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Eyeplug is keen to spotlight the sometimes unsung heroes (male and female) that are the engine room of music culture nightlife. The collectors, trainspotters, obsessives, that become vinyl (plus) junkies and are eventually prone to share their passion to others via the turntables and fill dancefloors the world over.

We tip our hat to these shy souls that keep lovers of great lost music which is in essence providing a new listening experience for many a generation to switch onto. Respect due!

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : DJs 0 Comment

Barrie Sharpe (Sharpeye) talks to Eyeplug

Barrie Sharpe, is a born and bred Londoner whose energy, style and creativity in music, design, fashion and nightlife helped to shape the Metro cultural landscape from 1980s onwards. We caught up with ‘Sharpeye’ recently to see what he is up to.

01 What was your Childhood like?

I Have Nothing To Fear I Have Already Seen The Worst – Sometime in 1964 my mother was admitted into Goodmayes Mental Institution. My sister Beverley and I were placed in a Victorian style children’s home at Gallows Corner in Essex, “Harold Wood Hall”. It was not a pleasant place, devoid of any love or warmth and it holds many dark memories. I was 4 years old, not yet of school age and left alone to my own devices from 9am until my sister and the other kids returned at teatime. As I had no supervision I got up to all sorts of mischief and was often punished either with the cane or locked in a cupboard for a few hours. I shared a bedroom with three slightly older boys, twins and their elder sibling; the three brothers bullied me at night and made lots of loud noise whilst arguing and giggling. We were situated next to the girls’ dormitory and the girls always complained about the noise. Each morning the housemaster would come in and question us; the brothers always blamed the racket on me and I was beaten, sometimes quite severely. I told Mr. Gee and Matron, the joint heads of the home: “We will deal with it”. But they never did and the beatings got worse. I saw myself as having no value.

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02 What were your early formatative influences in terms of music?

1970 – By the age of 10 it was established that I couldn’t write, had poor reading skills and was not going to amount to much: but I had different ideas. I had discovered reggae, wore slick neat mohair tonic suits, Brutus Slim Fit shirts, Italian shoes and had cropped hair with a razored-in parting just like the Jamaican immigrants, “Rude Boys”, as they liked to call themselves. Yes I was a skinhead; I loved reggae music and it was Prince Buster (my favourite reggae artist) all day long. There were no politics; I was only 10 years old. The first skinheads I ever saw outside the electric store (where they sold the latest reggae imports) in Petticoat Lane were black and proud. Original skinheads were a cross between West Indian style and music mixed with British working class youth attitude, a great combination. Of course there were racist skinheads: this was 1970 so racism was part of British culture, having to put up with a new influx of different nationalities every ten years.

1971 – I was 11 years old, a Skinhead but becoming a suedehead (growing my hair) and living in a kid’s home where the accommodation was small cottages. For some reason I was living with three older black girls. One night they decided to take me to a local youth club dance. I heard “Get On The Good Foot” and “Make It Funky” by James Brown. “Oh my God”, my whole world was turned upside down. What was this music? I had never heard anything like this before, it was my first spiritual awakening and I have not looked back from this epiphany: I was born again. I changed my style, I had to learn to dance like the black kids and the girls enjoyed teaching me; this was my new path. James Brown had changed my life; my journey had now started.

03 What about films and books?

An Angel In A Red Polka Dot Dress – I was excited. My friend Marcia May was taking me to see the new Wattstax movie in Leicester Square. The main attraction was Rufus Thomas performing “The Funky Chicken”; it would be my first time seeing these various American soul artists in action. The movie was great, the music funky and the dancing, locking and popping absolutely mesmerising. Then there she was, the girl in the red polka dot dress doing the ”Breakdown” for 35 glorious seconds (the Breakdown was the latest dance move from the States); an angel with smooth black thighs, dress so short that you momentarily glimpsed her white panties, but most of all she danced like a funky dream. I have loved the girl in the red polka dot dress ever since that moment.

Although the relationship with my father was turbulent, it is now coming to pass that many of my perceptions are based upon his views. At 15 years old he gave me Malcolm X’s biography. He explained why he thought MLK and Gandhi were tools of government to appease the masses, by preaching peace and not revolution. When I played “Free Nelson Mandela” he talked to me of Steve Biko…


04 Where does your love of fashion and design stem from?

(Tim Runnicles – School Friend) School for me was a memorable experience, it was at the advent of comprehensive schools and our school became an amalgamation of two schools, one a grammar school in a good area, the other a secondary school in a not so good area. I hadn’t been fortunate enough to pass the eleven plus as only the highest twelve marked students got places at grammar schools and I came fourteenth. Therefore I was at the not so good school. I initially met Barrie when the schools started merging. Like many kids at that time I had witnessed the demise of the mod era and the advent of the skinhead era before getting to high school, and I was a fan of the music that went with it. My first memories of Barrie were in the upper corridor, of the not so good school, with his hand held cassette player blasting out reggae and funk music. Another memory was Barrie’s high-waist trousers in about 73-74. His trousers were wicked, I believe he had them custom made, mine were the more normal off-the-peg jobs. He wore them with crepe wedged soled shoes, which were very stylish and very expensive. As we went through school, fashions changed and Barrie was always at the forefront of the change.

Barrie Was Always The Innovator (Eugene Kuti – Teenage Friend) I spent a lot of my teenage years with Barrie, we were soul heads and sometimes reggae boys; we were big into the soul scene and loved every minute of it. I remember scouring old second-hand shops looking for clothes that went with that movement; we also used to have our trousers made to measure, the baggier and wider the better. Barrie was always the innovator when it came to fashion and I followed him. We used to hang out at the hippest record shops listening to all the latest imported tunes and buying what we could afford. We had three regular clubs that we frequented: The Lively Lady, The 100 Club and Crackers. There we would drop the latest dance moves. Good times that I will never forget.

Levi Kid – This was the time of hot summers and the heatwave of 1976 was the best summer of my life, but there was one embarrassing incident. It was Tuesday, a big night at the Ilford Palais which would attract the most stylish dancers from all over London. I was there, Levi’s 501 jeans and jacket, cowboy boots etc, I thought I was so cool considering most of the other kids were still in their Oxford Bags (baggy wide 1930s Gatsby style pants). I was leaning against the wall trying to impress three very attractive young ladies. I thought I was doing fine, cool, funny, stylish; when one of them said “Who are you, the fucking Levi kid”. They burst out laughing in unison and walked away sniggering, leaving me mortified.


05 In your teenage years what was Clubland like at that time?

1974 – I was hanging outside a pub in Leytonstone, where the DJ played some good funky music, The Plough And Harrow. There I met Frenchie (Eric French) and Kenny Burns, they managed to talk me into going to a little club that they knew of just around the corner, “The Lively Lady” (later renamed Jaws). It was above a pub named the Heathcoate Arms; a strange place in the middle of nowhere, but when I got inside I knew I had arrived: it was heaven. This was the funkiest place I have ever been. Besides Frenchie, Kenny and another kid named Ian Richards (he comes into the mix later) and myself, everyone was black. Fortunately I could dance and after a few visits was accepted; living in mixed culture kids’ homes had paid off. In my new environment I was around some of the coolest dancers, like Trevor Shakes (who became a big influence on me for style and musical taste) and Horace Carter-Allen (who would eventually become my best mate). I was exposed to seminal new music, great style, and brilliant dancers: I had all the tools I would need and I was ready to use them. I started frequenting many underground funk clubs with my schoolmates Eugene Kuti, Milton Henry and Chris Thomas, who had the biggest Afro you ever did see. The amazing thing was that so many like-minded people, from all over London, came to a small windowless, hot sweaty room, full of condensation, above a pub at the back end of Leytonstone.

