Erasure – Am I Right? (ITV Chart Show gossip, November / December 1991)


Erasure 'Am I Right?' - gossip freeze frame from The Chart Show, broadcast November / December 1991

I was recording some bits and pieces from old VHS tapes last night. On one tape, in amongst a bunch of Erasure performances, I came upon an edition of The Chart Show, the long-defunct ITV show that was the broadcaster’s alternative to the satellite-only MTV.

On this edition was the promo video for Erasure‘s ‘Am I Right?’. I was about to skip straight past it to the ‘live’ performance of the track on the Des O’Connor show that I’d recorded after this on the tape, but then I remembered that The Chart Show always included some pretty random ‘gossip’, usually within the middle eight of any track they were showing the video for. So I fast forwarded to that point and the photo above shows what they had to say about Erasure at this point – namely a small reveal of the venues for The Phantasmagorical Entertainment tour that would hit the road in 1992 and a weird list of animals that Andy Bell would like to keep as pets. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure pandas don’t make great pets.

Seeing this in turn reminded me that during a promo for ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ the following year, The Chart Show gossip was – and this now clearly seems ridiculous – that Andy Bell and Debbie Harry were due to marry. And so you can take Andy’s animal list above with a sufficiently large pinch of salt.

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Unusual Places To Find A Mute Artist Reference No. 1


Unusual Places To Find A Mute Artist Reference No. 1

An unexpected mention of Blast First goofballs The Butthole Surfers in the excellent Made In America by Bill Bryson (Black Swan, 1994).

The band are mentioned in passing in a chapter entitled Sex And Other Distractions, describing American society’s simultaneous adoration and abhorrence of sex and references to sex since the time of the Founding Fathers.

Bryson is here referring to the tendency of The New York Times to eschew language with any sexual connotation. The full sentence reads thus:

Butthead or butthole appeared sixteen times, again almost always in reference to a particular proper noun, such as the interestingly named pop group Butthole Surfers.

I’m not sure what’s most surprising about this – the fact that Gibby Haynes and co made it into the hallowed pages of The New York Times, or that Bryson considers them a pop group.

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

At Oxfam, Marylebone High Street, London


At Oxfam, Marylebone High Street, London

Clearly someone offloaded their Erasure collection… (not me).

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Teany, 90 Rivington Street, New York



Teany is the vegetarian restaurant established by Moby and his ex girlfriend Kelly Tisdale, located on Rivington Street, New York, just off Bowery in the Lower East Side.

Moby and Tisdale are no longer involved in the venture, and I don’t believe Moby was ever really ever actively involved, but the pair did pen a book of Kelly’s recipes, and the book included a whole stack of Moby’s self-deprecating Little Idiot drawings. The restaurant even spawned a range of Teany-branded iced tea drinks; I bought one once from a convenience store on Fifth Avenue, but I couldn’t tell you now what flavour it was, or even if I enjoyed it, though I’m slightly surprised I didn’t try to squeeze the empty bottle into my suitcase. The name Teany itself was an amalgam of the words tea and the abbreviation for New York, as well as being an intentional misspelling of teeny, as in small. Which it is.

I’ve been to Teany twice. The first time was in 2005, back when Tisdale and Hall were still the proprietors. It was a hot late summer afternoon in Manhattan, and I’d dragged my pregnant wife across the island to Bowery with the sole intention of getting a drink a Teany. When we got there the place was heaving, the tables outside were all taken, and, well, I was a bit of a chicken about going in places like that. I don’t know why. Mrs S was not hugely impressed with me, mostly because she was tired and grumpy because of bring pregnant, but also because back then the area round Bowery was still a bit edgy.

The second time was this year. My family and I were schlepping around the area in pursuit of, variously, ice cream, rice pudding and cheesecake, all of which were consumed before lunch. Don’t ask why. Rivington Street itself was pretty empty, and when we walked past Teany I thought I would nip inside to take a look and also to try and buy a mug. Back in the day, Teany offered a limited range of merchandise, but they wouldn’t ship to the UK. The webshop ceased trading a few years ago also, and despite some enquiries via an email address off their website, it seemed that a Teany mug was not going to be mine. So I thought I’d pop in and see if they’d sell me one on the off chance.

Sadly that was not meant to be. I had an exchange with a pretty waitress who didn’t speak much English (and who clearly couldn’t work out how to comprehend my English accent), somewhere on the axis between confusing and frustrating. It went a little like this:

‘Do you still sell mugs?’

‘You wan’ milk?’

‘No, I want to buy a mug. Do you still sell mugs?’


‘No, a mug.’

‘I’m sorry – whas’ a, a, merg?’

‘It’s like a cup. But, you know, a mug?’

‘You wan’ a cup of milk?’

