Browsing Tag Crossfire

Val Palmer – Hey! Ms DJ

This entry is part 8 of 19 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 3

We caught up with DJ Val Palmer. Here is what she had to say about her passion for Music, DJing and rare records prior to her next Crossfire slot in London.

1. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

Being the youngest of seven kids I grew up listening to the Beatles, Stones, Kinks and Chuck Berry, so have always been into music and was buying records from the age of about nine. I caught the best of the 1970s from Roxy Music to punk, and gradually discovered the soul scene via the re-issues that came out of the ’79 mod revival. I just carried on buying records as usual.

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

The er… glamorous Crown & Sceptre pub in Great Titchfield Street. A local new year’s eve bash run by my neighbour, Ady Croasdell.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Definitely the first time I DJ’d at the 100 Club all-nighter in the mid-80s – I’d arrived! Talk about a challenge – I heard some guy say ‘F*ck me – it’s a bird DJing…’ More recently, playing at the Subway Soul Club in New York is always a blast, there’s something very satisfying about playing those records back on their home turf.

4. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

An excruciating ‘soul’ night at Whitechapel Art Gallery, of all places. It was the bad idea of some trendy arty types, so virtually zero punters. Me, Keb and Jo Wallace DJ’d to each other all night and there were no middles/spindles, so records were sliding all over the decks, we had to be creative with chewing gum. There were also no wages.

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Ian Clarke, Ady C, Bob Jones and the London mob were a huge influence, and I’ve always really rated people like Dean Rudland who can play across any genre, any time. I admire DJs who’ll throw in a few £5 records along with all the uber-rare expensive stuff, there’s so much that is overlooked because it’s not obscure enough.

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

Well, I’d like to think that good taste has something to do with it? I tend to ‘shape my sound’ depending on what kind of gig it is – from northern to 70s / crossover, or with a smidgen of r&b and funky stuff thrown in, as necessary. I think I’m fairly adaptable, so long as I get my cab fare home.

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Stumbling across three mint copies of John & the Weirdest (Can’t get over these memories / No time) in a well picked-over record store in Los Angeles. (They were filed next to Elton John…) I flogged them all eventually, and am probably the only person to get a begging letter from Butch.

8. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

I guess it would have to be Curtis Mayfield, which may sound predictable, but the guy has shaped entire generations of music and political awareness. I saw him play a gig at the Town & Country Club in the 90s, just him on guitar plus bass and drums. It was incredible, yet he didn’t even have a record deal at the time.

9. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

Not particularly, if you obsess over collecting labels, you end up having to buy the rubbish tunes too. In general I’m partial to mid-tempo, which seems to be rather unfashionable at the moment. However, these days I tend to rummage around the bargain bins for classic stuff that I missed the first time around.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

The next slot is New York’s Subway Soul club on October 3rd, and then back to London for Crossfire the following weekend, Sat the 10th of October.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

Right this minute, it would be Charlene & the Soul Serenaders – Can you win. Everyone seems to have one except me, which is really irritating, and it’s not bloody cheap.

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Impossible to answer of course, but off the top ‘o’ my head, these are some of my all time faves.

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

1. Gambrells – You better move (Carla)
2. Tony Hestor – Watch yourself (Karate)
3. Larry Atkins – Ain’t that love enough (Highland)
4. Johnny Robinson – Gone but not forgotten (Okeh)
5. Sharon McMann – Got to find another guy (Karen)
6. Edwin Starr – Just my kind of woman (Ric Tic)
7. Carol Anderson – Taking my mind off love (Whip)
8. Willie Tee – First taste of hurt (Gatur)
9. Vows – Tell me (VIP)
10. Trends – Thanks for a little lovin’ (ABC)

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1. Rhetta Hughes – You’re doing it with her (Tetragrammaton)
2. Tommie Young – That’s all a part of loving him (Contempo)
3. Limitations – I’m lonely, I’m troubled (Bacone)
4. Brenda George – I can’t stand it (Kent)
5. Claude Huey – Why would you blow it (Galaxy)

Next Club Spots: Crossfire  for NUTs, London.


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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 6, 2017 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Paul Orwell and the Night Falls (Newbreed)

This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series Newbreed4

Band Members:
Paul Orwell (Guitar,Vox)
Michael Parrett (Bass)
Stu Marsh (Guitar)
Scotty Roberts (drums)

Discography:
Tell Me Tell Me (vinyl only) single,
Only 250 made and sold out in just 7 days of Pre Order a month before release

Updated Releases and Tour Dates: Tell Me Tell Me / Little Reason 45 on Heavy Soul Records (SOLD OUT)

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

As a band not long, we have done around 14 shows, I met Michael at a gig we did ages ago in different shit bands, I trashed the stage before he got on, fun times!

I got him to trade the guitar in for a bass, the other members answered adverts I put out it’s worked out well.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

The Beatles and 60’s fashion.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Nah, they are all bleak, boring and predictable… well from what I can see and hear.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

I haven’t found one, a massive gap in the market I think.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Freak Beat.

06. What are your live shows like?

Fun, tight, magical, raw.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

A lot of early beat, R&B and RnR. We only play lively covers if at all that we enjoy, not your every day covers the more obscure the better.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Hard one as my whole life is music, from producing, writing, and finding new gems. I love record collecting and Art.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Me (Paul Orwell) and my tainted heart, messed up mind and butchered soul.

10. What’s your favourite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

My personal favourite is “Little Reason” as I sometimes get a chance to go and interact and dance with the crowd, we sometimes do a cover of “When The Night Falls” By The Eyes, that’s fun!

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

Not really, I’m only sociable around friends, family and fans. I’m not one of those who find it important to be part of a scene, just to do my own thing, that’s what is important. If people like it, great if they don’t, sod them.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Producing a track that takes me weeks to get right.

13. How often do you rehearse? Play Live? Record?  Anything interesting coming up?

We are good with rehearsals, we are perfectionists so we can get everything right to enjoy being loose on stage. We only play gigs that suite our style, sod playing a load of indie gigs, no fun in that. I record every day, lots of interesting things coming up including new releases, new videos, maybe some more gigs abroad. I would love to do a tour.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

It’s been along long while since I’ve read a music mag or listened to any up to date radio station, so I can’t really answer. I should imagine it’s all favouritism.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Again I don’t listen to much past 1972, I like some, Hypnotic Eye and The Teamsters seem to have some magical sounds going on.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Producers: George Martin, Joe Meek, Phil Spector

Artist alive: Paul McCartney,

Artist Dead: John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, Otis Redding

These artists all play big parts in the way I think and are very important to me and music.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Record deal would be nice and some good support slots.
29 September 2014 – The Finsbury, London with Magnetic Mind
11 October 2014 – Crossfire 25, 229 venue, London

Web Links:

facebook.com/PAULORWELLOFFICIAL
twitter.com/PAULORWELLMUSIC
soundcloud.com/paulorwell


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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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October 2, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , , ,
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Roger Banks – Hey! Mr DJ

We recently caught up with DJ Roger Banks. Here is what he had to say about his passion for Music, DJing and rare records.

1. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

Friday night soul nights at the Winter Gardens in Cleethorpes followed by the allnighters circa. 1977/78 listening to Motown. Soul, Reggae and Northern.

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

In a Scout Hut in Cleethorpes 1978, reviewed in Blues & Soul Magazine.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

The ones I can remember, lol.

4. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

Arriving at a club without my records (Bretby Allnighter) and arriving at the Mousetrap nighter without my box keys (boxes were locked).

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Windy Miller, John Weston, Hoss and Dave Rimmer cause they all drink the same as me, nothing to do with what they play!

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

The size of the records, they’re all round and easy to hold!

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Playing my last record and discovering that I still had a drink left!

8. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

The people I first got to know in the 70’s, Rob Smith, Derek Allen and the late Nev Wherry. Favourite artists – Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, Walter Jackson, Jerry Jackson, Jackie Edwards to name a few.

9. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

The ones mentioned above plus Motown & Detroit as well as Vee Jay, Duke, Peacock. Back-Beat etc plus sheet music and promotional photos.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Most working mens clubs after the meat raffle.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

The ones that I haven’t got.

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1. O V Wright – You’re So Good To Me – Back Beat LP track
2. Harold Burrage – I’m In Love – P.Vine LP Track
3. Betty Everett – Someone Else Is Taking Your Place – Acetate
4. Johnny Guitar Watson – Wait A Minute Baby – Highland
5. Marvin L Sims – Disillusioned – Mellow

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

1. The Magnetics – Lady In Green – Bonnie
2. Jackey Beavers – I Need My Baby – Revilot
3. Al Williams – I am Nothing – La Beat
4. Lester Tipton – This won’t Change – La Beat
5. Ray Agee – I’m Losing Again – Soultown
6. Masqueraders – Do You Love Me Baby – Wand
7. Johnny Honeycutt – I’m Coming Over – Triode
8. George Pepp – The Feeling Is Real – Coleman
9. Tommy Ridgley – My Love Is Getting Stronger – International City
10. Kel Osbourne – A Law Against A Heartbreaker – Highland

Headquarters: Nottingham, UK – R & B Records have been supplying rare soul 45’s by mail order for 25 years. Email: roger-banks@supanet.com with your wants lists and for details of monthly sales CD’s

Reference: Resident at Radcliffe Manchester (New Century Soul), Crossfire London, Skegness Weekenders, Cleethorpes Weekenders

Next Club Spots: Rugby Allnighter, DFDS Amsterdam Weekender, Crossfire27, Sat 10th Oct 2015, London


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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 : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Cello – Hey! Mr DJ

We recently caught up with DJ Cello. Here is what he had to say about his passion for Music, DJing and rare records.

1. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

My dad use to play records every Sunday on his day off…Pat Kelly’s ‘Striving for the Right’, ‘Tammy’, ‘How Long Will Take’, ‘If It Don’t Work Out’. Dave Barker’s ‘Prisoner of Love’, ‘Double Barrel, Dr Jekyll. Tony Tribe’s – ‘Red, Red Wine, Little Roy – You Run Come, Liquadator and many more reggae tunes from that time. Then Two-Tone come along in the late 70s and I became hooked and got more and more into the original stuff. First heard ‘Alcapone’ – Prince Buster on a John Peel Show, it was the best thing I’d ever heard and I’ve never looked back!

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

My very first DJ slot was at the ‘Lucas Arms’, Kings Cross. First slot on a club night was Alan Miliner’s ‘Big Club’

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Difficult question, there’s been many, if I had to pick one, it was the night when ‘Intensified’ were my guests one night. The place was packed, everyone was really up for it, ‘Intensified’ were on fire and to top it all up ‘Dave Barker’ got up on stage unannounced did 6 songs, it was awesome!

4. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

When I turned up at a club night with my records and they only had CD decks!

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Not sure, played with many good Dj’s.

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I’ve always been into Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae. When I first started Coast to Coast in 1999 it was more of a Ska, Reggae, Soul, Boogaloo mix but over the last few years the Jamaican stuff has taken over again…

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

I’ve got quite a few of those, some are still unknown to me and to everyone else it seems, I like it that way!

8. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

So many of those but I think if I had to pick one… Mr Jackie Opel!

9. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

Black music from the mid 60’s to very early 70’s, mainly Jamaican.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Every 3rd Saturday of the Month, Coast to Coast @ The Fiddlers Elbow, 1 Malden Rd, London NW5 3HS. An eclectic fusion of Ska, Reggae, Soul & Boogaloo combine in one of the unique club nights in London. Packed out with all types, enjoying rare black music from the 60s in an atmosphere more like your best friend’s birthday party… more info coasttocoast.org.uk

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

My want list is long…

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

1. Diamond Baby – The Wailers
2. Tribute Nerhu – Skatalites
3. Mouth A Massy – Alton Ellis
4. Foey Man – George Dekker
5. Send Me – The Enchanters
6. Man Fe Getta Beatin’ – Wailers
7. Such is Life – Lord Creator
8. Mill Man – Jackie Opel
9. South China Sea – The Skatalites
10. Feel Like Jumping – Lee Perry

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1. There’s A Light – Dave Barker
2. Unknown Rocksteady Instrumental – Lynn Tate & the Jets (I think)
3. I’m Alone – Boris Gardner
4. Let’s Get Together – Johnny & the Attractions
5. Shake it Up – The Termites

Next Club Spots: Crossfire27, Sat 10th Oct 2015, London. Dumplins & Coast to Coast every 3rd Saturday of the month etc.

