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Live! – Steve Winwood

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Live!

Shepherds Bush Empire 20th June 2013

Even from up here on the balcony, there’s something about the figure of Steve Winwood – 64 years young, medium of stature, and still suave even when sporting a pair of superb Cockleshell Bay-style mutton chops – that remains immediately striking and charismatic. Whether sat at a vintage, 100 percent authentic Hammond organ and electric piano, or stood strumming all manner of vintage string instrumentation, the man simply exudes undeniable class and panache. Then again, we are talking about a man who’s been bringing us his own unique blend of blue-eyed Soul, Rock and Psychedelia for almost 50 years, since he first convinced thousands of radio listeners (my own father included) that they were actually hearing the voice of a genuine Black American man, and not a shy White Brummie teenager.

And that voice hasn’t changed much either. I could list numerous vintage, veteran and ‘heritage’ acts I’ve seen over the years whose vocal prowess has either diminished or damn near vanished completely, but Winwoods’ tone and timbre is still as smooth, evocative and resonant as ever, still carrying off the likes of ‘I’m A Man’ or ‘The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys’ and ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ – the latter a lyric that I’m sure has crossed many of our minds when stumbling out of a NUTs allnighter- with the exact same fervour he would have in ’66, ‘69 or ’72. At times, as on the relentlessly funky ‘Had To Cry Today’, the notes simply tumble from his mouth, causing many of us to open our own in sheer awe.

However, lest we forget, that’s only one third of the Winwood experience. Would the Mod, Psych , R’n’B or even progressive Rock Scenes of the late 60s-early 70s have been the same without his deft, subtle keyboard playing? I sincerely doubt it – and witnessing him still faithfully replicate that soulful, swinging timbre on an extended, free-jamming ‘Light Up Or Leave Me Alone’ (a worthy tribute to his departed bandmate and lyricist, Jim Capaldi) or my own personal favourite ‘Empty Pages’ – the very first song I ever danced to at Lordy Lords all those years ago- simply hammers that even further home. Then there’s his obvious mastery on acoustic AND electric guitars and mandolin, which bring extra texture to low-key, folkish opener ‘Rainmaker’ and an improved, mellowed and thoroughly reworked ‘Back In The High Life Again’ – a song which, now stripped of the atrocious “big production” techniques of its original 80s incarnation, sits easily and snugly among its older counterparts. Of course, the sly old muse teased us at this juncture by playing the intro to ‘John Barleycorn’ first (play it in full next time, please) but in a way, that only reiterates my point even further.

In fact, by applying this technique to all the 80s material aired tonight, even ‘Higher Love’, Winwood achieves what others have often thought impossible, by making the previously unlistenable not only listenable, but thoroughly agreeable. Where big, reverby, handclappy drums and synths once stood, now sit subtle congas and moody, atmospheric Hammond: where multitracked vocals once populated a nightmarish ‘Yuppie disco’ in your head, an understated groove now flits about the room, the same method also serving more recent entries ‘Fly’ and ‘At Times We Do Forget’ equally well. Sadly there’s no room for the Viv Stanshall-composed ‘Arc Of A Diver’, still probably Steve’s best latterday cut, (“Latterday?” It’s 33 years old!! – Ed) but when faced with the full-on R’n’B/Brum Beat thrust of ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ and ‘Keep On Running’, even without the slashing Davis guitar of the originals, that’s not really an issue. And as for ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’…’staggering’ doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

Whereas previous shows from the last decade may have stood outside our remit somewhat, tonight’s set, could almost have been tailor-made for a NUTs reader, many of whom probably never saw the original Spencer Davis Group, will never see Traffic (especially now he and Dave Mason are the only members left alive) and almost certainly never see Blind Faith: the irony being, I actually had no idea what I was going to get until I entered the Empire’s ancient portals. May I suggest, therefore, that anyone reading this who hasn’t seen Steve Winwood yet should do so as soon as possible, wherever possible? Judging by the crowd, I wasn’t the only Mod, Psych head or 6Ts nut in the audience (as opposed to the MOR twats who had populated the Joe Cocker show at Hammersmith two months previously), and I definitely wasn’t the only one knocked sideways by what I witnessed, as I’m sure you too will be. An extraordinary show from an extraordinary man.


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Dashing Drewe Shimon

Dashing Darius Drewe Shimon, aka just 'Drewe' 'Druid' or 'The Shim' to his mates, 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 14, 2013 By : Category : Front Page Music Reviews RnB Tags:, , , , ,
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Live! – Ray Davies

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Live!

Ray Davies support from Elvis Costello Hyde Park, London, 15th July 2013

So the ‘Grande Dame’ abdicated, and suddenly everyone could come to the party. Translation: this gig was originally meant to be headlined by Elton John, who sadly had to pull out due to health issues, meaning that all pre-bought tickets were refunded and all subsequent tickets were declared free (first come first served) thus allowing several thousand people a chance to see a concert they may previously have not attended. More importantly, this also meant that Nick Lowe (who sadly I saw very little of) got moved to the main stage, “lowly” support Elvis Costello, a headline act in his own right, got to be the special guest (fine work he made of it too) and, best of all, the former ‘second attraction’ Ray Davies was bumped up to headliner. Job done.

