Posts Tagged ‘Kinky Gerlinky’

Jon Pleased Wimmin & Hifi Sean

The #Pleased First Birthday Bash sees two of Superstore’s favourites guests – both legends of the UK house scene in their own right – Jon Pleased Wimmin and Hifi Sean hit the laser basement for a mammoth birthday blowout! These two have a rap sheet that ranges from UK smash hit singles to DJing at parties all over Europe and the US over the last few decades. We caught up to chat favourite parties of the past, house music inspiration and future projects!

Well, first and foremost, a happy birthday for your party is in order! What do you love about Pleased at Dalston Superstore? 

JPW: There’s something about the place I just think really suits the night. It’s intimate enough to get a good connection with the crowd and has just the right amount of sleaze. Also there’s always a really good mix, which is what Pleased has always been about. Gay/Straight/Young/Old/Trendy/Hot Mess. It just works. I am really grateful that Kris (Chapman) pursued the idea of rebooting #Pleased at the venue and I’m so happy we have, with our original debonair warm-up resident DJ Paul Woods on board to boot!

You have both played at a huge variety of parties over the years – are there any clear standouts for you?

JPW: I must say that some of the gigs I have done in the last year have been up there with my all time favourites. The Cream reunion at Nation in Liverpool was off the scale in March and there’s a club in Cleethorpes (!) called Better Days that I did earlier this year which was a total riot. It feels like independent club nights are having a ‘moment’ again and I am very excited about that.

HS: Jeez, hard one! I think the last Folsom street in San Francisco party was pretty special for me as I kinda went of on one with the music and the crowd totally let me, which never usually happens with big party main floor weekend crowds of a few thousand people. I didn’t realise till after that I was basically playing a 6am afterhours back room set to a peak-time main floor but they totally loved it.?Also I love when myself and Severino go back to back like we have done at Superstore at many parties, it is such a great way to hear where both our heads are at with music at that specific time. Love that. 

How have you watched the London gay party scene change over the years?

HS: God, big time! Genres splicing and throwing out everywhere, DIY ethics, pop up parties, all fresh underground vibes to breed new happening futures.

You have both released a fair bit of music yourselves as well as DJing at all kinds of different parties. What has been your proudest moment?

JPW: I am actually really enjoying the music that I’m making at the moment. I think age and experience is a great asset when it comes to focusing when working on projects. Also, the fact I went back to Uni in the noughties was really helpful. I used to start a project and then veer off in a thousand directions and never really end up doing what I set out to. I’m much more focused now and disciplined, which helps to get better results.

HS: I think I am like a big kid and proud of every piece of music before it’s released, even remixes I do for people. If I lose that little buzz and high that I get making and releasing this stuff then the party is over for me and I will stop. 

If you had access to a time machine and could visit any dance floor anywhere/anywhen, where would want to go dancing?

JPW: I would love to go back to Kinky Gerlinky for a night – it was such a fun club and here’s been nothing like it since. It was very uncontrived and organic in its hedonism and fabulousness. The party-goers, DJs, promoters and performers were all one big equal cast. 

HS: Well I am lucky to say I have danced to Vasquez many times at Sound Factory and Rauhoffer at The Roxy both in NYC when living there on and off in the nineties, but for me it was Jackie 60’s in the meat-packing district in that city for its sheer trashy, could-not-give-a-fuck crowd, no pretentions, just people thinking they were their own nightclub superstars for that evening. Some amazing characters were bred from that scene, so yeah, I would not mind a night back there again and ending up at Save The Robots afterhours afterwards. 

If you had to choose one track that cemented your love for house music, what would it be?

JPW: Theme from S’express.

HS: Ouch, that is a hard one! But one track I never seem to cease loving is Liberty City – If You Really Want Somebody. That vocal kills me every time.

Oh yeah, and Dark Mountain Group – Lose Control – likely the sexiest house record ever made in my books.

 What has been your favourite musical collaboration? 

JPW: My friend Susy K is a great singer who I studied with and since Uni she has provided vocals for a lot of my tracks. She also performs every week at my Church of High Kicks party in Edinburgh…she’s ace.

HS: Funny you should say this as I have just literally finished an album collaborating with some of my fave voices and musicians in my record collection. It is the first proper album I have made in 15 years. I don’t want to give away too much right now as it won’t be out till Spring 2016 but out of the 12 people on the album there is one man I have had the luck to work with twice over the years and that is Bootsy Collins. He is such a bloody gentleman and I adore him – amazing mind, vocals and musician. And for him to turn to me when we had finished the track and say, ‘You got the funk Sean,’ well that’s all you need really in life isn’t it?

Join Jon Pleased Wimmin and Hifi Sean this Friday, 4 September at #Pleased: the First Birthday at Dalston Superstore from 9pm-3am.  

 

 

 

Jon Pleased Wimmin

For World Aids Day this year, Jon Pleased Wimmin joins us for a special Christmas edition of his party #Pleased! Joining him is Tasty Tim, Paul Woods, Grizzle aka John Sizzle and A Man To Pet and Ma Butcher for a drag extravaganza over both floors of Superstore, with a portion of the door going to support local charity Positive East. Ahead of the party we caught up with Jon Pleased Wimmin to find out more about the party and her musical legacy…

Who is Jon Pleased Wimmin ?

I’m a spooky old DJ whose been dressing up and spinning tunes since 1991, from London to Tokyo and beyond.

What are your most treasured memories from Kinky Gerlinky and Glam?

Well, Gerlinde & Michael who ran Kinky, certainly knew how to throw a party! The mix of people, the relaxed set list and the feeling that everything could topple over at any minute is what made their parties so extraordinary. It’s at Kinky that Jenny & Danny Rampling first saw my two co-horts (Darren & Peter) and I performing as The Pleased Wimmin and invited us to come and work as ‘dancers’ for them at Glam at The Milk Bar. What made that so special and life-changing was that we were in amongst a totally mixed crowd (whereas before, most clubs, including Kinky where we would go were predominantly gay) I was never into the original ‘rave’ scene as I love dressing up too much and don’t find the thought of standing around in a field that appealing. So this was like an epiphany for me, to be able to express myself and not feel like I had to hide within a ‘gay’ ghetto was very liberating. Needless to say I have never really wanted to return to the narrow confines of ‘gay’ clubbing since.

Why did you decide to cover The Flirts for your first single?

Well, Passion is probably still in my top 10 favourite tracks ever, it’s just so bloody sleazy and amyl-tastic. We got hooked up with Norman Cook, through our good friend and neighbour Lindy Layton and he wanted to make a track with me as my DJing career was taking off and he was just getting into making house music on his Southern Fried label. It turns out that Norman was a massive fan of Passion too, so it was decided that was a good option. 

What are your favourite pop music curveballs to sneak into a set?

Memorabilia (The Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing Version) by Soft Cell and the Steve Thompson Remix of The Sun Always Shines on TV by A-Ha are up there. I also have quite a lot of edits that I make, things like Just Can’t get Enough by Depeche Mode and Love is a Stranger by Eurythmics. The kind of electronic pop that was so ahead of its time it still sounds fresh and current, really.

What’s your favourite track from the compilation album you put together Female Trouble: Divine – The Remixes?

Oh god…………… probably Shoot Your Shot, though they sound a little dated now.

What was the first house record that turned your head?

Well, being a massive pop head and coming from more of a new wave/goth background, it was things like KLF, Baby Ford, S’Express and The Beloved that really got excited. The early stuff on Creation records with Weatherall and Fluke etc were and still are a massive inspiration. I was never into the souley stuff with big divas and all that. Tracks like Finally by Cece Peniston and Free by Ultra Nate bring me out in hives.

Why the reincarnation of #Pleased and why now?

I took quite a few years off from DJing, went to university to study Popular Music and kind of naturally came back to it a few years ago. Things definitely go in cycles and while my sets are mainly made up of new music, there seems to be a hunger and reappraisal for the ‘anything could happen’ vibe of early to mid ’90s clubs. It’s all been very organic and I think it’s more to do with an attitude, not being afraid to party things up a bit, but keeping the quality up, which seems to be totally relevant again. 

As I’ve said before, I take my music very seriously, but it doesn’t mean all my music has to be very serious.

Who’s your idol?

Blimey, there a lots of people who I admire and find inspiring…

Grayson Perry, Val Denham, Gavin Friday, Marc Almond, Patrick Cowley, Kate Bush, Joan Collins, Stuart Price, Richard X and Andrew Weatherall for starters.

What does the future hold for JPW?

I’m releasing new music next year, which is really exciting and I shall be playing all over the joint. More #Pleased parties and more shenanigans with my Dare! and Church of High Kicks parties too.

What can people expect from the night?

People can expect to have a scream, with a bouncy soundtrack and an open-minded atmosphere. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure people have a fun night, meet lovely people and let their hair down to quality music.

I’m really looking forward to playing with Tasty Tim and Paul Woods again too, and seeing the inimitable Ma Butcher!

Tell us a secret………

Ma Butcher made her fortune selling her firstborn to Hollywood to star in Babe.

Three Pleased classics?

Oooh.

1. Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely on You (MK remix)

2. Sain II – It’s Alright

3. Jon Pleased Wimmin – Don’t be Scared (Of Yourself)

A current favourite track?

Romanthony – Trust (Freeform Five Rmx)

Join Jon Pleased Wimmin for #Pleased at Dalston Superstore on Friday 5th December from 9pm – 3am.

Meet Princess Julia

By Martyn Fitzgerald 

London legend Princess Julia joins us this Saturday night for homosocial, Bender. From being part of the famed Blitz kids, to resident DJ at Kinky Gerlinky, Julia has gone from being at the centre of London’s underground scenes, to a leading fashion and gay icon in her own right. Ahead of the party she took Bender’s very own Martyn Fitzgerald through her personal dancefloor history…

So who christened you Princess Julia?

Oh that old chestnut!  Well, I used to do the door at the Wag club back in… er, 1981, the manager Alan called me ‘Princess’ every evening I arrived to work. I imagine he called all the girls Princess in reality though!  That’s where the idea came from but I didn’t call myself Princess Julia in the early 80s, that happened when I started DJing at the Daisy Chain at the Fridge in Brixton in 1986 which was run by Trindy Aurora (Jimmy Fox).  Jeffrey Hinton and Mark Lawrence, were the resident dj’s and I used to do the warm up. One week for fun we thought we’d give ourselves ‘proper’ DJ names as we noticed all the ‘crucial’ DJs had tag names.  So we renamed ourselves… Jeffrey Mmmmm (Taste Of Sugar), Mark ‘Fancy Pants’ Lawrence and I became Miss Princess Julia and it just kinda stuck drooping the ‘Miss’ bit though!  It started as a piss take really.  Daisy Chain was amazing by the way, we even had Eartha Kitt on there, Marc Almond, early days Take That along with go go boys, light shows and it happened every Tuesday!

So when did your clubbing career begin?

Which era would you like to start… mid-seventies?  I’d go to gay clubs like Bang on a Monday night at the Sundown, 157 Charing Cross Road, which had a light up dance floor. The legendary Tallulah DJ’d there, total disco on a Monday night… we always called it  hairdressing night, but I think that’s because I was a hairdresser at the time! Other clubs were Legends, Embassy Club (where Sylvester shot the Mighty Real video) on a Sunday night.  In ’78 Club For Heroes started at Billy’s, it was the beginning of the New Romantic era, it soon moved to the Blitz and later we became known as the Blitz Kids. 

princess julia - 1978 At Billy's by Nicola Tyson

By Nicola Tyson (1978)

But in my earlier days of clubbing I’d go to punk clubs and gigs and then of course gay discos such as the Sombrero situated on Kensington High Street, Louise’s, and bars and clubs in Earls Court such as Boltons, even the Coleherne… even though it was ‘men only’ leather man pub. In the early ’80s and after the Blitz finished I did the door as a cashier lady of the newly opened Wag club that was run by Chris Sullivan and opened in 1981.  It was integral for bringing through new music of the time. There were break dancing competitions and performers, as well as legendary DJ’s who still DJ today such as Fat Tony! I remember Sade doing an early gig down there and of course house band Blue Rondo A La Turk. It was very community based in a way. I started playing at fashion designer Steven Linard’s club Total Fashion Victims in 1982. The  Wag was seminal and I regularly worked at the rare groove night Black Market that René and Barrie K Sharpe ran. René also owned the record shop by the same name whilst being a hairdresser for Bananarama. As a testament to the Wag it lasted for over twenty years and was one of the gateways to the clubbing scene we have today.  

And what kind of music were you playing when you first DJ’d?

A mixture of hi-NRG, disco and the ‘house’ that was just beginning to come through. This was at the Daisy Chain at The Fridge in Brixton with  Mark Lawrence and Jeffrey Hinton were very inventive and used to pre-mix cassette tapes overdubbed with sound effects. Technology was limited in those days; we only played from vinyl, so the idea of having these custom made cassette tapes spliced together was totally cutting edge.  

But the DJing really took off for you?

Yeah, it did. I didn’t really do it officially until ’86. There was an idea of the ‘bedroom DJ’.  Back then there were no laws around sampling so everyone was making their own records. I used to go to Black Market and Groove Records and of course the Trax record shop owned by affectionately named Tricky Dicky in Soho to get hold of the US and European imports that were coming in from Strictly Rhythm, Trax and our own home grown labels. To me they were disco with a twist and because they were so lo-fi, they a had real DIY element, some were pressed on recycled plastic and were so cranky that really added to their charm. There was this idea of making your own records where you get a dubplate pressed and go DJ with it a few times before they became worn out. We could produce our own music which was totally new, we all became vinyl train spotters. Jeffrey (Hinton) had a little four track (I lived with him and Stephen Jones the milliner at this time) and he’d record everything on cassette tapes and splice up the tapes and sellotape them back together. The ‘Summer of Love’ arrived around this time. Newcomers to the London club scene were good at branding themselves and they started to book me for their parties both in London and across the UK which weren’t strictly gay although there was some cross over.  Because of the nature of ‘house’ and its roots in the US, clubs like Shelter, The Paradise Garage, the Sound Factory,  DJ’s like Larry Levan, Masters At Work and Frankie Knuckles… to the guys on the straight scene over here these people were gods and rightly so.  The straight scene here really looked to the gay scene over in the USA for inspiration. Somehow my DJ career took off, much to my amusement, and I was a regular at Ministry of Sound playing with many of the legendary DJ’s of the day.  

So how did ‘house’ arrive over here? Was it this explosion of a new sound?

No not really. I remember in ’86 me and Kate Garner going to Fred’s in Soho, a tiny basement space, it was a midweek night and we arrived to Frankie Knuckles playing! We both said, “This is the next big thing.”  I mean, ‘house’ was akin to disco and used many samples from disco, Knuckles’ style was more soulful with a vocal gospel slant than the more brutal house sounds that were also being produced then.  To me ‘house’ was another form of disco just put together in a more progressive fashion with the technology that was becoming available.  It was easier to mix as well being produced digitally rather than early disco which was often produced in real time.  House music gradually came through, no one who booked me would say they wanted house specifically.  I’d play a mixture of disco, house and hi-NRG in those days.  

princess julia by Mike Owen 1987

By Mike Owen (1987)

So… Kinky Gerlinky.  You were a resident.  How did that come about and what was it like?

Oh right, so basically I was doing Daisy Chain and also I was resident DJ at Patrick Lilley’s Queer Nation with Luke Howard, we were the original DJ’s there at the Gardening Club. We did it on a Sunday night. We wanted to hone in on the more soulful and vocal side of house. We’d have guest PA’s: Barbara Tucker, Kym Mazelle, Ultra Nate, Candy J… this was the Ministry of Sound days so they’d have these names on the Saturday and they’d come to us on the Sunday. On bank holiday Sundays we’d have Norman Jay down and there was a door to the Hard Rock Café next door and we’d take that over too. Anyway, back to Kinky Gerlinky, around this time I worked in a shop called World with Martin Confusion and Roy Brown. We used to sell the Spectrum and Shoom merchandise and the owners Michael and Gerlinde Costiff, who were good friends with New York club promoter Susanne Bartsch, decided to do their own night.  I think Bartsch’s influence was that it would be a ‘ball’ rather than a club night and they started Kinky Gerlinky at Legends. I was the resident with Martin Confusion and Rachel Auburn who used to also sell her clothes in the shop. It was a big success and we soon moved to the old Empire Leicester Square – which was HUGE. It was amazing. It was really cavernous but it had a rotating stage and a catwalk which was great for the ball angle.  It really inspired people to do drag, the least likely people would rock up in drag… looking back maybe it wasn’t so unlikely.  