The Hot Summer Of 1976 – I first went to the Lacy Lady on a Friday night with Maxine Cirillo, a real cool chick. She attended regularly and dressed appropriately in 1940s attire, a style started at the Goldmine in Canvey Island. The Goldmine club was too far away for me, I didn’t like to leave London, thus I was never a “Gold-miner”. I was already over the 40s style, although I still favoured my American Air-force Captain’s uniform and white canvas Naval officers shoes. That night I was doing 50s work-wear: Dee Cee denim overalls with Sebago penny loafers and chambray prison shirt, top button done up. I looked dapper with my crew cut hair almost shaved at the sides, longer on top with a side parting; I may have even had it slicked back with grease. No coat was needed; it was the summer of 1976. We queued to get in; a lot of the dudes were carrying Woodhouse or Stanley Adams carrier bags (the trendiest men’s clothing stores) and I would soon find out why. We paid the £1 admission fee, which also entitled us to “Chicken In The Basket” (something to do with nightclub licensing laws) and climbed the old wooden stairs to the dance floor. As we entered, the DJ, Chris Hill, was playing “Hard Work”, by John Handy; the rhythm was infectious. The strange thing was he was kinda singing, almost rapping over the record: I had never heard this done before. The atmosphere was electric and the people were “getting down”. I was hooked. We plotted up by the DJ box and started to get down with everybody else. Chris Hill dropped “Got To Get Your Own” by Reuben Wilson and the whole place just tore up. Man it was hot; there were no windows and no air conditioning. Upon attending the condensation soaked toilets I realised what the trendy carrier bags were all about. In the bathroom dudes were changing out of their wet sweaty clothing and putting on fresh dry trendy garms from their bags. I got it and I liked it; this was the club where I needed to be. I got talking to some cats that were checking me out, I had seen them many times at the Lively: Sammy Grearson and Tigga, two slick dressers and bad dancers. They were both wearing cowboy boots, straight leg Wrangler jeans and tight white T-shirts. I was impressed: this style was new to me. The next day I went to Ken’s Western Store in Manor Park for my cowboy boots then off to the Carnaby Street flea market to nick a pair of selvedge shrink to fit Levi’s 501s from The Westerner store. There were many different styles at the Lacy: the whole 1940s Glenn Miller Swing thing was going on; Stylers (cool stylish dressers); Soul Boys (wedge haircuts, white socks – a style which I could never get with); Rockers (dressed in Gabicci cardigans, Farah slacks, and Croc shoes – a reggae thing); and Punks. Back then they called themselves “Zoobies”; the first Punks I had ever seen, not the obvious style later recognised as Kings Road Punk. These guys, with cropped multi razor parting hair, were wearing Smiths carpenter jeans (the customised back pockets made from transparent plastic) or baggy Peglegs (pants that narrowed at the ankle) from Acme Attractions and fluffy mohair jumpers from Sex (Sex and Acme Attractions were two of the latest trendy Kings Road stores). The footwear was Brothel Creepers, as worn by Teddy Boys in the 1950s or plastic beach sandals. The girls were wearing black bin liners as dresses, mohair jumpers, tight pedal-pusher pants with pointed shoes or boots. Most of the girls wore safety pins as earrings and had cropped, spiky haircuts; some also had cat’s ears styled into their hair. They all danced crazy to the funky music, some were good. UK Punk Rock music had not yet been instigated: this style had nothing to do with the American Punk Rock. After the Lacy Lady Maxine and I went on to a Covent Garden club on Neal Street, Chaugeramas (or maybe by then it was called the Roxy). We loved it, the reggae music was provided by Don Letts who worked in Acme Attractions; later he would become a successful filmmaker. The audience was mixed, gay, straight, funky, trendy, but mainly Punk. A whole new world had opened up to me; we danced all night long.


06 Tell us about the notion of Groundbeat, the Rare Groove thing and the sounds from that period?

1984 – I was still in contact with Diana Brown; she was now the assistant of Rene Gelston, a top stylist at Vidal Sassoon (later to become the creator of Black Market Records). I would often make Diana cassette tapes of all my old music, which she would take to work. Rene was always interested in the music that I provided and inquired about me. Rene had secured Friday nights at London’s Wag Club (formerly The Whisky A Go Go) and he asked me to DJ along with Dave Dorrell. The night was called Black Market. Friday June 1st, I turned up with all my old 70s funk records and the night was an instant success. However I felt the music that Dave and I were playing was not compatible; I was a purist and the combination was not my vision. I convinced Rene to bring in my neighbour Lascelle (I named him as Lascelles Lascelle on the flyers). Dave Dorrell came into his own with the success of the Raw Club in 1985 and then went on to make big waves in the music industry. Lascelle and I became London’s premiere DJ’s. We didn’t only play 70s funk, we played all styles of good music, as long as it was loose and funky. If there was a fashion party we would be playing the music, whether it was a magazine launch, gallery opening or a Grace Jones party; everybody wanted us and we charged accordingly. On many occasions we played whilst on Acid (LSD). The thing is, back then acid was taboo; perhaps that was the excitement, we had to keep it on the down-low. We didn’t tell anyone and no one realised, I always thought we sounded great but maybe we didn’t. The problem I often had was that the records looked like they were warping in my hands and I’m sure I messed up the sound levels – way too much bass – but it seems looking back – a good time was had by all; especially me.



07 You got a deal with London Records offshoot FFRR and released ‘Blind Faith’ as Diana Brown & Barrie K Sharpe and went onto release the classic ‘The Masterplan’ single and a decent run of singles up to 1992’s ‘Eating Me Alive’ what are your key memories from that hectic period?

Masterplan 1989 – Diana Brown and myself signed a deal with a major record company and had the first Acid Jazz style hit with “Masterplan,” hitting high in the UK music charts and somewhere in the US charts. We shot an amazing video (with no help or finance from the record company) influenced by the Marvin Gaye record cover “I Want You” and directed by first time director Earle Sebastian (the guy I met in St Tropez). We recorded three more successful singles and an album, but I was not a team player and the record company was very unsupportive, thus I needed to step on and do my own thing.

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08 You open the first Duffer of St George store in 1985 in Portabello, prior to your music career as such, with Marco Cairns, Eddie Prendergast, and Clifford Bowen, tell us about how you got started?

1984 – I was now hanging out in the daytime with Eddie ”Trendy” Prendergast, Marco Cairns and there was also Cliff Bowen, but he had a real adults’ job in the leather industry down in Northampton. The three of us would cycle around London visiting charity stores. In those days one could buy a second-hand Burberry mac for £1 or a pair of Brogue shoes for 50p. We would pick up double-breasted blazers with military patches embroidered on the breast pocket, silk cravats, Crombie covert overcoats and two-tone loafers, the most beautiful quality clothing you could imagine; we all looked quite dapper. There was much demand for vintage clothing from those not in the know, so we started collecting the best of it; we soon realised the value of these garms.

I was DJ’ing at Blackmarket (The Wag Club) so I was getting maximum exposure in my natty attire. A good example of this was wearing my Baker Boy (1930s style eight piece cap) which I wore backwards like the old style film directors; people on the street would laugh at me: “Oi mate you got your hat on backwards”. We had these caps produced by a traditional cap maker S & V Caps on Hackney Road; we could never get enough caps to meet the demand. All three of us were on DHSS work benefits: The Enterprise Allowance Scheme. We were usually skint and we nicked as much gear as we bought. Cliff wanted to get involved with our daily shenanigans; he gave us £60 to finance our small enterprise giving us bigger and better ideas. I knew a few contacts in the army surplus game, friends of friends. We would jump into my Peugeot 304 Cabriolet, roof down and shoot off to Brighton or Southend visiting old army surplus stores; we accumulated a vast amount of desirable stock.

Fly Pitching – Cliff, Marco and I went surfing in Newquay that hot August; I had to get back to London early as I was DJ’ing that Friday night. On the Saturday, Eddie and I went to the Reggae Sunsplash at Crystal Palace Bowl: we had an amazing time. On Sunday we went down to Camden Market and it all came to me. The following Sunday Marco, Cliff, Eddie and I were fly pitching our wares outside a closed store on Camden High Street; we wrote out a moody (fake) receipt from the shop owner, which satisfied the police. We were in business and were very successful, going home with big smiles and pockets full of cash.

The Name – I have no idea who came up with the name but it wasn’t me. One of the many books in our combined collection was “Dean’s Premiere Book For Boys”, circa 1960. It was a kid’s adventure book with various stories. One of the stories was written by Richard Lyne: The “Duffer” Of St. George’s. I don’t know why this story came to our attention or why the name was chosen, I guess it was just random; The Duffer Of St. George was now the name of our new Portobello store. I couldn’t get my head around it then and I still can’t now, but Duffer was our name and it worked.

Not one of us had a clue what we were doing. Eddie had worked in Take Six (a very fashionable men’s clothing store in the early 70s) and Yves St. Laurent in Bond Street. Marco was good at graphics. Cliff had a limited knowledge of leather manufacturing. My passion was for style: buying and stealing the latest fashions then re-fitting them to my taste, something I had done since I was 10 years old. I lived and breathed fashion, music and clubs, nothing else mattered except the obvious: girls! .


09 What types of items were you drawn too and how did you assemble such a diverse range of styles to fit and synch into a new look?

See above!