Anyhow, I couldn’t think of anyone better to headline a festival in central London than Ray Davies. The man IS London, so much that the Thames and the Grand Union Canal practically drip from his pores. And apart from anything else, at 69 years old, it’s about bloody time he gained the commercial recognition of his contemporaries such as McCartney and Townshend, and this show might well have gone a fair way towards achieving that aim.

Firstly Elvis Costello, now clean-shaven after several years sporting a typically ‘artistic’ goatee, slightly more rotund than before, sporting shades and a quite ridiculous hat, he doesn’t cut quite the elegant, suave figure I saw onstage at the RFH in 2002 – THAT legendary gig when the original Attractions reformed for what would soon prove to be the final time – but he still exudes plentiful charisma, and where contemporaries have mellowed out, his acerbic bite has lost nothing with age – if anything, it’s gained momentum. His guitar-thrashing also remains as powerful as before, and with a set that featured crowd pleasers like ‘Watching The Detectives’ ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea’ ‘Good Year For The Roses’ and ‘Oliver’s Army’ alongside more conoisseur’s choice fare like ‘Alison’ and ‘The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes’, and, just when everyone thought it had ended with archetypal rabble-rouser ‘Pump It Up’, threw a curveball of major proportions and actually bowed out with the decidedly nonconformist triumvirate of ‘Peace Love And Understanding’ ‘Shipbuilding’ and the evil, warped lullaby of ‘I Want You’, it’s obvious that, even in front of a pissed up outdoor festival audience, this is one artist who still refuses to take the easy road.

Ray Davies has also seemingly been traversing a difficult path for nigh on twenty years now. As estranged from his brother (if not more so) as Costello from Bruce Thomas, and thus nixing any chances of ever being able to tour again using the undeniably more saleable name “The Kinks”, he finds himself, this late in life, in the unenviable position of being a master songwriter who still has plenty to offer for the future, but whose audience are predominantly only interested in his past. And in Britain, a Country whose mainstream music press tends to reject its 70s rock heritage in favour of a bias toward indie-friendly imagery, technically, that means “the first seven years of his past”, ie between 1964 and 1971. Such a predicament might render a lesser performer a ‘nostalgia act’, or at the very least a ‘heritage artist’, but somehow, tonight, in the warm London air, that doesn’t matter, as we are treated to an evening of some of the finest English Rock and Pop songs ever written, in a style which at times makes me feel more like a member of a congregation intoning ancient hymnals than a member of the audience of a rock and roll show. Truly, at certain points, that’s how holy it seemed.

It says a lot though, about the nature of ticket pricing in the music industry, to think that this audience (now they’ve been able to get in for free) is twice the size it would have been had Ray played the Royal Festival Hall. Is this all it takes to finally arouse curiosity in the works of one of the UK’s finest songwriters? But whatever the reason, it’s happening, and it’s incredible to witness. He strides onstage like he’d always been the headliner of this show: teasing the crowd by cranking out the into to ‘You Really Got Me’ before slipping into the less obvious (but still sung by everyone) ‘I Want You’ and ‘Where Have All The Good Times Gone’, he proceeds to alternate between further hard-rocking, carousing statements of intent (backed by a stellar band including Kinks keyboardist Ian Gibbons) such as ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’ and far more reflective, wistful, often almost solo renditions of ‘Sunny Afternoon’ ‘Dead End Street’ ‘Apeman’ a swirling, Psychedelic ‘See My Friends’ and most effectively of all, ‘Waterloo Sunset’ which captured a perfect moment in time effortlessly and made me proud again, albeit briefly, to hail from our beleaguered, overpriced Capital – even if I no longer live in it.

Although we’re still very much in ‘solo artist with backing band’ territory, Davies and the musicians with whom he shares the stage also share a perfect empathy, reacting to each other as if they’d been together a lot longer (barring the faithful Gibbons) than they actually have. The inclusion of younger musicians, some from the States, seems also to have rejuvenated the setlist into far less predictable territory than the Glasgow show I witnessed in 2009: hearing ‘20th Century Man’ from Muswell Hillbillies is surprising enough, but whereas that album has recently received enough appraisal from the cognoscenti to make such an inclusion feasible, the presence of ‘Full Moon’ from Sleepwalker (rapturously received by me and about three other people) was an unexpected dream come true, even if played at entirely the wrong tempo. From the same, oft-neglected later eras, it’s nice to see ‘Come Dancing’ and ‘Celluloid Heroes’, the latter inducing the first tears of the evening, back in the set, but I can’t help wondering how many people here not in my immediate company actually know them. By the time we reach ‘Days’, however, a song so suited to this occasion it could have almost been written for it, the rapture is once more universal.

For all this, I will also concur that no, he’s not perfect – I shall gloss over, for instance, the fact that he fluffed a lyric here and there, ran on and offstage to change into a variety of shirts and jackets far more often than was strictly necessary, and sang the majority of ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’ and the inevitable closer ‘Lola’ in some strange and bizarre key beknownst only unto himself. But he’s allowed to, because, in short, tonight, under a red-blue sky on a perfect Summer’s evening, Ray Davies united and unified London for a whole 105 minutes, and made everyone present feel part of that union in a way very few performers in my recollection, even Madness, have done. Where it will take his career from here at this late juncture is unclear, but I have a feeling this is the type of gig from which legends are made. As the old saying goes, and as I think I’ll find myself intoning in years to come, you really had to be there.


