This photo popped up on Facebook recently, taken by Mark McNulty, whose visual documentation of Liverpool’s club/music scene of the past 3 decades is now part of the city’s cultural legacy. It’s a photograph of a record cabinet Bill Drummond made following the death of Roger Eagle in 1999, which was displayed under the title ‘Dead White Man’ in the Jump Ship Rat, an alternative gallery space in Parr Street during Liverpool’s inaugural Biennial Festival that year, but not as part of the official programme, more an anarchic fringe event.
Tag Archives | Big In Japan
I’m all about connections. What really turns me on is when two previously separate areas of interest suddenly collide head on thanks to the discovery of a new piece of information. The connections are already there, it’s just that we’re blind to them much of the time, so when John Higgs, the author of ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic And The Band Who Burned A Million Pounds’, does the detective work and pieces of the jigsaw fall together in a way that reveals a different picture to what we may previously have envisaged, that’s a deeply nourishing feast for me.
Whilst DJ obsessives in this country could tell you the minutia with regards to New York’s celebrated club culture of the ’70s, I’m often surprised to find that they know precious little about what was happening here in the UK at the same time David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Larry Levan and the other NY legends of the ’70s were bringing Disco to the fore. Maybe they think that there wasn’t much happening here, and that UK DJs were simply following the US lead, whilst, to the contrary, nothing could be further from the truth – go back into the ’70s, before Disco hit its stride, and you’ll find hugely influential figures including Ian Levine, Colin Curtis and Les Spaine in the North, Chris Hill, Bob Jones and George Power in the South – DJs with a wealth of knowledge between them, who made their mark on popular culture here at root level. These are giants, upon the shoulders of which subsequent generations of British DJs stand, whether they know it or not.
Back in March I did a gig with a difference at the Queen Of Hoxton in London, promoted by Cosmic Boogie and Big In Japan. Apart from being booked to play an as per normal DJ slot, a few hours beforehand I’d been invited to present a ‘Soundtrack Set’, where I added a visual aspect to the music of my choice. This took place in a huge tepee on the roof, and the idea certainly caught the imagination with tickets selling out in advance. This was the second Soundtrack Set, the previous one hosted by the illustrious JD Twitch (from Glasgow’s Optimo) who’d played his own selection of music to accompany the screening of the visually stunning ‘Baraka – A World Beyond Words’ (1992), which took its cue from 1982’s eco-conscious cult-classic ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ and its sequel ‘Powaqqatsi’ (1988), its epic scale providing a broad canvas onto which Twitch would re-imagine its score.