21 Years ago today Blow Up opened its doors for the first time in the upstairs room of The Laurel Tree, Camden Town, London. Anyone remember this Select Magazine article about Blow Up that came out the following summer in 1994? #ForThe90sSwingingLondon Stay tuned for further announcements...
David Hemmings spotted near Blow Up! (c.1966) Must be fate... our current venue of choice The CLF Art Cafe (aka The Bussey Building) in Peckham features in the opening scenes of the film of the same name Blow Up ... we're back there this Saturday!
Thank you to everyone who made it to the Blow Up 20th Anniversary last week and to all the bands Baltic Fleet, Trans, Big Boss Man and DJ's who performed. It was great to see so many old faces from far and wide - it was a blast!
A Hip Hammond hybrid of 60's and 70's drenched R'n'B, Funk, Latin, Jazz, Soul and Pop. Big Boss Man are currently in the studio putting the final touches to their fourth album due out this year on Blow Up Records, and alongside brand new tracks expect such classics such as 'Sea Groove' and 'Party 7' which have won them fans worldwide. Their last album 'Full English Beat Breakfast' was described as:
"Effortlessly hip"**** - Echoes
"Their best album yet" **** - Record Collector
"Big Boss Man are back and groovier than ever"Clash
Described as 'psychedelic post-punk krautrock', GIT-Award winner and Liverpool Music Awards Nominee (Best Album 'Towers', 2013) Baltic Fleet is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and DIY producer Paul Fleming (ex-Bunnymen) who recently returned with his second album 'Towers' which was described as:
"Immense. Fleming has upped the ante on an already stellar debut"Rough Trade Shops 'Album Of The Week' & 'Albums Of The Month'
"A sublimely cinematic blend of kosmische musik, dream pop" 9/10 Subba-Cultcha
"One of the finest records from Liverpool in years"Liverpool Echo
Over at Blow Up Records, 2013 saw Baltic Fleetwin this year's Liverpool GIT Award, be nominated for Liverpool Music Awards Album of The Year (along side Miles Kane and Ian Skelly) and perform at Yoko Ono's Meltdown. more / listen...
After a long haitus Alfa 9 returned with the stripped back West-Coast influenced second album Gone To Ground and swung back into live action. more / listen...
Whilst Fay Hallam continued her UK & European tour dates in support of last year's 'Lost In Sound' more / listen... Meanwhile both Big Boss Man and The Bongolian have been touring around Europe, whilst The Bongolian returned for two storming sets at Blow Up this October and December.
"The judges believe that Towers captured the sprawling vitality of contemporary music and married this to a sonic landscape which is indicative of its birth. Flawless electronic melodies, breezeblock beats and an effortless futuristic edge"
Although Baltic Fleet is essentially the solo recording project of Paul Fleming, his live band have since played around the UK and Europe, shows including Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia, Soundcity, Sheffield Sensoria, Norwich S&V. This year they've played with Public Service Broadcasting (caught in action performing 'The Wilds' and 'Toire De'), Hookworms andThe Portico Quartetmore ...
This August Daiquiri Fantomas released 'MHz Invasion', the debut album from the Sicilian experimental Avant-Pop duo Marco Barrano and Dario Sanguedolce. A mainly instrumental cocktail of ideas with a Retro-Futuristic flavour, encompassing Prog, Sci-Fi movie soundtracks & Kosmische (youtube album sampler).
Single 'Moogchile' described as 'Air meets John Barry' receiving spot plays on BBC 6 Music from Don Letts, Gideon Coe, Radcliffe and Maconie and Chris Hawkins and Huey Morgan on BBC Radio 2. more ...
After a long haitus Alfa 9 followed their highly acclaimed debut with ‘Gone To Ground’ a much more stripped back affair, the most recent single from which 'El Morocco' was playlisted for 4 weeks on BBC 6 Music (1.9 million listeners UK & Worldwide) (other singles receiving numerous spot plays). They now haveBBC Radio sessions under their belt for 6 Music, BBC Stoke andBBC Liverpool.
