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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Charlotte St. Blues, Fitzrovia (CLOSED): Boho , Dulwich

You can’t beat a well-sprung 1950s car seat for comfiness; not that you’ll spend much time parked on one at Charlotte Street Blues (pictured) where they masquerade as banquettes. Tonight’s turn, swing quartet Ta Mère, soon has punters jitterbugging and jiving on the dance floor. From faded bobbysoxer reliving his youth to a young blade dressed as Sinatra circa the same era, the zoot suit boogie bug bites us all. Well almost all: a knackered knee prevents me from busting moves to Reet Petite so I sit it out over popcorn chicken and bop in my seat. Both the main room - an agreeably eccentric rehash of what was Jamie’s wine bar - and a mezzanine furnished like a 1960s bungalow’s home extension afford views of a stage that will soon host John Mayall and (tonight, July 16th) John Lee Hooker Jnr. Additional spaces include a moody basement pool bar worthy of a Jimmy Cagney flick and an upstairs saloon - currently hung with Goldie’s best artistic efforts - where eighty varieties of Bourbon are winking at me from a mirrored back bar. On a PR freebie, tonight ‘I’m depending on the kindness of strangers’ as barmy belle Blanche Dubois puts it in A Streetcar Named Desire, so it’s fitting that I’m plied with with her favourite mint juleps. At this friendly new juke joint, I somehow fancy you won’t stay strangers for long. Over at LOUD duplex DJ bar Boho, a pine-clad cabana serving none-too-shabby £6 cocktails caipirinha & passionfruit mojito, the inspiration is not New Orleans but Brazil. To eat, there’s sushi, not as random as it sounds given Japan’s largest ex-pat community resides there. The gist of a proverb featured on one wall is that life is a movie that flashes by in a jiffy: whether I’d set my bio-pic in East Dulwich is moot.

Charlotte Street Blues, 74 Charlotte St W1 7580 0113

Boho, 52 Lordship Lane SE22