Friday, 6 July 2012

Wild Thing DJ Set List 4 July 2012

/ 1960s Hair Hopper – Swiss style! Photo by Swiss cult / outsider photographer Karlheinz Weinberger from his book Rebel Youth /

Since starting my half-assed, harebrained DJ’ing “career” all those years ago (actually, not that many years ago), I estimate I’ve DJ’d pretty much everywhere in London: South (Vauxhall), North (Angel and Stoke Newington), West (Kensal Green) and best of all, East (Dalston and Shoreditch) – but never before in the actual West End. So this gig at the club night Wild Thing at The Retro Bar in Charing Cross officially represented my glittering West End debut. I’ve arrived! “Won’t you come and give me a warm hand on my big opening?” I urged everyone on Facebook. “Give me the clap I so richly deserve?” (Yes, I will keep recycling those jokes).

Retro queer record hop Wild Thing is the brainchild of artist, club promoter and DJ Joe Pop. Sprung on the world in January 2011 (first on a monthly basis, then weekly – it’s currently every Wednesday at the Retro Bar), the Wild Thing music policy is essentially (in the words of its Facebook page) “raunchy rock’n’roll, girl group melodramas, retro pop wonders and snot nosed punk of every type ... It’s got great hair, a bad attitude, a stuffed bra and possibly a switchblade in its back pocket! It’s the soundtrack to a John Waters / Tarantino / Warhol movie starring YOU!”

Needless to say, Wild Thing fits my own squalid musical aesthetic like a tight (wet) t-shirt, so when I was invited to guest DJ I leapt at the chance.

(Joe Pop has a real flair for creating striking iconic flyers for Wild Thing. Here are some of my favourites)

/ Tribute to Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising /

/ Tribute to Jayne Mansfield /

/ Tribute to Little Richard /

For this night I DJ’d as part of a duo with Phil Clark. He did the first hour; I had an hour solo, and then for the last hour we were an alternating tag team. The space behind the decks is tiny. Two people crammed back there is pretty intimate. A certain amount of lager was drunk. There may have been times when my tongue might have been in Phil’s mouth and my hand jammed down the back of his jeans; after a few drinks I get wandering “party hands”. But hey, the Retro Bar patrons are worldly and broad-minded adults and it all added to the night’s louche, anything goes, Max's Kansas City ambiance.

My set was pretty much a variation of what I used to play at London’s gay greaser night Cockabilly: think sleazy titty-shaking instrumentals, wailing rhythm and blues (Little Richard and Esquerita are, after all, the mothers – muthas? – of us all), white trash hillbilly rockers, punk and assorted confrontational / abrasive kitsch.

/ Me - DJ'ing at Wild Thing on 4 July 2012. Eine foto von my glamorous friend Lauren Jones. That Hillbilly Hop t-shirt is now so old it qualifies as vintage /

Speaking of Cockabilly: it’s been on hiatus since The George and Dragon kicked it out (well, refreshed their club night policy if you prefer) at the beginning of January 2012. The good news is Cockabilly is back, back, BACK! Tenacious and resilient promoters Mal and Paul have found a new venue in Dalston and they re-launched Cockabilly on Thursday 5 July. The timing was unfortunate: I was way too hung over from Wild Thing the night before to even contemplate going, but I’ll definitely report back after the August Cockabilly.

And now -- finally an excuse to post some vintage beefcake ...

Deuces Wild - Link Wray
Heartbreakin' Special - Duke Larson
Muleskinner Blues - The Fendermen
Jim Dandy - Sara Lee and The Spades
Hand Clapping Time - The Fabulous Raiders
Ain't That Lovin' You, Baby? The Earls of Suave
Beat Party - Ritchie and The Squires
Breathless - X
Chop Suey Rock'n'Roll - The Instrumentals
Bombie - Johnny Sharp and The Yellow Jackets
Funnel of Love - Wanda Jackson
Bottle to the Baby - Charlie Feathers
Crawfish - Johnny Thunders and Patti Paladin
Dance with Me Henry - Ann-Margret
Kruschev Twist - Melvin Gayle
C'mon Everybody - The Sex Pistols
Booze Party - 3 Aces and a Joker
Willie Joe - The Mystery Trio
Duck Calling Boogie - Gene Price
Chicken Walk - Hasil Adkins
Boss - The Rumblers
Chicken Shack - Ike and Tina Turner
Chicken Grabber - The Nite Hawks
Comin' Home, Baby - The Delmonas
Peter Gunn Twist - The Jesters
Sweetie Pie - Eddie Cochran
Elle est terrible - Johnny Halliday
Salamander - Mamie Van Doren
I Love the Life I Live - Esquerita
Tiger - Sparkle Moore
You Done Messed Around and Made a Mean Woman Mad - Julia Bates
Cry-baby - The Honey Sisters
I Stubbed My Toe - Bryan "Legs" Walker
Little Miss Understood - Connie Stevens
Can Your Pussy Do the Dog? The Cramps
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
Margaya - The Fender Four
Fever - Nancy Sit
I'm a Bad, Bad Girl - Little Esther

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