No way Out
Well I told you once and I told you twice
But ya never listen to my advice…………
……………..well this could be the last time
This could be the last time
Maybe the last time
I don't know.
Six and half years is a short time in the grand scheme of things but within the evolving world of rhythm and blues clubs it’s an age. When Steve, Sam Collins, Yvonne, Sue and I started our own night in May 2007 we knew we wanted something distinctive, ground-breaking yet accessible to a wider audience than previous, more narrowly targeted nights. We didn’t want people tut-tutting about what others wore, we didn’t want chin-stroking discussions about the rarest of the rare and wanted to break away from the male-dominated clubs prevalent at the time. As Steve rightly notes, sixties scenes lasted a couple of years at most. We’ve probably, on that basis, long overstayed our welcome. Nevertheless, where else would you have heard and danced the night away to Gav Arno, Alan Handscome, Alice Fowkes, Andrea Mattioni, Andrea Panozzi, Andy Pollard, Angie, Axel Derie, Bill Kealy, Callum Simpson, Chris Dale, Christina Alonso, Ciro, Clanger, Damien Hewitt, Dennis Haw, Filippo Liti, Geoff Swallow, Giuseppe Broso, Graham 'The Rabbi' Wright, Jamie Parr, Johnny Cockerline, Jordi Duro, Kristine Kavamme, Lee Miller, Lee Speed, Les Hare, Linda Popcorn, Mace,... Marco Moretti, Mark Thomas, Mary Boogaloo, Mike Warburton, Mik Parry, Mr Fine-Wine, Mr Mojo, Niamh Lynch, Neil Lee, Paul Kamczyk, Scott Fraser Simpson, Smiler, Soggy, Steve Cato, Stevie Z, Sugar Merchant, Ted Couldstone, Thorsten Wegner, Tim Ott-Jones, Tomas McGrath, Tommaso Bondi, the TM Club's Toto, Michael & Franco, Vicky Hurley and Wayne Dearman, over the last six and a half years, if not at No Way Out?
So, onwards, to the last ever No Way Out. We thought it might be difficult selecting the DJs for our last night but, of course, in the end it wasn’t. We had to have Mik. Mik, in our eyes, is the most important rhythm and blues DJ of the last ten years. His club night, Sheffield’s truly legendary Pow Wow, was the blueprint for No Way Out. We never actually managed to match its intensity, drive, popularity or importance but, even if we must say it ourselves, got incredibly near at times. Not only is Mik a great DJ but he’s a lovely guy and mate as well.
No Way Out’s dance floor has always been dominated by the girls and we have, as the list above testifies, often sought to feature more than our fair share of female DJs. Women tend to get the danceable tunes straight off, whereas we blokes often dilly-dally before reaching agreement on what’s worthwhile. Niamh is a star of the London scene, a scene we’ve championed over the years. The last time she played for us she blew us away and we’re more than a little chuffed that she’s guesting for us at the ultimate No Way Out.
Linda Couldstone, Popcorn, or whatever moniker she uses, has been a stalwart of No Way Out since day one. Linda plays ‘out of left field’ stuff that many nights overlook at their peril. She has championed popcorn in the UK for longer than anyone and remains these shores’ most influential purveyor of this European scene. We’re pleased to note that Linda and Ted will be guesting at London’s RnB123 next year, so this will certainly not be the last time as far as we’re concerned.
To all our regulars, past-regulars, friends old and new, and the curious to see what they missed we hope to see you again for the last time on November 16