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THE GREAT LICKTATOR LOWThere is something sordid, concealed in the sanitised history of Covent Garden as written by its current custodians. The area was once the red light district for London. I found this out after I was asked to tap into the heritage of the area last April when we first moved into our store on the Piazza. Our nervous landlords, fearful of a reprise of the Baby Gaga episode which had preceded our arrival, wanted me to tap into something more wholesome. Like fruit and veg ice cream in honour of Covent Gardens greener glories.

But dig a bit deeper beyond the luxury brands, the trashy tourism and glossy veneer, in the 18th century this place was Sodom and Gomorrah. What better way of honouring Covent Garden I thought, than a ‘Thawnography’ season to celebrate it’s carnal history with anatomical fruit and veg lollies and naked ice cream sushi served on the freshly toned buttocks of a nubile young man in a reversal of Japanese tradition.

Clearly my ideas sent them into a panic because before the paint had dried on our humble emporium, I was hauled before the authorities and told that if I did anything that affected the ‘share price’ of the company through my nefarious icecapades, then I’d be melted down and turned into one of the cobbles in the piazza that about two people every weekend break their ankles on.

I couldn’t quite see how a tiny ice cream parlour was going to cause a crash in the share price of a zillion pound property company, but then this wasn’t the first time we’d run into problems in the area.

You might think we go looking for trouble, but sometimes trouble comes looking for us. As soon as we opened our Maiden Lane store, Westminster Council closed the road for the equivalent of Nato bombing missions for the duration of last years Libyan campaign. This euphemism for road works killed business and meant down town Tripoli would have been a more peaceful location than war torn Covent Garden. A months work became six, rubble and dust piled up in the street and I threatened to up the body count by turning the trench in the middle of Maiden Lane into London’s first mass grave where local councillors would be buried head to toe in a line. Face down of course, so the fuckers couldn’t crawl back out.

Because nobody could see past the rubble into this conflict zone, we flew a flag of surrender telling people we were still open. This of course, this broke planning regs despite there having been a flag pole outside the building for 80 years.

It was then the turn of the jackbooted goose-stepping food fascists from (the now dubbed) Breastminster Council who banned (then unbanned) Baby Gaga breast milk ice cream. Yes you can drink yourself to death in Westminster but breast milk – STOP! Such cretinous stupidity must be a genetic disorder passed from person to person through staff inbreeding amongst public service workers. As I valiantly attempted to tell them before they caused a storm in a D cup, there has never been a single recorded death in thousands of years of humanity on planet earth from breast milk.

Next came the Olympics. We had planned the ‘Doh-lympics’ with 5 doughnut rings in a glorious satire of the fact that some of the most artery clogging brands in the universe are sponsoring the worlds biggest ever sporting event. Our line was ‘London 2012, The Frying Games’. Our motto, ‘lower, slower, fatter.’ You may detect a theme developing here, but needless to say our type of satire didn’t travel well amongst the local oligarchy. What chance did we have of running with this? Fat chance.

After being whipped, licked and sucked to within an inch of our lives this was followed by a penetrating Vaseline free 65% rent increase. When we got the news my brain froze to the point where I wanted to top myself in chocolate sauce and hundreds and thousands, flagellating myself in barbed wire underpants on the cold, unforgiving cobbles of Covent Garden.

On top of this, of all the places in his Kingdom he could have gone, God had chosen to urinate perpetually on Covent Garden ever since they announced the drought. Couldn’t he have gone behind a burning bush or something?

Finally, we had the numerous police visits from Scotland Yard as they banned me from going to Covent Garden on the day of the State Opening of Parliament on the grounds of ‘national security’ and attempted to ban me from going within 100 metres of any Olympic venue using the same pathetic justification. I was subsequently called a terrorist at a tenants meeting when the management said one of my political protests ‘…could escalate into violent behaviour, public disorder, ending with a realistic bomb threat.’ Bomb? What sort of bomb does your average ice cream man have in his freezer I asked? Nuclear bomb? Time Bomb? Sex Bomb? Ice cream bombe?

