7th Heaven Thursday 31 August
Rogue Sound System
Those hootin’, ‘tootin’ CJA outlaws, the Rogue crew sidle into town for a mass takeover of our deep house consciousness. Conrad, Sue, Quinny and Dicko fresh from their Lincoln and Scunthorpe boltholes, amble rather than sidle down the motorway in their Rogue-mobile. First things first and Mark sees our very own tape distributor extraordinaire, Oochie ma Loochie off on a minor mission out into deepest Kent, to sort out some essential club accessories, very suitable to the ‘90’s afterhours experience. Meanwhile the rest kick off. The tape’s recording, the first of many beers got in (jeez-us, the price of beer in clubs? How is any self-respecting heed the baal expected to achieve stumbling mode al dente ay ess ay pee when it costs an arm, leg, foot and another limb just to get the first 10 pints down the old neck. I don’t know.) As Old Scouse git, Steve-E-See, “I’m off to Portugal”, “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, Now Ey”, “I’ve stopped smoking”, 40-a-day (and that’s just pints) would say later “Ey, isn’t it funny? How DiY have their own deep house sound? The Lazies play deep house as well, but have a different sound? Like? Ey? Ey? We have our own sound, which is totally different from the Rogues sound. Wierd? Ey? Ey? Ey? Ey? Ey?” He elbows everyone around in the ribs. “It’s true. Isn’t it?” “Eye, it is” we all agree. Stretching the effing house envelope. The deep down sounds of Whitstable Town keep us movin’ right around.
As the 7th Heaven participants part pant in a cipient like manner, we all settle into the distinctive Rogue groove. All groovy bass lines, funky rhythms, solid drum patterns and more than a hint of spicy breakdowns. The cruet set of vocals and pianos used sparingly and sprinkled at random. Mark Dixon and Quinny do the laid back business in an alert kinda way. The Heave-oners, cossetted as always, by the swingeing tVC crew, love it. It’s not a hands in the air kinda night (thank fuck) but the dancefloor remains solidly packed, pumping and grooving and dancing and prancing, and yet another capacity crowd gets the house club they so richly deserve. Friendly, loving, huggy, talky. sitty, snoggy, drippy, drinky, druggy, dopey, shiny. Power.
Torchy, nee Swishy, ducks out on the TV screens coz his old chum (and ours) James (strange combination of drunken, druggy, tattooed, dreadlocked, traveller type with a house and job) was off to the Far East for some high jinxed travelling shenanigans with the natives. He had to be seen off in style, so as Eyesaw was ringing in “sick” at approx 10am Thursday morning, James was already beginning the celebrations. “We may come down to the Club later”, he says. No chance.
Mag Maurice and Able Aaron provide a snot on sound, bwoy. As usual. Later Maurice flips out backstage, DJ booth (cum cloakroom) style; big time. Out on the floor a delicate breakdown introduces itself to the pee pees with a quaint “mmMMMMwoohhh”, looping in on itself and getting progressively louder. WHAT!! Feedback on a tVC night? Fark orf!! But it is! Horrors. We rush to the “rack”. Someone has turned it up. Maurice is, understandably, ripping into anyone who is near, especially Conrad, who just so happens to be the Rogue’s sound man. It’s not a pretty sight and we’re all used to Maurice’s, er, temper. “Who’s had their hands all over my knob? It’s very sensitive!”. I reassure the Rogue crew. Mark, high on, er, tonights festivities, counter rips into Maurice. Bad move. If there’s one thing Maurice is extremely protective about (maybe even more than his 3 daughters virtue) it’s his “living”. Or “rig” as we call it. It’s hilarious watching Dicko and Maurice slug and counter slug for a good minute. It’s all we can do to remain smirkless.
Anyway it all ends soon enough and life carries on. The Rogues are definitely a little more subdued and remain so for the rest of the night. But the crowd clap and cheer as they end their set. You should hear the fucking tapes. Blinding. Approach Oochie for a copy. They’re the dogs bollocks. And a guy comes up to us and says “Did you see me last week?” (at the Warren). Why, we ask? “I was at the party. I took all my clothes off.” “Oh! It was you! Why?”. “I don’t know”. “I put them back on quite quickly again though, not like that other bloke, did you see him?”
Back at HQ for a “quiet smoke”. Fuck me. Despite fielding enquiries in the club along the nature of “Party back at yours?” with an emphatic “NO” and then walking off shaking my head the flat is still fucking packed with crew, guests and assorted liggers supping tea, smoking tabs, talking loud and generally settling down for an all-night sesh. My head-ache worsens. The Rogue crew yawn. We run out of milk. All I can think about is how I’ve got another 2 all-nighters to get through, on the trot. The Rogues leave. Nick goes to work, wide-eyed. I go to bed. Half an hour later the phone rings. The Rogues have run out of petrol 12 miles up the road. Nick has the car in Canterbury, so I can’t even take them some petrol out. How useless can one feel? They manage to get the AA out, but ironically Sue Rogue left her purse at HQ with, you guessed it, the AA card in. Life at the top, eh? Ey? Ey? Ey? Ey? Ey?