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A boot

Well.. this is it.. NeedleandThread.. excited yet? we are.. beleive it or not, this site took some four years to create, and is the result of seriously diligent work from a ten-strong team of expert programmers. Day and night they slaved away, often missing up to one meal a day. This is the result of their labour.

Some among you may be puzzled as to what exactly NeedleandThread is. Dont worry. this is only natural, we actually get it a lot.. But for those of you for whom the world of t’interweb fails to fully satisfy, those who must resort to bizarre social rituals, (like dancing, and suchlike), it may trigger the faint sparks of a memory, deep in the cogitating muscles. Basically we do parties. Dances, events, that sort of thing. and we’re fairly good at it by now..

It all started (cue strings, pan camera) many years ago, when two young, naive gentleman sat down and moaned at the boring nights out they’d been having.. some would blame this on their choice of destination, but no.. They realised that by the power of mathematics, in particular the mathematics of Average Means, if nights out in London were any good, then logically they’d stumble into one or two on their travels.. and stumble they did.. eventually into some good parties.. and so it began..

Starting off with some of the capitals fine squat parties, visiting archaic sites of commerce, and dancing like madmen to twitchy music.. these parties showed a level of fresh new sounds that impressed.. as new parties were encountered in more established venues, in their home ranging territories, (chiefly the south-east stretches of the London areas), a sense of despair reached the pair. there seemed to be a deficit of truly interesting musical offerings occuring in any of the legal establishments. what could this mean for the once-proud institution that was the London music scene? could it truly be comprised solely of navel-gazing art-rock? oh the horror.. gladly, this was soon proved to be untrue.. there was a huge amount of talent seeping from the people surrounding them, there just didnt seem to be any decent outlets for any of it..( and they were both musical fascists, quietly convinced of their own superiority in musical tastes) they decided to start their own events.. parties to celebrate real music, to enjoy stuff that was good, and generally twitch with joy.. this they did..

It started with the big filthy weekend.. pretty self explanatory, really.. it was a joint effort, needleandthread (basically formed on the day) and siren sounds, reknaw, and a few others.. we supplied united vibrations, the rub, and carpetface.. the party was certainly big.. and filthy would certainly describe it.. we took over one floor of what used to be the old seager disillery, a beautiful old building, opposite deptford bridge dlr station.. now sacrificed to the great god progress.. many many bands took part, many djs played, and we went on for something like 18hrs.. twas good.. highlights include the massive iron staircase/fire escape, out the back.. the big rusty one.. with the steps missing, where drummer doug caught the rub, a mere hint of gravity from a short lesson in freefall, and an abrupt introduction to some severely spiky railings.. thankyou doug, well caught sir..

Next up was a small bar in our native pecknam, named mantis, which we took over with a couple of small parties, where we variously fumbled over turntables, mixers, and drinks.. fun was had, days were made, and people got caught having sex in the toilets.. (so someone definately enjoyed it..) highlights include the addition of an extra room upon the flyer.. the toi-let room.. with a special guest set from armitage shanks.. some people didnt get that.. they were asking where it was.. ha ha.. oh yeah.. and the young fella who tried copying some of the moves on a k-tel “how to breakdance” video (circa 1980’s) we were playing.. he ended up face butting the floor at one point.. quite hard.. he was young, but he learnt..

Though mantis was enjoyed, it was too small, and had no live music license (an innovative piece of legislation, apparently aimed at destroying the art of live performance) .. meaning we had to stretch our wings. or mammalian equivalents.. and trundle off, after a short break, to our next port of call, which was a small bar in Brixton, called the bug bar. (underneath mass, what is now called boogaloo) here we reigned supreme for a length of time, throwing packed parties in the low, smoky arches of the bug.. we had a monthly thursday night, running eight till two, squeezing four bands, four dj’s, live visuals, and 2-300 people at a time, into that one room. we had our regular host, the rub, and a long list of bands, and dj’s. (cant be arsed to list them here.. i’ll try and get round to posting all the old flyers soon.. not sure when.. you’ll have to keep checking.. oh the suspense..) we rocked.. arh yeah.. and we kept rocking, all the way up to the point where the venue was bought.. the new owners didnt beleive that live music was something people enjoyed, or were willing to pay for, and so reckoned to stick to house music.. you can imagine our excitement at the thought that we too could become soulless house music promoters.. playing the same 4/4 break for eight hours. oh the pure, unmitigated joy of that prospect.. ahem.. so, again, we took a break of a couple months, while we hunted for a new home..