Web Links:

www.coasttocoast.org.uk
www.facebook.com/cellos.coasttocoast
www.youtube.com/user/DJCelloSka


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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 : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Big Boss Man (Newbreed)

This entry is part 9 of 22 in the series Newbreed4

Big Boss Man formed in November 1998, Their sound is a hip Heavy Hammond hybrid of pop, 6T’s R’n’B / Latin soul and funk. Early 1999 they got themselves a gig at the renowned “Blow Up”, then situated at the Wag club London, as usual the club was packed and the crowd absolutely loved the Big Boss Sound. They were then immediately signed up to the clubs very own “Blow Up” record label. The first release can be found on V2 Blow Upcompilation “Blow Up A Go-Go” with the demo version of the track Humanize, (recorded in the bands very own Ramshackle studios).

Band Members:
Nasser Bouzida: Organ, Mono-synthesizer, Bongos
Desmond Rogers: Drums
Scott “the Hawk” Milsom: Electric bass & Double Bass
Trev Harding: Guitar

Discography: (Blow Up Records unless stated otherwise)

Singles:
Sea Groove/Version (Blow Up Records) (2000) , Big Boss Man/Version (2001) Big Boss Man” The Hawk”/Frank Popp “leave me alone” (2005) (Record Kicks)
Party 7/Kelvin Stardust (2006), C’est Moi (2009) (promo cd only) Black Eye (2010) (promo cd only), Aardvark (2014)

Albums:
Humanize (2001), Winner (2005),
Full English Beat Breakfast (2009), Last Man on Earth (2014)

Compilation Appearances:
Blow Up a go-go (V2) The Later Lounge 1 & 2 (2000 ) (Later Magazine), It’s a Cool Cool Christmas (Jeepster) 2000, Unique Club Culture (Unique) 2000, Midem 2001 (Manchester Music) (2001) Robbi, Tobbi und Das Fliewatuut (Diggler) 2002, Soul Shaker 1 & 2 (2004/5) The Outernational Sound (18 St Lounge), Urban Deluxe (V2)(2005) Kitsch World Tour (Keks) 2007, Come on Soul (Legere) (2007), Raymann is Laat (Sonic Sorcery) 2008, Pradat (EMI) 2008, Vollanalog (private press LP) (2009) Blow Up Sampler (Blow Up) (2011)

Updated Releases and Tour Dates:
28th Nov ’14ZooZoo at The Blues Kitchen, Camden, London, UK
29th Nov ’14 – Jazz Cafe, Camden, London, UK
19th Dec ’14 – R3VIVAL, La Maroquinerie, Paris, FRANCE
27th Dec ’14 – Hipsville Xmas A Go Go, Fiddlers’ Elbow, NW5, London, UK

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We have been together since 1998, Nass, Scott and Trev had been friends playing in bands for years, and when their last band “Skooby” hit the rocks the guys set up Big Boss Man mainly for fun; Nass, known principally as a drummer until this point came out from behind the kit to play organ & bongos and front the band. Scott played double bass in the early days.

One night we played at the Blow Up night at the Wag Club in Soho and were approached to sign to the Club’s Record Label and publishing company, they offered to pay for enough really good recording studio sessions, quality mixing and mastering to make a record we would all be happy with, and cut us in on a good deal so we haven’t looked back since. Around the same time we were invited to play at the Euro YeYe festival in Northern Spain, where we had a blast, it opened our eyes to the scene outside of Great Britain and the possiblities for touring that could be had, we have now toured Spain 5 times!

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

We all love playing, recording, creating, Soul, 60’s Garage, 60’s R’n’B, Psyche, Funk and Bongo-Fuzz sounds.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

We would def recommend: The Bongolian, The Hawkmen and The 45’s, they all feature members of Big Boss Man!

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

We are from all over, obviously London is great: club nights like: NUTs, Weirdsville, Dirty Water etc, Bristol has the frat house and department S.
Still working on Swansea, although there is a good Northern soul night that takes place in Pontadawe occasionally.

05. What are your live shows like?

We are a mainly instrumental band; we have the stage set up with Nass pounding the organ and bongos opposite Des beating the hell out of the drum kit and the two of them going generally mental whilst the Hawk and Trev hold it together.

06. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

We don’t do covers these days, though back in the beginning we used to do a rocksteady version of Peter Tosh’s “Steppin’Razor” and a Hammond Version of Elvis’s “His latest flame”

Our biggest influences are mostly black guys called Jimmy: Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Cliff, Jimi Hendrix, plus James Brown.

We don’t despise anyone!

07. What are your main influences outside of music?

Spinal Tap.

08. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Nass writes most of the songs, but there are quite a few team efforts and co-writes. The few vocal numbers we have deal with; love lost, life’s bizarre experiences E.G. “Trans Adonis” and odd people we have met along the way. E.G. “Hail Caesar”

09. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Our Favorite song has got to be “Last Man on Earth” from the new LP/CD/digital download “Last Man on Earth” on Blow Up Records

Another Artist; anything by James Brown, say, “Sssh for a while” his avant-garde keyboard work on that track is second to none!

10. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

There are loads of great nights going on all over Europe, more than ever, we participate occasionally!

11. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Deciding which tracks to put on the new LP we settled for: Aardvark, Theme from Last Man on Earth, Blow your own, Hail Caesar, Changing Faces, Crimson 6Ts, The Bear, Project No.6, Le Dernier Homme Sur Terre, Shot Down, Trans Adonis, Painted Rainbow, Sladey and Last Man on Earth (vocal version).

12. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We are always rehearsing, and have been playing a lot in 2014 to promote the new LP, we have been asked by one of the shows on BBC6 Music to come in and record a session, so hopefully that will work out then more gigging in 2015 followed by recording at Beat Mountain and Dog House Studios.

13. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Just get Shindig Magazine, that has it all covered!

14. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

There’s loads of great new bands out there if you look, “The Turning” for instance, good bunch of guys!

15. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Who: Any of the Soul Legends before it’s too late!

Where: Hitsville USA in Detroit (Motown Studio) or Studio 1 in Kingston Jamaica! Maybe some of the spirit of the classic tunes recorded there would rub off on us.

16. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Well we better get working on BBM IV! Next year we return to Spain (In April) so really looking forward to that. And hopefully dates on the UK festival circuit.

Web Links:

big-boss-man.com
facebook.com/BigBossMan
twitter.com/BigBossMan


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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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November 10, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , , ,
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New Electric Ride (Newbreed)

This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series Newbreed4

Formed from the last surviving members of the hardest working pub/club band in north-east England, New Electric Ride have achieved some remarkable things in the short time they’ve been together. With support slots for legendary 1960’s group – The Pretty Things, under their belt, a Black Cab Session recorded, regular airplay on UK, Spanish, Belgian and French radio, it’s no wonder that N E R are hotly tipped as one of the best new acts to emerge from the recent psychedelic resurgence.

