Tag Archives: Danny Beetle

Rocks In The Attic #141: Herman Kelly & Life – ‘Percussion Explosion’ (1978)

This is another throwback to my days DJing in and around Manchester. When I started DJing on Friday nights at 38 Bar / The Castle in Oldham, I initially wondered how I was going to fill so much time, from 7:30pm to midnight every week.

I’d heard that a friend of a friend, Danny Buckley – who we would rechristen Danny Beetle – was an aspiring DJ, so I roped him into playing for an hour or so each week. It was probably very good for me that I did this. Danny opened my ears to many different types of music that I never would have unearthed myself.

One such example is Dance To The Drummer’s Beat, by the ‘70s Miami band Herman Kelly & Life. This track really grooves, punctuated throughout by an overdose of cowbell which, to borrow a phrase from the liner notes, sounds like a ‘beautiful, twitching, ticking musical time bomb’.

Hit: Dance To The Drummer’s Beat

Hidden Gem: Do The Handbone

Rocks In The Attic #80: Les Rythmes Digitales – ‘Darkdancer’ (1999)

Rocks In The Attic #80: Les Rythmes Digitales - ‘Darkdancer’ (1999)My good friend Danny Beetle got me into LRD when we were DJing together. I ended up buying all the 12” singles from this, plus the full album. Danny once saw Stuart Price (the guy behind LRD) browsing through the records at Manchester’s Vinyl Exchange. That’d be a pretty sweet sight to see.

I remember once, I was DJing on a Friday or Saturday night. It was still relatively early so there were only a few people in. A young girl got up from her table walked over to my booth and asked me if I had any “Lez Ryth-mez Digita-lez”. I guess she didn’t do too well in French. I ended up taking pity on her, not laughing in her face, and playing some anyway.

There are two big hits off this record – Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat) which I think was used on a Sunny Delight TV ad; and (Hey You) What’s That Sound? which Price gives a full writers’ credit to Stephen Stills on (the song is based on the lyric from Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth).

This is LRD’s second album – I’ve never heard the first one – and not long after this was released he was poached by Madonna to become her musical director. This isn’t bad a bad record to listen to, given that effectively it’s a dance album. His leaning towards 80s sounds akin to the like of The Pointer Sisters and Georgio Moroder make this an interesting enough listen.

Hit: Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat)

Hidden Gem: Sometimes

Rocks In The Attic #5: Bent – ‘Programmed To Love’ (2000)

I love this album. I was turned onto it by Danny, a mutual friend I enlisted to help me DJ on Saturday nights at 38 Bar (now The Castle) in Oldham. Danny would forever be known as Danny Beetle in my circle of friends due to his very nice original (and restored) VW.

I started off DJing purely with old 60s and 70s rock, complimented with some contemporary stuff like Supergrass, Radiohead and the Super Furry Animals. When Danny started DJing with me, his taste in electronica and downbeat rubbed off on me.

I remember seeing Bent play in Leeds as they were touring this album. They were joined on stage by Zoe Johnston, who sings Private Road and Swollen on the album. She stuck around to the end and sang the lead on Always – perfectly recreating the Nana Mouskouri sample that appears on the album.

Looking back, it was probably one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. Just a nice atmosphere (the two members of Bent, and Zoe Johnston, were hanging around and talking to the audience before and after their set), and although there weren’t that many people there, it just felt like a shared experience. When I got home, I put the album on in my bedroom and, still living with my parents, listened to Always through my headphones.

This album stayed with me so much, I eventually turned my future wife onto it, and when compiling a CD of songs that meant something to each of us, to hand out at our wedding, I put Always on at the end.

I regret not seeing Bent play live again, or even checking out their albums after this one. All I have is this, a couple of 12” singles from this album, and the EP they released next. Given the number of times I went to Glastonbury following the release of this album, I’m sure they would have played there.  I missed them if they did.

Note to self: check out more Bent !

Hit: Swollen

Hidden Gem: Always