MUSIC MASTERS – MARK BROADBENT

We’re flipping the fader this week as your favourite residents The Brothers Grim do all the talking for the Music Masters series as Andrew Livesey interviews his brother Mark Broadbent.

ANDREW LIVESEY – Mark is the reason I live in Ibiza, he is the reason I work in music, he is the reason I have the friends that I have and he is the reason I listen to the music that I listen to. All of these influences he has had on my life in some way, shape or form stem from his own life in music and the path his career within music has taken him on. I don’t know anyone with as varied and diverse musical taste as brother Mark, he has introduced me to more interesting sounds than anyone else and now as he enters his third year DJing he’s out there introducing more and more people to the many wonders of the sonic universe. For these reasons and many more he is this week’s Music Master.

AL – Along with our mother and my father you have been the biggest influence on the music that I listen to. Who are the three people who influence you the most when it comes to the music you listen to?

MARK BROADBENT – Really difficult to answer fully as I’ve been so lucky in meeting many musical mentors over the years but I’ll try and keep to the ones that set the tone so to speak.

I suppose the first time that music made it’s mark on me would have been in the long car journeys to Cornwall during the summer holidays with my parents, laid down in the back of an old Ford Escort listening to Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, or Meatloaf’ Bat Out of Hell. Albums anybody my age will probably know inside out.  A life long love affair with music was started right there in the back of that car and although I outgrew my parents tastes they were responsible for the journey’s start.

Simon Haig or Haggis as he was known to me was a guy who used to babysit for me. I must have been about seven or eight years old thinking back to the music he brought round to our house. He was probably the biggest influence on me and shaped my musical landscape for the next ten years, he brought round The Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers, Cockney Rejects, The Jam, UK Subs, Motorhead, Angelic Upstarts…all the good stuff that a young mind needs to hear in order to find it’s own place in the world. He showed me something incredible with this introduction to independent non chart based music that shaped the way I began to look at life in general. Don’t follow the heard, follow your babysitter and be a Punk Rocker.

Then there was a slight fallow period when I left school and started work, I listened to BBC Radio 1 all day every day in a factory with work colleagues who didn’t give a fuck about music, I started going out with them on a weekend – I was 16 years old at this point – to what were then called ‘fun pubs’ primarily to meet girls. The soundtrack was abysmal. Luckily for me I met Sarah when I was 17 and she had this childhood friend called Dave who was away at Manchester Uni, he used to come home some weekends and we’d go to the pub with him and listen to his stories of going to the Student Uni to watch all these bands i’d never heard of with exotic sounding names. We started going over to Manchester on a Saturday night to stay with him and his mates and he had the most amazing record collection I had ever seen, he introduced me to bands that reminded me of the music I’d listened to as a child / youth. Big Black, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Flipper, Minuit Men, Naked Raygun, Husker Du, Wire, The Fall but also great African stuff like The Bundu Boys or really off the wall music hall and fairground music à la Tom Waits odd and slightly novelty punk like Campervan Beethoven and most importantly Dave introduced me to The Butthole Surfers who remain to this day one of the finest musical discoveries i’ve ever had. Dave now lives in Thailand but continues to influence my musical meanderings via his yearly round-up of whats worth listening to  pretty much the only end of year round up I bother reading in any great depth. 

During the last 40 years radio has been a massive influence, listening to Janice Long, Peel, Annie Nightingale at night as I was growing up showed me that I was not alone in my tastes and that there were other minded people with whom one day I’d be able to communicate and share my love of this music with. I suppose this brings me round to my next major influence. The internet, and more importantly, internet radio or podcasts. The internet made it possible for anybody who had something to say to shout it loud from on high, this is where I have probably discovered the most interesting music in recent years. Bernie Connors show This Is The Sound Of Music, Phil Coopers Nu Northern Soul shows, crazy shit on WFMU coming out from New York, New York, archived late night radio on web only stations playing the most out there sounds from another dimension. Gilles Peterson continues to inform, his is a show I listen to religiously at least twice a week. I can also get lost for days rooting around Bandcamp or Dj History. Makes your body tingle thinking about all the new music still to be discovered.

AL – You only started DJing a few years ago, did you have any inclination to do so at an earlier time in your life? What was the change that made you start doing it and do you enjoy doing it?

MB – I was asked a few times during my time promoting other DJs to get involved but I never liked the idea, I thought that if I were to lay myself naked by playing strangers music that meant something to me personally and they didn’t like it it would just kill me! It took walking away from the job to make me realise that if I was no longer booking people to play the music I wanted to hear whilst I was out on the town enjoying myself there would be nobody to do that and I’d have to listen to badly programmed and inappropriate music everywhere I went. And this was indeed the case for the most part.

After some time of going out and complaining to anybody that would listen about the terrible music being played everywhere a couple of people took pity on me – or simply got fed up with listening to me waffling on about it – and suggested that maybe I should put my money where my mouth was and soundtrack their venues on occasion. Starting out at BHS on a Friday afternoon with you and the occasional other like minded friend was a road to Damascus moment for me, those days playing music to our mates gave me the courage and belief in my own taste in music to be able to share it with a wider audience. I absolutely love doing it now and my confidence grows from week to week. Music’s a very subjective thing but i hope that with careful programming I’m able to introduce people to music they might not have heard before that they then go on to love.

AL – What was the first record you ever bought and what was the last record you bought?

MB – The first record that I bought with my own money was Siouxsie And The Banshees / Hong Kong Garden  from Bradleys in Huddersfield town centre. I was nine years old and I still stand by this being one of the greatest records ever made, sadly I no longer have it and have no idea why. One too many parties with one too many randoms round ours at some point down the line I suspect. People will read this and say “Yeah, thats a rather cool record for the first record you ever owned Mark, are you sure it was that and not The Birdy Song or something by the Muppets ?!?” and the thing is I do have to admit that this is not the first record I owned, simply the first record I bought on my own with my own money. The first record that I owned was the Star Wars soundtrack done by The London Philharmonic that my Gran bought for me one Saturday in 1977 when we were out shopping and I needed to be silenced from going on and on obsessively about Star Wars!

I buy music on a weekly basis so my choices now are not as landmark as they once were to me or to anybody else really, they are generally of a time or for a particular reason. The last thing i bought this week (today) was with this coming Sunday in mind after hearing Jarvis Cocker play it on his wonderful Sunday Service 6 Music show last week. I think it will sound nice placed at the right moment poolside this week. Nancy Sinatra / Bang Bang  it’s rather obvious really but there is certainly something strange about it even though we’ve heard it a thousand times.

AL – We both grew up in Huddersfield but a few generations apart. The music scene that first captured my attention there at an early age was UK Hip Hop which was thriving in the early 2000s; what was the first genre / scene to grab you and how important was Huddersfield’s role in your formative musical years?

