➤ Deejay Sullivan declares war on the “Wayne and Shirley” jazz-funkers

 Blue Rondo a la Turk, Chris Sullivan

Back in the day: Zoot-suited Chris Sullivan high-stepping with his Latin band Blue Rondo a la Turk, Glasgow 1981. Christos Tolera is seen hitting a cow-bell. Photographed by © Shapersofthe80s

❚ A CRACKLING EXCHANGE OF OPINIONS has given Facebook some edge this week. Legendary Wag club host, the deejay Chris Sullivan poured scorn on the term “jazz-funk” and its followers, igniting a barrage of responses from 70s fans of the Gold Mine, Caister and the Lacy Lady, sampled below.

➢ Chris Sullivan at Facebook, Nov 15: A friend of mine asked me what I played at Novikov every Sunday. I replied “jazz and funk” and he said “jazz-funk” and so horrified was I that anyone would think I play that rubbish, I recorded the start of my set for him and here it is…

♫ Listen to Sullivan’s mix – Solid funk that we love to love ♫


Paul Carter: Nuthin wrong with jazz-funk at all – was the soundtrack to many young Londoners’ lives… The Gold Mine was one of the best clubs ever… When everyone was obsessed with punk and post punk, the really cool kids (black and white) were groovin to jazz-funk and soul. Just sayin.

Chris Sullivan: When I went to the Gold Mine it was funk but later came jazz-funk like Brazilian Love by George Duke and jazz-funkers started getting their hair permed and wearing dungarees and going to Purley All-Dayers… bloody horrible… Most true funk I love and jazz, especially Blue Note, is impeccable but jazz-funk is shite… and its emergence ruined a good little scene –  remember the Cortinas with the car stickers “Wayne and Shirley” for example, and the furry dice.

Paul Carter: Bit of snobbery there I think… and it is an opinion Chris, no more… I remember some incredible nights down the Gold Mine with Chris Hill, Pete Tong, and the rest of them – a lot of wedges but not a perm in sight – just great music – I think it’s a real shame that it’s been written out of club culture in favour of Northern soul (dull dull dull) and the West End scene in which you played such a large part. I was in both scenes and I always loved that the suburban scene was just about the music, not about the width of your turn-ups (much as I loved Le Beat Route and the rest). Oh and it was far more racially mixed too… / Continued at Facebook



2 responses to “➤ Deejay Sullivan declares war on the “Wayne and Shirley” jazz-funkers

  1. I honestly feel that the two went hand in hand. Immediately post punk and living in Oxford jazz-funk played a big part in our lives. We would go to Brimpton Grange and Southgate Royalty, weekend trips to Bournemouth if someone wanted to drive. Of course while my preference would be Funk every time I can’t imagine life without jazz-funk or some of the great characters I met. I must say that everyone seemed to embrace all club culture in my experience from All-dayers to Wag club, as long as you could dance!

    * Shapersofthe80s writes: I was surprised by Chris’s stand, but the man does know his stuff!

  2. Colin Stuart-Campbell

    I think he is associating music with people rather than the music itself. Chris and many of us that frequented the more esoteric and exclusive clubs by nature have an individual take on what shapes our culture. Personally I thought bands Like Brass Construction (definitely Jazzy funk to me at least) were very much a part of that fusion of music that contributed to the ongoing progression of sounds.
    Some music did attract mass and in some cases dodgy followers, some a more elitist crowd. In the same way Hi-tension seemed to attract a huge crowd while House was pumping away in separate clubs for a while. Realistically some jazz, funk and fusions did not work, and some did. To label any style good against another without taking this into account would be inaccurate and foolish.

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