Thursday, 18 March 2010


Back in the eighties the club scene had yet to be tainted by rapid BPM commercialism and drugs. It was a time when the music came first, a time when it was great to be in the midst of excitement and revelation.

Uptown to Maunkberrys, Xenon and Motion in Piccadilly along with The Barracuda and The Embassy, Soho to LeBeat Route, Wardour Street to The Wag, Mainstream off Oxford Street to The Hombre or further afield to The Royalty Southgate or The Epping Forest Country Club, or for the underground feel The Cat in The Hat Leicester Square and of course the irreplaceable Sunday night at the Africa Centre.

These were the clubs where the music and the dancing made the difference for a London boy like me. Robert Elms book ‘The way we wore’ touches on this time and place and Tony Parsons captures in words in his novel ‘Stories we could tell’ the excitement of Club life in that time.

There was a feeling that this was a moment in our growing up that we would look back on and remember the details. The tunes the vibe the getting ready the meeting points the journeys and the destinations.

It was a glorious time a time when ‘our’ music was everywhere.

Oh yes the music; Evelyn Champagne King,Roy Ayers, James Brown, BB&Q, D-Train, Sharron Redd, The O’Jays, Fatback band, Jonny Hammond, Ramp, Shalamar, Lee Dorsey, Slave, Gayle Adams, The JBs the list goes on and on.

It was the moment when the underground club culture that I had witnessed in the seventies went overground and embraced everyone. I think that those Sundays at The Africa Centre encapsulated things, we went there with our ‘underground funk passes’ and felt at the heart of something special.

It felt good to be alive, as alive as the music we danced to.

All This Love that I'm Giving
Gwen McCrae (1979)

McCrae was an archetypal tragic disco diva - the southern belter lived in the shadow of husband George; when she went solo, her success waned. But the British soul weekender scene of the Eighties kept this phenomenal disco-funk classic alive.
THE MOVE Make like a horse whipping its tail from side to side, then throw in a fast spin on your heels.

Watch it on YouTube

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having said that;