Waiting in a queue for a club or a concert is something that I seldom do these days – my queues are in Sainsbury’s now. Trollies pushed with purpose. But many a night had started with a queue – the anticipation building the teeth grinding and the chatter starting. The queuing was preceeded by a drive out of the industrial to somewhere more pretty and rewarding, the latest mix from Daryll keeping it four to the floor as we kept time with the [strictly] rhythm and began to feel that urge to dance – you’re going to dance and have some fun.
We used to park up in Nottingham city centre – this was before the move – already building this affection for a city that would ultimately shape my ways – all of it so familiar in my head now – but at the time it seemed so sprawling – so lit up by late nights and underground sounds. We used to go to Venus. This small club in a small street full of large characters and lots of love. Later – Emma and I would see a rat there in the street – by the fish and chip shop – but this hadn’t occurred yet and the street was still a magical place. It was the second, third, forth Summer of Love – whatever the mixmag or The Face had decided to label it.
We called it music. Still do.
There are a thousand tales to tell about nights out in the company of house music – in the company of Daryll. There’s another one I should have stayed in touch with – but late nights make you jumpy and off it – so we drifted. I see a pattern emerging here – I see what the root [down] cause is – I just don’t want to admit.[because if I say I am I’ll get it] Upstairs bar – coat off – drink – swaying to the garage sounds and hi hat clicks – then down the stairs to false light and fags –as the guest dj began their spot. Andrew Weatherall was always a revelation – always special in that tiny room. Dropping Rez by Underworld for the first time and taking us to a frenzy as Koenig Cylinders blasted our ears and all we could do was grin. Because beats and repetition go hand in hand as we drank Red Stripe and grooved. Or Dimitri dropping 1000 by Moby – a 1000bpm in a windowless room in the centre of the city.
Then at two o’clock that was your lot – out into the open air all wide eyed and delirious with joy – because music does that to you.
There was always a thrill to the club scene – the banter, the chatter, the open eyes and open arms. When Venus closed for a while and James moved the operation over to the Rockadero – we queued again – this time for Pirate TV and the Sabres of Paradise live – Weatherall rocking the spot from the stage this time – all of it leading to good times and fun. So I guess this should be about Weatherall – but I’m not ready to write that yet. And I think when I started writing this morning I was thinking of techno – of electronica – of dance music – of music.
But what filled my head was Sandy B – Feel like singing – and then suddenly it was the Nervous Track by New Yorican Soul and now I need to write about that repetition – its build and its release – all energy and soul and fat sounding keyboards. A guaranteed floor filler – tearing it up. There’s this sense of the never ending about it – just rolling and rolling onwards catching us all dancing in its net.Percusion and a horn stab - and feet just start moving.
I long for that simplicity in music.
I long for simplicity like this.