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Tag Archives | Noel Watson

Cutting Shapes – How House Music Really Hit The UK

Moss Side Manchester

During recent times I’ve been intrigued to hear about the growing schism on the House scene here in the UK, brought about by the introduction, primarily by young black dancers, of ‘foot shuffling’ (aka ‘cutting shapes’), an increasingly popular style of dancing that has been met with much hostility in certain quarters, and, somewhat bizarrely, resulted in shufflers being banned from some clubs for dancing in this way. The accusation is that not only do they take up too much dancefloor space, but there’s a general ‘moodiness’ with regards to their attitude. Although it no longer seems to be online, there was even an ‘Anti Foot Shuffling Campaign’ page on Facebook, with some of the posts suggesting underlying issues of racism. As one person commented, “It’s not that all these people on here hate shufflers, they just don’t like fact that black people are into House music now.” Although this comment may be well intentioned, it’s also somewhat misguided given there are, and always have been, plenty of black people in the UK who are big into House – it’s just that their presence is usually to be found away from the mainstream, in more specialist avenues like the Deep and Soulful House scenes. Furthermore, some of the older black crowd are also resistant to this new wave of shuffling, so to present it as a purely black / white issue would be wrong.

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Warehouse @ Vintage Goodwood

I got involved with Vintage on the back of ‘Music Played In Discotheques’, the mix of tracks I put together from the years leading up to when I stared deejaying in the clubs in late 1975, illustrating an era when disco music wasn’t a genre as such, but the music played in clubs and discotheques. This was something Wayne Hemingway and his son Jack (who’d been to some of my DJ dates) had asked me to do for the silent disco space they’d curated at Liverpool’s Tate Gallery, the centrepiece being an underlit disco dancefloor.

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