Wednesday, 27 April 2011

DJ Set List for Gail and Jasja's Leaving Party 15 April 2011

/ Gail and Jasja (aka Sparkle Moore and Cad van Swankster, the proprietors of London's most chi chi vintage clothing emporium The Girl Can't Help It) were given a raucous and boozy send-off at their farewell party at Ryan’s in Stoke Newington on 15 April 2011 /

/ (Gail and Jasja were married on 1 April 2011. The sugar couple from the top of their wedding cake looks eerily like them -- down to the fine details of Jasja's tattoos!) /

In the 1990s Gail was the hostess / promoter of sleazily atmospheric club nights like More than Vegas and Blue Martini – clubs that plunged Soho back to its seedy neon-lit 1950s golden age. I discovered More than Vegas early on when I first arrived in London and it was instrumental in making me the twisted fuck I am today!

I didn’t take as many photos as I should have at the party (how could I not have photographed Ms Mansfield?!). I was DJ’ing for the first half of the night, which was a bit chaotic (technical problems a-go go!) and afterwards drank a helluva lot to de-stress. (Did I mention it was a boozy night?). Gail and Jasja have re-located to San Diego and will be much-missed by their friends in London. (Jasja would definitely want me to point out The Girl Can't Help It is staying put at Alfie's Antique Market and is in the safe hands of Laurie Vanian).

It was an honour to be asked by Gail to be one of the DJ's at their leaving-do. Going to More than Vegas in the early 90s was definitely a factor in making me want to pursue DJ'ing, and the More than Vegas resident DJs like Jake Vegas and (especially) the sublime Ms Mansfield were certainly an inspiration.

/ The Way They Were: Ms Mansfield and Jake Vegas in the old days at More than Vegas at The St Moritz on Wardour Street /

/ Gail and Mari in the nineties /

Gail's only musical stipulation was she wanted lots of Eartha Kitt, Jayne Mansfield and Violetta Villas so I definitely played more than one track by each (well, except for Violetta as I only have one song by her!). Playing at least one song by the original Sparkle Moore, the great female rockabilly chanteuse Gail swiped her name from, was also compulsory.

/ Me DJ'ing at Gail and Jasja's leaving party. Can I just say in my own defence, it was very hot in that corner and I'd been running up and down the stairs earlier ... /

I was the first DJ on and the whole audio situation was very much cobbled together at the last minute and very stressful (and I was pounding back beer to combat the stress), so my set wasn't as smooth and flowing as I would have liked. But anyway, here it is ...

Woh! Woh! Yea! Yea! The Dynamos
Vesuvius - The Revels
Rock-A-Bop - Sparkle Moore
Boss - The Rumblers
Sweet Little Pussycat - Andre Williams
St Louis Blues - Eartha Kitt
Esquerita and The Voola - Esquerita
The Whip - The Originals
Suey - Jayne Mansfield
Beaver Shot - The Periscopes
Chatta Nooga Choo Choo - Denise Darcel
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
Fujiyama Mama - Annisteen Allen
She Wants to Mambo - Johnny Thunders and Patti Paladin
Bossa Nova Baby - Elvis Presley
Heartbreak Hotel - Ann-Margret
Beat Girl - Adam Faith
Crawlin' - The Untouchables
Fever - Timi Yuro
Peter Gunn Twist - The Jesters
Comin' Home - The Delmonas
I Was Born to Cry - Dion
Summertime - Little Esther
You're My Thrill - Chet Baker
Willow Weep for Me - The Whistling Artistry of Muzzy Marcellino
Little Things Mean a Lot - Jayne Mansfield
Dragon Walk - The Noble Men
I Love the Life I Live - Esquerita
Czterdziesci Kasztanów (Forty Chestnuts) - Violetta Villas

See more photos from Gail and Jasja's leaving party here

See photos from Gail and Jasja's last-ever yard sale here

(Looking at this set list in retrospect, am sure I've left some songs off ... I definitely played Eartha Kitt's version of "Mack the Knife" in there somewhere. I DJ'd for at least 90-minutes, so there must have been more songs than that! Ah, well. They're lost in the mists of time now).

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