MB – PUNK ROCK!  I still fully consider myself a Punk Rocker, it’s not about the clothes you wear or the music you listen to although those were both the entry level aspects for most Punks. Punk Rock and being a Punk Rocker is about being a free thinker, not taking for granted what everybody else is doing or saying as being right, questioning everything and pointing out when you feel that something is wrong. It’s about being an individual. Punk had it’s last stand in Huddersfield and as we were growing up we were surrounded by them, lots of my friends are still Punks whether they know it or not! The first nightclub I ever went to was a Punk club called The Coach House, they used to make you take your Docs off at the door and leave them in the coat check “to avoid any trouble” which was really rather strange as it was the most peaceful fun it was possible to have in Huddersfield town centre during that time period. The Punks used to get attacked on leaving by the beer boys coming out of Johnny’s (classic pickup joint) further down the road. The music was memorable for being an eclectic selection of Rockabilly, old school 70’s Punk, Reggae and the new electro sounds coming from New York… kinda what I play on a Sundays when it gets darker really. It certainly was a major influence on me.

AL – After leaving Huddersfield you stayed up north for a bit and this is where your career in music began. How and where did that happen?

MB – I’d been away in India for a year with my (then) girlfriend Sarah thinking about what we should do and deciding that we’d go home, try make some money to go traveling again, we sent letters home and announced our imminent arrival and found out that Charlotte (Sarah’ sister) had started seeing a guy called Darren Hughes who was running a club night in Liverpool. There was not a lot happening in Huddersfield at this point in time and it proved difficult for me to find any paid work that I really wanted to tie myself down to after experiencing the freedom that travel brings so we decided to go live in Liverpool. Sarah had a previous background in retail so she helped set up the Cream shop on Slater Street next door to the venue and I managed to get myself involved in the flyer and poster distribution for the brand. Working a few days a week dropping stuff off at shops in and around Liverpool, collecting guest lists and generally mooching about the the place making myself useful. Cream at this time was a very big deal, they were literally flying, loads of money about, getting involved is some really interesting things outside of the normal nightclub activities. Sponsoring match balls at both Liverpool and Everton, hosting regular Radio 1 events. This was the peak time era of the Super Club and Cream were leading the charge. We got to know some interesting people, made some money and after six months we’d made enough to enable our return to Asia. This then became a kind of routine, we’d travel for a few months then head back to Europe to work for Cream in Ibiza, get paid and set off traveling again. 

AL – Moving onto Ibiza now; you, Sarah and Darren ran We Love… Space On Sundays for close to 15 years. Which was your favourite year, your favourite booking, your favourite room in the club and who was your favourite resident? Also, you don’t get a mention in Space’s commemorative 25th anniversary book, why do you think that is?

MB – Darren left Cream and started a new venture in London (Home nightclub on Leicester Square), I married Sarah and we moved to Australia to help set up the Home club in Sydney. We stayed in Australia for just over two years during which time the club in the UK had their license rebuked and Darren was once again looking for pastures new. Our time in Australia was coming to an end, home sickness and new management at the club with a tighter grip on the purse strings meant things were not as fun as they once were so we decided to head back to Europe and join Darren in Ibiza.

Arriving back to Ibiza in 2001 after living out of a rucksack for so many years was incredible, we’d found a place we could relax in. Sydney had been a great adventure but it was very hard work towards the end and arriving back to an already established weekly event at Space was inspiring. I’d been feeling a little jaded with the scene in Australia and wondered if we were heading in the right direction but arriving at Space on the first Sunday morning put any doubts I might have had right out of my mind. The first couple of summers at Space were probably the best times in some respects, it was all still fresh to us, we had the energy to fully enjoy what we were doing and you could tell that we were going to have great future there. The music needed some attention as it was – for the most part – incredibly pedestrian handbag house on the terrace and terribly boring prog house on the inside, but this is what the people loved about Space on Sundays so I had to go about changing this very carefully so as to not lose too many of the regular customers that made the Sundays at Space so special. We did this with our choice of resident DJs and we have had so many amazing residents over the years that it’s next to impossible and also unfair on the others to pick one out as a favourite really but if I were forced on pain of death to pick one I’d go with Jason Bye due to his consistency. I know that I can put him into absolutely any situation and know he’d deliver the goods time after time for as long as is needed. 

For me the beauty of Space back when we were really kicking it out the park was the diversity in the programming, it was like going to a mini festival with different styles of music in every room, something for everybody, hidden corners of delight just around the next corner but I would always gravitate towards the darkness of the main room inside. It became my baby, I got to do exactly what I wanted to do in there with the programming and for a time it seemed I could do no wrong, taking the main focus away from the terrace with strange and interesting bookings was for me the highlight of my career with the apex of this being the Grace Jones booking in 2009.

I found it rather strange to not get a mention in the Space book to be honest and at the time it was published I had no idea why they would pointedly do that but thinking about this now I suspect that I never had a very good poker face when dealing with Juan Arenas and he probably knew exactly how I felt about him and what he had done to that once wonderful venue. Fuck em…

AL – There are certain parts of life in Ibiza that both you and I dislike and yet we still continue to live here. For me the good parts of the island far outweigh the bad parts. What are your favourite things about living in Ibiza?

MB – I love the weather here and driving through the countryside, I love the beach life with my wife and I love my old town house. I love sharing food with friends and walking in the winter. I love the fact that everybody seems to take care with how they look but that it does not require pots of cash to look good on Ibiza. I love it when we get the island back from the summer visitors and I love it when they return in Easter signalling the summer ahead… kind of!

AL – What is the best party you have ever been to?

MB – I enjoy parties I’ve put on myself, once you’ve put on a party there’s no going back to other peoples really. I need full access and full control with what’s going on, from the music programming to the drinks tickets. I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in some incredible events and have worked with some amazing people over the years who helped make them memorable so it’s very difficult to pick one event out as being the best but I look back at our time in Australia and the events we put on there with very fond memories. The time and place was perfect, the stars were aligned and we were still relatively young. Home Sydney during the lead up to the millennium was off the hook good and probably the best regular club night I’ve ever been to, the energy there on some Saturday nights was the stuff of legend but if I had to pick one party that stands out as being truly amazing i’d have to say Bondi Beach / Millennium Eve. Back To Basics was also incredible and I’ve had some wonderful nights out in Manchester over the years too! Too many parties…

AL – What would you rather do, never listen to music again for the rest of your life or strangle both of your cats?

MB – I would never kill my cats unless they were in terrible distress and this was the only course of action available for me to take Andrew. I’d rather kill a person than kill my cats.

AL – If you could have one person permanently removed from Ibiza who would it be? They get to go live in Huddersfield instead.

MB – I’m not going to be able to truthfully answer this really am I? It would be hurtful to the person involved, all for cheap laughs. It’s also pretty pointless focusing on one individual when there are so many people I’d like to see removed from the island. Sophie Mac used to play the same game. She called it OFF and we played it a few times round hers after Space some Monday mornings when we got to feeling reflective. It was great and raised some interesting points as you had to justify why you wanted this person OFF and then there would be a vote with everybody playing having to have a say either way in defence or against the person suggested. It generally got pretty heated and we had to stop in the end but for a few weeks it was a rather fun distraction. 

