The bar is called Bar, or something similar. Mahogany, chrome, an outbreak of gentrification primed to concatenate down the London Road. A usual crowd have coerced their guilty bones present, a quorum of players, pooftahs, popinjays. They genuflect beneath the interior’s tasteful lighting, hazy conversation that supplements whatever interesting chic the DJ is attempting to spin, and from time to time the assembled even pretend to dance – usually when the DJ relents and plays “Debasser”. Again.
The drunk staggers in, looks about himself for a while, confusion falling from his features like water from a dripping tap, and eventually navigates his way towards the beer taps. Suitably served, he then scans the surroundings for something to entertain his booze-addled brain. A conversation perhaps, or a fist fight.
Realising that the clientèle are significantly younger and hipper than he, and that some poor fool is standing behind decks with headphones pinned to one ear, he decides that this is a marvellous opportunity to shape the remainder of the evening towards his own warped agenda. You know, proper music and all that shit…
And so he pushes through the silhouettes that throng between him and his destination, and once he’s planted himself squarely in front of the booth, directly invading the DJ’s sightline, he’s demanding with a bellow:
“Play some Quo!”
Playing very much against type, I wasn’t the smashed Muppet of this particular story, and – much to the drunkard’s chagrin – neither did I have any Status Quo in my box. There was the below record however, and I played it next, very loudly, (wishing in part that I was going to select something as cheesy as the Quo, if only to annoy the other drunks braying for their unadventurous slice of generic indie rock).
Clinton / Button Down Disco
And if the swish and verve of this track sound somewhat familiar, you were either present during my ill-advised foray into DJ-dom (my back still recoils from the memory of carting boxes of records around the dreary towns of England), or you spot something of the Cornershop to Clinton’s sound.
During a time-out from Cornershop back in 2000, Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres released their Clinton album, Disco and Halfway to Discontent. I’ve no idea if their highly danceable groove was a deliberate reaction to that Norman Cook remix of the otherwise wonderful “Brimful of Asha” – how to taint a song in a single big-beat car crash and gain a number 1 record in the process – but I like to think that they showed Fatboy Slim how to do it properly.
And a weekend bonus: Cornershop at their finest.