CHEWING GUM WEEKENDER MEXICO CITY

THIS IS THE MEX-MODERN WORLD PT 3

To the second night of ‘The Chewing Gum Weekender’ This was going to be DJs only and I was Top of theBill (now I do have a bit of an Ego but I’m not a megalomaniac and believe me I was flattered,who wouldn’t be, but also embarrassed ! )

The Venue was a trendy new Bar called ‘Gran Angular’ (décor not unlike The Hacienda,Manchester) in The Centro Historica….right smack in the middle of the Oldest part of Mexico City (on a little side-street to be exact, but not far from the Zocala or main square , if you ever get a chance treat yourself and check out this area !!!!!!!! you’ll fall in love with it !!!) Anyway we were told it was dead easy to find but could we find it ! well eventually we did and yes it is fairly central but tucked away and being the rainy season there were no chairs and tables outside like the photos we’d seen and driving past the end of street after street they all looked pretty much the same but once we’d located it and necked our first beer the stress magically disappeared (it was even better after the second !!!!!!!!)

The inside of the Venue as I’ve said was like the old ‘Hac’ very Spartan ! I believe it’s called ‘Industrial Chic’ ? The seats were mini-metal waste-bins thankfully without the handles …instead we had some cushions to sit on! Loads of trendy spherical lights hanging down at different lengths, minimal overall feel but cool ! (God can’t believe I just said COOL !!!! Aggghhhh!!!)

We arrived just before six as that’s when it was billed to start, already a few Mex-Mods milling around ….Dante busy setting up Decks (proper jobs too) but no Mixer !
Cut to two hours and many beers later (not complaining you understand) and two Mixers arrive (like Bloody GM transport I thought to myself). Once set up the Sound-System was outstanding and would put many others I’ve encountered to shame ! I had suggested at one point that we could sing if a Mixer didn’t materialise they looked very confused at this proposal (I’m glad on this occasion that they hadn’t a clue what I was jabbering on about..it was ‘The Tequila talking’)

The first DJ on was Brendan (ex Chicago now domicile in Mexico City) and what a breath of fresh-air…mostly playing from LPs …but a mix of classic Soul (Al Green –James Brown) plus Jazz & Latin Beats which would have Rocked The Ritz many years back. Loads I didn’t know much of it in Spanish. I didn’t know what to expect coming out here (though I’d checked out some of the Mod/Skin Sites and Foto-logs in Mexico and South America so I’d done a bit of Homework…it always pays wherever your going !) I have to say…one set in and I was impressed and filled with a warm fuzzy feeling (or was that The Tequila) In short I felt right at home! Top stuff from Brendan and a Nice Bloke to boot, although even he had trouble understanding me I blame the heat !!!!!! And My Parents (just kidding Folks).

Next up ‘Dante (Soulcialista) ‘ only 17 and wise beyond his years. He’s got an incredible feel for the music and get this….he may be one of the youngest but his knowledge and demeanour has gained him the respect normally reserved for an Elder Statesman of any Political or Social scene…tell ya what the future is secure with these Guys N Girls, as we know…once this Music gets ya there’s no escape and no going back !!!

Dante has already made two successful trips to the USA and apart from amassing a fine collection himself he is also rapidly becoming the main supply-route of sounds into the Mex-Mod-Northern Scene! He played a solid set loads of Detroit including ‘What Can I Do’ Lorraine Chandler..
He’s on Soul-Source so drop him a line !!

The place was packed ,somewhere between 150 to 200 , people had travelled from all over South America. It’s a fledgling scene but fiercely enthusiastic and their thirst for knowledge is insatiable, matched only by their attention to detail !

The Bar-Owner (Good Bloke I must say) decided that we couldn’t go on until three that night which was slightly disappointing but also a relief the way the booze was going down (too easily!!!) . So instead of me going on 12.30 – 3 am
I hit the decks at 11 pm (not literally) and opened with ‘Major Lance’ ..’The Last Of The Red Hot Lovers’ (current spin for me in Blighty) I followed it with a string of current plays ( I’ll include playlists at end) just to test the waters but I knew if it wasn’t happening I’d have to respect the Floor.

I really wasn’t expecting such a fantastic response..the floor was packed from the word go (no exaggeration) for the two hours plus I was on. I did leaven the mix with some R&B (which is Soul in my book !) and SKA which was in the play-boxes (having done my homework !!!) Even ‘Skinhead-Moonstomp’ & ‘The Specials’ !

The response was humbling, and believe me they’re no fools ! The Dancing was pretty damn good too especially Moises & Lizzet who aswell as being romantically entwined also share a love for all things ‘Northern’ even sporting ‘Keep The Faith’ Tatoos and, high-kicks and back-drops ( I kid you not) Brilliant people One and All !

I’ll never forget this night it was worth a lifetime of love for this thing called SOUL to be able to pass my feelings and thoughts on through what can only be described as a potted History of the UK Scene (My Set that is ! You’ll see) .

I hope that doesn’t sound Naff but I’d deliberately taken a wide selection of sounds form different Eras & Clubs. As I’ve said although I’d done some homework I still wasn’t sure what the reaction would be yet after the first track I thought ‘go for it Kid’ loosen up and enjoy it so I was pulling 45s out from everywhere so any pre-conceived game plan was straight out the window. When they recognised a classic tune like Dena Barnes or Tommy Neal ( a favourite down Mexico Way) they whooped and hollered it was wonderful yet bizarre. Also had frantic running to look at the record then back on the floor I’m not saying this for comic-effect they really are sorted but so enthusiastic it was an absolute joy to be amongst them and to now count them all as friends. Lots of Cheering at the end , lots of pictures lots of genuine affection from both sides and lots of lingering like none of us wanted to leave (still think we should have locked the owner in a cupboard and carried on ) but there was to be another Mod/Ska Weekender the following weekend in Puebla (South Mexico) called ‘Revival Times’ Sergio the main man at twenty five years old (they’re all so young and sorted , entrepreneurs, Ace Faces call em what you will STARS I call’em) Anyway we were invited to the following weekend with the veiled suggestion of ‘bring some tunes’ like I need asking twice !!!

PLAY-LIST

MAJOR LANCE ‘LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS’ PLAYBOY
CLYDE BROWN ‘CRYING MAN’ ATLANTIC
JASON STEEL ‘YOUR BREAKING MY HEART’ M&S
LARRY DAVIS ‘THE MAGIC IS GONE’ DECCA
CHUCK SIBIT ‘HEY GIRL’ ULTRA-CLASS
REGGIE SOUL ‘I FEEL SO BAD’ RED BALLOON
TRADITIONS ‘MY LIFE WITH YOU’ BARCLAY
PROPHETS ‘SUSPICION’ ADVANCE
FRANKIE & THE CLASSICALS ‘WHAT SHALL I DO’ CALLA
MOSES SMITH ‘THE GIRL ACROSS THE STREET’ DIONN
EPITOME OF SOUND ‘YOU DON’T LOVE ME’ SANDBAG
LOU JOHNSON ‘UNSATISFIED ‘BIG TOP
SAPPHIRES ‘GOTTA HAVE YOUR LOVE’ UK PROBE
DETROIT SPINNERS ‘I’LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU’ UK TM
DOBIE GRAY ‘OUT ON THE FLOOR’ CHARGER
VOLCANOES ‘STORM WARNING’ ARCTIC
CHUCK JACKSON ‘HAND IT OVER’ WAND
AMERICAN POETS ‘SHE BLEW A GOOD THING’ UK LONDON
THE SHOWMEN ‘THE WRONG GIRL’ UK LONDON
REX GARVIN ‘SOCK IT TO EM JB’ UK ATLANTIC
LITTLE HANK ‘MISTER BANG BANG MAN’ MONUMENT
LLOYD ALEXANDER REAL ESTATE ‘WHATCHA GONNA DO’ UK PRESIDENT
EARL VAN DYKE ‘6 X 6’ UK TM
TOMMY NEAL ‘GOING TO A HAPPENING’ UK VOCALION
DARRELL BANKS ‘OPEN THE DOOR TO YOUR HEART’ REVILLOT
DENA BARNES ‘IF YOU EVER WALKED OUT OF MY LIFE’ INFERNO DEMO
DONNIE ELBERT ‘ALONG CAME PRIDE’ UK CBS
JOE SIMON ‘I GOTTA WHOLE LOTTA LOVIN’ SOUND STAGE 7
JIMMY ROBBINS ‘ I CAN’T PLEASE YOU’ JERHART
LATTIMORE BROWN ‘SO SAYS MY HEART’ SOUND STAGE 7
DEE DEE SHARPE ‘WHAT KIND OF LADY’ GAMBLE
ROLAND ALPHONSE ‘PHOENIX CITY’ DOCTOR BIRD UK
SPECIALS AKA ‘DO NOTHING’ 2-TONE UK
LAUREL AITKEN ‘ BABY I NEED YOU LOVING’ NEW BEAT
ALTON ELLIS ‘SHO BE DO BE DO I LOVE YOU’ A&M UK
JOYCE JONES ‘HELP ME MAKE UP MY MIND’ V-EIGHT
CHANNELS ‘YOU CAN COUNT ON ME’ GROOVE
FURYS ‘DREAM’ LIBERTY
MARVIN GAYE ‘STUBBORN KIND OF FELLOW’ TAMLA

PART 4 ‘REVIVAL TIMES IN PUEBLA – SKA & B PHILOSOPHY’