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10 It was at that time that your ‘Cat in The Hat’ iconic Club night mushroomed in Leicester Square? You captured a very special buzz there?

The Cat In The Hat 1985 – I was not happy with the door policy at the Wag; I won’t go into detail but my friends could not always get in. We (The Duffers – Trendy, Marco, Cliff and myself) decided to open our own club night in Leicester Square: The Cat In The Hat. The basement club was small and dark with a low ceiling, held 200 people and was hot. At the new venue Lascelle and I really did our thing, if a record was to our liking it would be repeated many times in a row; the crowd was ecstatic. It was at The Cat In The Hat where we re-introduced to the world records such as “Across The Tracks” – Maceo and the Macks, “I Believe In Miracles” – The Jackson Sisters, “I Know You Got Soul” – Bobby Byrd, “Express Yourself” – Charles Wright, “Think About It – Lynne Collins” and most of the other tunes people were starting to recognise as Rare Groove. Lascelle and myself wholly instigated the whole Rare Groove scene, although many others claim it to be their own creation. We also had the pleasure of Paul “Trouble” Anderson playing with us at The Cat In The Hat. DJ’s such as Norman Jay, Trevor Nelson, the Soul II Soul Crew and many of our contemporaries frequented the club. Basically Lascelle and I were in the right place at the right time. Besides Trevor Shakes, our biggest influence, we had already heard DJ’s at the Wag, Beatroute and warehouse parties (Hector, Jay Strongman and Steve Lewis) dropping an offering of 70s funk in their sessions, but we played funk all night long and turned it into an art with a cult following.


 
11 What tracks stood out for you from that period?

The Truth – In 1974 I saw the Movie, “Come Back Charleston Blue”. For me the memorable part of the film was “Express Yourself Part II” performed by Charles Wright And The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. The one-minute of rhythm at the intro was mesmorising. I managed to find the album “You’re So Beautiful” with this track on it, but had great difficulty finding Part I – no one had ever heard of it. Eventually, in 1977, I found the “Express Yourself” LP in an obscure jazz store; even in its day this was a rare unknown track. 1984: I played “Express Yourself Part I” at Black-Market in the Wag Club. The rest is history: anyone else staking claim to this discovery is twisting the truth.

In 1984 Lascelle and I were trawling through boxes of vintage 7’’ records. Back then we could pick them up for 10p, they had not yet been called Rare Grooves, as they were so cheap we could buy as many as we wanted on a whim and throw the crap ones away. “I Believe In Miracles” was one of these records. Lascelle picked up a record by the Jackson Sisters, he had never heard it before but the name “Jackson Sisters” was appealing. The rest is history: anyone else staking claim to this discovery is fabricating the truth.

In 1985, Although neither Lascelle nor I owned “Across The Tracks” by Maceo & The Macks we were intensely dropping this heavy rhythm with great passion. It actually belonged to Horace who was DJ’ing at the Wag Club. I am not sure which one of us played it first, but we played it at least 10 times a night often three or four times in succession. This tune was celebrated by all with much excitement and soon became the record that epitomised the Rare Groove scene. The tune was soon bootlegged and eventually re-released, bringing this underground scene to the world’s attention, thus destroying the purity of its essence. The rest is history: anyone else staking claim to this discovery is distorting the truth.

Unorthodox Soundtrack (Femi “Fem” Williams – Clubber, DJ, Producer, Friend) Imagine a world without songs such as “Across The Tracks” by Maceo & The Macks, “Think About It” by Lyn Collins, Bobby Byrd’s “I Know You Got Soul”, the forceful funk of the JB’s, the quirky sweet arrangement of Foster Sylver’s “Misdemeanour”, or the chance to do it good to Charles Wright’s “Express Yourself”. That was my world prior to religiously frequenting Black Market at the WAG Friday nights circa ’84-’85. This was a place of sanctity and escape from the drudgery of Thatcher’s Britain despite a pretty rigorous colour bar, which was fully sanctioned, approved by Tommy (the seedy owner) and enforced by Winston’s security team. There was an international cross section of the coolest in the capital, a self-acclaimed church of style, with an unorthodox soundtrack. Barrie Sharpe at the pulpit with his fellow father of funk on the wheels, Lascelles Lascelle, preached a sermon that relayed loose funk, blackened disco and reggae with a reverential air of distinction. Way before Facebook and digital imagery we danced alongside Sade, Boy George, Run DMC, George Michael, Grace Jones, Paul Weller and host of A, B, etc list stars (note; no celebrities) against the funky backdrop provided by Barrie and Lascelle. Many bands and DJ’s were influenced by this time and I still have the sound of first time I heard the female James Brown and her significant other ringing in my ears. Forceful formidable funk ‘n soul that to this day I have the preachers to thank for.


 12 You eventually developed your own thing with ‘Sharpeye’ what was the driving force?

1995 January I’m Gone – With a more commercial product Duffer was starting to regain its foothold in the fashion market; by exploiting the brand DUFFER we had become a household name. Our new hoodie was everywhere: magazines, TV, celebrities, everyone was now sporting DUFFER across their chest. As successful as it was it was not for me. I didn’t feel part of this new branding, I was bored and wanted to design. We could no longer sell Duffer designs, just branded goods. Sadly I split up with my wife Hiywet and my personal life changed drastically, I needed to grow up and take responsibility for my son; my life style did not allow for this change so I was going to have to adapt. I left Duffer amicably, walked out on my record deal, left my band and cancelled my music tour sponsorship with Levi’s; my life changed forever.

13 What happened with the Duffer brand as it basically went global and off the scale? You sold up and moved on?
 
Duffer changed from being a street style and design concept into a commercial brand.

This smooth talking, suntanned, flash German tennis player was now my boss! Thomas was an idiot; he bought the company and then gave it back to us to run, Marco and I on design and Eddie in charge of the accounts. We had already proven that we needed management but Thomas knew better, what an idiot! I didn’t like Thomas at all and had no intention of staying in his employ for very long. I started planning my escape. Earlier in the year we had been commissioned to do a collection for a Japanese company, Ready Steady Go, but we spent the money and no collection was produced. No one had the guts to tell the client that we had spent all the money. As I no longer had any loyalty to Duffer I informed the Japanese agent of our indiscretion and offered to produce the collection for them myself under the name Sharpeye, my childhood nickname; I never missed a trick. Sharpeye with its fine attention to detail took off in Japan: the writing was on the wall.


14 ‘This Was Not Part Of The Masterplan’ is your first edition memoirs – where can folks grab a copy?

You can get a copy here folks!

15 What other projects have you got planned for ‘Sharpeye’ for the coming years?

Sharpeye now produces exclusive limited edition clothes and shoes / 1-in-TEN – Rude Boy enhanced 1930s style
!


16 What do you think about the current music scene in the UK and beyond?

Very few magic moments… check this out!


17 What about the Fashion Industry or ‘Street-Style’ of today?

I have no idea? I am not in the fashion industry…

18 What about a film to document your story?

A work in progress

19 What about the EU situation – in or out?

I perceive that we need a drastic shake up in the UK; I would prefer out. However, I think it would destroy British economy

20 Has the passing of time mellowed you? What would you say to an 18 year old Barrie if you could?

Forget that shit – They can’t hold you back…

Look beyond the beyond
Where the wind whips the sea
Where unicorns roam and shadows run free
There you may find the wizard you seek
Dancing on the edge of your dream…

Weblinks
www.sharpeye.uk.com
sharpeye-31-01-60.blogspot.co.uk
www.saatchionline.com/Sharpeye

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

February 23, 2016 By : Category : DJs Fashion Features Icons Interviews Music Style Tags:, , , , , , ,
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HEY DJ! – Miss Chelle

Miss Chelle is a youthful Islander (thats the Isle of Wight folks by the way) born and bred, owns a 1968 Lambretta and spins 45’s covering R&B, Soul, Northern, Boogaloo and Jazz. It all started after laughing at a friends’ cat in a record box and saying it’s probably a better DJ than she. Since then she’s collected and played. Despite being Island based it hasn’t stopped her spinning tunes in Nottingham, Birmingham, London and more recently Hembsy Soul Weekender. She is now a regular for Hipshaker at the Isle of Wight festival, this will be her 8th year entertaining the crowds.

01. What were your early musical influences?

I remember as a child the fear I felt when my dad played his War of the Worlds album, then the same feeling with Tubular Bells. He must have played the Who but I don’t remember it but clearly later in life my subconscious does as I knew all the songs they played at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004 and was shocked people around me claimed not to know any of their songs. My mum was a ‘Skinhead’ in the 70s and always reminds me that her first record was the Liquidator. It’s all in my genes! Once getting into the Who and Small Faces is made me look into other types of 60s music, and that has never stopped as I’m now slipping into the 50s!

