Thursday, March 8, 2012

Owl and the Pussycat and Deviation, 7th March

Who knew such a lovely little proper pub existed so close to Shoreditch? Well, quite a few people, evidently, as it was pretty busy in The Owl and the Pussycat and it was only a Wednesday. I heard about this place through Secret London and popped it on the List. I was going to Deviation at Concrete which is just around the corner so thought this would be an ideal place for a couple of drinks first.

This place goes in for big communal tables that you have to try to nab a place at, ending up potentially sharing with another group or two. The pub itself is quite small but it has a sizeable (heated) courtyard at the back to squeeze some more people in, and it has a separate restaurant upstairs for people who just want to eat. Prices were quite reasonable. A normal-sized (ie not the 250ml bucket) of wine was under £4.00 – which is becoming increasingly rare these days.

The crowd was pretty typical hipster – I don’t think there was a single girl in there without a flat fringe- and it was mostly groups of people. But the pub’s low lighting and woody d├ęcor also made it quite a romantic pub (I think the poetic name helps) and I can imagine going with my boyfriend for a few drinks together and some tasty sounding bar snacks – duck’s egg, chorizo and garlic frites, mmmm!

After two drinks in there it was time to move on to Deviation.

This is a monthly club night curated by Benji B and which was celebrating its 50th session last night. (Cue lots of balloons.) To mark the occasion they had Hudson Mohawke as their speical guest DJ and also James Blake (but I didn’t stay late enough to see him unfortunately). Benji B got things started, easing people into the night with some house music that made you want to move, then journeying into tunes which were more soulful and ambient. At 9 when the doors opened there was a queue to get in and by half ten the place was not only busy but everyone was on the dance floor. Benji responded to this by ratcheting up the atmosphere and getting some dirty, dirty, bassy dnb on and then moving into some heavy hip hop. The crowd was pulsating. It was obvious that the people there loved these nights, loved the music and were intent on making the most out of the limited time they had to enjoy it. Once a month for only a few hours (9-2) isn’t much time. So no wasting precious minutes having a few drinks in there first – once you were in, you were dancing.  I was also impressed by the eclecticism of the crowd. Because of the hip hop influence, it wasn’t just your typical electro-geek. Black and white, young and older, were all there-even an annoying Canadian.

At about 11:30 Benji switched tacks again and moved onto some bassy house music to segue into Hudson taking the decks. Hudson's debut song was a remix of Bjork of all things (sorry, not sure which song), followed shortly after by TLC’s Silly Ho. Why haven’t I heard that song in a club before? It warranted getting right into the crowd to make the most of it. From there the music returned to some major hip hop which the dancefloor was lapping up and at about midnight I decided I should get the last tube home – well it was a school night.

Unfortunately, the cloakroom system was a little inefficient. I had to queue in the same queue as people putting their coats in, and even though there weren’t many people in front of me, it still took about half an hour for me to get my coat. I hope it's not like that when I return later this month for Stumblin' Slims! I missed the tube and had to walk down Brick Lane to get the bus, which put a bit of a dampener on the evening. I’m just glad I live so close by, that it still didn’t take me too long to get home. 


Square Meal

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.