always check the website and bring ID. These bouncers would kick a kitten… do not make eye contact.

XOYO (Old street) – Yeah Boy! I get chills thinking about descending those stairs to the main room. The lighting is unbelievable and whoever puts together the line-up on weekends needs to be bought a pint! Never had a bad night here… music sways from hip-hop to dance and cutting edge electro with live acts littering the stage throughout the week. The cult-like following is instantly apparent as you emerge from the station and notice the ruckus of a queue lining the walkway…worth the wait. Bouncers are tolerant, one even exercised discretion this one time…insane I know!

As for upmarket clubbing… I’ve pushed these memories far back and recollect in guilt and frustration at the dresscodes, minimum spends, pretentious staff, tiled floors and sterility of it all so look elsewhere…

These ones aren’t even worth nipping into for a wee.
Aquarium <>Bouncer had blood on his gloves…very welcoming indeed!
STORM <> The leicester square clubs are clearly a bad idea but this one just takes the piss…

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RoWdy English Festival Guide

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Forget the hype, forget the Do’s and Don’ts on the festival website. This is all you really need to know about English festivals.

1st myth to dispel- It doesn’t always rain so you don’t have to be muddy in a dirty tent…. But it’s soo much more fun!

Leave your inhibitions at home, smuggle some rum in plastic bottles between your sleeping bags and get ready to hug complete strangers over a weekend of debauchery.

**Top tips:

1. Tickets- Festivals are roughly the same time each year so save the date and get 1st release. Failing this, hold your nerve and buy as late as possible. A ticket on the day from someone who suddenly realises they can’t go will sell for peanuts! The event’s Facebook page is the best place to look.

2. Travel- Car is by far the best. You can gather supermarket supplies, have sing alongs and generally bond beforehand. The car is also a refuge if it all gets too much, and a luxury hotel suite if you manage to hook up with a fellow dirty festival goer.

3. Tents- Don’t invest too much thought or money here, especially if you have come by train as you’ll be dead tired after the festival and packing up a dirty tent is the last thing you’ll want to do with a banging headache…. Just walk away from it (or set it on fire if you’re a knob). Tents are collected and usually sold on for charity (or so we like to assume). However… If you have a big car you can do what we call the junkyard dash! This is where you stay late and stroll the fields to pick out an abandoned expensive upgrade for use next year.

4. Location- You came for the headliners, so what about the other 68 hours?! Most of this will be spent larking about with your mates and people camped almost on top of you. These noisy neighbours will make your weekend as you’ll trade goodies and create a super-group. So bring something ridiculous to break the ice: this can be anything from a giant inflatable banana, a flag, water guns or even a multipack of Monster munch; its a sure way to add a few more people to Facebook you’ll never talk to again. So when searching for that spot on high ground and away from the toilets, keep an eye out for the already drunk lads with shirts off and shoddy tents as this will indicate fun times ahead!

5. The Essentials
– Wet wipes for “showers”
– Toothbrush and chewing gum
– Sunglasses
– Water container
– Plenty booze
– Money for food and party favors
– Fancy-dress

*The real festival hardcore will walk from the train station to the festival with nothing but the clothes on their back and some cash. They Will risk life and limb to get in, sleep rough and party hardest!

**RoWdiest festivals:

Glastonbury It’s the best for a reason. Think of a gated island under hippie rule (or lack thereof). With over 200,000 people, it’s more populated than Barbados! You can be in a skate park one minute, then stroll to the healing fields for a massage before free lunch at the Hare Krishna tent. There are spectacles everywhere, some professional like the troops of actors in costume; some not so professional like the guy sat waving at the grass and crying with laughter. At night the mood changes from family friendly to dark underworld. Head to Arcadia and I kid you not there are people riding fire breathing metal horses in the sky between the legs of a giant spider…. Mental.

Global Gathering – Rowdy because its a niche festival. Mostly dance music so everyone is after the same thing, similar ages, no children. Much stricter than glasto with police dogs on the gates and a long list of restricted items. Do not attempt to BBQ… I tried and a full scale response team came storming in to extinguish it (fascists). But the level of banter is crazy! One guy was naked the entire time and didn’t see any music.. Just stayed in the campsite and snuck into tents when girls went for showers so they were greeted to a naked man spread eagle inside upon their return. HERO!

