The legendary out-spoken Scotsman has been around the Northern soul & funk scene since the start and began his career as a dancer. As soon as he had enough money together he started collecting and buying Northern Soul in the UK, during regular trips to the US and was starting to play around the Wigan area at the heyday of The Casino. By 1981 he had gained a respectful reputation as a DJ.
He moved to London at the age of 22 and decided to start living a normal life and quit DJ’ing, but was quickly playing Northern-soul again due to heavy demand by old Wigan promoters. He brought the scene to London and drew the Northern punters that had moved to London after the Wigan scene dissolved. After a few years, the Northern scene faded, Keb sold his music collection but he still had a loft filled with ‘junk’ music (according to himself) that he had picked up in the states that was to-be classified as “Deep Funk” later on.
So in 1989 house music arrived in the UK, and Keb decided to play the funk grooves after a trip to Japan. He managed to get a regular night at an acid-jazz club called ‘The Wagclub’ and he finished there after a period. And around 1992/93 he met fellow collector Snowboy on the first funk-only night in London called ‘Deep Funk’, named by Keb (that he later used as a name to describe the sound) but arranged by the owners of the club (Club Ormonds). After a while Snowboy and Keb wanted to push the funk sound further and they decided to start their own night in an old restaurant. The nights failed due to the domination of house and shut down after a few months.
Not so long afterwards Keb got a tip for a new location that was a strip-club in Soho called Madame Jojo’s. The location was perfect and he managed to arrange a weekly night to start with. The nights took off fast and are today it is the leading funk night in London. Later on the strip nights closed and the venue became a full time music club.
In 1996 BBE and Keb Darge teamed up to start releasing the now infamous Deep Funk and Funk Spectrum series that spawned a whole host of imitators.
Today he holds two weekly spots at the club (Legendary Deep Funk –Fridays / Lost & Found –Saturdays, where he focuses on his current passion – underground 50’s music), traveling around the world DJ’ing, and running the label Kay Dee Records with Kenny Dope.
He has achieved legendary status by far with a 40’s to 70’s musical knowledge second to none that is perfectly reflected on his BBE compilations.
Northern soul boy, crate digger and tastemaker, Keb Darge is a name which needs no introduction to lovers of rare music the world over. His ‘Legendary Deep Funk’ night at Soho’s seminal strip club turned music venue Madame Jojo’s introduced…
This occasional series from BBE began as a homage to the 12” single, highlighting the label’s earlier now deleted titles. Almost four years past since we have released the first one, Part III shines a light on a selection of…