Browsing Tag New Untouchables

Rob’s Roundup 3

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

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

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

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

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

Nutty NYE Allnighter/Weekender

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

Le Beat Bespoke 11 – Easter 2016

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

Moustrap 25th Anniversay Allnighter

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

Brixton Got Soul

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

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team  

Nutstore

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

RnB Records

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

Network

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

Advertise with A push!

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

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

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

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

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team

Feedback here please folks! 

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

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November 27, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General News Picks Scene Tags:, ,
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Rob’s Roundup 2

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Welcome to Rob’s Round-Up!

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

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

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

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

CROSSFIRE – Sat 10 October 2015

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

New Untouchables 18th Anniversary Party – Sat 21 November

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

NUTTY NYE Allnighter/Weekender

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

NEW UNTOUCHABLES CLUB & GIG SCENE

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

Nutstore

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

RnB Records

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

Network

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

Advertise with A push!

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

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

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

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

Cheers, Rob Bailey & New Untouchables Team

Feedback here please folks! 

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drrobert

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

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September 23, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General Picks Scene Tags:, ,
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Rob’s Roundup

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

Welcome to Rob’s Round-Up!

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

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

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

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

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

Euro YeYe – 31 July – 2 August 2015

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

Brighton Mod Weekender – 28-30 August 2015

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

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

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

Crossfire Sat 10 October 2015

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

Small Faces Convention – Sat 12 September 2015

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

New Untouchables Club & Gig Scene

RR_posters

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

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

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

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

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

Nutsmag

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

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

Nutstores

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

RnB Records

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

Network

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

Advertise with A push!

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

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

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

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

Feedback here please folks! 

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message


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drrobert

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

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General News Picks Scene Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Le Beat Bespoké 6 LP review – Rhys Webb

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Record Picks

Le Beat Bespoké, now at volume six has been delivering a tailor made compilation of underground Sixties club hits for a decade now. Compiled by New Untouchables organiser Rob Bailey it has been an introduction for many to the sights and sounds that have been fuelling the dance floors of happenings like Mousetrap, Crossfire and the annual Le Beat Bespoké festival.

Where infamous compilations such as Pebbles, Back From The Grave and Rubble have focused on the lost treasures and treats from the vaults of fanatical collectors, Le Beat Bespoké differs in that it is made by a DJ with the intention of delivering an LP that will keep your feet moving from start to finish. For those familiar with the club nights it’s a flashback to evenings spent enjoying the tunes and for the uninitiated it’s an invitation to experience what lies inside those legendary London haunts that have become so important to so many.

The twenty tracks on volume six stomp and shake through a variety of genres from the distorted crunch of opener ‘I’m The Man’ by Jerry Holmes to the swinging euro soul of Belgium’s Birds And The Bees with ‘Tiger Dance’. There’s a few great Belgian cuts to be found here ‘Girl In The Future’ is a great example of the fine fuzz-tone the countries more weird and wonderful producers seemed to favour back in those hazy days.

Soul is also represented with Monica’s deep funk take on the Richie Havens classic ‘Freedom’, It’s a belter with a truly way out wah-wah guitar solo.

You can find fantastic American garage punk collected here too ‘It Happened’ by Paul Martin is a moody organ lead snarler, ‘Rat Race’ by The Tears is a Beatlesque pop treat and ‘Poor Poor’ Genie by Damon is probably one of my favourites collected on this LP. Recorded by a mysterious traveling musician in 1969 and laced with finger symbols, Eastern rhythms and lysergic acid drenched guitar lines, it’s certainly a 3-minute trip I’m happy to keep dropping.

There’s only a couple of UK cuts represented on this volume but I have to say that Samurai’s ‘Temple Of Gold’ released in 1968 on United Artists is one of the most exciting discoveries of recent years for me. Although not strictly a British group, (band leader Tetsu Yamauchi was Japanese), the single was recorded in London with British musicians and is a super psychedelic track complete with Flutes, Sitars and Strings, this is a 45 I’m sure will be found on countless want lists for
years to come.

Album closer ‘The Lesson’ by The Cords, from Texas, is a great choice of final track and will remind many regular attendees of the compilers long running club nights about how much fun can be had listening to this great music. The album is a great document of whats happening right now at those clubs. Although not every track might be your cup of tea, this is a fantastic glimpse in to the record boxes of one of the scenes most progressive DJ’s. Grab your copy here!

 


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Rhys Webb

Horror by day, vinyl junkie by night, Rhys is a DJ and collector whose passion for underground sounds started back in his teens attending the Mousetrap allnighter. Promoter of London club ‘the Cave’ he has also been seen moonlighting in another combo called ‘The Diddlers’ masquerading as a demented frontman about to smash his numerous sets of maracas on your bonce.

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April 29, 2015 By : Category : Beat DJs Front Page Fuzz Garage Inspiration Music Psych Reviews Scene UK Tags:, , ,
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Crossfire review with the Strypes & the Sorrows

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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November 26, 2012 By : Category : Bands Beat Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Sexy Sixties – The ‘Dolce Vita’ Effect

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Sexy Sixties

Sexy Sixties – Part 4, Chapter 1C – The ‘Dolce Vita’ Effect

Yes, that film. That actor cat. What’s his name? Marcello Mastroianni. Hmm. A bit ruthless, in the film. A bad-guy character, indeed. But – God – he’s smart as hell. Went to the movies three months ago and woke up the morning after with a strange feeling. A feeling that I had to dress, walk, behave and act like Mr. Mastroianni. Sure enough, he’s got that somewhat I was always looking for.

1960. “La Dolce Vita”, the new film of Federico Fellini, divides critics and public from day one, but is about to become both a classic and one of the most influential films ever. The film is formed by various episodes, all connected with the late 50s high-life in Rome.

Marcello Rubini is a journalist, writing gossip features but dreaming his immediate future as a proper writer. Life in the mid-late 50s Rome is made of chances and he’s always there to get them. He’s got to aim high, so he embarks in all those adventures that can shorten the distance between himself and his career. Hiring his photographer friend Paparazzo, to take pics of this blooming jet set, no place in and around Rome is too far for his ambitions.

Despite the producer De Laurentiis’ scepticism – he and Fellini argued about the choice of the main actor – La Dolce Vita earned a lot of money in the first two weeks of screening in Italian cinemas, and the sharp characters Marcello and Paparazzo (the latter eventually becoming a common name for any kind of gossip ruthless photographer) set the ethos and the aesthetics of a brand new young and modern man-about-town.

So, here we go. Marcello. Trying one of them well-tailored Italian suits. I have three of ‘em. Got the first one from a Soho spot, that man in his forties, how’s he called? Mario, I think. I popped there one day and told him “I’d like to look like Mastroianni. Can you make a good suit for me? I mean, the works”. And he went, with his very typical Southern Italy accent: “eh, I do wottya like, young man, but you gotta wait a week, so fulla bizinéss to do, diz days…”

And then, the following week I went there again for fittings. He took him sort of one month, which is not that quick, but – oh boy! What a result. I know my name ain’t Marcello, nor I am a fashionable Italian actor, but this is exactly the way I want to look like.

Can you imagine? Very few films have been so influential to early 60s Mod culture as La Dolce Vita. The very expression “Dolce Vita” became synonymous with “high life” and “jet set” , and eventually went to represent a new style for wool jumpers in Italy – dolcevita = turtleneck.


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Max Galli

Max Galli was born in Rome in 1969, the son of a photographer and a housewife. Illustrator, graphic designer and writer, he embraced the culture and the aesthetics of the Sixties more than two decades ago. Max published three novels, an anthology of short stories and four comic books, and contributed to several magazines ( "Storie", "Vintage", "Blue", "Misty Lane" and “EyePlug”). During the years he realized loads of illustrations, pin ups, record and cd covers and posters for Italian and European clubs and bands. He lived in London from 1998 to 2003, joining in the London Mod scene, from which he took inspiration for his work. His comic books “The Beatnix” and “The Adventures of Molly Jones” reached international success, especially in United Kingdom and USA.

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November 22, 2012 By : Category : Articles Essays Europe Fashion Film Front Page Inspiration Media Scene Style Tags:, , , , , , , ,
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Sexy Sixties -Those hedonistic Modernists (1959-1961)

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Sexy Sixties

Sexy Sixties – Chapter 1 Part B 

Those hedonistic Modernists (1959-1961)

The suit is a blue pinstripe model, made by that Italian tailor cat somewhere just behind Charing Cross Road. It looks good. Well, it looks damn right. It has three front pockets, plus one for the hanky, two eight inch side vents and it’s cut like a piece of art. It’s just perfect. Jean Paul Belmondo and Marcello Mastroianni couldn’t have desired anything better than that.

The owner of that suit – and many others – is a seventeen years old boy from Stepney Green. He works, of course, and his job is all about metal sheets to be folded and shaped. Not that it can be called “the best job in the world”, but it’s enough money to make him afford some very good clothes and fuel for his Lambretta Li 150. And some pills, too. “’Cause life’s gotta be brilliant. You have to be brilliant, mate”, he usually answers when someone asks him questions.

Meanwhile, he also invests his wages into the latest jazz imports from the US, exploring all those many microscopic Soho music shops. He spends a lot of his spare time looking at his image in the mirror, and – hey!, he likes a lot what he sees. He meets somewhere in the West End with a few other cats very much into the same music and lifestyle, but he doesn’t consider himself as part of a group. In fact, he’s an individual. He’s a Modernist.

Music and cinema started it all, in the 50s or maybe earlier. American GIs living in UK wanted jazz musicians to play for them. A bunch of sixteen years old boys, bored to death with the too understated, post war-ish national imagery, found themselves tasting a bit of that ‘modern jazz’ thing being imported. And they liked it. In the same time, French and Italian films added new ingredients to the cinema as a form of art, making British films look plain and unexciting, to say the least.

If we add to these two fundamental things a third, no less important one, the mass motorization, with the introduction of brilliantly designed Italian scooters, you should have a complete frame about our boy with the pinstripe suit, or about his attitude and lifestyle. “Being brilliant” as the opposite of “being plain”, “being dull”, “being a post-war number dressed in a boxy, badly cut jacket”. Or, in one word, “being square”.

All of a sudden these hedonistic teenagers didn’t want to be the average English boys anymore, they wanted to be American, French or Italian. And for the first time ever, they had enough money in their pockets to look smart, to buy imported records and to drive a very good looking scooter – a wheeled piece of the most desirable Italian design.

And the boy with the pinstripe suit irons the crease of his trousers to a sharp, razor-like finishing. A light-blue, tab collar shirt is waiting on a hanger, as the ice-white mac, ready to be worn.

“Just stick a good John Coltrane or Wayne Shorter on the record player, before I go. That will give me a kick”. It’s nine o’clock pm, and the night is there, just behind your flat’s door.

The night is yours and it’s full of new sensations.The gathering of a new kind of knights – the Modernists – will take place at the club, all night long.

You only need to read a book, to learn what’s the story. And this book can only be Colin McInnes’ “Absolute Beginners”. It’s all there.


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Max Galli

Max Galli was born in Rome in 1969, the son of a photographer and a housewife. Illustrator, graphic designer and writer, he embraced the culture and the aesthetics of the Sixties more than two decades ago. Max published three novels, an anthology of short stories and four comic books, and contributed to several magazines ( "Storie", "Vintage", "Blue", "Misty Lane" and “EyePlug”). During the years he realized loads of illustrations, pin ups, record and cd covers and posters for Italian and European clubs and bands. He lived in London from 1998 to 2003, joining in the London Mod scene, from which he took inspiration for his work. His comic books “The Beatnix” and “The Adventures of Molly Jones” reached international success, especially in United Kingdom and USA.

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August 8, 2012 By : Category : Articles Essays Europe Fashion Film Front Page Inspiration Media Scene Style Tags:, , ,
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NUTsCast – Dr Robert Prescribes! (2)

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series NUTsCast - Podcast

Dr Robert NUTs Head Honcho and toppermost in demand DJ Prescribes a second in the series of Modernist sonic set of fruity delights, rarities and underground shakers to accompany your Summer days. Have a real good listen and feel free to share it with those you love!


