At one level, it shouldn’t work – a Saturday afternoon club in a venue more used to the rhythms of Diana Ross and the Village People, and with a dance floor dominated by a couple of shiny poles with bases taking up a good few feet on either side – but it does. Maybe it’s something to do with the proximity to the 2Is (and it’s only I as I’m typing this that I get the connection – doh!), or maybe it’s just the atmosphere, but the 2Rs has become a fixture in the diary of many of the hard core London rockin’ scene and, having seen the endless parade of familiar faces in the photos on Facebook after each monthly event, we’d been itching to experience it for ourselves. Finally, domestic planets fell into line and we found ourselves in deepest Soho on a chilly November afternoon. The 2Rs passed the first test of a good club in not being obvious – a classically average bar at ground level with only the presence of a few likely-looking folk pointing to the presence of that archetypal ‘special staircase’ leading to the basement club area. A wave of pounding R’n’B wafting from below confirmed that we’d found the right place, though it took a good few minutes for middle-aged eyes to adjust to modern club lighting and reveal a line-up of old pals who’d already beaten us to it.
Born of the desire of a small gang of long-standing rockin’ folk, including Phil and Jo from the Freddie’s of Pinewood team, for somewhere central for the gang to meet on a Saturday, at its heart, the 2Rs is a simple idea – a central and easily-accessible venue, bar prices that compare favourably with any London pub, room to natter, somewhere to dance, and a string of resident and guest DJs playing an endless string of the music that we love. Sure, it’s on CDs as the set-up has proved resistant to any attempts to use decks without skipping but, when all is said and done, if your ears are being treated to great track after great track, it’s hard to be picky about what format they’re coming from, especially when you know that these are DJs who’ve been lovingly cultivating their collections for years. Sometimes you go to events where you hope for one decent record every hour or so – and then you get to somewhere like the 2Rs where it’s one great record after another. On this occasion, Trev Collins and Steve ‘Stack O’ Wax’ kept ‘em coming until it was time to kick us out what seemed like just minutes after we’d a
rrived four hours previously.
And on that note, there’s not much else to say. If you like listening to loud rock’n’roll in clubs surrounded by people like us, and drinking, dancing and laughing – and still be able to get home afterwards (maybe even after a couple more drinks and a bit of food), then this is what life is about. And if that isn’t what life is about, why are you reading Now Dig This?!
The 2Rs runs the first Saturday of every month at the Freedom Bar, 60-66 Wardour Street, Soho. You can check the next dates at their Facebook Page ‘The 2 R’s’.
This article first appeared in ‘Now Dig This’, the only magazine dedicated to the big beat scene, written by and for those who love it.