8 October 2009

Rolling Boil

Fruity Antics Third Birthday - Club Loco, Bristol. Saturday 12th June.

The old saying around Westminster, the glorious home of the world's oldest parliamentary democracy, is that 'a week is a long time in politics'. Wouldn't you just know it? Ask Jonathan Aitkin, the embodiment of the great and privileged, the product of Eton and Oxford, hilariously languishing in one of the fullest jail systems in the whole of Europe. 'Dear mummsy, Really enjoying being back at a public school dorm'. God, his wrist must smart. 60,000 prisoners and counting. Quick. Hide your spliff, don't forget to vote and for fucks sake don't get caught. Cheap sexual thrills in the park cottage from bisexual MP's caught on News of the World cameras in bushes with his hands down someone's trousers. Ron Brown you are so seedy; are you sure you're not a clubber?

But something a little different is said in the house of deep UK, the oldest house scene in Europe: 'Three years is a fuck of a long time in clubland'. While the politicians play with their lives or dump their wives and the Albanians and the KLA kill us a few Serbs we just get on down and party.

With Emily's Steve's Dad's brand new top of the range Escort filled with premium unleaded the tVC posse drove the 200 odd miles right across Britain, east to west, down to the sunset and home to the sunrise. Bristol; that cool cluck of a city. That skanked up skunked out Mecca of the dope. The perfectly fitted, closely tailored home to the most funked up, souled out, grooviest house music on the planet. Welcome to the world of deep house, Fruity Antics style.'Aaargh! This guest list's getting out of hand', says Tara on the door, juggling a sheet of paper with a long list of names on it. She's trying to make this queue just a little bit smaller. We're on the blag too. As are the four people from Nottingham in front of us. They cut a deal then it's our turn. 'Hi Tara'.'Hi'.'There's four of us''Aaargh! This guest list is getting out of hand'.We cut a deal. Pay one, £8, three 'on the guest list'. It takes five minutes. The queue behind us lengthens.Heading through the crowd towards the bar, over the top of the club clatter and chat and music we hear behind us. Tara. 'Aargh! This guest list is really getting out of hand now'. Fade to house.

500 clued up clubbers, and us, were here to celebrate Fruity Antics third birthday, get mashed, have a dance, network, and give Iain 'Lazy' Smith, Bazil, Tara, Chris and Dave a great big hug and a hearty slap on the back. Nice one fella.
500 serious housebeatzheads, and us, rocked in the upstairs room. Spanking new rig, turned right on, tuned right in. No, really!

John Stapleton from the mighty Dope on Plastic, chuckling away behind the decks. Laying out with slabs of beatific beats sinuously layered with generous portions of double-cream breaks. Chris Cozy and Dave Duvet from the Groove police wrap around John like two slices of fresh baked wholemeal bread. Good to see Dave back from Australia and The Groovers once again giving it to us in that old comfy style.

Warming up downstairs for Digs and Woosh were first Bazil (who's just got a distribution deal for his 'Bazil Beats' hip-hop tracks) and then Iain 'Lazy' Smith, our favourite baldy; 'I just gave it a close shave this morning', he says rubbing his head ever so sexily. These boys gently prodded the crowd with an increasingly escalating layered manifesto designed with only one thing in mind; a full dancefloor, bubbling away, the dancers pulling maybe a little too hard on the reins but still holding back, just. They are waiting to go. Step up Digs and Woosh who put on the first of many records that we're all hearing for the first time and watch them go. Rick and Pete really can rock a dancefloor but it's not in the way you would think. This floor rocks when the tunes get mellower, when the vibe is jazzed out or a vocal kicks in. They just love that DiY vibe. They just love to gently boil. A rolling boil.

Three years is a long time in clubland. It's remembering what you did, when and with whom that's the hard part. No it's not to do with memory loss; it's to do with the ephemeral nature of club culture. We need anchors, and club nights do this job just right. All I know is that I've been partying with this ex-Lazy House Crew DJ's for three whole years. Who gives a flying that the toilets are, well, toilet and the beer's expensive. What club isn't? What matters is that deep house has had a presence in the Bristol area, a home, for so long. It has put down roots and has a bit of respect down here. It's a fun night out that the clubbers take seriously. We need these anchors on the scene.

There is a good turnout tonight. People over from London, down from Nottingham. From Kent. Up from Exeter, down from Oxford. All over. We get together at good parties we do don't you know.

Outside, when it's over, in the blink of an eye, everyone's vibing high spirits. What a bloody good night. We have a Volvo conversation with Lee, DiY's driver for the night. 'Yeah man, these 240's got a big two litre engine'.'So's our 340'.'Yeah, no one notices them'.'They look so low profile'.'Yeah, and they're fast'.'Really fast'.'Cover long distances real easy'.'Yeah, real easy'.We nod; synchronised.

May all your cars be Volvo's and may all your antics be fruity.