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Think of the 705. Think of the Bee Gees, the Village People and crimplene trouser suits. Then join
Avril Mair in delight at the prospect of a disco revival.
The prospect of a revival of such sartorial inelegance is generally greeted with less than boundless enthusiasm. It is not hard to see why. After the beautiful idealism of the 605 came the growth of a youth culture based on indulgent consumerism of the worst possible kind. As the aftermath of hippy style merged with the new chain-store trendiness, some very, very peculiar clothing combinations hit the street.
This was due in part to the emergence of a new musical hedonism. Large, glossy discotheques were opened for the ﬁrst time, and to meet the subsequent demand for faceless dance music, record companies moved into the mass production of bubblegum pop at its most disposable: the Bee Gees, Ottowan, the Village People. Fair enough,
disco also launched the careers of a few genuinely talented individuals such as Donna Summer, and was the first step in a technological dance progression that would eventually lead to Chicago house and Detroit techno, but hey. . .let’s not forget that most music of this era was crap. But, of course, the kids loved it. And, consequently, never before had so many people been so badly dressed.
It is this which is being revived. After the elitist designer dressing of the past decade, the public just can’t wait to embrace the old tastelessness once more. ‘In a boring recession, people want excitement and turn to
glamour,‘ says Fred of Disco Inferno, a club which, along with Shaft and Lovewash, is hell-bent on making the dodgy decade fashionable again. ‘Disco gives you a chance to dress up and feel good,’ agrees Lovewash’s Alon, DJ at outrageously OTT parties such Dee-Lite’s recent album launch. ‘When you’re going for a night out you want to look your best — and you can’t do that by wearing a ravers outfit of tracksuit and trainers.’
But glitter eyeshadow, lip gloss, hipster loon pants and tank tops aside, Eddie McNaugton of Shaft reckons that ‘With the tack removed, the 705 were a great time for dance music. With disco you don’t need to be out ofyour mind to enjoy yourself. It’s good-time music. Like an escalator really, you just get on it and get higher and higher.’ This explains why, at a time when many consider dance music to have hopelessly lost its direction, real innovators such as Joey Negro are turning back to disco and reinventing it for the 90$. ‘People are beginning to pick up on it again,’ says Alon, ‘it’s becoming mainstream.’ Truly a frightening prospect. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Disco Inferno is at the Cafe Royal Bistro Bar, Edinburgh every Sunday. Lovewash is at the Citrus Club, Edinburgh every Sunday.
Shaft is at Moray House SU, Edinburgh Wed—Sat during the Festival and then fortnightly. See listings for further details.
_ THE sum DISCO TOP TEN
1. Fred Wesley and the JB’s: Blow Your Head
on sampled, squelchy synthed, and Fred does try to blow your head oil!
2. Donna Summer: I Feel Love (15 minute mix)
The record that invented acid house/techno and still blows most oi it away. Pure Moroderl
3. Chic: Good Times
The record that launched a thousand basslines. Kicks ass.
4. The Jackson 5: I Want You Back Back in the days when Michael still had his own, or indeed a, nose.
5. Gloria Gaynor: i Will Survive
Crowd sing-along time.
6. Gibson Brothers: Que Sera Mi Vida Tacky as hell, the disco equivalent at a 130bpm techno track.
7. James Brown: Get Up I Feel Like
Being A Sex Machine (Parts1 a 2) Probably the best known, but anything recorded by him between 69 and 79 is just as good, and essential.
8. Trammps: Disco Iniemo
Long, last and tunky.
9. Wlld Cherry: Play That Funky Music We certainlytry to!
1D.Isaac Hayes: Theme irom Shall Because it’s classic, tunky, poweriul and has our name in it!
THE LOVEWASH DISCO TOP TEN
1. Sylvester: You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
Roller-skating disco trom America's Disco Queen.
2. Tom Browne: Funkln’ For Jamaica The excitement builds irom the tirst horn sounding as pure iunk grips the danceiloor.
3. Rose Royce: Carwash
A classic danceiloor track that sums up a decade's music and attitudes.
4. Sister Sledge: We Are Family/He’s The Greatest Dancer
At last, you can actually sing ‘I’ve got all my sisters with me' and getaway with it.
5. War: Me And Baby Brother
The James Brown school crossed with disco gives us total war. Ha, ha, ha!
6. MFSB: Sexy
Instrumental, upllltlng and danceiloor lllllng.
7. Labelle: Lady Marmalade (Voulez Vous Couchez Avec Moi)
Well, now that you’re asking . . .
8. Donna Summer: I Feel Love
A timeless disco classic by Summer ior summer.
9. Michael Jackson: Don’t Stop Till You GetEnough
le until you've had several hours oi the Lovewashl
10.Roy Ayres: Love Will Bring Us Back Together
A classic amongst classics trom a iazz-iunk master.
Looking tor late night club action? Look no turther. Avril Mair chooses the best oi the bunch.
I Baby An intriguing new pre-club club, playing ‘departure lounge’ music in a venue designed to look like a living room from hell. What a concept!
Upstairs at the Waverley Bar, Monday—Saturday during the festival and then every Friday and Saturday. 9pm—2am.
I Bacardi Gold Knish Night Festival FM and Bacardi Gold bring you two refreshingly funky nights of cool beers and ‘Jazz Not Jazz’. Serving up the ice cold krush of sparkling funk, jazz, rap and soul are London’s Jez Nelson, Sonita Alleyne and Deborah, with local guest DJ 5 too. Citrus Club, 29 and 30 Aug.
10pm—3 .3 .
I Chocolate City 30‘ laid back it’s almost horizontal, this is the capital’s finest mellow dance club. Featuring on 3 Sept an interesting collaboration with The Big Payback, famed for their hip hop beats.
The Venue, every Thursday. 11pm—5am.
I Mambo Club Sir Ossie on the wheels of steel mixing his own ﬁne blend of around the world stylee. Cavendish, every night during the Festival and then every Saturday. 11pm—4am.
I Mambo inn London’s ﬁnest bring you fiesta fantasia and mucho mouthwatering mambo munchies. The Playhouse Studios, every night during the Festival. 11pm—4am.
I Pure Upfront, hard-edged underground dance music. Wet walls and a lack of oxygen the in-house speciality. The Venue, every Friday. 11pm—5am. I Roxy’s Tea Dance What can we say? The inimitable Roxy (big chum of Viv Westwood, fact fans) does it again, with ten hours of glamorous excess. The only place to be after Sunday brunch (apart from bed). Millies, every Sunday. 11am-9pm.
sponsored by BACARDI RUM
The List 28 August - 10 September 1992 49