Jeff Horton

100 Club Owner — North London

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.

Breakdown – Buzzcocks
It's just a brilliant song with great guitar riffs and lyrics. It reminds me of 1976-77.

Cyber Insekt - The Fall
The amount of stuff they've written is huge. I know quite a bit of it but there’s still loads I’ve not heard. Mark E Smith is totally unique and that signature voice is something else. This track is amazing.

The Man In Me Lyfe - Moonlandingz 
Lias and Saul from the Fat White Family’s alter ego. It’s manic and it’s them all over.  

Tied Up In Nottz - Sleaford Mods
This band are the torch bearers of the underprivileged. Telling it how it is for a lot of people in ‘modern Britain’. Jason is a champion of the underclass. He’s a modern day poet talking in the language of today.  The eloquence of his words and the unyielding metre of his sentence structure over the backdrop of Andrew’s amazing beats make them irresistible.  

CID - UK Subs
This was one of the first punk albums I bought after The Clash and Sex Pistols. I've known Charlie for over 30 years and he's one of the heroes of the industry. He's 72 and still going strong, gigging and staying up late to put on amazing shows. The perfect British icon.

Uber Capitalist Death Trade – Cabbage
I love just about everything I’ve heard from Cabbage. I think they are great. Would love to see them live

Europe Is Lost - Kate Tempest
The album this comes from is brilliant.  It was hard to pick a track from Let Them Eat Chaos but I chose this because I agree with all of its sentiment and so admire people who can deliver it so powerfully

Oh Bondage Up Yours - X-Ray Spex
It's always hard to choose just one of their songs because I love Poly. Not that I knew her, but I loved her voice and her band.

54-46 Was My Number - Toots and the Maytals
I like a bit of reggae. I saw them here with my dad on a reggae lunchtime show at the club in '77. They were unbelievable. I saw them again back in 2012, I just love them.

Ref 41 Degrees N 93 Degrees W – Wire
It's their 40th anniversary this year and this song has a strange title, but it's beautiful with great harmonies and lyrics. They are one of the most underrated bands ever.

Israel - Siouxsie and the Banshees
One of the most iconic women in music ever. There were some amazing one’s from this era from Poly to Debbie Harry to Pauline Black. Viv Albertine, Ari Up, Pauline Murray….But I had to have a Siouxsie track.  It could have been any one of 20, but stuck a pin in this one.

Complete Control – The Clash
The Clash, for obvious reasons. Joe was my hero as a 16-year-old and remained so until he died, and still is. I love this band. Everything about them worked. The songs, lyrics and they looked like a band. All the parts equalled the sum a bit like the Small Faces. And the were clever enough to develop their sound away from just being a punk band. They still kept their stellar reputation throughout in my opinion. 

Spit it Out – Slaves
I love them, so full of energy. They are jaw dropping when you see them live. They've got that punk ethos.

Mother – Idles
These guys are from Bristol, some of their stuff I really like. This song is brutal, in fact, the album it's from is called Brutalism. It's basically working class mums and it's angry. It takes you back to '76 but they’ve put their own handle on it.

Yuri-G - PJ Harvey
Simply the greatest female artist these shores have ever produced along with Kate Bush IMO. The female version of David Bowie.

Queen Bitch – David Bowie
Talking of which... There’s been a huge outpouring of love for Bowie since he died.  But IMO he was vastly underrated outside of his (admittedly huge) fanbase in wider, more purist circles.  A genius.  Could have chosen any one of 50 songs. Literally. Did the stick a pin in a list trick with this again.

Sketch For A Summer - Durutti Column
If it's possible to have love song without any lyrics, then I'll choose this one. It's beautiful. If I could be with someone who I love now, this is the soundtrack, this is what I'd put on. I'm not great with slushy lyrics, but music is my words. That's enough for me.

Enjoy Yourself – Specials
This is my final track and it's not the original, but of all these tracks, this should be the one that you live your life by.

If you have any moral compass you'll be pissed off with the world and all of its injustice, but the bottom line is: Life is short, you only get one go at it. I'm very lucky and I never forget it.

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.

