Terry Farley

It was really only a matter of time before the dual juggernaut of Farley & Heller made an appearance at Paris’ Acid Ball. Individually and separately they have both been hugely influential and integral parts of the British dance music scene for many years. We caught up with one half of the duo, Terry Farley, a man who’s definitely no stranger to Dalston Superstore to ask him all about his early Boys Own raves, classic stories from the acid house heyday, Ibiza then and now, and more…

As a born Londoner, what/where is your favourite London hotspot?

I love markets – up the lane (Portobello), Roman Road in the ‘80s was, as they used to say, “ream”, Columbia Road and of course nowadays Broadway market.

What’s the best party you’ve been to so far this year?

Harvey I reckon, closely followed by some nights at East Bloc (especially our Boys Own party).

Why do you think people have been so passionate for so long about house music?

The intense link between the music and the best days (nights) of your life. The chemical reaction as well stays in the subconscious, so as soon as you (well me haha) hears a 4×4 Chicago beat a small rush starts around your toes…  likely story.

What is your favourite record that you own?

It changes by the week but today it’s…

Big London club record when kids actually danced together ‘hustle’ style. Tomorrow it will be some reggae record – I’m fickle.

There’s a great story about being inspired to take your first ever E after seeing Danny Rampling for the first time and he dancing to George Kranz Din Daa Daa. How much impact do you think that moment had on your life?

That was at the Rockley Sands weekender run by Nicky Holloway – it was on the cusp of change when the crowd split between the black music purists and the kids who had been to Ibiza and took gear. Danny was doing his Amnesia style dance and Chris Butler and Johnny Walker had sat inside the huge bass bins. Sitting inside speakers was a early Acid House thing. Pics of said Weekender can be laughed at here at faithfanzine.com

Speaking of ways you met people… how did you meet Pete Heller?

He warmed up for Danny at Shoom, played guitar over Danny’s set as well.

If you could climb in a time-machine and go back to any dance floor any era any location, where and when would be setting the dial to?

1975: a true golden age of London clubbing. Punk was starting but without a name, American black dance music was at its innovative and raw best and the standard of dancing in west end clubs was amazing. It was also a time when shop culture was important, you found out what/where and whom at places like ACME, Sex, Johnson and Johnson, Swanky Modes…

What one thing will you always love about Ibiza and what one thing do you wish had never changed?

Putting the roofs on totally fucked things, what was unique and magical turned into normality – a crazy normality but the specialness was lost.

What do I still love…? The fact I’m struggling here tells me something. 

If acid house geese and jackin’ cows sum up the Boys Own outdoor parties of the past, what might sum up Boys Own 2013?

Barbour coats and ketamine haha!  

You and Pete Heller will be playing the Shoom 25th Anniversary… will you be playing old favourites or new bangers?

Both, but that’s how we play anyway. So much new music by new producers harks back to the early ‘90s so music no longer sounds old or new just good or bad.

You’re no stranger to the Superstore basement! What do you like about playing here?

It reminds me of our clubs used to be in the ‘70s and mid ‘80s, mixture of people, intense atmosphere that is not reliant on drug consumption and I dig the way the staff at the club seem part of a community, part of the night and not a opposing enemy like at bigger venues.

You have a long-standing association with London’s gay scene. Why do you think this is?

When I was a kid THE best west end clubs were either gay or black so if you wanted to be part of that elite side of the soul scene you had to leave any preconceptions at home. I just love a good party and a great crowd, and London’s gay scene has produced so many of my faves over the decades.

What’s your favourite current house night?

I’m working most Saturdays but the ones I’ve enjoyed playing at this year was Guy Williams’ party at East Bloc, Society at DSS on a Thursday with Robert Owens.  I also love playing the basement at East Village. If I can hang out, I’m a long-term fan of the secretsundaze crew and I really love the Loft over west down Scrubs Lane.

What do you think has given your career the longevity you’ve enjoyed?

I’m rubbish at anything else. 

And finally, who’s been the most interesting or difficult person you’ve ever interviewed for your own site Faith Fanzine?

Miles got told off by Frankie Knuckles after I had hooked up a Skype interview for Faith haha. The best ones are the older DJs who have stuff to say who have lived the life so to speak: Derrick Carter, Lil Louis, Frankie (eventually)…  young European deep house DJs want to talk about plug-ins.

 Terry Farley plays Paris’ Acid Ball with Pete Heller as Farley & Heller on Saturday 3rd November at Dalston Superstore with Hannah Holland, Dan Beaumont and DJ Squeaky from 9pm – 3am.

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