Browsing Tag NUTSMAG

Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind

Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind, the new band from former Jim Jones Revue / Black Moses / Thee Hypnotics front man. The new band doesn’t exactly pick up where his previous one left off, there is bluesy garage rock guitars and honky-tonk style piano, but also more reflective and more experimental sounds. Tracks like Boil Yer Blood, the title track of their debut EP, are loud and raucous; but the gently psychedelic 1000 Miles From The Sure is more distinctive and the groovy Hold Up is driven by drums, handclaps and backing vocals in counterpoint to Jones’ crooning.

We very much look forwards to seeing them at Le Beat Bespoke 11 on the Saturday night! Darius Drewe caught up with them recently.

01. Let’s start with the new songs. The three I’ve heard already, from the “Boil Yer Blood” single, are sonically very disparate, meaning that whereas I could get a “handle” on your previous bands quite easily, I’m still slightly perplexed by the Righteous Mind. Is this band deliberately meant to be un-classifiable, or is there a more clearly defined “modus operandi” you haven’t unveiled yet?

Hello mate, Yeh, the Jim Jones Revue was a fairly specific sound and, as you say, easy to get a handle on, so, after eight years or so of that, which involved a lot of touring, the first thing you want to do is ‘everything else’ .. you know, travel to new and exotic lands etc.

There’s already more than an albums worth of Righteous Mind material recorded, and it is fairly varied, by design, but there is a thread, or a kind of pattern that you can get a hold of once you’ve heard a number tracks… On the Boil Yer Blood EP. though, it was a conscious decision to put quite a wide spectrum across as the first release, so as not to get boxed in too early in the game.

02. What particular musical influences have shaped this new venture? Have you discovered any new sounds that excite and thrill you, and if so, what are they?

All the same stuff mostly; roots music especially, but from a different angle than before; from the standpoint of time and experience… I think all truly great music comes back to haunt you again and again in the best possible way; it’s like a lesson that you learn a little deeper each time.

03. On a similar subject, do you ever get tired of shifting from band to band? This will be the fourth group you’ve fronted in just under 30 years, and from the MC5/Stooges-infused psychedelia of Thee Hypnotics through the funky soul rock of Black Moses to the rock’n’roll revivalism of the Revue, they’ve all differed from each other significantly. Obviously, many of music’s greatest innovators, from Bowie to Miles Davis, constantly reinvented themselves but do you think people ever wonder why you can’t/won’t remain in the same outfit for more than five years at a time? Or has it simply been an accidental mixture of coincidence and circumstance?

It’s probably more like eight to ten years at a time, but I’m not counting. Trouble is: not everyone has the stamina to regularly get out on the road for long periods of time and give a hundred and ten percent of yourself night after night, it can take it’s toll… Once it’s in the blood though, it’s hard to do anything else. Most people will have a lineup change and keep the same name, which I guess is the smart way to do it, but I suppose I’ve never been business minded in that way, I always see it as a chance to wipe the slate clean and reinvent yourself. Hopefully The Righteous Mind will be the one that keeps rolling. Which is another good reason for the broad horizon on the first single.

04. Tell me a little about the other members of the line-up and how you came to know them.

I’ve always been pretty lucky when it comes to finding good people to play with, and The Righteous Mind is no exception, in fact it maybe the best unit so far.

Gavin Jay, as you know, was also the bass player in the Jim Jones Revue. First time I saw him, he was playing in a small club, the band and the crowd were pretty static, but he was throwing himself into it with gusto; a sharp dressed man, who could play well, and knew how to put some presence onto the stage… I’ll have some of that! I ‘borrowed’ him at first but the Revue soon became ten times busier than his other band and the rest, as they say etc etc. Gav is really great to work with and is also known as ‘Mr One Take’ in the studio – He plays amazing stand up bass too, with and without a bow, which was ignored in the Revue for one reason or another, so that was one of the first things I wanted to utilize with the Righteous Mind.

Phil Martini is on drums, I’ve known Phil from a while back and from his previous band The Tokyo Dragons. He was my first choice for someone to work with, and I approached him as soon as JJR started making noises about calling it a day. I’m always pushing the drummer to try to find an unconventional groove, a different approach and something unusual sounding for each song, which isn’t always easy for them, but Phil’s taken everything I can throw at him without batting an eyelid. This has meant that I could work really fast at getting new material together.

On piano we have the brilliantly mysterious Matt Millership. Originally, Henri Herbert was set to be part of the project, but around the same time I was starting to work on the bare bones beginnings of the songs that I had, Henri’s YouTube clip of him playing piano in St Pancreas station went viral and he was flooded with offers to come and play straight boogie woogie piano which had been a lifetime dream for him, so I just said good luck, and wondered where the hell I was going to find someone as good as him (???) It was Henri himself who recommended Joe Glossop. Joe’s an amazing intuitive player who’s been around the block, we worked with him and got the lions share of the songs up to speed and subsequently recorded. Joe did the first short tour with us, but when it came time for the first single release he couldn’t do the show’s that went with it… ‘what do you mean you can’t do the shows ?’ – ‘Sorry, I’ve been asked to go on the road with Tom Jones’… fair enough, as long as it’s a Jones… So I had to hunt around again and was lucky enough to get Matt. He had been in the frame to possibly replace Elliot Mortimer in the JJR but the timing hadn’t worked out and that’s when Henri had turned up just in time. Matt jumped straight in where Joe left off and without missing a beat, we were on the road again.

Malcolm Troon (Dr Troon) is playing pedal steel, theremin, additional guitar and percussion. I’ve known Malcolm for a while as a hot-shot Denmark street guitarist. He’s a formidable musician, and also, like Matt, stepped in to rescue the band when our original and also incredibly talented guy David Page was called away by Rick Ruben and the gang to work on an LP.recording with The Ruen Brothers… Phil had worked with Mal before in the Dragons and it was his suggestion to get in touch with him. As you can imagine; finding a pedal steel player isn’t the easiest thing, let alone finding two of em! The pedal steel itself takes a high degree of skill and confidence to master, and to make matters worse; I’m asking these guys to then NOT play it in the traditional way but to subvert it and use it to create new sounds. They’re all great to work with and easy to be around, I can’t believe how lucky I am really.

05. Do you think this band has an advantage over its predecessors, inasmuch as that whereas all the others began at “cult” level and attempted to work their way up, you were already famous by the time you formed this one? It has enabled you to more or less launch straight into medium-sized venues and big festivals, whereas both Black Moses and the Revue began their careers in small clubs..

Yeh, it’s definitely taken some of the slog out of the thing.

06. With the Revue, you were definitely perceived as a flag bearer for the vintage/retro/revivalist scene that was proliferating in the UK at the time, filled out by bands like your close friends the Urban Voodoo Machine on one side and the likes of Vintage Trouble and Little Barrie on the other. Did that sort of tag piss you off? And if so, is the Righteous Mind a deliberate attempt to escape it?

To a certain extent yes; on the one hand it’s frustrating to be misperceived, as I’ve never viewed the old/new thing in that way… It was never to do with a trend; in fact it’s more of a ‘reaction’ to bullshit trend’s or fashions… It can be a fine line sometimes, and I’m quite aware of how easy it is to fall into a weird kind of role play, and you have to avoid that at all costs if you want to feel you’re doing something valid and not just regurgitating the past. Just to be clear though: if there’s a choice between old and new; and the old thing is still valid and in working order; 9 times out of 10 the old shit is 100 times better than the new shit.

07. When I first knew you, you were living near Ladbroke Grove but these days, you reside in “trendy” Dalston. How do you view the perceived “hipsterization” of the East End these days, and more importantly, the music scene in London in general?

