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.
Tag Archives | Liverpool
Rufus Thomas ‘The Breakdown’ & ‘Do The Funky Chicken’
From ‘Wattstax’ 1972
ALBUM: MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION
This Sunday (July 1st) at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
One of the defining moments of my DJ career took place exactly 30 years ago, on Monday May 10th 1982, when my first radio mix was broadcast on Mike Shaft’s show, ‘T.C.O.B’ (Taking Care Of Business), on Manchester’s hugely influential Piccadilly Radio, which played a major part in bringing black / dance music to wider attention during the ’70s and ‘80s – from Soul, Funk and Disco, through Jazz-Funk and Electro, and on into Hip Hop, House and Techno. I go into its rich legacy in greater depth here:
When the crew behind Manchester’s Electric Chair brought their monthly club night to an end at the beginning of 2008, they’d decided their next move would be from club to pub, opening a bar a few miles outside of the city centre in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, which they called Electrik.
Stayed in a mad hotel last Friday, the Karim Rashid designed Nhow in Berlin. If you like pink, then this is the place for you – it’s literally everywhere. Not really my cup of tea, all a bit garish and, as someone put it ‘Barbie girl in a Barbie world’, but certainly somewhere you’re not going to forget in a hurry. Described as a ‘music and lifestyle hotel’, you can have guitars and keyboards delivered to your room, and the upper section of the building houses two recording studios, which are run by the company that manage Berlin’s legendary Hansa studio (best known for David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s patronage in 1977 – ‘Heroes’ and ‘Lust For Life’, both recorded there, and ‘Low’ and ‘The Idiot’ partly recorded).
Filmed by Granada TV in 1964, this is a wonderful piece of footage of Liverpool’s The Chants performing on Merseyside – there’s something very heartfelt about it, especially the close-ups showing some of the girls swooning over them. The song is ‘I Could Write A Book’ and was written by Rodgers & Hart, originally appearing in the 1940 musical ‘Pal Joey’ (later, in 1957, made into a movie, where it was sung by Frank Sinatra). It would be the second single by The Chants, released on PYE records, and famously given the thumbs up by all four Beatles on the TV show Juke Box Jury (Dec 7th 1963), although even the Fabs’ wholehearted endorsement failed to help it break into the charts.