Posts from 3rd September 2002

Sep 02

The Old Dairy

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 669 views

The Old Dairy on Stroud Green Road holds two quizzes each week. Their music quiz is held every Thursday but we were there on a Tuesday for the general knowledge quiz. The crowd was youthful and lively (i.e. brash and drunk), with the exception of a very conspicuous pub starer (older, dishevelled, half of bitter) who was traipsing around before the quiz started.

There were five rounds of ten questions (News, Pictures, Music, General Knowledge and Top Ten), one pound per person for entry. “Men with Beards” was the theme of the picture round. The music section was a Bits ‘n’ Pieces round and worked well because the quality of the PA was excellent. I imagine this is a godsend for their music quizzes. For the Top Ten round, you had to name the top ten, in any order, of the category they gave you. This time it was the top ten gold medal winning nations at the Commonwealth Games – damn you Fiji!

Sounds fine so far but the Old Dairy quiz turned out to be rather an uninspiring experience. The geography of the pub caused the most problems. Because the pub is full of corners and snugs, it was all too easy for teams to cheat, as the chorus of ringtones proved. The quizmaster herself was tucked away in snug and responding to questions from a disembodied voice over the loudspeaker didn’t add much to the atmosphere. There were also the usual gripes – huge teams, a few dodgy questions and a bunch of quiz bastards scooping the prize (booze?). It’s not one I’ll be returning to in a hurry. The music quiz might be worth a go, if it wasn’t one of a hundred quizzes in the area being held on a Thursday night.

Mobos 2002: The nominees

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 447 views

Mobos 2002: The nominees: like most UK awards there’s a faint tinge of the unneccessary about the MOBOs, and the polite fudge that “music of black origin” needn’t be “music made by black people” is typically British – all it really means is ‘No Rock’. It does reflect the ‘two-tone’ character of UK urban music, though, and this year – swathes of nominations for starry US names aside – the faint tinge is fainter than usual.

UK Garage did what jungle never could and made urban British music fashionable and successful, after years when the main reaction to the likes of Beverly Knight (soul’s Tim Henman!) was a kind of embarrassed goodwill. Garage was great dance music, but we’ve always made great dance music – the really important thing about it was that it made the idea of British voices singing soul and R&B and even MCing a credible and commercial one again.

So this year’s MOBOs are celebrating the post-garage fallout – So Solid, Mis-Teeq, Ms.Dynamite, Bedingfield, The Streets, and then further out even Blak Twang and the Sugababes, few of them making anything you might call ‘garage’ but all of them finding their profiles either raised or made more credible by the increased attention UK Garage brought to British urban music. And all of those people had no profile at all two or three years ago, and all of them have put out a brilliant single or album or both this year: right now is probably the most exciting time in British pop music for a decade. This year it might even be worth watching the MOBOs.