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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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May 22, 2012 By : Category : DJs Front Page Music Picks Podcasts Scene 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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Le Beat Bespoké 8 – Review

Taking The Beat By The Teeth: Le Beat Bespoké 8

Slap bang wallop! Without even a moments thought April has swung back round again and the Easter Bank Holiday has reared its handsome face. The worker ants of England are assembling with the prospect of a three-day weekend just too hot to handle. Pint arms are winding up and cigarettes jingling in their boxes, while the pub tills are grinning their toothless smiles in wait of the precious pound notes that will soon be jumping eagerly to their alcohol-induced doom.

Some people are choosing their outfits, and a few of them have been choosing more carefully than others. One such member of the few happens to be me, and it’s vintage suede on the outerwear agenda as I walk a walk of walks in repossessed Italian lace-ups and gunmetal strides down Great Portland Street. My consideration has been of due importance as my destination tonight is none other than the all singing all dancing Le Beat Bespoke weekender; the holy grail of modernist and 1960s orientated events on these fair isles.

As I near the end of Great Portland Street the venue looms into view and the scene is awash with psychedelic overtones: floral shirts, formidable sideburns, shaggy mop tops and tight flares, girls in every shade of paisley, cigarette smoke billowing from under Sassoon bobs; the occasional suit a close fit over spindly limbs. This is of course because taking the stage tonight will be three separate counts of psych rock majesty: fabled Ealing group July playing their eponymously titled ’68 album in full; on-stage arson enthusiast and godfather of shock rock Arthur Brown brings his ‘Crazy World of’… album to life track by track; and to cap the nights live music Dartford garage rock icons the Pretty Things will be serving up a helping of personal highlights from their string of Electric Banana albums. So descending the steps into the main hall I swing myself a beer in at the bar and join the steadily amassing crowd as Friday night begins…

A luminously coloured 4-foot dwarf-like monster of sorts is slowly parading across the stage shaking some kind of cosmic African staff when July take the stage, unbeknownst at this point that peculiar costumes and masks will feature steadily throughout the evening and beyond. Kaleidoscopic visuals swirl overhead as the band launch into opener ‘My Clown’, far-off harmonies and organs oscillating above the steady snare beat, with screeching guitars wail throughout ending with a warm applause from the crowd. Four minutes in and things are decidedly acidy already, and it’s all Eastern leaning space rock from here on out. Bongos ripple under driving rhythm guitar on ‘You Missed it All’ and languid sitar drones while distorted solos spiral on ‘The Way’, not to mention a ‘July’ shaped bass appearing in the hands of singer Tom Newman (of which someone tells me he crafted himself). All these elements are combined throughout the on stage reincarnation of the album, and personal favourite ‘Crying Is For Writers’ goes down a storm before the band finishes with classic track ‘Dandelion Seeds’.  Everything technicoloured and dandy so far.

After a brief smoking intermission I re-beer and prepare for Arthur Brown to make his Crazy World live music reality. Though infamous for the insanity of his live shows nobody can quite prepare you for the crew of druid-like figures that walk on stage in bizarre brightly coloured masks and shimmering cloaks. Organs sing out as the imposing frame of Mr Brown takes position at the front and a wild garage drum beat kicks in with quick firing guitar. Brown screeches and the mask is off revealing a black and white painted face that resembles something halfway between a panda and a vampire. As Brown howls his way through opener ‘Prelude/Fanfare’ I’m quite literally taken aback by the wild majesty of his voice; 69 years of living seem meaningless as he bellows maniacally over duelling organs nailing every piercing note. After shaking and shimmying like the proverbial madman through the jazz flute synth mayhem of ‘Fanfare/Fire Poem’, the moment many people have been anticipating takes place. A diminutive LSD-goblin appears from behind the stage carrying the notorious crown of fire, which is subsequently fastened to Arthur Brown’s head and set alight to cries of adulation from the audience. The sacred words of ‘I am the Lord of Hellfire…’ are uttered and the band catapults into that most famous of Hammond electronic organ tunes. A simply unbelievable rendition of his famous cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins track ‘I Put a Spell on You’ follows amidst ritualistic dancing all round and a golden-winged woman joining the caped melee of the band, as the Crazy World of Arthur Brown hurtles towards its brilliant end. For tonight at least.

