Picks

Substitute! – The Sounds of the World Cup 1966

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Collectors Corner

world_cup

50 years ago this month at Wembley stadium the England football team lifted its first, (and as I type this), only major trophy, the daddy of them all, the World Cup. Watch any programme about the ‘swinging sixties’ and chances are you’ll see clips of Carnaby Street, Twiggy, Mini cars, girls wearing mini skirts and the beautiful gold trophy being held aloft by Bobby Moore on the hallowed Wembley turf. Obviously music also played a major part in this wonderful decade, but everything seemed to come to a wonderous climax in July 1966 when anything seemed possible in Britain, and especially its epicentre, London. So we’re going to take you on a musical journey following England’s progress in the competition along with the music that soundtracked that most glorious of months, July 1966.

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The competition started on 11 July, with England hosting Uruguay which ended in a 0 – 0 draw at Wembley. Six days previously the latest singles chart was awash with classic soul and beat 45’s, most of them homegrown too! A new entry at 49 was the majestic pop-art of “Making time” by The Creation, at 47 we had the soul from London mod club stalwart Geno Washington with “Water”, at 38 stood the Small Faces with “Hey girl” and at 23 were the Stones with their sitar drenched “Paint it black”. The top twenty included the Yardbirds groundbreaking “Over, under, sideways, down” at 12, up thirteen places to 20 stood Chris Farlowe’s “Out of time” and the top three was surely one of the best ever: Ike and Tina’s “River deep, mountain high” at 3, The Beatles “Paperback writer” at 2 and top of the pile, The Kinks majestic “Sunny afternoon”. The album chart was no less stellar, the top ten alone featuring current releases including “Animalisms”, “Small Faces”, “Pet sounds”, “Aftermath” and Georgie Fame’s “Sweet things”. Ironically topping the pile was the soundtrack to “The sound of music” but you can’t have it all! If none of these releases whetted your appetite, a trip to your local record store this week would find new releases from The Miracles “Whole lotta shakin’ in my heart” on Tamla Motown, The Spidells “Find out what’s happening” on Sue and Herbie Goins and the Nightimers club classic “Cruisin” on Parlophone.

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On the 16th July at Wembley, England saw off Mexico 2 – 0, and then on the 20th France were also beaten 2 – 0 by them sending the team into the last sixteen of the tournament with seven points. This week the singles charts saw new entries from Otis Redding with “My lovers prayer”, The Temptations all time Motown classic “Ain’t to proud to beg”, The Lovin’ Spoonful’s claustrophobic transatlantic smash “Summer in the city” and the highest entry, at 29, was the future number one from The Troggs, “With a girl like you”. New albums making an appearance included “Otis Redding’s dictionary of soul” on Atlantic and The Yardbirds self titled final UK album, known by most of us as “Roger the engineer”. Some wonderful new release 45’s available to the British public for the first time this week, and mostly left unsold in the racks, included stellar soul from Donald Height “Talk of the grapevine”, Major Lance “Investigate”, The Orlons “Spinnin’ top”, Edwin Starr’s floor filler “Headline news”, and not forgetting Manchester’s Richard Kent Style with the great blue-eyed mover “Go Go children”.

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On the 23rd July the quarter finals were played which saw England beating Argentina by a slim 1 – 0 margin whilst West Germany thumped Uruguay 4 – 0 up in Sheffield. New entries in the hit parade came from the Pretty things “A house in the country”, Four Tops “Loving you is sweeter than ever” and Bob Dylan’s “I want you”. Meanwhile sweet Georgie Fame swept up to the top spot for a second time with his catchy “Getaway” which stayed there for a solitary week. Meanwhile in the LP charts one of the most influential UK blues albums made its first appearance, “The Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton”, complete with its iconic ‘Eric reading The Beano’ front cover. On television, “Ready, steady, go!” featured performances from Madeline Bell and The Yardbirds (unfortunately, as with most RSG footage, long missing from the archives), and new 45 releases included “Shake your hips” from Slim Harpo on Stateside and the Pye released freakbeat mega-rarity “Hungry” by the 5am event.

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On the 25th July up in Liverpool, West Germany saw off the USSR 2 – 1 to secure their place in the final of the trophy. The next day England were to join them after beating Portugal at Wembley, also with a 2 – 1 victory. The final two teams were now ready for their showpiece showdown four days later. Meanwhile, in the new chart we saw the appearance of two all time greats from across the atlantic when the The Mamas and Papas “I saw her again” and The Beach Boys double sider “God only knows/Wouldn’t it be nice” both crashed into the UK top fifty, both soon to sail into the top ten. This weeks top three was another jaw dropping corker, with The Troggs at 3, Los Bravos Spanish groover “Black is black” at two, and top of the pile, in its iconic Immediate company sleeve, sat Chris Farlowe’s “Out of time”. On the 30th July 1966, below the twin towers of Wembley Stadium, the host nation England played a thrilling final against West Germany, eventually coming out 4 – 2 winners after extra time and a still hotly disputed third England goal. At that moment in time when the trophy was held triumphantly aloft anything seemed possible in the country that “swinged” but fifty years later we’re still waiting for that elusive second trophy… but lets hope you enjoyed our trip through that magical month of July 1966.


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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June 21, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:,
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UK Tamla Motown singles Part 2: Stateside

“In my lonely room – UK Tamla Motown singles Part 2: Stateside”

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After beginning to make bigger leaps into the UK record buying markets in 1963, the Tamla / Motown / Gordy group found themselves under the umbrella of the EMI subsidiary label, Stateside in October of the same year. Stateside was formed in mid 1962 by EMI to release singles under licence from American labels such as Swan, Wand and Vee-Jay in a similar style to Decca records very successful London American imprint. Licensing tracks from many independent USA labels ensured Stateside released a whole slew of great current rhythm’n’blues and soul releases, and the label soon endeared itself to mods and soul fans on this side of the Atlantic. As well as having hits with Freddy Cannon and Gene Pitney, early releases included such stellar names as The Isley Brothers, Jimmy Reed, Chuck Jackson and The Shirelles. When Oriole’s UK contract with Motown ran out the previous month the new distributor launched its first release on Stateside on 11th October 1963 with Martha and the Vandellas all time classic “Heatwave” (SS228). When sales were quite brisk, the label then released three more singles the following month by Little Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells and Marvin Gaye’s fantastic “Can I get a witness” (SS243).

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By January 1964 Motown was causing quite a stir on these shores, being regularly name checked by the UK’s biggest pop combo, The Beatles, who took Mary Wells on tour with them and mentioning Motown artists numerous times in interviews. Add to this the burgeoning underground mod and soul club scene which was hungry for the dance floor friendly sounds coming out of Detroit and it wouldn’t be long before Stateside had a bona-fide hit single on their hands. Between January and April 1964, no less than twelve 45’s were released in the UK, including tracks by The Miracles, The Marvelettes and debut UK releases from The Temptations, “The way you do the things you do” (SS278), and the group that would soon hit the top spot, The Supremes “When the lovelight starts shining thru his eyes (SS257). On May 8th 1964 Stateside released a hook laden single written by Smokey Robinson, and it was sung by Motown’s number one lady of the time, Mary Wells, “My Guy” (SS288). Two weeks later, on the 21st May 1964, “My guy” entered the UK charts at number 37, finally hitting the heady heights of number 5 the following month. Berry Gordy’s company had now scored their first of many big hit singles in Britain.

