It was Saturday night and After Nyne headed to the vibrant Brixton Six for a secret Phundee fundraiser, headlined by Alabama 3, for ‘Cuts – The Movie.’
The aim of the evening was to raise as much money as possible for ‘Cuts-The Movie’, a documentary that explores the impact that the barbershop Cuts and their innovative hair styling has had on the London scene. Even if you don’t know the Soho-based We Are Cuts or any of the previous Cuts incarnations, then you’ll have certainly heard of their clientele: Boy George, David Bowie, Goldie and Steve McQueen have all been customers.
It felt more like a mid-summer street party in tone than anything else. The setting was furnished by giant tires, a barbeque and conspicuously placed outdoor sofas, which lent itself to the sleepy excitement of the night. The intimate atmosphere complemented the guest list; a select group of loyal customers and friends of We Are Cuts. Fellow guests were lively and friendly, and we shared tales of favourite hair-cuts, along with memories of Soho past and present. The evening was both a celebration of the Cuts community and fundraiser for the documentary project.
Rachel D’Arcy opened the evening’s music. Her sound is unusual but not jarring – the interpretation of jazz on a ukulele is oddly pleasing, like salted caramel. Rachel D’Arcy’s voice is rolling and soulful; the emotional weight in her song ‘Red Ribbons’ particularly caught us off guard. Definitely one to watch for the future.
Alabama 3 were the main event of the evening. The band is most famous for ‘Woke Up This Morning’, otherwise known as the theme tune for HBO’s ‘The Sopranos.’ It’s not so often you get to see Alabama 3 in such a close environment – even in their native Brixton. Their signature smokey, blues acoustics made delicious listening but Alabama 3 also threw in a few curveballs. You couldn’t help but join in with their stripped-back rendition of ‘You Are My Sunshine’.
The night ended with the DJs Dave McGowan and Crispin Swayne, whose wide span of tracks reflected the three and a half decades’ worth of Cuts’ success.
The tagline for ‘Cuts – the Movie’ is ‘20 years in the making.’ The primary film-maker Sarah Lewis initially expected to finish the project just into the new millennium but encountered delays. The end result promises to be a documentary of impressive scope. Through tracking the evolution of Cuts we can watch the development not only of Soho, but of British culture in general. The film documents a cultural history that begins with the New Romantics, takes us through the era of new Labour and into the Soho of today.
The ‘Cuts – The Movie’ fundraising page can be found here on Phundee. The total currently stands at just over £14,000 but the goal is to reach £43,200 to finance post-production