This week sees the release of the Kowton v Dusk EP on Keysound (digital here). To celebrate its emergence, I decided to propose a clash. It's Kowton v Dusk in a banter battle: every day this week sees one of their dodgiest club experiences pit against the other's. The funniest one wins: and you get to vote.
"What do you mean my name's not on the list?"
Kowton: round 5 (final)
"Toward the end of Rooted when only myself and Chris Farrell worked there, Caravan put on Kassem Mosse in one of the bigger clubs down here and it was a massive success, one of the best parties I've been to in Bristol.
By closing time an inordinate amount of alcohol had been consumed, we ended up in a lock in til about 8.30am, myself and Chris downing black Sambuca and berating anyone unwilling to risk hospitalisation for the cause of drunkenness. I only realised it was a lock-in once we'd left.
I'm awoken at 11am by a call from Rooted owner Pete asking if the shop is open, I reply probably not and cycle down the middle of the road to open up. I call Pete and cover for Chris, saying he's on the way up and everything's fine. Both lies.
A few hours later Chris wakes at home and makes a phone call 'Pete, what the fuck is going on? It's 2pm and I'm the floor of my spare room. Why the fuck aren't I at work?'
"Somehow we didn't even get a bollocking."
Dusk: round 5 (final)
"On a separate trip to the States, I can remember the sound being so bad at a Benga & Skream gig in New York that I had to leave the club, find an all night chemist and create some earplugs out of filter tips, MacGyver style. Incredibly, they worked.
At the same gig some guy barged into me and started getting larey that I'd nearly broken one of his teeth with the plastic cup he was holding by his mouth.
Then, on hearing my English accent he switched from threats of violence into a 5 minute mumbled rap which despite not being able to hear a word of it because I had 3 filter tips in each ear, I felt compelled to pretend to listen to, pulling what I hoped were appropriate facial gestures and manouevres at the correct moments. At the end he simply shook my hand and walked off so I must have done OK.
That said, the pair of us must have looked pretty special to anyone walking past, me especially with those earplugs half hanging out..."
Kowton: round 4
"First gig I ever played in London was at the Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle. The main room was a-list drum n bass DJ's, complete with lazers and pole dancing; I was upstairs in a room headlined by Heny G and Slaughter Mob.
Vibes were bad from when we got there: my link for the gig was the MC for the evening and the moment we arrived he almost had a fight with the promoter. "Where the fucks your microphone?" Not the friendliest welcome.
I was playing at 6am, by that point the only audience left in that room was the cloakroom queue, a bunch of ketamised casualties and a group of long suffering mates of mine who'd come from the north just for this gig. I played about 5 tunes, fucked up every mix and decided playing any more was a waste of everyone's time. I didn't get paid a penny and lost my copy of Pev and Appleblim's 'Circling'.
That gig put me off DJing for about a year."
Dusk: round 4
"Whilst on tour with The XX last year we did some gig in a smokey bar in Philly. It was one of those places that wangled a late licence by "providing food". Which was technically true I suppose, if you cared to eat one of three wieners that spent the whole night rotating on some stinky grill on the back wall all night.
That night was the first time I've ever seen a woman sat on the taps in the gents eating pizza. I pointed out that this was wrong on so many levels and when she asked me to name one I went for "hygiene". "Guess so". Didn't stop her finishing that pizza though.
Quite a weird place that - there was some other guy mincing round in a pink feather boa who was complaining to Starkey and Dev79 that he kept getting hit on by guys in the club. When they pointed out it might be something to do with his body language and more importantly the boa, he was indignant that "they better recognise I got this at a strip club down the road!" or some such.
Definitely one of the odder places we've played. And the first where I made a bit of a "2 nations divided by a common language" faux pas. Someone came up, said they loved the tunes but that Philly was a town that loved vocals. I said I'd drop something vocal for them and without thinking slapped on Tempa T. With hindsight (and considering the state of that club) I'm guessing they were thinking more along the lines of Teddy Pendergrass!"
Kowton: Round 3
"At an Alfresco Disco last year (a Bristol music institution with a reputation for doing killer parties in unusual locations) Idle Hands were asked to host the third room, this time an unused court room in an old coroners court.
The decks were on the judges desk and by about 1am the place was heaving, people dancing in the witness boxes and jurors seats and all the DJ's playing incredible sets. There's a pitch black room to the side of the booth where people have been going to 'piss in a can' (this we soon realise is practically impossible) thats completely sodden with urine, but that aside the party is incredible.