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Between May ’64 and March 1965 Stateside issued a further 30 singles, including debuts from The Velvelettes, Earl Van Dyke, Four Tops and Kim Weston. Most of these were steady sellers, with titles by Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, Mary Wells and The Temptations all scoring top fifty placings. On 28th August, and eight months after their initial flop, The Supremes “Where did our love go” (SS327) was released to an impressed public, who bought the single in droves, sending it number three in the chart. Less than two months later, and capitalising on the nation’s newfound love with the sounds from Motor City, “Baby love” (SS350) was released and hit the top spot soon after, with the group actually having two songs in the top ten at the same time for one week in October! Unfortunately not all releases were massive hits and some are now hard to find. These always sell for good prices when they appear on the market, especially in mint condition. Martha & The Vandellas “In my lonely room” (SS305), Brenda Holloway “Every little bit hurts” (SS307), The Tempations “Why you wanna make me blue” (SS348), Earl Van Dyke “Soul stomp” (SS357), Kim Weston “A little more love” (SS359), Four Tops “Without the one you love” (SS371), Carolyn Crawford “When someone’s good to you” (SS384) and Tony Martin “Talkin’ to your picture” (SS394) are probably the hardest to find, especially the last two. Also coming with a ridiculous price tag, all the Stateside EMI singles were sent to pluggers and radio DJ’s as red and white label demonstration discs and all are extremely collectable, and valuable too!

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EMI was also loved to release EP’s and hundreds of them were released across their labels from the early ’50’s to the late ’60’s. After no EP releases on Fontana or Oriole, Stateside bit the bullet and released no less than five of them in the time they were licensing material. Little Stevie Wonder was afforded the only single artist EP, “I call it pretty music but old people call it the blues” (SE1014) which is ridiculously hard to find. There were also four editions of a cracking new EP series, concentrating on material otherwise unavailable in the UK on 45, “R & B Chartmakers”. The series featured some great tracks, including two stellar previously USA only releases from Eddie Holland, “Just ain’t enough love” and “Leaving here”, all came in amazing picture sleeves too. Although steady sellers they’re hard to find in great condition nowadays, expect to pay between £50-£100 for each of them. By March 1965 the label was as big, if not bigger than Atlantic over here in the UK so it came as no surprise that, with a little help from super fan Dave Godin, Berry Gordy signed an exclusive deal with EMI to set up a brand new record company in Britain, Tamla Motown records. On 19th March 1965, clad in an iconic orange and white company sleeve, record stores took release of a new disc, TMG 501, “Stop! in the name of love” by The Supremes and the rest, as they say, is history.


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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May 4, 2016 By : Category : Articles Club Soul Front Page Music Picks Reviews UK USA Tags:, , , ,
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Rob’s Roundup 3

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Welcome to part 3 of my new blog where I can chat to you about what’s going on in the NUTsWORLD. Thanks to everyone who made it along to the recent Crossfire and the 18th anniversary party events.

Our new shop is online, we offer you 20% discount on orders before 10 December, just sign up to the NUTs network here. A coupon with promo code number on will be sent out by e-mail once you signed up to apply the 20% discount.

The latest NUTSMAG has a dozen articles from our authors including a look back at the last 25 years of the Mousetrap allnighter ahead of the anniversary in February. Tune into the NUTSCAST which looks back at some of the ace live shows we recorded during 2015 including Le Beat Bespoke 10 performers, and some of the latest record releases reviewed in the NUTSMAG.

We are looking for people with a passion for writing to join the team please drop me a line if you would like to get involved. If you have a passion for films please get in touch we are looking to start a new series recommending some cool flicks to our readers.

Nutty NYE Allnighter/Weekender

Come and celebrate the New Year in style at our Nutty New Year Ball with 3 rooms of magical music. I am delighted to announce the wildest and most exciting band on the scene right now LES GRYS GRYS will see in the new year with us for their only London date, maximum fun and R&B guaranteed. A killer DJ line-up across three rooms with Northern Soul in the ballroom, authentic Mod club sounds in room 2 and sounds from the underground in room 3. Doors open at 9pm and we party right through till 6am. Tickets are £16 in advance or £22 on the door and available from www.newuntouchables.com. For those who are planning to travel or Londoner’s who want to continue partying on new year’s day the Zoo Zoo club night at Blues Kitchen is on with two great live bands and DJ’s.

Le Beat Bespoke 11 – Easter 2016

Le Beat Bespoke 11 lands in swinging London over the Easter bank holiday weekend. Expect Killer live bands & DJ’s, riverboat party, 3 dance floors, guest club nights, light show, dancers & more that will send you spinning into orbit. You can also visit the spectacular new London landmark the FUTURO. A limited amount of early bird tickets are available here – but be quick. For accommodation, travel & program announcements go www.newuntouchables.com

Moustrap 25th Anniversay Allnighter

Mousetrap allnighter silver jubilee is on Sat 20 Feb (Psych) and Sat 5 March (R&B). This will sell out – so advance tickets are advisable and available here. All customers get a FREE 45 on the door. Check out my article in the NUTSMAG on the history of the Mousetrap including some videos of the club taken in the nineties and naughties.

Brixton Got Soul

Finally a club night down the road from me in South London will make a refreshing change after decades of travelling north of the river for a night out listening and dancing to the music I love. Brixton Got Soul launches at Blues Kitchen on Friday 8 Jan. E-mail me at drrobert@btinternet.com for guestlist. The ground floor is the dining area and upstairs the club with a great sound system and stage that is perfect for our live ‘soul revues’. I booked the dynamic GIZELLE SMITH for the launch party live at 10pm followed the house band The Atlantic Soul Orch. Me and a guest DJ will play between and after the bands through till 2.30 am. A wide selection of alcoholic beverages and Soul food is available to book a table go here.

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team  

Nutstore

Some great reviews and airplay recently, grab a copy on vinyl or CD while stock lasts. The other new release this year was the Mousetrap 24th anniversary 45 both available in the NUTSTORE along with Mousetrap 45’s, Le Beat Bespoke and Modstock Vinyl & CDs, The Action DVD and I’m One-21st Century Mod’s Book, Pins and T-Shirts, via the Nutstore!

RnB Records

I just added a lot of new 45’s to the website and offer 10% discount on any order over £50. Rare 45s and LPs! Clubs Sounds (RnB, Soul Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo, Blues and Funk) Freakbeat/ Garage/ Psych/ Rock/ Blue Eyed Soul, Northern Soul/ Mod Revival & Punk. Go to: RnB Records here!

Network

Why Join NUTs Network?
Get the latest NUTs news as priority, including premiere events like Le Beat Bespoké and Brighton. Network members get first opportunity to purchase tickets and receive discounts on merchandise and a chance to enter network competitions and win great prizes. It’s FREE to join and takes five minutes to create your profile. The NUTS Network is a cool, fresh place to keep in touch and meet new faces or chat with old friends! You can share pictures, videos, music, customise your own page and join the many clubs and forums to chatter away or promote your interests! Join the Network now!

Advertise with A push!

New Ad Package Deals For 2016 – Including full Event Sponsorship are available now! Contact: Rob Bailey@newuntouchables.com

Or you may need your own bespoke one-stop service (design, web, magazines, marketing, e-newletters) then please contact Pip! Pip! 

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables is a London, UK-based organisation promoting 21st century modernist & sixties underground music culture, through various methods including; nightlife, events, media, film, fashion, scootering, record collecting, with both UK and International Events!

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team

Feedback here please folks! 