Band Members:
Jack Briggs (Guitar/Vocal)
Paul Nelson (Organ/Vocal)
Adam Cole (Bass/Vocal)
Craig Oxberry (Drums/Vocal)

Discography:
EP (2013)
Balloon Age (2014, Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records)

Updated Releases and Tour Dates: facebook.com/events  &  facebook.com/doublesightweekender

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We’ve been recording as New Electric Ride since November 2012! Jack, Adam and Craig played as a pub band for 3 years and we met Paul at a wedding gig we played. We were looking for an organist and he said he’d love to have a go. Sort of went from there, really!

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

A love and appreciation for music from the 1960’s/70s and a desire to write and record interesting pop music. We’re not real into ‘jamming’, as such. We’re much more interested in writing pop songs.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

We’re living in London at the moment, but where we’re from (Sunderland) there are some great bands kicking about. Lilliput, Hyde & Beast and Field Music stick out. They’re all just doing their own thing and not trying to play to any current popular genre.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

In Sunderland it’s pretty dead, but here in London is thriving! We really love it down here.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Polished, lysergic sleaze-pop.

06. What are your live shows like?

I think they’re pretty intense! The songs can be quite complicated to play and a lot require 4-part harmony, so we’re always kept our toes to an extent. It can be quite hard work due to all the tempo changes and falsetto vocal, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Zappa, Beefheart, Moby Grape, Black Sabbath, Dungen, Peter Wyngarde, Cream, Jethro Tull, Colosseum, Mountain, Tame Impala, Can, Yes, Bobbie Gentry, the list is endless.

I’d like to cover some Tull songs. Any excuse to play the flute.

I don’t think we really despise any artist, to be honest! We despise a lot of how the music industry works, ha. I guess

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

London, Paris, Nepal, the Marquis de Sade, cacti, succulents, Ambrose Bierce, David Icke, isolation, insects, plants.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Everyone writes individually, never together, for some reason!

Subjects range from Submarines, French libertines, love (of course), lust (of course), animals, cannibalism and the Royal Family.

10. What’s your favourite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

I can’t speak for the other lads, but I love playing Mr. Bumblebee. It has a lovely bounce and interesting parts.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

I think it’s thriving. People are really beginning to take note of all the great things that are happening at the moment. We don’t participate as much as we should, but when we do, we always have a great time.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Recording an LP was really bloody hard. Mainly because we had such a short period of time to get it completed, and we are split between London and Sunderland. We had to get the train/coach up to Sunderland every weekend for a month and just hammer the sounds out. It was tough.

13. How often do you rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We usually get together to rehearse before a show, but apart from that, never! We’re looking to hammer the gigs over the rest of the year and hopefully (fingers crossed) get over to the USA in 2015.

Always interesting things on the horizon! New single, collaboration with Peter Wyngarde, some debauched videos to name a few!

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Poor. The levels of snobbery and ‘cool’ are outrageous at the moment. The whole ‘psych revival’ is getting old, too. It seems like anyone with a phaser pedal and a fringe can be in a ‘psych band’.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Tame Impala are impeccable, Prince Rupert’s Drops should be on every radio station, Hidden Masters are absolutely brilliant. There are loads of great bands at the moment, but they’re all being overshadowed by the ones with money. Billboards on the London underground for Temples?! Crazy.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Jonathan Wilson for me, absolutely phenomenal musician and producer. It’d be worth it just to see his collection of amps. What a guy, so passionate.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

More music! We’re planning on releasing a single before Christmas that we think may draw some interest. Gig-wise we’re playing the Doublesight Weekender in Glasgow on October 4th and the amazing Crossfire 25 night on the 11th! Can’t wait for October!

Web Links:

newelectricride.com
facebook.com/newelectricride
soundcloud.com/newelectricride
newelectricride.bandcamp.com


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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 18, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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The Wicked Whispers (Newbreed)

This entry is part 8 of 22 in the series Newbreed4

Band Members:
Mike  Murphy (Vocals/Guitars)
Toby Virgo (Bass/Backing Vocals)
Steven Penn (Organist)
Andy Smith (Guitars)
Nathan Sayer (Drums)

Discography:
2011 – EP ‘The Dark Delights of the Wicked Whispers (Electone)
2012 – Single ‘Dandelion Eyes’ (Electone)
2013 – Single ‘Voodoo Moon’ (Electone)
2014 – Single ‘Chronological Astronaut’ (Electone)
2014 – LP ‘Maps of the Mystic’ (Electone)

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

The Wicked Whispers formed in 2010 but arrived in 2011 with ’‘The Dark Delights of The Wicked Whispers’ EP on limited 10” which put the band on the map. We  played our first debut show onown event called ‘The Butterflies Ball and The Grasshoppers Feast’ bringing Arthur Brown in as support.. Mike Murphy formed the band after demoing a new project and decided to put a band around it which then evolved into the band people know today.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

The Doors, Love, Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Byrds, Jimmy Campbell and James Brown.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

The Levons and Red Sands because they are great and also on Electone Records.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

It’s a small scene in Liverpool which we don’t have much involvement with being honest . There are regular nights at The Go Go Cage (held at the Cabin Club) but we occasionally put on huge shows ourselves like ‘The Butterflies Ball and the Grasshoppers Feast’.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

That’s up to the listeners but you could say it’s a melting pot of US west-coast meets London 60s jangle wrapping around some lucid songwriting.

