Friday, 10 December 2010

WER'E THE BAND PART 5

The Gym was the name of a warehouse party organised, publicised and delivered by me Neil and another friend Stefan; an English kiwi. Prior to this I had done a few nights with a friend Ossie under the name of Sound Effects and had put together a flyer based on a Mad Magazine comic of the same name. This was the start of the cut and paste advertising that I produced based on popular culture, comics, movies, whatever I could use and put together to produce publicity materials. It was part of the do it yourself ethos. These nights had gone okay but I needed a bit more dedication to the cause so The Gym was both the solution to my aspiration and became our Trading name.
The Warehouse party was in Pixley Street Mile End, a rough and ready area at the best of times. It was in the basement of a factory and it was both an earner and a wake up to the potential of our concept. This was playing the music we wanted to hear, not requests from drunk divorcees and students; real music.
After the inaugural night of The Gym we began getting work in earnest. Motion at Piccadilly Circus was an exciting underground club and we did a couple of nights there, we went south and played in Brixton.Our big break was getting a residency at The Wag club in Wardour Street. Soho then was not sanitised as it is now, it was a place of sex, gambling and seedy glamour.We got into the NME and Time out recommends as things took off.

The Wag was the place to be at that time. It had begun life as The Flamingo Jazz Club in 1950s Soho, becoming the Whiskey A Go Go in the sixties and seventies finally revamping as The Wag Club.  DeNiro, Bowie, Pacino, Jagger and Madonna were among the ‘beautiful people’ who came during those halcyon days.
It gave us great pleasure, when we went there on nights we weren’t playing, to go in past the inevitable long queue and be waved in by Winston, The Wag’s huge fur coated doorman.
Then there was the late night West end scene; the after club clubs and after hours drinking dens. Some shenanigans did ensue dear reader.
These were the days of The Mezzon De Corunna, The Barracuda, Maunkberrys, Xenons, The Titanic. The up market west end scene. Spending money, getting down, slumming it at Stringfellows, laughing at the freaks at Taboo, Richard Jobson’s poetry club, releasing the pressure at Le Beat Route, rare groove at The Cat in The Hat,VIP at The Embassy, living the Vida Loca.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKb0SSSGm-8
down Greek street then it's underground
And then there was Sunday night at The Africa Centre.

TO BE CONTINUED

2 comments:

  1. That's Tony Hadley "releasing the pressure at Le Beat Route" in 1981 - would be nice to credit the pic to yours truly © Shapersofthe80s

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great pic of Tony Hadley copyright Shapersofthe80s with pleasure

    ReplyDelete

having said that;

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