The band have swung back into live action with dates up and down the UK including the Annual Liverpool Psych Fest and a support for Poltergeist in December more ...
Fay Hallam and Nasser Bouzida AKA 'The Bongolian' met when both playing a live show at Blow Up, and they soon discovered that they both shared a serious passion for 60's Hammond Beat and Soul. On 'Lost In Sound', their first collaboration, they immersed themselves in the music they both love, from Bossa Nova, heavier 70's grooves, Latin and Northern Soul, with a choice of classic instruments including old Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Hammond C3 keyboards and other vintage equipment, mixing in some analogue synths. The album was released to critcal acclaim and Fay Hallam continues to tour the album in both the UK and Europe with more dates lined up for 2014 more ...
"A great little pop record" STEVE LAMACQ, BBC 6MUSIC
"Essex has a bit of form when it comes to delivering maverick pop geniuses with a gift for mixing a smidgeon of music hall with a dash of 60s pop and creating inspired, but intelligent tunes"BRANDISH.TV
David Woodcock is a singer song writer based in his hometown of Southend-on Sea, who recently signed to Blow Up in 2012 and he has just finished recording his debut album, due for release early 2014
A pianist and prolific writer, with a strong local following around the pubs and clubs of Southend, he has been building up a solid songbook of sharp lyrics and great melodies that are have been distilled into his debut more ...
October 16th this year marked exactly 20 years to the day when doors opened to the Blow Up club for the first time. Since then it has become a bona-fide legendary club night, being at the centre of the early to mid Nineties Brit Pop explosion, cited as the catalyst and birth place of the Brit Pop scene and influencing the style and sound of a generation. Blow Up was voted as No.4 in Time Out's Top Ten Clubs of the 90s, one of '5 Classic Clubs of Out Time' by Vox Magazine (alongside The Blitz Club and Shoom) and as 'The club that changed the world' by Melody Maker. More recently Blow Up appeared in Time Out's London Calling which described the club as "the breeding gournd of the Brit Pop sound" and in NME's Original's Top Ten Britpop Moments. From its origins at The Laurel Tree, Camden Town (1993-1996), to Soho venues the Wag Club (1996-2001) the Metro Club (2002-2009), and through various London venues since (2009-2013), Blow Up is one of London's longest running club nights. We've hosted events in Europe, and further afield, with events in USA, Russia and Japan, whilst the Blow Up club compilations ('Blow Up A-Go-Go!' and 'Blow Up presents Exclusive Blend') have proved popular worldwide.
There is nowhere else quite like Blow Up, and in many ways it’s still unique. ‘Blow Up may be inspired by the ’60s,’ wrote Time Out years ago, ‘but their night could run and run.’ It looks set to do just that. Time Out London, January 2009
"Year after year, Blow Up just seems to get better"The Evening Standard No.4: Time Out's Top Ten Club's of The 90s
"The club that changed the world"Melody Maker
"This is the night which spawned a thousand bands, inspiring fashion designers and stylists to recreate the look for the mainstream"The Guest List
"Legendary"Time Out, Evening Standard, NME
The Roxy, Blitz Club, Shoom, Syndrome & Blow Up: Vox Magazine's 5 Classic Clubs of our Time
"The London clubland institution"The Guardian Guide
October 16th this year marked exactly 20 years to the day when doors opened to Blow Up for the first time. Celebrate our Anniversary with us this February when we'll be taking over two floors at The Bussey Building!
We're pleased to announce that the Blow Up club will be launching at the Bussey Building in Peckham on Saturday 12th October (followed by December 14th and February 15th) for a new bi-monthly residency as part of our Anniversary celebrations!