‘No!’ I then spied a white mug with a red Teany logo on the shelf behind her. ‘One of those!’

‘Ah, you mean a mug!’

‘Yes, do you sell those?’


‘Okay. Bye.’

If I’m honest, I didn’t like the interior much. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be and, well, a bit shabby. I’m not sure if this is how it would have looked back in the day, but I wasn’t that impressed. I obviously didn’t eat so I can’t comment on the food.

Anyway, I can say I’ve been in now, and I can (not without some disappointment) put to rest my quest for a Teany mug.

As we turned off Rivington and headed down Ludlow, I found this bit of graffiti, which cheered me up.

Grafitti on Ludlow Street

Wise words.

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Erasure – A Little Raspberry-spect (cocktail)



So, following up my post last week about the Blue Savannah cocktail from the Snow Globe boxset booklet of recipes, I decided that the next one on the list would be the A Little Raspberry-spect. Clearly, this is somewhat clumsily named after what I recently described as Vince Clarke and Andy Bell‘s signature song, ‘A Little Respect’, and just like that single, this one has hit written all over it.

This is a mix of gin, lemon juice and muddled raspberries, the tartness of which is offset by sugar syrup (I used agave syrup, which has a lower GI, whatever that means, and where the taste is a bit less in your face). The recipe in the Snow Globe book specifically calls for Beefeater gin, but I wasn’t going to go and buy some just for this, and instead used the dregs of some Tanqueray that have been skulking in the back of the drinks cabinet since Christmas. (The second time around we used vodka and that worked just as well.)

This drink is refreshing, sweet / sour, brilliantly seasonal and provides a neat use for raspberries that have gone a bit squidgy and which would otherwise be destined for a smoothie if you can be bothered, or the bin if you can’t. It also looks pretty darned chic as well, and might well replace the relative heaviness of Pimm’s round our way when summer really gets going.

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Erasure – Blue Savannah (cocktail)


Erasure - Blue Savannah (cocktail)

To celebrate the announcement of the new Erasure album yesterday, I thought it was probably high time to take a proper look inside the box of their last album, 2013’s Snow Globe. Specifically, I thought I’d raise a glass to The Violet Flame by mixing one of the Erasure song-themed drinks included in the novelty cocktail booklet that came inside the Snow Globe box.

Alongside my love of all things Mute, another of my interests is making cocktails. I don’t say that as code for enjoying getting drunk – far from it; I’m not good at that at all – but rather I genuinely enjoy the process of taking ingredients, following recipes and mixing interesting drinks.

I selected the Blue Savannah, named in honour of the third single taken from Wild!, for two reasonably sensible reasons; first because I happened to have all of the ingredients in the house already, and second because Mrs S tends to prefer longer, juice-based cocktails.

The Blue Savannah is a vodka-based drink mixed with blue curacao, orange and pineapple juices which is then strained into a highball glass over ice. Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of colours will know that mixing blue with orange will produce a greeny, almost turquoise hue, and so it is with the Blue Savannah, as can be seen in the photo. Pineapple juice, when shaken and strained, produces a velvet foam (as does egg white), hence the ‘head’ that’s visible on the drink.

Curacao is a liqueur made with a bitter, orange-esque fruit called lahara. When mixed with sweet juices as it is in this drink, curacao has the effect of cutting through sweeter flavours and toning down fruit sugars. Plus, in the case of blue curacao, it naturally adds a distinctive colour to proceedings. Not being a fan of really sweet cocktails, I really liked the addition of some bitterness. Mrs S was less convinced, saying that something in the drink was bothering her throat.

I will ultimately work my way through the other cocktails in the book over the next few months. I’ll even tackle the Love To Hate You, a challenging drink that includes Marmite alongside fruit flavours.


(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, All Saints Church, Hove 15/05/2014


DSC_1960 DSC_1954 Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, All Saints Church, Hove 15/05/2014 - (c) Andy Sturmey Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, All Saints Church, Hove 15/05/2014 - (c) Andy Sturmey

Will Gregory Moog Ensemble performing at All Saints Church, Hove 15/05/2014.

Photos used with kind permission of Andy Sturmey (Brightlights-Darkroom Photography).

Click individual images to enlarge.

(c) 2014 Andy Sturmey / Brightlights-Darkroom Photography

At Rebel Rebel, Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, NY


At Rebel Rebel, Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, NY

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

At Rough Trade NYC, Williamsburg


At Rough Trade NYC, Williamsburg

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Mute Swan(s)


Mute Swan(s)

Michael Gira’s Swans have signed to Mute and the label will release the first fruits of this partnership in May.

At Whipsnade Zoo yesterday I caught a small exhibition of nature photographs. Seeing the words ‘Mute’ and ‘swan’ in the description of this piece made me smile.


(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence