Browsing Tag Mousetrap

Rob’s Round-Up 5

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Massive thanks to all those who joined us for yet another fun NYE party.

Despite the madness going on all around us the one thing that is still in our destiny is having a good time and enjoying the music and style, we are all passionate about. Our team have been working hard on our annual Easter extravaganza in central London.

Le Beat Bespoké attracts pleasure seekers from all over the globe, with only one thing in mind having a real damn good party. So, with that firmly in mind, we have assembled yet another exciting line-up across two fantastic venues in the heart of London.

Check out our brand-new website www.lebeatbespoke.com for all the info you need. We booked ten stellar live bands featuring some of the best up and coming talent alongside two stellar acts from the 20th century.

However live music is just part of what makes Le Beat Bespoké such a fun and unique event. For your dancing pleasure, we have booked a dynamic DJ line-up from across Europe armed with explosive sounds on 100% original vinyl across 3 rooms of clubbing after the live bands.

Our guest club nights for the Rhythm & Blues Weekend include Crossfire, The Pow Wow, Lady Luck & Mousetrap all at the forefront of good times and taste. The menu is served All-night and includes authentic Rhythm & Blues, Northern Soul, Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo and Ska/Reggae.

The Beat Basement hosts the wildest and grooviest Freakbeat, Garage and Psychedelic ‘nuggets’ known to man to a back drop of eye candy visuals and groovy Go-Go girls.

A brand-new location for our daytime treats on Sat & Sunday afternoon is Dingwalls one of London’s most beautiful venues, situated right next to Camden lock in the World-famous Camden market. Expect DJ’s, bands, Easter egg hunt, record fair and market.

Contact drrobert@btinternet.com for trade stand.

But before Easter, we have celebrated an incredible 26 years at Mousetrap in the same venue with the same owner virtually unheard of these days, let alone in the ever-changing landscape of London. All those that attended would have got a free 45 with two rare tracks from the club’s playlist including one that has never been released on 45 before.

Hope to see you all Easter for an epic party!

www.lebeatbespoke.com

Cheers Dr. Robert


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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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February 21, 2017 By : Category : Articles Bands Clubs DJs Events Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Mousetrap 25 Years

01. When did the Mousetrap first emerge?

I had been looking all over London during 1991 for an allnighter venue and had almost given up when I stumbled on Fabio’s which is what it was called back then.

02. Why the name Mousetrap?

The venue had two entrances and the one to the basement had a sign above the door called Mousetrap in a great font. The club started in the basement only, so we would use the Mousetrap entrance. I also really liked the name and the connotations it threw up like ‘Get Caught in the Mousetrap’ as the strap line on our early promotional artwork.

03. Tell us a little about finding the Venue and why you stayed?

After looking around a few venues in Finsbury Park, I drove past Fabio’s, parked the car and went inside. The first thing I noticed as I entered was that I was pretty much the only white person in the venue. I was only nineteen and a little apprehensive as I enquired about the venue over the bar. This was where I met Anthony who was managing the place at the time. I explained what I wanted to do which raised a few eyebrows and asked to take a look around. The ground floor had a bar, DJ booth, dancefloor with a raised seating all around. Over in the corner was a metal spiral staircase which went down to the basement. As soon as I got down there I knew it was perfect. The basement had a very low ceiling with a black and white checked dancefloor, DJ booth in one corner and bar in the other with lots of nooks and crannies and small seating booths. It was just how I had imagined those original sixties venues like the Scene or Flamingo. It also had a killer sound system that was used for the Dub Club and other Reggae based nights at the venue.

04. What were the early Mousetrap nights like, what was the format?

We started on one floor only in the basement the first night which was a success despite sharing the toilets with the venue regulars who had never quite seen anything like it before. The owner liked it and more importantly – us, which are comments I get wherever we go and have a party. The music at the time was right across the board sixties, before Popcorn or Psychedelic sounds became popular. British beat and soul would be played alongside the American sounds.

05. What were the big sounds in the early days?

Early records that were popular were mainly the established Mod scene classics and current club sounds it took a little while for the club and DJ’s to develop the Mousetrap sound.

