Following a chance encounter at Mister Saturday Night in NYC some years ago, we catch up with Michael Davies head chef and proprietor of one South East London’s finest gastropubs, The Camberwell Arms. Delving into his music tastes and journey through food and music thus far.
Hi Mike, thanks so much for sitting down with us today!
No problem mate!
I wanted to speak with you today, as we met several years ago at a Mister Sunday event in NYC. I believe you guys had gone out there for a fact finding mission, which had all sounded pretty hilarious.
Haha yeah it was a “Research and development” trip out there. We went to a Steely Dan concert, but for some reason I got really grumpy towards the end of the gig and went home. My partners went to go see the band after the gig, they went to their hotel room and The Eagles were there – so I was a bit gutted I missed that!
So Eagles aside, what’s your go-to album to get the day started at the moment?
Good question, I tend to make Spotify playlists a lot. I’ve been listening to a lot of Robert Palmer recently, that song ‘Johnny & Mary’ which is on ‘Clues’ (the same album as ‘Woke Up Laughing’) both of which I really like. It’s a bit weird but I love it. I’ve also been listening to ‘Tusk’ by Fleetwood Mac, it’s a great one to listen to of a morning, it’s a good pace and doesn’t get anyone to riled up. It kind of works for everyone and keeps a mellow mood going.
Do you have a musical nemesis?
I’m not a big fan of Dido. Someone that works here was recently trying to be ironic and playing her, but music like that just makes me feel a bit nauseous. Coldplay has the same effect on me as well. I’d rather have something that I don’t like at all, just to evoke some sort of feeling!
Any guilty pleasures?
Loads. I listen to ‘Goldust’ by DJ Fresh in the gym. That’s definitely one. Kelly Clarkson ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ is definitely another. Banger! The list goes on…
Have you ever dabbled in any musical projects yourself?
No unfortunately not. But I’ve always had ambitions to learn how to mix. Every year we have a big New Years party here, and I always get DJ’s in, and I’ll cook and we do a big set menu and people dance upstairs afterwards.
I’ve always liked the idea of cooking and then doing a set after that. Still very much in the pipeline though. I used to play bass guitar also, but it’s always just been more of a love of music than an interaction.
Were there any musical subcultures that you full subscribed to as a teenager?
I definitely listened to a lot of punk and a lot of hip hop, but I was always a fairly amorphous individual. I liked anything that was good, but I didn’t like to pigeonhole myself. That being said I definitely went through a sort of grunge phase when I was about 12/13. One of the first albums I bought was Nirvana’s “In Utero” on CD, which stayed in my discman for weeks on end.
I didn’t have any big idols, but I always looked up to Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age. They were definitely one of my favourite bands growing up. Their first album is one that I’ve absolutely played to death.