Her Royal Highness
SOULSVILLE Occupation: Edinburgh’s hub for soul, swing and rock’n’roll. ‘We’re trying to rejuvenate music from the 40s and 50s by finding music I think is relevant to current times,’ explains promoter Francis Dosoo (aka DJ Tsatsu). ‘So rock’n’roll, swing, rhythm’n’blues, trying to find stuff that I think has the same impact as modern music. Also a big part of it is trying to give it a similar feel to clubs back in those days, having live dances and stage elements to create more of a dancehall effect rather than just a club.’ Sounds intriguing but will they be playing anything I’d know? Names like Little Richard, Bill Haley, The Isley Brothers, Louis Prima and Chuck Berry all get name checked and usually get a spin. However it was Dosoo’s love of hip hop that drew him to the music in the first place.
So what’s the link between hip hop and Chuck Berry? ‘I became interested in the samples they were using, which led to a lot of jazz and funk. For a long time I was listening to those genres, then I started going back further and I started seeing all these interconnected elements, seeing blues turning into rhythm’n’blues then rhythm’n’blues turning into rock’n’roll. It’s a really big part of history where a lot of stuff that’s relevant in the music scene today comes from, the origins of the punk and hip hop movements can be traced back to that time.’ Good point, well made. Ok so what can we expect on the night? Live dancers, hot soul, funk and rock’n’roll from some of the true greats for a soundtrack you won’t find anywhere else in Edinburgh. Plus Dosoo is promising: ‘live stage pieces, kind of performance pieces that go along with the music, we’re trying to give it much more of a live feel, making people feel like they’re part of something.’ (Henry Northmore) ■ Soulsville at the Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Fri 3 Dec.
38 THE LIST 2–16 Dec 2010
ROCK & ROLL DISCO VINTAGE VIOLENCE Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh, Fri 10 Dec
‘It’s pretty rock’n’roll,’ says promoter Chris FAST, discussing the spirit of his semi-regular club night at Edinburgh College of Art’s Wee Red Bar. That should come as no surprise – Chris’ old club FAST was among the very best nights in Edinburgh for a brief period, a chaotic upheaval of three-chord punk, haphazard post-punk riffs and sleazy electro beats. It’s good to see it survive in some form, this time co-run by Chris and fellow DJ Anastaziya Violence (and previously, while Chris was away, Divorce drummer Andrew Browntown).
‘We’re both obsessed with glam rock,’ says Chris, ‘rockabilly, garage, punk, good-time party music, basically. A bit of synth stuff, a bit of disco.’ Old FAST-
goers should be willing to vouch for the quality of his record collection. Although both promoters are well- known within Edinburgh’s band community, Chris is keen to let everyone know the night is there on monthly Fridays, because ‘the Wee Red’s so far out the way that I don’t think a lot of people realise it’s open any time but for the Egg on Saturday nights.’ Both promoters have a bunch of mates who turn up religiously, but ‘we’ll have anyone’, jokes Chris. This month also sees Vintage Violence’s first live band appear: Her Royal Highness, the new project from former Gussets singer Heatherette. ‘We’ve known Heather for a while,’ says Chris, ‘and she’s really getting it together with her new band now. She was a star in The Gussets before and she’s even more of one now, she has guys playing synths and guitar in the background, and there’s a real glam edge to what she does.’ (David Pollock)
SECOND BIRTHDAY PARTY BIGFOOT’S The Art School, Glasgow, Fri 3 Dec
‘I guess you could call what we do environmental art,’ says George Russell. ‘We started Bigfoot’s as a way of exploring unconventional ways to host electronic music events, and that involves spending as much time on the production side of things as possible.’ The core Bigfoot’s trio of Russell (Redux), Christopher Kelly (Faux Pas) and Craig Bell (Marmalade Man) met when they were at university in Aberdeen and working on other people’s nights at the city’s SNAFU venue.
Now part of a Glasgow-based contributing team of ten DJs, promoters, film-makers, designers and writers, they’ve held events in a launderette, a fish factory and various basements, as well as regular venues like the Courtyard, the Sub Club and now the Art School. ‘It keeps things fresh,’ says Russell, ‘and we just want to make the club exciting for people every time.’ Kicking off with a pre-party in the basement of Gibson Street’s Offshore
café, this birthday party will feature a guest appearance from American producer Ambivalent (on Berlin’s M_nus label) because ‘he embodies a lot of what we’re about at Bigfoot’s – he’s a great techno DJ, a forward thinking live performer and we know he can bring the kind of crazy party we want.’ It is, however, the only kind of party Bigfoot’s wants, as evidenced by a recent move away from their old Bigfoot’s Tea Party name. ‘Yeah, we were getting a few right-wing Americans adding us on social networking sites,’ says Russell, ‘which isn’t what we’re about at all. As long as you can get on with the people on your right and left at the club, you’re welcome here.’ (David Pollock)