Since 2001 the thoroughly independent Club Fandango company has been at the forefront of unsigned music in London, promoting up-and-coming new bands across virtually every notable small venue in London ranging from 80 to 800 capacity.
Set up by Andy Macleod (Pointy Records) and Simon Williams (fierce panda records), Club Fandango began with a now infamous Tuesday night residency at the Dublin Castle in Camden which ran through the naughties (and indie boom time) from the spring of 2001 to the autumn of 2009 and became a byword for an edifying night out for bands, industry and gig goers alike thanks to early and pivotal gigs by the of Arctic Monkeys, Death Cab For Cutie, Bloc Party, The Futureheads, Hot Chip, Razorlight, The Killers, Keane, Kaiser Chiefs and other bands beginning with 'K', like KaitO. All of a sudden Tuesdays were the new Fridays and Thursday simply didn't know what to think.
Along the way there was unbridled gigging passion and, inevitably, unhinged expansion. There were the quite-frankly-seminal runs of nights such as the BBC 6 Music gigs at the Water Rats and the BMI sessions at the Borderline. There have been the trips up north to In The City, down south to The Great Escape, and along the road for The Camden Crawl. There has been the fanzine (Zine Fandango), the record company (Label Fandango) and the urban - if you will - festivals (A Fistful Of Fandango) and Pandamonium.
And now? Now, after nigh on a decade of dossing on other people's (dance)floors, Club Fandango has finally found a home it can call its own. That home is The Bull & Gate in Kentish Town. They moved in on June 1st 2010. In September they threw a splendidly successful month-long housewarming party which doubled up as a 30th Birthday celebration for the venue itself. The esteemed likes of mybandsbetterthanyourband, We Got Tickets, Steve Lamacq's Going Deaf For A Living, Amazing Radio, Stuntfox, fierce panda and Camden Crawl Sessions have all signed up for the ride because the idea is to create a welcoming home for great new bands to come and peddle their melodies.
All walks of music industry life have tapped their toes on the Club Fandango boards: A&R men, publishers, managers, journalists, press officers, DJs, lawyers, agents and even rival promoters are often to be found checking out the entertainment. Other punters include rock enthusiasts, generally clever people and, most important of all, new band's burgeoning fan bases. The basic truth is that you can go down to a Fandango show and see three to four carefully hand-picked new bands for £6.00 (or £5.00 with a cheap downloadable flyer from the website) and if that doesn't represent value for money, we bally well don't know what does.
Some bands that have done the fandango over last 10 years...
Death cab for cutie, arctic monkeys, british sea power, keane, friendly fires, kaiser chiefs, bloc party, maximo park, alphabeat, guillemots, coldplay, we are scientists, field music, camera obscura, ultrasound, the clientele , je suis animal, tim ten yen, goldheart assembly, laura marlin, crystal castles, hot chip, dog die in hot cars, hard fi, the polyphonic spree, astronaut, art brut, campag velocet, the hot puppies, cherry ghost, fanfarlo, the go! team, tom vek, the noisettes, the dears, archetecture in helsinki, seafood , flotation toy warning, medium 21, the young knives, the rifles, fujiya and mijagi,the kooks, the subways, the pipettes, hard fi, guillemots, okkervil river, arab strap, delays, get cape wear cape fly, redtrack, the maccabees, rumblestrips, good shoes, glasvegas, selfish c*nt, frightened rabbit, pete and the pirates, the wombats, air traffic, Mr Hudson, cold war kids, the moths, assembly now, the twang, bombay bicycle club, slow club, fight like apes, eugene mcguiness, maps, so so modern, absentee, mistys big adventure, ida maria, stornoway, the ravenettes, bookhouse boys, operator please, the wave pcitures,the heartbreaks, seerauber jenny, pulled apart by horses, slagsmulsklclubben, lawrence arabia, Peggy Sue, Spinto Band, vaults, does it offend you yeah, the cribbs, airborne toxic event, hatcham social, the crookes, applicants, complete short stories, sissy and the blisters, Airship, Allo Darlin’, Anna Calvi, The Answering Machine, Babshadow, Black Gold, Bones, Brigade, Brontide, The Chapman Family, Comanechi, Dels, Dog Is Dead, The Crookes, Fight Like Apes, Films Of Colour, Flats, Funeral Suits, Goldheart Assembly, Hawk Eyes, The Heartbreaks, The History Of Apple Pie, Hope & Social, Imperial Leisure, John & Jehn, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Kurran & The Wolfnotes, Kyla La Grange, Let’s Wrestle, Marques Toliver, Mazes, Misty Miller, The Neat, Pete & The Pirates, Red Kite, The Return Of Boothby Graffoe, The Saturday Night Fulchfest, Sissy & The Blisters, Spy Catcher, Steven Merchant, Strangers, Talons, The Travelling Band, Treefight For Sunlight, Tribes, Turbowolf, Two Wounded Birds, Ultrasound, Union Sound Set, We Are Scientists, Wilder, Wild Palms and Young Legionnaire
Also before they were famous... can you guess? daggers, snowfight in the city centre, freerunner…
And lest we forget satan's cock.