Thursday, October 12, 2006

Save The Last Dance For Me

Dean Parrish - I'm On My Way
Freelance Hellraiser - Grange Hill Grammar

The last song at the school disco was always a slow dancer. I had my first ever “proper” kiss during a slow one though, so it clearly has its merits. However, on the occasions I found myself between girlfriends, I hated the final turgid number. What a come down after a night of hedonistic dancing around with your mates after drinking too many fizzy drinks. It was a similar story years later at the Student Union, where the pop was replaced by something more potent, but Robbie Williams’s ‘Angels’ was always the last thing I heard at 2am on a Saturday night.

The Wigan Casino had a tradition of always playing the same three songs at the end of each all-nighter. The legendary “3 at 5” were ‘Long After Tonight Is Over’ by Jimmy Radcliffe, ‘Time Will Pass You By’ by Tobi Legend, and ‘I'm On My Way’ by Dean Parrish - a vast improvement on ‘Angels’ it has to be said. I never went to the Wigan Casino, but some years later, my own fortnightly indie club of choice always finished with ‘I Am The Resurrection’ by The Stone Roses – still a popular choice for many today, so much so it could be considered a cliché.

At club nights that I have been involved with, we have collectively failed to agree on a definitive final song. Many attempts to incorporate one have come and gone over the years. Songs that lasted more than one night have included The Beach Boys’ ‘Good Vibrations’, and what was my favourite for a while, ‘Helter Skelter’ by The Beatles. We’ve also used Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’ a few times - nothing pisses off a bouncer waiting to clear a place and go home like an 11-minute guitar solo…

I remember reading once, that local authorities in some smaller UK towns and cities insisted clubs should play old children’s TV theme tunes at the end of the night. Apparently, this would help to stem some of the post-club violence that is a feature of going out in these places. Personally I’d want a better soundtrack to my kicking than the Grange Hill theme tune – unless the Freelance Hellraiser had gotten a hold of it, maybe then I could manage a smile as the blows rained down.

As the clock ticks down you can choose to either go out with a bang with one last dance floor filler, or take the softer approach and offer a more sentimental push towards the taxi rank. The last song isn’t always the first memory to accompany the hangover the next morning anyway. My idea is not to look at my watch and to keep playing as though the night will never end, so whenever the plug is pulled, there’s always a killer tune on the go.

Dean Parrish website
Search ebay for Dean Parrish
Freelance Hellraiser website
Buy the Freelance Hellraiser's excellent new non-mash-up album here


Underworld - Rez

I've been waiting for a good excuse to post this for ages, and Dave's piece above has given me it. 'Rez' by Underworld is one of the greatest 'end of the night' tunes there is going. I've been to raves and club nights where I've danced so hard my legs felt like they were about to fall off, but then the DJ's dropped this and the whole place has gone completely crazy and I've found new reserves of energy to give it some more. The amazing thing about 'Rez' is the way it builds to a series of crescendos, riding the crest of those thundering tribal drums and evocative melodic bleeps. The first time I heard it I thought it was music used to communicate with aliens, it sounded like it came from another world. It's such an uplifting track and one of those that just as you think it can't possibly do anything else, it comes back and delivers once again. The only problem with playing this as the last track is that anyone left on the dance floor will be whipped up into such a state of frenzy that they'll never want to go home ever again. God bless 'Rez' and all those who've raved with her.