Thanks very much to Mark and Andrew for what we’re sure you’ll agree has been a great read. Catch The Brothers and their friends at Pikes On Sundays this week from 1pm – 2am.

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MUSIC MASTERS – TIM SHERIDAN

This week’s Music Master is Tim Sheridan. Here’s what Mark Broadbent has got to say about our old friend:

It’s always a great pleasure seeing Tim Sheridan, a pleasure that has only just recently come back into my life with his recent return to the White Isle after a good few years self exile in North Yorkshire, it’s with love that we welcome him back into the family fold.

Another Amnesia meeting, Tim was terrace resident in 1997 as part of the Paul Oakenfold ’10 year since the 2nd Summer of Love’ thing we did at Cream that year so it’s kinda timely that we work together again this year 20 years on from then and ahead of Oakenfold’s return to the island to celebrate the now legendary lads on the (Balearic) lash holiday that kick started a whole new scene in the UK and went on to influence a whole generation.

Back then Tim was one half of The Dope Smugglers who were throwing down some incredibly eclectic selections to an often amazed terrace crowd, this being the hight of Euro Trance and Cream at Amnesia being one of the sounds temples it was always worth hanging out during their sets to see what happened. They managed to bring back a spirit and feeling to the dance floor that I’d not witnessed but often heard about, builders and beauty queens dancing side by side to tracks as diverse as the truly magnificent Single Bed by Fox.

Always eclectic, Balearic, outspoken and intelligent Tim is often the Marmite of club world and he has for sure caused great ripples within the scene with his pointed opinions, we have crossed swords personally in the past but I have never let this get in the way of our friendship. He is a true Acid House warrior and much more besides and this is why Tim Sheridan is this week’s Music Master.

MARK BROADBENT:  Where are you from, what are you on?

TIM SHERIDAN: I am from an Anglo-Irish background via Yorkshire, about 25 years in London and a fair chunk of my life in Ibiza. I’m on the radio.

MB: Your career in music started way before syncopated drum beats took over the music of choice for a Saturday night out, tell us a little about how you got started, where and when you were when you realised that this was going to be the life for you?

TS: Been a while since I heard much in the way of syncopation sadly. More like military marches these days. I started out in youth orchestras. I played violin, french horn and percussion in my teens. A brief stint in military bands and then I discovered Washington Go-go. Trouble Funk. Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers. I was in a very white, English world. Lot of of Punk and New Wave about. Goth emerging in Yorkshire. But I liked Earth Wind and Fire and James Brown as well. Long story but I kind of stopped all the formal learning music by rote and started to play funk and jazz drums. That was it then. Never went back. Played in loads of bands. Maybe as many as a hundred. Some for one night only. Then I won a dancing competition in Leeds in the mid 80s and the guys promoting the disco in a year would become The Utah Saints… that was it. I was in the music business. I can’t say I ever had a moment when I knew it was for me. I mean DJing was something you did for a laugh before and after bands. Then we did ‘Discos’ before there was any mixing or even people facing the DJ, they used to dance with each other. Over a period of about 10 years I went from someone who played in bands to someone who played records. Then almost overnight ‘being a DJ’ was a thing. Kids ask me “how do I become a DJ?” now and then and I always say “fucked if I know son! happened to me by accident.” Love music, managed to make a living out of it by being in it 24/7. Not sure if there is any other way of doing it.  

MB: For the younger readers out there that might not be too familiar with you can you tell us a little about what you did in the Acid House Wars?

TS: It is funny you say that. I experience quite an odd sense of entitlement in some of my peers. Why should anyone know who you are when they were 7 years old the last time you had a record out? To me 10 years properly feels like yesterday. I hear kids say “back in the day” and they are referring to 2005! My back in the day is 1985. 

I’ve been around the whole time. Been resident DJ at most of the UK and Ibiza Superclubs. Still am at Ministry of Sound. Was a Space resident. Manumission. Won’t bore you with my whole CV. I ran Kiss FM in the north of the UK and I’ve always written for the dance press. Mixmag especially. Made a few records. I’m just one of those old men who has always DJ’d. Every week for over 30 years. I’m hoping to get good at it eventually. 

MB: Our paths first crossed in the mid 90’s when you were one half of the duo The Dope Smugglaz, since then I have known you to play as part of more collectives. What is it about tag team DJing that you enjoy or is it simply a mechanism to hide a shy inner self? 

TS: I’m not shy at all but I don’t really need to be the centre of attention. It’s more fun for me to share and mix it up with people. I find so many people in the biz take it so very, VERY seriously. It’s faintly ridiculous to me. To make such a big deal about playing other people’s records. It’s daft. Ultimately I think DJs coast a bit when they are a solo unit. They go through the motions a bit. They turn into a (urg!) ‘brand’. I like to do the opposite and do different things all the time with different people. You learn that way too. I’m all about stopping to pick up hitchhikers and switching off the satnav and taking a boat instead of a plane, metaphorically speaking. Ironically though I think this time with you I will be solo. Cos usually I play techno and house to very young people, so I will need to think and work a bit harder to do something different for you. I will have less wiggle room if we’re not playing dance music. Looking forward to it! Don’t get me wrong I used to mix it up like a wrongun all the time, I’ve just not done it for about a year since I started in earnest at Ministry. So I will need to work hard on it. Welcoming it! 

MB: For one weekend only you can travel through time and space to any musical event in history, you can also change shape. Where are you going to go and what will you be?

TS: I will be a mighty mythical Minotaur and I am looking for the blacksmith’s where Pythagoras invented music about 2,500 years ago. I hope he didn’t do it on a Wednesday. 

MB: Future, past and present, who are your favourite recording artists and who should we be keeping on eye out for?

TS: Ppftt! Bothered. How long is piece of string? We’d be here all day. 

MB: Have we already had the best nights out on Ibiza, if so where and when were they and if not where should we be heading this Summer?

TS: Nah I don’t hold with all that guffin. I think I first heard ‘things aren’t what they used to be’ from someone in Ibiza in about 1989. It’s all relative. Depends who you are. I’ve defo done my hours at the party coalface. But I am also glad they are over and I now enjoy things in a more sustained and relaxed manner. Instead of working like a nutter in the week and going mental at the weekend I now sort of have a nice day every day. I sort of manage to get stuff done and enjoy life all the time, every day. Bit more measured. Bit more European. 

MB: Knowing what you know now what advice would you give to the young Tim Sheridan embarking on his journey into the unknown?

TS: Don’t waste a minute on dickheads. No point arguing with women they are always right. Never eat anything bigger than your head. Money isn’t real. Don’t be a cunt. 

MB: What’s next for Tim Sheridan?

TS: More endless claptrap and balderdash. 

MB: Bath or shower, cats or dogs?

TS: Have you ever tried to bathe a cat? Don’t be mental. 

