Abigail Ridehalgh talks us through York’s Revolutionary Freaked Out Fuzz Club.
1. When and why did you set up the club?
We set up the club in April 2005, we wanted a night to go to with good music and good bands. We wanted to create a night that was more than just a gig – we wanted to create whole ‘underground happening’ (it takes place in a basement!). We have Djs, bands, 60s projections, play 60s B-movies and give away free sweets. What more could you want? The Fuzz Club proved so popular that we also run ‘Fuzz at Dusk’ on the first Friday of each month at Dusk Bar. This night is Djs and dancing only.
2. Who are you DJs? Do you have guest DJs coming in too? If so, anyone we might know?
We have our resident Djs – Paul Fuzz, Abigail Ridehalgh and Andy Gaines. We do tend to hog the music, but occasionally let some guests play like Rory Frazer-Kelly, David Steel and Yvette Millington.
3. What kind of musical territory do you cover?
The music is quite broad ranging. We range from Early 60s R&B, rockabilly, surf instrumentals, 60s rock, Psych, Garage, boogaloo, hammond, northern soul, mod, 60s French and German europop, soul jazz…and much much more!
4. Give us an idea of a few tracks you might hear if you dropped in?
Recalling some of our last nights, the tracks have included…
some Etta James (good Rockin Daddy, Tell Mama etc), Freddy King -Taking Care of Business,Dave Bartholomew – The Monkey, Wade Femmons – Jeanette, Pearl Woods – Sippin Sorrow, The Hip – Liz Brady, Loves gone bad – the Underdogs, Love loves to love love – Lulu, Shake – Shadows of the Knight, Goo Goo Barabajal – Donovan and many many more!
Some of Paul’s:
Dale Warren & WattStax ’72 Orchestra: Salvation Symphony,The Dramatics: The Devil Is Dope, Baby Huey & The Babysitters: Hard Times, The Mighty Hannibal: The Truth Shall Set You Free, David Axlerod: Holy Confessional, Black Sabbath: The Wizard, Aphrodite’s Child: The Four Horsemen, Muddy Waters: Mannish Boy,Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band: Electricity, Tangerine Dream: Phaedra, Howlin’ Wolf: Smokestack Lightnin’, The Kingsmen: Louie Louie and some spoken word!
From Andy you may get:
Captain Beefheart, The Rolling Stones, Early Led Zep and whatever he is in the mood for!
5. What do you think you offer that other clubs might not?
We are the only night in York that offers a truly ‘happening’ night. We create a whole atmosphere and vibe. Bands travel from around the country to play, so the crowd gets to see the best in Mod, Psych, Garage, rockabilly and mod/indie current music. We don’t bill ourselves as a ‘mod’ night, nor always play from 45s, but we make sure that everyone has a great night and is up and dancing. We have been billed as the ‘Guardian Guide’ club of the week and tagged ‘the grooviest night in the city’! Fuzz at Dusk is totally free and the crowd are fantastic!
6. Your current venue – how long and have you been there and how does it work for the club?
We are at the Basement in ‘City Screen’, Coney Street York. It is a central venue and easy to find. The Basement only holds around 100 people, so there is an intimate atmosphere. They are relaxed and let us decorate the place with 60s lights and hangings. Fuzz at Dusk takes place upstairs in Dusk bar and attracts lots and lots of people throughout the night (especially from 10.30pm onwards when the dance floor is never free!)
7. And how many people do you tend to attract for each night? Do you think anything might put people off coming along?
There are generally 50 – 100 people in the club. It depends on what bands may be playing. Some gigs have been sell outs like when we have on ‘The Cubical’, ‘Elephants on Acids’, ‘Empress of Furs’ etc.
8. What’s your view on the current state of mod/soul nights?
Variety is the spice of life!
9. What’s the best and worst thing that’s happened with the club?
The best thing that has happened to the club includes being featured in the Guardian’s gig guide as ‘club of the week’, getting great bands like ‘Empress of Furs’, ‘The See See’, ‘The Evil Tones’ and ‘The Cubical’. The worst thing is that York floods, and as ‘The Basement’ is a bar on the river, the venue has flooded before – no nights have been cancelled…but there has been a distinctive smell!
10. Finally, we need the lowdown on the club – listing details, how often, how to get in touch, that kind of thing.
The main club night takes place the last Saturday of every month – 8pm – 1am, The Basement Bar, City Screen, Coney Street, York. It features live bands and DJs. Door tax just £4 in advance or £5 on the door. Upcoming bands are on the club’s myspace. We can also be found on facebook. The ‘Fuzz at Dusk’ takes place every first Friday of the month at Dusk Bar, New Street, York. This night just includes DJs and dancing and it totally free! That is on from 8pm – 2am (sometimes 3am!)