You can’t even mention the words ‘choc ice’ these days without somebody taking offence.

So do me a flavour. When did we become a fascist police state? The bureaucracy has taken over the democracy. It’s strangling creativity, innovation and freedom of speech with rules and regulations that Hitler would have flinched at. Don’t be surprised if you see Angela Merkel chillaxing with Swastika wafers and a new fascist cocktail in honour of the authorities before we go underground later in the year. We might even wear our sprinkles moustaches just to send the local Gestapo into their own meltdown before they sanitise and sterilise Covent Garden of all genuine creativity.

They might be offended. But not half as offended as I am by the Great Licktators who keep the red light of totalitarianism flashing in Covent Garden.

Matt O’Connor, 26th July 2012

DOHLYMPIC WINDOW POSTER LO

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THE CREAM ELIZABETHGod Save The Cream! For those looking for a more conventional flavour can we we point you in the direction of The Cream Elizabeth, our Jubilee Strawberry Ice Cream which has been 6 months in development. This happens to be the holy grail of ice cream as strawberries are full of water which corrupts the structure of our ice cream and turns icy in mix. Lets face it, most ice cream is a sickly blend of artificial flavours with flecks of fruit thrown in to create the illusion of reality. We use the Jubilee variety of strawberry which is naturally sweeter than Elsanta. We then sweat it down to remove moisture, add sugar and turn the mixture into a compote so the sugar infuses into the flesh of the strawberry preventing it from going too icy. We tested a batch again this week and we promise you, this is a Strawberry Nirvana fit for a Queen!

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91177

OK what’s the recipe for a book launch at The Icecreamists?

We start with the scoop, the whole scoop and nothing but the scoop.

Firstly, we don’t do frozen yoghurt. Want to be a saint? Fuck off up the road to Snog. Remember, the devil has all the best licks. Second rule of The Icecreamists is no factory made ice cream. I’d rather kiss my arse than be like Haagen-Dazs.

Now get religion. Our creed for the night: melting down is capitalism, frozen out is socialism, nothings cool in liberalism we believe in Icecreamism.

For starters, become an armed and dangerous ice cream evangelist with a gun-shaped ice lolly loaded with Holy Water from Lourdes at 100 Euros a pop. Report any apparitions, miracles or mysterious healings to our mismanagement committee. Send four complimentary weapons of mass seduction to our Holy Father in the Vatican as he considers our designs for a new range of ‘Aposticle’ ice lollies. After all, Jesus Christ is a Scooperstar and we always look on the bright side of life at the Father Ted school of Ice Cream.

Want a licence to chill and a very coldfinger? Clasp gun in right hand, adopt Kurt Cobain position and place barrel in mouth before sucking hard. Remember to conceal evidence by using our latex ‘exam’ gloves and consuming entire weapon. Remember that unlike the Met Police, we shoot to chill, not to kill. After discharging weapon, lock gun cabinet securely in line with local licensing laws. Warning: product is laced with enough Absinthe to blow your head off and may leave you incapacitated rocking in a corner with permanent brain freeze.

For mains, administer The Icecreamists medication by way of our prescription for your addiction. Our militarily upgraded Sex Bomb ‘Viagra’ ice cream contains enough erectile properties to bring people back from the dead. Period. Wash down with our Steve Jobs Apple Martini. It’s not very PC but its been our best selling summer download laced as it is with enough Polish Zubrowka vodka to paralyse a baby elephant. Please binge responsibly.

For those in search of an organic, free-range and freshly squeezed palate cleanser, get your kicks with our licks and our Baby Googoo breast milk ice cream as seen on TV thanks to The Icecreamists answer to Max Clifford, Lady Gaga. Discuss the cross-dressing version in development, the ‘Lady Boy Gaga’ made with genuine Ladyballs. At this point pause for breath, consider the goose-stepping food fascists at Breastminster Council and the local Gestapo with their bye laws, why laws, rules, regs, and noise abatement issues and then say fuck it. You want health and safety? We’ll give you some real health and safety issues…

For our dessert storm lets get down to some choc and awe with our cabaret of cool, ‘Riding the Valkyrie’, which sounds like one of Hitler’s wet dreams. Insert one coat hanger into throat whilst looking for keys, swallow fire whilst nearly torching marquee, juggle sashimi-slicing knifes in Cameronesqe death by a thousand cuts, slit girlfriends throat, smash head into a pile of broken glass and execute melon on opera singers stomach with two-foot long sword whilst she sings Mozart’s requiem. Remove said melon and convert into sorbetto.

