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‘In some instances I hunted certain tribes out: I went to jazz bars and folk open-mic nights, and spoke to dubstep CD sellers outside tube stations. But others like Techno popped up by chance, in the street or record shops. Sometimes a character was too good to ignore on the street, so I would stop them and ask what music they listened to.
‘Each tribe was depicted with genuine re-occurring traits and styles – if I spotted a pork-pie hat more than once in a jazz bar, then I thought that was a nice touch to use. Where there are metal fans there are chin-beards, so I had to include that.
‘The quotes were as close as I could keep them to what the real tribe members said. I would ask similar questions to all the people I found: what sort of personality does it take to be into metal or jazz or house music? Or, what obscure stuff should one should listen to to be a true fan of dubstep or folk? Or, how did they get into that type of music? Asking things like that also helped me to find similarities in the tribal personalities and decide which characteristics to draw.
‘The tribe which broke most of the rules in the series was the Psychedelic Garage Goth tribe. These characters were directly drawn from one specific couple who I bumping into on the street. They turned out to be avid Time Out readers, who actually spotted themselves in the magazine and wrote to say they were thrilled. Thank goodness.’
In case you didn’t know, Scandinavia is cool right now. The food, the fashion, the facial hair – plus the Vikings have invaded the British Museum. All we need next is a healthy economy, a reliable public transport system and a sense of social justice, and London will be indistinguishable from Oslo. Meanwhile in Hackney, there’s yet another Northern European-inspired incursion. Or apparently so: the website claims this bar-restaurant-club draws on ‘a Nordic aesthetic’, although it’s not immediately obvious within. Oslo occupies the previously deserted old Hackney rail station and takes on a bit of a railway theme with its luggage-rack lighting, plus there are industrial stylings that give the whole place a Janet Jackson ‘Rhythm Nation’ video feel. The restaurant part is rather fancy, its food incorporating a few of the forages, pickles, jellies and marinations of New Nordic cooking. The kitchen is regularly given over to guest chefs, and you have to book – it’s always heaving. Eat in the bar and the food is more straightforward. Where once the standard snack in pubs was a toastie, sausage roll or pork pie, now it’s the slider or fried chicken. These are served alongside frankly obscene portions of chips, slathered with the likes of cured bacon fat and bacon salt, or braised oxtail, gravy and cheese. There’s a commendable range of craft beers from the vicinity, including a couple from Five Points Brewing just five minutes up the road at the Downs.Head upstairs and you’ll find a
Venue says: “Join us every Thursday night until late for Soul Soul Soul – a night of vinyl appreciation with DJs playing soul, funk, disco and more.”