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admin

Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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November 27, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General News Picks Scene Tags:, ,
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The Beatles Fan Club Christmas Discs

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Collectors Corner

NUTS Christmas Special

It goes without saying that the new Beatles #1’s DVD will be top of a lot of Fab Four fans Christmas present lists this year. Stuffed full of remastered videos and TV performances from 1962 to 1970, it’s a fans visual wet dream come true. But way back in their heyday the group had a yearly present for members of their fan club which were firstly visually stunning with fold out sleeves and inserts, and secondly chock full of exclusive messages, skits and music which to this day have mostly never been given an official release. Seven singles and one LP were sent out in total and today we’re going to have a little look through the contents of each one.

Christmas 1963

A mere year after the band hit the UK charts in 1962 The Beatles were by far the hottest band in Britain and Europe which soon led to their own monthly magazine and a fan club was soon started too. In October 1963 it was decided to send out a special flexi disc to members of the club in time for the freezing cold December of 1963. Recorded on 17th October, and scripted by well-known music scribe Tony Barrow, the disc featured skits and renditions of “Good King Wenceslas” and, erm, “Rudolph the red-nosed Ringo”! Delivered on 6th December “The Beatles Christmas record” was issued in a lovely yellow card stapled gatefold sleeve which was extremely fragile and is prone to falling apart. It’s the hardest disc to find, especially in good condition with its original brown envelope. This beautiful artefact is valued at over £100, up to £200 in pristine condition
with the envelope.

Christmas 1966

By 1964 Beatlemania had swept the globe and on 26th October the boys were back at Abbey Road recording the second flexidisc, imaginatively titled “Another Beatles Christmas record”. This one was delivered on 18th December and featured more skits, messages to fans and versions of “Jingle bells” and “Oh can you wash your fathers shirt?” in its grooves. This, like the rest that followed, was issued in a standard unlaminated card sleeve with a 7″ paper insert. 1965 saw the recording of the third flexi, the even more boringly titled “The Beatles third Christmas Record” featured such delights as an off-key “Yesterday”, “Happy Christmas to Ya List’nas” and “Auld lang syne” and a snippet of the Four Tops recent hit “It’s the same old song”. This was posted out on 17th December just in time for Christmas day! By the time the 1966 flexi disc was recorded in October the band were in the middle of recording the best ever single to reach #2, “Strawberry fields forever” and unsurprisingly the skits found in the previous years were replaced with a collection of small surreal songs around the idea of pantomine. The first to be produced by George Martin, “Pantomine, everywhere it’s Christmas” was posted out on 16th December, this also came with a newsletter insert. These three discs are the easiest to find as they were released at the height of Beatlemania, discs with inserts usually fetch between £60-100 depending on condition, but a premium is again added if they are still in the original tan envelopes.

Christmas 1967

By 1967 The Beatles had embraced psychedelia and also released the years’ defining rock album “Sgt Pepper’s lonely hearts club band” but still found time to pop into EMI on the 25th November to record their latest gift to their fans, “Christmas time is here again!”. Despatched on 15th December and again produced by George Martin this was a fantastic collage of fake BBC radio auditions with the original track “Christmas time is here again” appearing at various points of the record. This track was the only piece to ever receive a proper release when it appeared on the B side of “Free as a bird” in the mid ”90’s. It came clad in a marvellous Pepper-esque collage sleeve and insert. By the time winter 1968 came around the band were now Apple artists and slowly beginning to fall apart. Tellingly this single featured snippets recorded separately by band members and put together by radio DJ and good friend Kenny Everett. At nearly eight minutes long, “The Beatles 1968 Christmas record” was posted out on 20th December, but rather than coming with a fan club insert this one had a Superpix advert peddling some rather fetching posters of the band. The last flexi disc “Happy Christmas 1969” was posted on 19th December 1969 when the band were no longer together and the same as the previous year it was made up of seperately recorded snippets, with George hardly featuring at all. A two-sided affair, the flexi came complete with a two page letter from fan club secretary Freda Kelly. The sleeve was a beautiful full colour affair designed by Ringo and his son Zac. These discs are slightly harder to find than the 1964-66 discs and usually sell between £70-150 especially with the inserts which always seem to be missing!

Christmas 1968

By December 1970 all members had released hit solo singles and albums and The Beatles themselves had ceased to exist as a recording unit. But as one last present to their fans the club decided to collect all the previous recordings and press them up on a full length Apple 12″ LP. It doesn’t seem there were many members left by December 1970 as the album is ridiculously hard to find and easily fetches £250+ if you can find one. One warning though, it has been heavily bootlegged over the years and in good quality too. Collecting the full set can be a hard task but is a great way of capturing a different side to that fantastic band… happy hunting, and a happy-er Christmas and a “Merry Grew Year” to you all!


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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December 1, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, ,
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Rob’s Roundup 2

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Welcome to Rob’s Round-Up!

Welcome to part 2 of my new blog where I can chat to you about what’s going on in the NUTsWORLD. Thanks to everyone who made it to Euro YeYe or Brighton this summer. Fear not we have plenty to look forward to this autumn and winter.

The new issue of NUTSMAG with a dozen new articles from our writing team includes Interviews with Cat Black, Roger Banks, Lady Kamikaze, Val Palmer, DJ Cello,  Howard Baker author of ‘Sawdust Caesar’ and Catherine Croft from the Twentieth Century society. Other articles include our series on men and women’s fashion and music with Jazz for Modernists and the Collectors Corner as well as the latest music reviews and book reviews. We are looking for people with a passion for writing to join the team please drop me a line if you would like to get involved. If you have a passion for films please get in touch we are looking to start a new series recommending flicks to our readers.

Out now for your listening pleasure is the new NUTSCAST with tracks from artists and DJ’s performing at Crossfire and our 18th anniversary party as well as the best of the latest record releases.

Join the NU network for FREE here for the very latest news and special offers.

CROSSFIRE – Sat 10 October 2015

Not long now until the London’ scene’s big night out at 229 in the heart of the Capitol. We have three rooms of action with an all night bar and stellar DJ line-up to keep you grooving. Live music from FOGBOUND, CAT BLACK and THE BEATNIKS in the Beat Room. Doors open 10pm and the first band is on 10.30pm Full info here.

New Untouchables 18th Anniversary Party – Sat 21 November

Old enough now for the legal highs of alcohol, so we will celebrate the coming of age at our fab west end venue with great cocktails and craft beers on tap. The Phoenix is a fab basement venue with big dance floor and ace sound system, add to that the best music ever committed to vinyl and you got an explosive night to look forward too. I’m also delighted to have the full DJ team available for this one plus special guest band and DJ. Full info here!

NUTTY NYE Allnighter/Weekender

Come and celebrate the New Year in style at our Nutty New Year Ball with 3 rooms of magical music. I am delighted to announce the wildest and most exciting band on the scene right now LES GRYS GRYS will see in the new year with us for their only London date, maximum fun and R&B guaranteed. A killer DJ line-up across three rooms with Northern Soul in the ballroom, authentic Mod club sounds in room 2 and sounds from the underground in room 3. Doors open at 9pm and we party right through till 6am. Tickets are £16 in advance or £22 on the door and available from www.newuntouchables.com For those who are planning to travel or Londoner’s who want to continue partying on new year’s day a gig and club night at Blues Kitchen is being planned as well as a Saturday night club night. We will make some more announcements via our network very soon.

