Posts Tagged ‘Taboo’

Tasty Tim

One of the original innovative trailblazers who shaped London’s disco and alternative gay scene in the early ’80s, Tasty Tim has been an integral part of everything fun and flamboyant going on in the capital since. He’s seen it all, done it all, and played at all the most pioneering club nights and been a very welcome guest here at Superstore. He returns on Saturday 5th May to play Delirium alongside Jaime Ritchie and Kris Di Angelis so we caught up with him to ask all about his prestigious DJing history…

What prompted you to first start DJing?

It wasn’t something I’d intended on doing or even given any thought to, it just “happened”. I was working in a record shop on Kings Road that was owned by Rusty Egan (of Blitz club and Visage fame). We flogged all the fab electronic tracks that Rusty used to spin at his clubnights. It was a great place to hang out, hear the latest tunes and swap make-up tips and that was just the boys! I mean we’re talking back in 1981 here. You HAD to have the face on if you were stepping out on the Kings Road.

Steve Strange and Rusty had had such great success with their one-nighter club events like Blitz and Hell that other people were catching on (or should that be cashing in?) on the idea and new nights were starting to happen. One such venue that wanted a slice of the action was the almighty Heaven. So vast and cavernous that it could easily accommodate what they called an “alternative” night in a back room, hidden away from the rest of the club. The night was called Cha-Cha and was so quirky that the music for the night was all on pre-recorded cassettes. I’m not sure why they decided to change it to having DJs but I’m very glad they did because that’s how I got started. I’d met one of the promoters at the record shop who invited me to the club and then almost as an after thought said “Why don’t you bring some records and you can play them at the club.” VERY clever promoting if you ask me!

And that’s how it started…I got the DJ bug. Apparently, there is still no cure.

The alternative gay scene of the 80s is massively influential – what was special about those years and why do you think the legend endures?

It’s actually a bit of an urban myth that the alternative scene of the 80s was solely a gay scene. In fact it was very very mixed. All the really great nights were a melting pot. That’s what made them so special. The Mud club in particular had a really fantastic blend of straights, gays, boys, girls and everything in-between. Even Taboo was a very mixed-up affair. It wasn’t about your sexuality it was about having a certain style or a certain attitude and that is part of the legend that has endured. Any great club night has to have the right blend, too much of one thing or another is just boring. Get the mix right and you’ve got yourself a hit.

What has been your craziest gig?

I can tell you the most dangerous! I was DJing in Moscow once at a really big event. I was up on a stage spinning away and behind me on big podiums were naked go-go boys in paddling pools splashing around and throwing beach balls. All good fun. But of course they got over excited and decided to try and soak the crowd as well but it didn’t quite make it into the crowd, it was landing on me! That I could just about cope with (it was rather a warm night so it was quite refreshing really) but then it started hitting the decks and the mixer. Even I know that electrics and water don’t mix. Smoke was starting to come from the mixer. Not good. Not good at all.

Luckily the promoter was on hand and we quickly decided to put one of the planned drag shows on early so we could shut the music down and change the mixer. Which, bless them, they did in record quick time, saving the night and what could have been one very toasted tranny. The go-go boys and their paddling pools were never seen again. Shame really.

What is special about London’s gay scene today?

There is just sooooo much choice. Something for everyone. Personally I still prefer a “mixed” crowd, still an 80’s girl at heart I guess. Luckily the Superstore mix it up just right and I can’t wait to play there on the 5th.

What are your plans for the future?

To carry on carrying on! I have a new night with Lady Lloyd called Lost in Music which starts June 23rd at a new venue in Vauxhall. We’re super excited about that one, it’s gonna be H.O.T. I’m also planning a return to the studio. Gonna throw out a few tunes. It’s been quite a while! Watch this space.

Tasty Tim plays Delirium here at Dalston Superstore on Saturday 5th May from 9pm to 3am.