Finish with a foul-mouthed recipe book of ice creams, vice creams and other guilty pleasures presented by the enchanting ice maidens at Octopus Publishing and administered by a recovering Catholic, lapsed alcoholic and practising diabetic specialising in social revolution and genital origami.

Allow proceedings to digest, memorise book and prepare to make Heston Blumenthal look like Ronald McDonald and Gordon Ramsay sound like a choir boy. Your mission? To boldly go where no responsible ice cream man has gone before. To liberate the world one lick at a time with a holy water pistol in one hand and your ice cream bible in the other.

Amen.

Matt O’Connor 1/6/12

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FINAL NUN POSTER LO“In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.” The Marquis de Sade

Somebody once said that when they read about evils of drinking, they gave up reading. In the case of Vincent Van Gogh, it was more akin to the spoonerism ‘Is it a bottle in front of me or a frontal lobotomy?’ Van Gogh spent much of his life in the bewitching French city of Arles, home to one of the greatest hotels in the world, The Grand Hotel Nord Pinus, where Picasso, Hemingway and Cocteau were regulars alongside legendary Arlesian Bullfighters.

Many starry nights ago, I spent an intoxicating summer there, following Van Gogh’s footsteps under a burning green Absinthe haze. Under the influence of love, ethanol and other drugs, I sat in the Place Du Forum with my then girlfriend and floated the idea of turning my fascination with Absinthe into an ice lolly. Ten years later, I had created a popsicle with enough anesthetic to knock out a baby elephant. I am certain Vincent would have undoubtedly been partial to this delightful and refreshing alternative for the formaldehyde drinking romantics that flock to this city and who on occasion, have succumbed to deaths icy embrace.

The story begins at the bar of the Grand Hotel Nord Pinus where I had imbibed several Green Fairies before a miraculous apparition appeared to me in the shape of an Absinthe laced ice lolly. After a short pilgrimage to the Catholic Church 200 yards from the hotel, the reincarnation was complete and the ‘Vice Lolly’ was born – an unholy cocktail of hallucinogenic Absinthe loaded with miraculous Holy Water (not bullets) and frozen into the shape of a firearm.

If an ice lolly is a symbol of innocence, then the Vice Lolly is its perverted cousin, one whose DNA can be traced back to the Marquis de Sade.

Over the last 10 years I have had several tangles with the Catholic Church where I have sought their assistance on various social campaigns I am involved in. Rather than offering help, they religiously put PR and profit over principle and a little book called the bible. This demonstrated to me that whilst religion has continued to take the piss out of me for the last decade, perhaps I could return them the favour with a Life of Brian style homage.

We all know that since time began, people have died fighting wars in the name of religion and I wanted to distill the uncomfortable relationship between violence and religion into a satirical ice lolly which juxtaposed the innocence of an ice lolly with the shape of a firearm. We imported a large quantity of Holy Water, 576 miles from the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes at a cost of 100 Euros per litre. Lourdes water flows from the rock Massabielle and can be seen through a illuminated glass plate. The spring was discovered by Bernadette Soubirous during one of the apparition on the 25 February 1858. Bernadette was told to by Our Lady “go drink the water at the spring and wash your self in the water”. Thousands of pilgrims now travel to the spot each year in the hope their ailments will be miraculously cured.

My supplier tells me that Holy Water is the source of ‘thousands of unexplained healings and miracles since the first healing of Catherine Latapie on March 1st 1858’ in the same way that Del Boy said Peckham Spring was a bona fide spring water which just happened to glow in the dark. Holy Water is (in my view) cynically used by the church to persuade people of the redemptive and healing powers of religion and at that price, you would hope it works, however several bottles arrived without the lids being properly fitted and had spilt everywhere. At these sorts of prices, you don’t expect the packaging to be leakier than the claims made about the water.

