June 11, 2010
It's time to put on your hipsters and dust off your mini-skirts. The
inaugural Trapped In The Sixties Modernist Weekender takes place
later this month, writes Zita Collinson
VERY few acts from the Swinging Sixties have truly survived the test of time.
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are, of course, the giants of the
era. Lennon, McCartney and Jagger have all been assured of a place in
posterity as each successive generation of fans rediscovers their music.
But, as the founder of the Off With The Octopus club says, the decade
featured so much more than the emerging sound of pop.
In fact, uncovering the rarities of the period is something of an
obsession for Phill Bettany, who started his monthly underground
night at the Fat Cat Cafe Bar two years ago.
Phill, pictured, a 27-year-old care worker from Newford Crescent,
Milton, enjoys the obscure and the psychedelic just as much as more
well-known 60s fare.
"There's a growing underground 60s club scene up and down the
country," he says. "But when I started Off With The Octopus, I had to
travel to London to enjoy events like the ones we put on in Hanley.
"I got into the music after being conned into going to an Oasis gig
by one of my work colleagues a few years ago. I wasn't a fan at the
time, but that opened my eyes to what their influences were.
"I started becoming interested in bands like The Jam and The Who and
The Small Faces. But for me that was too easy.
"I was more curious to find out about bands around the time who might
not have made it into the mainstream, like The Sorrows and The Pretty
Things. From then on, I was hooked."
Inspired by the success of Off With The Octopus, Phill hosted an
all-day event last year.
He hopes to top this later this month, when he holds the first
Trapped In The Sixties Modernist weekender, from Friday, June 25,
until Sunday, June 27.
"The event covers all aspects of popular 60s culture from rhythm and
blues to the Mod scene through to psychedelia, garage and progressive
rock," says Phill, who also runs his own label, Octopus Records.
He has recruited psychedelic soul group DC Fontana to headline on
Friday and Phill's regular DJs will play sets throughout the weekend,
alongside a line-up of special guests.
Saturday sees Northampton-based The Strides take to the stage, while
representatives from Nuneaton Mod club Slippin' N' Slidin' will play
a selection of their favourite tracks in the afternoon.
Dedicated followers of fashion won't be disappointed either vintage
clothing and vinyl stalls will be open during the three-day mini-festival.
"We've also invited Patrick Campbell-Lyons," says Phill. "He's from a
1968 group Nirvana not to be confused with the 1990s band.
"They became a bit of a cult group and Patrick is one of the people
who put the wheels in motion for Island Records."
Other bands on the bill include The Method and The Eviltones.
"All the DJs involved with Off With The Octopus are dedicated to
unearthing rare records," continues Phill. " I love to find records
people might not have heard and bring them out on club nights to make
a real alternative to the usual indie scene.
"It's really taken off. I hope it's opened people's eyes. It's great
to see people my age and younger being as enthusiastic about the 60s
club scene as I am."
Off With The Octopus runs every first Saturday of the month. Trapped
In The Sixties Modernist Weekender takes place at Fat Cat Cafe Bar
from June 25-27. For tickets, log on to www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/go