Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Tuesday 22 August 2023

The Lion, The Sloth, The Sons Of Slough And Hardway Meets Monkton

I've spent the last two Friday nights getting the train from Manchester Victoria up to Todmorden, a twenty five minute train journey that drops me off a two minute walk from The Golden Lion, a pub (run by the most brilliant and generous hosts Waka and Gig) in a small town in West Yorkshire variously described as a portal, the vortex and the best pub in the world. 

On Friday 12th August Paul Simonon and Dan Donovan were due to play a DJ set. I bought a ticket back in March, the prospect of being in a pub with the bass player from The Clash too tantalising to miss out on. The Lion was busy from late afternoon, the crowd eagerly anticipating an evening with former members of the Clash and Big Audio Dynamite. News came through from London that Paul was unable to travel due a back injury. Dan Donovan stepped up solo and played a blinder, spinning reggae, dub and dancehall to the packed pub and later on some Clash songs. One of the many highlights of Dan's set was this 1985 Barrington Levy song...

Here I Come

I missed the last hour due to the train times back to Manchester- last train out of Tod is at 12.06am- and the need to connect with the last tram out of the city centre but it was a very good night. Hopefully Paul can make the trek north at some point to play at The Lion. One of the sights of the evening was the appearance of a giant sloth working its way through the pub just before Dan took to the decks. It seemed perfectly natural and exactly as things should be. 

Last Friday, 19th August, was a long planned tenth birthday party for Duncan Gray's Tici Taci label, a night with the mighty Sons Of Slough (Duncan and Andrew Weatherall's brother Ian) playing a live set upstairs with a Hardway Bros/ Monkton DJ set afterwards downstairs (Hardway Bros being Sean Johnston and Monkton being Duncan). Chris Rotter and Rusty provided warm up DJ duties, chilled tunes for those in the back room and beer garden. 

Sons Of Slough played to a packed room, heat dripping off the walls and ceiling by the end. They kicked off proceedings with their cover of New Order's In A Lonely Place, a song they released as a tribute to Andrew back in 2021 as IWDG, Ian dedicating the song to his brother and then taking up melodica. 

In A Lonely Place is a moody song, New Order finding their way out after the death of Ian Curtis. Andrew was a huge fan of Factory and early New Order. Ian and Duncan's cover adds some hefty 21st century bottom end to the song and a slo mo acid house rhythm. The only line from Bernard's original lyrics that made it into the final IWDG version is 'how I wish you were here with me', a poignant one for obvious reasons. 

This footage shows Ian and Duncan playing In A Lonely Place a few weeks ago in Windsor, a live set in front of an invited audience. There are clips of the set on various people's Facebook pages but none on Youtube to link to yet. 

After In A Lonely Place Sons Of Slough played a seamless, non-stop set of acid house, electro, oompty boompty music, songs from their 2021 Bring Me Sunshine album, synths, keyboards, vocoder, melodica, guitar and laptop put through the Lion's top class sound system. 

Downstairs Sean Johnston had made a start playing songs, waiting for Duncan to join him. The whole pub becomes a club once night falls, the mirrorball bouncing beams around the stone walls and floor. The crowd at The Golden Lion are, without fail, friendly and lovely people, everyone up for a good time, a cross generational smiley crew who want to dance. 

Sean played Jah Wobble and Sinead O'Connor's Visions Of You early on and some slow paced stuff before Duncan joined him and they started to ramp it up a bit, playing back to back, thumpy, wiggy acid house/ dub disco tracks spanning the last four decades including Secret Circuit's Jungle Dogs (Tiago Remix), Liaisons Dangerueses, the new Rich Lane one, Mandrake, Rule Six's The Ride (a summer 2023 Tici Taci release) and Peza's edit of Mystic Thug and Rock The Casbah. And loads more that I can't remember or didn't know or was too lost dancing to to want to know.  

Jungle Dogs (Tiago Remix)


Nick L said...

Very nice haunting live interpretation of In A Lonely Place. I'm envious of the nights out at the Lion...not really sure we have any equivalent down here. If we did I expect it would be a tad more elitist and less open minded...

Swiss Adam said...

The Lion is the opposite of elitist and is very open minded. Plan a weekend up north Nick, come and see.

Nick L said...

May well do that at some point, I've got family in Salford and Blackpool. Love the trips we've had into Mamchester. Never had an evening out there though, must rectify that next time.