Nov 12

Poptimism presents… Club Action POPULAR SPECIAL

FT25 comments • 943 views

Club Action Popular Special

It’s been 60 years since Al Martino was the UK’s first #1 record*!

To celebrate this sensational sexagenary, DJ Chlorine and The Barnet Ape will be playing only #1s all night** – all the boshingest chart-toppers from Aqua to Zager & Evans.

Assisting them in this noble endeavour will be our very own Popular maestro Tom Ewing and Popular superfan Bob Stanley.

WHERE: Downstairs @ Ryan’s Bar, 181 Stoke Newington Church St
WHEN: Friday 30th November 2012, 8pm-1am
FREE ENTRY also we know where the air conditioning button is now

So come along, to (probably) the only club night where you will hear both Coolio AND Doris Day!



  1. 1
    Pete on 26 Nov 2012 #

    There is only one guarantee on the night – that Babylon Zoo will get their due.

  2. 2
    Tim on 26 Nov 2012 #

    “Aqua to Zager & Evans”

    I can think of three Swedes and four Norwegians who will be crying salt tears at this policy.

    Also: BOO! I can’t come due to away-ness.

  3. 3
    Lazarus on 26 Nov 2012 #

    I was genuinely going to come to this, until I looked into the logistics – I don’t live in London, hell I’m not even inside the M25, and Stoke bleedin’ Newington doesn’t have a tube station – the nearest is a mile and a half away. Just too much travelling I’m afraid. Do you still convene at that bar at Waterloo? For that, I’d be on.

  4. 4
    Lazarus on 26 Nov 2012 #

    Hmmm, it seems my comment has disappeared, thanks to my old friend ‘Internet Explorer Cannot Display the Webpage.’ How I’ve chuckled at seeing that one over the years, or rather, shouted a lot, and punched the screen.

    Anyways, too far away, no tube, would prefer Waterloo, should it ever come to pass.

  5. 5
    Chelovek na lune on 26 Nov 2012 #

    In spirit, I’m sorry, only too, five years after I moved out of London.

    I’m now eight miles from the nearest railway station, no car, (or 18 miles from the nearest station that has a bus service after 7pm). And Stokey is too remote from Paddington!!!!

    Sorry for the whine. Hope it’s a grand, grand, evening. I still rate “Turn Back Time” as Aqua numbers go, fwiw…

  6. 6
    punctum on 27 Nov 2012 #

    I won’t be coming to this for a variety of reasons:

    1. Since my stroke this is not really the sort of thing I should be doing any more. Stoke Newington is a very long way away from where we live and if it’s a toss-up between stumbling around N16 at 1:30 on a cold, dark December Saturday morning trying to find a bus (or buses) and staying at home and sleeping peacefully in a nice, warm and comfortable bed then it’s a no-brainer.

    2. As I am now on Warfarin treatment (i.e. I am now officially an Old Man) I am forbidden alcohol by the world-renowned medical specialists who are taking care of my health. Not that I was exactly having much alcohol before my stroke but even an innocent glass of wine with dinner has proved to have unfortunate ramifications.

    3. More importantly, though, I feel that the time for all of this has sort of passed. I remember (clay pipe, Panama hat, out on the porch, Kids Today etc.) in the mid-noughties glory days of Club Poptimism well over 200 people turning up to nights as a matter of routine, and there being a great drive and purpose. The last couple of times we went, though, it seemed to have shrunk back down to its hardcore initial following; OK if that makes people happy, but it limits what you can do.

    4. Moreover, there are some people who go to these things with whom it’s always a pleasure to meet (although it’s impossible to chat) and, frankly, other less pleasant people with whom I’d feel very uncomfortable being in the same room. This would be stressful and I’m under strict medical orders to avoid stress wherever possible.

    5. Finally, if the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that Aqua probably represent everything I hate about pop (they’re coming up on TPL so I’ll spare the full rant until then) so fundamentally I’m out of sympathy with the central ethos. Woe betide me, then.

  7. 7
    Tom on 27 Nov 2012 #

    I remember (clay pipe, Panama hat, out on the porch, Kids Today etc.) in the mid-noughties glory days of Club Poptimism well over 200 people turning up to nights as a matter of routine

    This is around double what we ever got, incidentally :)

    (Our high point numbers wise was the Polar Bear, where we got 120 once I think – this was also the only time we had a door charge, the club soon moved to the Cayman Islands on the proceeds.)