NEW UNTOUCHABLES CLUB & GIG SCENE

We have a lot of great gigs coming up at the Blues Kitchen in Camden, Shoreditch and BRIXTON which will be opening in October. For the launch of the new venue we’re inviting locals in for dinner & drinks before we officially open to the rest of London. If you live in South London and fancy joining us between Thursday 1st & Thursday 15th October, we’ll be offering 50% off your total bill send an email over to katie@thecolumbogroup.com let her know your table size and we’ll do our best to accommodate you. Join our network for news on bands and DJ’s performing at NUTsMAG, ZOO ZOO, SHOREDITCH GOT SOUL and TIMEBOX.

Nutstore

Some great reviews and airplay recently, grab a copy on vinyl or CD while stock lasts. The other new release this year was the Mousetrap 24th anniversary 45 both available in the NUTSTORE along with Mousetrap 45’s, Le Beat Bespoke and Modstock Vinyl & CDs, The Action DVD and I’m One-21st Century Mod’s Book, Pins and T-Shirts, via the Nutstore!

RnB Records

I just added a lot of new 45’s to the website and offer 10% discount on any order over £50. Rare 45s and LPs! Clubs Sounds (RnB, Soul Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo, Blues and Funk) Freakbeat/ Garage/ Psych/ Rock/ Blue Eyed Soul, Northern Soul/ Mod Revival & Punk. Go to: RnB Records here!

Network

Why Join NUTs Network?
Get the latest NUTs news as priority, including premiere events like Le Beat Bespoké and Brighton. Network members get first opportunity to purchase tickets and receive discounts on merchandise and a chance to enter network competitions and win great prizes. It’s FREE to join and takes five minutes to create your profile. The NUTS Network is a cool, fresh place to keep in touch and meet new faces or chat with old friends! You can share pictures, videos, music, customise your own page and join the many clubs and forums to chatter away or promote your interests! Join the Network now!

Advertise with A push!

New Ad Package Deals For 2015/16 – Including full Event Sponsorship are available now! Contact: Rob Bailey@newuntouchables.com

Or you may need your own bespoke one-stop service (design, web, magazines, marketing, e-newletters) then please contact Pip! Pip! 

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables is a London, UK-based organisation promoting 21st century modernist & sixties underground music culture, through various methods including; nightlife, events, media, film, fashion, scootering, record collecting, with both UK and International Events!

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team

Feedback here please folks! 

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Subject

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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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September 23, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General Picks Scene Tags:, ,
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Collectors Corner – ‘Run mascara – The girl group sound!’

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Collectors Corner

Of all the genres, fads and phases pop music ran through in the 1960’s one of the most collectable and enduring has to be the explosion of girls behind the microphone, either solo or in a group. Although a lot of the classics were written to order for them, the music produced was simultaneously heartbreaking, uplifting and always way under three minutes long. In the USA throughout the 60’s, little 7″ nuggets of perfect pop were churned out on a weekly basis, and most artists ended up with one, or maybe two flop singles. But occasionally they’d hit big and usually they’d soon secure a record release in Britain shortly afterwards. In a future article we’ll concentrate on the British girls, who made some stellar tracks themselves, but in this article I’m going to look at four of the biggest acts from that decade, who although may have hit big in the USA, usually had one or two British hits as well as leaving some beautiful, and rare, releases for UK collectors to hunt out too.

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The Shirelles were formed in high school in 1957 and were promptly signed by local label Tiara Records who released their debut release “I met him on a Sunday”. The track soon came to the attention of Decca in the States who bought out the group’s contract and leased the track to Brunswick in Britain (05746, both on 45 and also their only UK 78rpm!) . Even though it was a catchy track, the single sank without trace over here and is easily the hardest UK release to find, especially in mint condition (£80-100). After a lack of follow-up hits in the USA they were released from their Decca contract and were signed by the new Scepter label which released all the classic singles The Shirelles would put out in the decade. After three flop US singles, they hit the Billboard charts in 1960 with “Tonight’s the night”, written by seasoned smash hit writer Luther Dixon. Shortly after the track became the solitary release by the group in Britain on London American recordings but alas, it missed the chart over here (HL9233 – £20). Then came the 45 that changed everything…”Will you love me tomorrow”. Written by stellar songsmiths Goffin and King, this all time classic sailed to the top of US charts, and soon followed suit up the UK charts where it hit number four in the spring of 1961 when it was released on Top Rank (JAR 540). Although easy to find and not valuable (£4-5) the record is coveted both for the wonderful A side, and it’s great r’n’b flip, “Boys”. The Beatles, and Lennon in particular were great fans and namechecked the girls on numerous occasions, and also covered the track on their debut album in 1963. Top Rank followed the hit with five more 45 releases, the pick being “Mama said” (JAR 567) and “Baby it’s you” (JAR601 – also covered by the fab four). Top Rank also released a very rare EP “The Shirelles sound” (JKP 3012 – £80) and a disappointing but hard to find LP “Trumpet and Strings” (35-115 – £100). A move to HMV secured their second, though much smaller hit in the UK, “Soldier Boy” (POP 1019) which reached number 23 in late 1962. This was the only release on the label as they were then placed on the legendary Stateside imprint, releasing a further six 45’s and two beautiful and rare LP’s, “Baby it’s you” and “The Shirelles hits”, the former commanding an £80 price tag nowadays. In late ’63 Pye International took over the releases in Britain, putting out seven great 45’s. But the hits had dried up by now and after a couple of late sixties releases on Mercury and Bell (as Shirley and the Shirelles) the band were no more. Apart from the first single, the EP’s and albums all the singles are quite affordable and a complete run is a sight (and sound) to behold indeed.

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For collectors of the genre, Phil Spector needs no introduction. Although also now notorious for other things, in his time he was by far the most original and forward thinking record producer in the world. Two of the groups that helped mould that legend were The Crystals and The Ronettes and Britain took both groups to their hearts with some big sellers over here for both bands. A resume of their respective careers would take up a small novel, as many tracks featured some or none of the names on the labels so we’ll concentrate on some of the big hits and amazing rarities both artists released over here.

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The Ronettes had British hit singles with Spector favourites “Be my baby”, “Baby I love you”, and “Do I love you” on London American recordings but the label also released some great rarities for them too. Both 1965 flop 45’s “Born to be together” (HLU 9952) and soul favourite “You baby” (HLU 9976) both command £20-30 price tags, and the withdrawn 1966 release “I can hear music” (HLU 10087) has hit the £100 mark in the past. The group also had two LP releases, “Presenting the fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica” (London HA-U 8212) and “The Ronettes” (Colpix PXL 486), which are both hard to find and come in striking covers adding to their appeal, expect to pay up to £100 for either of these beauties. The Crystals also hit the UK charts, scoring massive hits on London American records with “He’s a rebel”, “Da doo ron ron” and “Then he kissed me”. Their debut release” There’s no other (like my baby)”, although a Philles track, was released over here on Parlophone (R 4867) way back in early 1962 and is very hard to find, especially in mint condition with it’s sleeve and centre intact (£80-100). 1964 withdrawn London American release “Little boy” with “Uptown” on the flip is a £100+ rarity, the replacement release “I wonder” / “Little boy” is easier to find but still sells for £30+ as does their final original UK release “My place” (United Artists UP 1110). The group was also afforded an EP release “Da doo ron ron” (London REU 1381 – £50+) and a super rare LP “He’s a rebel” (London HAU 8120 – £100+) which came in a cracking “leather jacket wearing, motorcycle bad boy” cartoon sleeve.

