( fantasy becomes reality at The Beaumont ) I occasionally fantasise about being alive in London of the 1920s and 30s (Oi, missus! I m...
Friday, 7 August 2015
Sazeracs and old soul sounds: Turntable should be up my street. BITD when I used to DJ, nipping off to New York on Friday and returning to London on the Sunday night red-eye from JFK with a suitcase full of pre-release 12-inch discs was a monthly routine. I'm thinking of taking to the decks again: like the Valentine Brothers say, Money's Too Tight To Mention (he says, before HMRC gets any ideas ) and at various hip launches where the client has coughed up serious dough and booked a rare groover - as opposed to some celebrity's brat offspring/ precocious 'model', paid £10K just to press 'play' on an iPad - I frequently find myself thinking "'Useless'" (Kym Mazelle) and how my record collection is stuffed with way better "Stuff Like That" (Quincy Jones ft Chaka) So, I'm keen to visit this new vinyl-only DJ bar whose playlist is collated by Jazzi Q of Soul II Soul, big in the 90s. The sort of tracks I'm hearing - Phyllis Hyman, Linda Clifford, Gwen Guthrie, Cheryl Lynn, Shalamar, and a sprinkling of Motown - are guaranteed floor-fillers so It's A Shame (as The Detroit Spinners sang it) that I don't want to "do a little dance, Get Down Tonight". Clearly, I've picked the wrong evening; it's not exactly heaving like Paradise Garage in its prime or about to wrest the disco crown from Studio 54. Maybe there's a secret door to a VIP lounge where Liza, Jerry, Bianca, Andy, Calvin, Halston, Grace, Divine and the gang are partying like it's 1979? Named after classic soul cuts of that decade, Turntable's street level bar's £8 cocktails - Jungle Boogie (rum, Mandarine Napoléon and kumquat) and Ain’t No Sunshine (Aperol, grapefruit, rosé wine and blood orange)... but no Evelyn 'Champagne' King cocktail - are fair enough but the austere, claustrophobic, downstairs dance bar is way too (Barry) white; stark and boxy, unlike the late great growler's loin-locking smoochers, it's neither sexy nor Chic - more joyless Norwich nightclub circa Joy Division tonight. Will I come back and order South Asian street food staples - Malay chicken, hot and sour fish, or lentil and aubergine curry - to eat to the beat? Tempus fugit! I'm off home to mix Manhattans, Boogie Oogie Oogie round my sitting room, and hatch my big comeback plan.