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Dashing Drewe Shimon

Dashing Darius Drewe Shimon, aka just 'Drewe' 'Druid' or 'The Shim' to his mates, 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 14, 2013 By : Category : Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , ,
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Live! – Barry Gibb

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Live!

London O2, 03 Oct 2013

Tough isn’t it, this journalism lark. The more I do it, the more personal circumstances often dictate how I feel about a show or a performer: one wonders exactly how many other writers have let such things colour their judgment of an evening. Suffice to say, tearing across the Home Counties and London in general via tube, bus, train and, at one point, taxi and STILL missing the opening two songs isn’t really going to put you in the best frame of mind, especially for something you’ve been waiting to see most of your life and thought you never would. You want it to be perfect, and if that perfection is in any way compromised, then… well, I digress.

Having said all of that, as those first two songs stem directly (I later discover) from the Bee Gees’ disco era, and are therefore not that relevant to NUTsmag, missing them isn’t in the long run going to affect what I wrote here: not to denigrate the likes of “You Should Be Dancing” “Night Fever” “Staying Alive” “How Deep Is Your Love” “Islands In The Stream” “Chain Reaction” “Woman In Love” etc, as all are undoubted classics in their field that have practically now become standards, and all are stunningly performed tonight, but they aren’t what this magazine has, even at its broadest, ever been about , and in any case, have been amply covered elsewhere.

No, this review concentrates, as one would expect, on the 65-73 material, and thankfully, there’s a lot of it. Thus it’s a joy, even though I’m still halfway up an escalator at the time, to hear “Lonely Days”, undoubtedly the standout track from 1971’s Two Years On, handled so superbly by Bazza and the boys, harmonies almost impeccable as ever. “First Of May”- the tearjerker from ‘69’s seminal Odessa and the attendant Melody soundtrack- gets me past the bar and into my seat at last, though it takes a couple more tunes including ‘72’s best-remembered offering “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” and another disco-era hit before the rage wears off and I start enjoying myself. Barry’s certainly assembled a fine band around him, consisting of family members: Maurice’s daughter on harmony vocals, his own, extremely Metal-looking son on guitar, also taking lead vocal on an unexpected reworking of Mo’s “On Time” (although on reflection an earlier number like “Suddenly” or “Lay It On Me” may have worked better for me) and musicians both long-serving and new, but can he still cut it? We know this is essentially a ‘tribute’ show to the departed, but has the one remaining, who hasn’t trodden the boards for over a decade, still got what it takes?

Happily, the answer is yes- though even if it wasn’t, the amount of respect, support and love tonight’s audience show for him is so monumental that it would carry him anyway. And sure, the audience in question may lean more in the direction of the mainstream pop/MOR fan (maybe because they’re the ones who can afford tickets…) than Mods and 60s-heads, but that sure as hell isn’t going to stop him from playing that material; after all, with over four decades of the finest songs ever written to choose from, it would be churlish to deny the existence of any. Even so, I bet those of us hoping for our favourite obscurities weren’t expecting Aussie-only single “In The Morning” (wow) nor the solemn, eerie drones of “With The Sun In My Eyes” (EXTRA wow) to drift across the arena: on the latter, as Gibb quietly asks “who is the clown that walks in the steps of my shadow?” (a lyric which can be disturbing under the influence at 3am) time freezes for a minute to the point where the smell, essence and atmosphere of 1968 is writ large in these otherwise postmodern, cold environs.

Neither do we expect (although I can’t have been the only one dreaming of it) what follows: a sudden blackening of lights followed by THOSE liturgical Mellotron chords and a monkish intoning of “O solo dominuuuuummm….” Hackles rise on the back of necks- surely he’s not going to actually do it? Oh yes he is. “Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You”, unbelievably never performed live by the Bee Gees themselves, erupts in a shower of psychedelic mist, Eastern wonder and Mancunian rain that, whilst maybe unfamiliar to a segment of the audience, confirms to those of us in the know that Gibb is as aware of its importance as we are. By comparison, a truncated “New York Mining Disaster”, which should shimmer but instead seems faint, and a father-and-son duet of “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You”, which starts well but is hampered by a fluffed ending, falter slightly, but once we’ve passed “…Christian…” and seen that anything is possible, all remaining doubters are firmly in the palm of his hand.

So much so, in fact, that the following “I Started A Joke” featuring vocals from beyond the grave courtesy of an onscreen Robin, seems far less maudlin and actually more celebratory than it otherwise might have. Let’s be honest, ‘duets with the dead’ have always divided audiences, ever since Natalie Cole retrod “Unforgettable” with her father in the 90s, but in an era when our heroes and heroines are passing away daily, and with technology on the rise, they are becoming less of a novelty and more of a necessity, and Gibb isn’t the only one doing it: there have been ‘Elvis’ gigs at Wembley for over a decade (although those have lessened since the Jordannaires themselves started passing on) and The Who ‘resurrected’ Moonie and The Ox for their Quadrophenia show in this very venue a few months earlier. The difference, one imagines, is that Robin, the most recent of the three siblings to leave us, only did so a year ago, and seeing the song performed in this way may be an all-too-painful reminder of recent realities for some. Nevertheless, Barry and band once again pull it off.

