Monday, August 17, 2009


Kings X: London's scab'n'matter-encrusted heart. Where Northern navvies once killed their Friday evenings in The Dolphin, waving pay packets at the bar staff, waiting for the 7pm off-peak portcullis to rise, before charging down to St Pancras Station, stomping emaciated gluesniffers and dithering pensioners in their wake. Black Kings X: home to The Bell, a nefarious haunt for good-time grannies, cobweb-elbowed cow-punchers and Spivs of the New Church. St Pancras, the boy martyr who had his bonce separated from his neck at the tender age of 14, for refusing to kowtow to a bunch of Roman gods. Venus Schmeenus! St Pancras guards believers against perjury and falsehood - an apt patron for BTi Blog.

The Bell is now The Big Chill House. They've cleaned it up a bit, but the ghosts of junkies still prowl the bogs.

So anyway...I went to this clash, John Eden vs Droid. Yeah, I know - I'm a sucker for punishment! I couldn't spot anyone I recognised, at first. Well, I spotted fellow WOOFAH scribe Dan Hancox - but hanging out with an arsenal fan who writes for New Statesman isn't my idea of 'happy hour'. So I decided to skulk near the entrance and chat to the barmaids instead.

"You DJing?" one of the harpies winked at me, flexing her tattooed bicep (the 'Cat In The Hat' shooting up, since you wondered) as she pumped out a foaming pint of Amstel's foulest PISS.

"You joking?" I laughed. "What, with these two clowns? God, no - I'm a hack."

"Hack this, shaggy," she replied, flashing me her thong. She had a pack of B&H tucked into the left 'side-string'. I once read a doctor's report, strongly advising against the wearing of thongs. His argument was that the 'back-string' bit of this inexplicably 'sexy' garment provides a virtual abseiling kit for arse germs. These germs speed down the string and jump off at the 'front end', where they cause all sorts of infection, most commonly thrush. This is something to bear in mind next time you hear Sisqo's abysmal novelty hit Thong Song. But I took a cigarette off her anyway and gave her my mobile number - minus the last digit. "If you want to hook up with'll have to work for it!" I smirked, blatantly nicking a line from an episode of The Sopranos.

Four days later, she still hasn't called. Yeah, reader - I know what you're thinking - me too. She's obviously working from '9' downwards.

The flats of Midhope Street, spider plants hanging above gently rusting pushbikes, £28 a week; bedsit sprawls where leading exponents of 'white power rock'n'roll' once sat, in rooms devoid of daylight - 40w cones of light framing portraits of Adolf - scribbling lyrics onto the backs of dismembered KFC party buckets; British Library archives nestling in bandit country...

Anyway, I went into the DJ / dancing section of the pub. THE BELL, damn you - Big Chill House my eye. Incidentally, did you know that legendary chill-out jazzanova crooner VIKTER DUPLAIX reads this blog? No word of a lie. It's one of his favourites - he'll often whip out his BlackBerry and scan a bit of BTi on his way to a date. Helps to put "lead in his pencil", apparently. Anyway.....anyway....I walked towards the back of the pub. Something was clearly wrong. The clash was meant to start at 8pm. It was 8.20pm - and Droid was on the decks. Apparently, John Eden had 'already played'.

I met up with fellow WOOFAH scribe Matt B, who also runs 'IDLE THOUGHTS' Blog, and who, I'm pleased to say, doesn't support arsenal. After chatting about the state of the British education system and laughing about obsessive record collectors, I asked him why John Eden was nowhere to be seen. I was casually informed that Eden was hiding beneath the very table we were plonked down at.

As if on cue, Eden emerged, crawling between our legs like a giant puppy. "What the fuck are you doing here?" I asked, incredulous. "Droid's beating you at the clash - go and man the decks, immediately!"

"Clash?" Eden growled hoarsely. "'ve got the wrong...I mean...Droid...from Ireland...he had a very long, tiring journey...coping with the big city...very traumatic...", he burbled. "So...yes, I'm going to let Droid win...I could beat him easily, of course...but he's our...our...our guest...I'll let him was never meant to be a clash anyway..."

"Bullshit!" I roared. "Stop being a wuss and get back up there. He's only got a 25-minute lead on you."

"You *!!@!" Eden screamed, bursting into tears. "There never was a clash! You're just fishing for any excuse to libel me in some pathetic clash report!"

"I can't believe you've buckled under already!" I snarled. "'Letting Droid win'?? What a crock of horseshit! Get up there and slam him back with something!"

"I...I CAN'T," Eden wept, shaking like a lone beanpole in the wind, skewered into the soil of the ALLOTMENT OF WRETCHEDNESS. "I...I'm FRIT," he whined. "The decks...I fear them!" And, that said, he ran into the toilet, issuing an ear-piercing, chilling 'WAAAHHHHH!!!". It sounded like a gang of demented 3-year old girls, joyriding an SPG van. If they'd just been knocked off their tricycles, moments before. On crack.



"I'll give you 6-1 on Eden," the bastard replies, after minutes of pointless deliberation.