Breakdown – Buzzcocks
It's just a brilliant song with great guitar riffs and lyrics. It reminds me of 1976-77.

Cyber Insekt - The Fall
The amount of stuff they've written is huge. I know quite a bit of it but there’s still loads I’ve not heard. Mark E Smith is totally unique and that signature voice is something else. This track is amazing.

The Man In Me Lyfe - Moonlandingz 
Lias and Saul from the Fat White Family’s alter ego. It’s manic and it’s them all over.  

Tied Up In Nottz - Sleaford Mods
This band are the torch bearers of the underprivileged. Telling it how it is for a lot of people in ‘modern Britain’. Jason is a champion of the underclass. He’s a modern day poet talking in the language of today.  The eloquence of his words and the unyielding metre of his sentence structure over the backdrop of Andrew’s amazing beats make them irresistible.  

CID - UK Subs
This was one of the first punk albums I bought after The Clash and Sex Pistols. I've known Charlie for over 30 years and he's one of the heroes of the industry. He's 72 and still going strong, gigging and staying up late to put on amazing shows. The perfect British icon.

Uber Capitalist Death Trade – Cabbage
I love just about everything I’ve heard from Cabbage. I think they are great. Would love to see them live

Europe Is Lost - Kate Tempest
The album this comes from is brilliant.  It was hard to pick a track from Let Them Eat Chaos but I chose this because I agree with all of its sentiment and so admire people who can deliver it so powerfully

Oh Bondage Up Yours - X-Ray Spex
It's always hard to choose just one of their songs because I love Poly. Not that I knew her, but I loved her voice and her band.

54-46 Was My Number - Toots and the Maytals
I like a bit of reggae. I saw them here with my dad on a reggae lunchtime show at the club in '77. They were unbelievable. I saw them again back in 2012, I just love them.

Ref 41 Degrees N 93 Degrees W – Wire
It's their 40th anniversary this year and this song has a strange title, but it's beautiful with great harmonies and lyrics. They are one of the most underrated bands ever.

Israel - Siouxsie and the Banshees
One of the most iconic women in music ever. There were some amazing one’s from this era from Poly to Debbie Harry to Pauline Black. Viv Albertine, Ari Up, Pauline Murray….But I had to have a Siouxsie track.  It could have been any one of 20, but stuck a pin in this one.

Complete Control – The Clash
The Clash, for obvious reasons. Joe was my hero as a 16-year-old and remained so until he died, and still is. I love this band. Everything about them worked. The songs, lyrics and they looked like a band. All the parts equalled the sum a bit like the Small Faces. And the were clever enough to develop their sound away from just being a punk band. They still kept their stellar reputation throughout in my opinion. 

Spit it Out – Slaves
I love them, so full of energy. They are jaw dropping when you see them live. They've got that punk ethos.

Mother – Idles
These guys are from Bristol, some of their stuff I really like. This song is brutal, in fact, the album it's from is called Brutalism. It's basically working class mums and it's angry. It takes you back to '76 but they’ve put their own handle on it.

Yuri-G - PJ Harvey
Simply the greatest female artist these shores have ever produced along with Kate Bush IMO. The female version of David Bowie.

Queen Bitch – David Bowie
Talking of which... There’s been a huge outpouring of love for Bowie since he died.  But IMO he was vastly underrated outside of his (admittedly huge) fanbase in wider, more purist circles.  A genius.  Could have chosen any one of 50 songs. Literally. Did the stick a pin in a list trick with this again.

Sketch For A Summer - Durutti Column
If it's possible to have love song without any lyrics, then I'll choose this one. It's beautiful. If I could be with someone who I love now, this is the soundtrack, this is what I'd put on. I'm not great with slushy lyrics, but music is my words. That's enough for me.

Enjoy Yourself – Specials
This is my final track and it's not the original, but of all these tracks, this should be the one that you live your life by.

If you have any moral compass you'll be pissed off with the world and all of its injustice, but the bottom line is: Life is short, you only get one go at it. I'm very lucky and I never forget it.

I decided music was what I wanted to do, I realised that from a very early age.

Jeff Horton - Full Interview

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