After raising the roof on the dance tent at T in the Park, THE JENGAHEADS are ready to take their bigbeat shenanigans to the masses.
Words: Rory Weller
‘lt‘s all about jumping around and spilling your pint.’ says The Jengaheads’ Martyn Henderson. ‘Music shouldn’t be heads-down. moody DJing, it‘s about having a laugh.’
An admirable if not exactly deep philosophy from Glasgow’s leaders of the bigbeat/breakbeat scene. The name comes from an exceptionally drunken night when Henderson and co-Jengahead Ali Campbell were playing the game with the wooden blocks and is an example of their wholly irreverent attitude to anything as dull as musical purity or any backroom pharmaceutical activity.
'They posed naked save for a few inches of vinyl for a flyer a couple of years back. and take the DJ gigs as they come — from playing in a bar up the West End for 50 people to filling the Propellerheads slot in the Slam Dance Tent at T in the Park entertaining 10,000 plus. Taking the piss out of the hospitality tent wannabe mentality. they gave away T-shirts to all with ‘Shag me. I'm famous‘ on the front and ‘Jengaheads’ splashed across the arse. You get the feeling they’re not taking the whole thing entirely seriously.
The duo met studying at the College of Textiles in Galashiels and decided the border town needed Iivening up a bit. After starting their own night.
Snorkel. at the student union. they ran a series of
justifiably fondly remembered one-off parties in fields and mills in the surrounding countryside.
'lt's a shame the term bigbeat is derogatory. Some people see it as handbag hip hop, but it's basically beer music.’
Beer boys: The lengaheads
Henderson and Campbell trekked through to Glasgow every Wednesday night for their Paradise Island night at the Volcano and. when their courses finished. they based themselves in there.
Initially pretty much hip hop. the two found themselves more and more heading into what was to become the bigbeat sound. a term they admit is unsatisfactory. but one they‘re happy to be billed under
‘It‘s a shame the term bigbeat is derogatory.‘ says Henderson. ‘Some people see it as handbag hip hop. but it‘s about being able to play anything. basically beer music that people want to hear and dance about madly to. Very drunken and not drug-induced.’
They’re getting the respect they‘re due from the scene too. They were among the first people in the city to book the Propellerheads and. when the chart- toppers played live at the Arches recently. it was the
Jengaheads they asked to support them. The list of
names Henderson and Campbell have played with reflects their diverse musical style: from Goldie to Grandmaster Flash and Guy Called Gerald. They‘ve just finished a track too. mixing up hip hop. breakbeats. ska and house - which they played at T in the
ark to awesome crowd reactions — and are just working out which record label to send it to.
The Jengaheads work well together; Henderson playing a harder blend and Campbell preferring a funkier sound. They aren’t just DIs though. and are now expanding into designing clothes. with the ‘Shag me‘ T-shirt just the first step to a whole ‘Jengathreads‘ clothing line. Campbell is the principal graphic designer for Big Beat (owners of The Tunnel) and Henderson admits to being responsible for the ‘mad ideas‘. Expect to be buying their records. jumping about to their DJing and wearing their clothes before too long. (Rory Weller)
The Jengaheads play at The Living Room every Wednesday. The Cul De Sac every Thursday and The Arches on Sat 25 Jul.
The sounds from around.
WILKIE HOUSE AND The Gallery will be shut throughout August while the venues succumb to Festival pressure. In the meantime, fans of clubs like Normal, Sublime, Joy and Luver should keep their eyes peeled for one-offs at other venues. See Listings for details.
APOLOGIES TO MANGA, Edinburgh jungle/drum ’n' bass club. In the last issue, we printed the wrong date for their forthcoming event with Fabio. It is, in fact, on Fri 21 Aug. Tickets are £12 (£10 members) and available in advance from Fopp and Ripping Records. Please note that Manga also have a date with the one and only Doc Scott on Fri 7 Aug as well. Tickets for that are £8 (£6 members), available in advance from the above outlets. Both nights have Sam licences.
THE FESTIVAL IS fast approaching, which means that most bars and club venues in Edinburgh will open a lot later than usual. See individual listings for specific details, but expect some bars to open till 3am, and most clubs to open till Sam. For the next four issues, The List will include a special Festival Clubs section with up~to~date info.
FANCY A BIT of filth? Book now for the launch of Irvine Welsh's latest novel Filth at the Arches in Glasgow featuring the author reading from the book plus yet to be confirmed guest 015. Tickets for the night on Wed 12 Aug are available from the Arches and Watersone's now.
IN THE VAIN hope that summer will eventually arrive, Glasgow’s Mish Mash have organised a night at secret location somewhere by the banks of Loch Lomond. The event entitled ’Summer Splash' will kick off at midnight on Sat 8 Aug and carry through until noon the next day. You've got the Mish Mash crew of Oscar and Nick Peacock heading the proceedings, plus barby, free camping and transport back to Glasgow for lightweights (from 7am) through to champions going the whole twelve hours. For details ask at McChuill's or Bar 10.
Doc Scott at Manga on Fri 7 Aug
23 Jul—6 Aug 1998 rue usm