  8. 8
    punctum on 27 Nov 2012 #

    Good heavens, I must have been indulging in serious Blossom Hill abuse back then! It felt like 200, anyway, and for me that was part of the attraction; getting in people from outside the ILM/FT nexus, etc., which seemed to recede with the passing of time. My book has to date sold 124 copies, though, so around 120 does seem to be the cut-off point.

  9. 9
    Mark G on 27 Nov 2012 #

    Must have been a particularly successful book-signing evening then.

  10. 10
    punctum on 27 Nov 2012 #

    Never had any book-signing evenings. My publisher didn’t set any up and too many other things happened at the time for me to give the matter my full attention. Book’s dead as a dodo and will probably go for £90 on eBay circa 2032.

  11. 11
    katstevens on 27 Nov 2012 #

    We shall dance extra hard to Aqua in your absence!

  12. 12
    Pete on 27 Nov 2012 #

    Dear everyone who is not coming (ie 100% of the world rounded up to nine significant figures) – please can you also supply us with at least four reasons why you are not coming. Bonus marks if you can off-handedly insult the organisers, location, a non-specific selection of the attendees and the music policy! Cheers.

  13. 13
    Kerry on 27 Nov 2012 #

    also we know where the air conditioning button is now


  14. 14
    Kerry on 27 Nov 2012 #

    ps I will be turning up late, and probably drunk and namedropping senior C of E clerics, apologies in advance.

  15. 15
    Matt DC on 27 Nov 2012 #

    Actually there was a fairly decent turnout of off-the-street punters last time at Ryan’s – probably one of the benefits of having it in a place where people actually go out late. The Horse suffered a bit from being an after-work place that emptied out after a couple of hours, rather than the other way round.

  16. 16
    Pete on 27 Nov 2012 #

    (They only came to steal the glowsticks)

  17. 17
    Matt DC on 27 Nov 2012 #

    That’s alright, so did I.

  18. 18
    punctum on 27 Nov 2012 #

    #12: OK, you’re wanting the argument, so let’s jump in.

    To interpret my remarks as “off-handed insults” suggests a substantial degree of insecurity on your behalf and also that you don’t have very good reading skills. In other words, you jump on individual words or phrases, rip them out of their context and choose to view them as “insults.” Or perhaps you consider anything less than fulsome, unquestioning praise for what you do an “insult;” I don’t know, that’s your business.

    Otherwise you have to face up to the uncomfortable reality that not everybody thinks that Club Poptimism, or Club Action, or whatever you choose to call it, is God’s greatest gift to mankind, but rather what was once a very good and enjoyable club night – as I made perfectly clear – which has “declined” (my OPINION) into something that doesn’t particularly interest me, that is situated too far for me to travel to, and moreover might possibly kill me if I did try to go there. You can see that as an “insult” if your world is that warped.

    Or perhaps it’s the immediacy with which you choose to jump on anyone who shows the slightest independence of thought, who don’t think Aqua are the greatest pop act ever, or who wasn’t in the same year as you at Oxford. Who knows, except you?

    For your information, Lena and I felt pretty insulted by the wooden spoon that a certain regular who won’t be named here brandished openly the last time we did a DJ set at Club Poptimism, enough to dissuade us from ever asking again. There are people who go there whom I don’t like and who probably don’t like me. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it but nor am I going to waste an evening travelling to be in the same room as them; I have better things to do at my time of life.

    So, to sum up, I found your remarks unreasonable, unengaging, aggressive and selective. I don’t think your comments have come across as a very good advertisement for your club night, and I strenously deny any intention of “insults”, off-handed or otherwise.

    If I was anybody else, I’d say if you want to run a club for your mates and your mates only, then fair enough, but I don’t think it would be right for me to say that.

    And if FT is only going to permit expression of common generalities relating to the majority opinion (I stress the singular “opinion” here) of its writers and readers, then there is no room for freedom of speech. You need to know that I have taken this very personally indeed, and perhaps I need to be somewhere where this sort of thing won’t happen.

