Sunday, 13 January 2008


Haven't you wanted or even craved an r&b night that plays sentimental glories like I Just Called To Say I Love You?

No? Well, then you just might really fall in love with Basics, a no-messin’-around club night that prides itself on its endearing nostalgia and scrupulous originality. With their golden years ranging from 1957 and 1963, Basics is outfitted with an Elvis microphone, an immense collection of old 45 singles and a sentiment that the show must be as authentic as possible."People say, ‘That's old music’,” resident Davie Hudson explains. “They say, ‘That's what your mum and dad would listen to'. No it's not. Playing this kind of stuff in 1960s America would have you hung up by a tree." The sound of Basics is a very danceable range of r&b, soul, and bluebeat with infusions of ska and Jamaican r&b. But it's not all the same tired tunes everyone has heard before. "We've taken it back to, not the songs we would have listened to in the early sixties, but the style we would have listened to," resident Hudson contends.

"We don't play what they call oldies as such, but a lot of the records we're playing, I've played them for the first time ever. Some are studio acetates that were cut in the studio with the artist that never actually got out on vinyl, and it's never been heard before until I've played it in Basics." What's more inspiring to Basics' devotees is that the DJs use not only just vinyl. It has to be the original vinyl. No reissues. No CDs. Like the never-played-before single If You Don't Come by Patience Valentine, a 25 pence B.B King find that everyone alleges is "really special" or Big Mama Thornton's Hound Dog that was recorded three years before Elvis even heard it.

Hudson isn't the only man on board that is so sweet on his sounds. "We do bring in the best DJs the world has to offer for what we play. And if that means flying them in from Barcelona or New York, we have no problem doing that." The next Basics will feature Mikey Collins from Glasgow's Friday Street, Birmingham's Jodi Lamb and Neil Henderson from Manchester. Co-resident, Kev Conn will also take on the decks along with Hudson, who promises to be clad as a 1940s gangster: "We believe the DJ should be part of the show."

They're also taking the club away from its original venue, despite the allure of the Spider's Web's ancient decor that resonates the heart of what they represent. In search of later curfews and slightly 'cleaner' toilets, Basics' new home is Henry's Cellar Bar. The club makes its debut in the cellar this month and will return every three months in hopes that folks will make an event out of it. If the festive season allows them the proper license, it will be an r&b all-nighter on August 18th. Just don’t expect any sad-bastard, tacky crap.

As published in The Skinny

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