Many thanks to Mark and Tim for the very informative interview. You can catch them both at Pikes On Sundays this week along with brother Andrew, Simon “Biggun” Morell, Sarah “The Baddest Donkey” Broadbent and loads more of your favourite people. Read all about that over here.

MUSIC MASTERS – JASON BYE

This week’s Music Master is Jason Bye. Jason and Mark Broadbent clearly have a lot of affection for each other so we’ll let them do the talking from here on in!

MARK BROADBENT – I was traveling in Mexico around the Christmas of 1998 after finishing our final season at Amnesia for Cream, I made a call home to let everybody there know that we were both okay  (this was a time before Facebook and emails so that’s what you had to do then, simpler times). I Spoke to my wife’s parents who said I had to call Darren Hughes (original Cream Liverpool head honcho and my then boss) quickly as he needed us to go to Australia and head up a new club Home in Sydney that he was involved in that had gotten off on the wrong foot with the management seemingly upsetting their target audience right from the start. He reckoned that we should go over there for a few months and try inject a little bit of what we had been doing in Ibiza there, try get the locals excited about the new venture, take a bit of the old Acid House spirit to Sydney and hopefully mix things up a bit. We’d been in Mexico for three months already and were wondering where to head next and in the back of my mind I’d always been curious about Australia so we said yeah why not.

For the next week I was thinking about what we could do there and how best to go about it, right from the start I had one idea in my head that I knew would make our work there far easier. I agreed to go to Sydney on the proviso that I could choose my main resident Dj to take with us.

We’d been at Amnesia the previous two summers and I’d met Jason Bye the resident DJ there, he played all the parties every night of the week, he’d been doing this for a few years and had honed his skills playing Foam Parties, 80’s Nights, Italian Psy-Trance, Old School Rave nights, Spanish nights and big commercial UK based promotions. He was simply out of this world. I have seen the guy walk into a room (any room with any type of people) and within three records he knows 100% what to play for the rest of the night to have that crowd eating out of the palm of his hand….for anything up to ten fucking hours!

Anyway to cut a long story short three months turned into almost three years in Sydney, we had many many madcap adventures and became firm friends, we’ve worked together ever since and I can not imagine a time when I’m putting on parties – however big or small  – where I would not want Jason Bye to be involved. Jason Bye is one of the best Djs that you’ll ever see/hear and this is why he is this weeks Music Master.

JASON BYE – I met Mark Broadbent I think in 1997, I was the resident Dj at Amnesia at the time and I had to pop into the club one afternoon. He was in the main room putting up the decor for cream later that evening, he had longer hair than me at the time and looked like he just walked straight out of Thailand into Ibiza. We said hello and had a little chat, I don’t really remember what was said but we got on straight away. We have had some pretty amazing times since then, from cream in amnesia to home nightclub in Sydney & Bondi beach and of course all them years at space on Sundays. I can pretty much say that I taught mark how to be diplomatic when it comes to dealing with people in Ibiza instead of curbing them, and that’s something he taught me how to do instead. 

MB – When did you first become interested in music and what was the first record that you bought for yourself?

JB – I remember that I must of been about 8 or 9 years old when I walked into Woolworth’s and purchased either ‘Carly Simon – Why’ or it could have been ‘Fat Larry’s Band – Zoom’

MB – Growing up did you have anybody that influenced your tastes in music and where would you go as a young man to hear the music that you loved?

JB – My influences were all over the place, I loved listening to a lot of electro like Planet Rock & looking for the perfect beat by Africa bambata and the soul sonic force and Tim westwood on LWR radio was a massive influence at the time. But I also listened to James Brown, Alantic Soul records and Motown.

MB – You’ve been on the island and played at many places during your time here but how did this come to be? How did a young lad from Walthamstow get to be resident at some of the greatest clubs in the world and where did it all start for you on Ibiza?

JB – Well I came to Ibiza in 1992 on a club 18-30 holiday and was hooked by how the Island made me feel so I decided to come back the following year and get a job in a bar, and so as luck would have it Javier Anadon gave me a job in his bar called Bucanero in San An bay after I got into a fight with his bar manager. I was mainly collecting glasses and cleaning up and working behind the bar everyday of the week until I started going in before the bar would open and practise on the decks. The following year Javier opened mambo and invited me to play, I don’t really know what anyone was expecting because I’d never really played out properly apart from a few gigs down the West End in San Antonio. But I knew my tunes, I always had done and so I played and its was amazing, Alex and Brandon were in there with Coxy and Jon Kelly and the likes and they ripped the shit out off me but I could handle it. They asked me to play every day after that and I did.

MB – You’ve held some amazing residencies over the years, which one of push comes to shove do you remember with the fondest memories and why is this?

JB – That’s difficult because each residency has been so different. Mambo I would say is my home, it’s where I learnt how to DJ and then Amnesia was like a dream come true, I felt like I was becoming part of the island’s history in a big way. Then you got Home night club in Sydney which blew my mind with how good it was, it was like nothing else in the world mattered except what was going on in the city at the time. And of course Space, I wasn’t sad when space closed, it had run its time. You could never re create the days of the old Terrace on a Sunday because those clubbers defined a generation that the island will never see again and have tried to replicate ever since, which is not a bad thing but I’m just glad I was playing there when it was going off proper.

MB – You run a successful record label and make lots of tracks yourself but the first track that you ever made was an edit of a Boney M classic that you had high hopes for, can you tell us a little about the track, how it came to be and what happened to it?

JB – Haha, it was about 1996 I think, I just started out with first studio set up and I did this disco thing with ‘Ma Baker’ I remember my mate H was round the house listening and I was going on about how massive it was gonna be. I put it on a TDK tape and sent it to a label, I cant remember which one. I never got a reply, shame there loss haha, would love to hear it again but I think I posted the only copy of it.

MB – Your able to time travel as a person of your choosing to a specific time and place to visit historical music event for the weekend where would you go and who would you be?

JB – I would probably go back to NYE 1999 on Bondi Beach and watch the millennium come in again but this time be a punter on the beach. Or any Beatles concert in Liverpool or Hamburg in the early sixties.

MB – Your a London Lad and I’m guessing that you spent your formative years going out to clubs and pubs around where you grew up. You have also played all over the country, where and when was it the best time to be alive and out on the town on a Saturday night?

JB – I would have to say when I left London, I got loads of mates of course that I went out with but I never really felt like I fell into that stereotypical London clubber. When I first got to Sydney I felt like I was proper in the zone having the time of my life. I learnt a lot in Australia, good and bad.

MB – We have worked together on many parties all over the world, is there one that stands out to you as being particularly good?

JB – When we used to put the decks down on the dancefloor in amnesia and played till like 9 or 10 am. They were the best parties.

MB – What do you sing in the shower?

JB – The Romantics – Talking in your sleep.

MB – If you had to make a choice of only ever being able to listen to either ‘rock’ music or ‘dance’ music for the rest of your life which genera would you choose?