princess julia at Kinky Gerlinky 1992

At Kinky Gerlinky (1992)

And do you think this was a revival of the dressing up in the early 80’s?  Was it a bit more dress down in the early house period?

Well there’s a timeline here for dressing up in London nightclubs. I would say it started with Punk, to Blitz and the New Romantic look, Cha Cha’s and things that went on in Heaven and the Soundshaft  and onto Taboo. But the early ‘house’ scene over here as I said, was quite straight which we always thought funny given where it had come from… NYC’s gay discos! I mean there was Shoom, which was more inclusive and we integrated there, the whole dressing up thing at this time was also tied in with the Euro disco thing, you know, being on holiday in Ibiza. And then of course there was a great clubbing conversation with New York and clubs such as Danceteria and Area. A lot of people imagine the rave scene to be really dressed down but it wasn’t. You know, it was a very thought out look, if you look at The Face and i-D from there people planned their outfits. DM’s with the toe cut out, ‘hard times’ and rockabilly looks, the street style you found at Phillip Salon’s night the Mud Club which started in the early ’80s and carried on through the decade where everyone was dressed in their own individual style.

The rave scene in a sense brought in a casual but thought out approach to dressing. I did have a bit of a dressed down moment… briefly, my idea of dressing down was wearing trainers! But never for Kinky Gerlinky. The whole designer thing came in then too: tags and logo’s became a look of their own. When I worked in World in the late ’80s we’d stock MCM rip-off track suits and bum bags, the massive gold jewellery and stuff from NYC’s 14th Street mixed with original Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and London club t-shirts such as Schoom and Spectrum as well as our own brand World t-shirts. Neneh Cherry often borrowed stuff for her videos styled by Judy Blame mixing it all up with his own jewellry created from ‘ready mades’. It was all dress up, it was also Thatcher’s Britain so some people had a bit of money, and if they didn’t they could still customize their outfits. 

princess julia early 00s photo by William baker

By William Baker (early 00s)

London doesn’t really have those big nights with big personalities any more.

I disagree with you there, big clubs and events are hard, a lot of hard work to put on, but they do happen.  Even if you do one every now and again, it’s hard. And as for personalities, well look around you, everyone you know is a personality, especially in our world. The ’90s was the era of the ‘superclub’, and I actually think there is more diversity now. Possibly because we’re better informed through social media and knowing what’s going on. Also the spaces have changed, they’re more multifunctional now. Places have to be ever more inventive. Look at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, it’s brilliant. We’ve got very used to going to places where there’s a lot of colour: people dressing up, showing off, having a good time and that’s really infectious and inspiring. Look at Sink The Pink. Look at Dalston Superstore, itself which is really a landmark for clubbing, with a bar upstairs that is also a restaurant, a disco downstairs, an art gallery and in a lo-fi sort of way, a performance space with people getting up on the bar and do PA’s which is charming. The George & Dragon, which even though is fundamentally a pub has different DJ’s every night of the week, let us not forget Radio Egypt which started at the George & Dragon on a Sunday night with Jonny Woo and Jonjo Jury DJing, which really set a precedent for the reemergence of the East End gay scene as we know it, and that was ten years ago. Things are really flourishing with new places opening and creating further outlets for self expression.

You still go out a lot…

Well, I have this thing of not wanting to miss out although I can’t go everywhere, thankfully I keep tabs on things through social media. Having said that there’s nothing like experiencing nightclubbing in the real world. There’s also that thing of not knowing where the night’s going to end, who I’m going to meet; it’s an adventure. One thing I love about clubbing is that you get people from all walks of life and I think that’s even more important now: bringing different people together.

princess julia by 2014 Louie banks

By Louie Banks (2014)

Who have you met who you’re really loved (or hated!).  Who’s inspired you?