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Perhaps the coolest band of them all was the Shangri-Las, who had everything: The heartache, the songs, and just as importantly, the coolest look imaginable. A four piece comprised of two sisters from New York, the group had a couple of one shot US releases on Smash and Spokane before they were signed by Red Bird records in April 1964 whilst all still minors. Placed under the considerable production skills of “Shadow” Morton, the first release was the eerie “Remember (walkin’ in the sand)” which promptly shot into the US top ten. Pye in the UK had a distribution deal with the company and the track was soon released over here where it hit the number 14 spot (RB 10008). The follow-up “Leader of the pack” is probably the best of it’s genre, of both the girl group sound and the death disc craze, and soon hit number one in the USA and number 11 over here, though it also hit the UK top ten twice in the 1970’s too. An EP, “The Shangri-Las”, was swiftly released but sales were poor, probably due to the dull picture sleeve which ridiculously didn’t feature a photo of this most photogenic group (RB 40002 – £40+). This was followed by an album, “Leader of the pack” (RB 20 101 – £60+), which although this time in a wonderful colour sleeve, also sold poorly. Not ones to give up, Pye / Red Bird released a further eight UK singles between 1965-66 and not one troubled the charts. Amongst these were all time classics “Give him a great big kiss”, “Out in the streets”, “I can never go home anymore” and “He cried”, and all eight are quite difficult to locate in pristine condition without any writing on the labels and with their hard to find “Red bird” company sleeves. There is rumour of a second UK EP, “I can never go home anymore”, but it’s never been seen so can only be assumed to be unreleased unless a test pressing ever appears. A further three UK flop singles on Philips and Mercury in 1967 and our Shangri -Las story comes to an end. But all their records are worth tracking down, it gives great listening pleasure! Although these four stellar artists are the building blocks for a great collection, soon we’ll hunt down some of the more obscure girl group rarities released over here for a future article, from the Brits, the Americans, and all over the world too!


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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September 23, 2015 By : Category : Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Record Reviews – Sept 2015

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Record Reviews 2

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Stone Foundation

A Life Unlimited – LP

This was another one that arrived a few days after the deadline for the last edition of NutsMag Reviews, so it feels a bit like ‘closing the gate after the horse has bolted’, but what a ‘horse’! Pure thoroughbred from start to finish.

‘A Life Unlimited’ sees a progression from the previous outing ‘To Find The Spirit’. Indeed, the opening track on the new album is really the only reference point to the former.

‘Beverley’ is also the title song to a Cass Pennant short film and it conveys that lilting relaxed blue-eyed soul feel that Stone Foundation produce with consummate ease.

The main departure from their previous work is the influence of soul and jazz funk on this LP. I’m thinking of artists like Donald Byrd for example.
However, ‘Pushing Your Love’ is a sumptuous ballad, ‘These Life Stories’ exemplifies the jazz funk groove while ‘Leaning The Hard Way’ is a more upbeat soul.

Add the guest appearances by Graham Parker, Nolan Porter and Dr Robert (Blow Monkeys) to name a few and once again Stone Foundation have produced another great album. Since it’s release, ‘A Life Unlimited’ has reached the official national album chart with no major label backing. Now that is something worth celebrating because it proves there is hope after all and one wonders just how much longer the mainstream media (including radio) will ignore this band. Not much longer I’ll wager.

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Lois

The Polperro Horse Bus Company –  Album

If you can count Mark Radcliffe of BBC Radio 6 Music among your supporters, then you can’t be all bad. This four-piece from Nottingham have a knack of blending their various influences into a coherent and very appealing collection of songs on this album.

Radcliffe’s assertion that Lois sound both ‘retro and absolutely contemporary’ is spot on. The melting pot of Lois seems to range from the Kinks and the Zombies to Manic Street Preachers and Suede (at least, that’s what I’m getting).

Whether it’s the gently rocking along of ‘Jeanie (Ooh La La)’ or the up tempo ‘Monkey Girl’, the songs tend to grab you after just one listen.

For my money, ‘My Precious Love’ and ‘Star Is Falling’ are the outstanding tracks from this LP, and that is saying something when you have 16 gems to choose from. There is depth, a well-thought-out running order and texture to this collection and I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of Lois in the near future.

loistheband.com
facebook.com/loistheband
twitter.com/loistheband

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The Past Tense

Heads Held High – Album

This album has been available for a few months, but it was kindly handed to me by the band shortly after the last edition of NUTsMAG, hence the delay in reviewing it.

For those unaware, Past Tense has been around for a few years, although the members of the band have worked together under various names since school days. Andy, Ken, Warren and Buzz believe this is their best work to date, and it is hard to disagree. Their influences are un-ashamedly Mod Revival, Punk, Garage and 60s Beat bands and this album encompasses all of them to a greater or lesser extent.

For me, the stand-out tracks are the ones that show Past Tense are not a one-trick-pony and have so much more in the locker.
‘Vision (From Another World)’ is a prime example with the inclusion of a Hammond organ growling away in the mix to give the song a different dimension.

‘Crying’ has a huge dose of Ray Davis about it with guest Paul R Osborn taking vocal duties on a song that is really catchy and thoroughly enjoyable.
‘No Apologies’ sees Past Tense dabble with a Northern Soul vibe that fairly rattles along. ‘Another Putney Sunrise’ is a pleasant surprise because it is unexpected and shows a real touch of finesse when it could so easily have been overcooked.

The closing track; ‘What’s Coming Next?’ has a touch of The Strokes about it and has another infectious chorus.
So, yes, I would agree, this is the best album by Past Tense to date. I’ve a funny feeling the next one might be even better.

thepasttense.fourfour.com
www.facebook.com/thepasttense

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Jennie And The Slingers

Tales Of The Unexpected – Album

Hands up all those who remember the Bellestars in the Eighties? How about the Polecats or Madness? Well, Jennie And The Slingers is made up of former members of those bands (although Lee Thompson makes a guest appearance). Apparently, this album was two years in the making, but it was well worth the wait.

It’s a combination of Rockabilly, Ska and R&B influences and with such seasoned professionals in the mix, it is a superb album. There are cleverly constructed lyrics (some done with humour sadly lacking in the last lot of decades) and some astute observations on society. It’s the kind of album we used to get on a regular basis 30 plus years ago and it made for an interesting mainstream music industry (which it certainly is not these days.)

The album gets off to a flyer with ‘Last Gang In Camden Town’, a solid rockabilly infused, catchy number. ‘Better Guy’ and ‘Gamblin Man’ provide the aforementioned humour and social commentary. In short, there is not a duff track to be found. The closer, ‘King Kong’ reminds me of that strange hybrid of rockabilly meets ska that Madness could deliver now and again.

I have to say though, Jennie Matthias (Bellestars) has never sounded better. There’s a quality to her voice and delivery that is an ideal match for the music. Take a listen to the ballad ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ (not the Billie Holliday tune I might add) and you will see what I mean. Jennie oozes class in a manner similar to the great ‘torch’ singers like Julie London.

If you like something a bit different, (and I do with bands like Rhythm Shakers, Dustaphonics, Gizzelle etc) this is definitely and album for you.

facebook.com/pages/Jennie…Slingers
diablorecordsuk.bandcamp.com/jennie-the-slingers


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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September 22, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
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Rob’s Roundup

This entry is part of 4 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Welcome to Rob’s Round-Up!