02. What sort of music do your gravitate towards generally?

I will always lean towards R&B from the 50s and 60s, it covers a wide span of emotions and tempos. Something dark and gritty for those days where you feel everything is against you to something upbeat and happy when getting ready for a night out. I want a song to spark an emotion and I always remember the songs that gave me goose bumps when hearing them for the first time. When I first started digging into 60s sounds, Soul and Northern Soul were the genres I leant towards, like now, it was and still is the most spoken about. I still have my favourites.

03. What have been the bands or sounds that have always been in your play-list or record box?

Artists I will always have in my record box span from Barbara Lynn, Little Willie John, Etta James, Big Maybelle, Gay Poppers and my guilty pleasure Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons. When not playing to a crowd I will listen to anything from Shocking Blue, the Small Faces, France Gall, Jazz compilations and Funk.

04. What about the formats available, your thoughts on Vinyl, CD and MP3?

When I DJ, I play vinyl only, I’m not a complete label snob as I don’t have the funds to spend £1000 on a single unfortunately. I have played at nights where I have been the only DJ to be using vinyl, which I don’t mind, it’s my choice. But to have someone boast about what songs they have on their laptop, can be a little soul destroying (pardon the pun!). Really, what it all boils down to is if you can judge a crowd and piece a number of different songs together to entertain them. But for many, searching and buying records is part of the musical passion. There’s no better feeling of finding a record you’ve wanted for ages.

05. Any current bands or acts that you feel seem to be producing the goods?

Current bands that have caught my attention include Kitty, Daisy and Lewis. First witnessed them live at the Bestival years ago, when I found out that all their material is recorded on 50s equipment I was even more impressed. Also love what Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are doing. Away from the retro sound I like listening to London Grammar, McAlmont and Butler, Hozier and Bad Bad Not Good. Also like what Public Service Broadcasting do.

06. What can we expect to hear on your show or during your Sets?

I’m slowly starting to play more rock and roll in some of my sets as it goes well with a few of the R&B songs I play. Last year I played at a local rock and roll night and I had people dancing away, so the choice of songs couldn’t have been that bad. It was quite daunting playing to a different crowd. This has encouraged me to delve into the rock and roll world but I will never leave my R&B and Soul at home.

07. Anything that you really hate and why?

I wouldn’t say I hate, but what I have grown tired of is DJ’s trying to outdo each other and play what is considered a really rare record. A few years ago a group of us went to a Northern Soul all-nighter, we had travelled a fair few miles and were up for some dancing. Unfortunately the DJ’s were more concerned with each other than what was going on with the crowd. That and people shouting ‘you’re rubbish’, ‘I don’t like this song’ or ‘what do you mean you haven’t got The Snake, call yourself a DJ!’

08. What about requests?

I do try and fulfil requests if I have the song. Most of the time I’ll be polite and say I’ll play it if it fits in with what I’m currently playing. I’ve been in bizarre situations whilst behind the decks, I’ve had people tell me to play Motown whilst a Motown song is playing. I’ve been asked for Beyonce or NDubz due to R&B being advertised. I can’t complain about people requesting songs, I’ve done it myself.

09. Tell us what you are up to at the moment, where can we catch you playing out etc.?

Well, after a successful March of the Mods on the Island this year I’m giving a helping hand with  the IOW Lambretta Day. Fingers crossed I’m allowed to spin some tunes this year, last year I was renamed DJ Ironside as I was DJ’ing from a wheelchair. Not the best set up. After that, the next big date for me is the Isle of Wight Festival. This is my 8th year playing in the Hipshaker tent for the Festival Forum Hour. I really feel I have proved myself over the years by earning this slot, I get to play some upbeat tunes and hopefully open people’s eyes to what 60s music can do. Always have people dancing and that’s the best feeling to walk away with. Even better when people come up to you and tell you they enjoyed your set, it’s strange, I’m just playing songs I like and would dance to, for others to enjoy it as much is a big confidence boost.

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you beyond music?

The future, I don’t think the music will ever die. Films are being released showing a small insight into the Soul Scene and here on the Island (IOW, UK) there are a good group of teenagers getting into Soul and Scooters. So hopefully it won’t die off any time soon. Outside of music I like to keep myself busy, do a spot of road cycling which has seen me cycle the 80 hilly miles between Bath and Bournemouth, the Island’s randonee and two years ago 100 Here, 100 There. A charity event supported by the Fire and Rescue Service, I’ve got a horrible feeling I’ll be roped into doing it again this year. I really enjoy photography, whether it’s nature and wildlife, to modern structures in London, to European destinations. I also try my hand at paper cutting. I’ve managed to sell a few commission pieces which has been great.

11. Have you met or worked with anyone Interesting on your musical journey?

Many years ago I worked at Ryde and Medina Theatre which meant meeting some of the acts that were booked. I called Georgie Fame, ‘some ol’ drunk’ not realising who he was, Jet Harris was a regular at Medina Theatre and was lovely, always recognised the bar staff. Bumped into Pauline Black and shared her prawn crackers in Ryde Theatre’s dressing room, also took Roddy Byers out drinking in Ryde and left him on the steps of Yelf’s after forgetting the key code. I’ve kept in touch with both of them and they really helped me by donating some great prizes for our March of the Mods raffle. I also had the fortune, or some would say misfortune of meeting Eddie Piller, apparently I don’t look like someone from the Isle of Wight. And ever since I have returned the favour with banter whenever our paths meet.

12. Top fave tunes right now and fave other current DJ?

A very small list of my favourites at the moment;
Betty Everett  – Someday Soon.
Jamie Coe – Cleopatra.
Sugarpie DeSanto – Going Back to Where I Belong.
Big Maybelle – That’s a Pretty Good Love.
The Pointer Sisters – Send Him Back
Fred Hughes – Baby Boy.

Don’t know if I have a favourite DJ, if they play tunes that make me dance I’m happy. Always try to tune into Craig Charles on BBC6 when I remember. I’ve met some great people over the years through attending different events which makes it hard to choose, but I do have Secondhand Dan to thank for the ‘Miss Chelle’ label, now he does have an amazing record collection that I can only dream of!

Links:

www.facebook.com/groups

www.twitter.com/DJmisschelle

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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April 21, 2015 By : Category : DJs Interviews Music Tags:,
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John Peel by Richard ‘Jock’ Watson

jockRichard ‘Jock’ Watson started the infamous Limited Conspiracy Fanzine in his hometown of Glasgow in the early 80s at the tender age of 16 or 17. All these years later he has kindly offered to share selected pieces from it with Eyeplug and it’s readers, so that folks can re-discover what would otherwise be a lost culture of pre-internet, pre PC, tablet or Smart Phone Fanzine Culture, that was present in every outpost all over the UK and beyond. All of it driven with passion, obsession and alientation on often borrowed pennies, on stolen typewriters and moody photocopiers and a ‘DIY not EMI’ love for the bands of that time. Limited Conspiracy interviewed some pivotal and influential Artists, some of them sadly no longer with us. We pay tribute to the pioneers, grafters and innocence of this Fanzine era that has been all but lost to history.

John Peel circa 1980s interview with Richard ‘Jock’ Watson. © LC

RW: Why have you recently been playing a lot of old Country and Western Music? (i.e. Girls of the Golden West)

JP: Well the reason for this is that, when I lived in Dallas from about 1960 till 1964, this was the sort of music that was going about. In the place I stayed which was Wako, and the guys I drove about with were mainly into Country and Western and that we used to do was to drive along singing Country and getting totally pissed and it was all good fun and the Girls of the Golden West were one such group, and I played their music because nobody has really heard it before. It’s better than playing records that everyone’s got.

RW: You mean Joy Division don’t you?

JP: Well yes, I don’t see the point, I mean I’m not knocking Joy Division or anything because they are a very good group, but everyone’s got the records. And also I get people writing into the Programme who say they don’t like Reggae and they want me to play tracks from the Clash and the Sex Pistols first albums, I mean come on, everybody knows them, I’d sooner play some new stuff.

RW: Do you like any of the music that’s in the Chart’s?

JP: Ah, you see people have this pre-conceived idea about me that all I like is records by Groups with stupid names and funny haircuts. I like quiet a few of the records which get into the charts.

RW: Like what, recently?

