Davie Hudson talks us through the Basics R&B club in Edinburgh.
1. When and why did you set up the club?
We started Basics in June 2005 after a discussion regarding the lack of R&B at Northern Soul do’s and the fact that Mod do’s were playing too much Northern. We felt that there was a gap for a night that played mostly R&B coupled with quality Northern and a touch of Ska.
2. Who are you DJs? Do you have guest DJs coming in too? If so, anyone we might know?
The resident DJs are Dundee Davie Hudson and Kevin Conn and over the years we have run the list of guests are like a Who’s Who of R&B/Soul DJ’s including Mark Stewart, Jodie Lamb, Neil Henderson, Mik Parry , Mikey Collins, Chris Morgan, Hard as Nails, Jock O’Connor to name a few.
3. What kind of musical territory do you cover?
In the most part we cover ’57 – ’63. It’s what we would see as the Golden Age of Uptempo R&B and Gritty early soul.
4. Give us an idea of a few tracks you might hear if you dropped in?
From myself (Dundee Davie) you’ll hear uptempo and Rockin’ R&B from the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Dolores Ware and Johnny Watson.
From Kevin you will hear quality tunes like Curtis Lee, Frank Dell and Ruby Winters.
The way we play tunes, it’s more the stuff you DIDN’T expect to hear that we enjoy the most because we don’t do the stereotypical ‘chasing the biggies’ approach…we will only EVER play quality regardless of price and rarity.
5. What do you think you offer that other clubs might not?
We offer a bigger range of R&B than you’ll hear at either a Northern Soul do or a traditional mod night and the mix of people we get is unique and they mix effortlessly creating a great atmosphere.
6. Your current venue – how long and have you been there and how does it work for the club?
We moved into Henry’s Cellar Bar 3 years ago and to be honest it’s perfect for us. The most annoying thing about small promotions is the promoters sitting at a table with a little cash box and then the sound quality being poor. At Basics we have a permanent door person and a full time sound engineer meaning the sound is always clear and, we, as promoters are able to mingle and speak to people without worrying about the door.
7. And how many people do you tend to attract for each night? Do you think anything might put people off coming along?
We get anything between 75-100 in a venue that holds maybe 120. If anything would put people off it would be ignorance of what we play, in that Soul people believe R&B do’s play ‘chain gang’ music all night whereas they don’t know about the amount of Soul numbers we will play in an evening.
8. What’s your view on the current state of mod/soul nights?
To be honest a little apathy in that very few people are doing anything different. The ‘top’ DJs booked to play at these events all want the same rarities so you find that DJ ‘x’ is playing his/her latest biggie and it the same biggie you heard DJ ‘y’ playing the week before.
I always credited the R&B / Mod scene with having more integrity than the Northern Scene but it seems that both scenes are starting to run parallel with Mod DJs buying big money Northern tunes…it won’t end well.
9. What’s the best and worst thing that’s happened with the club?
The best thing was the move to Henry’s and I wish we’d have done it earlier – it took the club to a whole new level.
The worst is a toughie. Any night we don’t get good numbers we kinda take it personally because of the effort and the fact we care about what we do.
10. Finally, we need the lowdown on the club – listing details, how often, how to get in touch, that kind of thing.
The address of the club is Henry’s Cellar Bar, Morrison St, Edinburgh.
We run the club on the 3rd Saturday of a 5 Saturday month so the dates are 3rd Saturday in May, July and October.
We have both a MySpace page and a facebook page and anyone is welcome to contact me thru them. Or if hotel details or anything regarding travelling is required, they can contact me at Davie.firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help in any way I can.