DJ Night at Book and Record Bar
First Friday of the month is "Stick It On" night at the Book and Record Bar in West Norwood. Located in the space of the old Gipsy Queen pub on Norwood High Street just behind the station it's a hidden treasure trove. Second hand books line the shelves and a little bar serves beer by the bottle and local Volcano coffee.
However the main attraction is the very large selection of second hand, rare and collectible records from every genre going. Browse through the current stock in the racks or chat to the owner Michael who really knows his stuff. But the draw this Friday was the chance for punters to play the vinyl themselves. It's a laid back, easy going vibe, so much so that when we arrived promptly for the stated 7:30pm start we were met by the host for the night carrying the beer in to stock up the bar. He informed us that they don't get going until 8:30pm but helpfully offered us pen and paper to write a note on the door and direct people across the road to The Hope pub. There we bumped into some of the West Norwood and South London Social meet-up group for a quick drink and a chat with the friendly landlady Sarah.
Back at the BRB for the delayed start there appeared a battered and weathered chalk board. Dave who has DJ'd there regularly for their internet radio station wnbc.london showed us the ropes. Like a game of darts or pool in the pub you write your name on the chalk board and take your turn. Each person gets to play three tracks either from records they bring along or selected from the wide choice in the shop. Cody opted to start the show with a couple of Stevie Wonder tracks and the list of names started to grow. Dave was on hand to guide newcomers through the simple steps to operate the decks and made even complete novices feel confident like they had been doing it for years.
It was great to see so many of the PRIME guys from the local area chatting away and talking about their choice of tracks. Music is a great icebreaker and passion for so many men and brings back memories of your formative years and experiences. First record bought, gigs you went to, sets at festivals and bringing it right up to the present day with talk of concerts and music nights in south London.
The music and drinks flowed throughout the night. The room filled up and the styles changed back and forth from soul to rock to funk to hip hop. Local West Norwood resident Joel (DJ Prime Cuts from the Scratch Perverts) played a selection but there was no one-upmanship or looking down on other people's selections, just appreciation of music and having fun. Many stayed right on to the end of the night around 1am. Setting off home humming the tunes the blokes from the PRIME meetup seemed to have enjoyed the night, rediscovered their love of music and want to come back again to the social hub that is the Book and Record bar.
Be part of the next event and sign up to PRIME today.
(Thanks again to Joe for the video and photos)