Jeffrey Hinton

This Thursday sees night of girl-heat JERK! expanding into the lazer basement as they takeover the two floors of Dalston Superstore for the first time ever. Not only have they created (in their own words) “farsh garms to be distributed (thrown) at the best krumpers, boglers, two steppers, dutty winers and general fierce bitchizzz” but they’ve got Queer Nation legend Jeffrey Hinton playing over both floors! We caught up with Jeffrey to find out what he’s been unleashing on the world and what we’ve got in store for JERK!

What can we expect to hear from you at Jerk?

I will dig deep into my ‘90s r’n’b archive plus mix it all up as I normally do- new and old, bit of UK garage, 2 step, Moomba, swing beat… who knows? But it’s always a party!

Tell us the one track that hasn’t left your record bag lately.

Hmm, well I like it if a tune can stand the test of time! My friend played me Azealia Banks – 212 back in September last year. I always like a good mash-up and she sings over the Lazy Jay track. I thought then that it had a fresh edge- very east London. So it’s no surprise it’s become a bit of an anthem.

What’s your most unusual musical influence?

Most of my influences come from travel, but I guess an unusual influence is lighting. I used to love lying flat out on the dancefloor with my friend Space at the Heaven Club (circa ‘80s). They used to have the most amazing disco lighting rig and we would just look up and bath in music and lights, while people danced and stepped over us. I used to do the same at The Saint in New York, which for me was the best-designed club I’ve ever seen… well, so far! Music is best when you are drowning in a visual experience too. Even if it’s just in the mind!!

Your DJ career has spanned from the ’80s to now- what’s been your favourite decade for music so far?

I don’t really think like that as all music is connective and has its place. I wouldn’t say it always evolves as it often devolves. But that’s okay. If it frustrated you then that’s good as it pushes you to create.

What was on the first mixtape you ever made?

I was probably making them in my head aged two but I didn’t get a tape recorder until I was seven and then I just taped every sound I could. I found a way to feed it back through the hi-fi we had and mix it over music or the radio. It would sound mental but I loved it.

Tell us a bit about your work with the National Portrait Gallery!

Well, as you say I have been around a while(!!) so I have collected archived most of my life: filming and photographing club stuff. It’s a very big collection with a lot of behind the scenes bits. I didn’t keep it for showing as such, more to celebrate the friends that I love. But it does document moments in time that are of a different mood to now and also completely unique.

It has lots of people that have become a bit iconic like Leigh Bowery, plus it features a lot of underground London culture. So the British Film Institute and the National Portrait Gallery are into showing it and archiving it, which is lovely. In fact, on 26th April at 7pm at the National Portrait Gallery Theatre I’m showing some of my archive plus there’ll be a bit of a chat.

What’s been your weirdest DJ experience?

Well this has probably been mentioned before due to me being well known for my approach to music at Leigh Bowery’s club Taboo. I loved sound effects at that time (I still do) so I would chop and mix up videos (video scratching they named it, I didn’t though). I edited everything together: porn, Abba, operations, tv and film from around the world and my own stuff. I would project it over the dance floor and mix it in with the music. Also I would have tape cassettes playing sound effects and mix that into the music as well. The music would be quite random too. The whole effects was nuts, but then the club was nuts too.

So one night I was happily playing the slip mat as I was on acid and the grinding sound seemed normal! As they were so used to unusual sounds everyone kept dancing anyway. I did think I was at home though and not actually there, that when Princess Julia came over to see if I was okay, I asked her make me a cup of tea!

And your worst?

I think I’ve had a few sticky moments!! One was working at a club called Rock. I was rushing and on arrival I noticed I’d picked up my record bag full of r’n’b music. The problem was it was a house music club! Really had to wing that one!!

What do you like about playing at Dalston Superstore?

I love working at a place where the people that own and run it have a passion for what they want to create- it makes such a difference. Dan Beaumont and all the gang are amazing. Plus east London gives me more freedom and we all need more freedom right!!

Jeffrey Hinton plays Jerk Gets Two Floors at Dalston Superstore this Thursday 12th April from 9pm – 3am.