Another fine electroswingin mix this week from the impressive WHAT WHAT! Records Eldoko. Hope you enjoying it as much as we are! Last week’s showcase mix came to you from a man who has been involved in the swing dance scene for an incredible length of time. In fact if you sat and listened to every version ever made of ‘Aint Got That Swing’ back to back starting from now then it is likely that you wouldn’t get anywhere near the stretch of time he has spent DJing, promoting, hosting, swingin and dancing.
There was a recent comment by UK electro swing DJ Du Mal that there had been a lot of good stuff coming out of Edinburgh recently, to which the reply was that Edinburgh has been swinging for a long time. Who made this comment?
Last week’s Devil’s Music mix came from Frankie Sumatra. Based in Edinburgh via Dumfries.
I caught up with Frankie real name Ewan McNaught at his venue, The Voodoo Rooms, a few weeks ago…
Ewan is a swing and jazz music aficionado and a big fan of Sinatra and the Rat Pack mythology. This enjoyment spread and found a common interest with a few gents of similar taste who decided in 1997 that they wished for more from their Saturday night clubbing experiences and wanted to share their songs, dress and stylings of the past with a new audience and environment.
At this time the world was in the grip of the house/techno clubs and indeed Ewan himself was involved in one of these with Edinurgh’s The Venue.
These friends were interested in creating a club environment with a social, convivial atmosphere, stylish but inclusive. Moving away from genre-defined club nights they decided to play a mix of vintage sounds to an audience who dressed in a range of retro styles, taking the emphasis away from the DJ and literally making the crowd the stars.
Thus Vegas was born combining music, dance, showgirls and a casino. It celebrates it’s 14th (fourteenth) birthday this October!! and hosts Frankie Sumatra, Bugsy Seagull, Dino Martini and Sam Jose are still excited about it. It’s rumoured that Electro-swing.com favourite Jurgen Jagfeld aka Cab Canaveral will be coming over with his band 5 In Love to play. Here’s hoping!
Word of similar evenings got round and Ewan soon set up a long lasting friendship with Nick Hollywood, who has DJ’d at Vegas. Ewan returned the favour by spinning at Nick’s, now defunct, Club Montepulciano which was the forerunner for the widely established White Mink which is coming for 12 nights this August as part of the Edinburgh Festival.
In it’s time Vegas has also been taken to New York where in 2002 Vegas threw a legendary party at Jack’s Joint in Manhattan where G-Clef of Yalloppin Hounds fame played alongside The Jet Set Six to a beaming dancefloor that is still talked about to this day.
Vegas also regularly travels to the other side of Scotland plus other gigs within the UK including an appearance at the Connect Festival.
Getting frustrated at a lack of good venues in Edinburgh about 4 years ago (I can testify to that) led Ewan and a few others to set up The Voodoo Rooms, their own bar, ballroom and speakeasy in a classic Edinburgh building to provide a stylish home for the Vegas frivolities.
Back to the mix and I’m sure the swing afficianados will be revelling in the track selection from the first song to the very last with this one. Over to your Frankie….