With Arthur Brown living up to his name with fry…flying colours it seemed even a band as feted as the Pretty Things would have a bit of trouble following on from the wild display just witnessed. Though in their Electric Banana guise, it’s not long before the crowd are once more fully engrossed in the psychedelic buzz. Bright coloured hypnotic projections follow once again and I make a mental note that something similar might be a worthwhile installation in my room at home. Having missed a chance to see the Pretty Things before at the Charlotte Street Blues club before it closed down it doesn’t take me long to start enjoying myself as the cacophony of garage psych and turbo blues spills forward from the stage.  Complete with Go-Go dancers some fine vintage late 60s psych is being played, ‘What’s Good for the Goose’ goes down perfectly with a rum and coke, as well as a favourite of mine ‘It’ll Never Be Me’, and as the set reaches it’s acid drenched crescendo ‘£.S.D’ is fittingly dropped into the mix and there isn’t a single person seen to be standing still.

Shortly after the live entertainment is finished I’m working over my game plan for the weekend over a cigarette. Do break it in gently on the Friday and gradually gather pace towards Sunday’s finale, or just say, “fuck it” and take Le Beat by the teeth and get well and truly weekendered? Knowing that this is now my third Le Beat Bespoke in a row I am aware of the fact that the ‘gently does it’ approach didn’t work the last two times, or in fact rarely ever. As I take the penultimate drag of my cigarette the party gene within is fully expressing itself, and having already made the decision for me I throw any lingering caution rather casually to the wind. As you do.

After the collective madness of tonight’s psychedelic live adventure I decide to delve back into the earlier half of the decade over in the R&B room, with tonight’s tunes supplied by the DJs of renowned Sheffield club night ‘Pow Wow’. As usual there is some fine dance moves on show, young guns and old hands alike in perspiration defying suits, more pristine hair-dos and dresses than you can shake a seven inch single at. Between fast paced R&B belters there’s club soul and boogaloo, cut with rum and ginger ale, and crucial cooling down outside which is making it a bad weekend to quite smoking. Two friends appear out of nowhere shuffling along to some up-tempo latin and remind me that it is in fact my birthday. I agree that it is and after a celebratory shot at the bar it’s dance dance dance non-stop until kicking out time, and after somewhat drunken and unsuccessful attempts to get ourselves some ‘Boris’ bikes Friday night is done and dusted with Saturday already poking it’s nose into view.

Feeling rougher than expected I awake with this years Le Beat soundtrack tune ‘Shake Yourself Down’ by the Checkerlads on repeat in an otherwise vacant mind. I am also horrified to discover that it is 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Thinking so much for making a birthday of it I call my mate to find that he’s gone to 229 to check out the vintage market which serves as one of Le Beat’s daytime features. The clothes obsessive in me is crying but my wallet is relieved. I resolve to get myself together and chip back into town later to catch 60s rock’n’roll Minnesota surfin’ birds the Trashmen who are, rather unbelievably, playing their first ever UK show. Arranging to meet fresh accomplices at a nearby drinking establishment round number two has arrived and Saturday night starts.

We arrive in time to catch the last third of the Screamin’ Vendettas’ set. Following on from Arthur Brown and his bands lead the masks are out again, complete with spooky hoods. Raucous garage rock & roll is blaring from the stage with gravelly vocals that put me in the mind of the John Spencer Blues Explosion all dressed up for Halloween. It’s brash, stripped-down cover stuff with a slight rockabilly lean, which suits tonight’s main room residents The Rock Around. Plenty of quiffs are bobbing in the audience and I even spot a couple of yes-drill-sergeant buzz cuts staring intently at the on-stage spectacle.

