Sometimes it's hard to be a C&W fan...
...but mix in a few dance tracks with your country and western and you can hold your head up again. Oliver Bennett samples a happy musical hybrid
Sunday 15 March 1998
The answer is that you have to dig a little. For instance, at a back bar in Brixton, Twisted club heralds a return to the spilt beer and out- by-midnight approach to nightlife that ruled in the Seventies and early Eighties. But it adds its own unique contemporary hybrid in the music it favours: country and western, mixed with dance tracks.
"I've always loved country and I want to show that it isn't a dead music form," says Tim Perry, co-founder of Twisted with Piers Hawkins. "Jazz blues and world music have all crept into dance music, so why not a few country chords?" (A small smattering of techno tracks by Tranquillity Bass, Morcheeba, Dust Junkys, Fatboy Slim and Cornershop already feature bluegrass-type banjo.) Perry and Hawkins have had great fun thinking up names for their genre, among them Pharma Country, Honky Skunk, Trailer Trash, Swamp Hop, Fucked-Up Country and Bubba Beats. "I'm reminded of the Blues Brothers joke, where they say they play both kinds of music - country and western," says Perry, "except that we play country and techno." Patsy Cline, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton spin alongside dance sounds like Fatboy Slim and Orbital, interspersed with live acts like the local acid-country supremos Alabama 3 and guest appearances from the likes of Chip "Wild Thing" Taylor.
There is a maverick contingent, including squat minstrel Hacker and a musician known as Shed Dweller who, explains Perry, is "a guy who lives at the back of his parents' house in a shed". Why, of course. And Twisted even sees a welcome return to musical virtuosity - too often seen as an anachronism - with appearances from experts such as pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole, which draw serious country aficionados from far and wide. "We've got some of the best country-ish acts around," says Perry. But he warns that the mullet hairdo and line dance crowd will not find what they are looking for at Twisted - that sort of line is not welcome at a club which is more influenced by the party animal aspects of country, dating back to bad boys Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, than clean-cut Garth Brooks. There is a long-established cry-into-your-pint tendency to country, but even the saddest C&W song has an uplifting aspect, reckons Perry who, as the author of The Rock and Roll Guide to the USA (pounds 12.99, Fodors), is hoping that Twisted makes more than a footnote in the UK's glorious musical history.
The next Twisted is at 8pm on 26 March, at Brady's Saloon, 20 Atlantic Road, Brixton, London SW9
Life & Style blogs
DNA hope on schizophrenia: Research breakthrough points at over 100 genes
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
Man takes most pointless Uber cab ride of all time
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
£55000 Per Annum plus company car and bonus scheme: The Green Recruitment Comp...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Lead Hand - QCProgressive are recruiting...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...