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battle of the bands

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Rubber Jack

Last night was the final of our Fruitstock Talent Search. Every year we choose an unsigned band to come and play at our free festival - we've spent the last couple of months listening to all sorts of stuff, trying to whittle it down to four bands.

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The Savage Jazz

After a rock'n'roll evening full of beer, crazy axe licks and some strange percussion (those things that are a bit like cowbells but make more of a woodpeckery sound), we came to decision time. Our four judges (Sarah from Observer Music Monthly, Dominic from The Times Knowledge, a nice man called Sumit [Nitin Sawhney's manager] and our very own Adam Rostom) chose a band called The Savage Jazz.

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Scouting For Girls

But the people's choice was Scouting For Girls, mainly because all of the girls at innocent fancied the singer. So we did what any good, decisive business should do and fudged it - both bands will be playing at Fruitstock on the weekend of 5th-6th August.

the early bird

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If getting up in the middle of the night to check out interesting fruit is your cup of tea, then we'd recommend a visit to the Western International Market. Our Lucy went at 3 o'clock in the morning to get hold of the last of the fresh alphonso mangoes. Sadly they were all out. But she did manage to get some yellow passion fruits from Vitacress and some new Indian Kesar mangoes. Apparently when she picked up the mango box, "it was really warm, it seemed to be generating heat as it ripened".

The market is on Hayes Road, Southall and costs £5 to get in. Other highlights include a fine selection of hot baked potatoes, world-beating chocolate muffins and a particularly grumpy security guard.