Posts Tagged ‘shoom’

Meet Wayne Shires

By Dan Beaumont

Wayne Shires has been at the forefront of London’s underground queer culture for several decades. From the best acid house warehouse parties in ’89 through to legendary dance floors like Substation, Bar Industria, Crash, Area, The Cock and his current baby East Bloc. He’s also been busy preparing for this weekend’s massive Summer Rites festival. Superstore’s Dan Beaumont caught up with him for a cuppa.

 

Can you please explain the compulsion to throw parties and open venues?

I think it must be some form of masochism. It can be really tortuous but at the same time it can be very euphoric and satisfying and rewarding when you get to that point where you see people enjoying themselves, and you’re the one who’s created it. It’s not a vanity project. I just really enjoy people having a good time. I’ve always liked putting on a party.

You started putting on parties during the acid house era?

The very first party I put on was a Sunday night at what used to be called The Apollo, which was a rent boy bar in Soho, which turned into The Brain run by Sean McLusky [legendary London music promoter- Dan] and later become Trash Palace on Wardour street. I’ve been going to clubs since I was about sixteen – I  met Princess Julia around then. I used to go to Heaven, Subway. Lasers on Green Lanes, Bolts.

I started going out in clubbing London and then I moved to America and had a had a stint there hitting the clubs. When I got back, there were warehouse parties and people were taking ecstasy, but there wasn’t really the music.

We used to go to Ibiza every summer. One year we went to Amnesia, I remember turning round and thinking “who are these people in shorts and smiley T-shirts, and what’s this music they’re dancing to? And they’re all off their heads!”

Wayne in Ibiza

That’s when I met Terry Farley and Danny & Jenni Rampling. Jenni said, “We love you guys, you have to come to our club Shoom when you get back to London.”      

I remember the first time I went to Shoom I wore jeans and a shirt. 

Next week in dungarees and smiley T-shirt?

Dungarees, smiley T-shirst and little round glasses. I dived straight into it – this was ’88.

And the Boys Own parties, East Grinsted – the famous one – the one down on the lake. That party was like the Sex Pistols gig at the 100 club. Everyone says they were there but they weren’t! I was there. I can tell you who was there. We were going to all that and I was then going back into ‘gay world’ and thinking “gays would love this.”

We used to go to a club called Queens on a Sunday afternoon run by Phil Perry and we were like the little gang of gays, about five of us – the token gays – but they adored us. Suddenly I was hanging out with football terrace boys, Chelsea fans, and they were all pilled up and loved up and very accepting. I just thought it would be really good to put on a party where that lot met my lot and we just kind of merged it.

The first party (getting back to your original question!) was a Sunday night at the Apollo. We wanted somewhere on a Sunday and the Apollo really unusually had a 5 o’clock license on a Sunday. This was ‘89. So we did a party there called ‘Eclipse’ that both Phil Perry and Danny Rampling played at plus a budding DJ who used to badger me all the time called Ashley Beedle. I gave him his first gig! 

And then you went on to do warehouse parties?

There was an arts space called The Diorama which is at the back of Regents Park Crescent and it’s a really beautiful hexagonal art space. There would be art happenings there and exhibitions. We hired it. It had ridiculous restrictions like you weren’t allowed to sell alcohol so you had to include it in the ticket price. It only went on til 2AM. When we did the first one there was this old guy who used to be the caretaker and actually lived upstairs in this room with an Alsatian dog.  We were getting the stock in on the first one and he said “oh Red Stripe – my favourite drink” and we went “do you want a case” So we gave him a case.

Later on it got to 2AM and he was by the bar loving it and he said “Just go on.”

So we carried on til six in the morning. We got away with doing those monthly for about two years.

Were they gay parties?

They were mixed. We had Kinky Gerlinky drag queens with Terry Farley, and we merged the whole thing. That’s when we started integrating people like Princess Julia and all those DJs in with the West London house DJs. You’d have drag queens dancing next to Chelsea boys.

Wayne Shires with Leigh Bowery

Was your first foray into venue owning Substation?

I had one before that called Bar Industria which was off Regent Street. Fat Tony did a night called ‘Abba’ on a Tuesday. Linda Evangalista DJing, stuff like that. I went up to her and said “Can I get you a drink?”

She said “Yeah bottle of tequila.”

Are we in the ‘90s now?

Yeah ‘91.

So this is supermodels and glam house?

Basically. George Michael used to come. It was fun. That only lasted a year and then we did Substation. Everything I’ve ever done has been inspired by a two year period when I lived in America. Every reference I have ever used is from that. So Bar Industria was Boy Bar, so it was very light, trophies on the wall, table football, checkerboard vinyl flooring, kind of a boys club. Very municipal, like a working men’s club. So there was that and then we went on to do Substation, which was Stallions before, and then became Ghetto after. We were there for five years. That was kind of Anvil/Mineshaft New York. Oil drums, chain link fencing, gay porn vodeo shoot style.

I remember pop videos being shot there?

Yeah quite a few. 

I was hanging out in New York a lot at the time,  hanging out with Rob di Stefano from Tribal Records  and met Danny Tenaglia through him. I did a party for them down at what become the original XXL venue. Danny used to play Substation when he was in town. It was quite a special time, really.  

Then we did Substation South in Brixton, which was a sort of South London version of the Soho one and you’d get away with a lot more there! That was Queer Nation’s home for many years. And it suited it and was perfect.

And then you invented Vauxhall?