JP: Well apart from the obvious things like the Bunnymen and the Smiths and that, I Like that S.O.S Band record “Just be good to me”, that was truelly wonderful. And the Weather Girls “It’s Raining Men”, that was great.I played that ages ago. And the Womack & Womack record “Love Wars”, I really like that.

RW: Do you still like the Cure, the Banshees, The Bunnymen and New Order, the old faithfuls you know?

JP: It’s funny this, right the Cure, well until recently I’ve went right off them. Their last few singles were shit, but I quite like their new LP. The Banshees their most recent stuff is crap except the new single, their best in a long time. The Bunnymen, Ive liked from the start, and I still do. And who else, oh New Order, well sometimes they make quite good records, but live, they can’t play at all. Kid had a live recording of them and if I had been making a bootleg of that gig, after five minutes I would have switched the bloody tape off, it was that awful. The same with Simple Minds, I used to really like them and Jim Kerr is a really nice bloke but “Sparkle in the Rain”, to me was a progressive rock album.

RW: What about ‘pretty boy’ Pop Stars like Duran Duran?

JP: It’s funny you should ask that, because two of them were on the ‘Lairds’ Programme the other day, and they are two of the nicest people you could meet. You see when folk come to the BBC to do interviews, there are always loads of fans outside and John Taylor and Nick Rhodes stood outside for hours signing autographs, something which is rarely done. And I mean most of the girls were young about 13 or 14, and sweet and innocent. But they weren’t that naive as we at the BBC found out. As they had spray painted on the wall of Broadcasting House ‘Nick, Nick we want your dick!’, which I thought was quite good.

RW: Take us right back, who were your first musical heroes who did you like after that?

JP: Well my first ever Rock’n’Roll Idols were Gene Vincent, Duane Eddy and Little Richard. Then there was Little Feat and Captain Beefheart and the Faces, then the Undertones. And now my three favorite Groups are the Cocteau’s, the Fall and Misty In Roots.

RW: What about the Cocteau’s eh, Pop Stars?

JP: Yes I suppose its a good thing in a way, but I don’t know if Elizabeth will be able to handle success, we’ll have to wait and see.

RW: What is the greatest record ever made?

JP: Well my favorite is “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones, I just don’t think there will be another record like it, it had everything.

RW: There were rumours about you leaving Radio One, is that right?

JP: Yes, the Bosses thought that my show wasn’t appealing to enough people and they wanted to play Kenny Rogers between 10.00 O’ Clock and midnight, the type of music that appeals to everyone.

RW: What would you do if you lost your job?

JP: Be a Bus Driver.

RW: Are you getting too old for this anyway?

JP: Well I’m 44 is that old? There’s this thing Walter’s says “we’ll be in trouble if Peel ever reaches Puberty!”.

RW: How does it feel to be the most influential Disc Jockey in the history of the world?

JP: I’m not, I just play music that you don’t usually hear on the radio, and don’t talk a lot of cliched DJ bullshit.

RW: Do you go out and see a lot of bands?

JP: No I never have the time to go and see bands. I mean what with getting 50,000 letters to open everyday, I don’t have the time and also I’ve got four young children, so I need to spend time with them.

RW: The Smiths, what do you think is so good about them?

JP: They are just an excellent band, things were boring when they came along. And I like the Sandie Shaw thing as well, my kids like that.

RW: Do you still like the Fall?

JP: I don’t know really, I think I probably prefer the old stuff to the new, but I do still like them.

RW: Why did you stop the Festive 50?

JP: It was the same records year in year out, so I still do it, only just the best of the year Top 50.

RW: Were you really crying when you heard the Cocteau’s Single “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops”?

JP: Yes, you see it came into the office, I just sat and looked at it, played it on the show, and I had to hit myself in the chest to stop me crying. I’m a very emotional person, I cry when Liverpool win, I cry for different reasons.

RW: I would cry if you left Radio One, and so would many other people I know?

JP: So would I.

RW: What do you think of the DJ’s who constantly play things from years gone by?

JP: I don’t see any point in it. It’s like me not playing Joy Division. I mean devoting your whole show to the Beatles and 1965, it’s silly.

RW: You didn’t like Blue Monday?

JP: Well at first I didn’t like it and then I grew to live with it. Then I loved it and then I got well fed up with it, but it is good.

RW: Well apart from Peely telling me that the Banshees last Single “Swimming Horses” was codswollop, and that people really do think the Chart and Football Correspondents are different people from him, that was about it. Goodnight, I think this one fades in…

See more info here & here.

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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November 1, 2013 By : Category : DJs Eyeplugs Features Front page Heroes Icons Indie Interviews Music Punk Tags:, , , , ,
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HEY DJ! – LongJohn Jukebox

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Hey! DJ

01. What were your early musical influences?

My earliest musical influences were my parent’s record collection.  There was plenty of Rock n Roll to be heard and I used to love playing those records as a child.  My mother was also a massive Elvis fan and she also loved Connie Francis.   I was also very familiar with Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash as well.  I can also remember playing Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits a lot especially ‘The Boxer’.  So I would have to say those were my earliest musical influences.

02. What sort of music do your gravitate towards generally?

All sorts of stuff these days, but I still can’t help but lean towards the 1960s, especially The Who and The Kinks. I also adore the West Coast stuff like The Byrds, Love and Jefferson Airplane.  I also really like the C86 stuff, and even more so after the ‘The Scared To Get Happy’ festival, which I attended in June.

03. What have been the bands or sounds that have always been in your play-list or record box?

Stuff like Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Curtis Mayfield, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Gil Scott Heron, The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, The Byrds, Love and the Kinks.  I also have something of an obsession with The Who, and played with alarming regularity over the past 18 years.

04. What about the formats available, your thoughts on Vinyl, CD and MP3?

Definitely records.  It might seem materialistic but I still love having a collection of music that I can see and handle, and the artwork on an album is an important part of what makes records so special. I can’t get my head around downloading music at all, and it seems I am not the only one as record sales have increased dramatically in recent years despite the cost of buying an actual new release on record.  Thankfully there are people who still feel an emotional attachment to the format as opposed to the virtual world of music that appears on the computer screen and can quickly dissapear at the click of a button.

05. Any current bands or acts that you feel seem to be producing the goods?

There is a female trio who come from Liverpool amusingly called ‘Stealing Sheep’. The album in question is called ‘Into The Diamond Sun’.  I have listened to this a lot recently and it defies easy categorization, despite the attempts of some music journalists to put the album in the Folk Pop tradition as it were. They are multi-instrumentalists, and I love the clever vocal harmonies as well.  I also wonder how they could ever possibly pull this album off live on stage, as there is so much going on in this album musically.  However I have it on good authority that they did manage just that.

06. What can we expect to hear on your show or during your Sets?

I will probably play stuff like The Seeds, The Byrd’s, The Ramones, the Primitives, Echo and the Bunnymen, 1960s girl groups, some Motown. However, no night would be complete without at least 1 song by The Who.

07. Anything that you really hate and why?

Well there are things that annoy me, however, I am sure it’s the same stuff that annoys many others who are resigned to the daily grind and that occupational hazard otherwise known as work.  Musically there used to be a lot that riles me, but I have mellowed to some extent.  However, I still can’t quite understand how those crap showbiz dancers like Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow have managed to drag out their circus act for so long.  They really do belong with Bruce Forsythe on those variety programmes like dancing on ice, or is it Strictly dancing on air?

08. What about requests?

I don’t think I will entertain the idea of requests at all. Hopefully I will play at least 1 record that people will like ha-ha.

09. Tell us what you are up to at the moment, where can we catch you playing out etc.?

The club that I and my pal Louie are about to start is called ‘Juke Box 7’s’, which is going to be held at the Elixir in Euston. We both think a somewhat open music policy, is more fun and hopefully it will stop us from playing the same records every month. Luckily we have got on board a couple of other friends who have a similar ethic to us. Hopefully playing stuff that will have a broader appeal as opposed to playing genre specific music to a niche crowd.

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you beyond music?

I started writing music reviews recently and it is very enjoyable to say the least.  So maybe my future could be in that kind of direction.  Beyond music reading is my other vice.  I am currently reading a book by Thomas Wright, called ‘Oscar’s Books’.  This is in my opinion a very convincing attempt to map the life of Oscar Wilde by the contents of his library.  Wright offers compelling evidence that Wilde’s life and work was influenced by what he read.

11. Have you met or worked with anyone Interesting

I have come across some famous people, mainly by accident or at gigs. Most recently I met Tracey Tracey and Paul Court of the Primitives. I vaguely recall seeing Mike Joyce (Smiths drummer) very briefly on the same night.  So ‘I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour’.