It was in this time that one of the central beleifs of needleandthread was first put to the test.. our stand on the north/south divide in london was tested, when prestigious east london bars agreed they’d be happy to have us for a thursday night, once a month.. we were torn between the long missions to east london and back we both remembered from nights out in the past, and the memorys of the generally rather cliquey, trendy, and pretentious crowds.. so we stuck with brixton..

We stuck, in particular, to the jamm bar, where we started a series of monthly thursdays in the two room club.. after a year or so of these, a team up occured, between needleandthread, iconscious (our longtime buddies), tic films (the invited cinema) and gluerooms, to form signs of life.. a short series of parties which exploded onto the scene, both at the jamm, and at the corsica arts studio, (a lovely complex of arches under elephant and castle train station).. these immense parties proved to be legendary, living on in the spoken traditions of the local tribes.. (interestingly enough, the duck is back in flight, and has resurrected signs of life, to rock the foundations of the jamm once more!) after some many more months of monthly needleandthread events the pair was forced to split.. work pressures mounting.. needleandthread continued, morphing variously into quirk, a monthly night, again on a thursday, this time involving the brothers avantrural, and their devonshoire cow-step madness.. we then started running monday nights at the jamm, a free entrance live music night, which cycled through several name variations,until it rested upon stuff and things.. an adroitly self-explanatory title.. towards the end of 2007, we started hopping up some serious weekend action, last minute word of mouth stylee, teaming up with the sonic disturbances of short circus, to fully warp the soundboard.. these hush hush gigs were so succesful, we thought we’d better get in there and do it again, and again, and again!

That pretty much covers about half of our history, missing out such memorable occaisions as the millers music bar nights, where the rusty pins squatted a pub in greenwich, and we put on a series of parties, with siren sounds running the rave-up basement, tic films running the upstairs cinema, Known playing one of their legendary 6hr sets, and needleandthread hosting the downstairs jam session, featuring lots of local musicians, and some random munters who managed to grab the mic.. also the clf parties in pecknam, in a beautiful old warehouse, unfortunately earmarked for sacrificial destruction, and the last few months in the life of cafe cairo, clapham (rest in peace), and our involvement in their phoenix-like rise from the ashes, as a mobile, solar-powered, shisha-dispensing van-load of joy..

As for future stuff, watch out for needleandthread presence at the festivals this summer, our monthly spin-off 7″ geek-out nights, at the alma, in cripple palace, our weekly open mic at the half moon, herne hill, our monthly friday nights at the jamm bar, in brixton, our upcoming events at hootananny, also in brixton, and various other random happenstances that either haven’t cropped up yet, or that i’ve forgotten..

This site is slowly but surely gonna get filled up with the photo’s, audio, and video from our nights, that has been scattered around london.. we know where some of it exists, and have heard dark whisperings of hidden hoards of photo’s, etc, existing in various private collections.. please share any further information on these rumours, as we need to gather all of this into one central place.. else who knows what might happen?

thanks for reading this nonsense..

Mr Hovis…

p.s. if anyone out there remembers any details we should add, then its prrobably cos i forgot.. please remind us with comments, or if you have photo’s to show, let us know! ta!


{a beautiful poster, documenting all the artists who’d performed over the years.. a touch out of date now, but still a piece of genius.. well done max! anyone know what happened to it, by the way?}