29 June 2008

The Five Aces live - Sat 5th July

Glasgow's finest Rhythm & Soul group, The Five Aces, will be playing a rare London gig on Saturday 5th July at The Hootananny in Brixton.

The Hootananny Brixton is a new live music venue which has a programme of gigs covering ska, soul, funk and jazz.

The Five Aces (and their other incarnation, The Bottleneckers) are a great band, so I'm chuffed that I've been asked to DJ at this night. I DJ'd for them once before a few years ago at an open-air gig in Italy, but they went by the name of The Boogaloo Investigators at that time.

Doors open at 8pm with DJs from the Pigsnoots club warming things up. The band will be on at around 10pm and then I'll be on afterwards spinning a two hour set of 50s and 60s r&b and soul. The Pigsnoots DJs will take over again until 4am to finish off the night.

Like most of the Hootananny's gigs, admission to this night is free, and knowing The Five Aces I expect this to be a real jumping jamboree, so make sure you bring your dancing shoes!

If you're not familiar with the band, you can listen to some of their music on their MySpace page: www.myspace.com/thefiveaces

The Hootananny is located at:
95 Effra Road (corner of Brixton Water Lane), SW2 1DF

For more information about the venue visit: www.hootanannybrixton.co.uk

28 June 2008

V&A Motown Weekend - 5th-6th July

Poster of The Supremes
Another interesting event coming up at The Victoria & Albert Museum next weekend. To celebrate 50 years of Motown, and coinciding with the V&A's Supremes exhibition, the museum will be exploring the power of soul music, from "Stop in the Name of Love" to "Inner City Blues" and beyond. There will be films, talks, T-shirt printing, Supremes makeovers, dance routines and soul and funk chorus workshops.

On top of this, DJs such as Jo Wallace (Motown), Gladdy Wax and Mistah Brown will be providing a soundtrack of Motown, Northern Soul, Ska, Rocksteady and Afrobeat.

The whole event is absolutely free (note that the Supremes exhibition is not free however), so put on your best threads and get down to explore the impact and legacy of one of the most important record labels of all time.

For full details of this unique weekender, check out the V&A website:

27 June 2008

The Shingaling Thing club returns - 19th July

Two of my favourite DJs, Mark Ellis and Will Bourton, are relaunching their much-missed London club night - It's A Shingaling Thing! - at The Apple Tree pub on Saturday 19th July.

The Shingaling Thing at The Net Bar on Hanway Street was one of my favourite club nights because, quite simply, nowhere else played the same sort of quality jazz and Latin tunes. Amazingly it's been around 5 years since the last one, though in that time both Mark and Will have been busy DJing at other nights, such as my Home Cookin' jazz session.

Mark and Will are joined for this relaunch by special guests French Fred and Jo Sadler (both of whom guested at the club back in the day), so expect a top-notch mix of dancefloor jazz, Latin boogaloo, R&B, 60s soul and reggae.

The Apple Tree is found at: 45 Mount Pleasant, London, WC1X 0AE

Admission to the night is free and it runs from "8 til late".

11 June 2008

Toots & The Maytals live - Wed 18 June

TootsWhen I suggested the upcoming La-33 concert as possible gig of the year, I was of course forgetting that Toots and The Maytals are playing live at The Forum in Kentish Town this coming Wednesday (18th June).

I had the honour of DJing after their concert at Koko in Camden almost exactly two years ago and I have to say it was one of the best gigs I've ever been to. The band were on top form and Toots himself was phenomenal. He still had an extremely soulful voice and to be honest didn't sound very different from the records he recorded some 40 years ago.

Not only did the group sound fantastic, but their stamina was astounding. The length of the gig and the exhaustive selection of material from their back catalogue (including both classic and obscure ska, rocksteady, reggae and even mento) had me in awe. I was particularly excited when they played a ska version of "Louie, Louie" (to my knowledge, no ska version was ever recorded in the 1960s/1970s - The Maytals recorded it as a reggae)

So, this should certainly be another night to remember. And to top it off, I've been asked by Mark Lamarr to assist him with DJ duties again.

For full details of the gig and online booking visit The Forum website here or call 0844 847 2405

NOTE: This gig is apparently open to anyone aged 14+. So for the teenage readers who keep asking me where they can go to hear good music - well the answer is: here! (just don't forget your ID)

03 June 2008

Gig of the year? La-33 - 8th July

This has to be one of, if not THE gig of the year so far. La-33 are to play at Cargo in London on Tuesday 8th July.

If you've heard me DJ over the last couple of years, you may have heard me spin tracks by La-33 such as "La Pantera Mambo" - the group's awesome version of The Pink Panther theme that took Salsa clubs all over England by storm.

This amazing young group from Colombia are like no other new group I've heard. Their blend of jazzy mambo, boogaloo and early salsa sounds like it comes straight out of the 1960s. And what's even more exciting is that they write almost all their own material. I've been hoping that they would play live in London and that wish is now to come true! Playing as part of a European tour (which includes other UK dates), I believe this is their first ever appearance in London. And who knows if and when they will be back, so make sure you catch them!

Tickets are £12.50 in advance and £15 on the door.

Full details and online booking from:

You can find out more about the band and their tour and listen to some of their tracks (including "La Pantera Mambo") on their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/la33