12. Top fave tunes right now and fave other current DJ?

The DJ’s I like are all connected to the New Untouchables in some way.  There were others as well from the RnB and Northern Soul days, and some of these are also friends. There are too many songs to mention here, however, here are a few that have been on a lot lately.

  1. Gil Scott Heron – Lady Day and John Coltrane
  2. The Hollies – Postcard
  3. Stealing Sheep – Genevieve
  4. Billie Holiday – Gloomy Sunday
  5. House of Love – Real Animal
  6. Felt – All the people that I like are those that are dead
  7. The Primitives – Dreamwalk Baby
  8. Scott Walker – Montague Terrace (in blue)
  9. The Velvet Underground – I’ll be your mirror
  10. Belle and Sebastian – Like Dylan in the movies

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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October 14, 2013 By : Category : DJs Front page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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HEY DJ! – Terry Casey

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Hey! DJ

01. What were your early musical influences?

I got into Lover’s Rock at around 13-14 years old and at 16 years old, I got stuck on this new music at that time called Detroit Techno, Chicago House, NY Garage… at first I brought records from Blackmarket Records in Soho (London, UK) and then friends asked me to make mixtapes going to party and it lent to being asked to DJat various events.

02. What sort of music do your gravitate towards generally?

I tend to music on Soulful side of things, be it House, Disco, Funk, Soul, R&b, Rock, Indie, Afro Beat, Dance and more… over the years I’ve tried to evolve musically and be true to myself! I allow that to take me to music of all kinds. I have at times avoided Popular music and just brought more  deeper unknown music… but I have recently found my taste getting more poppy and towards more crafted song-written tracks as time goes on. It was not very comfortable at first – but now I just go with the flow! I’m always looking and searching for new music… and indeed interesting new acts to explore.

03. What have been the bands or sounds that have always been in your play-list or record box?

Oh my taste and events are so wide and diverse, nothing can really stay in there forever… but timeless acts for me are people like Massive Attack – who I saw last week do a live music meets documentary screening… was very political but at same time asking people to look to themselves and not their Government for the answers to life… it was held at Park Ave Amory… inspiring! Back to records that I’ll play forever… Minnie Ripperton is one, Marlena Shaw is another… in rock acts… Radiohead and Muse… with House music there are a million different tracks…but less albums.

04. What about the formats available, your thoughts on Vinyl, CD and MP3?

Well I started on Vinyl , played Vinyl and CDs together but now I use a Laptop and a Midi Controller (traktor software) I use the s4 Controller – an amazing piece of gear…You can play on 4 Channels and with Effects and more and it weights 7lbs… I never ever have to worry about if a venue has decent Equipment… it’s made by Native Instruments who make a lot of great stuff…

05. Any current bands or acts that you feel seem to be producing the goods?

In the Dance field  I discovered a pop act in Krewella who are now huge… and are signed to Columbia… their first single sold 500k which is unheard these days in the download world… but in more or less ‘Pop’ I would say I have a lot of unknown people I want to see get signed who I rate… like Liah Alonso and her band and Danielle Parente, who are all also talented song writers and musicians and I expect them to all sign and do amazingly well. On the Rock and Soul vibe and i expect more of that and less of the EDM Dance stuff to come through… in the USA EDM/House music has become ‘pop’ for the first time.. people like David Guetta and Calvin Harris are household names… it’s amazing how long it took…. and now there are 100-200k Dance Music related Festivals! Though my perosnal fave in the USA is still Coachella in Palm Springs.

06. What can we expect to hear on your show or during your Sets when you play?

My sets change depending where im playing I try to find the crowd a bit and if I’m lucky I get to play many different styles and the crowd is open to it… I think Clubs/Parties should have a beginning, middle and end… most Clubs seem to start with Peak Music… and hence why noone bothers to turn up for hours… do something interesting early and maybe people will check you out more formally!

07. Anything that you really hate or that grates and why?

I prefer not to hate… but I’m not into the poppy Hip Hop stuff that talks about a negative life style… and bling bling… it’s not helpful for people to want what things that in the end wont make there live’s happy it’s a fake dream… it may make them happy short term and the ideas maybe fun… but it’s not a good message in Society  my view and a real waste of a opportunity for the musicians – there could wake people up to the world and take positive actions and not look for just big cars and big houses.

08. What about requests from the floor?

I think it’s good to take requests, some Clubs well it just is not going to work others it will… you can’t just play a record for someone and kill the floor because its there Birthday and they wanna hear something that is not going to work… sometimes you get lost in your direction and someone can come up and ask for something and their more spot on… DJs are not perfect… or not always on point.

09. Tell us what you are up to at the moment, where can we catch you playing or your events?

This weekend we organised a big event 3 days and 24 bands to play the CBGB Festival at National Underground in NYC ( Lower East Side)… but over the last few years I’ve been owning and operating Night Clubs… like Le Royale where anyone from Patti la Belle to Lady Gaga would pop in and play live… and I also broke 100’s of new acts like the Tings Tings to Dragonette’s to Azealia Banks and 100’s more when they were still building their early careers.  Also DJs like Steve Aoki and Diplo and Justice  would pop in as well. I also did first ever shows with many acts including Major Lazar, Oly Ghost etc.. in a 150 people room… plus a second club that I would not name did more Deep Electronic music… 800 people room… was more like the Ibiza underground parties… and all the House, Techno, Minimal DJs… I am about to do a few new projects with Clubs/Restarant all in early planning… more later.

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you beyond current music?

I think Midi is exciting for DJs and it bring them closer to being producers and producers closer to DJs… also I think live Singers are merging this with more Electronic Music… in  the live music area we have seen lots of people combining… but I believe full Live bands in Pop will come back even though the odds and expense are on record labels… putting monies into cheaper productions… aka Electronic Pop acts.

11. Have you met or Worked with anyone Interesting on your musical journey?

I have DJ’d with Keith Richards from The Stones once, and as I mentioned been lucky to had people like Patti la Belle and Gaga and many many others come by and perform for us…got to DJ at Grand Central Station myself and did the last event at the World Trade Center with Groove Armada… it was my event Promotion as well.. we had everyone from MTV, to the BBC filming it…. also was the first DJ ever asked to play Brooklyn Academy of music for their annual event… I’ve been lucky to travel the world playing music  from Copacabana Beach, Rio De Janeiro (Brazil) to Australia, New Zealand… yeah I’ve been very lucky!

12. Top fave tunes right now and fave other current DJ?

I’ll always like DJ Harvey and Diplo as they are real DJs for DJs! Though Diplo has become a Pop Star of sorts, but there are lot of good locals who are unkown yet great DJ’s too!

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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October 14, 2013 By : Category : DJs Front page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – Everett James

This entry is part 14 of 20 in the series DozenQ 3

Everett James began his musical journey in Asheville, North Carolina. Born in to a musical family he learned the art from his father and performed with his sister throughout his youth. Educated classically and through real world experience, Everett is influenced by a vast variety of artists from Miles Davis, George Clinton, Prince, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, RUN DMC, Tribe Called Quest, to J-Dilla. Live or in the studio, Everett pushes urban music forward and brings the rich legacy of the blues to the future. He took some time out to chat with Eyeplug.net…

01 How did you get started in music?

I was born in to a musical family. My father sang and played in bands when I was a child. He would take me along with him to band practice when I was in pre-school. I’d follow the band mates around and try my hand at making noise on the various instruments. My older sister and I were propelled in to music before we had any choice. We were both performing in front of crowds as children. My father, who is an engineer by trade, later opened a studio in our home. I was constantly surrounded by great musicians and encouraged when they took notice of my talent. I wrote my first song at 7 and was producing music at 12.

02 Where did your direction come from?

My direction defiantly came from my mother. She was the disciplinarian of the family and insisted if we were going to do anything we had to do our best. She made us practice and taught me to be a leader instead of a follower. She is an amazingly creative woman and inspired me to be embrace being different. The discipline is what continues to push me in my career when I go through the ups and downs of this music business.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

When music became a serious thing for me I was totally in to hip-hop. My mother absolutely hated it! I liked the early punk rebellious attitude of it. The first record I ever bought was RUN DMC produced by Rick Rubin. LL Cool J, NWA, Slick Rick, and Public Enemy were my first huge influences. Producers like Rick Rubin, Marley Marl, Prince Paul, and Hank Shocklee were HUGE! Then one day, I was listening to a De La Soul song and my father pulled out a George Clinton album and said…This is where that song came from. From there I learned how to dig and because a student of music. James Brown, P-Funk, Prince, & Stevie Wonder became a part of my vocabulary. I continued to expand my musical vocabulary and was introduced to Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and Bob Marley. I am open to various styles of music and really enjoy all creative expression. I’ll go from the Ramones to Chopan!

