Mr Fogg’s, Mayfair

Whimsical and wacky, Mr Fogg’s in Mayfair has all the makings of a great bar. It certainly doesn’t conform to the classic standards of its neighbours!

Based on the wild adventures of the eccentric Phileas Fogg, the bar is decorated with dusty books, vintage globes and intriguing artefacts. Hidden behind an unassuming black door, the secrecy of the place makes the interior all the more wonderful when you step inside. The soundtrack, designed by DJ and music guru Rob Wood and his company at Music Concierge, helps set the scene.

A huge bar holds hundreds of glowing bottles of spirits and liquors, all waiting for their turn off the shelf. The menu is long and rather laborious to search through. After explaining our preferences, we let our waiter choose us suitable drinks.

The drinks are well mixed, and attractively presented with raspberries and cucumber slivers. I fail to recall the names, and I wasn’t allowed to keep a menu. I do remember however, mine was a little too sickly sweet but my friend’s had a refreshing citrus kick. The bill amounted to £30 which for just two drinks is definitely too steep for the good but not spectacular drinks. If you are going for the experience Mr Fogg’s is a fun bet, but for the best cocktails save some money and wander into Soho or Marylebone where the real mixologists are at work.

More information here: mr-foggs.com

Everything Everything, Nokia Lumia Live Sessions

I have always loved the music of Everything Everything. The first time I saw them was at Hop Farm Festival where I was standing amongst a crowd of frenzied fans, including a middle aged group of enthusiasts who seemed to know every lyric to every song. I later found out they were the band’s parents, who had come along to support! This quirky group specialise in obscure lyrics, unlikely cross-rhythms and catchy choruses. Both their first and second albums have received critical acclaim.

Nokia picked this original rock-pop band for their final Lumia Live Sessions gig, to be held at a secret location. We were picked up from London Bridge pier at 6.45 pm and loaded onto a private clipper boat. Journalists and competition winners alike traveled down the river to London’s only surviving lighthouse, The Chainstore, in Trinity Buoy Wharf. Darkness had fallen and the venue was surrounded by the silhouetted London skyline; guests shuffled up the ramp from the boat, ravenous and excited.

Food was complimentary from three food vendors: we opted for Asian cuisine at Rainbo Food, delicious fresh chicken and coriander gyoza with a colourful salad, cooked in a 1948 ford pickup. It was tasty but the portion size was a little mean. For dessert we indulged at the Meringue Girls stall, beautiful rainbow-coloured handmade meringues in an assortment of flavours served with thick whipped cream and spiced fruit compote – wow they were good.

Inside the Chainstore, support acts Nick Jackson and Dora Martin played enthusiastically through their sets. It was only at 9 pm that the room became crowded as the audience pressed towards the stage ready for the main show. The Everything Everything set was electrifying, very affecting and powerful with songs like ‘My Kz, Ur Bf’ clearly thrilling the audience who sang along loudly.

The gig was the seventh and final event in Nokia’s Lumia Live series with three hundred lucky competition winners joining industry personalities and celebrities to attend this intimate session, the first gig of Everything Everything’s much awaited tour.

Glitches, Halcyon Nights, Aldgate East

Aldgate East is not an area I know well – I normally avoid this end of the District Line. However, for one night only, I made the journey east in search of the indie electro band, Glitches, and their wacky secret gig.

This chilled out three piece brand their sound as “organic imperial grooves”. Music geeks may have heard their most familiar tracks ‘Warm Seas’ and ‘Leper’ on John Kennedy’s Xposure Show on XFM. The regular music event ‘Halcyon Nights’ showcases several upcoming bands, with Glitches as the final headlining act. Halcyon XII took place at the boys’ digs, that is a dowdy hard-to-find flat in Aldgate East. Luckily we could hear the clicking drums from the street otherwise we would never have located them.

A clammy but cheerful crowd had gathered inside, each person clutching a can of beer. Photocopied pages were stuck casually on the walls and bright lights flickered on the band members’ faces. I preferred the more upbeat tracks, ‘Leper’ has an addictive rhythm and uplifting melody. Glitches play catchy music that is easy to listen to. The mellow vibe has gained them many fans, and they are often flown overseas to entertain international followers.

Glitches: coming to a festival near you, sooner than you think.

http://glitchesmusic.co.uk/