Expect classic tracks from both Blow Up’s past and present: from Brit Pop era favourites (the scene which the club helped kick-start way back in 1993 in Camden Town) to the current new Pop stylists putting the art back into pop . . . Brit Pop, Glam, Mod & New Wave colliding with 60's Soul, Beat, Garage, Funk, Ska, Swinging Soundtracks, Hammond Heavy Jazz, Easy Listening & Ye-Ye!
Just uploaded this week - Baltic Fleetperforming 'Toire De' from his new album 'Towers' back in May at Village Underground joined onstage by Public Service Broadcasting (Baltic Fleet's Paul Fleming later joined PSB for their last number 'Everest'). The sold-out show was supporting Public Service Broadcasting and they'll be playing with them again at Hebden Bridge Trade Club on June 22nd.
Last Friday we headed down to London's Southbank Centre to catch both of Baltic Fleet's sets at the opening night of Yoko Ono's Meltdown Festival as well as the lady herself in Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono band, joined onstage by Peaches.
Baltic Fleet's set was described by Bloomberg as "the psychedelic mid-point between Joy Division and Daft Punk". The band caught up with Sean Lennon at the aftershow too - check out the photos on Flickr.
Alfa 9 went down a storm last Saturday at This Feeling at what was their first gig in 4 years. They made a few friends along the way! The band have 2 dates lined up in their hometown Stoke, and will be back in London in 2 weeks time to support Cornershop live dates here ...
Advance tickets have now sold out for tonight. For those who wish only to attend the late night club session without seeing the bands there will be a VERY limited amount of reduced price tickets at £5 on the door from 11pm. This will only allow entry after the bands have finished playing, and again is strictly first come first served.
Stereo Total will return to Blow Up on February 8th 2013 for a one-off London show at The Macbeth. The 5th time our favourite electro-duo have played at the club who are flying in from Germany especially.
Plus Blow Up DJs Paul Tunkin & Ian Jackson spinning their trademark mix of Pop Stylism, 60's Soul, Beat, Garage, Funk, Ska, Soundtracks, Electronica, Library Music colliding with British Pop, Glam, Indie-Pop and New-Wave.
Blow Up feat. DC Fontana + Electric Stars + David-Woodcock
Blow Up's monthly West London residency at Ginglik in Shepherd's Bush with live guests this month DC Fontana and The Electric Stars. Plus Blow Up DJs Paul Tunkin & Ian Jackson spinning their trademark mix of Pop Stylism, 60's Soul, Beat, Garage, Funk, Ska, Soundtracks, Electronica, Library Music colliding with British Pop, Glam, Indie-Pop and New-Wave.
Turned-on music to shake your hips & pluck your heartstrings… DC Fontanaare on a mission.The 2012 edition of the band is fronted by Louise Turner while founding member Mark Mortimer plays bass & is one of the two main song-writers along with Scott Riley who used to play with Spectrum, the psychedelic off-shoot of the Spacemen 3.With producer Donald Ross Skinner (Julian Cope, Prolapse, Salad, Cud etc) at the helm the DCs delivered the kitchen-sink drama Six Against Eight after camping inside the famous Parr Street Studios in Liverpool where they had been invited to record by legendary Echo & The Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant, a fan of the band.
Electric Stars at Blow Up
THE ELECTRIC STARS Infectious melodies, lyrics that become part of your life & songs that you NEED to own! If there was a modern mash up of Stones/Who/Kinks/Beatles...This is what it would sound like!
David Woodcock live at Blow Up
DAVID WOODCOCK New Blow Up Records' signing David Woodcock returns to Blow Up as part of his monthly residency. Expect great songs delivered in Dave's own inimitable Essex style. Best described as the closest thing to a knees-up with Chas'N'Dave and The Kinks' Ray Davies!
