Friday, September 7

Clubbed to death

It's a well-known fact that many of the bands featured on The New Thing formed at or around Junk, a club held in the basement of the Royal Hotel, Southend-on-Sea. Junk, founded in 2002, saw many performances from Southend bands like These New Puritans, Wretched Replica, Theoretical Girl and of course The Horrors, and attracted groups from throughout the south-east of England, including The Violets, Xerox Teens, and Neils Children. Its renowned DJ sets featured some of the most eclectic playlists of the time: synthpop and psychedelia, garage and goth.

The growing movement naturally attracted the attention of the media and the music industry, but the claws of commercialism kept away. Some say that the industry was intimidated by the huge kaleidoscope of styles. However, when NME put The Horrors on its front cover in August 2006, the beginning of the end was signalled for Junk: unwilling to 'become a target for the commercial bomber', Junk held its last night in early September last year.

So, with the main gathering for the followers of the movement dead, what now? Where can you get your kicks of an evening? Well, we at The New Thing will now very kindly list a few club nights for your perusal and pleasure.
The Experimental Circle Club
Effectively the successor to Junk, the Experimental Circle Club features a number of ex-Junk DJs and started in Cobham Lodge Hotel, Westcliff-on-Sea. It has also taken place in Southend's Royal Hotel basement, and Madrid (with the Junkettes) and will soon run its first night in London. As well as DJ sets, it's seen live performances, film and projection screenings, and even the odd poetry reading - the emphasis is on experimentation and spontaneity, with bands presenting new material or side projects. It claims to 'put on a night only if there is something to say', so happenings (experiments) are sporadical - if you wish to attend you are encouraged to 'keep your earballs open'.
Experimental Circle Club MySpace

The Only Fun In Town
This night is curated by Neils Children and takes place in their home town of Cheshunt. The club is named after a song by Josef K and specialises in post-punk and new wave. It was opened on August 11th with performances by Plastic Passion and Electricity In Our Homes, and now runs sporadically, with the next night on 22nd September. Members of Neils Children man the decks, with contributions from guest DJs such as Rhys Webb.

Eyes Wide Open Club
EWO is a happening at the Glasgow Barfly on the first Friday of every month. Their staple era is the swingin' 60s - garage, psychedelia, freakbeat, and rock 'n' roll. Live bands past and future include Neils Children and Boys of Brazil, as well as more traditional indie fare like The Mystery Jets and Good Shoes.
Eyes Wide Open MySpace

Dice Club
Inspired by the novel The Dice Man, chance is the game at the Shoreditch-based Dice Club: your entry fee is determined by dice at the door, and you use the same dice to make decisions throughout the evening. Tracks are also chosen by the DJ at the roll of a dice, and include a good selection of post-punk, surf, garage, and noise rock, as well as a large number of tracks from modern New Thing bands. Upcoming live acts include The Violets playing with The Guillotines and Ipso Facto, and Boys of Brazil have appeared in the past.
Obviously we can't list all the decent clubs, and most of the above are in and around London. If you live somewhere else and know a club night that plays our kind of stuff, or if you run a club and want some promotion gratis, you might want to leave us a comment and recommend yourselves. Until then, have a good one.

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