A hardworking, super cool stylist, DJ, club night organizer and promoter who has been carrying the original vinyl flag with passion and honour for more than a decade. Known as someone who stands out from the crowd, is the locally renowned and understated Peterborough DJ and The Jelly Roll Club boss, Julian Roberts aka Julz.
‘Julz’ shows a smooth coolness, with a sharp style and knowledgeable forward thinking, when it comes to producing dance nights to enjoy and remember. And that from a person of few words with a deep sense of himself and respect for others.
He's an approachable person with a sincere focus on his family, friends, musical goals and ambitions. Julz doesn’t label himself mod but you can clearly see that he is, with a capital M. He has stylish, modernist credentials that are 100% chrome plated. And if that isn’t enough to sway you, he is also the proud owner of one of the coolest rides in the country, a beautiful, 1960 Vespa GS 150 vs5.
As a Mod Generation member Julz takes timeout to answer some questions to give an insight into the boss of The Jelly Roll Club nights.
1. Who or what inspired you to get into promoting and organising The Jelly Roll Club dj/vinyl nights?
Originally, we started off the club nights because a few of us who were going to smart mod/skinhead events around the country, found that we all had very similar styles and tastes in music. But felt there was a genuine gap in the local club scene that we could fill.
Peterborough already had a healthy northern soul scene, but we wanted our own club night, in our own city where we could hear soul/rnb/ska/reggae. So I sourced local dj’s that enjoyed playing outside the box and hey presto! We had a wide selection of vinyl to cover all the genres selected. When Oxford Paul, Dave Woolley and Mark ‘Nogsy’ Newman joined us and started to dj on a regular basis, it was then that we knew we had something special and with depth to create what became known as The Jelly Roll Club.
2. How do you see The Jelly Roll Club in terms of style and music policy and why?
We attract a mixture of mods, skinheads, soulies and smart casuals to the club, which only adds richness to our nights.
Our music policy is quite diverse from the late 50s right through to early 70s which incorporates rnb, soul, ska, reggae and a dash of early funk. The Jelly Roll nights are always morphing and unpredictable but always uniquely good. A night that definitely has its very own heartbeat.
3. What are your views on the current mod/stylist dance music scene?
The scene is definitely healthy at the moment with clubs all around the country. You don't have to travel to far to get your fix from the black slate. I would really like to go to more club nights around the country but The Jelly Roll Club and family commitments keep it limited to a select few events these days. I do have fond memories of going to most club events and dancing the night away to great dj’s and sounds at The Untouchables/New Untouchables/Dreamsville/Underground Mod Rallies/ Scorcher and the Pow Wow Club.
4. Where and how do you see The Jelly Roll Club in 12 months time?
Once we have firmly established ourselves at the Burghley Club, which is an excellent venue. I will be looking over the next 12 months to select and invite good dj’s to play at The Jelly Roll Club.
5. How would you improve or change it, if at all?
There is not much that I would change with The Jelly Roll format. A little tinker here and a little tinker there. The rest is classified information, lol!
6. Who have been your favourite dj's over the last 12 months?
Going by what I have heard out and about this year, it has to be Alan Handscombe, Mary Boogaloo, Oxford Paul, Dave Edwards & Lee Miller.
7. Ideally what would be your perfect dj line up and why?
Mark ‘Nogsy’ Newman, Alan Handscombe, Roger Banks, Mary Boogaloo, Lee Miller Mik Parry, Mike Warburton, Pid, and Phil Bush. All these dj’s have their own individual styles for selection, playing and delivering with a passion, their music to the people.
8. Dress style and music often compliment each other, is there a dress style and music that you prefer?
I like the sixties sharp dresser look. My music preference at the moment is what we play at The Jelly Roll and I am not shy about jumping outside of the box to absorb other grooves to improve my knowledge and love for music.
9. Is there any contemporary artists or labels that you like at the moment?
Sharon Jones. Gregory Porter. The Excitements. Robin McKelle. Charles Bradley. James Hunter. Mario Biondi. Alice Russell
10. Last but not least give us 3 tunes that you would always dance to?
Barbara Dane - I'm on my way - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oywYLSOm8PA
The Wailers - Simmer Down - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybmPHD7FPcQ
Linda Griner - Goodbye Cruel Love - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH1phsY6770
Three superb yet understated tracks. Now that’s what I call thinking outside the box! (Photos courtesy of dammophotography.com)
Sounds that I'm sure you will get down to in the crowd at The Jelly Roll Club this coming Saturday.
Thank you Julian for taking the time to answer these questions for The Mod Generation.
I leave the last words to you. Gary D’
Thanks go out to all the dj’s and friends who have helped at The Jelly Roll Club over the years, it is well appreciated.
And I dedicate this article to the memory of Mark ‘Nogsy’ Newman and Dave Woolley who are now djing up in heaven. Bless!
Julian ‘Julz’ Roberts