06. What are your live shows like?

Pretty intense as a lot of our songs are very intricate and short but we like to put on a full on live performance and give it our everything on stage.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Our main influences we’ve touched on. We rarely play covers as we put more time into developing our music but we have played tracks by Jimmy Campbell and the Velvet Underground at shows. We don’t despise anyone but we know what music we can relate to and like.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Love, lie and positivity. Plus a load of ale and general laddish behavior.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Mike Murphy writes the songs and prepares the music. The subject matter is vast but he mainly likes to develop dream like perspectives and tries to explore unanswered questions and wonders.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Each member of the group would say something different but ‘Chronological Astronaut’ has been a favorite since the band formed.
Same regards to our favorite songs but lets just say ‘Michaelangelo’ by Jimmy Campbell because it is a classic.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

Were not too clued up but it seems fragmented currently. When we started hitting the road in 2011, there was a tight circuit of bands including us playing the same nights up and down the UK. We have seen sparks of this but its not as tight as it was. It would be great to get this going again but we will be popping up at a couple in the near future.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Recording our debut album and Mike Murphys challenge as first time producer.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

It all depends as there are several levels to consider. We are always working on the next thing and split rehearsals up to required functions. If we have a live obligation we prepare for it, we don’t rehearse blind. But weve already started working on the next thing to follow up from our debut album out September so we are doing sessions for that.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

This is a complicated one as we are fully aware of how the music industry works. We just want to play and release our music and if anyone in the press or media  likes our music and wants to play and write about it, that’s great.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Of course, there’s loads of great stuff currently. Highlights are Temples, French Boutique and Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Theres loads we would like to do. Recording in Sunset Sound in LA is on our list. Regards producers that would be telling our next steps but someone looking to develop new ideas from our favorites music that inspires us.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Theres always stuff coming up but we are most excited about promoting our debut album through the UK over the next few months with some great live shows. Our big album launch in Liverpool will be great as its being held at The Kazimier which is a stunning venue. We are also bringing the brass and string section with us on that one. We have an exciting Crossfire 25 show in October ( the 11th) launching the LP in London and then we are doing some tour dates with Ian McNabb and The Moons with much more on the way including another headline tour. Beyond our debut album lets just say the follow up will be quick as we are headed into the studio before Christmas.

Web Links:

thewickedwhispers.com
facebook.com/thewickedwhispers
twitter.com/Wicked_Whispers 
soundcloud.com/thewickedwhispers


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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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March 2, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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The History of Northern Soul by Ady Croasdell

The Crossfire oldies allnighter in London on Easter bank holiday Sunday (20th of April 2014) promises to be something else with a stellar DJ line-up taking you on a musical journey through iconic Northern Soul venues like the Twisted Wheel, The Torch, Wigan Casino, Stafford and The 100 Club.

On our recent DJ adventure to the Mojo Workin’ weekend in Spain I managed to grab a chat with Kent Records and 6TS promoter and DJ Ady Croasdell for his personal account on ‘The History of Northern Soul’.

I first went to a rare soul all nighter in early 1969. It was in a solitary disused railway station about half a mile from the hamlet of Kelmarsh in north Northamptonshire, 5 miles from my home town of Market Harborough. I knew the big soul acts of the day whose records had made it to the UK – Otis, Wilson Picket, Carla Thomas, Temps, 4 Tops, Supremes, Fontella Bass, Brenton Wood Etta James – but the records I was hearing at the nighter were by the Esquires, Tony Clarke, Homer Banks and the American Poets who I had never heard of. The small function room soon filled up with 100 skinheads most of whom were dancing in groups or solo, so being on my own I felt comfortable to get up and move to the music. The crowd seemed intense but friendly despite my hair being longer than all the other blokes combined.

I told my mod/skin mates in Harboro about it and soon there was a crew of us going over, getting the pills down our necks while dancing to this alternate type of soul which we referred to as Old Soul. Who knew Tamla singer Kim Weston had recorded an uptempo soul mastepiece in ‘Helpless’ or the Velvelettes had cut one called ‘These Things Will Keep Me Loving You’? We made friends and recognised some of the other attendees as characters from Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough whom we’d normally avoid but here in this secret meeting place it was all cool and we had a shared love of the music and the speed.

It turned out there were outcrops of similarly minded youths around the country in Leeds, Wakefield, Manchester and Derby. Even handier for an impoverished student like me a bloke called Dave Godin wrote about it in the Blues & Soul magazine; complete with playlists and tips and recommendations of places to go to hear these secretive sounds. Eventually Dave would dub the scene Northern Soul in his Blues & Soul column and the name would stick.

The clubs were keenly watched by the dedicated drugs squads of the local police. Northants was supposedly one of the most serious in the country and they were getting pissed off at the number of chemists that were getting broken into around the county.

The raids they conducted eventually closed Kelmarsh and I mentioned it to Harboro’s local dance promoters who ran the Frollickin´ Kneecap nightclub. They started to then run all nighters at our town centre venue, renaming it the Lantern for those dances and making it a dedicated members club to get around the restrictive licensing laws. The scene was so small yet dedicated that there would usually be only one or two nighters on in the country at any time and when the Twisted Wheel in Manchester was finally raided early one Saturday night, the blocked up youths made the 100 mile drive down to Harboro to dance their blues away; in all senses of the word. The Wheel had been the total brand leader and the epitome of cool, style and sounds and its demise was a major blow to young go-getters across the country. Like the Lantern, a handful of other nighters would then spring up and be closed down as the drug taking soared and the squads simply clamped down.

The next venue to become the undisputed Mecca for the nighter goers was the Torch in Tunstall, Stoke On Trent. It was bigger than the traditional 100-300 clubs that had previously been host to the scene but the 6-800 capacity old music-hall, complete with balconies and theatre boxes, was ideal for the rapidly expanding clientele. Also it was dark as hell, dripping with atmosphere and sweat and the DJs were moving away from the classic mid to up tempo Chicago and Tamla beat to seriously stomping sounds that could keep pace with the drinamyl-induced pumping hearts of the mainly teenage audience. DJs, collectors and record sellers were finding more and more ways of getting their hands on the vast number of mid 60s soul releases that had not reached our shores before. Johnny Sayles, The Younghearts, Mamie Galore, The Fuller Brothers and the Cooperettes seemed to be even more glamorous soul names, none of which had ever got close to an English release.

The Torch lasted for little over a year but had accelerated the scene’s growth and demand so that when the next big all nighter started in 1973 it was more than big, it was massive.

Wigan Casino was a similar ancient music hall / dance emporium but about four times the size and more of a complex than a venue; you could house a small town in its many rooms. Early attendances were adequate but the place was far from full and in fact seemed a bit too big for purpose when I went to one of the early nighters. A few months later on my next visit it was rammed to the rafters, using the Torch´s blueprint of non-stop stompers its reputation had spread across the country and youths across the whole breadth of Britain, disaffected with both the teeny bopper and pompous undergound of the UK’s pop scene had become die-hard soul fans overnight. It was admittedly a certain style of soul starting at 85 mph and going up to 140 in extreme cases, sometimes the soul quotient was forgotten about. What the hell, there were thousands of stunning sounds out there in good ole black America just waiting for jaw-grinding scruffy UK youths to hop on an aeroplane and rescue them for their own personal kudos and wealth and for the edification of 2,000 kids moving as one, hand-clapping in just the right places. The scene was so big it could accommodate other big all nighters at places like Cleethorpes and Yate near Bristol as well as the big and influential evening events at the Blackpool Mecca and elsewhere. The Northern Soul weekend experience was so intense it would incorporate big Sunday all dayers so that reprobates need never see their parents between Friday morning and Monday tea.