I nod, draw a brown envelope from my pocket. Three hundred smackers. CASH. "Confident?" the greasy shithawk smirks.

"He'll do it," I shrug.

"They said that before," the chip-munching psychopath belches, scratching the festering scabs dotted around his chelsea smile. "Reckon he's losing 'is edge, though. Lost 'is turntable bottle, ol' John boy. Happens to 'em all, in the end. Even David See. Wrote the facking book on DJing, See did. Kicked it all off. Now? Wouldn't book 'im for my daughter's 18'f. Washed up. You don't see the bigger picture. Facking 'London blogger solidarity' and what ave ya. Won't get you anywhere. They all start off strong. Then they're swirlin' dahn the shitter - jus' like that."

I hand over the cash. The dirty bleeder hands me a slip. My passport to £1,800. I walk to the door - past the muscle-flexing jerks, with their baseball bats and ballpen hammers. Past the terrified students, who haven't returned on Harry The Cunt's generous loans (with interest). I stop, and glance back at him. "I've taken the piss out of him before," I say. "But Eden'll win this. It's a dead cert. Come on - it's London - his home turf. He won't give this one away. He'll pull SOMETHING out of the bag."

Harry lights a fag, lifts his hobnail boot from a weeping debtor's bloodied face, and blows toxic smoke through the vents in the wrap-around knife slits he calls 'jowls'. "I 'ope yer right," he puffs. "Just for London's sake, like." He scarfs down another nicotine hit. "Always want London to win," he coughs. "Always rated Saxon over Killamanjaro. Gotta support yer manor, y'know?" He stubs his fag out on the debtor's forehead, kicks the unfortunate waif into a coma, and slams a scarred paw down on the desk.

"Then again," Harry mutters, chugging on his mug of stewed tea. "I always wanted to see Millwall lift the FA Cup."


I jumped up from the table and raced into the bogs. Big Chill House, Krishna's Hi-NRG Harem; whatever. The pub was still THE BELL, and the usual characters were lurking around in the WC. Students snorting methedrine off tatty copies of The Beano; nervous 'funky house' promoters getting tentative blow jobs in the corner. I shoved past the lot of them and booted in the cubicle door. John Eden was cowering inside, in a state of desolation, clutching a teddy bear ((in a knitted Psychic TV top)). I grabbed him by the throat and threw a paddy.

"GET ON THE FUCKING DECKS!" I ullulated. "I've had it with your self-pity! Get out there and slay Droid, now!"

"I...I j--just CAN'T!" he blubbed, throwing his face into his hands.

"Listen," I raged. "If you don't get out there NOW, and do Droid some SERIOUS fucken' damage, I'll tear your lungs out and fry 'em up with onions, mash and gravy!"

"I j...j..just can't seem to align with the decks," John sobbed. "Martin - what if I've LOST IT? What if I can't select any more?"


"HEY HITLER!" I shot back. "IF I HAVE TO STEP OUT OF THIS FUCKING CUBICLE, I'LL SHOVE YOUR BIRD'S HEAD RIGHT UP YOUR JAP'S EYE, YOU BAVARIAN CUNT!" Oh, come on, reader, don't tut - they gassed 6 million, after all...Weirdly enough, a silence descended outside the cubicle, save for the occasional half-assed slurping sound.

"Look, John," I proffered, changing tact. I tried to put my arm around his shoulders, in a display of kindred solidarity. Even standing on the toilet seat, I only managed to reach his knees.

"You're just going through a bit of deck anxiety," I flattered him. "It's normal - everyone gets it, from time to time! Why - even Jah Shaka! He once felt like wimping out of a clash - he was so freaked out, he actually thought the turntable was spinning anti-clockwise at one point!"

"NO!" John protested, blowing his massive hooter with a wad of bogroll. "Cor, really? SHAKA got freaked out?"

"Yeah!" I beamed at him. I felt like the dwarf kid in Don't Look Now propositioning the Jolly Green Giant. "Course he did! But, you know what?" I continued. "Shaka didn't scarper into the toilet and hide. No! He sucked in his fear, puffed out his chest, went back on the decks...and took everyone out! Beatmatching befucked! It's all about attitude and vibes. Go out there, the decks...fling Droid back to Derry, on a B&I Ferry! 'em who's the Artical Stoke Newington Don!"

"'re right, Martin," John eventually conceded. "I should just go out there...reclaim the clash!"

"At last!" I gasped. "You've got the Raymond Naptali 12" - you've allegedly got Gun Mi Carry by Wickerman, though I SEVERELY DOUBT IT - and you've got something that Dublin jackeen ain't got in his record box - THE EBB OF THE THAMES, FLOWING THROUGH YOUR VEINS!"

"I'm from Hertfordshi.." John started, but I shot him an almighty "I'M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU IN A MINUTE" glance. Wisely, he didn't finish the sentence.

"Just tell me two things," he glubbed, as I sparked up a Marlboro and scratched my arse. "Are people dancing to Droid's tunes?"

"I'm not going to lie, John," I hissed, shaking my head. "Yeah, they're going crazy. He just knocked out a really good Cutty Ranks - Ninjaman - Admiral Bailey workout - and there's loads of chicks gyrating in front of the DJ booth."