Still feeling suspect after last night I steady myself with a beer and when we return to the crowd the Trashmen are taking the stage. Dressed in black and looking understandably more mature than the sleeve of infamous single ‘Surfin’ Bird’, the drummer gibbers wildly into the mic and the band launches into their set, and suddenly the night is feeling very ‘Pulp Fiction’. With this gig decades in the making and also coinciding with the bands 50th anniversary it’s clear that none of the original enthusiasm has waned. Amidst a set of classic songs such as ‘King of the Surf’ and a thrilling rendition of Dick Dale stormer ‘Misirlou’ (that Pulp Fiction banger to anyone who was wondering) there’s a three song Link Wray medley and an interesting surf re-working of classic Spanish folk song ‘Malaguena’, all of which are warmly received by the crowd. Undeniably the set highlight is of course ‘Surfin Bird’, which is by anyone’s estimation and undying staple in the classic rock canon, to which everyone in the crowd has buzzed-up shimmy and a shake to.

Following their departure and having re-found my feet somewhat, I decide to pick up where Friday’s ’68 sound left off. As the rockers and rollers begin to hit the main room floor we saunter through to the Beat Basement where I am met with more congratulatory birthday shots. And all of a sudden the weekend is back into top gear. I spend the best part of the evening swinging between the floppy fedoras and swirly dresses of the psych room and that sharp suited sounds of the R&B room, where guest DJs from Spanish stalwart The Boiler club are laying down some serious vintage black dancers. Everyone and everything seems in fine form with not a sorry face is to be seen.

Finding ourselves back in the psych room ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ blares forth from the speakers and now being well into the run of things drinks-wise I foresee that tomorrow will know less jovial times. But it matters not, because in the words of Lou Reed, ‘tomorrows just some other time’. At that care-free intersection of the evening where the music and people are at fun-induced critical mass I realise that there is only 45 minutes left. Resolving to carry on the party Elsewhere we leave in a taxi to an undisclosed location where the general merriment of the evening spirals into the wee hours in a ceaseless haze of happiness.

At around 8am it slowly dawns on me that there is something important that I am meant to already be awake for. And in the drunken fug I realise that I’m due to meet my own band for a recording session. Feeling a little bit sick and Hastily leaving in a shamble I head for the tube, drawing some very confused, if not concerned looks from various passers by. I suspect it’s either down to the un-dead pallour my skin has taken on or the rather conspicuous fringed suede jacket I’m wearing.

Several hours and countless coffees later I’m beginning to feel a little bit delirious. By half 5 in the afternoon I’m seriously questioning my will to carry on and by the time I leave to get ready for the third and final round I have decided with absolute conviction, that the idea of ‘rock and roll’ people are so often using to categorise a lifestyle of musical and recreational excess is thoroughly overrated. But what else can you do at this point and suck it up and make it to the next inning.

I just about pull my sanity and my body back together after a 2 hour sleep/coma and make it out of the house by 11. For the second time in 24 hours it once again dawns on me that I’ve forgotten something important, in that I missing Sunday’s live finale; the focal point of which will be another New Untouchables live coup- Scotland’s finest freakbeat emissaries The Poets. Lamenting the rickety state of my fragile weekend being I pray there might be another time.

For the third night in a row and my body now about as good as a cardboard cut-out of a former self I arrange to meet with startlingly fresh faced and large numbered group of friends at a flat near Great Portland Street. Everyone is gathered for Sunday’s Crossfire event, the immensely popular oldies night Crossfire. Bar two or three of us present this is the only night most of the assembled group had planned on going to, and a feeling of high spiritedness is unanimous. Having started the weekend as quite the game young buck I’m now feeling approximately twice my age (24) and my state of mind can be compared to that of a homeless Vietnam veteran. As someone sticks on Yvonne Baker behemoth ‘You Didn’t Say a Word’ I drain the content of my predominantly gin-filled glass in one and decide that only Northern Soul can save me now…

This is where the story ends, or rather cuts-out, as most of the hours following our arrival at 229 are a soul-fuelled blur. All I can say is that there was lots of soul, and lots of dancing, and lots of lots of things, all of which I can guarantee… It finally took me till half 7 in the morning at another after party in Elswhereville to declare my self 100% Weekendered. Gold stamp approved. Congratulations as always to Rob Bailey and the New Untouchables team for a thoroughly monumental weekend and roll on the next one. Maybe next year I’ll try the full 3 days without sleep and make things really interesting. Until next time, over and out- like a light.


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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 Events Front Page Reviews Scene UK Tags:, , ,
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