Hackney has now become a bit like Ladbroke Grove was when I left there… I live in Walthamstow now, which is where I was actually born and it still hasn’t been completely gentrified.

08. And what about equipment? One musician of my acquaintance (won’t name him, but he recently joined a reformed 70s punk act on drums) is such a purist that in order to achieve what the believes to be the “true rock and roll sound”, he insists his other band, in which he writes the material, only use certain guitars, basses, kits and amps. And, though I wouldn’t take that approach myself, he’s not the only one. But where do you stand on it? Obviously I can imagine what you wouldn’t use- I’d be unlikely, for instance, to ever see you playing a BC Rich or an Ibanez- but are there any particular brands you favour? And how essential are they to your music?

It’s not to try to sound like someone else; because that’s a dead-end; but I like old stuff, if it’s still working, or new stuff that’s built as good as the old stuff. It feels more honest, like it’s come out of the earth.

09. A lot of your music tends to celebrate an atmosphere of bohemian, bacchanalian decadence. How much of it is genuine? Is it a creed by which you live your life? I only ask because I’ve seen you leap across tabletops at a party with drink in hand, surrounded by stunning burlesque women, but I’ve also seen you being domestic, reading your kid bedtime stories. Is there a “real” Jim Jones? Or is he a mixture of all those disparate elements?

Yeh, it’s always nice to be a little more three three-dimensional, don’t you think? You really can move between worlds, as Tom Waits says: ‘You don’t always have to stay the night.’

10. On that subject, do you think rock’n’roll musicians sometimes have to play up too hard to their public persona, sometimes resulting in their premature demise?

Yeh, it can become that ‘role play’ thing again. It’s all nonsense really… I think what a lot of people miss, is that the difference with people like Lemmy or Keef is that they put their work first.

11. Final question. It’s taken you approximately 28 years’ worth of work, self-belief and dedication to get where you are now – do you think everything you’ve had to endure along the way has been worth it? Or do you think that it’s more a reflection of how long it takes to achieve anything in this country outside of the mundane, and that had you been born in the US or Europe, you’d have been a star by your 20s instead of your 40s? More to the point, if longevity is the goal, do you think you’ll stay the course like your mentors Iggy Pop, Wayne Kramer and Tom Waits have?

I don’t think it’s any easier in the States or Europe although there is more money for arts in places like France, but then that’s one less thing to kick against… I’m a lifer, there’s no getting around it, and it’s not really a matter of choice, you know, more of a vocation… I think the key is: don’t look back !

Web Links:

www.righteousmind.co.uk
www.facebook.com/jjatrm
www.twitter.com/JJandtheRM
www.instagram.com/jjandtherm


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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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March 2, 2016 By : Category : Bands Clubs Events Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , ,
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The Dustaphonics (Newbreed)

This entry is part 18 of 22 in the series Newbreed4

NUTSMAG recently caught up with the band in London…

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

Started 2008 in Hackney, when the actress Tura Satana (Faster Pussycat Kill Kill) asked me to create a few pieces of music for her new film. Sadly she passed away a few months after our first single was released on Dirty Water with the song we co-wrote: “Burlesque Queen”.

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

With an additional horn section, we’ve been the backing band of the Blues Brothers’ Dan Aykroyd, and James Moore, Big Mama Thornton (RIP) and Sugar Pie Desanto’s manager, asked us to be Sugar’s backing band for some future UK shows. We love all kinds of good music, but the main thing the band members all have in common is a passion for Rhythm & Blues and R&B-based music.

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

I lived in London for 20 years, and there are always some great bands in the big smoke. I am in Lille now (North of France) where you can find cool kids: The Arrogants, The Hoodoo Tones, etc.

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

I stopped my weekly club night in London (Raison D’Etre) to start the Lille-Roubaix Vintage Weekender (17,000 visitors). Lille is a vibrant city with a great eclectic music scene. The perfect crossroads between London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. John Sinclair (MC5/White Panthers) was there in January for The Detroit Boom Boom; I played guitar alongside his great live poetry performance.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

As a DJ, musician, producer, I’ve been influenced by many genres: Rhythm & Blues, Surf, Rocknroll, Rockabilly, Soul, 60’s/90’s Garage Punk, 70’s PunkRock, British R&B, Latin Boogaloo, Funk, Jazz, Bossa Nova, Ska, Early Reggae, Country, Mambo, etc.  All those elements, at different doses, combine to make the sound of The Dustaphonics! Some people love it and understand the idea beyond and see something fresh. Some people start off really confused about it but often they’re up and dancing a few songs into the set. Would “Vavavoom Rock’n’Roll”
describe us?

06. What are your live shows like?

“Dustaphonics! You are a world-class act and a very fine RockNRoll band!”  Rob Lind (The Sonics) described us that way on stage after we’d supported them at the Forum London. He also asked for a cd, as did Martha Reeves and her 2 sisters when we played with the Vandellas. They even asked us for signed copies of our new single. How crazy is that – some of our heroes asking for our music! Hayley joined us only 3 years ago and she has made great progress, considering that she never really had a proper band before. She does the show on 10,000 volts, BOOM! While, us, the boys, are at the “back” making sure all sounds solid and tight! Dustaphonics shows are simple, energetic, good vibe and open to all.

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

Despise? I prefer keeping my ears fresh for the bands and artists that I love and ignore the rest. My influence comes from the music arrangements of the 1960s Motown (like the Ramones; not much guitar hero guitar solo), Bo Diddley, Sonics, Hubert Sumlin, Link Wray, Mickey Baker, Cliff Gallup, Them, Ramones, Dick Dale, Larry Collins, The Animals, Ronnie Dawson, Joe Clay, The Saints, The Jam, etc. We do and love covers: Bo Diddley “Dearest Darling”, Sugar Pie Desanto “Witch of The Night”, Louisiana Red “Ride on”, Sonics “Shotdown”,  Sonny Burgess  “Red Headed Woman”,  Ike & Tina Turner “Worried and Hurting”, Howlin’ Wolf “You Gonna Wreck my life”,  traditional Gospel “Don’t let the Devil Drive your car”, The Strangeloves “Night Time”. The other 20 songs or so in the set are originals.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

The good and the bad sides of our society. Girls, 1950s, 60s, 70s Cinema, design, literature. Helping and producing young music talent. Organising music and cultural events.

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

I bring the theme, the idea, the melody, the riff, Hayley or Aina write the lyrics, I work on the global arrangement while the lyrics are done, then we give a go all together with the full band. We deal about positive things, nothing really dark or too serious. No politics. Few examples: “Party Girl “was influenced by my girlfriend, “When you gonna learn” is about mistakes we can all make sometimes, “Rockin’ Boogaloo” is a tribute to all the DJs who are spinning/collecting the goodies on vinyl.

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

Too many great songs made by so many great artists. As for the Dustaphonics’ repertoire, they have to be all our favourites, otherwise they won’t be played on stage with soul and passion.

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

I think the global underground scene at the moment is booming, vibrant with a fresh energy from a new generation of great musicians and bands. Same wherever we are playing: Spain, UK. France, Italy, in a small club for 100 people or on a big festival’s stage for 20,000 people. There is always a great multi generation mix of people at our gigs: Mods, Garage, Surf, Punk, Rockers, Cats, Beatnicks, Bikers and classic music lovers. It is not that easy to be semi-pro musicians by playing niche music in a specific closed circuit, so for that reason, we cannot belong to only one circuit or one scene, we do participate in various scenes who are booking and looking after us.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Coming back alive from 5 fantastic Spanish tours, no, joking. Few years ago I had a very serious accident and ended up paralysed for few months. I had to learn again how to walk, to talk and play guitar, The biggest challenge was my body/brain synchronization and to run the band, keep on doing tours and gigging whilst in a very weak physical and mental condition, but it was the only way, the best therapy for getting better.

