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Grove staff impressed by polite Gunners fan

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Musicians Lance Powlis (from left), Matthew Thot, Ashanti Floyd and Rod  Hussey.

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Musicians Lance Powlis (from left), Matthew Thot, Ashanti Floyd and Rod Hussey.

Spotted: CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi cheering for Arsenal at a local bar early Saturday. In town for his Gas Station show gig last weekend with sister Jila, he turned up at the Grove on Stafford and Grosvenor, where soccer fans are known to hang out watching screens, cheering and scarfing down British pub food. In Canadian style, staff say Ghomeshi politely thanked the staff -- "for being open."

Latest word on Grove owner Miles Gould's new restaurant, Cornerstone, in Osborne Village where Papa George's used to be? It's getting close and could be open "in a few weeks," says a staffer. The front door is still boarded up from a collision on River and Osborne, "but that's an easy fix!" No use fixing it early, and tempting fate.

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WHEN IN ROME... Five Atlanta, Ga., musicians -- in Winterpeg for a three-night Pyramid Cabaret gig last weekend -- decided to find out about hockey and ice skating first-hand.

Ashanti Floyd, "the Mad Violinist" of Atlanta who played the Pyramid with his electronic/hip hop band Crack Symphony, went to his first NHL game Saturday with club owner David McKeigan and drummer Casey Crogan. They watched the Edmonton Oilers and the Jets going at it -- in complete amazement. Floyd remarked after the game to Winnipeg hockey nut/bandleader Rod Hussey, whose band opened the three shows: "I couldn't believe how hockey-crazed people from Winnipeg are!"

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PRODUCT PLACEMENT: It's no accident you can see labels on clothing in the movies, says Gavin Rich, president of Richlu at 85 Adelaide St. in the Exchange. The Winnipeg company that recently clothed Bruce Dern and the cast filming Nebraska, says, "They are wearing our Work King-brand flannels and Tough Duck work jackets. It wasn't that cold there, but the actors are working-class people who wear this stuff all the time." Richlu helps clothe "between four and seven" movies per year, he says.

And, often it's last minute. "For the movie The 33 with Antonio Banderas, about the incident in Chile, we had to send every size for all 33 miners because they don't know what will fit -- until the actors arrive." On a comic note, he chuckles, "Renee Zellweger in the movie New in Town was wearing our Tough Duck overalls in the scene where she has to go to the bathroom in the woods, and has to rip them off." Talk about great visibility. They also did You Are Here with Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson wearing "all of our stuff." And they're the suppliers of outdoor clothing for heartthrob Taylor Lautner in the movie Tracers (about a bike courier).

Rich has enjoyed this little sideline for the business. "It's been almost seven years -- ever since so many movies came to Manitoba." Does he have to pay out big money to have his products onscreen? "No, we just give it to them for free and then the logo shows in a scene in the movie. It's a great deal -- more fun than anything."

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SKATING ADVENTURE: Three other members of Crack Symphony-- horn player Lance Powlis, guitarist Matt Barrett and bass player Mikey Belluso -- decided they'd hike off to The Forks to try ice skating. They got their rentals on their feet and toddled down the ice for a crazy up-and-down experience. Their reaction to the ice-skating trail? "Not enough benches!"

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CYRK DISAPPEARING FAST: "The Terminal" CYRK Winter Fest schedule starts tonight. The best underground entertainment venue in Winnipeg is going, going, gone with just four last house concerts! For eight years, psychologist Darek Dawda has been putting on house concerts in his multi-storey West Broadway home at 254 Young St. set up like a miniature nightclub -- except they don't sell liquor. It's a house concert, open to music lovers, and people bring their own food and beverages.

"But all good things come to an end," he says. "I will be a little sad, of course." Well, not that sad! The house is up for sale, and Dawda and his lady love Jessica Gonzalez are expecting a baby. "It's been great, but I am very happy about Jessica and me. You can say I am very much in love!" he beams. Tonight's show is a parade of talented acts -- Bick Facey, Holly Stratton, Samantha Selci, Johnny Broadway, Jessica Gonzalez and Drek Daa (Dawda's performance name) will all be taking the stage. Doors open at 8 p.m. and it's wise to get there early.

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UP WITH AFRICAN LOCAL MUSIC: CKJS program director Gido Gigliotti says Sunday night's World Beat show from 10:45 p.m. to midnight is going to start playing local recordings of African artists. Popular musician Casamiro Nhussi's song, Tangola, from album Gweka on the Poppycock label will be added to the playlist. It's now available at McNally Robinson and online at Amazon. Also, Matthew Thot's newly recorded song Malay Mgua, a song of peace (recorded live at the SOCA reggae festival in Old Market Square last July) will be playing on the air soon. Thot is originally from South Sudan, so that song carries a lot of meaning for him.


Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204-474-1116, email, or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 24, 2014 B2

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