I hope you are enjoying the sunshine and welcome to my new blog where I can chat to you about what’s going on in the NUTsWORLD. Our summer events are coming thick and fast now, below I talk about some of the highlights to look out for and click on the links for the full programs.

The new issue of NUTSMAG with over a dozen great articles from our writing team includes Interviews with Betty Harris, Powder and The Excitements plus a number of scene DJ’s.

Out now for your listening pleasure is the new NUTSCAST with tracks from artists and DJ’s performing at Brighton and Euro YeYe and some of the latest record releases from current artists.

We got some great gigs and club nights coming up in the Capitol over the summer.

Join the NU network for FREE here for the very latest news and special offers.

Euro YeYe – 31 July – 2 August 2015

After the Oasis closed to become a McDonalds drive through (sacrilege), we have two amazing new venues in the City Centre for our favourite event of the year. If you have never been you still have a few weeks to join us for a wild weekend in Spain, you won’t regret it! For full info: Click Here! & Promo video here!

Brighton Mod Weekender – 28-30 August 2015

We have just 20 tickets left for Sunday and 50 for the Friday night at the Komedia now. Tickets for Venue 2 and 3 on Saturday night are selling fast and will get you into the Komedia allnighter after 3am. The full program including DJ’s and bands +  ticket info is here:
This video will give you a good idea of what to expect in Brighton.

Brighton ‘fuzz-for-freaks’ Weekender – 29 + 30 August 2015

After the success of last year we have planned another weekender for those of the Paisley persuasion featuring an exciting line-up of the best new up and coming live bands. On Sunday Les Grys Grys and Saturday the Magnetic Mind and The Carnations. Our disc jockeys will be playing the wildest Freakbeat, Garage and Psych 45’s in our intimate groovy cellar club just off Brighton seafront, think Mousetrap by the seaside and you got the picture. Check out our short promo video here! Program & tickets are here!

Crossfire Sat 10 October 2015

Get ready for another big night out of pure vintage underground partying. Our 1000 capacity venue in the heart of central London has three rooms of action with an all night bar. A stellar DJ line-up plus FOGBOUND, CAT BLACK and THE BEATNIKS live in the Beat Room.
Full info here!

Small Faces Convention – Sat 12 September 2015

The 19th annual Small Faces Convention takes place at 229, Central London. Small World, The Universal, The 45’s and The Electric Stars confirmed + special guests, memorabilia market and a Ronnie Lane Exhibition. Tickets are £22 from HERE! (No Booking Fee!)

New Untouchables Club & Gig Scene

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We have a lot of great gigs coming up at the Blues Kitchen, Camden in July. This Thursday NUTSMAG review continues with Cat Black, French Boutik and The Mocking Birds live for FREE. On 23 July we are delighted to announce a NUTsMAG special with the first ever performance from America’s answer to the Who, POWDER. Arrive early it’s FREE to get in and will be a busy one, you can read Graham Lentz fab interview with Richard Martin HERE. Friday 24 July is ZOO ZOO with one of my favourite bands from the early naughties the Phrogs for what will be a double-header with the evergreen Big Boss Man, arrive early folks. I’ll be spinning some discs along with a special guest until 3am.

Sat 18 July more MAXIMUM R&B this time at The Phoenix in Oxford Circus, expect Freakbeat, Pop-Art, R&B and boss Garage 45’s in our fab basement venue with a great selection of cocktails and craft beers and a huge wooden dancefloor with brilliant sound system.

August is quiet on the club front except two shows at the Blues Kitchen on the Friday 28 August. Gemma & the Travellers play Shoreditch Got Soul and Les Grys Grys play two sets at Zoo Zoo, Blues Kitchen Camden.

Mousetrap returns September with two stellar DJ line-ups. R&B allnighter returns on 12 September with guest DJ’s Cousin Benson (A Band A Parte), Jamie Parr (Teen Scene) and Lewis Mumford (Dandy Bloom) joining me and Chris Dale. The following Saturday Fabrice De Feo of UBU Popland records in Paris, Rhys Webb of Horrors fame and Carolina join me for ‘Fuzz For Freaks’ sessions.

The line-up’s for NUTsMAG, ZOO ZOO and TIMEBOX in September is yet to be confirmed.

Nutsmag

The new issue of NUTSMAG is out and includes Interviews with Betty Harris, Powder and The Excitements and DJ’s Mary Boogaloo, Gary Wall, Simon Bridger, Craig ‘Swifty’ Simpson, Paul Molloy and Scott Fraser Simpson. Other articles include part 2 James Thomas excellent new series ‘Jazz for Modernists’. James Clark collectors corner is the UK Atlantic Soul record releases. Enjoy Pete Feeley and Claire Mahoney simply brilliant articles on style and fashion and Graham Lentz reviews the latest record and books worth a punt on.

Some great reviews and airplay recently, grab a copy on vinyl or CD while stock lasts. The other new release this year was the Mousetrap 24th anniversary 45 both available in the NUTSTORE along with Mousetrap 45’s, Le Beat Bespoke and Modstock Vinyl & CDs, The Action DVD and I’m One-21st Century Mod’s Book, Pins and T-Shirts.

Nutstores

Out Now! Modstock LP and Le Beat Bepsoke 6 Vinyl & CD via the Nutstore!

RnB Records

I just added a lot of new 45’s to the website and offer 10% discount on any order over £50. Rare 45s and LPs! Clubs Sounds (RnB, Soul Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo, Blues and Funk) Freakbeat/ Garage/ Psych/ Rock/ Blue Eyed Soul, Northern Soul/ Mod Revival & Punk. Go to: RnB Records here!

Network

Why Join NUTs Network?
Get the latest NUTs news as priority, including premiere events like Le Beat Bespoké and Brighton. Network members get first opportunity to purchase tickets and receive discounts on merchandise and a chance to enter network competitions and win great prizes. It’s FREE to join and takes five minutes to create your profile. The NUTS Network is a cool, fresh place to keep in touch and meet new faces or chat with old friends! You can share pictures, videos, music, customise your own page and join the many clubs and forums to chatter away or promote your interests! Join the Network now!

Advertise with A push!

New Ad Package Deals For 2015/16 – Including full Event Sponsorship are available now! Contact: Rob Bailey@newuntouchables.com

Or you may need your own bespoke one-stop service (design, web, magazines, marketing, e-newletters) then please contact Pip! Pip! 

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables is a London, UK-based organisation promoting 21st century modernist & sixties underground music culture, through various methods including; nightlife, events, media, film, fashion, scootering, record collecting, with both UK and International Events!

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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General News Picks Scene Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Collectors Corner – “The UK Atlantic Records story Pt 1”

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Collectors Corner

July 2015 – Collectors Corner – “The UK Atlantic records story Pt 1 – Soul on fire”

When Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson established Atlantic records way back in 1944 even they surely couldn’t have foreseen how legendary the label would become. Over seventy years later and after millions of worldwide sales they are still one of the most well-known and loved record companies of them all, and the golden period between 1944 and the late 70’s are what get vinyl collectors salivating to this day. When Atlantic first appeared in the USA it was mainly a vehicle for jump blues, jazz and as the 1950’s beckoned, doo-wop and rhythm and blues. At the same time as this fantastic music was exploding in the USA, in dull post-war Britain record companies started to look further afield for new sounds to sell to people at home. And so in 1949 UK Decca set up what was to become probably the most celebrated and collectable British record label of them all, London American recordings. This was to be a home for USA releases on small independent record labels such as Savoy, Dot and Abbott, and in July 1955, Atlantic records joined an ever-increasing and exciting roster until it was given its own label in the summer of 1964. Over the course of three articles we’ll be examining some of the huge rarities the label released on 45 rpm from 1955 up till the late 60’s, starting with the sound of r’n’b and early soul sounds on London American between 1955 and 1964.