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

We are playing Le Beat Bespoke Festival in London Saturday 26th March! A fast 40 min set before the great Little Barrie and Jim Jones. Book your ticket for the 3 days, there Is an amazing line up of great bands and DJs.

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

Dustaphonics members can speak English, Spanish, French, German and Italian, so we can read/translate specialist magazines like Mojo, Blues & Soul Mag, Shindig, Vive Le Rock in UK, Ugly Things in US, Ruta 66 in Spain, Soul Bag, Dig It in France. Blow up in Italy, Dynamite in Germany plus some great online blogs too. We would love to have more coverage in the media but we cannot afford to pay a PR for that.

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

I am ok with a few, like The Hives, Shingai Shoniwa, Erykah Badu, etc. I love and collect mostly vintage 50s and 60s stuff but I do enjoy a lot of current bands like: James Hunter, Sharon Jones, Nick Waterhouse, Jd Mc Pherson ,Phantom Surfers, Mike Sanchez, Lee Field, Junior Brown, Little Victor & Co, Masonics, Bill Kirchen, Bellfuries , Urban Voodoo Machine, Nico Duportal, etc…and of course the new generation too, like in France Fuzzy Vox or Les Grys-Grys, who headlined my event the Roubaix Vintage Weekender 2 years ago.

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

1/ Muscle Shoal (Sheffield-Alabama) with Mark Neil? Why? Because I am a big fan of The Unknowns and Mark’s work. In the late 90s we even recorded a song together, that is locked in the secret vault of Toe Rag Studios, with Mark (guitar), Dave Doyle (bass) Liam Waston (drums) and me (guitar). 2/ RCA Studio Nashville with Mark Neil and Liam Watson or Mark Neil and Jim Diamond? 3/ Toe Rag (London )with Liam and Ed? 4/ Rimshot Studio (London (with Mike Thorne and Healer Selecta? 5/ Circo Perrotti (Gijon) with Jorge and Healer Selecta?

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

Meeting more and more fans and great people on the road, recording our 3rd album, doing some shows with Sugar Pie Desanto and other legends, coming back alive from our 6th Spanish tour in September. We have just done a great interview too for Ruta 66 magazine (booking Spain via soundealer Madrid).  We are playing a great Blues Soul Festival in France in March with another Motown legend: Bettye LaVette.

Band Members:

Lead Vocal: Hayley Red
Guitar: Yvan Serrano Aka Dj Healer Selecta
Drums: Eric Frajiria
Bass: Devid + Special Guest
Guitar: Dan Whaley
Harmonica: Kevin Smith

Discography:

2015
EP: Q Sound Groove
Q Sound Records Paris

2014
LP: Big Smoke London Town
(King-a-ling Records Under License To Dirty Water Records )

2012
LP: Party Girl
(King-a-ling Records Under License To Dirty Water Records)

2012
Single Jinx/lookin’ At You
(King-a-ling Records Under License To Munster Records/vampisoul Madrid)

2009
CD: Burlesque Queen Cd
(Kingaling Records) 2009

Single: Burlesque Queen/tornado
(King-a-ling Records Under License To Dirty Water Records) 2009

Compilation:

LP/CD Gangster on Specialized compilation: A Modern Take On Specials Classics (Teenage Cancer Trust) 2012 UK

Main Site: www.healerselecta.co.uk
Social Networks:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheDustaphonics
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thedustaphonics
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dustaphonics
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/dustaphonics
Videos: Big Smoke London Town & Party Girl
Updated Releases and Tour Dates: www.reverbnation.com/dustaphonics


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drrobert

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

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March 2, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 10 (episode 19)

NUTsCast Feb 2016

In this latest edition of the Nutscast Sessions, The Baron looks ahead to the Easter extravaganza that is Le Beat Bespoke 11 from 24th to 27 March 2016.

Playing tracks by the featured artists and selections from our guest djs, it is the prefect prelude to another great weekend in London hosted by The New Untouchables.


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Graham Lentz

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

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February 11, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Podcasts Reviews Tags:, , ,
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The Meyer Dancers

The Meyer Dancers are London’s finest specialist 1960s Go Go Dance Company. The Meyer Dancers are made up of professionally trained dancers and choreographers. TMD are assisted by professional make up artists and costume designers to create a truly authentic experience. The Meyer dancers have been performing Go Go for 3 years & are well established with support slots to names such as Geno Washington & The Sonics.

01. How did the The Meyer Dancers originally get going?

Treacle and Cherry founded TMD when they met at dance school and discovered a mutual passion for all things 60’s and 70’s. Treacle was spinning records regularly at club nights around north London and Soho, with Cherry being one of the regular attendees at her nights. The duo had an admiration for 60’s movies and in particular cult legend Russ Meyer. This was where the Meyer Dancers were born and took inspiration from. Swerving a far left from the burlesque movement The Meyer Dancers recreate authentic Go-Go dancing from the podiums reminiscent from ‘Whisky A Go-Go’, shindigs and soul trains!

02. How long have you been interested in this type of dancing?

All our dancers have been dancing since they were nippers but as a company we’ve been Go-Going for 6 years and we are still the first cats on the dance floor! We love to perform our routines but we also like getting up to freestyle. We are trying to get the ‘Go-Go’ word around town teaching a great cardio 60’s workout and learning some of the classic moves! We are currently holding classes twice a month at Haunt in Dalston.

03. What was it like to go from an Idea to your actual first early bookings?

We started off by learning many of the ‘classic’ moves, watching hours of YouTube videos, original film footage, and studying the whole look and vibe. We started out performing with a northern soul cover band in east London every month and it progressed from there into different kinds of bookings from music videos, to dancing for some of our idols!

04. How did you research the types of moves and the sounds and styles and set-ups?

We went out to as many clubs as possible, you learn so much from chatting to people and the dance floors. We also watched endless soul train and Shindig plus loads of Ike and Tina Turner footage!

05. Tell us about your usual preparation behind the scenes for a show?

It usually consists of an overflowing suitcase full of costumes, hairspray and pins. We come dressed in our ’60’s day wear’ ; we get a lot of stuff from charity shops, Paperdress vintage and E-Bay! We also have a constant supply of fake eyelashes! Pre performance you’ll find us backstage warming up and wiggling into costumes, plus some extra backcombing never goes a miss!

06. Where have you appeared over the years?

We have been booked for such a variety! We’ve performed at most of the festivals, Glastonbury, Lattitude, Wilderness, Isle of Wight. Lots of fabulous clubs in London, the North of England and Spain! We have also danced for dome seriously groovy parties one we loved recently was in a disused building on the south bank it was lovingly recreated as Andy Warhols factory and we had pride of place – shakin and shimmying next to the DJ! Not forgetting one of our favourite annual performances at Le Beat Bespoke where we have supported The Sonics, danced our socks off for The Pretty Things and even done ‘the bird’ with The Trashmen!

07. Tell us about your involvement with the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables make so many people happy – it’s just a pleasure working with them! We started by coming to the nights as punters and Rob Bailey asked The Meyers to perform at Le Beat Bespoke about five years ago and I think we have performed every year since making more glamorous friends every time
we do!

08. What are some of the best and worst memories from your performances?

The worst was probably the back stage glamour being told to head to your dressing room and then arriving to find they’ve whacked a sign up on a random door and the reality is that 5 of us have to get changed in a disabled toilet, then opening the door to a northern man having a piss!

The best bit is we get to do what we love! We love a great crowd who vibe off us and get dancing and we love performing with bands and DJs who are just as passionate as us! We love to keep the authenticity as much as we can to the go-go girls of the era.