Then again, there always has been a mawkish, sentimental, morose feel to some of the band’s best ballads (the wistful “Run To Me”, also aired, as much of a prime example as “…Joke”..) as if they could have been equally the work of a psych/beat combo OR some pre-rock-n-roll sub-Whitfield crooner, which, coupled with a dry, wry sense of theatrically absurd humour, anyone who’s seen Cucumber Castle will testify to- so maybe this is exactly what, with a twinkle in their eyes, Barry and his late bros once envisaged after all? Who knows, but the evergreen bounce of “Spicks And Specks” that follows not only provides the audience with a chance to stand up for the first time in over an hour, but also reminds us that when it came to Toytown popsike party anthems, the Beegs were the true masters. A spoken word discussion, complete with slides, of all those no longer with us, even Andy, and their part of this extraordinary musical history, reminds us exactly why we’re here: musically, the remainder of the show stands firmly in disco/AOR territory (again not necessarily New Untouchables-friendly, but a classic song is a classic song, regardless of genre, when viewed in context), only offset by a powerful ’68 kiss-off of “Words”, during which the audience refuses to let him sing the last line without their participation, just to keep him here longer, and a curious half-backing band half-video “Massachusetts”, which seems a strange way to end festivities but gets the thumbs up if for no other reason than keeping one foot firmly in the bizarre.

So, with such an illustrious past, what does the future hold for “ar Barry”? At 67, he’s still fit, slim, warm, relaxed and, almost in direct contradiction to the tragedies that have befallen him, in the best of humours- but is there anything left except to retread the past? The funky hard rock of solitary new number “Fight”, while it may not be what this magazine would necessarily want, at least suggests that the answer may be in the affirmative- and, whilst no-one is expecting an about-face of Scott Walkeresque avant-garde proportions, providing he still eschews the ‘trendy pop producer’ route so beloved of many a veteran artist reaching a crossroads and follows a more individual path, as Macca, Elton, Bowie and John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest have all done this year, we could be in for not just a ‘late career highlight’ but a fascinating new chapter in the life of a man who we thought had already achieved it all. Give him your support- he deserves it, even “in the autumn of his years.”


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Dashing Drewe Shimon

Dashing Darius Drewe Shimon, aka just 'Drewe' 'Druid' or 'The Shim' to his mates, 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 13, 2013 By : Category : Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Live! – Daddy Long Legs & The Turning

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Live!

A chilly November night saw The Blues Kitchen packed to bursting point once more. The dark, relaxing, soulful venue was tonight playing host to Brooklyn swamp blues outfit Daddy Long Legs on their short tour of Europe to spread the evangelical word of the church of blues.

First up however were London based band The Turning. Fresh faced and raw the band took to the stage to a crowd which only began to swell as they played.

Immediately the band launched into a brand of fast paced distorted R&B that is spawning a whole new generation of young bands across the country. One is immediately tempted to make comparisons to their peers, but this would do The Turning an injustice. The bands innocence shines through, and maybe somewhat contributes to their raw, punky Buzzcocks sound, and you can hear the sound of the best of the revival shining through – all tinged with some raw Rock ‘n’Roll goodness and contemporary Indie pop.

Amongst the smattering of their own original compositions they fire through a set of covers that keeps everyone smiling and nodding in approval, including their own tribute to the late, great Lou Reed, in the shape of ‘Sweet Jane’. Closing with a double hit of ‘Too Much Monkey Business’ and ‘Johnny Be Goode’, the bands sincerity and passion is evident. Rumour has it they are due to play the Borderline in February, and I will be eager to see how far they will have come on from now. One to watch for sure!

Brothers and sisters! The Blues Kitchen tonight was transformed for one night only into the ‘Church of Blues’ courtesy of the exorcising sounds of the rough and raucous Daddy Long Legs. On a mission the band performed their mass to the eager congregation before them. Rough, rugged and distorted blues rock was the order of the day and you immediately begin to think of a rawer, grittier Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, but soaked in more whiskey and chewing tobacco. The band take no prisoners and work the crowd into their ceremony of dirty swamp blues, cutting confident figures on stage, with lead singer – the Daddy himself – being the most fiery and aggressive preacher man you can imagine. Murat Akturk’s slide guitar goodness blended perfectly with proggy proto-metal drummer Josh Styles thumping tribal beats and soon had the venue rammed to the rafters.

This was my first experience and outing with Daddy Long Legs – but wow, what an introduction. It felt like I was watching Leadbelly sharing a bottle of the finest bourbon with Motorhead. Not a nice thought? That’s what real Rock ‘n’ Roll is all about. Roll on the UK return of the flaming threesome. I need salvation once more. Let us pray!


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Lord Savage

Bitten by the bug as a child in 1981 after being fed a mix of his fathers rock n'roll and his brothers 2 Tone records, David became involved in the Mod scene through a healthy diet of the revival, the Buzzcocks and Dexys Midnight Runners. Having first attended the Mousetrap in 1997 and spending time at both the New Untouchables and, the now defunct, Untouchables events he took a period of scene paternity leave in 2003 to rejoin again and find things as healthy, diverse and as vibrant as his obsession with hair straighteners. Now proud to be in the NUTs fold, David began working as the New Untouchables Social Media Manager in September 2012 and can generally be found chasing people around the depths of the Mousetrap with his dodgy pink camera. Crate digger, OCD hooverer, vintage shop raider, jazz listener, scooter tinkerer, wine drinker and cheese enthusiast. Sums it up nicely!

