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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

How Can You Not Dance?

(photo by Eddy Taatgen)

I find it quite funny that in England (not really sure about the rest of the UK) that bars/venues that have live music are sometimes in a spot of difficulty when it comes to Sunday. 

Through Monday to Saturday they can have every kind of dancing you want (dependant of course on the type of band that is playing) but because of their License from the authorities they are able to serve Alcohol and have live music but are not allowed to have people dancing!

I actually thought that this law was over and done with until I saw a recent post from one of my friends who had visited Hull last weekend and the above picture was taken!

I can actually remember that way back at the tail end of the 70's that a venue I used to frequent in Camden Town called the Music Machine (now called KoKo and pictured above) had this same issue of restriction.
As you can see from the above flyer they were licensed Monday to Saturday and rarely did they have Sunday shows. One which I went to was a benefit show by the UK Subs in September 1979.

The bouncers at the Music Machine were mean sons of guns. Most of them wore a leather glove on one hand that had sand in it so if they hit you for any reason it actually felt a lot harder than a normal punch! And that Sunday night at the Music Machine they were out in force and ready to make sure that their restriction on the "no dancing" rule was upheld.

It's a bit tricky though having a show by a punk band and then have everybody stand still whilst the band is playing (a cue for a musical moment: The Table - 'Do the Standing Still'!)! And the minute anyone begun to dance and jump around the bouncers would swarm the dance floor and drag the poor soul outside and on the way in the corridors leading to the exit the poor dancing victim would have a few punches land on various parts of his or hers body (they had no qualms about hitting girls) before being forceably ejected!

A few people had already been tossed out by the time the UK Subs hit the stage as the punks had shown their enthusiasm for the support bands The Urge, and Lost Property (aka 4th Reich and Manufactured Romance). 

From the opening bars of C.I.D (footage from Lyceum show in 1979). the crowd erupted into what we now term as a mosh pit (it didn't have a fancy name back then!). There was pogoing, slamming, and all manner of movement. I mean, how could you not dance? 

A couple of songs into the set the bouncers set about enforcing the rule of law that there would be no dancing and I don't recall how many got thrown out but by the end of the UK Subs set there was not a lot of folks left! The carnage on the dance floor was evident once the band departed the stage and the house lights came up. There was blood on the dance floor, torn clothes, broken heels and teeth!

Despite all the violence it was a great show and I'm sure the Senior Citzens of Camden appreciated the funds that came their way as a result, even if it was blood money!

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