09. How do you keep the performances so fresh and vibrant?

Within the paradigm of 60’s go-go we like to go into the sub genres such as psychedelia, mod, French ye-ye and surf so we make routines which suit these vibes and always make a new costume for each of them! We often have clients ask us to perform specific styles within Go-Go so its good to have some variation. We love shopping trips to record shops to find new songs to dance to!

10. Who are your big inspirations in the world of dance and performance?

We love love love Pans People but the original line up to around ’73, they had to put their heads together every week and make magic happen to whatever was the latest hit and sometimes we get given themes or tracks that bring a whole new approach to how we choreograph or style ourselves so it is exciting, exhilarating and also a bit of a giggle! We also love The Hullaballoo dancers and The Gazzarri girls off Hollywood A-Go-Go but inspiration can come from everywhere! The buxom babes of Russ Meyers films of course and party scenes in cult classics like Riot On The Sunset Strip or The Trip Out. Last but definitely not least those Ikettes sure could shake a tail feather too!

11. What are some of your favourite soundtracks to your favourite routines?

Oh we have had so many! We have danced to everything from The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis, to Henry Mancini’s corker Experiment in Terror (Twist) to Coz I Luv You by Slade! But one of our favourites is probably our routine to Liar Liar by The Castaways.

12. How do people tend to re-act when they see you live on stage?

We get them dancing, some people don’t know what to expect, but then they see what a good time we’re having and they want in on the party you see the feet
start tapping!

13. Who makes your outfits and stage-wear?

We buy original pieces where possible but we also make a fair bit ourselves we love collaboration any fashionistas of costume designers do get in contact! We have been styled by Lucy In disguise and more recently we has costumes made by HUZZAR HUZZAR vintage.

14. What have you got planned for the future?

2016 is going to be an exciting year for us as we have lots of new projects to delve into, we have a project with a fashion designer coming up soon and bookings for the major festivals in the UK and Europe. Watch this space groovy people!

Le Beat Bespoké 11 – London (Easter 2016) 24th to 27th March – see all the details HERE!


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admin

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

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March 2, 2016 By : Category : Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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Flo – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 14 of 19 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 3

We caught up with Flo recently who lives in Munich, Germany to talk about his passion for good music.

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

I grew up listening to my dad’s Rolling Stones and my mum’s Beatles records as a child. I loved them both at that time (talking about the bands here). When I played guitar in a heavy rock band as a teen, we shared a rehearsal room with a pretty cool 60s garage band. I really liked their sound and got introduced to the Pebbles and Nuggets compilations later on. I became addicted to collecting vinyl when I moved to Munich and had my first 60s night outs at the legendary Atomic Café. “Deeper Shade” and “Beatschuppen” were my favorite parties at that time. We were dancing to soul, beat, garage and power pop.

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

My first proper DJ slot was probably at the Atomic Café back in the early 2000s (thanks, Bella, for inviting me!). Such a shame it had to close its doors forever
last year.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

The most incredible and unforgettable spot I got the opportunity to spin records was “Double Sight Tokyo” this year. What an amazing location and beautiful crowd! I can really recommend a visit to swinging Tokyo, when there´s anything like this on the menu again. It´s totally worth it. Thanks to Satoshi again.

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

I guess every DJ remembers a horrible gig at a mediocre bar, involving a broken sound system and a terrible birthday crowd asking for some “fun music”. Oh and deejaying at a wedding can be awkward too.

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

That might be Stephan Golowka (was good to host “Echoes Of Time” with him back in the days) and Paddy & Sarge (always great fun).

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I think travelling across Europe and listening to so many great DJ sets at weekenders like Lavarone, Double Sight or Le Beat Bespoke shaped my sound as a DJ. It has been inspiring to dance to so many great records I never heard
of before.

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Maybe that hidden Greek grill & bar place around the corner (just kidding) and probably a copy of “La Metamorfosi” a while ago.

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

Kinks, Sonics, Music Machine, Who, Small Faces, Rolling Stones, Charlatans, Stone Roses, Kula Shaker and many more…

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

I’m afraid – no. I’m into US garage, UK psych, freakbeat and groovy stuff from all around the globe. A good choon should include fuzz, wha wha sounds, phasings and tape delay if you ask me.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Me and my mate Claude Gagalka host a club night called “News from the Moon” every now and then. You should come to Munich!

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

That would be “Pretty – Mustache In Your Face”

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

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

La Metamorfosi – Scusa eh (Polydor, 1969)
Calum Bryce – Love Maker (Conder, 1968)
Mike Stuart Span – Children Of Tomorrow (Jewel, 1968)
Icarus – You´re In Life (Spark, 1968)
The Unit – Would You Believe What I Say (Fontana, 1967)
Daddy Lindberg – Wade In The Shade (Columbia, 1967)
Zorba & The Greeks – One And Only Girl (Golden State)
Paul St James & The Franky’s – Girl In Future (Monopole)
The Legends – High Towers (Railroad House, 1969)
Shades Of Morley Brown – Pretty Blue Bird (Mercury, 1968)

Current Top 5 Tracks:

The Pagens – Mystic Cloud (ISH-KOMM)
Jude – The Inner Me (Brownstaff)
Graf Zepplin – You´re In My Mind (Orlyn, 1968)
Walham Green East Wapping – Sorry Mr. Green (Columbia, 1968)
The Longboatmen – Take Her Any Time (Polydor, 1966)

Reference: Resident DJ at “News From The Moon” / “Echoes Of Time” in Munich

Social Networks:
Facebook: facebook.com/flo.tipptop 
Mixcloud: mixcloud.com/claude-ga

Videos: Jude – The Inner Me

Next Club Spots:

Friday 12 February 2016 – News From The Moon, or go here for info!
Saturday 12 March 2016 – CRIPZ, or go here for info!

Le Beat Bespoké 11 – London (Easter 2016) 24th to 27th March – see all the details HERE!


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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 1, 2016 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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Sebas Avilés – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 12 of 19 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 3

We caught up with Sebas Avilés (Capitán Groovy) recently who lives in Palma de Mallorca, Spain to talk about his passion for good music.

Reference: Organizer IOM Mod & 60’s Weekend (Mallorca)

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

My interest in music started early. With 13 years, early 80s, I was very interested in what I heard on the radio: new wave of Spanish and international groups. I had a sports lesion that forced me to stay in bed for several months and listen to the radio was very good company.

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

At first, I recorded tapes at home then reproduces in some bar, club in Mallorca, but the first time I was playing records was in Lleida (Catalonia),1989 in a local pub “Pentagrama” It was there, during the time I was studying, that I started playing music in local Allnighters and the Mod & 60’s weekender
“Walrus Weekend”.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

I remember many good times in the last 25 years .. my first time at the International Purple Weekend (León) and my first time outside Spain, Aachen (Germany) in the mid 90’s. Also, closing several festivals in Spain playing music for more than 2 hours… Surely my best moments have been in Spain, the parties are very long and crazy ha ha ha.

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

I only remember one, because of the drink … I had the feeling that the decks were moving from side to side, it was hard fit the records, but really I just needed a bit of concentration!

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Many Djs ! Rob, Speed, Alex Diez, Mr.Anello … were my teachers … they played the records I wanted to play and I only had in Lp compilations.
In the last years: Miguel Ygarza, Lolo, Tony Sanchez, Stephan Golowka, Frantz, they always discover new songs!

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I think it was the variety of styles in which I move. From the beat to psychedelia, through the freak beat, blue-eyed soul, garage. I’m pretty eclectic when I play records and try to give new life to the dance floor.