JB – I cant answer that, I love them both equally but not at the same time, I go through phases. Totally unfair question, haha!

Thanks very much to Jason and Mark for a great insight into their entwined history. Jason plays this Sunday with a load more fantastic DJs.

MUSIC MASTERS – RALPH LAWSON

This week’s Music Master is Ralph Lawson. Adopted honorary Yorkshireman, record label boss, artist, one of the worlds finest resident Dj’s, farther of three and friend. Having clocked at least 30 years behind the decks of arguably some of the worlds finest establishments we are very fortunate to have him along this weekend, playing music that he listens to at home to boot, something of a rare occasion and one that we have been trying to make happen for three years. So to say we are excited about this coming Sunday is a slight understatement.

I have known of Ralph since the early 90’s when I used to go to Back 2 Basics, despite the wonderful selection of guests that Dave and his crew booked it was always the residents that shone. And Ralph – for me – shone brightest back then. Always on point, always tasteful, never swayed by trends, just great fucking ‘house’ music mixed to perfection. So when I started booking the Sundays at Space there was always room for him within my programming. I would often have to argue my point with my then partner – Darren Hughes – who would always have wanted ‘bigger’ names on the bill. In Darren’s defence however he would always give me a nod when Ralph had finished or was halfway through his set to let me know we had made the right decision after all as we looked out across a packed dance floor to see people simply locked in to what Ralph was doing. And this is why Ralph Lawson is this weeks Music Master.

MARK BROADBENT – You have lived and worked in Yorkshire for many years now Ralph but what was it that first brought you to God’s own country in the first place?

RALPH LAWSON – I went up to Leeds to go to college in 1988. Terrible time to leave a buzzing Acid House London and arrive in what was God’s forsaken country more like. There was just a few Goths hanging out by the Corn Exchange in the rain. Hang On – That was probably you and your mates wasn’t it Mark ?  It felt a long way from sunny London, where everyone was wearing smiles on their faces and bright baggy clothes. I suppose I was fortunate though that I had already experienced house music and the scene was really small at that time in Leeds. There weren’t many DJs and even fewer house DJs. There was a guy called Nick, who ran a food van and played really loud house music so I got talking to him and it turned out he ran Joy, which was probably the best party in Leeds. I dabbled on the decks and gave him my first ever mixtape. It was terrible but he gave me a warm up slot at Joy.

MB – What are the main differences that you found living in Yorkshire versus London and what made you stay for so long?

RL – It took me years to kind of understand Yorkshire and that’s still far from fully, but one thing that was apparent to me from the start was Yorkshire people. That straight up, in your face, abrasive yet warm charm that nearly everyone seems to possess in Yorkshire.  I feel more like a Yorkshireman than a Londoner in spirit now. I think I have similar characteristics, even if I’ll never have more than a Yorkney accent.

I was DJing at college and throwing my own parties as well as being a resident DJ at Joy and the Capricorn club in Bradford. I started a party called Clear (named after the Cybotron track) and invited Ali Cooke to come play, as I’d met him in a record store called Kik Flip. He brought Dave Beer down, he was the most full on character I’d ever met. He exuded tonnes of charisma, style and possessed real and apparent danger.  I suppose Dave was everything someone looking for the rock n roll lifestyle could be. Ali & Dave started back to basics on November 23rd 1991 and invited me to be resident.  I played the first ever record at the club. It was Marshall Jefferson presents Truth – Open Your Eyes. I thought it was just going to be fun for few months while it lasted but here I am over 25 years later.

MB – You have a long and illustrious history within the house music scene and are greatly admired for the work that you have done with the Back 2 Basics crew in Leeds, what was it that first turned you on to the genre?

RL – Visiting the Mudd club in London in 1988 and hearing Mark Moore, going to High on Hope at Dingwalls in Camden, going to see Danny Rampling and Tony Humphries at a Shoom Warehouse party, going to see DJ Harvey at an illegal warehouse party in Vauxhall, Noel Watson and Zaki D at Camden Electric Ballroom, The back room at Madhatters under the Arches, Carl Cox at Biology and going to the hacienda in Manchester. They were all pivotal moments in drawing me into house music.

MB – You have also run a successful record label (2020 Vision) for many years now and continue to release music through the medium, when was the golden time period for you and  which would you say is your favourite release and artist on the label?

RL – Well 20/20 Vision was founded at a farmhouse outside Leeds in 1994, so that’s well on the way to 25 years ago. That’s given us many Golden moments. The first era was at the farm itself and many would say that the start of a new venture or love is the most exciting. Then we hit it again well in the late 90s with a string of great tracks from DJ T, David Duriez, D’Julz. Moving into live bands with 2020Soundsystem and Crazy P was a great experience and dream for me from 2003.  Then another purple patch in 2007 with a strong local Leeds based team including Paul Woolford – ‘Erotic Discourse’ swiftly followed by Audiojack, Electric Press, PBR Streetgang. Then we really smashed it around 2010-2013 when the next generation of new house music hit with Maya Jane Coles, Huxley, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Tuccillo all writing club hits. I admit we’ve been a little quiet the last year or so but only because there are natural peaks of musical waves and you just have to ride them out. We are siting on some really cool music again now though.  I’ve always had ambitions to go more experimental and as I get older I care less what people think so it’ a good time to really freak them out.

MB – Who are the DJs past and present that you most admire and is there a particular reason?

RL – DJ Harvey – a totally unique lunatic and probably the DJ that I learnt most from early in my career. Greg Wilson – the epitome of how a DJ should conduct themselves, what an absolute gentleman. I also learned loads from Greg. Dom & Harri from the Sub Club, two of the best DJs on the planet and also two of the best people I’ve met along the way. Danny Tenaglia – At the time I was most into my own jackin’ Tenaglia was rulin’ and I had the best nights I’ve ever had on a dance floor listening to him. Junior Vasquez – We were travelling to New York a lot in the early 90s and going to the Soundfactory. Vasquez was king of New York and totally blown my mind on that dance floor. Park & Pickering – I loved my times at the Hacienda. Andrew Weatherall – nuff said. Ivan Smaghhe – Ivan was peaking when I was a regular at We Love Space and hitting it so well at that time as the French Nu Wave hit in the early noughties, amazing DJ.   Ricardo Villalobos can be incredible and of course Craig Richards. I also really love the back to basics residents.

MB – You’re able to travel back in time to a musical happening, your also able to be anybody you want to be for the weekend, where are you going and who are you?

RL – I’d love to travel back to 1982 New York, what an amazing time to be there. It was still dangerous, the art world was colliding with early hip hop and punk al at the same time. Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquait, CBGBs, Talking Heads, Grandmaster Flash, Africa Bambaata, Blondie, Cool DJ Herc, Futura 2000, Dancetaria. And of course Larry Levan and The Paradise Garage. I’d have loved to have heard Larry spin. In fact fuck it, I’ll be Larry!