Ooh, well there’s a checklist of people who have inspired in regards to the way we club. Phillip Salon who encouraged people to explore their own creativity and give them a bit of confidence to do that. Leigh Bowery obviously, who arrived in London in the early ’80s quickly became instated in both club land and the music and art scenes. When he died he was really on the precipice of doing so much more amazing explorations.  Thankfully we do have his legacy. Then there the people behind clubs I find inspiring, people like Wayne Shires who pulls things together and organises the most amazing events, I’m very inspired by his passion for clubbing. He’s been running clubs since the late ’80s and has been so prolific, I used to DJ at many of his club nights including SEX at the Cafe de Paris, Monster at Substation, through to the present day at East Bloc. He makes things happen and I think that’s a great talent. Dan Beaumont,  I remember talking to him at that bar he had in Islington (the Warwick) when I used to drop off a fanzine I used to make, he was very passionate about what he wanted the space to be. That was the precursor to Superstore I guess. Then there’s a whole new generation of DJ’s and club promoters, including yourself Martyn, who are continually pushing and exploring club life to its full potential. 

Join Princess Julia this Saturday 27th October for Bender from 9pm – 4am at Dalston Superstore.

Luke Howard’s Desert Island Discography

Horse Meat Disco’s Luke Howard has been soundtracking amazing nights out across the country for some time now, including the very first ever Queer Nation (and quite a few after as well), as well as the legendary night Flesh at even more legendary nightclub The Haçienda in Manchester. 

In honour of him joining us at Superstore this weekend for Horse Meat Disco East on Good Friday, we’ve asked him to share some meaningful records from all areas of his life…

A record whose vocal gets you every time

I think it’d have to be Was That All It Was by Jean Carne. The vocal is impeccable – without any backing vocals at all Jean gives the performance of a lifetime. Anyone who’s ever had man trouble can relate to the lyrics! It’s ironic that it was never a hit but the track has endured for all these years.

A record that reminds you of coming out

I came out aged 16 and a track that was always being played at The Bell (the gay bar I used to frequent in Kings Cross) was Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order. It still sounds good all these decades later!

A record that you play when you are vacuuming

I tend not to play records when vacuuming as you can’t hear the music over the sound of my vacuum cleaner. However, when I’m tidying up I love listening to Aretha Franklin’s This Girl’s In Love With You album. It contains her version of Let It Be, which always has me blubbing.

A record that goes down surprisingly well at Horse Meat Disco

I guess that would have to be Big Love by Fleetwood Mac, there’s something quite Balearic about this and it’s a one good to dance to.

A record that always did the business at Queer Nation

Masters At Work featuring India – I Can’t Get No Sleep. The dance floor at QN used to live for this one. I still love hearing it as it brings back so many good memories.

A record that is forever Flesh

The record that always reminds me of Flesh is Relight My Fire by Dan Hartman. Tim Lennox used to play it every month and I’m sure it’s where Take That got the idea of doing their cover version.

A record that reminds you of your best dance floor experience 

That’s hard. There’s been so many wonderful nights out. Hearing Frankie Knuckles play at The Sound Factory when he had his brief residency there in 1991 was a real highlight. When he played his remix of The Pressure by The Sounds of Blackness, months before it was released, it was absolutely magical. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

A record that you can’t listen to because it makes you too sad

For years I couldn’t listen to Last Dance by Donna Summer because it had been played on a loop as we all left the church at Gerlinde Costiff’s funeral – the song was always played at the end of the night at Kinky Gerlinky, the amazing club that Gerlinde ran with her husband Michael. It was too sad for me to hear that song for many years, but as the years have gone by I’ve begun playing it again and I know Gerlinde would be happy that we often finish Horse Meat Disco with Last Dance. It’s still Gerlinde’s song to me though.

Join Luke Howard this Good Friday for Horse Meat Disco East at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 4.30am