10922451_10153106050470477_894334613777257633_nOnce upon a time, when my quiff went all the way to the back of my head, a rock’n’roll club in London on a Saturday night, would have been stunningly unremarkable; indeed, any self-respecting rock’n’roller would have found themselves hard-pressed to choose between several equally good clubs within the M25 (if it had been built at that point). Now, though, with the scene much smaller (distilled like a good bourbon, I’d like to think, rather than emaciated), the move of Martin Heaphy and Irvin Gordon’s Hubba Hubba club to a Saturday night is a welcome breath of stale beer and rockabilly sweat-laden air. That’s not to say it’s the only place in Central London where you can hear good authentic 1950s rock’n’roll; in fact, I’ve been amazed at the ability of our DJs to find their way into mainstream venues to play our kind of music to the sort of crowd who would have run a mile from it 30 years ago (if they hadn’t been eaten first). Until it fell victim to the creeping commercialisation of Soho, Madame Jo Jo’s featured a regular Saturday night session with Dave Crozier, and Keith Charlie and a cast of guest DJs are making the Whip It On Me a favourite Saturday afternoon gathering in one of Soho’s surviving downbeat bars. There are also periodic specials in some of our favourite old haunts that pull in a great crowd, but there is always a sense of being a one-off occasion. Nor is the Hubba Hubba entirely new – Martin and Irvin have been running regular Friday night sessions there for the past year or so. But the combination of a regular monthly Saturday evening slot, a slightly scruffy pub in a side street alongside Euston postal depot (don’t let the exotic Elixir Bar title fool you, it’s a pub in Eversholt Street), offering little beyond a bar, DJ booth and a dance floor that owes more to an absence of furniture than design, make for the kind of down-to-earth spot that I thought had disappeared. A fiver on the door gets you anything up to five hours of non-stop quality music, played – for those who like their sounds to come from the purest of sources – all on 45s and many of them prized originals. This isn’t, though, a parade of obscure material to be enjoyed only by the congoscenti, one of the joys of the evening for me was hearing records I knew well – and even have in my own derisory and largely CD-based collection – played good and loud and surprising me with just how fresh they sounded. The first Saturday opening attracted a fantastic cast of old faces, adding to the sense that this was Saturday night clubbing as we used to know it. Even the slightly bewildered attendees of the preceding speed dating evening enjoyed it!

George Fox and DJ Martin Heaphy

George Fox and DJ Martin Heaphy

You won’t find clothes stalls, makeover booths or any of the other paraphernalia of the ‘Vintage’ scene, but if you like your rock’n’roll loud, jumping and whizzing round at 45 rpm, then this is a place you’ve got to try. The second Hubba Hubba Club party night is on Saturday 7th March, with Little Carl joining Martin and Irvin on the decks. They have their own Facebook page.  Put the date in your diary now in big red letters…