BLOW UP returns to Sacramento! With Cellar Doors (San Francisco) live, DJs Paul Tunkin (Blow Up founder) & Roger Carpio spinning Pop Stylism, 60′s Soul, Beat, Garage, Funk, Ska, Soundtracks, Electronica, Library Music colliding with British Pop, Glam, Indie-Pop and New-Wave. Plus a light show by George Holden (a lightshow artist since 1966 and one of the pioneers in the field. He first worked with Abecrombe Lights featured by Bill Graham at the original Fillmore West and Winterland shows in San Francisco). Art by Galine Tumasova!
Blow Up's new monthly West London residency at Ginglik in Shepherd's Bush, continues with live guests this month THE WOLFMEN, BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS and RKC. Plus of course Blow Up DJs Paul Tunkin & Ian Jackson (and the occasional guest) spinning their trademark mix of Pop Stylism, 60's Soul, Beat, Garage, Funk, Ska, Soundtracks, Electronica, Library Music colliding with British Pop, Glam, Indie-Pop and New-Wave. ....
A celebration from the other side of Pop where the Kinks, Bowie, Blur share the dancefloor with current newcomers Pete & The Pirates, British Sea Power and Metronomy, all alongside Swinging Soundtracks & TV Themes (The Italian Job to Barbarella), 60s Exotica & Electronica (Jean-Jacques Perry), 60s Club Soul (Motown, Stax etc.), Northern Soul, Beat, Mod Jazz, French Pop (Jacques Dutronc, Bridget Bardot) and New Wave (XTC, Wire).
Marco Pirroni and Chris Constantinou formed The Wolfmen in 2005. Marco (guitars) enjoyed extraordinary success with ADAM & THE ANTS and later worked with Sinead O'Connor. Chris (bass, lead vocals) previously led JACKIEONASSID and has worked with Adam Ant, Annabella Lwin(Bow-Wow-Wow) and Sinead O'Connor also. Zelig Preston Heyman (Massive Attack, Kate Bush) also features in the Wolfmen on percussion. Alongside their own work, the band is known for some surprising collaborations with artists ranging from LOU REED to DALER MEHNDI, the biggest selling artist Indian in music history. They've also covered Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You" with PRIMAL SCREAM for an ALEXANDER MCQUEEN catwalk show and co-written a few tracks on Sinead O'Connor's new album. Debut album Modernity Killed Every Night was mixed by Alan Moulder (The Killers, U2, Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins), lead track "Cecilie" being A-listed on NME Radio for seven weeks in a row.
The Wolfmen's 2011 second album - Married To The Eiffel Tower - was produced by Courtney-Taylor-Taylor (frontman/songwriter with The Dandy Warhols) and Jacob Portrait (Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters)., winning massive radio support with spins from the likes of Dermot O'Leary (BBC Radio 2), Chris Hawkins (BBC 6Music), Don Letts, Sarah Kerr (BBC 6Music), Lauren Laverne, Gary Crowley and David Quantick.
"Dense stuff… Extraordinarily overstated… an unholy mix…"UNCUT
"Steeped in the space-age glam boogie of Bowie and T Rex with a bit of Iggy-in-Berlin thrown in… infernally catchy…"MOJO
THE BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS
The Bermondsey Joyriders
Claiming all the credentials of a bonafide 77 super group, The Bermondsey Joyriders is a band pooling all the hard won experience and history of three veteran Punks...Gary Lammin,Martin Stacey,and Chris Musto.. Founder members Gary Lammin(Vocals/Guitar) and Martin Stacey(Bass) cut their teeth in the Joe Strummer produced 'Little Roosters' and Chelsea respectively..Whilst recent recruit Chris Musto (Drums) is a sticksman of some credenials..Having previously played with Johnny Thunders,Joe Strummer and Nico to name a few! At Blow up they will be playing their classic 1st album set and showcasing selected songs from their eagerly awaited forthcoming 2nd album 'Noise & Revolution',featuring ex MC5 manager / White panther party leader John Sinclair! Voted one of the Bands to watch in 2012 in 'Viva le Rock' magazine!