  19. 19
    Carsmilesteve on 27 Nov 2012 #

    Punctum, what i don’t get is why you found the need to post beyond “unfortunately i will not be coming” or similar in the first place…

    Describing some of our regulars as people you don’t want to be in the same room as sounds like an insult in my opinion…

  20. 20
    Kerry on 27 Nov 2012 #

    I haven’t been involved in any of the history of these events, so I don’t have any context for this (clearly long-standing) set of grievances. But as a bystander, I’m really confused about why your medical conditions preventing you from attending mean that Club Action is “a club for your mates and your mates only”.

    Also, is Aqua something else other than the ’90s Danish pop band? I don’t understand why it’s important.

    Is the wooden spoon a metaphor or was it a literal wooden spoon? Is that a song lyric?

  21. 21
    Matt DC on 27 Nov 2012 #

    I believe it’s the literal wooden spoon with a number on it that people wave then their Thai food has arrived and the waiting staff haven’t spotted them yet.

  22. 22
    Pete on 27 Nov 2012 #

    #18. I don’t want the argument. I have seen this argument play itself out with alarming regularity on FT and elsewhere, it cannot be won and is no fun because there isn’t a argument to be had. Plainly stated, myself and the other organiser of the event found your post insulting to our event and audience, but also rather bemusing for the reasons suggested in #19. Nevertheless I am aware that insult is in the eye of the beholder and it was quite possibly not meant that way. In which case my mistake.

    Was my reply insulting? Yes. Was it intended that way? Yes, as I felt that I wanted to defend the the people who will be coming to this event, and I wanted to do so in a way that would detoxify the atmosphere done by your post on this thread. It is almost certainly a sign of insecurity to be loyal to my friends, and disloyal to people who have never shown me any friendship, though it is also classic mob mentality behaviour you rightly identify. Obviously in trying to detoxify this thread I have failed, which goes to show bullies don’t prosper, which is good to know.

    The rest of your post sets up a number of straw men which are not salient to the point*, and would perpetuate an argument which does not exist. This is playground tit for tat after all, you insulted us, I insulted you.

    *Nice try on the Oxbridge mafia though! None of the regulars at Poptimism were in my year at Oxford, and those that were at my college (Magnus, Tom and Emma) two actively and rightly disliked me for many of the character traits I am displaying in this reply. Including pedantry.

  23. 23
    Billy Hicks on 29 Nov 2012 #

    I’d love to come to one of these some day – one because it’s so completely my thing, and two, although I’ve only been posting since July 2010 (lurking since about ’09 tho) you all seem like a thoroughly pleasant bunch of people. I’ll ignore the dispute above :)

    Alas I can’t make this one as I’ll be performing in nearby Shoreditch. Could I be cheeky and request at least *one* play of ‘Mr Blobby’ at some point during the night? Although I won’t be there the thought of it blasting out a club in Stoke Newington in November 2012 is one that would amuse me for the rest of my life…

  24. 24
    Erithian on 29 Nov 2012 #

    Unfortunately due to an occupational hazard of modern life known as “collecting the kids from Scouts”, I won’t be able to join you tomorrow, which is a pity as I rather liked the venue (and the food) last time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Number 1s special that marked Tom’s reaching halfway to the present with Popular. That was the first time I had the pleasure and the privilege of meeting Punctum and Lady Punctum, and the night I saw his Wayne’s World-esque reaction to the DJ (not sure who it was at the time) segueing from “Bonkers” into “Telstar” – as we said at the time, you can’t imagine anywhere else in the world where you’d get that.

    So I’m sorry too to hear that Marcello and Lena won’t be there either, and to hear the reasons for it. I had another chance to chat to them at the Hangover Lounge last year, and what a great couple – I’d have liked to chat again, about family matters as well as pop. Maybe another time.

    But hey, you never know when a barney is going to break out here, do you? (Memo to Billy: you’re right we’re a thoroughly pleasant bunch, but at unexpected moments – Aqua or Abba, whether Please Please Me was a number one – we’re like the cute aliens in Galaxy Quest who suddenly tear people apart.) The wooden spoon incident was certainly unpleasant, and I can see why that would have stung, but I agree with Carsmile that the last two or three of paras of #6 were a bit unnecessary on here, as was Pete’s reaction. Hopefully we can leave it there.

    Have a good night tomorrow – if it was the Horse I might be able to make it, but being in furthest SE London I’d get to Ryan’s and have to turn around again. Regards to all and make sure you play “Fire” for me.

  25. 25
    will on 29 Nov 2012 #

    I’m hoping to go to this tomorrow, all things being equal.

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