As the last tune rang out and sweat hung in the air of the room where the final Cave Club of 2014 had run its course, Rhys Webb felt it was the end of an era.
For the last seven years his aptly named night had been a monthly feature at Highbury and Islington’s Buffalo Bar, which was set to close to make way for flats at the end of that year.
The night showcased some of the finest psychedelia ever made from around the globe, all of which was from the extensive record collection of Webb, otherwise known as the Horrors’ bass player.
Soon the same psychedelic sound reared its kaleidoscopic head at Oxford Street’s 100 Club. But although Cave Club still drew big crowds, the more ample space of the legendary venue absorbed the atmosphere of one of London’s key underground gatherings.
Seeing an opportunity at the newly opened Moth Club off Mare Street, Webb seized the chance to find a new home for his “party.”
“The party at the Moth, the first one there [in September 2015] was just electric and fantastic and so reminiscent of the feeling and atmosphere of the original night,” Webb recalls.
The word psychedelia tends to evoke whimsical images, Lewis Carroll poems and the heavy use of a harpsichord, and it’s no secret that many of the discs spun have been produced in the late Sixties. But Cave Club takes account of how the genre has developed since then.
“The inspiration for the night is mind expanding psychedelia, and has a heavy focus on the lost and obscure groups of the late Sixties.
“There are no rules. If it’s weird and wonderful we’ll play it. I want the club to be an experience and an adventure,” he says.
Webb, along with The Voyeurs’ Sam Davies, is on a mission to harvest the world for the rarest, trippiest 45s, along with some more familiar sounds and others that have become “Cave Club classics”.
To his memory, Webb’s vinyl-only policy has only been broken once (“probably to play a demo from The Horrors or one of our friend’s bands like TOY,” he says).
The night attracts the cream of the East London music scene as well as music lovers of all ages, many of whom dressed in technicolour cast-offs, and all gathered to hear psychedelic rarities from a collection which Webb jokes, has cost him “about a decade in pocket money”.
Each month, a band is picked to open the night, which has seen TOY, Telegram, The Wytches, Connan Mockasin and Temples’ drummer Samuel Tom’s shoegaze warriors Secret Fix do the honours.
This month will see Riddles, a lysergic space metal band, take to the stage of the former working men’s club, in which the ceiling has been completely adorned with gold glitter.
Even when Webb is out on the road with his acclaimed band, who are currently in the studio working on new material, he says the night is never far from his thoughts.
“I’ve been as far away as Mexico or Tokyo and sitting on the end of a hotel bed and sending texts to people who are there, just wanting to know what’s going on.”
Cave Club is at Moth Club, Old Trades Hall, Valette Street, E9 6NU