"O...O...OK," John shuddered, dabbing his red-raw eye sockets with a clump of budget Andrex. "Question 2: WHAT do you think I should play when I get back up there?"

I stared him in the eye for all of 30 seconds. Then I laughed, slapped his kneecaps, and hugged him close to me. "John," I reminded him. "It's all about attitude. Making the dance ram. Don't try and be someone you're not. Just go out there, be cool, throw down your tunes, and it'll be OK. Shit - play Umbrella by Rihanna if you like! It's your set, nobody else's...and if they don't like it, fuck 'em! Now...get out there and get this party started! DO IT FOR LONDON! WE ARE THE UNGOVERNABLE FORCE!"


I left the toilet and sat back down, next to a chipper Matt B. John Eden stormed onto the stage, took over the deck and shot a fist salute to the dancers. He effortlessly whipped his hand back, withdrew a platter from his sheepskin bag, and pressed the plastic to the Technics. He teased the stylus over the spinning vinyl, dropped it, and blew out the PA with...Umbrella by Rihanna.

"Oh Jesus, Mary and fucking Joe," I cursed, violently slamming my pint glass into my skull. The dancers gawped at each other and shuffled off, awkwardly, to the bar.

Anyway, 11PM - Droid was on ragga jungle selections. The place was going mental. Every now and then, John hopped onto the stage and shuffled a few 12"s around, trying to look useful. Droid was the undisputed champion. The Dublin boy wonder waltzed onto the sceptic isle and stole the crown. It was like taking a baby from Candy (071-948-6294 - NEW IN LONDON? CALL ME FOR A GOOD TIME). Death and dishonour. Sorry, but Droid annihilated Eden. Shit, if he'd rolled the Uncarved guru up in a cardboard tube, splashed DAZ onto his bangs, turned him upside down and used him to mop the floor, it would've been less humiliating.

I was torn - after all, here was glorious Irish Catholic supremacy, smiting the Church of England with a bloody great ragga fist. Ireland thrashing England, just like Stuttgart '88 all over again. And yet, John Eden is a dude. Sure, he made my life a living hell when I was working on WOOFAH - but, as Kylie once hollered, spread-eagled 'twixt the gargoyles of Notre Dame, 'better the devil you know'. Plus, I'd just lost £300. I tried to text a fake clash result to Harry The Cunt. "Dont even fink about it," he replied, "2 of my top boys been there all nite PS - cheers for the cash, mite hire a dj for my girls 18f, lol". I always knew Kings X would be the death of me.

So, Droid won. But, lest we forget - this was a pre-season clash. There's plenty more to come over the next nine months. As John Motson inexplicably gibbered during the '94 World Cup final, "NOW WE'LL GET TO SEE, WHO ARE THE HEROES...AND WHO ARE...THE VILLAINS". And believe me, there's gonna be plenty of villains to gawp at in the coming season.







Wednesday, August 05, 2009

7" interruption: ADVERTISEMENT - DJ CLASH, 13 AUGUST

God, they won't shut up about this...OK, Londoners: there's a pre-season DJ clash on August 13, featuring WOOFAH ZINE proprietors past and present, John Eden vs Droid. There. I've advertised it.

It's taking place in the 'Big Chill House'. Yeah, I know, I thought Big Chill was a bunch of hippies in a field, listening to Groove Armada, too. But somebody's opened a 'house' for it in London, on the Pentonville Road. What next? How about we stack up some giant Jenga blocks in The Foundry, and call it the 'Stonehenge House'?

Where on the Pentonville Road? For fuck's sake, why do you think they invented Google?

So, who'll win this epic clash? Er...the bar manager, perhaps?

Who knows, there might even be copies of WOOFAH issue 4 on sale - but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Apparently, the boys haven't yet got round to sending each other funeral wreaths with the message "RUBBISH DJ - CAN'T MIX" - does nobody give a damn about tradition anymore?

I'll probably be there, so if you fancy a bit of intelligent conversation, feel free to pop by...

It's free to get in. However, donations to WOOFAH are appreciated - I'll be collecting on the night.

Oh, if I sound jaded, it's cos I was boozing in a Sam Smith pub last night, and feel like somebody's injected six pounds of cotton wool into my eyeballs. Wow, it's just like the old BTI Blog, 'hungover post' days, eh? Except even lamer.

NAME - John Eden
RESIDENCE - North London
MOST LIKELY TO OPEN WITH - something by Jammer
BEST DJ TRIUMPH - beat Paul Meme in 2006 (citation needed)
MOST LIKELY TO END THE NIGHT - having some long-winded conversation about Iain Sinclair being out of touch with Hackney

NAME - Droid
MIXING SKILL - data not in circulation
MOST LIKELY TO OPEN WITH - "Zigzawya", Daddy Tar
BEST DJ TRIUMPH - went on some Irish radio station, or something
MOST LIKELY TO END THE NIGHT - spilling kebab meat all over Kings Cross

Right. I'm off to die, bye.

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