ROC chats to Andy Leathem of Wasabi

Wasabi is a new monthly night in Dublin’s Underground Venue on Dame Street. Andy plays lots of soul and filthy funk and if you’ve been lucky enough to get one of the Wasabi CDs from Rebirth of Cool you’ll certainly wanna shake your arse off at the next night. The next Wasabi takes place tomorrow so have a read and see what we can expect…

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Name:

Andy Leathem

What’s currently on your turntable?

My turntable is pretty busy at the moment prepping for December’s Wasabi, but a current fave of mine is Meri Aakhon Mein by Sapan Jagmohan and has been for quite a while.

What are some of your favourite spots in Dublin for tunes?

Favourite spots in Dublin for tunes would have to be The Thomas House, The Garage, Drop Dead Twice Tapp Room and of course The Underground Venue at Peadar Kearneys. I always like to hear stuff I’ve never heard before and these places tick that box.

Tell us a bit about Wasabi and what can we expect on Dec 1st?

Wasabi is basically an all vinyl Soul and Funk night with a bit of Latin, 60s Beats, Hammond Groove, Exotica and Porno Beats thrown in for good measure. As Northern Soul is well catered for on the Dublin Soul scene I don’t play much at Wasabi, just enough for my own wee fix! As well as what it sounds like, the night has to look a certain way so I put up wall hangings and play Cult and Blaxploitation movies to create that unique Wasabi vibe. Movies range from Rollerball, Easy Rider and Barbarella, to Superfly, Cleopatra Jones, Blacula and Dolemite. Like all Wasabi nights, on December 1st you can expect to dance a lot. All the tunes are honest, upfront, in your face, irresistible Soul Funk gems. If you don’t feel like moving to them, I seriously suggest you check your
pulse!

What records will you defo be packing?

In addition to the above mentioned Meri Aakhon Mein I’ll be packing far too many records as usual.
Defo in the bag will be The Devil Made Me Do It by Gene Anderson, Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys by The Equals, Somebody Stole My Thunder by Georgie Fame, Le Responsible by Jacques Dutronc, Funky Mule by Ike Turner, The Yamasuki Album (Japanese opera by a Belgian dude I think), Gimme Shelter by Merry Clayton, Buzz Saw by The Steps, Shake by Shadows Of Knight, Macumba by Titanic, Oh That’s Nice by Pete Rodriguez, The Word by Ray Barretto, John Coltrane and Lady Day by Gil Scott-Heron, Big Chief by Professor Longhair, Apache by Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band, Harvest For The World by The Isley Brothers, Silly Savage by The Golden Toadstools, It’s Just Begun by The Jimmy Castor Bunch, What’s Wrong by Lynn Varnado, You Gotta Move A Little Closer by The
Soul Brothers Six and Streets of Calcutta by Anandar Shankar. Whether I’ll get around to playing all of them is a different matter as things tend to get a bit hectic with me and Mr Smirnoff behind the decks.

How long have you been DJing?

I’ve been forcing my musical taste on unsuspecting civilians for more years than I care to recall. My first gig was at my Scooter Club’s (We Can’t Decide On a Name SC) do in about 1992. It wasn’t until the late 90s that I began DJing for real at a proper Belfast Club, the famous/infamous Vico’s where I held an every weekend residency for 4 years. After here I set up my own weekly all vinyl Soul and Funk night, Knee Deep. Many many cracking nights in the club and many fun filled nights running around Belfast bill posting for the night avoiding the Police and the Council. Knee Deep was basically what Wasabi is. During a hiatus the name was contaminated when a commercial student night used
it for a chart and commercial dance night and so KD was reborn as Wasabi. I currently am a resident DJ in the Back Bar of Laverys Belfast and commute the 170 miles from Tinahely 3 weekends a month on my motorbike.

Here’s a lovely Spotify playlist from Andy to get you ready for the weekend:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0aCsn1OkKEuYiMn2iByzWG?fbclid=IwAR2JFVaMRSuc0bP2GQSVqKQ6gzEBK3p3uGtugvevAdAHSHUHgJhnzgnIQaY&si=w6NSycrzTEub2a044evBUQ

 

Wasabi
Saturday December 1st
Underground Venue, Dame Street, Dublin 2 (under Peadar Kearney’s)
€5 admission

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