FEATURE: Lady Annabella – Bunch Of Fives | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Mariusz Nieznanski

In a new Bunch Of Fives, we caught up with DJ Lady Annabella Marczewska of Jesmond. (You can also find her on Instagram here). Having started out as a go-go dancer with the band Women in Revolt, her interesting career has lead to DJing and having a radio show called Hot Lava on (now defunct) basic.fm.

Currently DJing Wednesday nights at No.28, Thursday nights at Billy Bootleggers and slots elsewhere on weekends too, she’s currently DJing four nights a week, bringing an eclectic mix of music ranging from soul, funk, disco, hip-hop to jazz, lounge, garage rock, surf, blues and exotica.

We caught up with Lady Annabella to find out five tracks she likes playing currently. Over to you Annabella…

I’ve been DJing Thursday nights and the odd weekend night at Billy Bootleggers pretty much since it opened a few months ago. The bar is labelled as a ‘dive bar’ with an obvious theme of Americana. I really enjoy gigging there as I get to play music I wouldn’t be able to in other venues. I like to think of my sets there as being ‘Tarantinoesque’. So while I play the expected (Johnny Cash, Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc.), I like to play the unexpected too. The curveballs, if you will. That can be anything from obscure surf music, jazz-lounge music with a blues edge, Mexican garage rock to TV themes; favourites being Roseanne and Ren and Stimpy!

Basically a collage of music that I feel should be played in an underground bar with no windows that serves moonshine in jars. Here are five of my current favourites to play.

I don’t know the first thing about who Los Aspon are, I found them via a Mexican garage rock compilation CD and their instrumental of this Chuck Berry classic is jumping. It’s just a stomping, good fun track, made for dancing. They also do a pretty cool version of Suzy Q too.

I first got to know this song from the John Waters film Hairspray (1988), and it’s been a favourite ever since. The B-side to the hit Tequila, it’s a song that really is a train ride in my mind; an instrumental rock and roll seether that begins with a slightly sinister riff that then chugs along with a quietly sexy groove, occasionally bursting into swinging saxophone euphoria. And that tinkly piano….

Talk about a vintage gem! This track was a suggestion from my good friend Sheena Revolta and I first played it on my radio show HOT LAVA. We love wigs so it’s a great tune but to be honest when I first heard the lyrics I was kind of horrified. However, it’s a really good, get down, soul tune that is irresistible despite the slightly bizarre message.

A classic surf rock tune that was re-birthed through the Pulp Fiction soundtrack (well that’s how I got to it anyway). I can almost sense people’s ears pricking up when I drop this and the familiar ‘Twilight Zone’ hook begins. An eerie instrumental with distinctive rhythm and a dirty guitar riff. Wonderfully dramatic and evocative.

I discovered this on the amazing compilation album, Kosher Nostra: Jewish Gangsters Greatest Hits and I fell in love. I honestly had no idea of the history of the song and its Middle-Eastern roots until recently. Sexy, exotic and mysterious. One for the lovers.   

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