Thursday, 7 October 2010

'Liverpool was cool and even Manchester felt it' - Jigmastas "Across The Globe"

Some time in 1995 whilst driving home from the daily grind, Mr Jonze and Kwinzola heard an advert on Key 103 for a new club night in Manchester, the strap line went: 'from the 70's funk licks that kick to the new skool jazz of today, add a slice of latin and a touch of disco and you've got it...HEADFUNK'

It sounded dope, a change of scenerey from the Liverpool Acid Jazz nights and an outside chance to get a Hip Hop fix. That Friday we were there, among the first people through the door on the first night. Headfunk seemed fresher than the club nights in Liverpool, perhaps, to some extent, because we were out of town but more so because the resident DJ Chubby Grooves had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Chubby was the main man behind the counter at Fat City Records and as a result of this his all encompassing DJ sets went deeper than any DJs we'd encountered before. Funk and Soul Breaks, Latin and Reggae joints we'd never heard before alongside 'Poppa Large' and 'Scenario' but more importantly Chubby had his finger on the pulse with the independent Hip Hop releases that were coming out of the states, and he was killer on the cut too. For almost 2 years our weekends revolved around Headfunk every Friday night then driving back over to Manchester every Saturday to try to buy every record we'd heard the night before from Chubby at Fat City.

Musically Chubby was and still is a massive influence on everything No Fakin' and his contribution to Hip Hop in the Northwest and beyond is often overlooked. Chubby's sets were always the highlight of any night he played at and he always topped the bill above Mr Scruff,  Mark Rae, Tom Simba (AKA Tom Findlay/Groove Armada) and many other household names today:

These were both dope nights. We would make lots of friends at these nights, many of whom have their own part to play in the No Fakin' Story. Chubby would go on to spin at tonnes of No Fakin' parties.

During this period things were starting to happen for us in Liverpool. We hooked up with DJ Bias in '95. He was Lewis Parker's DJ and had moved to Liverpool to study. He was a wicked scratcher, liked darts and Ultramagnetic MCs so straight away he was down. Later that year we did our first club night at Heebie Jeebies. Tony at the club was a mate of Mr Jonze's but would only give us a Wednesday night. We were wet behind the ears and with little thought called the night Breaking Atoms and forgot to put a date on it. Still I think 68 people came and we had a great night. I don't have a copy of the flyer but i'm sure you can picture it, basically the cover of Main Source - 'Breaking Atoms' with Main Source, Sir Scratch, K-Cut and Large Pro taken off, venue information, music policy, no date. Shortly after Tony sold Heebie Jeebies and the Italian Ice Cream man who bought it couldn't understand we weren't a band and wouldn't give us a date. We played the odd nights here and there like Chris McBride's Monday night at Jack's but nothing we could call 'Ours' and nothing compared to the atmosphere of our Manchester adventures.

Evrockski started working 2 days a week in No Quater Records in Quiggins in Liverpool and these flyers could be found in and around any venue where Hip Hop lived:

We would go here every Friday afternoon and snap up the handfull of indie Hip Hop 12's he'd ordered in. Amongst our crew we would argue over who was going to take the only copy Indelible MC's 'Fire in Which You Burn', Shabam Sahdeeq 'Side 2 Side' and this dope slice of 1997 independent Hip Hop:

As it happens Mr Complex would too go on to smash it at several No Fakin' shows. If you ever stumble across this thanks Plex!!!

Its now February 1997, evrockski's 'pop up Hip Hop record shop' is in full swing, Tony has took over the old Bourbon Street Jazz club and called it the Zanzibar and Headfunk has left its original home of Time and is struggling to re-create the vibe of the last 2 years. We decide its time to start our own night proper. We ask Tony if we can have the last Friday of every month at the Zanzibar, he says YES. We ask Chubby Grooves if he'd come and play our opening night, he says YES and so No Fakin' is born. On deck duty that night; Kwinzola (then Quinzola,Mr Jonze (then Boogaloo Jonze), DJ Bias and special guest Chubby Grooves (Fat City / Headfunk). The intimate Zanzibar was packed to the rafters, we were spinning underground Hip Hop, the atomosphere was amazing, this was the home of Real Hip Hop in Liverpool. We were on to something special.

The 3rd No Fakin' flyer, hand drawn.