Tag Archives: The Intrepid Fox

LONDON CHRONICLES: THE (OLD) INTREPID FOX

At the end of this month, 13 years ago, one of the most valuable and rewarding life experiences came to an end. Those 2 years in London were the schooling for life which shaped me in the way I’m nowadays. The intensity and weight of experiences abroad, in an alien environment and a narrow period of time were far more influential than 5-10 years in my hometown. I stopped being a dependent teenager to become a young adult. But hey! Don’t think I was a nun or a saint! Well, I already know you can’t imagine me being such, after what you’ve been reading here.

My London memories are still fresh and vivid in my mind, and I have so many great stories I enjoyed, I’ve been thinking for a while it’s be funny to tell some here, and see if I can manage to bring them back as if they were short episodes of my personal book.  From being fined for sneaking into the train to the industrial laundry factory I used to work, to the night I got pissed with Dave Wyndorf while attending a show performed by QOTSA, there are definitely good moments worth telling.

As a prologue chapter it’s necessary to tell about the center point in the city. My personal Mecca, and one of the coolest places in London, which unfortunately no longer exists: THE INTREPID FOX in Wardour St.

The intrepid fox

Sure many of you will yell at me remarking The Intrepid Fox still exists, but that’s the one close to Denmark st, which opened right after the original one was closed down. Huge and a better looking place, but lacking of the charm my Fox used to spread. Gotta admit they’ve perfectly reproduced the essence of those stinking toilets and those Saturday night floods. Disgusting!

The old Fox was in the heart of Soho, in the very same street at the classic Marquee Club, and it was my personal paradise, the place I hung out most together with my place of work. Really, I used to spend more time there than in my own room.

Many personalities I’ve seen there: Dregen of Backyard Babies, Ginger of The Wildhearts, all the local artists and rock personalities and there’s a popular legend stating that Slash was banned due to a quarrel which finished with someone thrown off to the street through the window pane. It was the heart of the rock-metal scene.

I loved the street floor, full of posters, red lights, very gothic and lively. It was super noisy and packed on weekends and very cool on weekdays, and music, was great depending on the waiters. It was there where I listened to Fu Manchu and Buckcherry for the first time. impossible to forget.

waiter at the fox

Waiters used to rotate very often but I could meet some of the supervisors. It was different than in Spain, if they paid you a beer it was actually they paying, as breweries used to accurately control what was served, and everything was measured. It was a bit distressing for them when I started drinking calimocho and it became fashionable. They had to mark a price and set some kind of measures, thus, a pint of calimocho was a glass of red wine, ice, and coke for filling. It was 3,25. Ha! And it tasted awesome!

It was funny when a couple of night ago when chatting with my Achilles’ Heel, he started remembering the crazy nights live which always started at the Fox. We shared great ones. All who used to hang around remember epic stories over there. Now it comes to my mind one evening they started playing Iron Maiden songs, one hit after another, people were standing on the tables and I was lifted and moved from one side of the bar to the other, as if crowdsurfing. That place had something and it was great for meeting people and getting picked. I never had a problem being there on my own. There were always acquaintances around.

The old Intrepid Fox was the extension of my house, actually it felt like my personal living room, and definitely it was one of the coolest bars I’ve ever had the pleasure to hang out at. It’s great to think of a place and relate it to good times. Miss those days.

ALBUM OF WEEK 28 – BUCKCHERRY

The album of the week section is being a bit chaos lately. My apologies, I’ll try to update as quick as possible and get back into track.

Buckcherry’s self titled debut album is a very special one. I don’t listen to it entirely very often, nowadays, but there was a time I couldn’t live without it.

I got the picture. Spring 1999, my favorite London spot, The Intrepid Fox in Wardour St, drinking pints as if there was no tomorrow, and hard rock heating the atmosphere. You know, Skid Row, Mötley Crüe, some Guns n’ Roses…great vibes.

Those were the times of the rising hegemony of the Scandinavian punk rock movement, with Backyard Babies, The Hellacopters, Hardcore Superstar or my beloved Gluecifer, and really, there was a kind of hard rock spirit revival.

The Fox was the hottest rock pub back then, a place where you could see leather, leopard, tattoos, beards, punk, stoner, goth and heavy metal crowds. It was my second house, warm and smelly, and packed most of times.

On any random crazy evening, all of a sudden LIT UP caught my attention. What was that? It’s new, sounds powerful and the chorus, which immediately became a party anthem, repeating  “I Love the Cocaine, I Love the Cocaine, Mama Can’t You wait?”.

Buckcherry was top 1 in our narrow rockin’ world overnight. I purchased the CD at Virgin for 10.99 pounds. Still got that copy and the price sticker on it, ha! If you think about it, it was quite expensive 13 years ago. Guess UK has always been like that, but when working and earning their way, you don’t seem to notice. Buckcherry was played at any venue I used to hang out.

My only Reading Festival experience, in August 99, featured Backyard Babies followed by Buckcherry, among other bands. I attended these shows with my friend Cristina, and we hadn’t slept but for an hour, as we had one of these crazy Friday nights. In fact we were still under the influence and managed to enter a 1,5l bottle full of calimocho (red wine and coca-cola) in to the festival facilities. The moment with the guy at the entrance asking what was that and sniffing, unable to identify the drink, was hilarious. We saw both shows in first rows and a bunch of Australian guys took us under their protection and built a human barrier surrounding us, keeping us away from the horrible and violent mosh pits during the two shows. Gotta tell you they were very intense and were excellent. The experience was a blast, but after sweating the shit out of ourselves, and with the arrival of a massive hangover, we spent more than 3- hours resting, drinking beers and being entertained by freaks, lying in the grass. Josh Todd, the leader of Buckcherry passed by dressed in skater hardcore outfit, and we managed to say a quich hello to himAmazing memories.

It was frustrating coming home on holidays and notice that people in my hometown weren’t acquainted with Buckcherry. When my friend Tani listened to the album and had an immediate crush on it, she suggested my target was to spread the word at pubs and bars, so we’d be able to listen to Lit Up everything. Thus, my mission was to play my CD at every place I was having a beer. And it worked.

Bartenders were amazed by the power of this single, and I was introducing them to the band and other songs such as Lawless and Lulu or Dead Again. I used to write the name of the album, the band and the song all the time, and finally they invested in the album, and Tani and I could sing “I Love the Cocaine, I Love the Cocaine” 2-3 times every night the least. This is how I really learned about the power of word of mouth.

I don’t listen much to the rest of their albums because, unfortunately Buckcherry for me delivered one of the most powerful rock debut,  but weren’t able to keep the level and the intensity, despite Josh Todd’s vocals and their cool riffs. Nay, those 12 tracks were overwhelming and out of reach. I still vibe and yell whenever I listen to Crushed or Check Your Head. If you like hard rock, you MUST have this album.