Having Africa as a memory was one thing – there are times and events that cause further change. I was persuaded to do a show at a local pub – the East House – because of my Coventry roots and my love of ska. This later developed into my fully returning to the world of the DJ (first times being in the early 70s). Thus, this became a time of new growth, new discovery. I soon acquired a partner in musical performance – Chris and later Matt (Ripparoots). The odd event at the East House became regular shows, carting a P.A. and playing gear from my home in the flats close by to the pub. It was then that new loves and interests were sparked, particularly deep house, trip hop and a lot more – eventually spanning liquid dnb, 2step garage, balearic beats, soul , northern, on towards breaks via big beat, even cajun, french hip hop and so on. These were days that took me and shows to the Tea Gardens another local, the Highway, mentioned elsewhere and various parties. Ultimately I spent a fair amount of time in places such as the Arches and a whole raft of other slightly and fully ‘underground’ venues, warehouses and the like.
It is a shame that most of these venues have now gone, either simply derelict, burned down, converted into shops. These were days of all sorts of music for me – classic deep house, the beginnings of my tastes trip hop wise, my ongoing love of ska, northern soul, classic soul, disco, original r&b, funk and then the later tastes in what was to become liquid dnb, big beat, later breaks.
Yes! time goes by, tastes, likes, loves, appreciations all move on with time. There were times in my middle youth (in this instance for me that meany my 50s, as if I will ever truly grow up) when the things that made me look up, listen and all the rest – generally paying attention – were the loud, the brash, the banging, in one way or another. These were the days of free parties out in the Peaks, warehouses, abandoned buildings. These wer the days of club nights attended, run, played at and those for whom I was providing visuals.
In such days I acquired an appreciation of quite oddly contrasting things:
– odd trails through woods and seemingly ordinary patches of rock, grass, countryside
– old buildings, dilapidated, disused, derelict but still standing and serviceable in one way or another
– tarnished clubs, nightclubs with a hint of distress or just a certain well lived texture, hence the Adelphi, the Arches, Corporation and more
– scrappy flats, old caravans, particular estates and corner shops, ordinary old pubs, things with a history of ordinary people’s lives, a history of efforts made, painful failings, odd successes and joys, too many pains, accidents and setbacks.
These were days when ultimately I ended up going out to various parties and clubbing with my daughters. We had a common set of tastes for events and music. It was all very surprising to their friends when they discovered that the old guy wandering about with them was their dad – quite normal for them but so unusual for their buddies. In these days and nights a bond was built of common tastes and flavours. Those textures still come back to me, they still retain a particular power for me but they are no longer as immediate as they used to be.
Music means a lot to me as you may have gathered. Particular times and events, particular tunes, I have a catalogue of memories brimful of emotion courtesy of all that. Times out and about – djing events – the old days of partying oddly enough from my late 40s on through my 50s. My 50th birthday was a free party with 3 rigs, shut down by police at 4.30am because we had woken up the Chief Inspector. Festival gigs with my daughters – at one of the Big Bang festivals at the Ski Village, now sadly closed and falling to pieces – an acquaintance of my oldest daughter asked her if she could dance with her boyfriend – the response was, ‘what, he’s my dad’ – such a laugh. My middle daughter saying to her mates – ‘what didn’t you learn about clubbing and parties by going with your dad?’ We were a bit of a different family, but still responsible believe it or not.
There are particular venues I so remember – the Arches, Casbah, the Harley, Corporation, so many more. Days of enjoying trip hop, broken beat, dnb, deep house – the details still recorded in my mind. I so want to go and revisit!
The birthday weekend was interesting – family were well present and differently entertaining.
After the major party we headed off to see Artful Dodger and be reminded of old 2 step days, then from there an afterparty which took me back to old days of full weekend free parties and the obligatory afterparty. I was reminded of all those old days in my 50s watching the light levels rise and being annoyed by ravenous insect life from the nearby water. I am now just about sober – fourish days later …
While running through this party weekend I remember talking to an old friend and we agreed upon that quality of the chill out afterparty – that quality which you can palpably feel where the music you are then listening to, the place you are occupying and enjoying is enriched by the continuing reminiscence, the immediate reminiscence, that afterflavour of the party you have just come from … each interacts with the other.
and if you like it old skool and well raggaed up