Where’s good to pub? God knows there are plenty of pubs in London, but which ones are good enough to be comprehensively reviewed by an enthusiast and a musical guest? Well, esteemed reader, let’s find out together along with this week’s guest: Mio Flux.
The Asparagus in Clapham Junction is the venue for our first foray. It’s cheap (it’s a Wetherspoons, I’m not made of money), it has a garden, and… it’s cheap (again, made of bones and skin and all that sinewy stuff in between, not banknotes).
DING DING! First round. A pint of Fosters for me and a pint of Kronenberg for Mio. We’re kicking off this series with a couple of bona fide classics. As expected, a smooth opening sip. Strong start.
Mio has some tunes coming out at the moment with long-time collaborator Patchy, The Rockstar. If they’re anything like their energetic trap/hip-hop/dancehall thumpers I’ve become accustomed to, then we’re all in for a deeply listenable treat. Like a sticky toffee pudding that’s for your ears, but is set on fire by a lightning bolt pre-ingestion. That’s a fitting – if a bit loose – analogy.
“How’s yours?” Hard hitting journalism. Mio responds, “Good man, tastes nice.” Ask a good question, get a good answer. Despite a cracking opening exchange between myself and my partner-in-reviewing, we must return to the crux of the story: the pub itself. This is Une Critique de Pub, after all.
As our pints descend closer toward the Spoons carpet (a classic design like the iPhone, or a croissant), we decide to venture out into the garden. It’s no Kew, but with plenty of chairs and tables it resembles a seating area reminiscent of any seating area – if it ain’t broke…
Our second round is comprised of a Guinness pour moi and a Parma Violet Gin & Tonic pour Mio. As disgusting as that sounds, it isn’t half bad, but I suppose that by proxy that makes it half good. Make of that what you will. If you like Gin, Parma Violets and tonic water, then you may just find yourself enjoying this theoretically backwards beverage. The Guinness is just a Guinness and I can indeed confirm that it tasted exactly as Guinessy as I anticipated. Result.
We got a bowl of chips too. They were no Michelin star, but even the Michelin Man himself would agree they felt just… right. That’s the thing about all Wetherspoons’ isn’t it. The Asparagus is no exception. They aren’t the best pub you’ve ever been to by a long shot, but my gosh do they hit the spot. The whole establishment has a, “Yeah, sure, come in and have what you like, including fun, but if you’re wanting something like The Ritz, then you’ve come to the wrong place.” That’s what makes it good. Not great, I would say, but 100% good.
It’s stuff like this, along with the fact that after our third and fourth rounds went down easy peasy, that when prompted for his rating of The Asparagus, Mio gave it seven thumbs up. I like that rating system. It is now clear that his imagination doesn’t stop at his inventive tunes. “How do your beats even hap…where do you come up with it?” That is a direct quote from my end of the Dictaphone. Nothing gets in the way of a journalist and his Q’s. As for the A’s; “Fuck man, I dunno, just sort of happens. Draw from lots of different inspiration. Like indie a lot, hip-hop obviously but also like 80’s shit, like Scritti Politti. That helps.” Pretty solid answer from someone I just witnessed ask for: “A pint of, erm, that one there. No actually the one next to it, yeah, I reckon so. Thanks so loads.”
So, there you have it. The Asparagus gets seven thumbs up (out of ten, obviously). Huge thanks to Mio Flux for his companionship and insight. Listen to him and Patchy, The Rockstar on Spotify and Apple Music, as well as their newest single, ‘SNL’, on YouTube.
Also, I forgot to mention that the title is in French because I thought it sounded tres cool. If it – along with this explanation – remains, then my Editor agrees. If not, they shouldn’t be an Editor, because they are wrong.