Smokey Robinson and the Miracles Week No 7: Mickey's Monkey
Back in the eighties, the first time I ever tipped up at the legendary Camden Palace, I was for that evening a hanger-on to a bunch people centred around Robert Smith of the Cure, and we therefore got royalty treatment and were ushered into the top bar, way up in the gods of the old Camden Theatre opposite Mornington Crescent tube station. After cocktails we walked down what seemed like a regal staircase into he main venue to an auditorium full of extraordinarily clad punters, with shoulder pads like American footballers, garbed in an array of pastel colours. Even Steve Strange was there.
There was a female deejay (unusual even in those days) who I have always thought was Wendy May, although when I mentioned this to her recently, she claimed that never did a gig there. As we descended, we heard Smokey's voice shout:
"Alright, is everybody ready? alright now, here we go: a one, a two, a one two three lum de lum de la-ay lum de lum de la-ay"
With first "lum de lum de lay-ay", everyone leapt to their feet and began to dance. And the old theatre crammed to its heaving rafters with new romantics rocked. Even in this bright and darkest hour, the Miracles could cut across genres, proving that while fashion comes and goes, there's no substitute for class. "Well this cat named Mickey came from out of town, yeah he was spreading a new dance all around in just a matter of a few days, yeah his dance became the new teenage craze"