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November 9, 2013 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews USA Tags:, , ,
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Mark Raison – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 19 of 20 in the series Hey! Mr DJ

Mark Raison is based in London, UK and describes himself as a Slapdash writer for MonkeyPicks and DJ for anyone who asks. He took some time out recently to talk to Dr. Robert @ Nutsmag.

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

Seeing The Jam play ‘Absolute Beginners’ on Top Of The Pops as a twelve year old was the moment music snapped into place and became an all-encompassing passion. It wasn’t the song as such – which was slightly baffling – but the combination of the music and Paul Weller’s striking image: the sunglasses, the hair, the attitude. There was something extra, a sense that music wasn’t always frivolous entertainment but could be something of worth. That performance opened the door to much: the obvious 60s mod records and – more relevantly and more lasting – to soul music. It was a life changing three minutes.

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

At The Villa in Uxbridge, 1989, where a friend and I put on a weekly night called, unimaginatively, Move On Up. It was a strange mixture of Paul playing disco, Philadelphia International stuff, 70s funk and me playing Northern Soul reissues and cheap originals. It didn’t last long but was enough to give me a taste behind the decks.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

After running Shake! in Bethnal Green every month for five years I called it a day. The night was in some ways the glue that kept a lot of people together and was a brilliant period, totally immersed in R&B and soul and partying. Playing the last few records on the closing night and seeing friends and club regulars dancing wildly (drunkenly) and cheering was unforgettable. Also, all the times I’ve DJ-ed outside the UK have been very memorable. It’s always deeply flattering to be asked to do any gigs but to go to other countries to play records, well, it doesn’t get much better.

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

Having people take shelter in the DJ booth whilst a gang of marauding rhythm and soul hating locals whacked women and children (maybe not children) across their heads with chairs wasn’t much fun.

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Ady Croasdell as he’s guided purely on the quality of music and the interests of the audience and can play something amazing only he has access to next to a five quid record. He’s not about ego or rarity for rarities’ sake. Also, like Ady, Alan Handscombe is generous with his huge knowledge and keen to share. People like Ady, Alan, Jo Wallace, Chris Dale etc – and many others, to be fair – never try to adopt ownership of the records they play. They belong to – and are the result of – the artists, writers, musicians and producers whose talent created them. DJs are simply delivery people.

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

Generally I like to play records that pack a bit of a punch, whether they be hard R&B, horn-stabbing soul or driving instrumentals. As funds are scarce nowadays, it’s meant I have to dig deeper to find more interesting affordable stuff. I can’t justify paying hundreds of pounds for a record anymore, even if it is tempting. Someone in Spain once said after a set that I DJ-ed with my own personality. Not sure what that is but I thought it a nice thing to say and I’ve kept it as a bit of guide ever since.

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

On the basis of best quality/relative obscurity I couldn’t believe my ears or luck when I bought Grover Pruitt’s ‘Little Girl’ on Salem some years back. It remains fairly unknown yet it always packs the floor and is among my very favourite records. Dancefloor dynamite!

8. Who are your favourite artists?

Curtis Mayfield, both with The Impressions and without; Mavis Staples, both with the Staple Singers and without; Reggie King, both with The Action and without. I’ve such an emotional attachment to all three voices; they regularly bring a lump to my throat.

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

I own all Bob Dylan’s albums! But no, as far as DJing goes I adopt a fairly scattergun approach to collecting as my tastes are pretty wide but am gradually, almost inadvertently, building complete sets of Etta James and Lightnin’ Slim 45s and James Brown LPs.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

At the Mousetrap on 30th November and then whenever that nice Rob Bailey fella asks me again. I also pop up now and again at Sidewinder plus I do a more varied set for Jukebox 7’s and Idle Fret.

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

Al McCarther’s ‘His True Love For You’ on Two Guitars Records. Such a beautiful, lilting sounding record yet heartbreakingly sad.

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

Oh crikey, I wouldn’t know where to start with an all-time Top 10 list.

These are my five current spins:

1. Grover Pruitt – Little Girl (Salem)
2. Lonnie Hewitt – You Gotta Git (Fantasy)
3. Big Maybelle – Do Lord (Brunswick)
4. Roosevelt Grier – Since You’ve Been Gone (RIK)
5. Ronnie Milsap – A Thousand Miles From Nowhere (Scepter)

Web Links:

monkey-picks.blogspot.co.uk
twitter.com/monkeypicks

Next Club Spots:
Saturday 30 November 2013 – Mousetrap R&B Allnighter, London


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drrobert

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

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November 7, 2013 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music RnB Tags:, , ,
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Frantz – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 18 of 20 in the series Hey! Mr DJ

Frantz (Real Name: Francesco Lisi Scardavi), is based in Rimini, Italy and describes himself as a Dad and  a record collector at home . He took some time out recently to talk to Dr. Robert @ Nutsmag.

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

I started listening to music at Secondary School, and then at the age of 17 I went with some friends to the Slego Club, here in Rimini. I consider myself very lucky due the fact that the Slego Club was the first, the best and for a long time the only alternative club in Italy. At the time the resident Dj was so much into 60′s and Garage Punk the entire club was painted optical in black and white. Ok the Image tells more than 1000 words… this was the 1987… that night I find out that I love the Kinks and sixties music in general… All Day and all the night… forever

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

1991 in Turin, there was a Battle of Mod DJ’s, the funny thing was that at the time Mod music was 100% Northern Soul and nothing else! So I was the only one that played Beat or UK Rhythm & Blues (like we called it in those days) and my set was a bit unexpected for the audience.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

The biggest emotions for me was playing at the Modstock 2004, in London, I played for the biggest dance floor I ever saw, I was used to play records but my hands was a bit shaky for the first songs!