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Big Joe Turner from Kansas City, known as the boss of the blues, had a total of six 45’s and two EP’s released in the UK in the 50’s and 60’s, and the most coveted are his London Atlantic releases. “Corinne Corrina” (HLE 8301), “Boogie woogie country girl” (HLE 8332) and “Lipstick powder and paint” (HLE 8357 – Gold label) are among the jewels in any Atlantic collection, copies of these releases are ridiculously hard to find in excellent or mint condition and these little beauties will all cost you anywhere between £200 – £400 in pristine condition. “Honey hush” (HLE 9055) and “Chains of love” (HLK 9119) weren’t released until 1960 but will still set you back between £30-50 though. All five are indispensable examples of 1950’s r’n’b and well worth seeking out. Atlanta born “King of the stroll” Chuck Willis only released a few tracks in his lifetime before his untimely death aged 30 in 1958. His Atlantic sides were well represented in the UK, “CC Rider” (HLE 8444) being the first and hardest release to find, which can cost up to £80 in mint condition. After this London released “That train has gone” (HLE 8489) “Betty and Dupree” (HLE 8595), “What am I living for” (HLE 8635) and “My life” (HLE 8818) none of which were hits and normally sell for between £30-£50 each. Smooth voiced “Baron of the blues” Ivory Joe Hunter had a total of three singles released in 1956-7 and they’re all both incredibly rare and worth seeking out. “A tear fell” (HLE 8261) is the first and hardest to locate (£250+), “Since I met you baby” (Columbia DB 3872) and “Love’s a hurting game” (HLE 8486) are a bit easier to find but still cost way more than £100 each.

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Chicago blues queen LaVern Baker had one of the most sensational voices ever and was afforded plenty of 45rpm releases in the UK, but amazingly none were hits at the time. Hence her catalogue is littered with choice rarities, especially her earliest releases some of which are so rare plenty of collectors have never seen them! “That lucky old sun” (HL 8199) and “”Get up! Get up!” (HLE 8260) are the hardest to locate and mint copies could cost up to £500 each. “Jim Dandy” (strangely issued on Columbia DB 3879), “Still” (HLE 8396) and “Jim Dandy got married” (HLE 8442) may be easier to find but still command £200+ price tags. “Love me right” (HLE 8524), “Substitute” (HLE 8638), “Whipper snapper” (HLE 8627), “I cried a tear” (HLE 8790), “I waited too long” (HLE 8871) were her remaining 1950’s releases and will cost you between £30 – £100 to own in mint condition. Her singles releases continued into the 1960’s with more London releases, “So high so low”, “Bumble bee”, “Tiny Tim”, “You’re the boss”, “Saved”, “See see rider” (£30-£50 each) and the hard to find rocker “Voodoo Voodoo” (HLK 9468- £80) complete the set. Ruth Brown was known as “The Queen of r’n’b” and one listen to her records will tell you why. Like LaVern she had a string of releases on London and none were anything like a hit! “Mama he treats your daughter mean” (HL 8153) and “As long as I’m moving” (HLE 8210) are the hardest by far to find and will cost between £300-£500 if you can actually find a copy. 1957 brought releases “I Want to do more” (HLE 8310), “Lucky lips” (another odd Columbia release on DB3913) and “Mom oh Mom” (HLE 8310) are all easily £200 singles in mint condition. Ruth continued to regularly release 45’s on London until 1962, eight in total, and all are desirable costing between £25 to £50 each.

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Vocal groups were massively popular in the 1950’s and helped pave the way for the great soul vocal groups in the next decade. The first hitmakers were Atlantic stalwarts The Coasters who had a string of hits written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, and, along with Bobby Darin, gave Atlantic their first UK chart hits. They had a total of fifteen UK releases on London Atlantic and most can be picked up quite cheaply, between £5-10 each. Exceptions are the first release “Searchin'” (HLE 8450) and the elusive “The shadow knows” (HLE 8729) which are worth between £20-30 each. The Clovers were much less successful over here and leave behind some of the rarest UK singles of all time. “Nip sip” (HLE 8229), “Love love love” (HLE 8314) and “From the bottom of my heart” (HLE 8334) are all incredibly hard to find, and will set you back between £200-£400 each. Later singles include “One mint julep”, “Easy lovin” and the best version of “Love potion no.9”. These also command good prices, especially the latter with its rare first pressing triangular centre (£30-50). Probably the most well-known Atlantic group to have releases on the London label were The Drifters. Any group that includes two of the best soul voices ever, Ben E King and Clyde McPhatter as their main lead singers at different times was bound to have some stellar releases in the catalogue. Their first UK release “Soldier of fortune” (HLE 8344) is one of the top ten London rarities and has sold for £1000+ in the past. Other notable rarities include the great doo-wopper “Drip drop” (HLE 8686 – £100), and proto-soul outings “There goes my baby” (HLE 8892) and “Dance with me” (HLE 8988 – £10 to £15 each). In 1960 The Drifters hit the number two spot in Britain with “Save the last dance for me” which secured a string of releases on the label for the rest of the decade. “This magic moment”, “Up on the roof”, “On broadway”, “Sweets for my sweet” and “Please stay” are all early 1960’s classic soul group singles and can be picked up quite cheaply, as can all their London singles, apart from “Rat race” (HLK 9750) which seems to be very rare.

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As the sixties came round R‘n’B began to morph into soul music and Atlantic were at the forefront of this. ‘King’ Solomon Burke was at the forefront of the new sounds and had plenty of UK releases, including “Just out of reach” (HLK 9454), “If you need me” (HLK 9715) and the all time classic “Cry to me” (HLK 9512), the last of which can sell for up to £100 in mint condition. Smooth voiced Michigan Barbara Lewis had three UK releases on London, including the classic tracks “Hello Stranger’ (HLK 9724) and “Snap your fingers” (HLK 9832). Around this time Stax recordings from Memphis began to get UK releases under the London Atlantic banner. Long term blues shouter Rufus Thomas had three dog related releases on London, including the classic “Walking the dog” (HLK 9799). The early queen of Memphis soul, and Rufus’s daughter Carla Thomas also had three releases, including the rare debut single “Gee whiz” (HLK 9310). In January 1964 London Atlantic released one of their last, but most important releases of the decade when the utter legend that was Otis Redding unleashed “Pain in my heart” on the British public (HLK 9833 – £30). Although not a hit single, Atlantic and Stax releases were becoming more and more popular with British soul fans, mods and in the discotheques. With this in mind, and a whole year before EMI launched the Tamla Motown label, Decca took the plunge and Atlantic records was born in July 1964 with The Drifters “Under the boardwalk”… and we’ll take a peek into this classic period in part two soon!