To make the Vice Lolly we blended it with 80% La Fee Absinthe which signifies the alcohol used to numb soldiers in the battlefield when fighting ‘holy wars’.  Each reincarnation of cool is 300ml in size and costs us about £30 each in materials (excluding moulds,) but we are selling a limited quantity at a charitable £18.58 to mark the year of the apparition.

Now, as any one who knows me will tell you, I’ve got religion about ice cream and that I am an ice cream evangelist, so when it came to creating the ultimate spiritual refreshment I am pleased to report the Vice Lolly really delivers maximum spiritual refreshment. The Absinthe is softly flavoured but still delivers an anesthetic kick to your jaw line and is balanced out with a little sugar and another magic ingredient for flavour. For protection, the Vice Lolly is served with a latex glove and unlike the Met Police, it shoots to chill, not to kill.

For safety, all our Vice Lollies are stored in our specially designed Gun Cabinet in line with regulations.

Depending on your perspective we are either scraping the bottom of the barrel (where we do most of our business) or are just out to create choc and awe. For me though, like breast milk ice cream, its about making a political statement. The Vice Lolly is about the immorality of war, government and religious deception and the corruption of society. When exposing grand facades there is no more powerful weapon than satire. I may come from the Father Ted school of marketing and the Vice Lolly may land us in hot water, but at least I will know that’s no apparition.

The Vice Lolly is a Holy Water Pistol with a licence to chill.

Matt O’Connor
Founder of The Icecreamists
NB: See page 152 of our new book for the full recipe.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Icecreamists-Creams-Recipes-Pleasures/dp/1845337069/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338401543&sr=8-1

The Icecreamists present the Vice Lolly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-BvkxXuacc

The Making of the Vice Lolly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WglVZzUB9×8&feature=related

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NUN 1“In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.” The Marquis de Sade

The Iceccreamists present their follow up to ‘Baby Gaga’ Breast Milk Ice Cream. The Vice Lolly is made with Holy Water imported 576 miles from the shrine at Lourdes and blended with 80% Absinthe for a spiritual refreshment that is miraculous and medicinal in a single lick. The recipe is contained in their new book ‘Ice Creams, Vice Creams & Other Guilty Pleasures’ out in June.

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WINTER MENU SIDE 1 LO

Innovative Retailers Part 3 – Where ice cream is much more than just ice and cream

The Name: The Icecreamists

The Place: Covent Garden market and Maiden Lane

The Story: Matt O’Connor is the founder and he is very, very serious about ice cream and the business of sin. Starting out with just a pop-up store in Selfridges in 2009 he has already entered the PR hall of fame with the whole breastmilk icecream (Baby Gaga) shenanigans and subsequent legal battle with Lady Gaga over the name. Oh, and that was after Westminster Council tried to ban it from being sold.

Regrets? You are joking. Mr O’Connor is a one-man publicity machine and he got huge sales out of Baby Googoo (yes, they had to change the name eventually) whilst it was on sale. It sold out on day one. And even now 15-20 people a week come in and ask for it.

Dare I ask who was buying it? Women, women and more women. O’Connor never saw a man ask for it during the whole period. One donor was supplying all the milk for it and for a while ‘it looked more like a milking parlour than an icecream parlour’ back of house. It was all very wholesome however until a certain pop star objected.

What happened? Big lawyers, big threats. O’Connor offered name changes but unaccountably she wasn’t keen. Not even on LadyBoy Gaga.

What’s a cross-dressing LadyBoy Gaga  ice cream made of? Don’t even go there.

Moving on, where does the interest in ice-cream come from? He has worked in ice cream for 25 years but is still fascinated by its mix of childhood fantasy and adult indulgence. He describes his ice cream fantasies as “bitter and twisted like a Roald Dahl story”. And he rails against the paradox of low fat health-trend ice cream.’ In these god-forsaken times people are looking for indulgence.’