It continued as a big noise throughout most of the 70s but the alternate punk, jazz funk and disco scenes creamed off many attendees and offered alternatives for potential new recruits: the scene was becoming jaded. In London in 1979 the mod revival was underway and a small club called the 6TS Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Society was showing those style converts what the original mod soul music was about.

After 18 months of moving around the capital, the 6TS ended up at the 100 Club slap bang in the middle of Oxford Street where it still runs in that distinguished basement club today. In a way it was back to the roots as a venue as well as musically and the classic dingy, smoke-filled, basement club was ideal for the nutters and fanatics who have slunk down those famous stairs over the last four decades. Musically though it started out as classic club soul with a dash of R&B, it reverted to the more standard Northern Soul formula once the all nighters were established around 1981. There was even a period when the rare 70s soul scene made an equal contribution to the musical playlist but that was reduced drastically when the club took up the gauntlet handed down by the 60s Mafia DJs of Stafford’s Top Of The World All nighters around the mid 1980s.

DJs Keb Darge and Guy Hennigan in particular were fed up with the staleness of constantly played oldies and reckoned there were still a lot of records, hardly known by the public let alone collectors, that could turn the scene on its head. Keb had a devoted band of followers who he would give cassettes of his new finds to so they would know his playlist when it was debuted at Stafford. They would rush to the floor to dance to records that otherwise would only have had interested looks. Guy was similar and mixed up the tempos a bit more than stompy Keb. He was the prime mover in big beat ballad scheduling and records like Tommy Navarro’s ‘I Cried My Life Away’ and Romance Watson ‘Where Does That Leave Me’ became massive. Keb also DJed at the 100 Club and Leicester nighters and soon the word was spreading. I was converted by the Latin sound of Bobby Valentine and spun a few down the 100 Club as well as big beat ballads like Johnny Maestro, Kurt Harris and the Trends ‘Not Too Old To Cry’. However what really put the 100 Club on the map, and helped the newies revolution, was finding some magnificent previously unreleased 60s soul tracks from the record company vaults. Melba Moore ‘Magic Touch’, Maxine Brown ‘Torture’, Chuck Jackson ‘What’s With This Loneliness’ started it and the Pied Piper RCA finds of Kenny Carter ‘What’s That On Your finger’, Willie Kendrick ‘She’ll Be Leaving You’, Lorraine Chandler ‘You Only Live Twice’ and Sharon Scott ‘(Putting My Heart Under) Lock & Key’ took it to a new level.

With the newies scene now established the super-rare scene started driven by one of Keb and Guy’s gurus the Stoke DJ Butch who had the best rare soul collection in the world and possessed records and later acetates so rare nobody could come close to him for 20 years (ongoing). It’s the territory of “how many of these are known in the world?”; the answer is usually less than five.

Stafford closed but the 100 Club kept on and new venues like Lifeline, Rugby, Burnley, Prestwich, The Dome, and others had their deserved moments in the spotlight. The 90s saw many returnees to the scene but a lot of those were happy to dance to the tunes of their youth and the rare scene has struggled in recent years. However the 2010s has seen an influx of new young faces and they are as keen on the new as the old, so there are signs of a revival in all areas and attendances are on the up again. A great new film on Northern Soul has been made by a Bury lass who has been a 100 Club regular for twenty years and the impact of that is eagerly anticipated.

Get down early and grab a space on the huge wooden dancefloor in the main ballroom and dance all night to 8 hours of the finest Northern Soul CROSSFIRE style. Tickets here: www.229thevenue.co.uk/modstock


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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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April 4, 2014 By : Category : Clubs DJs Events Front Page Music Tags:, , , , , , , , ,
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Le Beat Bespoke 9 by Scotch Martin

The eclectic final night (Sunday) of LBB9 this year proved once again that we can all get on, with a musical journey from northern soul to psych and everything in between. The Crossfire allnighter also welcomed 70-year-old American R&B performer, Bill Bush, who was unable to perform on the night but took a bow when his record, ‘I’m Waiting’ filled the floor in the main hall. Nutsmag editor, Scotch Martin, was Bill’s guide for the night. 

Remarkably, LBB9 was my first visit to Crossfire, with my other half usually getting the ‘pass out’ for this event while I babysit. But I had a very special reason for going this time as American Hammond player, Bill Bush, was over visiting Caroline and me and wanted to drop in to see what all the fuss was about.

Also travelling with us was Cassiobury Soul Club DJ, Martin Harland, and when we arrived the bands had already started in the main hall prior to the allnighter. Two live bands appeared and fellow Glaswegians, The Beatroots, were first to take to the stage. My old friend, and extremely talented, Groovy Graham, was playing sitar, which really added another dimension. Graham and vocalist Neil were previously in Figure 5, the fantastic power pop ensemble who brushed so close to fame they could taste it. But despite appearances across Europe, festivals, gigs at the Albert Hall and Camden’s Electric Ballroom, and an American TV advert major commercial success eluded them.

If you were lucky enough to pick up their free CD, you’ll already know that those years of training has produced a highly competent, psychedelic super group that are already making swirling, shimmering waves everywhere they play.

A big buzz followed for young Dutchman, Jacco Gardner, whose elf like persona fits well with his early Floyd / Sid Barrett-style cosmic sounds. A laid back affair with songs from the new album plus the singles. We were all curious to see if he could create the well-crafted studio sounds live.

I was bowled over with the musicianship, quality and imagination of both sets and although it’s not my ‘thang’, being more of a soul fan, I thought both bands impressive and talented.

The R&B room, at first freezing, later boiling, was hosted by long-running R&B club Mousetrap and DJ’s included Roger Banks, Alberto Valle (Barcelona) and Bill Kealy (Ireland) plus residents Rob Bailey & Chris Dale. The atmosphere is all very mod, with the whole black music spectrum covered from late fifties blues and R&B to late sixties Latin, boogaloo and reggae. That was where Bill and his entourage settled initially, signing autographs and meeting people before his appearance later. It all goes on at LBB!

