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212 / London Club Playlists / 009 / The Wag

London Club Playlist, Test Pressing, Dr Rob, The Wag, Chris Sullivan, Ollie O`Donnell, Hector Heathcote, Paul Guntrip, Wardour Street, We Can Be Heroes, Unbound, Graham Smith

Running from 1982 to 2001 at the renamed Whiskey-A-Go-Go on Wardour Street. Hosted by Chris Sullivan and Ollie O`Donnell, with the original DJs, Hector Heathcote and Paul Guntrip, supplying a club soundtrack very similar to Le Beat Route, its emphasis on the Funk, both old and new. Home from home for Mick Jagger and David Bowie (on pints of Mild & Bitter), and George Michael and Bananarama, The Wag might seem to have been a “spit & sawdust” version of the Camdan Palace`s elitism. Sullivan insists that this wasn`t the case, but admits that he did set out to create a place where his mates could party hassle free. While the door policy is open for debate (check the lyrics to Black Radical MKII`s ”Monsoon”), one thing for sure is that by opening its doors seven days a week, The Wag provided and base for a variety of disparate yet overlapping musical scenes, Camp, Exotica, Jazz, Rare Groove, and Hip Hop, and in doing so allowed them to develop.

I have no memories of The Wag, no stories to share, until much later in the club`s history, since I spilt town, dancing and drinking instead at Ricky`s in Leeds. I didn`t set foot in The Wag until I returned to London in 1989, when Dave Dorrell was promoting “Love” (with the Jesus sweatshirts) there on Friday nights, by which point it was House House House and I`d have gone to a party in a coal bunker provided I could get sorted.

London Club Playlist, Test Pressing, Dr Rob, The Wag, Chris Sullivan, Ollie O`Donnell, Hector Heathcote, Paul Guntrip, Wardour Street, We Can Be Heroes, Unbound, Graham Smith

All photographs copyright of Graham Smith. “We Can Be Heroes” is published by Unbound and contains some amazing examples of Graham`s work, text by Chris Sullivan and the full club playlists on which this series is based.

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