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

Currently, my life and technology (or the lack of) inspire me. I write and create from a very introverted place and still have this rebellious punk attitude when it comes to trends. My latest album was a reaction to becoming too digital. I found myself staring at computer screens and programming music. I felt like I lost myself in some digital world and that I had to rediscover who I was. I turned the computer off, picked up the guitar, a pen, and pad. I had to go back to where I started and rediscover what it was about music that I enjoyed so much. This album and sound is without the influence of sequencers or digital music. It is focused on the feeling of expressing who I am imperfections and all. I yearned for the feeling I got as a kid when I would bang on the drums, crank up the guitar, and say whatever I felt at the moment.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Expect to see a real musician playing music. Even if I choose to do a fully digital set you will discover that I am a musician. I play music. I improvise. You will never get the same show twice and you never know what to expect from me. I can fit in several different settings and pride myself in being versatile.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I usually start with some kind of melody in my head. I know its a good one because it won’t leave my mind until I get around some kind of instrument. I play all the instruments on my productions so I’ll start with the one that I hear the melody on in my head. Sometimes that is the piano, bass, or guitar. Other times a phrase will stick out in a conversation I was having or in my mind. Then i write first. I hardly ever scribble or edit when I write. I try to just get the idea out as quickly as possible before I get distracted or confused. I write about my life…always have. It may be in some kind of code but the themes and subjects always have some personal meaning.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

Well… I became a better musician with age. I also have more life experiences to write from.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

The biggest challenge is always staying true to art and surviving. When your young and idealistic you have this grand idea of what it would be like as a musician. Twenty years later in to your career you have your “what the f*ck and I doing” moments. Thats where the discipline and the love for the art must overcome your emotions. Thats why I have to abandon the trends and just make the music I love to make. I realized that its the feeling of freedom I got when i was a kid making noise that I loved. Not the fame, the money, or the illusion of success. Now I am not denying that I wish to have huge fame, millions of pounds, and international success. I am just saying thats not why I do it. I make music to be free!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

I play covers all the time! Covering great artists is the best way to educate yourself as a musician. Its how I get better.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

I am in the process of expanding my music career and producing younger artists. I feel that my next step is to discover and cultivate other artists who feel the same way I feel about the music. In 5 years, I hope to have established my music production/publishing company as a world wide leader in urban alternative music with a stable of artists who all rebel against trends.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Wow… Prince. Rick Rubin. Paul McCartney. Flying Lotus. Dr Dre.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

My latest album titled ‘I AM’ will be released this fall/autumn.

Web Links:
735music.com/everettjames
facebook.com/sireverettjames
735music.bandcamp.com
soundcloud.com/735music
twitter.com/everettjames

Tour dates
Link to buy the current single
www.735music.bandcamp.com

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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August 5, 2015 By : Category : Beats Blues DJs DozenQ Front page Funk Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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HEY DJ! – Eyeplug talks to Barnet Mark

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Hey! DJ

I’m now 49 but I started going to gigs when I was 13 and haven’t stopped in all this time. I’ve been a DJ, Promoter, been in a few bands (Vox), Venue Manager, T-Shirt seller, Band Manager and have even done a bit of band security. I started my Punk night London Callin’ at The 12 Bar Club over 11 years ago now and co-promote with other various promoters.

1. What were your early musical influences?

I was lucky enough to have a mother involved with a record label in the sixties, so I grew up listening to a lot of Ska, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Who & The Animals, by the time I could pick my own music the likes of Slade, Sweet, Mud, Bowie, Bolan and all The Glam stuff in fact, influenced me entering my teenage years, then punk happened, of course I didn’t realise it at the time, but it changed my life forever.

2. What sort of Music do your gravitate towards generally?

I listen to punk, Ska, Rockabilly & Mod mainly, but as I’ve got older my tastes have broadened and I take in many other genres of music.

3. What have been the bands or sounds that have always been in your play-list or record box?

The Clash, The Jam, Elvis, Dropkick Murphys, Slade, Rancid, Desmond Dekker, Madness, Toots and The Maytals, The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Stray Cats, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Stiff Little Fingers, Cocksparrer, The Cockney Rejects, The Ruts… Just to name a few.

4. What about the Formats available, your thoughts on Vinyl, CD and MP3?

I nearly always DJ off CD, I play vinyl a lot at home, and listen to my iPod whilst travelling. I don’t drive, so it’s much easier to carry around a case of 200 CDs rather than records.

5. Any Current Bands that you feel seem to be producing the goods?

Argy Bargy, The Fallen Leaves, The Uppercuts, Eastfield, and The Skints to name but a few.

6. What can we expect to hear on your show or during your Sets?

I’ll play anything apart from Thrash, Speed, Dark Metal, Modern club music.

7. Anything that you Really Hate and Why?

Modern R’n’B – it has no soul and certainly ain’t the blues!

8. What about Requests?

As long as I have the tunes with me, haven’t already played them and have the time, I’m more than happy to accept requests.

9. Tell us what you are up to at the Moment, where can we catch you playing etc?

I’m managing The 12 Bar Club In Soho at the moment and playing with my band Viva Las Vegas, so I haven’t been doing a great deal of DJing lately, but I do like to jump up and play a few tunes at The 12 Bar every now and then!

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you Beyond Music?

6 years ago I had a minor stroke, luckily I’ve made a pretty full recovery and my life has changed so much since then, from giving up my print career and taking over at the 12 Bar Club, getting married, moving from North to South London. I wouldn’t even begin to predict the future as I’ve seen how much things can change in such a short space of time.

Outside of music, I’m a big Chelsea fan and have a season ticket, I like to travel, so like to get away with my wife as often as possible to sometimes off the beat places.

11. Have you met or Worked with anyone Interesting on your Musical journey?

I’ve sold T-Shirts for The Clash (The line-up after Mick Jones Left) and PIL on a European stint my band at the time Big Bad Wolf supported The Pogues in The 80s, Tour managing The Business in Malaysia. These stand out the most to me: running The 12 Bar Club and being around music so long there’s a hell of a lot of interesting and famous people I get to meet.

12. Top Fave Tunes Right Now?

The Fallen Leaves : Trouble
Los Fumadores (Defunct) : My Wifes Clothes don’t Fit Me Anymore
Cocksparrer : Did You have a nice life without me
The Downtown Struts : Victoria
Eastfield : Another boring Eastfield Song

Links

facebook: facebook.com/barnet.mark
twitter: twitter.com/barnetmark1

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : DJs Front page Garage Interviews Punk Rockabilly Tags:,
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HEY DJ! – Eyeplug talks to ‘Chelsea’ Jeff Munday

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Hey! DJ

‘Chelsea Jeff’ as he is known to his close associates is a long term lover and supporter of various Genres and musical styles and is often the DJ of choice for various established Bands because of his diverse range of well put together selections. Eyeplug recently caught up with him to find out what makes him tick!

1. What were your early musical influences?

Firslty 60’s Beat groups 60’s Soul then onto Glam Rock and also Ska!

2. What sort of Music do your gravitate towards generally?

Mainly Bowie/Iggy/ New York Dolls/UK Glam/ Punk and loads of  Soul/Funk.

3. What have been the bands or sounds that have always been in your play-list or record box?

A mix of Garage, Punk, Mod and Rare Groove!

4. What about the Formats available, your thoughts on Vinyl, CD and MP3?

I prefer Vinyl.

5. Any Current Bands that you feel seem to be producing the goods?

There are lots of good young bands if you are willing to look hard enough. Like the new Miles Kane album  and I also bought the new one by Magazine.

6. What can we expect to hear on your show or during your Sets?

Usualy old Soul and Funk, Bowie, Punk and various Mod stuff.

7. Anything that you Really Hate and Why?

I am not a massive fan of Prog/Metal!

8. What about Requests?

I Don’t mind requests as long as its not Genesis LOL!

9. Tell us what you are up to at the Moment, where can we catch you playing etc?

You may see me at out playing places like the 100 club in Oxford Street, London in support of various Bands!

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you Beyond Music?

I like to travel, spend time buying decent clothes and also watching Chelsea win (hopefully)!

11. Have you met or Worked with anyone Interesting on your Musical journey?

 John Lydon amongst many others!

