One of London’s longest running and best loved live music nights is set to finish with the organisers of the Dirty Water Club calling time on the institution.
Way back in the summer of 1996, tired of being force fed lad-rock by the bloated Britpop scene a number of London musicians began to look back at the 60s for inspiration. Whereas Oasis were telling everyone to listen to The Beatles, The Dirty Water Club was devoted to nastier, less well known aspects of the swinging sixties.
Taking its name from the garage rock staple ‘Dirty Water’ by The Standells, the club dedicated itself to promoting filthy rock and roll. Since then it has had an incalculable affect on the international music scene, providing a launch pad for countless garage groups.
British giants such as Billy Childish tread the boards at Dirty Water countless times, building up a devoted fan base. However these mavericks were soon joined by an international contingent. Japanese bands such as Thee Michelle Gunn Elephant voyaged to the club, while ‘Kill Bill’ soundtrackers The 5678s also performed.
The Detroit contingent would provide the club with its lasting legacy however. The White Stripes played a sensational show there, and were soon joined by fellow garage merchants The Dirtbombs, The Come Ons, The Von Bondies and countless more.
Garage rock became the new sensation and the club was mobbed. A record label was launched in 2004, which has gone from strength to strength uncovering new groups and resurrecting forgotten oldies.
The club continued and attracted some stunning performances from original garage types such as The Monks and cult hero Sky Saxon of The Seeds. However all that is now a memory as the Dirty Water club prepares to shut its doors.
An official statement says: “The Professor is departing to work on other projects, whilst PJ will be concentrating on Dirty Water Records, which is going from strength to strength, with a new release more or less on a monthly basis.”
Club co-founder PJ says: “At the moment it feels like a great relief, as I’ve been feeling overworked for far too long. However, I aim to use much of the extra time to work on on Dirty Water Records instead.”
“The record label is going really well and deserves more attention from me. I’m going to be DJing at a number of garage-rock festivals over the coming year too – in Paris, Sardinia, Rotterdam, Valencia, Atlanta and, er, Nottingham, so far – where I can have a good time, drink and play records, without the work of having to organise it. We’ll put on occasional gigs under the record label name, as “Dirty Water live” – and, who knows, maybe we’ll go back to more regular gigs at some future date.”
The final Dirty Water Club takes place on June 19th.