Sunday, 28 July 2013

Even the bouncers were dancing.

“Am a root, am a toot an a shoot in a shaanty town.”

If you have to dance on the edge of a volcano, my view is that you may as well have a really fine tune. ‘Shanty Town’ is as good as it gets. Or maybe 'Pressure Drop'.

Saturday night saw me at the latest date on ‘The Skasouls’ mad, manic, summer tour – most of which happens in or around Staines. The heat broke, I fought through a wild thunderstorm to get to ‘The Hobgoblin’.

Actually, for a moment I thought I was about 19 and had made my way all across London to ‘The Bridgehouse’, a 1930’s pub set in the bleakest part of Canning Town. In the heart of the far, far east, people didn’t stray much beyond the end of their road at night, in those days.

The Bridgehouse held ‘Mod’nights every week and for a while at the end of the 1970’s it was a place to be and a place to do your thing. The ‘Land of a thousand dances’. It was not an easy journey in those days and I’m not talking about the public transport.

So, Saturday night? A man with a Trojan records tattoo on his arm. Feathercuts. DM’s. Really, really fine DJ’ing from someone called Martin, who steadily worked his way through some of the more interesting parts of Trojan’s back catalogue, some of the more famous examples of Northern Soul and a selection of Mod classics.

Disneyworld for elderly Mods – that’s me.

I have a sense of wonder that I can go out and enjoy some of the best music ever, live and dangerous. Up close and personal.

Did I mention dancing? This was so good the bouncers were dancing. Have you ever seen that?

After midnight, I spilled out into the street. Ringing ears, raspy throat, a good night out.

The rain had stopped and as I left the Police cars were prowling….a certain menace in the air.

Hmmm, where’s the next date?


Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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