At peak time, Bristol head Sell By Dave is smashing out a set of Sheffield bleep n' bass when from nowhere Don Letts appears and asks if he can takeover. Chris tells him no.
We had the best room at that party."
Dusk: Round 3
"A long while back I can remember being out one night and some spannered bloke in a chill-out area going on to me and a friend about his divorce, lack of access to his kids, hating his job and so on and so on, and us being a bit too done in to simply tell him we weren't interested, just nodding along and probably saying "Ah man, that's harsh" every now and then whilst trying to think up an excuse to escape.
We must have gained his trust as a while later he asked me to look after his bus ticket for him while he went to the gents.
Being young, somewhat naive and curious as to where he'd been on his travels I unfolded it and got covered chin to waist in white powder, true romance style - not a good look. That said, if the guy's life story was anything to go by, he was the worst advert for cocaine you've ever seen..."
Kowton: Round 2
"Walking back from Sankey's after seeing Andy Wetherall circa 2003, a rough looking bloke asks for a cigarette, I haven't got any but offer him a roll-up as a decent alternative. "You taking the piss?"
He launches into me and I end up backed against a shop front. Several punches to the face later I manage to push him off at which he demands I go round a corner into an alley with him away from the CCTV cameras.
Fearing all sorts I refuse, at which point he becomes emotional and starts riffling through his pockets for change and hands me about 4 quid in silver. "Get youself a kebab mate, I'm sorry."
I went on my way."
Dusk: Round 2
"One of the most unfortunate things I've ever seen at a club was at the Black Swan (MIGHT NEED REPLACING WITH "WELL KNOWN CLUB" or "NAME REMOVED FOR LEGAL REASONS" - Dusk. DONT WORRY MATE MY LAWYERS CAN 'ANDLE IT - Blackdown) in Bristol.
For the uninitiated this is one of those Mad Max / Borderlands kind of places where the building feels like the sound system might destroy it at any moment, there's bonfires and a barbecue in the yard and more people queuing up at trestle tables to buy laughing gas than there are at the bar buying over-priced cans of Red Stripe.
Anyhow, alongside the yard runs a motorway flyover. Some gatecrasher had had the skills to get up onto the motorway, leap down over the fence into the yard, but the misfortune to land directly on top of a lit barbecue. To compound their bad luck, some crazy guy with a ponytail who wasn't even a bouncer tried to perform a citizen's arrest and essentially got their burnt arse kicked out of the club.
Kowton: round 1
"Driving back at 4am from a Lake District rave in an absurdly small toothpaste green fiat (a courtesy car) the police start to tail me as they often did round there, there's not alot for the police to do in the Lakes. After 5 awkward minutes they flash the lights and I'm pulled over.
I pass the breath test but I'm a bit stoned, not really enough to impair my driving but certainly enough to make being searched troubling, and give away the fact that there's very probably a quarter of skunk under the seat. I get the standard bollocking but plead my way out of a caution on the condition that they'll tale me all the way home, and I'm to drive at 30 the whole way.
Half way there, and literally in the middle of nowhere, a small chunky blur decides to leap from the pavement onto the road at the exact moment I pass it. The badger is squashed flat; I continue, half in hysterics, half terrified.
I pull up at my house and the police woman comes to speak to me: "what if that had been a child, you'd have killed it." I admit that's probably right, though the likelihood of a child being there at this time in the morning and diving under a car is unlikely.
We leave it at that."
Dusk: round 1
"In a 90% male yet most definitely straight club in Aviemore, I can remember some guy putting me in a headlock on a carpeted dancefloor for apparently looking like Andy Murray.
"Do ye like dooks Murray?" he kept yelling in my ear which seemed a bit strange. "Yeah they're alright to feed down the park or whatever". "No DOOOKS Murray!" This carried on for a bit. Eventually it turned out he was asking if I liked dogs, I said I did, he released his death grip and began to gush about his border terrier puppies.
It was a funny old club, clearly full of bored stag parties and local psychopaths. Earlier in the evening we'd been treated to a stringy woman in a shellsuit doing an impromptu table dance (fully clad) for a couple of porky gents one of whom showed his appreciation by throwing a bottle at her.
It's the only place I've ever tasted a pint of beer so bad I went back for seconds to remind myself just how rank it was."
So that's Rounds One, Two and Three and things are getting tight. Who's winning for you?
The Kowton v Dusk EP is out now on 12" and digital. Hear the tracks here:
Dusk - Fraction - Keysound Recordings LDN025
Kowton - 'Looking At You'