Belly Kids: Jack from Human Hair

Categorised as INTERVIEW., MUSIC.

Belly Kids are teaming up with Mint Magazine to talk with our favourite musicians about food, cooking and all things eating. It’s something of a passion of ours and I know we aren’t alone. Ever since I put together The Mona Pizza recipe book investigating the food culture behind music, it has become an obsession. 

If you’ve not yet seen that beautiful Siren at the end of the tracks then you’ve not seen much my son and you certainly have no insight into the thunderous jam of Human Hair. They used to be talked about as Henry Withers (Lovvers) side project, they’re named after one of the band’s tracks but over the last year or so Human Hair have grown into their own reputation and notoriety. Celebrating releases on Sex Is Disgusting and 80/81 records the band are heavy, churning, jaunty and in their unrelenting performace, hypnotic. We caught up with singer Jack Andrew Lenton and chatted about our favourite topic, food.

How good are you in the kitchen? Are you a culinary God?

Possibly an old pagan God. I have had people in a Bacchic frenzy over my sausage casserole; the participants tore each other apart over the last piece of meat. Outside of English cuisine, I am not so hot; I suppose this is because most other countries have recipes a little more complex than throwing everything inside a pot and leaving it for 4 hours.

What are you cooking at the moment?

Lately I’ve been focusing on making a good cocktail. I am currently mastering (failing yet improving) my Whiskey Sour with egg white. The lemon and sugar mix is the easy part; deciding how much egg white is not. Too little and you lose that strange sensation of the albumen coating the back of the throat with the whiskey burning it away. Too much and, well, let’s just say I’ve had a fair few egg nog whiskeys so far.

Any fancy gadgets used in your kitchen?

I once watched an uncle sever his finger with a hand blender making a custard pie, so I’m a neo-Luddite when it comes to the kitchen.

You’re on death row, so sorry man, and you really do have to choose that last meal now. What are you going for?

If I’m to fry, it’s got to be a rare steak. I can imagine the audience in the witness room sitting there getting hungry as I’m cooking.

Do you like eating out? Anywhere worthy of a plug?

Hawksmoor for dinner. The greatest slabs of steak in London.

The Marksmen on Hackney Road at their 6 o’ service has to be the best Sunday roast I’ve had since my grandmother started to go senile and bake dishcloths instead of the Yorkshire pudding.

What’s your idea of food hell?

As in a Heironymous Bosch painting of sandwiches? I’d side with that biblical tale that I could never find in the bible. The one where the guy goes to hell and sees this massive table filled with fancy food and drink, like camel burgers, fish milk and cartons of cigarettes. But everyone sitting at the dinner table is pale and gaunt and when guy asks why they are not eating, his host points to the cutlery which is absolutely huge. They squabble and in their selfishness they cannot eat or drink or light a cigarette (there are only massive lighters). Then he goes upstairs and it’s the same table but everything is la-de-dah as they shovel expensive food into their gullets and everyone’s drunk and having the party of their afterlives. It’s a good parable for living.

How do you make the best Bloody Mary?

Bloody Orange Mary

4 – 5 shots Russian Standard Vodka (more dependent on alcohol tolerance / size of hangover)
100g ice (again, more dependent on temperature – in the Siberian winter we are currently facing, I would just go make this outside)
1 litre fresh tomato juice
Juice from 4 blood oranges
4 cherry tomatoes (pulverised)
3 pinches salt
3 pinches ground black pepper
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Lea & Perrins
1 tsp of creamed horseradish
Couple of hard squeezes on a lemon (also acted as good stress relief when your co-host is drinking all the vodka)
4 Celery sticks

  1. Add all this together in whatever is closest to your lazy hands
  2. Use the celery sticks as stirring spoons
  3. Sit down and drink

Mike Coley, Belly Kids.

Illustration: Catherine Askew

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