Some Blow Up highlights of 2011, including HMV's Next Big Thing back in February, another return to the USA and Japan, Latitude Festival in July, The Bongolian's fourth album and the club finally coming of age (b. October 16th 1993).
Blow Up Christmas Party, Firday 2nd December 2011: The Bongolian + Thee Faction Blow Up DJs
The 2nd of Blow Up's new monthly West London residency at Ginglik in Shepherd's Bush, and just in time for Christmas! Always guaranteed to get the party going is BIG BOSS MAN's Nasser Bouzida aka THE BONGOLIAN & his band, with support from THEE FACTION.
Plus of course Blow Up DJs Paul Tunkin & Ian Jackson spinning their trademark mix of Pop Stylism, 60's Soul, Beat, Garage, Funk, Ska, Soundtracks, Electronica, Library Music colliding with British Pop, Glam, Indie-Pop and New-Wave. ....A celebration from the other side of Pop where the Kinks, Bowie, Blur share the dancefloor with current newcomers Pete & The Pirates, British Sea Power and Metronomy, all alongside Swinging Soundtracks & TV Themes (The Italian Job to Barbarella), 60s Exotica & Electronica (Jean-Jacques Perry), 60s Club Soul (Motown, Stax etc.), Northern Soul, Beat, Mod Jazz, French Pop (Jacques Dutronc, Bridget Bardot) and New Wave (XTC, Wire).
THE BONGOLIAN will be playing tracks from his eagerly-awaited 4th album 'Bongos For Beatniks' released this May - a wildly eclectic rare groove fusion of Funk Soul Hammond Beat Jazz and a Sci-Fi Boogaloo. The first single from the album 'The Riviera Affair' was a BBC 6music Lunchtime Love and if you listen to Craig Charles you will have heard more than a few spins on his show too:
"A bakers dozen of gems. Bongo powered grooves at their very best. Preston Epps eat your heart out"SCOOTERING 'RECOMMENDED'
"Mightily funky. Part mod, part Sergio Mendes, very swingin"TIME OUT
live this year at the Blow Up Easter Special:
'Bongos For Beatniks' album sampler:
THEE FACTION Blistering, visceral socialist R&B with an explicit political agenda:
As good as Slade Alive. Yes, THAT goodChris Roberts, The Guardian
BLOW UP 18TH BIRTHDAY PARTY & NEW MONTHLY RESIDENCY @ GINGLIK FRIDAY 4th NOVEMBER 2011
BLOW UP is 18! Blow Up is pleased to announce that it will be taking the club to other parts of London outside the West End, starting this Autumn with a new monthly residency at Ginglik in Shepherd's Bush, launching on Friday 4th November for Blow Up's 18th Birthday.
Blow Up's playlist is far from being defined by the Brit Pop genre it helped kick-start back 18 years ago in 1993: alongside live bands (early on in the night) expect to hear Blow Up DJs Paul Tunkin, Ian Jackson (and the occasional guest) spinning 60's Soul, Beat, Garage, Funk, Ska, Soundtracks, Electronica, Library Music colliding with British Pop, Glam, Indie-Pop and New-Wave. A celebration from the other side of Pop where the Kinks, Bowie, Blur share the dancefloor with current newcomers Pete & The Pirates, British Sea Power and Metronomy, all alongside Blow Up'strademark mix of Swinging Soundtracks & TV Themes (The Italian Job to Barbarella), 60s Exotica & Electronica (Jean-Jacques Perry), 60s Club Soul (Motown, Stax etc.), Northern Soul, Beat, Mod Jazz, French Pop (Jacques Dutronc, Bridget Bardot) and New Wave (XTC, Wire).