Bill was particularly fascinated by the energy of the pysch room, where a DJ line-up from all over Europe had belted out the rarest and wildest garage, freakbeat and psych for two nights already and said it reminded him of New Orleans in the 60s. Special guests Sunday were Irish lads Paddy & Sarge, joining Miguel Ygarza (Spain), Carlo Espero (Italy) and NUTS own Dr Robert. The last record rang out at 6.15am with the lights on and a stage full off fun seekers still looking for kicks and shouting for more.

The Crossfire allnighter has a ‘London oldies’ music policy and didn’t disappoint. Most of the tunes from Sean Chapman, Ady Croasdell, Chris Dale, Derek Mead and Roger Stewart were guaranteed floor fillers, and the crowd showed their appreciation with a packed dance floor.

At 1am Chris Dale’s prized copy of ‘I’m Waiting’ shook the floor and Sean Chapman introduced Bill Bush, who thanked the dancers for supporting his music. It turns out that, at 70, it was ‘all a bit loud’ for the guy who played with Bobby Bland, Jerry Lee and Eddy Giles amongst others back in the day – but he left having fulfilled an ambition, to watch his obscure b-side from 1965 pack a dance floor in London, England in 2013. Job done.

Thank you to Ramees Farooqi, Esther Bellepoque & Cloat Culterior for all the great photos. You can see the full LBB9 Photo Albums from Ramees Farooqi & Esther Bellepoque here and from Cloat Culterior on Facebook here. You will need to login to see them!


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Scotch Martin

Since the local youth club in the early-eighties Martin’s been Djing with records of one sort or another. Spots at the CCI National Mod Rallies across Britain in the 80s were followed in 1990 by the first in a line of successful northern soul and mod clubs in Glasgow. With four others he started Goodfoot in 91, with Acid Jazz-influenced playlists of Blow Up in London, and Brighton Beach in Leeds. Goodfoot arguably paved the way for a new generation of mod-influenced clubs in Glasgow over the past 20 years. Living in London in the late 90s Martin DJ’d at neuvo-modernist clubs including Where’s Jude and Lordy Lord, as well as regularly spinning at Duffer of St. George parties and other happenings. A career highlight was supporting legendary organist, Jimmy Smith, as well as pulling off 10 consecutive club nights during the 1995 Glasgow Jazz Festival. By 2001, back in Glasgow, Caledoniasoul launched. A definitive milestone in the Scottish soul scene, the club ran for six years and brought Butch, Mick Smith, Mick H, Arthur Fenn, Mike Ritson, Dave Rimmer and Ady Croasdell to Scotland for the first time to experience the sweaty, full-on atmosphere for themselves. As a journalist Martin has always written about music. In 2004 he tracked down singer and organist, Bill Bush, whose soulful, jazzy rarity, I’m Waiting on Ronn, was hitting on the northern soul scene. After visiting Bill in the USA and interviewing him for Manifesto he brought the band over to perform in the UK, complete with Hammond B3, and has helped Bill profit for the first time from the 1968 b-side. Martin is married to Caroline, has two children, lives in the London suburbs. Still collecting after 30 years!

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April 17, 2013 By : Category : Bands Clubs DJs Events Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , ,
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The Strypes and the Sorrows @ Crossfire October 2012

As Crossfire nights go, this one was up there with the best, a stellar line up of top DJs and two live sets. My main job was to check out the bands and man, am I so glad that I did!

First up was the Strypes. I had heard a lot about these lads. They’ve been causing rumblings in the music biz, which is a rare thing these days. Hailing from Cavan, Ireland, they have been quite a success story in their homeland as well as causing a stir wherever they’ve played. With an average age of 15 (that’s right, 15 !) and a new EP just released, I was keen to find out what all the fuss was about for myself. So, there they were, looking like a hybrid of every sixties pop band you can think of. Their influences were not so much worn on the sleeve, as worn on every inch of them from head to toe.

As for the music, I’ve not heard such a blistering set from such a young band for a couple of years. If you ever wondered what it was like to see the Stones, Yardbirds, The Who, Them or any of the sixties beat bands before they hit the big time, then the Strypes will give you a damn good idea. This is what ‘blue-eyed’ R&B should sound like. Opening with ‘Little Queenie’, the lads barely stopped for breath tearing through their set, which I might add, was very well thought out. The lead track from their EP ‘You Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover’ plus ‘Got Love If You Want It’ with a drop of ‘I’m The Face’ neatly tucked in the middle got deserved rapturous responses from the crowd. At one point the drummer was the only one who didn’t swap instruments or take lead vocals, such is the confidence of the band. If you didn’t get to see them this time, make sure you do. You really won’t be disappointed.

Next up were freakbeat legends the Sorrows. Way-back-when, the Sorrows were known for their particular brand of beat, which in truth, was way ahead of it’s time and was a good contrast to the Strypes. Sorrows fans would not have been disappointed as the band included all the favs from their illustrious career. ‘Baby’, ‘She’s Got the Action’, ‘You’ve Got What I Want’ and ‘Take a Heart’. Don Fardon was in fine form and by the end of the set, it’s fair to say, the Sorrows were worth the price of admission on their own. Instead, here were two bands at very different stages of their careers and both on top, top form.


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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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November 26, 2012 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Crossfire review with the Strypes & the Sorrows

We findly look back a few years to this excellent piece about Crossfire from Drewe!

Now in its tenth year Crossfire started back in 2001 bringing together all the different elements of the London 60s scene for a big night of pure vintage underground partying in a 1000 capacity venue in the heart of central London. On 13th October 2012 the packed venue hosted fresh-faced Irish beat sensation, the Strypes, along with 60s beat originals, the Sorrows. Darius Drew reviews this wonderful event for NUTSmag.

So, is the future of music the past? If you were one of the many assembled at Crossfire watching Ireland’s new beat combo sensation, the Strypes, you may well think so–and you might be right.

Most of the greatest bands, from the Stones and The Who through to the Floyd and Procol Harum, started their careers in this way, as did the mighty Dr. Feelgood and Nine Below Zero. But haven’t we moved on in the last few decades largely because of the high benchmark of writing one’s own material set by those very same bands?

On the other hand, says the opposing camp, it’s been 50 years since ‘Love Me Do’, and rock n roll has gone ‘round-the-block several times only to retread old ground. Maybe the only honest thing to do is go back and do exactly that but what more can be done with it? And, more importantly, does anything need to be?

The Strypes, appealing to their own age group as well as several more ‘mature’ ladies who openly expressed a desire to take them home and feed them chocolate (careful, you’ll end up in the papers) are without doubt in the right place at the right time.