So, are toddlers queuing at the door too? Well, not if they have seen the website. It’s all gothic skulls and sharpening knives sound effects. Adult only then. With names like Molotoffee Cocktail, which comes flambéed to your table, it’s definitely aimed at adults. However, his children like it – they say it’s like being in his head. It’s a heady mix of music, fashion inspired by the punk ethic. But he would have made it more x-rated if he could. Having said that, the Maiden Lane outlet is billed as a gay pop-up for over 18’s only.

Do they serve vanilla? Behave. They make all their ice cream fresh every day. They develop a winter collection and a spring/summer collection every year so they have a back catalogue of hundreds of varieties. O’Connor titles himself the ‘Quality Fat Controller’ and does frequent tastings. There will also be a 40-strong blindfold consumer tasting to launch the winter collection. According to O’Connor their popcorn ice cream made Heston Blumenthal (who also has a version) look like Ronald McDonald. He raves about the mulled wine and port sorbetto and don’t even get him on the subject of the popping candy ice cream.

Why? Because apparently it will blow your fillings out.

Crikey, how much does all this excitement cost? £4.50 for two scoops and up to £20 for the ice cream cocktails. The average punter parts with around £10.

Any news on expansion? There’s been lots of interest, from New York, Las Vegas, and Shanghai. But he does not know how it would or could be run overseas. Certainly they would only open one outlet in each country. He does not want to be Starbucks.

Supermarkets must be queuing up? But he’s not keen. In the shop he constructs his own theatre around the customer, with retailers he is stuck with half price deals and BOGOFs. O’Connor thinks allthe value has been stripped out of the premium ice cream sector by the likes of Ben and Jerry’s. He’sgot more important things to think about anyway, there is a TV series filming in October and a bookcoming out next year. And of course his winter collection.

Anything scandalous in it? He’s concentrating on hot desserts, fondues and the like. And his staff will be wearing pink/green tartan kilts – a homage to Dame Vivienne Westwood. But if its scandal you want keep an ear out for his lollies?

Pardon? He’s got a controversial ice lolly coming out. It’s rude apparently. And illegal.

Where can I find out more? Probably on Twitter. O’Connor says social media has been “absolutely critical” to his success. Any slight dip in quality for example and someone will Tweet. Then it is dealt with immediately.

Can he do the same for yogurt? Hell no. Yogurt is for choirboys. But doughnuts are a different matter.  O’Connor is poised to give the British seaside doughnut a punk makeover.

I think we’d better end there.

http://www.retailinsider.com/

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GOD SAVE THE CREAMJean Paul Aubin-Parvu meets founder of The Icecreamists Matt O’Connor – ice cream evangelist, peerless publicity maker and the man who wants to do for frozen desserts “what the Sex Pistols did for music”

Do you really eat, sleep and breathe ice cream?

I’ve never slept with an ice cream in my life – I’m a married man. I’m an entrepreneur by day, provocateur by night, and a huge ice cream aficionado. The Icecreamists are here to liberate the world one lick at a time, baby.

How long have you worked in ice cream?

Nearly 25 years. I’ve worked for all the big brands and still work as a consultant. Ice cream is a passion of mine. I think it’s a really interesting food because of its fleeting, fickle nature. Life is always in flux, as is ice cream. I was a seaside boy, brought up on Planet Thanet and Morelli’s ice cream parlour on top of the cliff at Broadstairs – I had my first knickerbocker glory there.

Tell me about The Icrecreamists.

The name came about through my political experiences. The police came to see me in Hampshire a couple of years ago even though I’d retired from political campaigning. I told them I was in ice cream but they didn’t seem to believe me. They must have thought it was some kind of front for overthrowing the government and were worried about domestic extremists. But I said: “I’m not an extremist, I’m an icecreamist.” And the name was born. There was a young people in Belarus who defied a ban on political demonstrations by gathering in the main square to eat ice creams. I thought that ice cream could be satirical, provocative and also a unifying force for change. And then the Israelis bombed the only ice cream factory in Gaza. But the fact is that both the Palestinians and the Israelis love ice cream. There is a higher consumption of ice cream per capita in Baghdad than in most American cities. You go to Afghanistan, you go to Pakistan – everybody loves ice cream.

