Posts from 16th July 2009

16
Jul 09

Second Time as Farce

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 182 views

Those who have paid passing attention to the news over the last year may be familiar with the Global Economic Collapse™, Economic Downturn™, the Credit Crunch™ and all its associated lunch/brunch/munch tie-in offers. After all, there’s very little that can’t be turned to some profit, so you’d think that the liquor on-trade would cash in on this topical obsession with all things parsimonious.

Where is the bar boldly stepping into the breach which advertises itself to the passing crowds using huge photos of Bernie Madoff, Alistair Darling, Sir Fred Goodwin and other bêtes noires of the global financial meltdown? Surely we can order at a bar made out of cassette tapes, bottles of beer stacked haphazardly behind it in their bulk-purchase packaging? The walls, where they are left clear of teetering towers of alcoholic detritus, might feature a series of paintings of a smug Gordon Brown? There might even be an Ikea-bought wendy-house seating area upstairs complete with bean bags? And it will need a manifesto taped to the door.

Well, now, thanks to Vince Power, we get the bar we all deserve. Should we choose, that is, to venture into the anti-capitalist enclave of Notting Hill.

Local real estate agents’ posters at Ladbroke Grove tube station, nestled like the bar under the vastness of the Westway, tell us that “Yes! You can afford to live here!” There might as well be a poster saying we can afford to drink here, too, since prices for all drinks are set at £2.50. The place is hardly packed, but it’s a Tuesday evening and the volume of the music means everyone who is there is drinking outdoors. But we’re being made “aware of the political and economic situation of the day”; you can’t put a price on that. Though it was probably a fair amount. Bean bags are quite expensive, if you’ve ever thought they might make cheaper seating options.

It may lack irony in its striving after Dalston cool, but in its way it comes across as much a temporary art installation as the bar on the roof of a car-park in Peckham. No surprise, then, that students from the University of the Arts had some involvement. It’s called LiquidNation, but lose a single camel-case letter and you might get a sense where the future of the recession-themed drinking den lies.