Spats Hip Hop Club

Spats-Hip-Hop-Club-flyerI still have an old flyer from 1986 for Spats Hip Hop Club in London; what is effectively a tatty piece of paper with a permanent crease across the middle. But the flyer’s design brings back such huge memories. If Spats was the Hip Hop Hadron Collider, the breakers were its particles pushing the laws of physics and the DJs its soul sonic force; all which created a big bang in the UK, paving the way for UK Hip Hop as it is now.

Along with friends, I would follow the well-trodden route of hundreds of teenagers in London on any given Saturday in 1986: checking out the graffiti in Covent Garden, lunching at Quick Burgers in Leicester Square, visiting Groove Records in Soho, before heading to 37 Oxford Street: Spats.

Getting older, I’ve realised Spats would have been the kind of place you’d end up in after work on a Friday night – desperately drunk, dancing badly and trying to get lucky with the hot one from HR. But by midday every Saturday, Spats had cleaned up its act, dusted itself down and transformed from seedy basement bar of embarrassments to the London Hip Hop place to be. The club rang out with the latest in UK Hip Hop and future rap classics spun by DJs Fingers and Tim Westwood, with freestyle jams provided by Family Quest. The fashions were exciting and of the moment: Adidas, Puma, Ellesse, ski jackets and hats, tracksuit tops; the break dancing simply amazing.

It was a good lesson in life as I was growing up – to be amongst such a range of people in the capital city. Let’s face it, my home town in the eighties (Exmouth in Devon) wasn’t the most culturally or ethnically diverse of places. Whilst I didn’t know or find out much about the other kids that were at Spats (their backgrounds and lives), everyone brought their own unique style: be it rapping, dj-ing, breaking or graffiti writing.

There’s a great film on You Tube that shows the sheer energy of Spats, with kids having fun and just doing what they enjoy: breaking and popping, and all to the sound of loud Hip Hop. One shot in the film shows Tim Westwood, a long acknowledged Hip Hop pioneer, looking geeky in his spectacles; a nerdy scientist let loose on the Hadron Collider’s control panel, advancing the laws of Hip Hop and taking it to another level.

Watch this:

Listen to: UK Hip Hop pioneers, Family Quest

2 Responses “Spats Hip Hop Club” →
  1. I used to go to spats hi hop club back in 1984

    Your article takes me back and your comments about the hadron collider struck a chord the club was full of energy and innovation loads of london’s hip hop movement came out of that club


  2. MC E=Mix

    5 April 2013

    Well as I slip my slippers on
    I remember the time we’d all rap to a song,
    It was the afternoon On a Saturday,
    Sargent Rock & Junior Gee, did often battle MC,

    to my personal view Sargent rock kicked his butt,
    As Junior gee would bite many lyric, effectively self destruct..

    Spat was started By Westwood but Carried By the Quest,
    with DJ Fingers And Max, Mixmaster Nothing but the best.
    I remember the breaker breaking before they formed any other crews.
    It was a family affair as that was how we do.

    There was Unity, A Family and we all had a Quest
    It was the sure place to be, down by law and Def
    from when we entered the door you could feel the good time
    with Family Quest supplying the Beats and ryhmes.

    NOw I would say it was the best
    Because of Who I be.
    I was the Big, the Bad, The Wonderful
    The Capital E……..

    I see your still wondering because well you can’t see
    I am MC E-mix from the FQMC’s
    That’s The Family Quest
    Masters Of Ceremony’s.

    Bless the good times!


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