Jeff Horton

North London

Saturday 8th July 2017

Name
Jeff Horton

What do you do?
Owner of the 100 Club. I decided music was what I wanted to do from a very early age. This business has been in my family since 1958; my grandmother was a shareholder. 

Where are you from?
North London.

Describe your style in three words:
Definitely Not Hipster.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
'Victoria' by The Kinks - it was the first record I ever bought and I played it and played it. I saved up my pocket money and bought it from a record shop in Muswell Hill, ironically where Ray Davies is from.

How did the 100 Club become the respected club it is today?
My dad owned a jazz record shop in Soho and he sold that to buy his shareholding. He was here for a long time, and he did some amazing things. Naming it the 100 Club after its location, 100 Oxford Street and changing the music policy despite jazz being his first love.

I remember watching TOTP and 'You Really Got Me' had just got to number one, maybe in ’64 (I was three) and my dad said, 'they're playing at the club tomorrow night'. He had a residency with the Kinks where they played every Thursday for four months. The first month they played here they had about 120 people in, then after they were on the TV, there were about 4000 people trying to get in.

That was a point in history that was the beginning of the club becoming what it is today.

What was the first gig you ever saw at the 100 Club?
It was Ken Colyer's Jazz Band, in September 1984. I instantly got an understanding of what the club was about because the following night was a band called Eraserhead and the difference in 24 hours was just staggering.

What have been your personal highlights at the club?
I remember meeting Paul Weller for the first time and he told me he'd really like to do a gig here. We ended up arranging it but his manager called me wondering what the hell was going on, saying that I needed to go through him first. But I said, well Paul said it was alright! Eventually, we managed to smooth the path and we did that first show with him on his Stanley Road tour and it was just brilliant.

The Oasis show in '94 was just unbelievable... we hadn't really broken into the Britpop era but when Oasis played, it was really one of those 'were you there?' moments. 

The Specials played in 2009, with Fred. That was the first show they did after they got back together. It was just the most amazing night, the atmosphere was palpable. No one could believe they were playing such an intimate show – they were in touching distance after all those years of being gone.

Why is it such an honour for musicians to play the 100 Club?
When you ask most say it's the heritage and the history. A young band, HMLTD played here recently and I told them when they walk on stage, they'll be playing where the Sex Pistols stood, Muddy Waters, Amy Winehouse, The Specials, Sleaford Mods…

What music defines the teenage you?
Punk. Spending my adolescent years in Bournemouth, I went to an under 18 disco in Dorset. I was a bored 15-year-old kid. It was a terrible night, the DJ was utterly shit, playing things like the theme from Van der Valk, Come On Dance, Dance by the Saturday Night Band and suddenly he put on Anarchy in the UK and that was the moment. Those three minutes changed my life.

Six months later I moved to Aberdeen to work for a bloke called Bill Nile, who was my dads best mate and had a residency at the club with his band (and also built the stage that still remains today). With my first pay packet, I bought the first Clash album and there's a track on there called Deny, and there's a reference on there to the 100 Club. 'You said you were going out to the 100 club.' So, after my epiphany with the Sex Pistols, this was another sign.

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