06. Can you name some of the DJs that were part of the first decade of the Mousetrap?

Obviously the NUT’s team past and present including; Pid, Chris Dale, Speed, Lee Miller, Gav Evans, Mark Ellis and Nick Hudson. Early guests included Paul Hallam (Sneakers), Roger Banks, Jon Paul Harper, Scott Copeland, Nigel Lees, Tony Castle, Putney Sean, Paul Newman, Ian Jackson, Karl Flavell, Dave Ingle and Shinzo Shnijo.

07. What were the highlights and low points of the early years?

The club went well from the start and in 1995 Loaded magazine did a great article on the night which you can read elsewhere in the NUTsMAG, Timeout also covered us early on. By the mid nineties Brit-Pop was in full swing and a new younger clientele started mixing with the regulars. Round this time the club moved into its best era on two floors with the beat basement and soul loft and sometimes a third floor the jazz lounge. The atmosphere was incredible and the scene was very exciting. We should have finished at 6am but often went well beyond that most nights.

08. Moving on with the New Untouchables era how did things evolve?

The club was a separate entity throughout the Untouchables era and then became part of the NUTs portfolio in 1998.

09. Did the music policy change to reflect the times as it were?

By the mid to late nineties the resident DJ’s had started developing the Mousetrap sound. Records were broke at the club every month and became hits all over the European club and weekender scene. Some off the early tracks to break included Hopscotch, Larry Trider, Mike Proctor, Randy & the Radiants, King Size Taylor, Jigsaw, Dusty Wilson and Callum Bryce.

10. How did you manage to keep the various passionate musical tribes in the Scene happy?

The club continued on two floors for the best part of a decade with black music on one floor and white sounds in the basement until the owner sold the ground floor in the mid naughties. During this time an incredible amount of records went onto to become big sounds.

11. You eventually split the allnighter into 2 separate nights?

The downside of having two floors for a long period was that both crowds were used to hearing their favourite sounds all night and those like me who enjoyed both would move between the two floors. So when the ground floor was sold going back to mixing all the music together just didn’t work so I started the separate dances each week.

12. How did that change things, did some folks happily attend both?

Yes, some regulars like Niamh and Innes, Mark Raison and the twins who enjoy all the sounds attended both but the majority went one week or the other.

13. Twenty five years is a massive achievement, you must be proud?

I’m very proud, there is something magical about the venue even on a quieter night we still have a great atmosphere and on a busy one there is nowhere better. It’s my second home and I get to enjoy the night as it’s a relatively easy production. I love Djing there as well as you can always slip some new sounds in which I’m passionate about.

14. What would be your all time top 10 Mousetrap spins from all styles in one list?

So many Mousetrap anthems over the last 25 years and many ended up on the free anniversary single. Mike Leslie – ‘Right or Wrong’ is one I always use to play at the end of the allnighter. Gene Latter – ‘Holding a Dream’ is a great funky blue-eyed soul dancer with fuzz. The Latin Dimension – ‘Mr Mod’ was an LP only track and available for the first time on the Mousetrap 45.

I found the Jack Hammer 45 down in the subway at a record fair in Sweden when I was Djing out there for a couple of quid. I later realised that it was only released as a 45 in Sweden and would start to fetch big bucks as its popularity grew. It went on to become one of the most popular releases on the label.

The first European track to be released for the Mousetrap 14th anniversary 45 was Erick Saint Laurent – ‘Le Temps d’y Penser’ which is a killer groovy garage dancer. Speeds discovery ‘Lovemaker’ by Callum Bryce also went on to become a massive Mousetrap record.

Although no doubt played on the Soul scene Chris Dale introduced tracks like ‘Fine, Fine, Fine’ by Judy Hughes and Dusty Wilson – ‘Can’t Do Without You’ to the Mod scene at the club. The list is endless and I have not even mentioned The Paragons, Bit a Sweet, Tam White, Chris Britton, Phil Wainman, Don Fardon version of  ‘I’m alive’ (which eventually ended up on a TV advert featuring Don), Louisa Jane White, Heidi Bruhl, Jimmy Thomas, Paul Nicholas and The Tops that all ended up on the Le Beat Bespoke album series. You can view all the Mousetrap releases here or even buy them via the NUTSTORE.

15. You have even managed to fit a few film crews into the Mousetrap over the years too?

MTV came down to film in the mid nineties as part of their series on club land culture and made a great snap shot of the club which features interviews and footage from many of the regulars and is a great testament to that era of the Mousetrap. You can view it on our NewUntouchables TV youtube channel here.