When did you launch The Icecreamists?

We launched with a pop up store at Selfridges in September 2009. We wanted it to be funky, different and revolutionary. We went to Italy to work with gelato masters, who are like Jedi masters only taller, and then brought the ideas back. Our chef Mark Broadbent worked on them and I also brought in a cocktail guy called Alex Kammerling. We did ice cream on toast and we came up with the Molotoffee Cocktail, which is the one we blow torch at the table – I’ve got pyromaniac tendencies, so I like to see ice cream that’s on fire. We managed to do stuff that was new and different, and at the centre of this complete swirl of ideas was me orchestrating it. So gelato master, chef, mixologist, pull a team together, give it a funky, daft, political name – and that’s it.

What makes your ice cream so good?

A lot of ice cream hasn’t seen a cow in its life. Some of the ice cream you buy in America is crap – it’s vegetable fat. Then you get the Ben & Jerry’s and the Häagen-Dazs, which are higher in fat, higher in sugar, full of just really bad, unpleasant stuff. It tastes fine but a lot of it is just sugar and sugar and sugar. We’re trying to create more balanced, more adult ice cream, so we use things like Angostura Bitters and balsamic vinegar, all sorts of weird stuff just to balance out the flavours. So there’s a real subtlety to it. A lot of love and thought go into the recipes. We’re about the smoothness, the purity and the richness of the ice cream. It’s freshly made every day at our shop on Maiden Lane.

What are a few of the highlights?

The Choc & Awe is a 70 per cent Ecuadorian dark chocolate – literally chocolate and water mixed in a way that gives you the texture. Technically it should be a sorbetto, but but in reality it’s a very smooth, beautiful yet powerful ice cream. Our Sex Bomb has been known to raise people from the dead. It’s got a whole range of natural Brazilian stimulants in it. The Miss Whiplash is a seasonal berry sorbetto with a little cheeky splash of raspberry vodka, so it will throw you forward as you throw it back, neck brace not included. We also do one called the Apocalypse Chow. I love the smell of ginger in the morning, and that one’s got ginger, chilli and lemon grass. So we’ve got fire, we’ve got ice, we’ve got stimulants – you name it, we’re doing it. We’ve got a back catalogue of 250 different ice cream ideas. Honestly we have so many ideas – we just don’t have enough time.

Wasn’t one of those ideas to make ice cream using breast milk?

Yes, the Baby Gaga – it’s now called Baby Googoo. People said: “You can’t do breast milk ice cream, breast milk is designed for babies.” But guess what, cow’s milk is designed for calves. Would you rather have a cheeky suckle of an attractive woman or a cheeky suckle of a cloven hoofed beast covered in dung? Obviously Westminster Council waded in like the Gestapo. They seized the last two scoops and marched out like they’d discovered some biochemical hazard. It’s breast milk – relax. There’s not a single recorded death from anybody consuming breast milk in the history of the world. They banned it for a couple of weeks and then capitulated, saying that it was safe for human consumption.

I gather Lady Gaga wasn’t a huge fan.

After we had all this publicity Lady Gaga jumped on the bandwagon and threatened to get an injunction against us using the name Baby Gaga. We got this letter from her solicitors threatening to sue us. It was a ridiculous and stupid overreaction on her part. She called the ice cream “nausea inducing” – this from a woman who wears dresses fabricated from the flesh of dead animals. So, yeah, it did cause a bit of a shit storm. We thought it would cause a ripple, but it was a storm in a D cup.

You don’t seem to be the sort of bloke who takes things lying down.

It’s my Irish heritage. My family come from Kerry, where they pick fights with just about anybody. But it’s not so much that, it’s the fact that they threatened me as an individual in the first letter – my personal assets, my house, bank accounts. But I’m not worried, because a couple of people have threatened to shoot me before – that’s when I was worried. I’ve dealt with some very serious stuff in my time – this is frothy and fun. We deal with more serious stuff than a pop superstar with no sense of humour.

Weren’t you the founder of Fathers4Justice?

