Pretty, pretty? In an ideal world, she would be the official “face” of Lobotomy Room. All women should have this photo taped next to their make-up mirror as a reference guide! (Are there hairs growing out of her Liz Taylor "beauty spot"?)
Saturday night marked my DJ’ing debut at hip new Shoreditch fleshpot Paper Dress Vintage. It was a bit of a trial or audition for possibly doing my own heretofore jinxed club night Lobotomy Room there. After Lobotomy Room’s botched “non-launch” last summer (it was bedevilled by chronic venue problems), I put the whole idea on ice for a while. But recently I've been testing the waters and shopping my sleaze / trash night concept around again and I'm hoping to unveil Lobotomy Room somewhere suitable early in 2013.
Anyway, Paper Dress Vintage: by day it’s an ultra chi chi and frou frou vintage clothing boutique and cafe. By night, they clear some space, darken the lights, start serving beer and cocktails and it’s transformed into a bar/nightclub/performance space (there’s a makeshift stage in the shop window for musicians, and a DJ area to the side). The place definitely has a beatnik / Boho vibe that appeals to me.
I didn’t actually DJ for very long: there were three bands on the bill and I played in brief snatches between them while their gear was being set up. The highlight (for me!) was the last bit when the bands were finished and I got to do a stretch of uninterrupted DJ’ing. By then I’d had a few beers, got my head screwed-on tight and was feeling more relaxed. Early on I was rattled with nerves and my set was pretty disjointed. One of the bands was quite Mumford & Sons (beard-stroking folkies, banjo, sea shanties): I probably sounded jarring playing right after them. My priority was to do a kind of compilation / greatest hits version of what I tend to play at Dr Sketchy, to give the promoter of Paper Dress Vintage a sampling of what I’d play if I did Lobotomy Room there: so a mix of rhythm and blues, rockabilly, tittyshaking instrumentals, weird kitsch stuff and punk.
Anyway, the place was packed-out and the crowd proved to be really fun, open-minded and good-natured. Towards the end, they even danced, which is always gratifying even for a non-people pleaser like me. They were up for dancing to everything, including stuff they almost certainly weren’t familiar with (Hasil Adkins, X).
Speaking of weird kitsch stuff: I played (and people danced to!) “Elle est terrible”, Johnny Hallyday’s French-ified reinterpretation of Eddie Cochran’s “Somethin' Else.” (I followed it with Sid Vicious's snarling punk cover of "C'mon Everybody", so it was a bit of a mini-Eddie Cochran tribute). Below is a strange, frantic 1960s clip of Hallyday performing "elle est terrible" -- featuring at least two blatant crotch shots!
While I was searching for the above, I stumbled across this gem: a very young Catherine Deneuve in her early 1960s ingénue days being serenaded by Gallic heartthrob / "faux Elvis" Hallyday. Who knew the inscrutable ice queen of serious European art cinema, who worked with great auteurs like Luis Bunel and Roman Polanski, ever appeared in kitsch teenage drive-in schlock like this? I love the moment when she unpins her beehive and shakes it loose. (With her bouffant hair, pussybow blouse and tartan skirt, Deneuve looks like an escapee from the Sterling Cooper typing pool in Mad Men. Hey, you could probably piece together her outfit at Paper Dress Vintage). To be fair, Hallyday and Deneuve look adorable together (and they were romantically involved after she split from film director - and ex-Mr Brigitte Bardot - Roger Vadim).
Deuces Wild - Link Wray
Muleskinner Blues - The Fendermen
Shortnin' Bread - The Readymen
Boss - The Rumblers
Funnel of Love - Wanda Jackson
Jim Dandy - Sara Lee and The Spades
Strange Love - Slim Harpo (Played in error; all due regards to Slim Harpo, but I don't even like this song and it was entirely wrong tempo)
Chop Suey Rockn'Roll - The Instrumentals
Little Queenie - The Bill Black Combo
What Do You Think I Am? Ike and Tina Turner
Beat Party - Ritchie and The Squires
Suey - Jayne Mansfield
Pass the Hatchet - Roger and The Gypsies
I Love the Life I Live - Esquerita
Vesuvius - The Revels
Dance with Me, Henry - Ann-Margret
Handclapping Time - The Fabulous Raiders
Beat Girl - Adam Faith
Elle est terrible - Johnny Hallyday
C'mon Everybody - Sid Vicious
Breathless - X
Chicken Walk - Hasil Adkins
Chicken Grabber - The Nite Hawks
Crawfish - Johnny Thunders and Pattin Palladin
Ring of Fire - The Earls of Suave