Browsing Tag Arthur Gun

Mousetrap 21st Anniversary Bash

Coming of Age: Mousetrap 21st Anniversary Bash, Orleans Finsbury Park.

As is my custom of a Saturday evening, I like to take my time getting ready for a night out. Treat myself, put on some tunes – maybe some smooth soul, a touch of vintage blues, a couple of up-tempo funk numbers, a bit of psychedelic jazz if the feeling takes me – music I can glide around in my underpants to after a nice relaxing shower/shave combo, as the white twenty-something in me tries in vain to match Curtis Mayfield note for note whilst also pretending that my mum isn’t smirking at me from the other room. And then it’s time for the main event: the outfit. A once tidy abode quickly becomes strewn with multiple pairs of trousers, shirt and tie couplings, loafers/lace-ups/boots; coats collide with knits and roll necks and every colour of sock imaginable until bingo… there it is. From mad technicoloured jumble sale that now comprises my bedroom the winning sartorial combination has majestically presented itself. Or so you would like to think. You know the drill. If you’re going to go narcissist then what’s the point in going half way? And as the music plays out in the background you’re set to go. At least that’s the usual ritual…

But not tonight. Tonight of all nights being a Mousetrap night and with the crucial preparation buffer zone period rolling towards half past 10, I am nowhere near the sanctuary of my bedroom or my wardrobe. I am in fact racing home on the London rail network reeking of beer and tandoori chicken. It’s amazing just how far an impromptu curry with a mate can set you back on a Saturday evening. Combine that with snail paced public transport and you’re practically in no-man’s land.  With our ritual 10-minute train ride to Finsbury Park sailing through the neighbourhood at 20 past 11 and the time all ready 20 to I am compelled to jog at break-sweat speed in a desperate attempt to spare some vital time indoors. All the while I have been turning over potential clothing solutions to my now doomed current attire. Making the most of crisis mode I muster up a winner and grabbing a bottle of beer on the way out hot step it down to the station with 2 minutes to spare. My fellow reveller just manages to get on the train at the next station and then we’re on our way. Finally.

Fast-forward two hours…

Amidst the battling puddles of talc and spilt drinks the proverbial rug is being well and truly cut over the sound of the Five Royales. Within the cramped and sweaty conditions of Orleans basement bar the electric atmosphere of the dancers shines through the overt lack of lighting. Loafers criss-cross and dolly shoes quick step with no intentions of missing a beat. There is the usual throng at the bar waiting with wide eyes to drink from Orlean’s famous disposable cups. The peripheral dancefloor shelves are already littered 3 deep with half drunk Red Stripe and Stella cans though it seems no one really has time to finish them with most people shaking limbs to the driving rhythm and blues beat.

Having been a Mousetrap Regular for nearing 3 years I’ve never known this night to be any different. And rest assured, this time round it is the clubs 21st Anniversary.  Just by scanning the bustling room you could imagine it going for another 21, as long as everyone has their feet left and the fantastic records haven’t been spun smooth. Lest we forget that most of these records have lived through multiple decades delighting the ears and feet of countless people past and present. Tonight’s specials are a winning combination of Northern and Club Soul, vintage R&B, Ska and Boogaloo. From the moment we descend the steps into the thumping subterranean den to the moment we drag ourselves back up to the cruel late-Winter morning, the dancing is ceaseless. Amongst the many immaculate individuals gathered here just looking good is not enough – the inevitable trip to the dry cleaners is a sure fire sign of a sustained stint on the dance floor.

A serious mod jazz vibe is going down as I return from some fresh air an upbeat saxophone spills over a jaunty off beat as shoulders drop to Jolly Jax mod banger ‘’Preciate It’. A few further bangers later and the masterful organ of ‘I’m Longing for You Quick’ by Ann Caudell has the floor alive once more. It’s these little shots of vinyl magic that really transport you to another time. And boy does it get you moving. Alongside hits of classic sax and Hammond sit huge soul dancers ‘Indian Giver’ by the Chantels and ‘Never Learnt to Dance’ by Harvey Averne. Feet don’t fail me now; you could cut the atmosphere with a leather sole.