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Surely it was Fire & Ice – Music Man.
I bought this record by less than 5 dollars without having heard and just because I liked his song “Mirrors”. Over time it became a classic in the box of many djs

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

I have gone through many stages of mod & 60’s music scene. So my influence is very great: hammond groovers, rare soul, beat, British R & B, garage, pop-psych … groovy baby, groovy! I love Small Faces!

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

No, I collect everything that I like. See previous answer!

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

In Mallorca I usually play records in different places and when I travel out. The next travels : Rome, London, Lleida

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

All records I have in my home, all have their moment.

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

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:
1. Eddie Jefferson – Psychedelic Sally
2. The Richard Kent Style – You Can’t Put Me Down
3. The Bit’ A Sweet – Is It on, Is In Off
4. The Who – Daddy Rollin’ Stone
5. The Birds – Say Those Magic Words
6. Small Faces – Grow Your Own
7. The Standells – Try It
8. 13th Floor Elevators – You’re Gonna Miss Me
9. The Zombies – Just Out Of Reach
10. The Left Banke – I’ve Got Something On My Mind

Current Top 5 Tracks:
1. Shel Naylor – One Fine Day
2. Tony Colton – I’ve Laid Some Down In My Time
3. Tonto & The Renegades – Little Boy Blue
4. Tony And The Vizitors – Saturday’s Son
5. The Bucket – I Can’t Help Thinking Of You

Web Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CapitanGroovy

Next Club Spots:

Massimo fa 50 anni – ROME 4 March
LE BEAT BESPOKE 11 – EASTER 2016 – LONDON 24-27 March


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drrobert

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

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March 2, 2016 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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Juan VG Duque – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 13 of 19 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 3

We caught up with Juan VG Duque recently who lives in Madrid, Spain to talk about his passion for good music.

Reference: Resident DJ at Mod Generation Club, Madrid. Part of The John Colby Sect Record Label

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

When I was a child I used to look over my parents’ records collection. I was fascinated by one box of cassettes recorded by a friend of them who traveled to London frequently. There was 60’s pop, punk or even reggae. Lucky me! I’ve always been very DIY so I have made/done my own style with all the things I have learnt or someone share with me.

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

As far as I remember was in Madrid at Groovie, 2010.

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Mushroom Machine Club in Feb’15. Crazy and funny day…and night! I was with Fogbound traveling from León to Madrid when our van broke down. We spent the evening waiting for a friend to pick us up…

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

I’ve been very lucky spinning records. I can’t remember a bad experience at all.

05. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

I love a lot of Djs from Spain: Miguel, Sebas, Emilio, Xavi… They are real friends, amazing record collectors & Djs, I could stay with them days and days learning and talking about music. But if I have to choose my favourites Lolo and Ángel Brocos are the DJs. They’ve taught me almost everything I know about DJing and I love their taste. Coruña rules, neno!

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

In my box there is place for anything : from soul rhythms to garage punk. A DJ must be versatile spinning records.

07. What was your best ever find/discovery?

I like when I find some U.S. band with british influences. I think records like Meddy’s People – Fantasy World or Mechanical Switch – Everything is red are good examples.

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

I love all freakbeat & popsike records from UK. Classic or rare; Pretty Things or Winston Fumbs. I never get tired of this amazing music.

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

No, but I’m always filling gaps in Decca & Deram labels.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Mod Generation Club, the club I run with Miguel Ygarza & Alber Acedos
in Madrid.

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

I couldn’t say just one … I want all the records of the world in my library haha!

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

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:
1. Caleb – Woman of distinction (Phillips – 1967)
2. The End – Cardboard watch ( Introspection – Decca – 1969)
3. Outsiders – You remind me (Polydor – 1968)
4. The Byrds – I Wasn’t born to follow ( Columbia – 1969)
5. Gene Latter – Holding a dream ( Spark – 1969)
6. Actress – It’s what you give ( CBS – 1969).
7. Left Banke – She may call you up tonight ( Smash – 1967)
8. Turquoise – Saynia ( Decca -1968)
9. 4PK – Down and Out ( No Label – 1966)
10. Barrier – Spot the lights ( Philips – 1968)

Current Top 5 Tracks:
1. MG & Escorts – A Someday Fool
2. Enough’s Enough – Please Remember
3. Paper Blitz Tissue – Grey Man
4. Stone Cutters – Fellow Slave
5. The Attraction – She’s a Girl

Web Links:

Main Site: www.thejohncolbysect.com
Mod Generation Club – Facebook: www.facebook.com/modgenerationclub
The John Colby Sect – Facebook – www.facebook.com/thejohncolbysect 
Twitter: twitter.com/johncolbysect 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thejohncolbysect
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/thejohncolbysect

Next Club Spots: Saturday 12 Mar, 2016 – Mod Generation Club

Le Beat Bespoké 11 – London (Easter 2016) 24th to 27th March – see all the details HERE!


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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 20, 2016 By : Category : Bands DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 5 – Interview with drummer Guy Evans (Part 2)

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series James Thomas on Jazz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last time around, JFM at NUTs reached the half-way point in our interview with acclaimed drummer Guy Evans, long-time member of Van der Graaf Generator. We pick up the story in 1967, as psychedelia made its mark in Coventry and Guy was about to expand further his musical horizons.

Lead image: Guy Evans, 2011 (source: Wikipedia)

15: Around 1967 you were part of a psychedelic trio called Green Marble Mind…

GE: That was great, I really enjoyed that band. It just went along with swapping the mod gear for the paisley shirts and the long hair and all that. It was a power trio, we wanted to be The Jimi Hendrix Experience really and there was a very good guitar player who was not actually from Warwick University, he was from Oxford. I think he sort of knew someone who was there and he turned up one day and could play all this Hendrix stuff, it sounded brilliant; and there was a very good bass player, so we just started playing.

[A 1968 mention of Green Marble Mind in Warwick University Magazine, Campus, has surfaced: www.contentdm.warwick.ac.uk].

16: You mentioned the Incredible String Band. Did folk come into your musical progression?

GE: Well, we had The Incredible String Band at Warwick a lot. I thought they were pretty extraordinary actually. They could be a bit impossible sometimes, but I’d never heard anyone making music like that really before. [With folk], it came down to the guitarists really for me: Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Davy Graham, who of course was something else because of all that Indian and Arab stuff that he used to incorporate into his playing. I loved that adventure. I didn’t get so much into the English folk movement, at the time, I somehow felt it was a bit anal, which is probably a bit superficial of me, but at the time I wasn’t terribly attracted to it.

17: You joined Van der Graaf Generator in summer ’68. Someone who independently had a big influence on the other members of that band was Arthur Brown. Was he one of the main figures in the move from jazzy r & b to progressive music?

GE: Yeah, I can see that… while he did this extraordinary stuff with the flaming hat and all that, he completely had the chops. He had an extraordinary voice, a great, great performer, Arthur. The band was tremendous, with Drachen Theaker and Vincent Crane. Here was a band that could absolutely cut it with all the r & b on every level, from instrumentalist, drummer, singer, doing this wild psychedelic stuff that happened to have a huge number one hit as well.

18: Just before joining VDGG, around June ’68, you helped organize a music festival at Warwick University. The line-up sounds incredible, including Family, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra and Ravi Shankar.

GE: We just decided ‘let’s just do something, let’s just have a really big splash here, because this moment is never going to come again’. We’d had these very nice connections with London musicians and agents, who regarded Warwick and Coventry Art College as a sort of consortium of venues to be reckoned with. It was quite well-known…[With Chris McGregor], it was the whole band. It was Dudu Pukwana [alto sax], Louis Moholo playing drums, Mongezi Feza playing trumpet, and it was fantastic. It was wonderful. And to me, it was one of the gigs that kind of brought jazz right back into my bones.

nm_guyevans_feb16_2
Chris McGregor Group, Very Urgent (1968). South African pianist and his band played in Coventry, summer 1968.

19: Well, it sounds fantastic, because also Family at that time, Jim King was on sax, this festival must have been one of the earliest sort of fusion gigs….

GE: Oh, I think it was, it was.

20: Van der Graaf around this time [autumn’ 68-May ’69] was a pretty full-time affair. Did you get a chance to see much live jazz in London?

GE: Oh absolutely, this was an incredible time to see jazz if you were a Central London musician where everything happened around Wardour Street and Dean Street. What happened that was incredibly fortunate was that the first Brit Invasion had happened and was happening (The Beatles, Stones, Animals and The Who and all that sort of thing) and because of union regulations all of these acts had to have acts of equivalent status coming to Britain on an exchange. I don’t know who worked the miracle but I think Ronnie Scott had a lot to do with it… in exchange, we got Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Archie Shepp….you were spoilt for choice…and because Strat [Tony Stratton-Smith] knew Ronnie Scott, we used to get either very discounted or free admission… every musician in town was down at these gigs…they were thinking it was just like Christmas
every day.

nm_guyevans_feb16_3
Van der Graaf Generator, c. 1968/69 (l to r: Hugh Banton, Keith Ellis, Guy Evans, Peter Hammill; (photo credit: Deborah Ellis/Phil Smart)

21: VDGG played at some solid jazz venues like Klook’s Kleek in West Hampstead. Was it easy to see how different styles of music were influencing different bands?

GE: Yeah, you didn’t think about it too much because what was actually happening was a real melting pot and I think quite a lot of it was coming from the jazz musicians as well. Jazz wasn’t nearly as snooty or exclusive a world as people make out sometimes. I think there were two reasons really. One was the spirit of jazz allowing, even embracing, the whole idea of different forms, different ways of playing music, different types of musicians, incorporating different styles etc and overall cherishing improvisations, and, secondly, a kind of opportunistic thing which was that they kind of wanted to get in on the act. A lot of jazz musicians were either in soul/r & b bands as well or were best mates with people who were in horn sections. And yes, it was great to go around being in the Bluesbreakers and occasionally maybe getting a bit more money than you might get for a night at Ronnie Scott’s …but actually ‘wouldn’t it be great if you were out there coining it in the same way that The Who were’…so I think there was a certain amount of motivation to embrace electric music and rock styles and things from a commercial point of view.

22: What about those crucial Miles Davis records for the fusion of jazz and British rock: In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew…

GE: They were wonderful. In a Silent Way and the small group electric Miles stuff exist in a planet of their own. I remember being very excited by Bitches Brew but also thinking that I wish I could have produced it. It was still suffering a bit from ‘jazzer’ recording techniques, though again looking back, it sounds pretty good.

23: So, from the jazz world, would you have been seeing people like Evan Parker and Keith Tippett?

GE: I never saw Evan Parker. I would like to have, but I just wasn’t aware of him…Keith Tippett, yes, absolutely. Keith Tippett was pretty hip; he was a mate of Robert Wyatt and, of course, Julie Driscoll, who was a chart-topping and supremely hip person. So, you’d go and see Centipede playing somewhere, that kind of thing. And I think there were some quite remarkable crossover/elisions of pop culture and jazz thinking at the time. I think one of the most remarkable albums to come out from then is Extrapolation [John McLaughlin LP, 1969]…because here you have an album that is produced by Georgio Gomelsky, who managed the Rolling Stones, set up the Crawdaddy Club, produced the Yardbirds, produced Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll and then John Mclaughlin does his first solo album (before Mahavishnu and all of that stuff) and I think it was Georgio Gomelsky’s influence really that actually dictated the line-up in that band which was John Surman, Brian Ogers on bass, and, completely left-field, Tony Oxley, the great British free jazz drummer who was considered very far out at the time, who I loved, but was certainly not one of the powerhouse drummers that you might have brought into that situation. The obvious one to have brought into that would have been Ginger Baker, or possibly Mitch Mitchell or John Marshall, even, but that idea of that band was genius, I thought; I don’t quite know who was responsible, but certainly Georgio Gomelsky was very creative in his influence
on things.

24: Talking about Mitch Mitchell, VDGG supported Jimi Hendrix at the Albert Hall [February, ‘69]. Any memories of that night?

GE: Yeah, it was just great, it was lovely. We were very nervous about it. I remember having very little notice of it…we weren’t bad, because we’d actually been doing quite a few gigs, and we were quite well-oiled, we actually went and did a pretty good set, I think.

25: In summer ’69, you met [future VDGG bassist] Nic Potter, playing together in a later line-up of The Misunderstood on two singles and the ‘Golden Glass’ sessions. How did that come about?

GE: Because I wanted to. That was it. VDGG had broken up. I was kicking about in London, feeling pretty frustrated and not really wanting to join in the gang of sort of dissolute, out-of-work musicians hanging around Le Chasse and the Marquee bar. My partner at the time, who was Strat’s secretary, said ‘what band would you like to join?’ (cos I didn’t actually like much of what was around at the time.) It was either The Misunderstood or Captain Beefheart…that was my thing. These were two things that John Peel had been playing, so I’d heard them on his recommendation and so, about three days later, she came back and said ‘right, you’ve got an audition with The Misunderstood. They were in town. I mean the whole thing had happened with their work permits and visas all screwing up. It was in fact two members of The Misunderstood trying to put together a band…Glen Campbell and Steve Hoard. And I went down and the person running the auditions was Chris Mercer, sax player with John Mayall. I was feeling a bit
‘right, okay!’

nm_guyevans_feb16_4
The Misunderstood, later line-up, 1969 (Guy Evans, top-right)

26: Did that line-up play a lot of the songs that the original Misunderstood had done?

GE: Unfortunately not, that was what I wanted to play. There was a bit, but somehow they’d gone…I enjoyed it, it was a pretty good band, but I was rather frustrated in that it was the music I wanted to play, because that’s what I’d heard and I wanted to go in that direction. I think Glen had gone ‘no, we’re not doing that sort of stuff anymore’. I think he’d associated it with being a bit too ‘out there’ mentally anyway, and all sorts of things…he was going much more sort of roots/bluesy and Steve Hoard, who was a very good singer, in fact, but he was quite into that very kind of alpha male leather trousers sort of delivery and wanting to be a bit commercial …so between us, we pushed each other in all sorts of directions, thrown together by the mad situation anyway, the best thing was when we just got on and played, because it was actually a good band and we just sort of played what we felt like playing or could play….we did a version of the Beatles’ ‘She Said, She Said’, we did ‘Who do you Love?’, we occasionally did an old Misunderstood song like ‘I Can Take you to the Sun’, but very, very rarely.

Space does not permit Guy’s further memories of VDGG (hopefully to be published elsewhere)


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James Thomas

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

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March 2, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , , , ,
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Live! – PP Arnold

This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series Live!

PP ARNOLD/ CLIFF BENNETT/ DAVE BERRY/ RAY PHILLIPS/ WEE WILLIE HARRIS

The Borderline, London

Jan 31 2016

BUGGER. I’ve missed Wee Willie Harris. Mind you, the fault’s entirely my own…

To explain: the Labyrinth screening I’d earlier attended at the nearby Prince Charles Cinema had wrapped by 5.20, giving me well adequate time to zip round to the Borderline but unfortunately, the subsequent Q&A, even if it was only with the movie’s SFX men, ran later, and, wanting to remember and honour my departed hero Bowie in whatever way possible, there I sat. I’m sure you understand…

That said, I didn’t expect the legendary Mr ‘Arris to actually begin at 5 30pm prompt I thought that’s what time the doors opened!! By way of consolation, I suppose, I did at least get to meet the great man (considered so famous, in 1962, that the nascent Beatles queued for his autograph) but though he seemed friendly enough, he also cordially informed me he wouldn’t be playing any more London dates this year (he is 82) and looked very disappointed that I didn’t have a spare tenner with which to buy his CD. According to reports since received, he was brilliant, and played twice the amount of tunes he was scheduled to do, including the evergreen “Rockin At The Two Is’” “Kansas City” and “Razzle Dazzle”- but I guess, ultimately, that I’ll have to wait til the DVD comes out to judge for myself, and then that’ll be my lot.