Taking songs we are all familiar with (too familiar in some cases) such as ‘Little Queenie’, ‘Got Love If You Want It’, ‘I’m A Man’ and current single ‘You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover’ they turn them into something fresh and engaging. Often, when a front man (the ice cool Ross Ferrelly, in this case) announces: ‘We’re going to take things down a little now,’ before launching into a version of ‘Stormy Monday Blues’, it would be time to go to the bar, but they even manage to nail that to the point where it arguably becomes the highpoint of the set.

Again, playing devil’s avocado for a moment, one does wonder how much of their extensive shared knowledge of R&B is their own, and how much the work of a hidden parental hand: the well-packaged quality of all their approved YouTube footage may suggest the latter, but does that matter? What I witnessed was not Blues Idol, as I cynically joked a while back, but a genuine hot, sweaty, raw, arse-kicking live act with great potential. As long as, that is, some record company executive doesn’t f**k it up. Anyone capable of the sort of brash, cacophonous yet melodic guitar playing I saw from Josh McLorey (also a capable singer and obviously an embryonic Wilko in training) or the already fully accomplished Ox-like bass runs of Pete O Hanlon, the most accomplished of the four in my view, deserves to be allowed to develop naturally, the way their influences did.

Exceptional harmonica dueting and instrument-swopping, displaying a dextrous versatility I have to admit I didn’t expect, two great lead vocalists and several beautifully organic moments of looseness which, if allowed natural organic expression, could eventually verge on the free-form wigout approach so beloved of Cream at their peak.

I thus award the four of them the full thumbs up, but with a firmly attached, ‘let’s wait and see’ caveat: the next 5 years could tell a whole different story. But at the moment they’re loud, fiery, genuine in intent, and they wanna live M.O.D, which is good enough for now.

By comparison, the Sorrows started their career in 1963 playing probably exactly the same covers the Strypes play today: it would be pointless, therefore, to compare the performance of teenagers to men approaching 70, so I won’t. The Coventry freakbeat pioneers played as you would expect a recently reformed band to play, i.e. with an attack that might be considered as ‘belying their ages’ but which to me seemed perfectly natural for an outfit who helped to pioneer this very genre of music in the UK.

Songs including ‘Car-A-Lin’, ‘She’s Got The Action’ and ‘Let the Live Live’ were all powerful enough to reach the back of the hall: the impact was less on mellower numbers like ‘We Should Get Along Fine’ and ‘Come With Me’, but on moving to the front, it still smashed me firmly in the face. Sure, there’s the occasional out of tune vocal or bum note, but there probably was in 1965. In any case, this sort of music has always been more about raw passion (which the band still have plenty of) than technical perfection.

Don Fardon, at almost 7 feet tall, is an imposing figure, and remains the owner of a deep, smouldering bluesy yet quintessentially British voice: he doesn’t move much, but he never did. Fellow founder-member Phil Packham’s bass lines are still incredible, with the chordal thrum permeating everything from ‘No Sad Songs For Me’ through the previously unheard ‘Gonna Find a Cave’ to their best known number, ‘Take a Heart’.

Drummer Nige Lomas isn’t quite as deafeningly loud as he once was but his throbbing, marching tom toms still march and still throb, his cymbals still swing, and the snare still makes the bold, insistent statement that the best beat-group sound always centres around. Brian Wilkins, who joined much later despite being a veteran of the Midland beat scene, fits perfectly. His lead guitar solos are genuinely inspired, his occasional lead vocals more than an adequate replacement for his predecessor.

This last in itself underlies the importance of presenting a cohesive identity, Wilkins may not be an original member, but, apart from the most ardent fan or anorak (OK, me), who would know? Four sexagenarian blokes (and one youngster) in matching band t-shirts and trousers create amply the impression that you’re watching the genuine band, and in all honesty, you are. Anyone who drifted outside or into the soul/ska rooms early on actually missed something a bit special.

In the varying rooms, Crossfire’s impeccable selection of DJs again gave the crowd their value for money: for what it costs, three rooms of varying styles, plus two high-class live acts still represents a better deal than one would find anywhere else. There will always be people who want to hear the same tracks they heard when they first set foot in Mousetrap, but as true lovers of music, rather than just ‘scene faces’, we must never forget that first feeling of scintillating excitement we felt when we heard this stuff for the first time. And no matter how many of us think there’s nothing more to discover, there will always be something else, and long may it continue. With every year that passes a new generation of devotees is born, which brings us back to where we came in.

I believe the social changes that occurred first time round would not happen now, and would thus render the music irrelevant other than as entertainment. But either way, encouraging teenagers to discover the classic bands, and therefore the original Black artists, and move away from the likes of Justin Bieber and Olly Murs, can only be a good thing. While the Strypes may still be in their embryonic stages, we all were at one point, as were the musicians we listened to, and while I can’t see what the future holds, the fact that musicians well under half my age are already out there, taking their first nascent, steps, into the Scene, ensures its existence for at least another 50 years–assuming we live that long.


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Darius Drewe

Darius Drewe was born in East London in 1974. As a small child, both parents inflicted their musical tastes, from The Beatles and The Moody Blues to Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, on him, and he was never the same again. Despite being born and bred a 'Cockney tosser', Drewe actually spent his teenage years in and around Birmingham, attending his first 60s/50s-themed nights there at The Ship Ashore, before "coming home" in 1993 to the South, where, with the exception of three years spent in Glasgow between 2007-2010, he has remianed ever since. In the almost two decades that have passed he has trod a strange meandering path from a shy 60s/70s-obsessed teen with no 'scene' to speak of to a Metalhead, sleaze-glammie, Goth, indie kid, glam-punker, garage-rocker, eventual Mod and psych freak (first attending Mousetrap in 2000) In that time he's also written for Shindig! Britmovie, DarkSide, Black Velvet and Get Ready To Rock, promoted various vintage and veteran acts at Camden Underworld, Glasgow Ivory Blacks and several other venues, DJed everything from psych, garage and soul to Metal at practically every well-known club in central London. Drewe is trying to build a time machine that will enable him to visit any period between 1960 and 1980 but still be able to use a mobile and Facebook. His ambition, aside from directing films and building said machine, is to morph into a cross between Jason King, Timmy Lea, Jerry Cornelius and Richard Hannay, and drift about the ether having adventures in a kipper tie, pinstriped flares and camel hair coat.

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September 7, 2017 By : Category : Bands Beat Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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