1 December 2004
Wild Bunch club night
The Wild Bunch club night for adults with learning difficulties is one of the friendliest, funkiest clubs in town - where you can dance to groovy DJs, watch a performance, chat, relax in the Chill Out Room, eat at the Organic Café and generally have a great night out.
The club, which regularly attracts 200-250 people, is run by a Committee of 15 people with learning difficulties, who plan, promote, and staff events.
The first club of its kind in North London, the Wild Bunch was set up in 1997 by Siren Arts & Advocacy. Manager Diane Simcoe recalls that first night:
Seeing people get involved, dance, drink and generally have a fantastic time made me realise how essential having a good social life and opportunities to make new friends is, to all of us.
The Observer photographer Karen Robinson (who took some stunning pics) described her visit as:
Pure joy! While TV star Mat Fraser (who has also performed at the club) calls it:
a non compromise get down dirty beats affair.
Highlights of last year include an article in The Guardian, and a performance with Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley (see photo).
For club dates and more info see: www.wildbunchclub.com
Wild Bunch Club
Valentine's Day Ball
Recently the Wild Bunch had a Valentine's Day Ball at the Union Chapel, London N1. Louise Wallis interviewed 3 clubbers for their views.
James Lal-Kissoon aka DJ Lal-J
It was a good night, everyone enjoyed themselves. It was a good friendly atmosphere in the venue, when we put the Blind Date theme tune on everyone was up for it. I'm a good DJ I get the crowd going. It was Valentine's night so I played something with the word love in - Sean Paul's I'm still in love With You.
My set was a cross between dance, normal house music with a bit of R'nB in it. As soon as I went off stage they wanted more, the crowd wanted more of me, they were cheering "Lal-J, Lal-J" as I came off stage.
Carol Walter has been going to the Wild Bunch for 5 years and took part in the cabaret style Blind Date:
I go because I like the music and I enjoy people's company. I was nervous about asking the questions. We had a little meal and he kissed me on the cheek. The local paper asked me if I'd been on a date before and I said no. They asked me what hobbies I liked and took my photo.
Her message to would-be clubbers:
Don't be nervous, don't be shy. Just come along and see what it's like for yourselves.
David James (from Learning Difficulties Media) wasn't shy. He travelled all the way from Hertfordshire for a night out:
I heard about the Wild Bunch when I rang the Elfrida Society. I wanted to meet other people with learning difficulties in the London area. I sat down and got to know people - it was like a networking thing. My favourite bit was [performer] Caroline Parker. It's a pity there's not one in every area. Yes I'd recommend it. It was a good evening out all told.