Thursday, 13 August 2015

Karen & Trish have a chat with The Quik Beats at The Britalian Job - Lee Parsons provides the images

Venue –The Britannia Rowing Club, Trentside North, Nottingham, NG2 5FA 

We have had some great nights at The Britalian Job, in the fantastic ‘Bat Cave’ venue which has housed a wide range of mod bands over the years.  It is a guarantee that resident DJs Mark Shaw and Mark Crew will keep the crowd on the dancefloor.  This night was going to be particularly special as The Quik Beats were playing live. We had heard a lot of good things about this band and couldn’t wait to check them out. 

With the backdrop of an amazing atmosphere, The Quik Beats played their sets and the dance floor quickly began to fill with classics from The Who, The Kingsmen, The Spencer Davis Group to name a few.  The night seemed to fly by and before we knew it was time for our drive back home!  Enjoyed every minute and would recommend if you get chance to see this band to definitely do so.

We had the chance to ask The Quik Beats a few questions for those who would like to know a bit more about them: - 

How would you describe your style?

QBs: That’s a tough one, whilst we’re a unit musically, we’re also (style wise) very much individuals. That said, on stage we like to present a united front. Suits, always (no exceptions accepted) preferably matched with a Brooks Bros. button down shirt. Off stage there’s little that unifies us style wise other than denim where we all agree that it’s Levis every time. 

What are your influences?

QBs: When the band was formed it was with thoughts of replicating what we imagined was the live music experiences of mods in the 60s seeing bands at The Scene (Ham Yard), The Flamingo, the Marquee and Eel Pie Island. It’s true to say that the majority of songs we play are covers of familiar chart hits from bands like the Animals and The Spencer Davis Group. But we’re also hoping to evoke the Hammond driven sounds of Graham Bond and Georgie Fame and the Guitar based R&B of The Birds and The Action. All of the above of course influenced in turn by American jazz, blues, R&B and soul from the 50s and early 60s. 

How long have you been together?

QBs: In the current line-up we’ve been together a little over two years. However, in one form or another there’s been two or three of us making music together for closer to ten years. 

What’s the band’s favourite song to play?

QBs: With the average set containing 35 songs every gig will find each of us looking forward to our different favourites. As a band though, it’s safe to say we all usually look forward performing whatever is the latest addition to the set. At present we’re championing a little known Warren Zevon song called ‘Outside Chance’ that was originally recorded by The Turtles (and we’re hoping our audience are going to dig the song as much as we do). Beyond that… We really like playing ‘Get Carter’ (the ‘A’ side of our vinyl single). When we recorded the track it was a live take and we know when we play it live we can always replicate the recorded version.

Gonzo reviews The Britalian Job featuring the Quik beats in Nottingham on 8th August

August 8th NG2 - Nottingham - 2 major UK events took place within a few hundred meters of each other on this day! 

The Ashes were won on day 3 at Trent Bridge with an outstanding English display and Britalian Job returned after a short break. 

The Britalian Job's home is at the Britannia Rowing Club under the shadow of Nottingham Forest FC's floodlights and Trent Bridge floodlights are just outside the back door of the rowing club. 

The driving force behind the evening are Mark Shaw and Mark crew, a DJ double act that have graced many Midlands based Mod and Soul nights for good reason, they have been on the scene for as long as most of us, love the music, the scene and pleasing a dancefloor crowd. So an evening with a 'live' band was mixing it up a little and a risk? One way to find out... head off to NG2! 

Arriving quite early (outfit already sussed for a change!) the Britannia Rowing Club for some reason, for those that have never been, has an upstairs function room decorated in a 'cave' like fashion. Which gives the room a unique atmosphere, quite spacious but almost a cosy close feeling, coupled with great lighting and sound it ticks all the right boxes. Despite being early, the room was already half full, a buzz gathering. One word of warning, if you’re not there fairly early parking can be difficult close to the club. However street parking is just a short walk away. 

Nottingham by the river at the end of a warm day was host to a number of familiar faces and even some of our Mod Royalty had made the trek.. Ms Messer, Ms Weller, (don't slap me gals!) and PHK too!! 

The dress policy as ever was smart with lots of sharp suits and dresses but relaxed enough for some not to be wearing a tie... but still looking sharp. The 2 Mark's foster a policy of smart BUT enjoyment look good and have fun. The room is layered down to a dancefloor in front of the stage with the bar at the rear of the room reached 2 stepped layers of floor space with seating alcoves all along the sides of the room and several seats near the bar. 

As the room filled the 2 Mark's played a mix of tunes while Catherine Crew dealt with the never diminishing queue of smiling faces arriving for the next hour. Somehow Stuart Radford even got in was great to meet up!!  Obviously the guys had done plenty of preparation as the stage was all set up ready for the band and the Hammond organ ready and waiting for Nick as the band appeared on stage after 9pm with Stan bounding on stage as the band launched into their set. The room was now packed and it soon became apparent why the Quik have built up a solid reputation. Immediately you can buy into their sound, recreating a British ‘beat’ scene sound from the mid-sixties, with a mix of popular tunes from the sixties, the Quik are not asking you to treat them as the next big thing or question the direction their music is going. What the Quik aim to do is transport you to a time that live bands played in every town and blasted out these type of tunes. You can sing along, tap your feet or dance along, as quite a few did, to a tight, professional but full of heart and passion performance of some great classics and a real mix of familiar favourites, either with Stan’s excellent vocals or the bands spot on instrumentals. 

The Quik beats did two separate sets in the evening and by the end the dancefloor was full and a genuine encore was requested to which the guys happily complied with but certainly seemed to do it as they were enjoying themselves as much as the crowd, not out of a sense of duty. 

In-between the sets the 2 Marks played some of the 'old favourites' from the 80's recreating a flavour of the distant nights that first got many of us first involved in the scene. By now the dancefloor was packed and some Orlons 'Wah watsui's' and Bobby Freemans 'Swimming' dance moves going on... for those of us not too embarrassed to remember when we actually did 'those' moves regularly!! 

By the end of the night it was thinning out but the classics and some newer favourites were still being spun and the dancefloor still packed.. Andrew Schofield was pulling off some great moves, Maz Weller still full of energy and quite a few more... It wasn't until I dragged my exhausted body out into the fresh air that I realised I'd almost lost my hearing (I blame the Quik!) and my voice (I blame Mrs Gonzo for that!) 

So two things I can recommend after the night: - 

Firstly go see the Quik if you want to hear some of your favourite tunes from The Who, Yardbirds, Spencer Davis, Animals etc. performed in a full blooded sharp vintage style. 

And Secondly join the 2 Marks at the Britalian Job next time if you like your Saturday evenings out to be full of smiles, laughter and dancing with the one of the friendliest bunch of people in the Mod world...