We did a fun shoot a decade later in 2005 this time with no interviews just footage from the club which turned out a bit like a scene from a movie and was beautifully shot by Simon Smith who did a videos for The Cure and the Wonderstuff amongst others. Take a look here.

There is also a really nice interview with Rhys Webb of the Horrors a club regular who recalls his first visit as a sixteen year old from Southend and the whole new World he discovered. Rhys is quite often seen behind the decks spinning his vinyl treasures or grooving away on the dancefloor. Watch it here.

16. What has the past few years been like for one of London’s great institutions?

We have had our ups and downs like any club over a period of twenty-five years and are now on our third or fourth generation of regulars. I’m very humbled and happy when I get comments from the new faces experiencing the club maybe for the first time, about it being their favourite night out in London and without doubt it’s still mine after all these years.

17. How do the venue owners feel about having a club night running for so long?

Anthony the boss, has always been supportive and has seen the bigger picture when things are not going so well, which is rare in the fickle World of London club land and the pressures of running a venue. Ade the security chap and Alex at the cloakroom, have been with us a long time and I want to thank them all too for the fantastic ride we had together so far.

18. Any names that you wish to check for their help over the years? What’s the tiny Mouse called in the logo?

Many heroes behind the scene for me who I would like to thank including those who run the door Maz Weller, Paul Owers, Ellie Tracey and Kolorz. The great artwork created by Dom Strickland, Jason Ringgold, Mary Boogaloo and Bazden at Pip! Pip!

The resident DJ’s past and present who have helped me create the Mousetrap soundtrack Chris Dale, Speed, Lee Miller, Jack White, Gav Evans, Pid, Steve Bowstead, Mark Ellis and Nick Hudson. The hundred or more guest DJ’s who have often travelled far to spin I thank you all.

Most importantly the regulars both past and present that have supported the night and created some of the best times of my life.

Marvin and I hope to see you all get caught in the Mousetrap once again on either 20th Feb 2016 for the Psychedelic allnighter or 27 Feb 2016 for the R&B allnighter to celebrate an amazing twenty-five years of Mousetrap!

Best Wishes Rob Bailey

Find out all latest Mousetrap Dates Here


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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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December 1, 2015 By : Category : Articles Clubs DJs Events Front Page Music News Tags:,
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Scott Fraser Simpson – Hey Mr DJ!

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

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

I’ve always listened to music from a young age, but when I started to look into it on my own I was about 12/13 and I was into some sort of skate/surf rock at the time. Quite quickly, I started listening to my Grandparents/parents old records, so had an understanding of Jazz and soul. By the age of 16, I joined a Brighton (UK) scooter club and they took me under their wing and showed me a lot of Northern soul and R&B. From then I was hooked and have never looked back.

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

At the Timebox (London) for the New Untouchables. I spent the whole day sitting down going through every record I had, trying to plan exactly how the whole set would go.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Lavarone for the party and club setting, Teen Scene for the music and the wild night’s we’ve had.

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

Playing Latin at the 100 club soul allnighter –  although it was a great night and very memorable, some of the late night punters ruined it for me as they weren’t too complimentary about my choices! Oh well…

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Luis Soulful – he has such a breadth of sound in his collection, he has so much knowledge of the different genres and when it comes to having a party he knows how to help it along!

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

Starting out in the scene going to clubs like Mousetrap and Juke Box Jam and then heading out of London to Pow Wow were the clubs that shaped my interest and passion for music. I still talk about those clubs today and am glad to see that most are still going strong.

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Jimmy McCraklin – What’s that. 11 months of looking twice a-day. Then one day it came up listed on the B side for £9.50. I had no only got a record which was forty-five times less than it’s current value but I had got back hours of my life I had spent looking for it! It was all worth it!

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

I haven’t got a favourite band/musician. My music taste is quite varied and I choose to listen and be influenced by different things at different times depending how I’m feeling.

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

What ever makes people dance. I’ve got to many other collections (clothes, scooters) to be worrying too much about that.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Mainly at Teen Scene (London) at the moment. I’m planning on heading back over to Europe a bit more to play again after some time out collecting again and focussing on my label. I also play at various venues 2 – 3 times throughout the week in London.

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

Ray Pollard – Soulmate

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

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

1. Al Escobar – Tighten Up 
2. Bobby Quesada – Batoala Boogaloo
3. New Swing Sextet – Monkey See Monkey Do
4. Wayne Carter – Mad mouth woman
5. Willy Mcdougal – Don’t turn away
6. James Brown – I’m Satisfied
7. The Invitations – Watch out little girl
8. Rene Bloch – Watucha
9. Wilie Bo bo – Spanish Grease
10. Ivy Jo – I can feel pain

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1. Berta Rosen – Boogaloo en cuarta dimension
2. Pervis Lee – You Don’t Care
3. Bobby Valentin – Geronmino
4. Bobby Rush – Gotta have money
5. Bobby Moore’s Rhythm Aces – Go ahead and burn

 


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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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June 29, 2015 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews UK Tags:, , ,
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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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NUTstory – Mod Man Out

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series NUTstory

A story about our very own Mousetrap in the olden days of the 1990’s (originally published in Loaded Magazine August 1994)

‘So who’s the ‘Ace Face’, then?’ was not a good way to introduce myself to a group of Mods. Saturday night at Jaci’s nighclub (now at the Orleans nightclub), Finsbury Park, and I feel like I just walked across a set at Ready Steady Go and written ‘rockers’ on Roger Daltry’s target. The ‘Mousetrap Mod Allnighter has the club’s dark, low, smoky basement filled with hip royalty, done up from head to toe, with enough hairspray to make their own hole in the ozone layer and the lowest hipsters in town. Before midnight the place was packed tight. Standing around, looking sharp, immaculately turned out in full Mod attire from French crop to Italian shoes. At first no one was dancing to the classic R’n’B, instead checking out the scene, deadpan, icy expressions like they were hiding a big secret. With no hassle or hesitation they eagerly got in front of the camera and struck poses straight out the 1960s Vogue. But there was one complaint from the photographer; ‘Stop chewing, that’s it, no, stop chewing.’ Everyone had gum in their mouth; Mods chewing like crazed ‘chain smoking’ sheep. A different DJ, wrapped in shades, shimmied behind the decks and broke the ice: ‘Let’s move onto some classic Motown, Marvin Gaye, ‘One More Heart Ache’.” The sudden change of music spread the chewing gum motion down to the cool feet; the boogaloo, footwork that has lasted through time performed tonight with such excellence. The look, the style, the attitude, every inch a Mod night down to the expressions straight out of that famous club scene with the Yardbirds in the film Blow Up. Regular trips outside are essential for oxygen. Standing by the two Vespas outside, I asked if there are still any original mods around from the 1960s?

Looking through his fringe a stylish Brian Jones lookalike replied ‘Yeah Jessie Hector, he’s a cool bloke. He’s been around a long time, he’s in a band, touring Europe now.’  I hear his name a few times in the evening, a man, a legend, he can jump across the stage, Superman style. I didn’t find any superheroes but outside two Mods, one in his twenties the other old enough to be his father, in a tonic suit, shades, thinning on top; had a box of seven inch plastic wet-dreams, original Soul and R’n’B records from £15-£150.

As the night moved on the floor became knee-deep in chewing gum wrappers. If you’ve run out of the chewy forget about your tie. The seven inch records get played at breakneck speeds classic old soul is turned into bizarre high

energy. Judging by expressions, you either dance or implode. The old vinyl was spun by Putney Sean, Catford Chris and Speed. When the night gets a little wired ‘The Block’ becomes the favoured move, named after the 1960s experience of too many ‘purple hearts’. These are regulars who live and die for the lifestyle; enjoying every beat minute of it. Around the bar, spearmint mouths talk cockney tales of the ‘weekend runs’, 1978 and how being a Mod is a full-time lifestyle! Men and Women aged from 24-34 with not a mohair out of place, living the scene. This July, it’s the big one, 30 years of Mod celebration taking place in Saarbrucken in Germany. A convoy of scooters will be leaving England to grace the party; but forget Quadrophenia this is ‘Modstock ‘94’!

The next Mousetrap Mod Allnighter is on Saturday 6 August at Jaci’s 259-261 Seven Sisters road, Finsbury Park, London. *(Please check the REAL 2012 dates of course 🙂

 

Written by Rowan Chernin of Loaded Magazine, August, 1994 © newuntouchables.com 2012


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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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February 11, 2012 By : Category : Clubs Events Front Page Reviews 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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