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‘Eight Zero’? It’s a club night, a concept, a retrospective musical journey around all that was actually bloody good during the 80s. I had the pleasure of hosting, DJ’ing and promoting this night back in 2005/6. Banished was the cheesy pop of the period, and welcomed with open arms was the cool ‘electronica’, the alternative bands and anything else that was innovative and danceable purely from ‘that’ decade.
I brought in the Photoshop design talents of my younger brother Neil who, using a ton of images I’d sourced from t’interweb, put together the flyer you see in the image here – a wonderful montage that spoke volumes of the musical and socio-political time it represented. For the night itself (premiered at East Yorkshire’s coolest indie club, The ‘Welly’), main room tunes ranged from the synthetic delights of the Human League, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Yello, O.M.D., Yazoo etc, to the Gothic darkness of bands like the Cramps, Cure, Bunnymen, B52′s and Iggy Pop. A second ‘back-room’ had friends playing some early rap, mutant disco and breakdance style electro.
I had so much faith in this night as a concept, I actually took to the streets with the host club’s promo team to spread the word and seek out like minded, musically appreciative punters (there was no Facebook then and MySpace was still in it’s infancy).
On the launch night, I waited in anticipation for the club’s main ballroom doors from the feeder bar next door, expecting to just perhaps see a decent trickle of bodies walk in with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity. Instead, an absolute mass of bodies spewed into the main hall, ranging from young, pretty indie kids, vari-aged Goths, and a mixture of alternative and cool ‘thirty’ to ‘forty something’s. I dropped the opening synthesizer line (on a loop) from the League’s ‘Love Action’, let it go, and the place went nuts!
It’s ’80s’ season here in the UK on BBC2 right now, and it was this that partly prompted my scribblings today. I was also reminded of some text I wrote for an 80s remix compilation CD inner sleeve, the extract below kinda sums up this whole musical decade for me as a DJ and burgeoning record producer.
Retro-Active Vol. 2 (HiBias Recs – Canada)
“.. I honestly now feel honored to have been there. It WAS magical, it WAS inspirational, it WAS wondrous. Of course, none of us realised that at the time.. we were too busy enjoying ourselves”
And if you’re a DJ, club owner, promoter or party organiser and you’d like a slice of ‘Eight-Zero’, drop me a comment below. Big 80s love comin’ atchya!