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

It’s very difficult to say, because I never had a really bad experience. I always have fun playing my records on the scene. Ok I had some bad D.J. experience outside of the Sixties circuit but this is part of life.

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

I like Rob Bailey very much I think he’s one of the best for making the people dance and having fun. He has a great experience in playing records in clubs and bigger events for a long time and this makes the difference. Another favorite of mine is Sebas Aviles, is one of the best in mixing records, he’s a bit like a machine gun: bam-bam-bam, a killer record after another killer record and keep going, and everybody dance! I like him because he reminds me of records I have in my collection that I never had the chance to play.

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

In the last ten years I played records in different clubs, festivals, Mod rally and countries and I had the chance to listen and meet several DJ’s and collectors. This makes your musical background and knowledge grow and you start appreciating different music styles.

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Well, strange but true, is ‘I Surrender’ by Bonny St. Claire, I played for the first time at the Cattolica Mod rally, I think was 2000 or 2001. Another nice one was ‘It’s All Over Again’ by Whichwhat, I found that in central London for £8.00.

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

My favorite bands are the Kinks, the Creation and the Smoke, then all the classic groups like Who, Stones, Beatles, Animals, Them, etc. I’m very big fan of the UK sixties.

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

I collect all the records I like, and sometimes I surprise even myself for example I collect those Embassy label records, that were usually “cheap” covers versions of the hit of the moment.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

At the moment the next chance is the Modstock 2014, in London, now I have two kids and I took a hiatus from my DJ career.

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

Wow that is a tough question probably the record I still don’t know it exists. I prefer to listen to a big pile of cheap records that I don’t know instead of buying the mega rare one that I miss but that I don’t like so much.

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

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1. Abel Fletcher – Girl On The Shore
2. Maria Dallas – Ambus
3. Rolling Stones – All Sold Out
4. Baris Manco – Trip
5. Wizards – See You Tonight

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

1. Gentlemen – It’s A Crying Shame
2. Gnags- I Can’t Talk About It
3. Heard – Exit 9
4. Tintern Abbey – Vacum Cleaner
5. Beathovens – Summer Sun
6. Tamrons – Wild Man
7. Crimson Shadows – Even I Tell Lies
8. Rolling Stones – All Sold Out
9. Smoke – Have Some More Tea
10. Stems – Tears Me In Two

Web Links:

freakbeat.co.uk
facebook.com/modsit

Next Club Spots:
Modstock –  Easter 2014, London


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drrobert

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

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November 7, 2013 By : Category : DJs Europe Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Damien Lapeyre – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 17 of 20 in the series Hey! Mr DJ

Damien Lapeyre, is based in La Rochelle, France . He took some time out recently to talk to Dr. Robert @ Nutsmag.

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

I first got interested through our tiny local 60’s Mod and Scooter scene close to Saintes in South-West of France. I was running a radio show with some friends as a teenager around 88/89 and got my records at the great local record shop. I remember buying the Who, Yardbirds, Creation LP’s amongst others with the pocket money back in those days. Then early 90′s like so many people I discovered the world of Soul through the Kent Compilations, a real education. I started to buy my 45’s through Mail orders in the UK (often listening to them over the phone, imagine that) Pat Brady, Groove, Prehistoria !

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

I think at a local venue near Saintes called Le “Top Club” with my old mate Phil ‘Hip’ Beauvais (Hey Phil Hip) around 1990/1991 maybe?

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Hard to choose really, many great memories everywhere but would say Spain for sure it’s always special, places like The Boiler, Euroyeye and the trips to Wild Valencia as well.

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

I was asked to DJ for a big party at the end of a movie finishing. After two tunes people started to complain and be aggressive, they wanted to hear Mainstream music so I left after half an hour but took very good money though.

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

To name but a few my old friend Michael Robinson from NYC is behind so many great discoveries over the years. Mik Parry & Gav Arno for Passion, Fun and deep knowledge too the way it should be. Also Edu Domingo from Barcelona and Laurent Reus as they really know how to DJ properly and entertain a crowd. Basically every DJ with a great ear that plays something different & exciting. DJ’s with deep pockets playing expensive classics are not my bag.

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

Compilations, the Internet later, listenin’ to the People mentioned above sets and so on.

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Every so called newie has often been discovered and played by some chap before elsewhere you know… so I can’t really answer this easily.

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

No idols as such, although I always loved the Beatles and their whole universe since I was about 12.

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

No I don’t have a collector mentality, I Like to buy 45s to DJ with.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Umm, retired a bit these days but you can catch my sets at Modstock in London.

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

Wow tough one, Elvis Presley ‘That’s all right Mamma’ No seriously I would say Tommy Dent ‘Soul thing’ amongst 500 others.

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

Top 10 Tracks of All Time (Tricky one !!!)