MB – We worked together at Space / Ibiza for many years, is there one night that stands out from the others? I certainly have one memory of you at Space that i shall never forget!

RL – Haha I know what you’re going to say !  You let me close and I played White Stripes – Seven Nation Army and then got really wasted. I was singing “I’m going to Wichita” as I did my best Mr Bean impression and walked straight into a post in front of Eric Morillo and about 10 other DJs. Somewhat embarrassing. I had some amazing sets at We Love.  I think in 2000 when it was still uncovered warming up for Danny Tenaglia was a big moment for me.

MB – You spent many years abusing your body, to such an extent that you were often referred to as Stag Do (four drunken men rolled into one) but you are now a very keen cyclist and fitness freak, what do you think about when your out there slogging away up hills or in the gym?

RL – Well I was never that abusive to be honest Mark, I’ve always been fairly balanced or at least strived to maintain balance.  It was because I was holding things together at home, at work and on the family front in Leeds and absorbing all the life’s day to day pressure that led to me blowing off steam in Ibiza. That’s why I got the nickname ‘Stag-do’ coz they weren’t used to seeing me like that except in Ibiza. Probably best nickname ever and hardest one to shift.

I am well into cycling now yes but that’s also a kind of abuse. It’s all about suffering. You get a massive buzz after finishing a ride. I don’t know mate, maybe I need to punish myself!   In fact I’m over in Ibiza, raising money for Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, on a 3 day cycle race. We’re trying to build homes for children with special needs.  

Isn’t it odd that the band that started this whole electronic music scene Kraftwerk are also cycle nuts?  ‘Tour De France, Tour De France’

Thanks very much to Ralph and Mark for what we’re sure you’ll agree has been a very interesting and informative interview. Catch Ralph playing a special dub reggae set poolside at Pikes this week along with a load more likely lads.

Gracias amigos!

MUSIC MASTERS – GUY WILLIAMS

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Continuing our Music Masters interview series, this week Mark Broadbent gets to know Guy Williams:

This week we welcome back an old friend of the family. Guy has been playing for us off and on since we first met in 2006 and his debut for us at Pikes last summer was a definite highlight. Effortlessly mixing across genres whilst always having an eye on “the dance floor” Guy stunned us with his technical ability. Hailing from the north of England he also has a rather wicked sense of humour. All in, he’s top chap to spend the evening with. And this is why we have chosen Guy Williams as this week’s Music Master.

MARK BROADBENT: Guy, it could be said that you have been around the block although our history only goes back as far as around 2006 when we met through Kim Booth and Kelly Love I think. What’s your history? Where are you from musically?

GUY WILLIAMS: My music connection goes way back as my dad used to work for various record companies, first Chrysalis and Arista then Virgin so my vinyl collection began when I was around 7 years old with me giving my Dad a list of records I wanted each week and him coming home with them at the weekend.

I left home in Cheshire to city centre Manchester aged 18 in 1988 and had already been frequenting clubs and going to live gigs in Manchester from the age of 14. ’88 and ’89 were obviously pivotal years for dance music and I was right there in the middle of it, going to the Hacienda and the No1 club and more, regularly from ’88.

I started DJing in 1993 playing for clubs around the North West, Paradise Factory, the Athanaeum, Vague (Leeds), Trash and Wonderland (Sheffield), moved to London in 1997 to work for Jive records and continue Djing and here I still am today with a music consultancy and a new DJ Agency and still DJing.

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MB: Having played at most of the iconic gay and mixed parties over the years would you say that the scene currently is as good as it once was and was there a golden era that you look back on with rose tinted spectacles?

GW: I think, like most “scenes” when they emerge they are especially exciting if you are there discovering it, The No1 club in Manchester holds a very special place in my heart as I was going there regularly from 1987 but it wasn’t until 1989 that exctasy hit the club and it changed from a poppy, mirrored, venue to a sweaty rave basement, and I embraced that, fully!

Flesh at the Hacienda on the last Wednesday of the month was so amazing that people would be talking about what they were going to wear, what they were going to score and the music that would be played for the next month, as soon as they walked out of the club 

There are of course great nights and venues still in the Uk such as Homoelectric, Dalston Superstore, East Bloc, Sink The Pink  and more recently Savage where i’m resident and loving it, but these are all mixed clubs  and one of the main reasons I love Savage so much  is that it does remind me of the late eighties/early nineties vibe when people were genuinely excited about going to and being in a club night and it was more about your attitude than your sexuality.

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MB: Who in your opinion have been the most important personalities within the gay dance scene over the years?

GW: That’s a tricky one, as I have said I’ve always played and gone to mixed venues rather than “purely” gay and DJ on the “straighter” scene a lot as well, having had residencies at Ministry of Sound, Cargo, Audio (Brighton) etc before but I think promoters such as Lawrence Malice who used to promote the infamous Trade and now owns Egg club, Lee Freeman (DTPM/Fiction) Wayne Shires (Crash/EastBloc/Brut) TWA (Vague Leeds) have all pushed boundaries in polysexual and gay clubbing in the UK.

MB: Given the opportunity of time travel which time and place would you most like to visit forwards or backwards?

GW: As a disco boy at heart I’d love to visit the early 80’s NYC scene, I’ve always said I think I may have been an 18 year old, living in NYC in 1980 in a previous disco life!

MB: What if anything would make your life easier and is this going to be achievable in the near future?

GW: I have recently set up a music consultancy “Paradise Productions” and a DJ Agency and shall be focusing on developing those, living in London may well not be a forever thing as I think that settling in Spain or the coast may be the way forward for me. The sun, sea and less manic approach to life would make things easier.

MB: Having watched you more closely recently it’s come to my attention that you are actually a rather talented technical Dj who’s able to mix genres that are not as straight forward to mix as the standard house 4/4 format. Who first taught you to mix?

GW: When I first started playing out in 1993 I didn’t have decks at home for around 2 years so it was very much learn “on the job”. Then I got decks and practised and after 23 years of being behind the decks pretty much every weekend I’d be worried if I couldn’t mix! I do like to play a mix of different styles sometimes, all depends on where I’m playing obviously but I love a wide range of music from soul and funk, to 80’s, Disco and House.

MB: Is there one particular track that caught your attention and prompted that WTF is this all about moment that changed your life forever? Mine was Humanoid – Stakker Humanoid. Watching that on Saturday morning TV with my younger cousin was literally life changing for me.

GW: I do remember hearing Steve Silk Hurley ‘Jack Your Body’ in the Hacienda in 1987 before the e-culture really hit and before my party days  had really started and I remember thinking WTF is this!?

MB: Where do you call home? Where you’re from or where you currently reside?

GW: I currently reside in London but call London, Manchester and Ibiza all home!

MB: Which secret weapon can you always rely upon to fill any floor any time?

GW: Tricky as all floors are different, I do find that Ain’t Nobody can often be a great end of night song as people are universally so fond of it and “think” they can sing it amazingly.

MB: Would you like to be taller?

