promoting non-normative standards of disco since 2002
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Unskinny Bop was born atLadyfest London 2002. We proposed to put on a club night as part of the festival which would celebrate the achievements of fat people in pop, and the Ladyfest board were happy to accept. There was a Top 10 countdown of the best Podge Pop anthems featuring The Gossip, PM Dawn, Meatloaf, Mama Cass, Elvis, Pixies and Aretha Franklin, and a now highly sought after set of 4 limited edition badges was given away. The night was a great success and new friendships and alliances were forged.
We spent the next two years searching for the perfect venue in which to host Unskinny Bop on a regular basis, eventually landing on The Pleasure Unit in Bethnal Green, an old Victorian pub with a big dance floor, formerly a gay pub called the Cock and Comfort. In the interim we deejayed at events organised by The Bakery, Strange Fruit and Homocrime and produced three zines which were distributed for free at gigs and clubs.
Since March 2004 the Bop has been quietly rocking the London gay indie scene. We want you to dance – and we want you to do it with boozy, thrilling abandon. We only play amazing music. It could be rock’n’roll, soul, country, hip hop, indie, punk, disco, r’n’b, pop – the best songs from every genre, as long as they’re not overplayed or self-congratulatorily obscure. We think we provide a refreshing alternative to the soulsucking posing and hostile hipsterishness which is unfortunately quite common in this neck of the woods.
We put on the occasional gig too. At Halloween in 2004 we put on a sold out night of rock’n’roll and horrorbilly featuring Zombina and the Skeletones and The Priscillas. In June 2005 we teamed up with Homocrime to present an all-day gig with The Diskettes of Montreal and Manchester’s Smartypants. The Bop deejays have played at aftershow parties for The Gossip, Franz Ferdinand and Le Tigre and guested at many great clubs including Soul Mole, Club Motherf*cker and Popstarz.
While the emphasis on podge pop has waned over the years as we’ve welcomed people of all shapes, sizes, ages and persuasions, the Bop remains committed to providing a welcoming, unpretentious environment and an excellent soundtrack for people to dance, drink and have fun. You can still find us at the Star of Bethnal Green on occasional Saturdays. See you on the dancefloor xxx