Yes, guilty as charged. I started that in 2002. Four members of Counter Terrorism Command used to greet me off the train at Waterloo Station and then follow me around all day, wherever I went. I’m not joking. I once hailed a taxi, but the police car stopped it from pulling out. So I jumped out and ran through Soho to a sex shop which a friend had told me about – obviously I’d never frequent such places. I knew it had two separate entrances and exits, so I ran inside, followed by these cops, and accidentally fell into the big stand of vibrators. All hell broke loose. I ran out the other exit, down towards Regent Street and jumped onto a routemaster bus. The cops were running down the road and I was just waving away: “Love you! Thank you for looking after me today.” I felt like Bill Clinton, going around London with four cops round me. I was the most protected man in London.

Do you have a favourite Fathers4Justice stunt?

I guess it was Batman at Buckingham Palace. Big Ron Davis was on trial that day for his part in flour bombing Tony Blair, so we were in court at Bow Street. I had a woman from Time magazine with me, and all the police, and it gave the others a clear run at Buckingham Palace. They dropped into a fancy dress shop, picked up a Batman outfit and then picked up the ladder, which they didn’t even tie properly to the roof of the van. And off they rolled. I got a call saying: “I’m up. We’ve taken Buckingham Palace.” That’s probably the one, because you are trying to create awareness about a problem. In each one of those protests or stunts we were just pressing the alarm button. But Fathers4Justice is unfinished business.

And are you on a similar mission with The Icecreamists?

Yeah, this is a kind of pop culture juggernaut really. It’s the intersection between life, death, sex and ice cream. We’re just trying to do something with attitude – to do for ice cream what the Sex Pistols did for music in the 70s. We are more Sid and Nancy than Ben & Jerry. And it isn’t a bullshit manufactured brand. This is a name and ideology that has soul at its very heart. I’m just hoping people buy into it. Nobody’s done what we’re doing and I’m just flying by the seat of my pants. I genuinely don’t know if it’s going to work. If it doesn’t, you’ll find me selling The Big Issue underneath Waterloo Bridge. Then you’ll know that it’s all gone horribly wrong.

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Like freshly baked bread, freshly made boutique ice cream runs out and at our boutique last week we went into a Fukushima style meltdown.

Our kitchen staff were working harder than Ryan Gigg’s lawyers but we still couldn’t keep up. We were well and truly licked. Even yesterday when we had some guests over to discuss a forthcoming event at The Icecreamists, we couldn’t make a Molotoffee Cocktail because we were still waiting a vital ingredient from Argentina.

Of course its understandable why some guests have grumbled on Facebook about this. The alternative is to visit well-known American branded parlours where the ice cream is made in vats, pumped full of E numbers, fat, sugar and preservatives to give it a shelf life of a thousand years before it is shipped half way around the world before it reaches Londinium.

Or you could choose a parlour where the ice cream is freshly made in Covent Garden every day and where, from time to time, they might run out of your flavourite. It’s the price you pay for top notch vice cream. (Pic by Jim Marks, Entrance to Covent Garden ‘Scream’ Boutique with ‘Cones Hotline’ on table.)

SCREAM ENTRANCE

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BOUTIQUE ICE CREAM TUBPic: Even our boutique ice cream is armed with sugar glass for protection as we prepare for court with Lady Gaga.


You would honestly think Lady Gaga has better things to be doing eh? But no, she is still rattling on about ‘Baby Gaga’.

I don’t know about you, but for a little baby, it made one hell of a lot of noise. Isn’t it time for an industrial dose of Calpol for the storm in a D-cup that simple won’t melt away?

Apparently no.

Lady Gaga doesn’t want to quit gurgling, or throwing her toys out the pram.

She is the dominatrix of pop, determined to drop a flask of freezing liquid nitrogen onto my genitalia, cook them to –196 degrees and then smash them with her poker face. (Fortunately for me after being warned in the confessional box about women like her by Father Patrick, I wear my Catholic guilt standard issue barbed wire underpants as ecumenical protection.)

So where are we today?

