A Wheely Good Night Out
It’s not all artichoke salads and 50-year old bottles of Le Mont when I’m in London, you know. Last night, it was a quick hummus sandwich down the local Pret a Manger with my editor, the esteemed Chris Charlesworth, before heading to the Pillar of Hercules on Greek Street to quaff a couple of pints of Youngs Bitter, listen to DJ Wheelybag spin 7” singles from atop a shopping trolley, and enjoy the company of several iJamming! Pub regulars. Many thanks to Jaffo, Facey, Woodcutter’s Son, Dave, Khensu (who came all the way from Basingstoke), Jeni, Chris C and, of course, our landlady Shona for coming out and making such a fun evening of it. No thanks to any one who helped turn the Pillar into the smokiest little London pub it’s ever been my misfortune to visit. The sooner London follows the lead of New York, LA and Dublin and bans smoking in pubs, the better off we’ll all be.
Though I’m not sure I could ever suffer the smog in that place again, I’d certainly go hear DJ Wheelybag. He played a number of old skiffle records as advertisement for some upcoming skiffle revival night, and later switched between the likes of Alma Coogan, The Beat and Vince Taylor without ever coming up short. He also hosted a number of written quizzes, the first of which a group of us entered collectively and proudly scored 12 correct answers out of 12. (If anyone remembers The Questions, let us know.) I accepted the prize on behalf of iJamming!: though the choice on offer was meant to be tacky and cheap, I was absolutely thrilled with my Aqua DJ – a liquid snowcube kind of thing with with which you steer pieces of vinyl onto a trendy DJ’s deck. It will weigh my suitcase down back to America but, I can promise you, will take pride of place on my desk thereafter.
DJ Wheelybag is clearly a cult: The Pillar was soon filled with all manner of mods, several of whom, no surprise, are members of the same Paul Weller Bulletin Board as some of our (Paul Weller-loving) iJamming! Pub regulars. One of these bury-me-mods, Dave Edwards, turned out to have attended Archbishop Tenison’s (the Apocalypse alma mater), and to have written the sleeve notes to a compilation album by The Directions, whom Apocalypse supported on their third, fourth AND fifth gigs. It’s a small world indeed – especially when you’re crowded up tight against each other like we were at The Pillar. Cheers