So, thusly resigned to my predicament, and settled into a cosy viewing corner, I prepare for my first treat of the day: Mr Ray Phillips of the Nashville Teens. Black-clad with a fetching crown of feathery white-blonde hair, he’s still every inch the raucous rock’n’roller/beat boomer of yore (of your what?- Ed) with stagecraft and moves intact: churlish detractors may complain that watching him (backed by the ever-able Tales From The Woods Band) belting out standards like “Mona” “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Route 66” is nothing they can’t see weekly down their local, but to do so would be to miss the point altogether. For a start, every original beat or R’n’B band began this way, just as the Strypes have also recently done: in addition, at one point or another, the Teens backed pretty much every artist originally responsible for such tunes on their UK visits. And besides, surely it’s not the actual song, but the interpretation, that matters? At least that’s what I was brought up to believe.

In short, a cover is only dull if a performer fails to stamp their own identity on it: in Phillips’ case, his rakish persona and powerful range does exactly that, and his take on “I Put A Spell On You” (extra kudos, by the way, to the TFTW pianist for eerie voodoo vamps) is sensational. He even manages to make “Bony Maronie”, a song I openly despise with fervour, sound palatable and still attacks the Teens hit “Tobacco Road” (which, lest the doubters forget, was also a cover) with the streetwise grit you’d expect from someone born and raised in the back alleys of, er, Weybridge and Chertsey. Ok, so Thames Delta blues isn’t as authentic as Mississippi Delta blues- but with hindsight, it’s now become almost as historically important, and the NT’s, who were there when it was all kicking off, and are still (albeit in altered form) kicking it now, played a major part in shaping the music we love. Without their input, British beat and garage as we know them would be quite different beasties and as far as I’m concerned, this alone gives Phillips the right to keep at it for longer than “Forty Days”

However much of a genial, enjoyable and straight down the line entertainer Phillips may be, though, nothing steals the audience for the immediate change of mood that descends once Dave Berry takes the stage. The minute he appears, partially obscured as ever by mike lead, black glove a-pointing, the crowd are captivated: and while it’s quite commonplace during London gigs to hear people gasbagging away, even through their favourite bands, the minute he leans his lithe and bony frame (so ephemeral you fear it could crack at any moment like a twig) into the mike to croon the opening verse of “Just Want A Little Bit”, a hush falls upon the Borderline’s wooden eaves. This, ladies and gents, is a rock’n’roll star. Not, I should stress, that Wee Willie and Ray P aren’t stars: it’s simply that until you’ve witnessed Dave in action, even if only for the duration of an eight-song set, you can’t possibly comprehend how important, influential and instrumental this bloke has been in defining the British “rock frontman” as we know it.

From soon-come 60s icons like Jagger, Daltrey and Rod Stewart to 70s glamsters such as David Essex and Alvin Stardust (the latter actually a contemporary of Dave’s under his original name Shane Fenton) and again, even down to the initials and similar-sounding surname, the mighty Bowie, half the UK’s most revered performers began as Berry disciples: the fact that he disappeared (entirely of his own choosing) into comparative obscurity at the height of his fame, only to resurface two decades later like nothing had changed and then keep going for another thirty years, is if anything further evidence of his legend and mystique. At times, it’s like watching one of the Verne Brothers from Hammer’s classic rock’n’roll horror Black Carrion playing live before you, and, accordingly, his choice of material from actual hits he enjoyed (“Memphis Tennessee”, “Little Things”) through songs he now regrets turning down (the Yardbirds’ “Heart Full Of Soul”) to others he admired later (Nick Lowe’s evergreen “I Knew The Bride”) is further evidence of his ephemeral, eerie, always-here-but-not-quite-
there persona.

Even the song that earned him the unique honour of “biggest-selling ever single in the Benelux nations” is similarly odd: written (but not recorded) by one Raymond Douglas Davies of the Kinks, a massive hit “over there” but still an obscurity over here, and featuring one of the most haunting chord sequences known to man. Yet it still has “This Strange Effect” on us. And we like it. Still youthful at 75, he’s not afraid to divest himself of his natty black jacket either, revealing his see-through black silk blouse to the ladies with a sly wink: and, though I’m sure he gets tired of singing it, he nails “The Crying Game” (what the hell, regardless of all dodgy covers by Boy George and, er, Keith Allen, it’s still a great song) in note-perfect fashion. For me, he was the undoubted highlight of the show: much as I was looking forward to every act today, I didn’t actually want him to finish. I guess I’ll have to try to catch him playing a full set soon: maybe, if I persuade him nicely beforehand, he might even do “The Coffee Song”…

What can I say about Cliff Bennett that I didn’t already mention last time? As MC Stuart “Rock N Roll Man” Coleman (himself also a former popsike star with Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours) conveys in his introduction, the geezer is, frankly, little short of a miracle: I still don’t know how, at almost 76, he sings with the same unbridled energy, aggression and hoarse blues-wailin’ oompah he possessed in 1958, 1968 and 1975, especially when I’ve recently seen certain musicians of only 40-odd deliver what have been, by comparison, decidedly desultory performances , but he does. Having forsaken music in the 70s for a comfortable career in shipping (actual vessels, not parcel post) you’d have thought he’d have lost his “Mojo” way back but no, it’s still working fine, with enough rambunctious rock’n’soul revelry in the likes of “Watch Your Step” “Slow Down” “Why Me”, “Knock On Wood” and “Midnight Hour” to shock any premature sleepers back into wakefulness. Sure, I’d prefer to hear some of his own material occasionally (even if he apparently finds my self-proclaimed fondness for Toe Fat rather risible) but in a month which has robbed us of so many heroes, it’s a joy to watch him belt anything out and at a time when certain other Cliffs of our collective childhoods are doing their best not to crumble before our eyes, it’s reassuring to see this one standing sedentary.

A final round of interval sounds from fabled disc-spinner John “Angry” Howard can only herald the imminent arrival of the act most Mods’n’soulies present (opposed to the usual mixture of Teds, oldies and rockers) have come to see: the unmistakable PP Arnold. Purveying pretty much a truncated version of last year’s full Jazz Caff set, and managing within a tight 45 minutes to enter, perform, schpiel, deliver and quit like only a true professional can, she remains the yardstick by which practically every black female vocalist is now measured: since her arrival in the UK nearly 50 years ago, she’s crossed paths with Andrew Oldham, Steve Marriott, Billy Nicholls, Keith Emerson and Cat Stevens, become the doyenne of a thousand Mod allnighters and scooter rallies, and her 45s and b-sides are now as much part of all our turntable educations as those of any lesser-known diva the elitist white-labelling DJs may throw at us.

