What a great day. My work runs a quarterly rewards scheme known as The Club and I was lucky enough to qualify this time around, so that meant a half day and then off to a fancy restaurant for an all-expenses paid meal and plenty of drinks after. For this outing, the company had chosen Gordon Ramsay's Heddon Street Kitchen; specifically, the private dining experience. It's a very nicely done venue, service etc. was all excellent, but the food left me, well, not disappointed... but disappointed. It was all really nice, sure, but it didn't blow me away. The soy-cured salmon and wasabi mayo starter was excellent, but after that it was just well done fare. The duck was nicely cooked, but I've had similar in good pubs; the sticky toffee pudding was dense and covered in caramel, but ditto. The finishing cocktail was similarly hard to fault, but I wouldn't rush back for. Basically, it was a fun, relaxed afternoon with some tasty food... but I'm very glad I wasn't picking up the bill!
Following the meal, we wound up at a nearby pub but, after a few pints (and one round of tequila), I parted ways and headed north to Great Portland Street, where I was meeting up with Alison and some of the drumming crew. Of course we met in a pub, so another couple of pints were had before the main excitement of the evening kicked off: the return of Lazy Habits! The brass/rap ensemble have been a huge band for me, as evidenced by their #1 placement on my decade in review from Spotify last year! Their drummer also happens to be Alison's family friend and one of the leaders of our drum group, hence the large turnout (even if it was at a fairly small student venue).
It's my third time seeing them live but the first in their home town of London, having previously gone to Bath and Exeter to catch them touring in the South West. That meant a couple of cameos from other related artists, including the incredible vocal talents of Miss Baby Sol, a frequent collaborator across their albums, which was amazing. Plus, having taken a multi-year writing hiatus to tour their last album, they've been teasing new material for about six months and this was the gig where they finally brought some out. It was exceptional. I mean, I'm clearly a big fan and therefore a little biased, but every one of their new tracks felt like something a bit special; I couldn't be more pumped for their third album! 🤘🎺