Daphne Bugler writes:
Moonglow, a Japanese-style kissa bar has opened in Dalston for one month only, raising money for the Steve Reid Foundation. The last date will be 15 November
The bar allows customers to listen to different records, often selected by special guests, on a hi-fi speaker system whilst they enjoy their drinks.
Opening at 3pm everyday it will serve coffee to start and then move on to alcoholic drinks in the evening. Each week the bar announces a line-up of DJs who will be selecting the night’s music.Tonight (2 November) Dom Servini, co-founder of Wah-Wah 45s record label, will be taking over the music. Pierre Rosseau of French electronic music duo Paradis will then be DJing tomorrow (3 November).
All profits will be donated to the Steve Reid Foundation which “crafts programmes that encourage people to continue their passion for music” and aims to support musicians in the UK. ‘It’s not your usual DJ gig’ said a London jazz fan. Another visitor described how Moonglow had “a nice and relaxing feel with good rare groove sounds”.
The concept of the bar emulates popular Japanese listening cafes. Founder Charlie Osborne explained how “after the Americans occupied Japan in the Second World War they left behind a legacy of jazz music”. When the Japanese economy boomed later in the century, jazz records could be purchased cheaply by Japanese tourists in America, which were brought back to Japan and shared with others in bars where the records would be played.
Charlie hopes to recreate these bars in Dalston which he says “just seemed the right area for a creative, interesting and unusual project”, using his expansive record collection of jazz, funk and soul vinyl. The bar also features an exhibition of photography from Tokyo Jazz Joints.
“The goal is to raise as much money as possible for the charity but have a fun time doing it,” Charlie said. “We’ve had good responses from the music scene in London so far.”
Daphne Bugler is currently on the Masters Course in Journalism at City University
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Moonglow is at 446 Kingsland Road London E8