Well, firstly we have been extraordinarily charitable. We agreed to change the name, not because we wanted to, but because if she had obtained an injunction she would have bankrupted us within two weeks of opening. We did this early on and thought, not unreasonably, that this would be the end of the matter.

When we didn’t hear back, we offered to withdraw our trademark application (going over and above what was asked) and suggested a couple of alternative names so we wouldn’t fall foul of her sensibilities in future. You know, Baby O’Gaga (St Patricks Day version – rhymes with Radio Gaga?), Gelato Germanotta (The authentic version) etc.

Instead of Radio Gaga however, there was Radio Silence from her lovely lawyers, Simon Tracey et al at Mishcon de Reya.

Now, in a frankly bizarre letter, they are demanding the following:

  • The Icecreamists issue a JOINT press release WITH Lady Gaga citing agreement.
  • We pay Lady Gaga £4,000 towards her costs despite AGREEING to her demands. (Lady Gaga earned over $62 million last year).
  • Threaten to sue us for ‘damaging her reputation’.
  • Claim rights on a dress that was influenced by the Jean Paul Gaultier designed conical brassiere for Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour.
  • Demanding a share of the ‘profits’ from an ice cream that was on sale for just 3 hours.
  • And, for those that might have doubted Lady Gaga’s involvement, it is stated that Ate My Heart Inc (the company bringing the action) is 100% owned and controlled by Lady Gaga.
  • Remove all third party media references from our web sites, Facebook pages and this blog.
  • Demand I sign undertakings as a private individual.

We have responded:

  • We will see you in court and the first defence witness we will be calling is Lady Gaga.
  • Lady Gaga is implacably hostile and clearly intent on strangling at birth a business start up and demanding money with menaces. We will not be bullied or intimidated by a global superstar who uses her massive legal and financial firepower to threaten individuals or a fledgling business with bankruptcy and censorship.
  • A struggling ice cream parlour cannot afford to feed the ego of this pop megalomaniac to the tune of this sum of money in either hard cash or soft scoops.
  • With regards to the joint statement Lady Gaga can make any statement she wants. We won’t be dancing to her tune (it’s probably someone else’s anyway). The reason why Lady Gaga wants this statement is so she can establish case law in a legal land-grab over the word ‘Gaga’ and ownership over the first utterances of our children. This theft of common words that belong to us and our children is unacceptable.
  • I will NOT agree to any undertakings as a private individual nor will I be bullied into making a ‘joint statement’ with Lady Gaga. Satire has a long and honourable tradition in the UK from Spike Millligan to Monty Python and if I want to change my name by deed poll to ‘Lady Boy Gaga’ (think chicks with licks) then that’s my fucking perogative Gaga.

So there it is in all its tiresome, tedious legalese. By the time we settle this, Baby Gaga will have grown up, married, divorced, had kids and Lady Gaga will have melted back into the pop-culture mixing bowl where she came from.

Equally you can’t have someone so deluded and warped by her own fame that in her first act as the ‘Great Dictator of Intellectual Property Law’, she will own the first utterances of our first born and claim them as her own let alone have a bus load of legal gestapo running around the planet waging war on companies and individuals threatening to seize their ‘bank accounts and personal assets’ if they don’t agree.

It’s pathetic to pick on a tiny ice cream parlour who agreed to what you wanted on the first place. I can only guess these new actions demonstrate the hypocrisy of a woman who claims to celebrate artistic freedom and liberty on the internet whilst privately crushing these principles under her jackboot.

Call it what you will, (I know what I call it), there’s going to be a Cold War and we are going to fight it armed only with our trusty spoons and scoopfuls of ridicule, satire and subversion.

Oh, and some sprinkles too.

God Save The Cream!

Matt O’Connor

N.B. Oxford English dictionary definition of GAGA: Pronunciation: adjective informal; slightly mad, typically as a result of old age, infatuation, or excessive enthusiasm. Origin: early 20th century: from French, ’senile, a senile person’, reduplication based on gâteux, variant of gâteur, hospital slang in the sense ‘bed-wetter’.

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LADY GAGA RESPONSE FINAL 2a

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