Spotify Link below :
Back in the early 80s the Cherry Tree pub on our estate, The Grange in Runcorn refurbished what had been a cabaret style annexe called The Orchard Room (get it?) into a (for then) state-of-the-art disco incorporating a great sound system and re-christenend, I shit you not, ‘The Eighties.’
Our little mob were too young to get in at the time but watched with a mixture of envy and amusement as Mondays became New Romantic night, shouting abuse at Steve Strange types who got out of taxis not at Le Kilt or Billys in the glamorous west end of the capitol but a poxy alehouse slap bang in the middle of a run down council estate in Runcorn.
However, it was the weekend nights that cemented the Cherry’s reputation as the place to be within a ten mile radius of the pub and we’d gawp as bus fulls of scallys, male and female, would descend on our estate all togged out in their ever changing array of pre-casual fashions. Full tennis outfits for the lads? Check! Pocahontas outfits for the gals? You bet!
The Cherry’s resident DJ, ‘Little’ Eric Burke played a fusion of disco, funk, early hip hop, electronic pop and scouse indie and although the club itself was tiny, five or six hundred scals would cram the place very weekend and once the opening bars of one of the crowd’s favourite tunes came on, the dancefloor would be a heaving mass of cord clothing and gold jewelry.
I’d just left school and had swapped punk singles for Rick James ‘Streetsongs’ LP; the electro-pop takeover of the charts had begun in earnest and former underground bands like OMD and Human League had become major chart acts. Local bands such as Echo & The Bunnymen, The Teardop Explodes and China Crisis were also popular even though the soundtrack was dominated predominantly by disco and funk.
Although it was mainly females who did the dancing, it was astonishing to see so many tough footy type lads also getting their groove on, although there was no lone or single sex dancing allowed. No, the only dance in town (the Cherry dance) was a peculiar legs apart strut with one arm raised to the waist. Other than moving the waist from side to side opposite your female partner, there was no movement from the spot and once you’d ‘got up’ there was no getting back down without a fight through the hundreds of bodies all fighting for a tiny patch of parquet flooring.
I must admit that my own courting style was limited to asking the most gorgeous girls in the place for a dance only to be rejected and then either settling for a night of toe tapping or getting up with our Claire, me sister, and cracking on she was me bird.
Anyway, the above soundtrack doesn’t contain any obscurities or groundbreaking examples of cutting edge musical innovation, these are just some of the tunes that got us up on our cord shoes.
African & White – China Crisis
Try it Out – Gino Soccio
Paint me Down – Spandau Ballet
Rescue – Echo & The Bunnymen
The Breaks – Kurtis Blow
Hard Times (instr) – Human League
Rapper’s delight – Sugarhill Gang
Der Mussolini – DAF
Not Just Knee Deep – Funkadelic
Give It To Me Baby – Rick James
You’re My Kind Of Climate – Rip Rig & Panic
Burn Rubber On Me – Gap Band
Rock The Casbah – The Clash
Magic’s Wand – Whodini
Let’s Go Round Again – Average White Band