Friday, 19 March 2010

Duffer of St George

"On our way to Shoreditch; off to Fabric in Shoreditch: Duffer of St George and I don't care. Duffer of St George and I don't care. On a Spitalfields Sunday get a two pound curry and roll ups; get a 12p bagel and a camouflage t-shirt and bracelets ..." sings Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces on their song Duffer of St George which captures the sense of how the near east of London changed dramatically in terms of leisure tourism in the early years of the 21st Century. It was the record they made with/about their grandmother, Rehearsing My Choir, that made me sit up and take notice of the Fiery Furnaces. It's a gloriously ambitious record, and contains one of my all-time favourite lines about taking a late train to a lost love. It is the Friedbergers' obvious love of words that really appeals, and I suspect that's the appeal of the Duffer of St George refrain. The feel of the words. I guess that would have been around the time Duffer became the ubiquitous brand with all and sundry wearing their hoodies and sweatshirts. When I became aware of the Duffer brand it was when they were attracting attention for their knitwear designs which echoed the Gabicci and Roberto Carlo tops that were easy to obtain in charity shops, and had earlier been sported by Subway Sect and many roots reggae artists. One of the Duffer designers was Barrie K Sharpe, who was also a legendary figure in London club culture as a rare groove DJ and then for the records he made with Diana Brown such as The Masterplan ...

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