Live guests Dave Woodcock & The Splinters + The Little Bleeders. Dave Woodcock & The Splinters return to Blow Up after their show in September and will be heading up from the town of outstanding talent Southend-On-Sea. Expect great songs delivered in Dave's own inimitable Essex style. Best described as the closest thing to a knees-up with Chas'N'Dave and The Kinks' Ray Davies! The Little Bleeders are a four piece, proto-punk garage band; Rock and roll waifs and strays who came together in the pursuit of music with blood pumping through its veins. Classic influences from The Stooges, The Kinks, The Beatles, The Stones, Surf, 60's Garage Rock, Delta Blues, Scott Walker.
The Blow Up club returns to the USA this June 2011 vs. Club Leisure (SF), Club Underground (LA) & Club Lipstick (SAC). In under 3 mins here's a brief history of Blow Up in images 1993-2011: Press, Flyers & Blow Up label Releases:
Following February's sell-out HMV Next Big Thing night, Blow Up returns to its one-off events with an Easter Special at Madame JoJo's on Thursday 21st April. This will be the first of several larger club events for 2011 in the UK and abroad featuring special live guests.
Playing live: THE BONGOLIAN who will be releasing his 4th album 'Bongos For Beatniks' in May and SILVERY who's recent single 'Two Halves Of The Same Boy' has been going down a storm on 6music. Plus, just addeded SPECIAL NEEDS return after a five year hiatus and will be joining the bill for the Easter Special.
Plus resident Blow Up DJs Paul Tunkin & Ian Jackson will also be spinning their trademark mix of Orgasmic Pop / 60s Mod & Soul / New Wave. Expect to hear a selection of British Pop from Beatles to Bowie to Blur alongside 60s Soul, Garage, Ska, Beat, Latin Soul, Swinging Soundtracks, YeYe and Psychedelic Pop Electronique.
THE BONGOLIAN blends elements of Funk, Soul and Jazz with grinding percussion and heavy Bongo rhythms, resulting in dirty percussive bongo driven Funk and Spaced-out Latin Soul. His releases have become recordbox essentials for DJs, finding a wide appeal from Dance and Hip-Hop to rare groove and funky 45s fans, and to date The Bongolian and his band have toured USA, UK and Europe. The Bongolian releases his 4th album 'Bongos For Beatniks' on May 9th, and the first single 'The Riviera Affair' was a recent Lunchtime Love on Nemone's BBC 6music show.
"Nasser Bouzida is a man with talent to spare. A Latin-flavoured jazz-funk odyssey"Q Magazine
"Forget your preconceptions, this is the REAL incredible bongo band"CLASH
"Mightily funky. Part mod, part Sergio Mendes, very swingin"TIME OUT
Just added to bill! SPECIAL NEEDS. Special Needs return after a five year hiatus and will be joining the bill for the Blow Up Easter Special. On January 1st 2011, the band announced via Facebook that they had reformed with Nicholas Bukowski (formerly of The Rocks) replacing Neil Allan on drums, and after playing several London shows this year they will now be playing at Blow Up's Easter Special. The band played Blow up promoted shows at The Metro Club back in 2002, and during the mid-noughties recorded for Alan McGee's Poptones label and signed to Mercury Records.
"Pure-bred pop class"★ ★ ★ ★ NME
"Very special indeed"What's On in London 'Album Of The Week' - 4 out of 4
"Mixing shambolic indie-rock with dashes of doo-wop harmonies and girl-group backchat, they sound alternately like wide-eyed and legless dreamers, and impassioned, vainglorious self-believers" The Independent On Sunday
"Full of punk self-belief, angular guitars and most remarkably, a perfect pop sensibility" The Sun 3.5 out of 5
Silvery 'Railway Architecture'
SILVERY are an eccentric London four-piece whose music has been described as anything from Artrock, to Glam to Britpop. Lead singer and songwriter James Orman immerses us in a unmistakeably English world of Victoriana and wit. This show follows a headline spot at Club NME @ Koko in January, and comes just before the release of their new single 'Two Halves Of The Same Boy'. Playlisted on BBC 6Music (15/1/2011) the third from their critically acclaimed second album 'RailwayArchitecture'.