In February 2020, the OUTSIDELEFT NIGHT OUT featured Millicent Chapanda and Germa Adan at the Why Not Café in Bearwood. It was the brilliant incredible night of the year for everyone who came along. Afterwards, we’d gotten together with Nina the Incomparable, who was managing Why Not at the time, to talk about how to do it all again, and how to do it better. We'd asked Christine the Incredible who just knew what to do, to join in and help shape future events. Great, wild, crazy plans were put in place. An acoustic punk night out, with The Devils, The OUTSIDELEFT Night Out and afternoon Bric a Brac Sale with Layla Tutt… I was as excited about raising money for causes as seeing vintage clothes spill out of the front and back of Why Not into their garden and out onto Bearwood High Street… And the OUTSIDELEFT Night Out and Plant Sale with Tabla Jedi, who’d helped to make Millicent’s set so much fun and Aziz who’d been with the Stone Roses. Oh and the Night of Sisterly/Brotherly Love, Philly sounds, while brothers and sisters come out together for the first time ever. OMG. I am so great. With so many great plans.
All of the Nights Out were glued together by Jason's filming for our documentary, cajoling people to part with money for the performers and big upping the musicians in his MC role. And his pantaloons will not soon be forgotten either.
The other amazing factor, the Amazing Factor, (sounds like a Lauryn Hill song), was our resident DJ Warren Hothouse Malkin. It’s not that he made a difference. He made THE difference. That’s what night time magic is, it’s imperceptibly engulfing. And only a few can create it. Warren mixed together such great records, and the funk and jazz volume spiked and you’d believe a coffee shop in Bearwood had installed the spring loaded wooden dancefloor of the Catalina Casino ballroom, we were transported. What he did was astonishingly great and I don’t know how he did it.
And all of which I guess you can tell, I am so proud to be part of, but we’re no BoJo’s, we didn’t hesitate, when the pandemic hit, we were the first to talk to and agree with Why Not and pull our plans. It all came to a screeching halt.
At first we just cooled our heals, held outdoor meetings under shade trees and wondered like most people wtf and whether we might actually not survive. But we wanted to contribute still, to entertain and we are jesters, and so for 101 nights we served up a new playlist each night, each curated by contributors from across the globe and across the street. Some playlists stopped us in our tracks, literally brilliant selections of music we hadn’t heard much of before. We ushered the weekend in on Fridays with DJ Damon, danced on Saturday night, with Warren and chilled out on Sundays with Jason. Alarcon got Monday’s going and then guests all week long...
It was fun to do, people love lists, and people, like in the old days of sharing mixtapes with potential lovers, loved sharing music. But it was exhausting too. It was too much like a job, tracking down songs, updating graphics, scheduling, modifying databases and web pages and social media... Urrghhh. I guess some people take some pleasure in these things, but I have never enjoyed anything ever and not a day job.
Anyway, anyway, anyways… All this is to say, The OUTSIDELEFT Playlist is BACK, BABY, OMG it is BACK in a BIG WAY.
Beginning this weekend, DJ Damon has dusted down his DJ kit and dropped the contents of the crates he was digging right onto our Spotify playlist and put together a brilliant and essential hour of music for us all to enjoy. This is going to be the first of a new weekly playlist where hopefully, we’ll all find some new and some old loves too… To last us all week.
Follow OUTSIDELEFT playlists on Spotify with this link to stay updated each week. And I’m embedding the playlist here, to…
Wow! Who knows what OUTSIDELEFT will resurrect next...