The first time I heard of Dry Cleaning was when I caught Scratchcard Lanyard on BBC Radio 6, the title alone alerting me to something different, two unconnected words co-habiting a title that is totally meaningless and yet…scratchcard lanyard…yes, they belong together. It sticks in your head.
United Kingdom, Beyond Wine
I have been slightly obsessed with Brighton-based Black Honey for a while now. They have the whole package. Written & Directed is a step up from their impressive eponymous debut in 2018. Everything is bigger, louder and bolder.
It was via Bandcamp that I stumbled upon 19-year old Cumbrian-born but Leeds-based Amber Strawbridge, who goes under the moniker, Bored At My Grandma’s House. Great name, although one I cannot relate to because I always loved going to my grandma’s house.
Verticals & Retrospectives, Beyond Wine
Since time immemorial, I have argued, mostly in vain, that the 1971 is one of the great postwar vintages. To mark my 50th birthday, I gathered 50 tasting notes composed over the years to argue my case and celebrate the half-centuries of the wine and wine writer.
During the first lockdown, a friend/angel working on the National Health Service frontline asked me to recommend tunes to lift her spirits. I duly offered one song per day on my Facebook page so that everyone could marvel at my terrible taste in music. Given that we are back in lockdown and suffering the January blues, I decided to put my posts together for this article with just a little editing and updating.
featured, Beyond Wine, General Interest
Though 2020 was tumultuous, the virus failed to stop great wines, wonderful dinners, amazing music or classic TV. It made them even more precious - shards of light in dark times. Now that I managed to reach the end of the year, time to look back before looking forward.
The recently released Maze of Sounds shows that the 80-year old Nilovic has lost none of his touch.
I doubt I will hear an album as good as In Waiting in what has been a strong year for new releases. I go as far to say that it constitutes one of the best debuts in recent years and it deserves a wide audience.
Hats off to Wayne Coyne and his very able band. How many artists in the fourth decade of their career remain as enticingly outré and original, but as popular as ever, and produce some of their best music.
France: Burgundy, Beyond Wine
Since my trip to Bordeaux in late February, the question on my mind has been when and how I could restart visits abroad. Five months later I ventured back into a new landscape when I drove to Chablis and found aspects that are reassuringly exactly the same and others that are different.