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

OVER THE past few years, club life has become a bit corporate, with VIP rooms, sponsors and in-it-for-the-dough promoters and DJs. Where is the enthusiasm, the chaos, in this brave new world of blinking technology and oiled abdominals?

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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

    Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    ***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker