In the bag: Gip Dammone

Gip Dammone is one of Leeds’ most recognisable and best loved figures. For many, he is the stallion of Headingley’s swanky Italian restaurant, Salvo’s. But, for many years, Gip’s role was of a different kind: as a member of the Dig! Family, he fed the city’s dance floors tasty plates of jazz, funk and soul.

With his regular Retrospect show on KMAH Radio, Gip continues to dish out the good stuff. For an uplifting festive party, we couldn’t think of a more fitting DJ to invite back to the HiFi Club to take over Sam’s Soul Shack for the night this weekend.

We’ve finally asked him to do this feature with us, and he was more than willing to let us peer inside his amazing record bag in anticipation…


“Obviously I suffer from short term memory loss on account of all the info up there that I can’t remember because it’s piled too high, but this is what I can tease out of my memory banks today.”


First record you bought?

“First record I got was a reggae chartbusters LP on the budget label MFP (Music for Pleasure) in 1969 or ’70. It had It Mek and My Boy Lollipop on it and my father bought me it even though I didn’t have a record player! I got it from the Cash and Carry in Pudsey where we were getting supplies for the cafe and the revolving display of cut price LPs all priced at 19/11 (19 shillings and 11pence/ nearly a quid) were at the checkout for impulse buying!


Best floorfiller?

“The best floor fillers change through the ages but a Brazilian tune usually does it for me at the moment. Viva Brasil – Skindo Le Le or maybe Wilson das Neves with Pick Up the Pieces.



Sleaziest record?

“Lump by Mutiny. Featured in the movie ‘Cruising’ .



Best warehouse or stadium filler?

“Ha – Stadium filler! I don’t really do stadiums with up-for-it, adoring jazz fans, though I did do the Bacardi tent at Leeds Fest for a few years.


Most nostalgic record?

“One of my nostalgic favourites has got to be Hopeton Lewis – grooving out on life. Me n Paddy were both trying to get off with big Maggie because she had a copy and that sleazeball Paddy got there first and nicked the record. Though I have the LP I still haven’t got my hands on the 45 but at least I burnt the bastard’s thumb when he came around to our house for Christmas in 1972.



Most valuable record?

“My most valuable record is the one I am loving the most at any point in time. It’s no use equating cost with value or musical worth so I don’t. My daughter just had a beautiful baby girl so I am feeling a bit soppy these days. I am loving Big Lee Dowell a lot at the moment, a beautiful soul masterpiece released this year.


Weirdest record?

“I think the Pee Wee Marquette of Scientology, Tom Cruise, would love this as the band is fronted by none other than L Ron Hubbard the founder of Scientology. The record itself is messy kitchen sink jazz with some pretty bad musicianship shining through, I had to get rid of mine as I found it weirdly disturbing.


“Gotta mention another disturbing record because a) I love it and b) the lyrics are near the knuckle racist though I don’t think they were meant that way, I’ve put it in the box lots of times but never played this rockabilly ditty out in public.


Last record you bought?

“A few landed this morning. Yussef Kamal – Black focus, Tortured soul – Home To You and an edit of  Loveman (Ronnie Stokes) – Touch You Again.


Record you wished you owned?

“I wish I owned the complete Blue Note catalogue!”


Catch Gip’s KMAH Radio show every two weeks, and come to HiFi this Saturday for more music like this.