GW: Nope. 

Thanks very much to Mark and Guy for the fantastic interview. You can catch Guy and the rest of the gang this sunday with action starting at 1pm by the pool. Hasta pronto amigos!

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MUSIC MASTERS – ANDY WILSON

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Mark Broadbent continues his Music Masters interview series with Andy Wilson.

Manchester, England. Home to such musical mavericks as The Fall, Buzzcocks, The Smiths, 10CC, The Bee Gees, Joy Division, The Hollies, The Duruti Column, John Cooper Clarke, Jilted John, Slaughter And The Dogs, A Certain Ratio, Salford Jets, Frank Sidebottom, The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, Northside, The Charlatans, New Order, Take That, 808 State, A Guy called Gerald, Oasis, James, Badly Drawn Boy, Autechre, Lamb, Mr Scruff, Doves, Chamelians, Black Grape, The Chemical Brothers, Elbow, It’s Immaterial, Oceanscene, World Of Twist, The Whip, The Verve, N-Trance, Van Der Graaf Generator, Swing Out Sister, Johny Marr, Magazine, Sad Cafe, Ruthless Rap Assassins, Quango Quango… and Andy Wilson.

Manchester stands proudly above all other UK cities when it come to musical heritage, many would argue that Liverpool has a greater claim to fame having spawned the four loveable mop tops who went on to become the world concurring Beatles but I’d argue better than they that Manchester truly holds the crown. And I think that this weeks guest Musical Master would agree with me.

Hailing from Greater Manchester Andy was around when the 2nd wave of punk now tilted “post punk” was thee sound of the suburbs. Joining a band in his early teens and buying the pre requisite black garb associated with the time and place Andy mooched his way around the north of England and slightly further afield until something made him decide to pack his bags for Asia where the second stage of his life in music started. Always a man of mystery he doesn’t talk too much about why he chose to do this and what happened to him during his time away…until you ply him with drink and then it’s difficult to stop him. Wonderful stories and tales of high jinx and skulduggery that anybody who knows him well will attest to and I hope that you can get to know the man a little more with this week’s Music Masters questions and answers.

MARK BROADBENT – Andy. You are from Manchester (or Salford) a very important city in regards to musical output over the years. Which in your opinion has been the most important time period for music in Manchester and who if anybody is the defining Manchester musician (or band)?

ANDY WILSON – I’m from south Manchester – Didsbury – and am lucky / old enough to have been there for two of the great periods in the city’s musical history . I won’t claim to have seen the Pistols at the Free Trade Hall in ´76 cos I was only 12 (I did have a ticket to see them in ’77 but the gig was cancelled) so the 1st gig I went to was the Buzzcocks with the Slits and John Cooper Clarke in ´78, and from then on I was going to see bands 2 or 3 times a week, so that period from the Electric Circus through the Factory up to the opening of the Haçienda in `82 was very special for live music – I saw Joy Division and The Fall maybe 20 times each – plus I used to go to Legend when Greg Wilson was playing the most upfront electrofunk from the US on a state-of-the-art sound system which was a very niche scene but hugely influential.

Then when house music hit the Haç around 87 up until the Roses and the Mondays imploded early 90’s – the Madchester years – was another time I wouldn’t’ve missed for anything . I was mates with a lot of those lads and it felt like we were the centre of the musical world for a time. So from a personal perspective, 78-82  and 87-91  or so were key eras. As for the defining Manchester band , I’d have to say the Fall, as they’ve stood staunch and uncompromising for nearly 40 years , and you don’t get much more Manc than Mark E Smith.

MB – You were in a band yourself. I’ve seen the photos! Tell us about your experiences. What were you like ?

AW – I was in bands from when I was 14, back in the punk days nearly everyone I knew was in a band , although most of them never even rehearsed let alone played gigs. The Spurtz, The Liggers (1st Peel session 1980), Action Holidays (supported by New Order on their 1st ever gig) , then I left school & home at 16 to join the passage and go ‘pro’, ha!  I loved it, though to be honest I was winging it the whole time, trying to look like I knew what I was doing. I did 3 or 4 more Peel sessions, made some records, toured the world, got fucked up, bla bla bla… What were we like?  Live we were pretty raw and punky, on record we were kind of complex and very ambitious, loads of synths and sequencers, with superb drumming, ‘intense and cerebral’ apparently. Peelie was a big fan, Paul Morley too, but I think a lot of people in Manchester thought we were pretentious wankers , but then we Mancs tend to think that about most people. All the records have been reissued on CD by the brilliant LTM label and amazingly still sell a few copies

MB – What pivotal moment – if any – sent you away from the city of your birth to wander the world looking for a replacement place to lay your hat?

AW – I always enjoyed  travelling from when I was a kid so I never expected to stay in Manchester forever, I love it but it’s pretty fucking grim a lot of the time. If I had to pick one experience, it would be spending the summer of ’82 in New York. I was 17 – Danceteria , The Roxy, KISS FM on ghettoblasters ,The Message, East Village loft parties, XTC … there was no going back after that.

MB – You spent many years in Asia during the hight of the full moon party period, did you enjoy the music you heard or like me did you dislike it for the most part? Was there anybody playing anything interesting at all?

AW – I was never into psychedelic trance, way too fast for me, but I respect the scene. It’s origins are a lot more interesting than where it ended up. Check this for the roots. I went to Goa for a look in 1990 but didn’t fit in. I was in love with Thailand after first going in 1985 , got involved with parties there in ’89 , and spent a lot of time there until I moved here in ’99. Of course there were a lot of fake djs and shit music, but we had some of the best parties ever – the music wasn’t split up into genres and cliques like now (apart from the psytrancers). This was the heyday of early prog house, west coast breakbeat and great US & german techno . Leftfield, Hardkiss, Hardfloor, UR – powerful trippy music in the jungle, on the beach , full moon ,black moon, sunrise .. I used to dj some sunset sessions and ambient afters as well, but it was all about full on mad raves through to sunrise and beyond. Loads of good djs passed through and many stayed around, the best were Backyard Dave , Eren and Lee Burridge.

MB – When did you arrive on Ibiza and what was your first job here?

AW – I came here as a kid in the ’60’s, got sunburnt, then next in ’89 ,that’s a book in itself… Finally moving here in ’99. My first job was taking over the English Programme on local radio station Cadena 100 a few months after arriving, which I soon renamed Balearia, and I’ve been doing that ever since, helping get Global Radio off the ground in 2004 and then joining forces with Igor & Miguel and starting Sonica 10 years ago.  

MB – We worked together for many years at Space on Sundays. Is there a particular event we worked on that stands out in memory?

AW – So many great nights and amazing music, I was there nearly every Sunday for 10 seasons, and a regular as a punter before that,  but what stand out the most were the big live shows you brought over – Grace Jones, Underworld, The Chems, Caribou – all unforgettable. Too many brilliant DJs to single one or two out, and I don’t know what happened to my memory but…

MB – What do you like most about living on Ibiza and what do you dislike about the current state of the island?

