August 8th NG2 - Nottingham - 2 major UK events took place within a few hundred meters of each other on this day!
The Ashes were won on day 3 at Trent Bridge with an outstanding English display and Britalian Job returned after a short break.
The Britalian Job's home is at the Britannia Rowing Club under the shadow of Nottingham Forest FC's floodlights and Trent Bridge floodlights are just outside the back door of the rowing club.
The driving force behind the evening are Mark Shaw and Mark crew, a DJ double act that have graced many Midlands based Mod and Soul nights for good reason, they have been on the scene for as long as most of us, love the music, the scene and pleasing a dancefloor crowd. So an evening with a 'live' band was mixing it up a little and a risk? One way to find out... head off to NG2!
Arriving quite early (outfit already sussed for a change!) the Britannia Rowing Club for some reason, for those that have never been, has an upstairs function room decorated in a 'cave' like fashion. Which gives the room a unique atmosphere, quite spacious but almost a cosy close feeling, coupled with great lighting and sound it ticks all the right boxes. Despite being early, the room was already half full, a buzz gathering. One word of warning, if you’re not there fairly early parking can be difficult close to the club. However street parking is just a short walk away.
Nottingham by the river at the end of a warm day was host to a number of familiar faces and even some of our Mod Royalty had made the trek.. Ms Messer, Ms Weller, (don't slap me gals!) and PHK too!!
The dress policy as ever was smart with lots of sharp suits and dresses but relaxed enough for some not to be wearing a tie... but still looking sharp. The 2 Mark's foster a policy of smart BUT enjoyment look good and have fun. The room is layered down to a dancefloor in front of the stage with the bar at the rear of the room reached 2 stepped layers of floor space with seating alcoves all along the sides of the room and several seats near the bar.
As the room filled the 2 Mark's played a mix of tunes while Catherine Crew dealt with the never diminishing queue of smiling faces arriving for the next hour. Somehow Stuart Radford even got in was great to meet up!! Obviously the guys had done plenty of preparation as the stage was all set up ready for the band and the Hammond organ ready and waiting for Nick as the band appeared on stage after 9pm with Stan bounding on stage as the band launched into their set. The room was now packed and it soon became apparent why the Quik have built up a solid reputation. Immediately you can buy into their sound, recreating a British ‘beat’ scene sound from the mid-sixties, with a mix of popular tunes from the sixties, the Quik are not asking you to treat them as the next big thing or question the direction their music is going. What the Quik aim to do is transport you to a time that live bands played in every town and blasted out these type of tunes. You can sing along, tap your feet or dance along, as quite a few did, to a tight, professional but full of heart and passion performance of some great classics and a real mix of familiar favourites, either with Stan’s excellent vocals or the bands spot on instrumentals.
The Quik beats did two separate sets in the evening and by the end the dancefloor was full and a genuine encore was requested to which the guys happily complied with but certainly seemed to do it as they were enjoying themselves as much as the crowd, not out of a sense of duty.
In-between the sets the 2 Marks played some of the 'old favourites' from the 80's recreating a flavour of the distant nights that first got many of us first involved in the scene. By now the dancefloor was packed and some Orlons 'Wah watsui's' and Bobby Freemans 'Swimming' dance moves going on... for those of us not too embarrassed to remember when we actually did 'those' moves regularly!!
By the end of the night it was thinning out but the classics and some newer favourites were still being spun and the dancefloor still packed.. Andrew Schofield was pulling off some great moves, Maz Weller still full of energy and quite a few more... It wasn't until I dragged my exhausted body out into the fresh air that I realised I'd almost lost my hearing (I blame the Quik!) and my voice (I blame Mrs Gonzo for that!)
So two things I can recommend after the night: -
Firstly go see the Quik if you want to hear some of your favourite tunes from The Who, Yardbirds, Spencer Davis, Animals etc. performed in a full blooded sharp vintage style.
And Secondly join the 2 Marks at the Britalian Job next time if you like your Saturday evenings out to be full of smiles, laughter and dancing with the one of the friendliest bunch of people in the Mod world...