Opener “Whatcha Gonna Do” demonstrates that like all her onstage predecessors, she’s lost none of her vocal force: granted, her between-song banter (“is Davey O’List here? I put him on the O’List…” she remarks of her ever-absent former guitar-slinger, himself shortly to headline the same venue with his prog set should he remember to turn up) may mark her out as batty as a fruitcake, and she may be full of the standard “love everybody” proclamations typical of someone who first hit big in ’67, but why the hell not? This is one of soul music’s greatest living attractions, still adoring life at nearly 70 years of age when my generation are already despondent in our 40s, and bouncing with energy many younger artists would kill for. “River Deep…”, nodding sagely to her Ikette background, is swiftly followed by Mr Y. Islam of Kilburn’s evergreen “First Cut…”, then her own composition “Am I Still Dreaming”: realising time is against us, she ends with a vengeful triumvirate of Carole King’s “Natural Woman” Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight” and Chip Taylor’s “Angel Of The Morning” (Billie Davis, stood next to me, hasn’t rehearsed or prepared a single word, and is thus clearly relieved for once not to be invited up to duet) with such exuberance that several “shakier” patrons are nearly sent rocketing forwards.

Undeniably, the joys of a TFTW gig are always tempered with bittersweet reality: as we’ve often realised at Le Beat Bespoke also, these are artists we may never see again, and in 2016, the harsh truth of human mortality resonates with us more seemingly than ever before. However, even after we’ve passed, great music, whether Mod, rocker or even square (maaan) will live on: in 1957, at the 2-I’s or Ace, the idea of an artist’s career lasting five years was unthinkable, yet by the time of the R’n’B boom that birthed the Marquee, 100 Club and Eel Pie Island, we’d already crossed that bridge, and the explosions of freakbeat, psych, prog, glam, pub and punk that followed (bleeding eventually into the 80s and the first waves of ‘revivalism’) have led us all, NUTs included, back to where we are now. In which case, assuming London’s still standing, I may well meet you in this same venue in another 30 years.

Here’s hoping.


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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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March 2, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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Live! – Ginger Baker

This entry is part 19 of 20 in the series Live!

GINGER BAKER’S AIR FORCE III

Borderline, London

Jan 26 2016

When I was a nipper, the idea of people in their 70s still leading rock bands seemed unthinkable: even the crooners and jazzers my parents adored were already winding down their careers and shuffling off into the “well shrunk shank” of Shakespearian parlance. Not, of course, that they’re necessarily averting that very same fate now: the last two months have seen the passing of more icons than any of us would have wished, and I’m sure that by the end of the year, we’ll have witnessed dozens more.

Yet at 76 going on 77, it would seem nothing can dampen the enthusiasm of the irrepressible Ginger Baker, launching yet another brand new aggregation with both fire and pride. Cantankerous and curmudgeonly he may well be (at least if you take the 2012 documentary Beware Of Mr Baker at face value) but his stubborn refusal to take it easy at an age where most have already thrown in the towel is also what a sold-out Borderline crowd (the venue being understandably rammed to capacity) respects about him the most. That, and being one of the finest drummers to walk
the earth…

That said, our Ginge looks decidedly tired and frail as he climbs onstage this evening: though, as one of his duo of drop-dead gorgeous black female vocalists informs me post-gig, he simply can’t bear hanging around doing nothing, and lives for the joy of live performance, he should maybe, on reflection, have taken a little more time to recover from his recent hip injury (his general health, I’m assured, is otherwise tip-top) before going back on the road, for, as he freely admits throughout in his lugubrious Sarf Lahndahn tones, he’s still “done in” “unwell” and not quite capable of giving his all.

Due to this predicament, potentially exhaustive showpiece “Ginger Spice” is dropped from the set, because, in his own words, “it would finish me off” Nonetheless, thankfully, the entirety of what we do get is, frankly, as near to perfect as possible: much like the original AirForce lineup, this one purveys a heady blend of fusion, soul, Afrobeat and mellow psychedelic rock which on this coldest of January nights (something else which can’t be doing his health any good) is warming to the heart, ears, mind and soul alike. A “strange brew” indeed, and a beautiful one that should be palatable to Mods, jazzers and rockers alike.

Sure, the rhythms are neither as frenetic nor anarchic as before, but that was equally true at his 75th bash in 2014: at this stage in his life, Ginger is a calmer, wiser more measured and man, and, for reasons that echo his new-found serenity and calm (the infamous “Jack Bruce memorial incident” aside) as much as they do an open acknowledgement of his health, the choice of material now leans far more towards the slower and mid-paced end of his cannon than before. Thus, opener “Sweet Wine” and the militaristic, menacing jungle beats of “Aiko Baye” are as close as we get to uptempo. Yet because this is Ginger Baker, to expect anything less than percussive dexterity, even on the gentle, lilting “Can’t Find My Way Home” or the quirky, eccentric “Pressed Rat And Warthog” (so much more romantic sung in a female voice) would be to miss the point entirely.

Sure, the rhythms are neither as frenetic nor anarchic as before, but that was equally true at his 75th bash in 2014: at this stage in his life, Ginger is a calmer, wiser more measured and man, and, for reasons that echo his new-found serenity and calm (the infamous “Jack Bruce memorial incident” aside) as much as they do an open acknowledgement of his health, the choice of material now leans far more towards the slower and mid-paced end of his cannon than before. Thus, opener “Sweet Wine” and the militaristic, menacing jungle beats of “Aiko Baye” are as close as we get to uptempo. Yet because this is Ginger Baker, to expect anything less than percussive dexterity, even on the gentle, lilting “Can’t Find My Way Home” or the quirky, eccentric “Pressed Rat And Warthog” (so much more romantic sung in a female voice) would be to miss the point entirely.

Granted, he’ll probably never play “Toad” (despite the inevitable catcalls for it) or “NSU” again, but even on the slow stroll of the prosaically-titled tribute “Cyril Davis”, his ever-busy, inventive stickwork still crams more into two bars than most other jazz or rock drummers manage in an entire evening. Every rim shot, offbeat, accent, fill and roll, ably supported (though never overshadowed) by the ebullient conga-playing of long-time collaborator Abas Doodoo and the fluid bass runs of Alec Dankworth, is a joy, the sound of dual saxophonists (there’s no guitar or keyboard in the mix tonight to drown the music’s roots in rock cliché) providing the perfect icing to this particular Baker’s undeniably delicious cake. Not bad, considering this is literally the first time the combined lineup have performed together in public.

Long breaks – occasionally featuring Doodoo inciting the crowd in riotous chants of the great man’s name to encourage his return are taken between songs for water and oxygen, but the audience’s love and admiration of their hero never wavers, and while he himself may not be feeling particularly great, his enthusiasm is evident on the closing “Why”, medleyed to powerful effect with both “Sunshine Of Your Love” and perhaps the definitive AirForce number “Early In The Morning” Close your eyes for two minutes and you could easily have been at Buxton in 1970 or 72, suffused by candles, joss-sticks and the garish glow of African tapestries. Fela would be proud.

Of course, we’re not, and no amount of nostalgia can alter the fact that we’re now in the presence of a very senior legend indeed: yet he’s a legend that steadfastly refuses to lie down and retire, and if he’s still this captivating playing for only 50 minutes (7 songs out of a planned 8) then I for one can’t wait to witness what excitements a full theatre show in April (annoyingly, the London date clashes with Earl Slick’s performance of Station To Station, so I’ll have to see him in Birmingham) or indeed his upcoming Ramblin’ Man appearance in July, will hold.

Obviously, while I’ll happily travel anywhere to watch him play for however long he chooses, I’d prefer it if I didn’t have to spend the entire duration worried whether or not he’ll make the end: bear in mind, I witnessed the demise of Mick Farren on this very same stage a couple of years back, and still haven’t quite gotten over the experience. Yet somehow, I’m sure Ginge will make both, even in the bluest of blue conditions: though he may still occasionally play “Presence Of The Lord” (not tonight though) he has no desire to actually be in it yet. May he roll and tumble for as long as possible.


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

March 2, 2016 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , ,
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