12. Top Fave Tunes Right Now?

Enjoying the Soul/Jazz albums I recently bought in Soho + the new Magazine album !

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : DJs Glam Hype Tags:,
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HEY DJ! Sir Eon Ballinger – London Calling

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Hey! DJ

Billy Hasset (The Chords MP3 London Calling Intro)

The LONDON CALLING Radio Show presented by Sir Eon Ballinger is Fortnightly on Mondays & you can hear worldwide now! He took time out of a hectic schedule to shed some light on his latest musical journey!

www.rcv-lille.com
www.facebook.com/sireonballinger
www.eonballinger.toile-libre.org/

 

1. What were your early musical influences?

All The usual suspects: Beatles, Who, Small Faces, The Creation, Kinks, Bowie, Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Jam, The Chords, The Psychedelic Furs, and, of course, The Worzels! Oo Aah!

2. What sort of Music do your gravitate towards generally?

I’m kind of stuck in a time tunnel 1965-1983/4 I’m afraid…But it’s a nice place to be, a kind of Comfort zone: like clean Jim jams, hot water bottles, Chocolate & Milk, Crisps & Coke…oh, & not forgetting, several pints of Kilkenny & a Crack pipe…Blow the cobwebs away. Funny, even chooons I hated from back in the day sound like old friends now (that same feeling you get about people you work with & hate all year round, then, all of a sudden, they seem ok for that magical week around xmas), can never work that one out, strange but true that one, isn’t it.. Beauty of music I suppose? It’s still the highest art form bar none!

3. What have been the bands or sounds that have always been in your play-list or record box?

Talk Talk Talk-Furs/Quadrophenia-The horrible oooo/Revolver-The Fabs/Kinks 66-68 & anything by The Creation (though there’s not much, is there) The Small Faces, Neil Young, Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks & Ian Mcnabb/Icicle Works… depending on my muse!

4. What about the Formats available, your thoughts on Vinyl, CD and MP3?

Well, gotta be Vinyl for sound & sense of occasion (Art again), but cd for simplicity…Not an MP3 fan..They sound pants, don’t they!

5. Any Current Bands that you feel seem to be producing the goods?

I like Glamweazle, Pope (ex Chords, but like Ian Mcnabb, I think Chris Pope is criminally underatted & ignored… outrageous isn’t it..The Chords were just Chris tuning up). But currently Miles Kane..He’s kicking up a storm over here, you can see his confidence bloom , that’s nice to see, & he wears fabPantoloons too! And last, but certainly not least, ‘Is this England?’ by The Universal hits the spot!

6. What can we expect to hear on your show or during your Sets?

Good Taste… lol… Dunno: The A-Z from the Musical Bible & any bands new or old, who merit a bit of airplay… Send me ya stuff if ya reading this!.. But if people enjoy the show (& they seem to be), Job’s a goodun!

7. Anything that you Really Hate and Why?

Aaahhh… tough buster this… If you had asked me this question but a year ago, we could’ve made a boxset of what I don’t like… But nah… bit toxic that hate stuff, init!!… They say life begins at 40, don’t they (Who are they, while we’re on the subject?),  I just think you’re just becoming depressingly conscientious of your own mortality, so hate is way too time & energy consuming! …Put it this way, I try to smile at least 7 times throughout the day! Chant “Hari Krishna you c**t” at anyone who cuts me up (which is often over here… Who needs theme parks? Just have a day driving in Paris, folks!…), yoga ‘n’ prozak help to keep me in a happyboystoytown frame of mind too. …Oh! hang on though… Bullies…there ya go… They come in all shapes & sizes, dont they… Starts in the playground…The Bullies & The Bullied! Meet the new Bully: same as the old Bully!

8. What about Requests?

What about them… lol …As long as I dig it… yeah of course…

9. Tell us what you are up to at the Moment, where can we catch you playing etc?

Well, busy recording an album (just for myself) as well as film & music for adverts! My hope is to make the Radio show bigger & better, we’re getting just over 8,000 listeners currently, which ain’t too shabby, is it… To be honest, it’s been very touching, the reaction to the show (Helps keep hate at bay – see question 7): emails from France & Blighty of course, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany (Who won the war?), USA, Brazil, Mexico & even (singular) a listener in Poland… Bless her Heart!

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you Beyond Music?

Well, that’s the easiest question, BUT, not very Rock & roll & even a bit soft maybe… But being with my Family & watching my two Chidren grow into the Beautiful people they are… My two hits! I won’t say my No 1 & Number two… Flippin Eck Tucka, I just did!

11. Have you met or Worked with anyone Interesting on your Musical journey?

Oh, by jingo, unfortunately, Yes. Oh, my giddy aunt, how do I answer this one, the most dangerous of all the questions… as I think you should never meet (and certainly not work with) ya heroes; the fantasy always outways the reality… right!But since you asked,well, ok….

I was put forward to write With Pete Townshend’s Daughter, so I got to meet him, who was & is an incredible person & very funny! But I also crossed swords with Mr Daltrey, who asked me to get my “f’n cigarette” out of his face (maybe this kicked off the idea for his cancer charity… only joshing Rodge..lol) I thought he was gonna throw a knuckle sarny on me snotta… Kinda dissapointed he didn’t, to be honest: I could’ve dinned out on that one for years!

I did alot of work with the guitarist from The Psychedelic Furs, John Ashton, in london & in New York, back in the day, who’s great fun…”Hi John! How are ya? Happy?”… ‘What’s Happy?’… lol

REM.…3 of them were nice, guess what one wasn’t… lol… Peter Buck offered to play on a few of my songs, folks! But most of them dissapoint our (outrageously high) expectations, don’t they!

I worked with Buzzcocks for a year, which was a real eye opener to say the least, from Boy to man cliché, not the happiest of experiences, but good never or less! We all have to face the dark side at some point in our lives – “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” as Yoda, Jedi Master said. Use the Force, folks…

Then I went on to manage Steve Diggle for a year which was a hoot (literally), I love that Geeza… Most up & funny guy I’ve ever met!!! He’s the Keef Richards of Punk, isn’t he! If anyone was having a bad moment on tour, he’d simply say: ‘Don’t worry lads, we’ll all be dead soon!’… Diggle world! I won’t mention the other little fella in the act with his feet at quarter to two!!!…You wouldn’t be able to print it anyway…lol

The Chords are all top blokes. Brett and Chris are the most forgiving… I’ll leave that one like that… Not my finest hour…

But The King of Kings was Kenny Pickett of The Creation, who become friend, mentor & almost like a second father to me… Very sharp guy, with stories to make ya hair curl, especially the Led Zepplin days, & he was also cut from noble cloth… I can’t tell you how much I loved him in a few whimsical sentences… He recorded a song of mine… always motivated moi & was sure, certain in fact, I would find success one day, in some shape or form… Incredible man… Also (& this is heartbreaking), as you probably know, he was… err… responsible for writing GRANDAD (that is heartbreaking…lol) with Herbie ‘Walk on the wild side’ Flowers… which was the first song I ever walked on stage too, in a school play (Second was with Ronnie Corbett at London Palladium if ya interested???) & I had a picture I gave to him to proove my story. So when he died, he left all the Creation lyrics, invoices, memorablia etc. to me! So when I went to his house in Barnes for my inheritence (don’t know if that’s the right way of putting it, readers), there was that picture of me beside his gold disc for Grandad… Killer eh… People said he thought of me as his second son… Last thing he said to me was: ‘I love you’, which at least is some sort of saving Grace. Christ, listen to me… “Nurse! He’s out of bed again!”

And of course Eddie Phillips, who’s a Gent, played on some my own songs (violin bow et tout) & composed a jingle for the Show! Tons of others too… but the most interesting peoploids have never really been the so called stars, to be frank! or to be Eon… lol

12. Top Fave Tunes Right Now?

Inhaler – Miles Kane
New Life – Ian Mcnabb
Grow your own – Small Faces
Scrapeaway – The Jam
How Does it feel to feel? – The Creation
I wanna destroy you – Soft Boys
I lie in Bed – Steve Diggle
Love my Way – The Psychedelic Furs
Thursday night 1972 – Glamweazle
Slider – T-Rex
The Last Balloon – XTC
Crazy horse – The Osmonds (My first single poppickers, 1972… You do the maths…) oh & the Boxset of Quadrophenia – Whotastic.. Happy as a pig in Chardonay as Stephen Fry would say!

Love & Stuff
Sir Eon Ballinger

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

June 5, 2015 By : Category : DJs Hype Modernist Net Podcasts Tags:, , ,
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