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Club: Papacool; This cool night is great for the soul.

Byline: Alison Young

SOUL and funk is now recapturing the mood of the nation. You'll hear it all around, as a soundtrack to cocktails, a Costa coffee or even Kentucky Fried Chicken adverts.

Papacool, in compact Glasgow club Ad Lib, has been diggin' the groove longer than most.

Advertising "the finest in jazz, soul and funk", the combined enthusiasms of chief instigator Billy Mulraney, championing jazz and soul, and his DJing partner Matt Brown, soul and funk fan, create a night where you'll rarely find yourself off the dancefloor - if you can find a space at all.

And you won't be dancing to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye all night.

A Papacool night doesn't restrict itself to the greatest hits of funk and soul. Along with classics you'll find yourself hearing some diligently- sourced rare grooves, adding an extra dimension and keeping them ahead of the copycat nights springing up.

Inspired by San Francisco's jazz and soul scene, the aim is a bohemian jazzy feel, helped along by adding some live musicians to the mix.

Past nights featured Alan Wylie, who they rate as "probably the best young trumpet player in Scotland" and percussion supremo Supertroy plus congas, bongas and jembi, accompanying dance tracks. Next stop is England, where they pick up DJs from Brighton and Brixton for regular guest spots.

That's a lot to pack into one space and, with Papacool's popularity combined with the small scale of this daytime speciality burger restaurant which folds itself up and turns into a club after 11pm, the dancefloor gets hot. Luckily the layout gives you room for a breather with an airier seating area near the door and, despite the apparent lack of space, Ad Lib has a Tardis- like talent, allowing everyone enough elbow-bending room.

Its size suits the promoters, since part of the plan is intimate but friendly. With a crowd of regular adherents, they have an "everybody that's into music is welcome" policy and regard the best nights as "made up of half your pals and half of strangers".

Music is the uniting force and - in addition to road-testing their new tunes on a Friday at the Basement Bar in Byres Road and showcasing them on a guest spot on internet station, Radio Magnetic, every Sunday - Papacool nights, formerly fortnightly, have gone monthly to allow time for other projects.

At the revamped Mercury Club in Bath Street, August 22 sees the launch of a joint venture with the Subclub's Bughouse boys. Called Dropdown, it'll feature one floor of Papacool's finest jazz, funk and soul and one floor of funky tech- house.

For sublime dance music and a funky, friendly club atmosphere, go sister.

Papacool @ Ad Lib, 111 Hope Street, Glasgow

Tel: 0141 248 6645

Open: Last Saturday of the month. Next date August 30

Doors: 11.30pm-3.30am

Entry: pounds 5

Drinks: Pint lager, pounds 2.65; vodka and mixer, pounds 1.85; selected bottle beers, pounds 1.60

Rating: Five out of five

DJ's choice ...

PAPACOOL germinated after Billy Mulraney visited San Francisco.

"I had a friend who took me round lots of small bars and clubs and I was amazed how much soul and jazz there was on the scene," he says.

"As soon as I came back I started a wee jazzy soul club at The Research Club at Glasgow University, and for the last year and a half we've been at Ad Lib.

"Our music is classic, cutting edge and rare groove."

A slice of Papacool sounds might include Get Back by Deirdre Wilson Tabac, Tin Man by John Edwards and The Average White Band's When Will You Be Mine? right up to Hairy Diamond's Torture and Super 8 by The Quantic Soul Orchestra.

"The music's meant to be quite challenging," he explains.

"We try to play things that people haven't heard, and I think we manage to do that more than any other soul and funk club in Glasgow."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 16, 2003
Words:656
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