Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Dirty Hearts Club - Jan 05-Dec 06

A few years ago I started DJing and working on the door of a friends night on Canvey Island. It was called Bored and was on one Thursday a month, then every other Thursday. It was run by my friends in Thee Harmacy (Canvey Island's weirdest and possibly hardest working lazy band). We put on some ropey bands that played ska and what was referred to as 'alt-rock'. In between though we (Thee Harmacy and I) DJ'd, playing things like Roxy Music, The Stooges, MC5, The Fall, Sonic Youth etc etc. It was good fun, got pretty popular cos there was no other 'alt' night around and we had a very slack attitude to the over 18s rule the club imposed...

Bored ended when we were given a Saturday night cos loads of people started coming. We got monumentally drunk and accidently blew the entire soundsystem by turning up the Flaming Lips' 'Talkin Bout The Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues' until everything was in the red (and forgetting to turn it down for the rest of the night).

My friend Dean and I then decided to start a night in Southend, we called it Vive Le Rock (after the Adam Ant song), it was a shit name. We admit it. We did this night at Saks basement on one Tuesday a month. Nobody came and when they did we'd scare them off by playing The Clean really loud.

We then moved to the Royal Hotel after the owner decided he needed more nights there and asked us to come down (one Wednesday a month). There was a recently started night there called Junk (we went to the first couple, there was always about 6 people there who didn't like outsiders).

Anyway, after six months of hardly anyone coming we managed to blag a Saturday night (third Saturday of every month). With this new night we decided we needed a new name. So we replaced shit name with shit name and the Dirty Hearts Club was born.

We started on the third Friday of January 2005 (don't know why). It was instantly popular, which was an odd sensation for us.

The night went from strength to strength, getting three times the capacity in there, creating a very, very sweaty club. When Black Wire played we had far too many people there, followed by an amusing after party at somebody's house which ended with a load of umbrellas up a tree and Tom from the band sucking red wine out of the cream carpet with a straw...

In that time we put on some good bands and some shockers. We put on first gigs by These New Puritans (its funny to read now that they say their first gig was at fellow Southend night Junk, which came a year after they'd played every night in London and Dirty Hearts three times...), Hadouken and stuff. We put on Kaito's last ever gig and brilliant early gigs by Good Shoes, Les Incompetents, Blood Red Shoes, MIT, The Violets etc.

Klaxons, Shitdisco, Dandi Wind and Roland Shanks all pulled out due to illness/ shit managers last minute too. We also turned down The Automatic, Arctic Monkeys and Vincent Vincent & The Villains (several times) to play too and I'm pleased we did.

It lasted from January 2005 to December 2006. We decided from the first one that club nights turn shit after 2 years and we would end then.

The DJs every night were me, Dean and our friend Anthony Vicious (now owner of Hottwerk Records). I've made a Spotify playlist of some of the stuff you were likely to hear on an average night. There's lots missing that isn't on there (loads of weird white label remixes and what not). But if you click this link you can get a flava:



Anonymous said...

hahah im pretty sure i remember your night, we went quite a few times as there was never anything on in southend, it was terrible. in fact i once spoke to the girl from kaito (now in factory floor?) about when and why she decided to break up such a great band, and she said after playing your night and the depressing realization that she never wanted to play shit club nights ever again

Richard said...

Thanks for your kind comments. Always nice to hear rude anonymous comments on an internet forum. Brave.

To be fair I'm not surprised they split, that night was dead, but not from the want of trying on our part. Unfortunately nobody wanted to come and see them, plus it was V festival that weekend, which always emptied our regulars out.

I look forward to hearing what you did to encourage people to get in to music you liked. What was your club night/ promotions thing called?