AW – I like feeling close to nature, the seasons and the sea, the sunrises, sunsets and the stars at night. I love being in my house in the campo very peaceful but just 10 minutes from high excitement. And I like the great community of people on the island, some of them born here, many who’ve chosen to be here. When Chrissie and me decided to leave London I had this idea that Ibiza was like the last bastion of liberty left in Europe and maybe it was, but nowadays there are police controls all over and the whole apparatus of the state seems to be bearing down just like everywhere else. I miss the freaks and the days when VIP meant Very Interesting People. There’s a lot of new places I have no desire to go to, even if I could afford it! I’m sure a lot of people coming here now would be much happier in the South of France or Las Vegas so they should just fuck off over there.

MB – What was the first and last record you bought?

AW – First record was Sladest by Slade , last physical one was the Moodymann comp on DJ Kicks, last digital was Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra – Too Much Information… I don’t buy much vinyl now though, more cds and digital, I do miss record shopping . I’m gonna go on Bandcamp if I ever finish this interview…

MB – You have two wonderful children. Which one is your favourite?

AW – At this stage of the summer holidays I have to say whichever one is sound asleep.

MB – Name a time and place you would have liked to have been part of other than the one you have experienced.

AW – I could play this game all night, but to pick one quickly  I would’ve loved to have been in New York in the 70’s – a time of great hope and great parties, with racial and sexual liberation, and of course disco, punk and hip hop. But ask me tomorrow and I’ll say something else!

Thanks very much to Mark and Andy for the great interview. You can catch them both playing at Pikes this Sunday along with some more musical masters!

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MUSIC MASTERS – ANDY CARROLL

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Mark Broadbent continues his Music Masters interview series with long time friend of the family Andy Carroll

I have known Andy Carroll for many years having first met him in person during the summer of 1996 when I shared a house with him in Ibiza. Andy was then resident DJ (alongside Phat Phil Cooper) on the terrace at Amnesia for Cream. This was before it turned into the Trance Behemoth it has now become and I was fortunate enough to soak up the incredible and varied sounds that Andy – and Phil – where able to play on the open air terrace back then. Andy and Phil had a very love hate relationship back then and I think that this in part is what spurred them on to dig deep into their respective collections and play so bravely. These were long nights with long sets and by the end of the night before the sun came up I’d often swing by onto the terrace – having just closed down the main room – to find Andy slightly worse for wear playing soundtracks and aeroplane noises to an incredibly messy crowd. These sets made a lasting impression on me and this is why Andy Carroll is this week’s Music Master. Long may he continue and for as long as we are putting on events there will always be a place for this man in our lives…

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MARK BROADBENT: You are a man of eclectic musical tastes Andy and have been known to rock the dance floor with some pretty out-there tracks. Where did your tastes develop and was there a singular person you looked up to musically as your tastes were developing?

ANDY CAROLL: Initially I was influenced by my oldest brother Mike who has a very wide and  amazing taste in music. For example, when he left home he didn’t want to have his Northern Soul collection at risk in his flat that was not too secure re areas for break ins,  so he trusted me with the suitcase full of soul 7″ inch singles,  knowing that I’d sooner starve than sell them. Over the years I added to the collection, particularly at a time when Northern Soul was at a low value ebb.  Liverpool legend,  Dave ‘The Rave’ Kay sold off some of Radio Doom’s prolific collection and I was in the right place and time when they were put on sale in a local second hand record shop. Another influence was my Dad’s collection of Irish rebel songs and his Jazz collection.  He used to be in a band playing trombone when he was much younger but had to give up to concentrate on bringing up a soon to be large family.  As I got older I started developing my own tastes and at age 13,  PuNK rOcK seriously grabbed my attention.  Luckily for me the now legendary Liverpool venue,  Eric’s was doing matinees on a Saturday afternoon.  I got to see some ace bands meet loads of like minded people,  go to Probe Records around the corner and chat music with Geoff Davis and co and Eric’s own Roger Eagle,  previously of The Twisted Wheel in Manchester.  Meeting people like Roger, Geoff and various people at Eric’s and surrounding places showed me you could follow your musical dreams if you work hard at it. Thanks to them and against my dad’s wishes I followed my own path.

MB: You have been on the scene playing music to night people for quite a stretch now, if you were to choose a time and place that you feel best encapsulates the Carroll experience where and when would that be?

AC: That’d be very hard to choose; as a music lover I’ve played at some amazing places and love all the music from those years. For a brilliant crowd and to see a slice of that once in a lifetime experience, look up Quadrant Park and N-joi on YouTube and you’ll see what I’m talking about for something I’d don’t think would happen so easily now.

MB: What is House Music?

AC: A collection of electronic sounds and samples influenced from many places,  but without a doubt without those disco loops coming out of The Ware ‘house’ in Chicago,  you wouldn’t have the question to ask.

MB: Liverpool was an important city for you personally and has been hugely influential worldwide as a musical mecca over the years but do you think that it is the most important music city in the UK?

AC: For me personally, definitely but when you delve deeper into history and see what went on and who said what,  it’s always been a transient melting pot of cultures as a river city and once the second city port of the old empire where people liked to give a warm welcome and have a good time.  During the Musician’s Union embargo regarding foreign musicians, the new American musos were not coming to the UK.  The merchant seamen known as The Cunard Yanks brought the music of the Missisippi delta and beyond back to the city where young music fans were being influenced, four of the more famous being The Beatles who brought their version of that music to the masses in their early days.

MB: Where and when in your opinion has been the most musically influential city in the world?

AC: Liverpool and New York jointly. 

MB: When did you first come to Ibiza and where did you first play professionally?

AC: 22 years ago at Chaos,  San An with the band I co managed with James Barton at the time, K-klass.

MB: Ibiza has changed dramatically over recent years and is in some part unrecognisable from the Ibiza that you first visited. When do you think was the golden age of Ibiza clubbing and do you think there is anywhere on the island now that is still championing the fabled ‘feeling’ of peace, love and unity we have all read about?

AC: The people make the party with the music providers helped by good promoters etc, so the golden age is your best times and experiences. For me it was the early days of Cream and Manumission and then We Love continued those vibes when others had gone or changed direction.  There’s always a nook or cranny you can sniff out a good party if you know how 😉

MB: Did you drink Ian Hoskins aftershave when you lived with me in the Benimussa hills?

AC: Pure myth, and that wasn’t the name of his preferred after shave 😉

MB: What has been the most important lesson you have learnt whilst working in the music industry?

AC: Be honest,  true, work hard and keep your integrity as best possible.

MB: If your house was on fire and you were able to save only three albums which would they be?

AC: A very difficult question to answer, so to be realistic imagining smoke, intensity and heat, the first three I could grab as safely as I could.  

Thanks very much to Mark and Andy for the great interview. You can catch Andy poolside this sunday along with DJ Callum, Riccio, Big Lee and Andrew Livesey.

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