With spirits running high and being poured the music moves into a Ska section with a bit of Prince Buster. At the encouragement of certain friends some brief and far from mastered ‘Russian dancing’ is momentarily introduced to the floor, of which my trousers and my knee ligaments are lucky to walk away from. Though I will definitely be feeling the results of this the next afternoon.

The rest of the night plays out to prime northern soul and true to form we are sad to have to leave the dance floor. After another fantastic Mousetrap evening all that’s left to be said is a big congratulations to Rob Bailey and the rest of the team on London’s finest underground club night making to full legal adult age (Mousetrap can now drink even in the USA). If the tide is strong enough and we haven’t all been wiped out by nuclear Armageddon 1960’s Cold War style then this one may even make it to free bus pass age.

Arthur Gun over and out.

 


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Arthur Gun

North London son and 23 year old retro-enthusiast freelance aspiring writer/singer/illustrator/anything-goes reporter in the field, Arthur Gun likes to be at the forefront of the revelry on any given night out. After various periods of teenage transgression throughout several scenes he arrived at 'the 60s thing' in the latter half of that mixed-up decade of the so-called Noughties. With an eclectic taste in many things subcultural, it has been the stylistic and musical revolution of the former decade that has captured a permanent corner of his imagination and which continues to live on in the hearts and minds of so many others. Taking a reporter-in-the-field approach to is review writing, Arthur can be seen amongst the thick of the action at New Untouchables events, whilst spending the following days trying to recollect the often incendiary events in the form of words. He hopes that one day words may provide enough income to foot his dry-cleaning bill.

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May 21, 2012 By : Category : Articles Clubs Events Front Page Reviews Scene UK Tags:, , ,
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Making a Scene

Making a Scene – Original Underground for Faces Old and New at the New Untouchables Nutty New Year.

It seems like an oddly long time since me and a handful of friends stumbled across our first ‘Mousetrap’ down in Finsbury Park. But suffice to say, as I sit here typing out this article, that particular night those couple years ago left quite an impression on us then unwitting new comers. As the last few years have flown by in a wild blur, so too did the night of December 31st 2011, where the very same little group of us found ourselves dancing relentlessly into 2012 at the New Untouchables Nutty New Year. Truth be told, we’ve always had a storming night at New Untouchables do’s, happy to part with our pounds and our brain cells and dance till dawn- whether it be to vintage soul, R&B, garage, psych or reggae.

Over the course of time we’ve met some top people too amongst the motley crew of characters that attend – with last Saturday’s round of fun being no exception. And if there’s one thing for sure that you can take from a NUTs night it’s that everyone present is here to revel bask in that everlasting decade which refuses to die, the fair old 1960s. Uniting die hard enthusiasts and scene tourists alike, the Nutty New Year was a terrific testament to the decades continued longevity. After attending the 2011 new years bash, I decided to get down with a little bit of Gonzo journalism and give the folks at NUTsMag a few words on how things unfolded at this year’s big farewell.

After what seemed like a life time of waiting for my right hand man Alex to get his act together, and feeling like the world’s sharpest 60’s football manager throw back in my mohair strides and sheepskin coat, I set foot on the local tube platform in wait of the revelry ahead. Inevitably drawing a few interesting looks from the low-jeaned wet look would-be-lotharios of the local Walkabout branch, I reflected to myself that it’s nice to know that whatever alcopop-fuelled orange skinned and ugg-booted distressed denim disaster that would be taking place elsewhere on the streets of England on New Years Eve, would certainly not being taking place inside the walls of 229 this evening. Snobbery aside perhaps, one thing that’s for sure is that an absolute blinder of an evening was laying in wait for me, my good friend Alex, and everyone else in attendance for that matter.

Following more than a couple of rum and cokes at a nearby residence we made our entrance at 229 and the night is already in top gear, the swinging combination of a festive atmosphere and giddy hedonism putting paid to anyone who was planning on having a dull time tonight. A throng of people crowd the bar and the main room dance floor is buzzing. I get a drink in and chew the fat with the assembled crew and take a look around the place.

