Smog UK – Misfit Songs 7″ EP

Artist: Smog UK
Title: Misfit Songs
Source: Vinyl 7″ EP
Bitrate: FLAC
Running time (h:m:s): 00:09:52
Size (mb): 70.1
Label: Smog Records
Cat. No: SUK 002
Year: 1995

Smog UK live at The Joiners, Southampton

Smog UK live at The Joiners many, many years ago

For a while, it seemed like you couldn’t avoid seeing Smog play if you were at any punky-related gig in and around Southampton in the ’90s. And that was a very good thing.

These boys knew how to knock up and belt out some mighty fine ska-tinted punk rock, reminiscent of early SLF with an ‘ampshire ‘og accent and a splash of Motorhead sauce. It’s no wonder I became mates with ’em (and still am to this day).

Life has since given the band members other commitments and Smog UK is no more. It’s a shame they only got around to putting out this EP and a split with Shutdown (which will be next up) in all their years together, as an album would’ve been far more fitting. Still, I’m happy they left any legacy at all.

OP’s opinion: Four

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Potato & Watercress Soup

Another quick, cheap and easy recipe for a nice lunch or as part of a hearty winter banquet.

Serves one as a lunch (well, it does if you’re like me and can happily devour a pint of soup) or two as a starter.

  • Knob of marg / 1-2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed (optional)
  • 1 medium potato (around 200g), diced into 1cm pieces
  • A good large, loose handful of watercress, stalks and all, roughly chopped
  • 500ml hot light stock / water
  • 1 tsp fresh herb of choice, chopped (parsley and basil are both good)(optional)
  • A few tbs milk / vegan cream / stock / water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the marg / oil in a pot over a medium heat for a minute then add the onion. Cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until starting to soften. Add the spuds (and garlic if using) along with a grind of pepper and cook for another couple of minutes.

Pour on the stock / water, bring to a soft boil then cover. Cook until the potatoes are just about soft enough to eat then add the watercress, cover again, and cook for another couple of minutes.

Remove from heat, add the herbs then liquidise everything. It’ll probably be slighly too thick, so add your choice of liquid to get it nice and creamy – you should end up with around 500ml of soup. If you can do it in a proper liquidiser, you’ll end up with a silky smooth and slightly frothy liquid that’s a joy to shove in your gob.

Pour back into the pan and reheat briefly while stirring gently until just starting to bubble. Give it a quick taste and season some more if needed. Pour into bowl then pour into self.

Pasta With Walnuts And Mushrooms

This one’s dead simple, dead quick and dead-free.

Recipe for 1 hearty appetite, scale down / up as needed.

  • 100g pasta of your choice (I like conchiglie)
  • Knob of margarine or 1/2 – 1 tbs veg oil
  • 1/4 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced (use chestnut mushies if possible)
  • 60g shelled walnuts (pieces are fine)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 125ml vegan cream (or 1 tsp cornflour mixed in with 125ml soya milk)
  • Fresh shredded basil (optional), salt and pepper to taste

Get a pan of water on the boil and cook pasta according to instructions. If you’ve got the rest of the ingredients ready(ish), you should be able to get it together in around 10 mins easily. If the pasta finishes before the rest of the recipe, just drain it then leave it covered until you’re ready.

Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, shaking or stirring often, until starting to darken, then pulse them in a food processor for a few seconds so they’re chopped into small bits and set aside.

Add the marg / oil to the pan and melt / heat for 30 seconds or so, then add the onion and fry for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until starting to soften. Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to fry for a few more minutes, again stirring regularly, until the mushies are cooked to how you like ’em. Add a good grind of black pepper, throw in the walnuts and stir through for 30 seconds, then add the lemon juice and give it another 10 seconds of mixing.

Add the cream and stir through for a minute until it’s hot. If you use the milk / cornflour combo, pour in slowly while continually stirring to avoid lumps.

Finally, throw the pasta in the pan along with the basil and mix until everything’s coated with everything else. Give it a taste and add any extra salt and pepper if you need it. Slop into a big bowl and eat. Make sure you’ve got some salad on hand too. And a nice glass of wine.

Walnut & mushroom pasta