1. John Andrews – It’s Just Love
2. Gene Toones – What More Do You Want
3. Tommy Dent – Soul Thing
4. Tito Puente – Hit the Bongo
5. Lee Dowell –Don’t Make Me Mad
6. John Harris & The Soul Sayers – Hangin’ In
7. Little Nicky Soul – I Wanted To Tell You
8. Freddie Houston – If I Had Known
9. Little Anthony & Imperials – It’s not the same
10. Dells – Make sure

Current Top 5 Tracks:

1. Eddie Jefferson– Psychedelic Sally
2. Garnett Mimms – as long as I have you
3. Bobby Butler – Next time you see me
4. Reverend Carlton Coleman – Share it
5. Carl Underwood – Ain’t You Lying

Web Links:

facebook.com/damien.lapeyre


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drrobert

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

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November 25, 2013 By : Category : DJs Europe Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Brighton Mod/60’s Weekender 2013 Review

The August bank holiday saw the New Untouchables team heading for Brighton to set up for a hotly anticipated weekend of fun in Britain’s best seaside resort. In this video are some of the highlights from 2013. Join us same time, same place next year for more action.

A Massive thanks to the team: Pip! Pip!, Ellie, Kolorz, Carlo Sesto, Graham Lentz, Lord Savage, Doug Sturrock and Nicky Bubbles (Bar Italia). The soundtrack was superb all weekend big shout for the live bands Faith Keepers & the 45’s, plus the NUTS DJs: Chris Dale, Lee Miller, Pid: special guests Pete & Kris Tebbutt, Holly Calder, Mik Parry, Ginger Taylor, Yann Vatiste, Andy Roseman, Jamie Parr, Simon Bridger, Craig Simpson, Dean Chalkley and Graeme Very and all those who spun at the open decks session at the Volks Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Credits: Video by Doug Sturrock @ Stable Studios & Photos by Carlo Sesto


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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 20, 2013 By : Category : Bands Cars and Scooters Clubs DJs Events Fashion Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , ,
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Mod Girl Fashion

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Fashion Scene

Deadlier than the Mod Male

Mod has always been a bit ‘mad about the boy’. Pick up any mod book or retrospective and its pretty much always about the mod male – the mod girl might get a cursory mention if we are lucky. Of course, during the 60s the social context was very different – women were still on the fringes both economically and culturally – they were used to riding pillion.

Even when I was a teenager at the beginning of the 80s we mod girls were more likely to be found on the side of the dance floor or on the back of a scooter. No matter how much you cared about music, it was really difficult to get yourself taken seriously in those heartfelt debates about whether Sound Affects was better than Setting Sons – this just wasn’t girls’ talk. Boy, has that changed though.

These days, fabulously dressed female mods seem to be all over. The dance floor is packed with them. Often it’s the blokes, not wanting to crumple their suits or get their shoes stained, that are clutching their pints on the sidelines. In fashion terms, eBay and our love affair with all things vintage has unleashed a veritable flood of on- and off-line shops. In short, apart from 1964, I’d say there has never been a better time to be into the scene.

Gina Giraffe who got into mod during the revival thinks that part of the reason why women have more choice is because the scene itself is broader than it’s ever been. “Women are into the scene in their own right, not just Mod-WAGs who are dragged along for the ride. They are experimenting with different 60s looks, so the range of clothing and accessories to choose from is wider.”

She still thinks the scene very male dominated however. “In my experience I don’t think attitudes have changed a great deal since the revival. It’s still a male-dominated scene, just a quick glance around any gig, rally or ride-out will quickly prove that. These days women’s opinions do seem to be more considered and respected, but I expect that’s because many of the men of our age on the scene have wives and daughters of their own and have mellowed over the past 30 years. I think things will be very different for the new generation of female mods who are currently in their 20s. They have grown up in a world of real equality between the genders, so the imbalance we experienced won’t exist.”

The availability of original 60s clothing on sites such as eBay has made it easier than ever to get that authentic look. Whether your style in totally vintage or a mix and match approach seems to be a matter of individual taste. In the words of mod, Jane Buttery, whose wardrobe is mainly original 60s: “It’s just a personal preference. However, I find it hard to find many original vintage skirts/trousers, so I shop for skirts and trousers from good old M&S, Boden or Laura Ashley. What I like about it is that you can be creative and individual with how you put an outfit together knowing you can have your own unique take on that era.”

We also have the option of high quality reproductions from the likes of Carnaby Streak (thecarnabystreak.co.uk) who faithfully reproduce 60s dresses and tunics and will even custom size for those of us (i.e. most) not sporting a Twiggy-type figure. Angela Williams set up the company because she saw a gap in the market for: “Good vintage 60s original mod clothing.”

She says: “Much of the vintage clothing worn now is more bold and psychedelic than when I first got into the mod scene. I think this is the reason why so many women are choosing to buy new clothing over vintage. There are companies now that offer good quality clothes that actually look vintage.  Another option many have chosen is to have vintage clothes reproduced.”

There is also the fact that polyester and Crimplene may wash and dry beautifully quickly but it can be very itchy and hot to wear on a night out – so sometimes modern fabrics in a good 60s design are about function as well as form.

A cursory look at Vogue or Elle magazine will confirm that the obsession with the 60s it not over yet. It has been very hit-and-miss on the high street though, with some collections named and shamed by mods who’ve been dressing in a 60s style for years.

Angela hits the nail on the head: “I think the 60s will always be popular fashion-wise. It is such an influential era that it never really disappears from the catwalks. But it’s a double-edged-sword when fashion focuses on the 60s. Although I am introduced to a new generation of 1960’s lovers with every ‘revival’, the high street is flooded with cheap 60s-inspired clothing. These are mostly bad interpretations and the true mod will always seek out the more true to style and well-made clothing.”