With the main musical touchstones of the 60’s thoroughly attended to by the DJ’s, every respective scene is out in force. Amidst the bobbing heads you can take your pick of haircuts and get-ups- for the blokes it’s Jones-esque mop-tops bobbing to British beat above roll necks, sharp side partings to finish trim suits cutting moves to vintage R&B, hippyish side-burned fops in flares strut to psych, oxford bags abound out on the floor amongst the numbers here for classic Northern, and more than a few chrome-domed veterans out to show a few of us younger characters how it’s done.

And what about the girls? Well the girls are Fine, and also everywhere. Beehives mingle with bobs and like the chaps it’s no-styles-barred with psych girls in baby doll dresses and skin chicks in skirts and Weejuns; there’s white tights and shift dresses and dolly shoes, plenty of porcelain faces and dark lashes galore adorning dusky eye shadow; floppy hats and bright tunics with splashes of paisley and not to mention the occasional 50’s chick looking delightfully dolled up in red lipstick and curled hair, and generally plenty of oh-so-pretty numbers floating and dancing about looking tip top.

It’s a visual banquet for sure, and then before you’ve had time to take it all in and manage to say all your hellos you’re zipping around fully loaded breathing in the surroundings, bumping into familiars and acquaintances, all to the original hip sound track. It’s a task to keep one foot in the present with a cigarette on the outside before shaking to garage rock in the ‘beat basement’, then hopping to the R&B room to cut a shuffle with some seriously good dancers; ‘Pow Wow’ comes on and everyone’s on the floor dancing to what will incidentally be the only song I will be able to properly remember from the mad fog of  this Saturday night… Bad I know- but there’s just no time to make a note let alone a mental one when things are going this fast and every tune’s a winner.

The continuous rampage through the rotation of rooms inevitably leads me back to the main hall to join the bustling masses dancing to Northern Soul. It’s near on impossible to break the rhythm with everyone putting in the usual monumental shift on the dance floor, and it is hear along with all the familiar faces and friends around that the night drifts effortlessly into the small hours. Demands for one more song are met with everyone moving frenziedly till the very last note. And then just like that, it’s all over. Another night consigned to the scrapbook, although admittedly taking the executive decision to Hunter S. Thompson this night till the very last tune spun out on the turntable, has meant it’s proved rather hard for me to recall the multitude of top tunes I heard throughout the course of the night.

And though this particular bout of alc-zeimers saddens me somewhat I know for sure that the excellency of the music is not up for dispute, and rarely has it ever been at the many New Untouchables nights I’ve been too.  From Charles Sheffield to Chuck Wood through to Cherry Slush and The Seeds then back round to Don Drummond, and while we’re at it Shocking Blue and The Attack, there’s isn’t a stone-cold 60’s gem I haven’t heard at a NUTs all-nighter, not to mention the many rarities that’s had me hurriedly making lists on my phone at the side of the floor in the not-so-distant past.

But don’t leave it to a sift-brained punter like me to tell you how it is, because there’s no substitute for experience. Sharpen up and get yourself along to the next New Untouchable’s date and let the real experts educate your ears and get your feet stepping to the vintage sounds of that old 60s ship that’s showing no signs of sinking any time soon. That’s if you haven’t done already of course.

So for now this has been Arthur Gun for New Untouchables Magazine a.k.a NUTsMag. Happy belated New Year to everyone and I guess I’ll be seeing you at the next one. Until then…


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Arthur Gun

North London son and 23 year old retro-enthusiast freelance aspiring writer/singer/illustrator/anything-goes reporter in the field, Arthur Gun likes to be at the forefront of the revelry on any given night out. After various periods of teenage transgression throughout several scenes he arrived at 'the 60s thing' in the latter half of that mixed-up decade of the so-called Noughties. With an eclectic taste in many things subcultural, it has been the stylistic and musical revolution of the former decade that has captured a permanent corner of his imagination and which continues to live on in the hearts and minds of so many others. Taking a reporter-in-the-field approach to is review writing, Arthur can be seen amongst the thick of the action at New Untouchables events, whilst spending the following days trying to recollect the often incendiary events in the form of words. He hopes that one day words may provide enough income to foot his dry-cleaning bill.

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February 6, 2012 By : Category : Clubs Events Front Page Reviews Tags:, ,
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