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 2 – Ornette Coleman (1930-2015) (Part 1)

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series James Thomas on Jazz

Jazz for Modernists 2 – Ornette Coleman (1930-2015) (Part 1)

(Don Cherry & Ornette Coleman at Five Spot Café, New York, November, 1959)

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On June 11, 2015, the world of jazz (and beyond) lost one of its most revolutionary figures of the past sixty years: Texas-born composer, saxophonist, occasional violinist/trumpeter and all-round visionary Ornette Coleman (1930-2015). Like John Coltrane and pianist Cecil Taylor, his major North American contemporaries in the foundations of what became known slightly problematically as ‘free jazz’, Coleman’s influence was enormous, his legacy both undeniable and at times controversial. This brief article (the first of two) does not attempt to cover his life or major works, though it examines recordings from 1958 to 1965. Readers looking for reliable general appreciations of Coleman can consult other recent obituaries:

Instead, through an overview of his earliest UK releases, coupled with some fascinating nuggets of information about key listeners, I will outline Ornette’s importance for British music during the first half of that decade. In part two, I will examine in more depth his importance for the specific shift in our beloved modernist world towards the experimentations of the counter-culture and underground scenes of the middle and later sixties.

1959. A pivotal year for jazz in Britain. The disbanding of the Tubby Hayes – and Ronnie Scott-led Jazz Couriers; the second UK tour by the Modern Jazz Quartet and the opening of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at 39 Gerrard Street. It also signalled the first official British release of an Ornette Coleman LP: Tomorrow is the Question! (Contemporary/Vogue), described by blogger ‘London Jazz Collector’ as “Perhaps tame by future “free jazz” standards, but adventurous and uncompromising in its time”. This is a fair appraisal of a record which, like its predecessor Something Else! (1958), still provided (minus piano) a fairly conventional bop rhythm section to Coleman’s (and trumpeter Don Cherry’s) non-chordal harmonic and melodic improvisations. By the time his quartet had divided opinion with its residency at New York’s Five Spot (November 1959), Coleman’s first Atlantic LP, The Shape of Jazz to Come had appeared in the States (though its official UK release was not until 1966).

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With Coleman’s quartet now featuring Cherry, Billy Higgins (drums) and dapper bassist Charlie Haden, The Shape of Jazz to Come is considered a major staging post on the journey from bebop to free jazz. Critic Piero Scaruffi writes: “The idea was to make every member of the band a soloist equal to the others and to free the improvisation from musical constraints: basically, each individual was only bound to the mood of the other individuals, not to the technical aspects of the music that they were playing” (http://www.scaruffi.com/history/jazz15a.html). The music, though, was still rooted in the blues and even pre-blues forms (field hollers, laments). This is perhaps not surprising, as Coleman had paid his dues in various rhythm and blues combos in Texas and on the West Coast during the 1950s. For this reason alone (to say nothing of his band’s sartorial elegance c.1960-1962), the quartet’s LPs on Atlantic are required listening for today’s open-minded modernists. Take ‘Lonely Woman’, from Shape, for example, or ‘Ramblin’’ from its follow-up Change of the Century (1960). Both tracks are infused with blues feeling. The first is an impression of a rich white woman wearing “the most solitary expression in the world”. Of the second, Coleman wrote in the sleeve notes: “Ramblin’ is basically a blues, but it has a modern, more independent melodic line than older blues have, of course”. Perhaps music writer Richard Williams summed it up perfectly last week, reminiscing about his first encounter with the 1961 LP This is Our Music. Rightly hailing the “impossibly cool” cover appearance of the quartet (now with drummer Ed Blackwell), he wrote: “Nothing about it, the raw timbre of the horns, the lack of conventional chord sequences bothered me in the slightest. What it had, apart from undoubted modernity, was the “cry” that went back to the origins of the blues”.

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Early receptions of Coleman’s music in the UK jazz press (Melody Maker, Jazz Journal, Jazz Monthly etc) were not always complimentary. Alun Morgan, in Jazz Monthly (June 1959), for example, remarked that he “appears to be handicapped by his own bad fingering in places and frequently produces two simultaneous notes an octave apart (in Claire O’Neal, Ornette Coleman, 2013, p. 22). However, for some young ‘in-the-know’ jazz musicians, this rejection gave him an appealing outsider status. Composer and double-bassist Gavin Bryars remembered “as a kid in Goole hearing the Ornette Coleman Quintet on the radio, 1958 or 1959, and thinking it was fantastic. I also loved it because it was being so much reviled by the jazz press, I thought this must be great” (Ben Watson, Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation, 2004, p. 82). The views of Morgan and Bailey encapsulate the divided opinions Ornette Coleman engendered throughout his career.

One important audience for this new music comprised intellectuals, poets and beatniks associated with Michael Horovitz’ New Departures, a new poetry journal emanating from Oxford. A student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, Horovitz, alongside Liverpool poet Pete Brown and David Sladen, played a key role in introducing readers to beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. In June 1965, he would also be one of the brains behind The International Poetry Incarnation at the Albert Hall, often claimed to be the birthplace of the British ‘Underground’ counter-culture and (less plausibly) ‘Swinging London’. In volume 4 of New Departures (1962), a number devoted to jazz, Coleman’s work was appraised seriously alongside contemporaries Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor. Dolphy, who played UK dates in 1961, had appeared as part of a double quartet on Coleman’s extended improvisation Free Jazz (1961), which was initially only available in Britain on import. However, specialist jazz record shops in major cities were not slow to meet the demand for the new experimental forms of jazz. Furthermore, the case of London-based West-Indian sax player Joe Harriott, whose Free Form (1961) was recorded just before Free Jazz, shows that British modern jazz was undergoing its own revolutionary changes.

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Between 1962 and 1965, despite a self-imposed two-year break from live performance and recording, Coleman was gaining significant attention in Britain on the fringes of beatnik and mod circles. In Cambridge, where the New Departures crowd would stage readings and ‘happenings’, future Pink Floyd members Rick Wright, Syd Barrett and their entourage were fans. In Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (2010), Julian Palacios paints a vivid picture of free-jazz-loving ‘hip undergraduates’ rubbing shoulders with Vespa-riding mods, Barrett seemingly with a foot in each camp. In Canterbury (and later Mallorca), Australian beatnik Daevid Allen shared his love of Ornette with Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge (who in 1966 would become Soft Machine). Wyatt, who in Jonathan Green’s essential Days in the Life: Voices from the English Underground, describes his mod youth in the early sixties, recently paid generous tribute to his hero: “His voice is immediately unique, as if he were the last surviving speaker of an ancient language”.

By the time of his first UK concert, at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, August 29, 1965, hastily organised by Horovitz, Brown and promoter of experimental music Victor Schonfield, Coleman’s music enjoyed currency not only among jazz and improvisational avant-gardes, but also the more searching elements of the rhythm and blues/nascent rock world. Two further Atlantic LPs (with bassists Scott LaFaro and Jimmy Garrison) had appeared in Europe: Ornette! (1962), recorded just five weeks after Free Jazz in January 1961 and Ornette on Tenor (1962), the latter of which Richard Cook and Brian Morton say “hooks Ornette back into the raw R&B of his Texas roots” (The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 2000, p. 300). His new trio, featuring Charlie Moffett on drums and David Inzenzon on bass, had recorded Town Hall Concert (in December 1962) and a June 1965 soundtrack with free tenor player Pharaoh Sanders for the film Chappaqua (though director Conrad Rooks would ultimately use music by Ravi Shankar). The Kinks (minus Ray Davies) had seen the new Coleman trio perform in Greenwich Village in February 1965, while bands from the emerging American rock underground (Grateful Dead, Velvet Underground, The Fugs) were incorporating elements of his free improvisational styles into their own blues, folk and European-based music. Part two of this article will return to Ornette Coleman’s influence on the psychedelic and underground British music of 1965-1970.


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Front Page ModJazz Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,
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