Not the sunglasses-at-night type? That’s fine! To relax and listen to the music with grass between the toes head to One Love Festival where Saxon sound will keep the reggae and good vibes flowing. Barn on Farm is for the twee indie fans… expect to see daddy dropping the girls off in the range rover. It’s actually in a barn so super intimate.. Ed Sheehan(the ginger ninja) was literally spitting in my face.

Don’t fancy camping? Ok Baby steps..
Head to the day festivals –
LoveBox is a staple, the Friday is for the dubstep and grime heads who wanna get rowdy at the rinse arena. Saturday is more mainstream with the biggest headliner, Sunday is what we call gay-day so expect leather and sweat in the Horsemeat disco.

SW4 always good fun in the sun, let down only by the outdoor sound system being slightly too quiet when it’s windy. But head to a sweaty tent and wriggle to the front, I usually shout “security!” and watch the paranoid ocean part in fear..

Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with choice of festival so don’t stress the lineup too much and just buy tickets to the most convenient and get RoWdy!

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Don’t even know where to start? here are some that come to my blurry memory:
Bestival (My mum wants to go…)
Isle of Wight (On an island)
Creamfields (Top lineup… Can flood)
Reading Festival (teens running riot)
Leeds Festival (Northeners)
Eastern electrics (Do it!)
Download Festival (long hair and mosh pits… mmmmmmetal)
V Festival (Pop. No rowdyness. Everyone in bed by 12..)

ThermalBear – The hottest thing since regular Bears

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…and eggs.

I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting the man behind the music and he’s an absolute lad. None of the usual artist ego or twatty acid wash jeans, all you get is a smile, a handshake and some unpretentious banter. Was even planning to get a cheeky exclusive interview but I know it would’ve been a frustrating series of grunts and sarcastic comments.

Maybe the lack of bullsh*t (and twitter updates) is why it’s taken him a while to get noticed… but now this train load of technically refined knob tweakery is gaining momentum, there will be no stopping the Bear from mauling his way up the festival font sizing.

As the saying goes ‘game recognise game’ so maybe thats why Sasha (oowie! oowie!) decided to Cinderella this lost child and feature his track as the lead single on the hotly anticipated Involv3r album. This is no small feat as with names like The XX and Little dragon on the CD sleeve it’s clear this decision was made on merit alone.

Now he’s earned the stripes on his sweaty tee, the phone has been ringing and the clever lot at Derelicht have got him on board as the respirator for their daring exploration into all that is bleepy and shiny. I for one cannot wait to see what’s on the menu when the secret location in Ipswich is revealed and the best visuals are matched with the freshest beats in an obscure location…. Prepare to be overwhelmed!

I bagged my ticket sharpish!

Some tunes you say?

Still my fav mix..

Project Maldonado Review

“The Devil does to me, what joy does to sorrow….”

I can’t seem to get this infectious tune out of my head, and to be honest I hope this song-bomb stays with me for life!

With melodic harmonies straddling face-contorting bass lines, this is what the music scene has been lacking for a while now. SBTRKT came close with his self titled album which was like foreplay and left us on the edge wanting to go deeper and darker…. and Project Maldonado is about as dark as it gets. The whole thing seems shrouded in cult-like secrecy which whets your appetite before the website confuses you further leaving you furiously curious about the motives of the music.

Who are these sound connoisseurs? These dub smugglers… if I had to fathom an educated guess I’d bet the lot on it being none other than the Bill Withers incarnate Liam Bailey on vocals; because after a hit song like Blind Faith his every pitch is etched deep into my brain synapses. But who is the master craftsman stitching it together so silky smooth… Is it Benga the magnetic man? Could it be the original nutter himself one Sir Shy Fx? Or maybe Burial is coming back to turn us all into stoners again. Your guess is as good as mine…

Whats for certain is that these 4 songs and the accompanying visuals are all masterpieces and I hope they get the reception and appreciation they deserve.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen.