Tab Tries: Poundland

OLIVIA BROGAN and ADRIAN GRAY check out their local Poundland, and are impressed by what they find.

Adrian Gray Budget chalk board champagne flutes date Dido famous five olivia brogan poundland review santa stationary


ADRIAN:  The Grafton Centre is a strange place. A weird, consumerist purgatory nestled between Christ’s Pieces and the real world.  It’s like a sort of depressing anti-party set inside a giant greenhouse where the fancy-dress theme is the ‘before’ stage of a 10 Years Younger makeover.

Just outside the centre sits Poundland.

‘What’s Poundland?’ you definitely don’t ask. Well, imagine if the owners of an off-licence took part in an episode of Pimp my Shop then told Xzibit they were massive fans of miscellaneous choke-hazards. It’s that.

In what is literally the conceit student journalism has been begging for, Olivia and I went on a sort-of-date in Poundland and bought each other five items. We then reviewed them. This was what she got me:

1. Meltdown by Ash

Personally I think all album art should feature a stock image of some flames and a font stolen from a misjudged year nine PowerPoint, and Ash clearly agree. Sadly their music sounds like a Green Day album being sick into walkie-talkie.

I’m not totally sure why Olivia thought I would want ‘Meltdown.’ Maybe she thinks I have a fiery personality. Maybe she thinks I have shit taste in music.

Like a wall hanging except on a CD

2. Cutlery set

The knives are about as sharp as your average wet-wipe. Would not recommend.

3. Sugar and Spice by Lauren Conrad

“Sophie had never been the communicative type, either – although Madison had managed to get her to admit that she’d been using their grandmother’s identity and credit card (Grandma Mains had Alzheimer’s and was in a nursing home) and that Sophie had known what Madison was wearing at the L.A. Candy premiere before the preshow went live because of a cell phone picture had been Twittered.”

Just a brief excerpt from Sugar and Spice there: a blurbless novel detailing the unnecessary existence of a professional bimbo as she attempts to fellate her way into Hollywood or something. To be honest I don’t really know what it’s about because, as you can probably see, it’s unreadable.

The haul in its entirety

4. Office stationery set

Is it possible to review a stationery set in a funny way? Probably not. The only joke I can spot is in the ‘office quality guaranteed’ mark on the packaging.  What if it’s a shit office though!! Wouldn’t be good quality then!!!! Haha!

5. Santa and Snowman Balloons

I can’t think of anything interesting to say about this product, so I’ll just say something nice about Olivia: she has a kind smile.


OLIVIA: Adrian spent his pounds incredibly wisely, and got these five gifts for me.

1. The Famous Five 2014 Annual

When I told my mum I’d received a famous five annual, her delighted reaction was “Oh that’ll be just great for cutting up.” Not really quite sure what she had in mind but with irresistible stories like Meet Nobby and Georges Hair is Too Long the scissors will be remaining happily under my pillow for another day.

2. Mini Disco Ball

Forget Cambridge clubbing. This is perfect for recreating those depressing year seven mini-discos, where the only excitement comes from doing the Macarena about a metre away from the opposite sex.

The peeling plastic tiles already smell of piss and disappointment. Like an alcoholic clown.

Little in size, large in fun, and now hanging (!) out at Caius

3. Two Heart Shaped Red Champagne Flutes

Despite Adrian firmly assuring me that he was not the romantic sort, I couldn’t help but think that this was a promising sign. So yes, before you ask Adrian, I am actually/surprisingly free on the fourteenth!!!

4. Pre-owned Dido No Angel CD

Even better than a Dido No Angel CD is a *vintage* Dido No Angel CD. Be jealous indie kids.  

I definitely would go down with Dido’s ship

5. Chalk Board with a chalk six-pack and mini sponge

The chalk snapped in my hand and the board is too plasticy for it to really work anyway. But the sponge is great!

 If I was rating Cambridge’s Poundland, which coincidentally I have actually specifically been asked to do, I think I would give it a solid eight or nine or actually maybe even ten out of ten. I’m really not surprised by the recent Poundland riots in Wales – whose emotions wouldn’t run high in a store that gives so much and asks for so little in return? It’s the dream date of shopping stores.

In fact, I also can’t help but feel Poundland would make the perfect setting for a quirky date like the ones at the beginning of a cutsie romantic comedy where the girl wears a beanie that’s ever so slightly too big for her head and the guy lives in a shopping trolley.

Poundland, I’m impressed.