Coming up

Over the coming months, we will run a series of articles on female mod fashion from the 60s through to the mod revival of the late 70s to the present day. We’ll be looking at the the influential designers from Biba to Quant and how high street brands such as Fred Perry and Merc have evolved over the years to meet the needs of a young generation of women wanting to look stylish and hip. If there are any topics that you think we should discuss do get in touch at claire@newuntouchables.com or #clairem68 or facebook.com/clairelm68


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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September 20, 2013 By : Category : Articles Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, ,
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Eel Pie Island Exhibition

Eel Pie Island Exhibition – 1 Aug to 29 Sept 2013

Aurora Metro Arts and Media, 
67 Grove Avenue, 
Twickenham, 
TW1 4HX

Celebrating the unique musical heritage of Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, this exhibition brings together photographs, accounts and memorabilia of the musicians and club-goers. It traces the story of how ‘Eelpiland’ came into being, the history of the hotel and the dance hall, and the political and social significance of Arthur Chisnall’s music club for young people, from mods to jazz heads and hippies. Rob Bailey visited for NUTSmag at the end of August, accompanied by riders from Bar Italia Scooter Club.

I had been meaning to make the pilgrimage to this exhibition but was busy with Euro YeYe at the beginning of August so when I saw Nick had organised a Bar Italia ride down to the exhibition in Twickenham it was the perfect excuse. At Orleans House, a stone’s throw from the original venue, we were greeted by the local press who came along to take a few snaps for an article in the Richmond & Twickenham Times.

As a huge lover of British music from the 60s I was intrigued by this exhibition, and not only the stunning photos and contracts on display. As you enter the exhibition you move from left to right as the history of the club unfolds from its jazz and skiffle roots in the fifties to the infamous R&B boom of the sixties. I was also fascinated by the social story and one man’s determination and vision to create a place for young people to enjoy themselves freely, in a safe environment at his club which also had the local vicar attendance, but more on that later.

So the legend was born, Arthur Chisnall’s Eel Pie Island Hotel. At first the club attracted all the big trad jazz stars of the day including Ken Colyer, Chris Barber and George Melly who would make the teenagers pound the venue floorboards jumping heavily from foot to foot (there is some footage of this in the film area of the exhibition). I was always under the impression the trad scene was somewhat stuffy and boring – not at Eel Pie.

Skiffle bridged the gap and enabled youngsters with limited recourses to form bands with washboards and kazoos using the DIY ‘punk’ ethic. This short lived trend set the tone for the 60s and Alexis Korner and Cyril Davis, who had played in Chris Barber’s band as well as running Skiffle clubs in the West End, which created a platform for many future stars to step up on the hotel stage and perfect their performance.

As I mentioned earlier some stunning photographs mainly from club regular Mike Peters depicting this era of the club including the early Rolling Stones, Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, The Artwoods and The Velvettes. They also give you insight to the club goers who are dancing and hanging out the graffiti walled venue. What is equally interesting is the contracts Long John Baldry‘s Hoochie Coochie Men for example were paid £100 in early 63 while the Rolling Stones got paid £45 for their first couple of shows and then up to £55 by September 63. The Rolling Stones had a run of fourteen dates through 1963 and honoured the contract after the first hit record although as Arthur Chisnall said ‘there were so many people I almost cancelled it but if I had I would have had a riot on our hands’.

The other significant thing about Eel Pie Island Hotel was it really was on an Island, so John Lord and Brian Auger would lug Hammonds while Keith Richards and Brian Jones dragged amps over the bridge. If you were a punter it cost four pence to the old lady who was the gate keeper to this magical Island.

Throughout the history of the club objections from local people were common, and the authorities made several attempts to close the hotel. However, this made the EPI experience all the more mystical and the kids kept on coming often using the same lame excuses to parents as all teenagers experiencing there first forays into club land with friends. However, Arthur clearly had a social conscience and whilst drugs, alcohol and sex were all rife on the Island the local vicar, psychologists and even doctors along with Arthur were on hand to offer advice and assistance.

Some of the proceeds of the club went into local social welfare projects often helping wayward club regulars find a purpose or career in life. This is included in the film which you can watch at the end of the exhibition as well as the strange trad jazz dance I mentioned earlier. It also chats with old club regulars and musicians who recite tails from back in the day and help tell the Eel Pie Island story. It was not only the club goers who respected Arthur and his efforts he was clearly loved by the musicians who performed as this testament from Artwoods guitarist Derek Griffith’s demonstrates ‘there was never any nonsense with the cash, but Arthur was more than just a promoter he was a very kind, avuncular person with a social conscience’

Although the Floyd performed early on in their career at the venue as the Psychedelic era dawned the authorities got their way and after a couple of reprieves by the early to mid seventies the club had turned into a junky’s paradise and was falling apart, but by then Arthur was long gone.

The exhibition is free and from Tuesday to Saturday, 1pm to 5.30pm, and Sunday, 2pm to 5.30pm.

A book, titled ‘The British Beat Explosion: Rock ‘n’Roll Island’ accompanies the exhibition. SBN  9781906582470 Price £9.99 and available at a special reduced rate at our exhibition.

Web Links:

Full info here: eelpieislandmusic.com/exhibition

Credits: Carolina Pastore, Richmond & Twickenham Times

 


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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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

September 20, 2013 By : Category : Articles Arts Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , ,
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