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June 19, 2009

Grazing and Plugging

Phone pic of some of Dengue Fever at Pure GrooveI didn't have time to plug Dengue Fever before yesterday's show at the Scala, but what you need to know is this: Andy Kiang of Proper has been telling me how good they are for a while, and finally persuaded me to go to a free record shop gig on Wednesday. Since when I have downloaded three of their albums from eMusic and have been listening to Dengue Fever pretty much solidly. So yup, they rocked and I felt enormously lucky and privileged to be seeing them at the very front of a crowd of about 80 or so. No Spotify for Dengue Fever but you can download a lossless live version of their song Tiger Phone Card from the also awesome B&W Society of Sound.

The record shop in question was Pure Groove in Farringdon. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what a record shop was like; Pure Groove is not like that at all. It consists of an shop-sized open space (they put a few cafe tables in it during the day) with a stage at one end, some comfy chairs, magazines and so on, and a counter down one side behind which is a small selection of interesting rarities, vinyl, signed CDs, t-shirts and so on, a coffee machine and some beer. It reminded me strongly of I Knit London, though the space in the middle is optomised for listening to live music rather than for knitting. They have a in-store gig every evening (and many lunchtimes), they sell nice bottled beer and some snacks, and they're clearly a fantastic place to just chill.

I couldn't get to the Scala because I was off seeing the Greek Theatre Players, slightly displaced this year from the Greek Theatre. This was The Comedy of Errors, marvellously played. My heart sank when I saw that nobody else had brought kids; but Marianne enjoyed it all and even Jonathan enjoyed the second half, once we'd said "Right. There are *two* sets of twins." If you're taking kids, even teenagers, to The Comedy of Errors I would recommend explaining Egeon's initial speech to them in advance because it's long and hard for kids to follow and without the set up the entire play is incomprehensible. Once again I benefitted from my appalling ignorance of Shakespeare; most of the ending is telegraphed long in advance, but I got to enjoy one delightful reveal. Another benefit of advancing years is that Shakespeare's language, which I remember struggling with in school, seems to me pellucid now. You can catch The Comedy of Errors tonight or tomorrow at the Holy Family College in Church Hill Road, Walthamstow, or on Sunday at the Capel Manor Gardens.

A Graze BoxFinally, I must mention Graze, who send little boxes of tasty treats to your home or workplace. Each box has three things to graze on, a mixture of fresh and dried fruit, nuts, seeds, little yoghurt coated things, and so on. There's loads of different possibilities, you can rate items to get them more or less often or not at all, and the presentation is lovely. The boxes are £2.99 each, which is pretty comparable to what the same sort of thing would cost you from, say, Marks and Sparks or Pret. I'm in two minds about Graze. On the one hand this is fantastic stuff to get you through the work day, far better than crisps and choccy bars, and I love getting the boxes through the door. On the other hand this is a lot more expensive than, say, peeling and chopping fresh pineapple yourself, so if you're committed to the cult of Cheap then it's clearly not for you. I have a code -- 3GH2D5JE -- if you enter that on the website you can get a first box free to try, and a second box half-price.

Posted by Alison Scott at June 19, 2009 09:10 AM


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