Wednesday 1 April 2009

Pure Groove, West Smithfield, central London

This record shop-cum-bar-cum-concert venue has a lot going for it. Pure Groove plays great music, as well as providing free Wi-Fi and plenty of sockets to plug your laptop in. But there isn't any food on offer and the very chocolaty cappuccino (£1.80) is small and can be served lukewarm, so you might prefer a Peroni for £3. The furniture would be more at home in a student common room - toffee-coloured leather sofas and the kind of bashed-in metal and wooden chairs you used to get in council offices and NHS hospitals, while a long imitation wood bar faces the big front window opposite Smithfield meat market. The bare brick walls are decorated with garish modern art, t-shirts and record covers. It can be nearly empty on a weekday, which is a shame given the fine, funky sounds coming out of Pure Groove's speakers. 7/10