EDitorial ± 27-Oct-2021

Light Lunches: Felixstowe, All Things Nice / Scribble

Phone trilled with a short message from Andy: "Cafe trip Weds? Maybe Felixstowe?" That'd be swell, I thought, sounding just like Mr Laurel in my head, but that's quite a stretch on two wheels in the middle of the day. Doesn't he realise that... when it hit me that I'm back in the office on Wednesdays and that he could most likely pick me up like the golden olden times. "That could work," I fat-thumbed back.

In a sign of his new maturity, Andy was at Adastral reception at precisely the appointed time and, having motored to Felixstowe, opted straight for the pay-and-display library car park rather than risk a free 30 minute spot. Used RingGo, too. Older & wiser?

— All Things Nice —

In spite of the cursed Covids, a cacophony of coastal caffs seems to have sprung up in the last 18 months. One that appeared in Spring 2021 is All Things Nice with a sweet spot on Hamilton Road in the old Sweet Hut premises, adjacent to the Wimpy and diagonally opposite Coffeelink. Mask up to go in, mask down when seated.

Buzzing inside with most if not all tables occupied. Long laminated menu offered pretty much whatever you'd like in a Wetherspoons stylee. I'd biked to work and thus felt entirely justifed to order my fave egg/bacon/chips/beans (EBCB) combo -- see previously -- while advanced Andy chose the all day breakfast in a bap, which I'd say is his default option. October 27 was obviously stick-with-what-you-know day.

Part of the reason for our Felixstowe foray was to catch up with young Kev of this manor; shame that he cried off, leaving us sobbing into our excellent plates-o'-grub and mournfully sipping our medicinal Dr Peppers. Couple of mirrors if you want to watch yourself chewing and some random stock artwork, e.g. a London street scene, but the punters are here for the reasonably priced fill-you-up food. Shopfront has a curious mix of fixed-width Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner and curly-wurly cafe name. That and their choice of brown with yellow colour palette is all part of the appeal.

— Scribble Coffee Bar —

Given the reviewing backlog, we quickly reached a mutual decision to head elsewhere for kaffee und kuchen. Round the corner, just past the mighty Treasure Chest bookshop, used to be The Oaks. Not no more, 'cos celebrating its first birthday is funky fresh Scribble.

It's clear as Sealand on a clear day that owner (and musical theatre maestro) Wade Ablitt loves his music: there's an upright piano against the wall, a huge Pink Floyd poster to its left, and he's advertising an album of the week. Partners in Crime by Rupert Holmes, if you're asking. I could also mention the Spotify playlist and the "Scribble Sessions" tiny concert series.

Keeping with that firm favourites motif established at All Things Nice, I went for a flat white -- vg -- and surveyed the monster sweet items provided by local company Tray Bakes. As Wade says online, why pay for tiny cakes that Costa fortune? That man talks my language. Me and Andy opted for a gigantic yellow & pink battenberg cube topped with an individual marzipan-encased slice: two forks, please.

Great place to watch the world go by on that busy corner by the cinema: couple of others were doing exactly that. We were there during Spooky Season with pumpkin spice coffee and Biscoff white hot chocolate on the menu. Dunno if there's any connection to the local writing group, the Felixstowe Scribblers, but Scribble is well worth writing home about. Top cake, coffee and wall art.

EDitorial ± 4-Oct-2021

Sound City Ipswich 2021

After the seemingly great night had by all at the premier Sound City Ipswich back in 2019, I secured my Super Early Bird ticket in December 2019 for the next one. Friday 02 Oct 2020, start time 5pm, it said.

Didn't happen for very good pandemic-y reasons. However, they said, "all tickets remain valid for the new date in October 2021". That seemed like a long way off until last week when it finally happened over not one but two nights. Let's go big on the hand sanitiser and do this.

Out goes the Manor Ballroom as a venue; in come St Stephen's church, the hyper centrally located ex-tourist information centre, and The Baths where I used to flounder in the shallow end on swimming trips from school.

Day 1 -- Friday (mild, dry)

  • (17:50) Fraulein at St Stephen's -- three piece of male drummer, female bassist and her great hair, combining to make a fine noise
  • (18:30) bdrmm at The Baths -- bunch of reverb heavy blokes under a worryingly low ceiling, heaving and hot
  • (19:10) Katy J Pearson at The Baths -- melodic, sweet with some welcome keys and a young Andy Murray on bass
  • (19:50) Pom Poko at Corn Exchange -- replaced Porridge Radio, frontwoman bounding around, all smiles and high vocals
  • (20:15) Sink Ya Teeth at Smokehouse -- two women, one on bass, one on vocals with synth drums, easily filling a small room with a big beat
  • (20:40) Kyanos at Cornhill -- featuring The Boy's mate HWD on guitar, a chill Friday evening didn't seem right for some summery psych
  • (21:10) Yard Act at The Baths -- joined queue, got in halfway through set, much Leeds talking, did song with Katy, funny, Lemmy on bass, would have happily taken another half an hour
  • (21:40)Los Bitchos at St Stephen's -- rammed, much dancing, church lit up in every way
  • (22:35) Warmduscher at Corn Exchange -- late, loud, murky, crowd moving

Day 2 -- Saturday (chill, rain)

  • (16:50) Bug Teeth at St Stephen's -- solo guitar & electronics, ambient; would have liked to lie down
  • (17:30) Falle Nioke at Corn Exchange -- West African groove, camo, funky female drummer, curious keyboards
  • (18:15) Ren Harvieu at The Baths -- classy Salford Superstar in Cowboy hat and a great voice, twin sax, Matt Berry on guitar
  • (19:10) Khazali at St Stephen's -- smooth boiler suit soul, big up to Marco on the decks, two last numbers
  • (19:50) Alabaster de Plume at Corn Exchange -- extraordinary, supercool band, a unique chap whose orbit only sometimes intersects our own; spiritual set with Visit Croatia one of many highlights
  • (21:20) White Flowers at Smokehouse -- intense three piece, Cocteau infused, b&w projections
  • (22:00) Jelani Blackman at The Baths -- joint is jumping with Steves as wingman at the rear
  • (22:15) Billy Nomates at The Baths -- endless energy and positive attitude from within those dungarees
  • (22:45) Working Men's Club at Corn Exchange -- shirtless hardness to pound your ears

...and still missed The Cool Greenhouse, PVA and BC Camplight

Go Joe, go Marcus, go all involved in the Sound City set-up. Same next year?