I don’t know if I want to be credited for that right now! Substation moved to a bigger space on Dean Street – high ceilings, 600 capacity, we had it for about two years. When we were in the original venue you could open Monday Tuesday, Wednesday with like a hundred people in and it would look great. But the Dean Street venue needed like four hundred people in it and we couldn’t do that Monday to Thursday. We survived there for about two years. We had a lot of shit from the police. They would turn up and there would be a sea of boys with their shirts off and they would say “Your license says people need to be properly attired, tell them to put their shirts back on.”

I would stand at the door arguing with the police saying “You go and tell ’em to put their shirts back on!”

I got taken to court! Basically one Friday night we got a visit from the club squad. About five of them turned up in trench coats– it was all very bizarre. And they came in and said, “Can we just walk around?”

So we walked through the back way and literally as we turned into the dance floor this guy dropped to his knees and started sucking this other guy off!

I just whacked him round the back of the head and said “Security! Throw them out! And if they have memberships, take it off them!”

We all carried on walking and when we reached reception the police turned around and said “Mr Shires you are not obliged to say anything…”

I was done for running a disorderly house and ended up at the magistrate’s court. My business partner at the time had grief from the police for years. He wasn’t having any of it so he got the best barristers and we got it thrown out.

Substation South was running and Lambeth police had a lot more to deal with and were quite happy that there was a safe place the gays were going and had a different attitude. So I loved Lambeth and I suddenly started working really proactively with Lambeth police and the council.

When a railway arch came up in Vauxhall I opened Crash. Which was my version of Tunnel. So that’s the next New York reference.

And that was the first club in Vauxhall?

Yeah you had the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and the Market Tavern, which was a pub in the Nine Elms tower which was great. That was really cool, but it wasn’t a club per se. It was a pub for the traders of Covent Garden Market so it had one of those weird licenses. At one point they used to have an after hours there but you had to buy a bunch of flowers to go in!

Hang on. You were worried about being able to fill Substation in Dean Street so why did you take a massive railway arch in Vauxhall?

Substation South was doing incredibly well and that only held 350/400, it was rammed. Also I knew South London would be a lot more accommodating and Vauxhall was literally on the border – the closest you could get to the West End and the West End was the place to be. Heaven was there, all the gay bars were there. There was nothing East really. I wanted that big superclub! I wanted it to be really underground, I wanted the music to be cutting edge. We were very much into Tribal and Twisted. I was living with Tom Stephan and he was the main DJ from Substsion so it was a platform for his sound. It was all Murk, Tenaglia, it was that whole sound.

Give me one legendary night at Crash. What sticks out in your memory?

Yoko Ono performing.

Wow.

Yeah. I mean getting a phonecall in the office going “Yoko wants to perform in your club but you can’t announce it.”

“Ok.”

It was quite special.

How do you feel about Vauxhall now?

It’s a shame. At one point when I had Crash and we had been open a few years, The Eagle (Horse Meat Disco’s home) had been taken over by Mark Oakley and Paul Wilde. And there was the RVT. So there was a bit of a gay village thing going on. We had meetings with the council to go up to Manchester to see the model of Canal Street. Lambeth were very interested in developing Vauxhall gay village with road signs, we were going to change the name of roads to names with gay references and there was this blossoming idea that we were going to turn it into the gay village. Then other people came into the area with a different game plan. Money driven. The atmosphere changed and it all broke up. At one point it was very ‘us and them’ with a club that opened up. They weren’t particularly nice; they were very spiteful, used dirty tactics and it fell apart. It lost its solidarity. Then I opened Area because I’m a sucker for punishment and I wanted a bigger club.   

So you opened a giant club next door to your other giant club?

When that arch came up next door to my giant arch I thought it’s better for me to open up that giant arch than anyone else. I developed the model – everyone loved Crash and then all the arches were up for grabs. 

So I opened the big club next to the big club, which was a struggle, but programme-wise it kind of worked for a couple of years, but always battling with the people I won’t mention. I made one or two bad business decisions and got involved with the enemy, and the enemy screwed me over. I thought, “I’m out of here.”

It’s a different place now

It is. 

What made you get back on the saddle and start East Bloc?

I’d been a bit battered. I had enjoyed my career and what I had done. A lot of my mates had come East so I moved East. Julia and people were already living here and I bumped into Sean McLusky and he said “There’s a little club on City Road you should check out…”

I went and did a party there and it was just as I was selling Crash. The landlords said, “Do you want to buy it?”

I said, “No, I don’t want to buy a club.”

They said, “Why don’t you take a lease?”

I said, “Alright, I’ll have a go.”

Because I’m a masochist like we said at the beginning

Compared to the stress levels I’ve had in the past East Bloc is a walk in the park. It’s a lovely space to run, the crowd that come are lovely, the promoters are lovely, it’s a pleasure. 

Why do you think clubs like East Bloc are important?

LGBT venues are important because there are so few and it’s really important for people to be themselves. That’s why Dalston Superstore is important. That’s why the Joiners is important. That’s why the George and Dragon is Important. That’s why The Eagle is important. There are thousands of venues in London but what venues can a boy walk in with a beard, covered in glitter, wearing a jockstrap dance on the bar in heels? It’s important we are a safe playground. What I remember growing up is that I loved going out and feeling part of a family. And I think it’s really important to help the legacy of what has come before, to go forward. People in East Bloc, the kids, they will become venue owners when me and you are way long on the tooth to be doing it. I think it’s important to show what is possible. It’s achievable isn’t it?  A lot of people go “Oh my god how do you do this?”

I always thought that owning a venue was something other people did. Then something clicked and I realised it’s achievable. What do you think of the gay scene in London now?

It’s very fractured. You have the Vauxhall ‘good’ people, the bears. Soho is Soho. If a tourist came to London and said “Show me gay London!” and they wanted an overview of the scene I would struggle to find that big club that there used to be – like Heaven used to be. Or Crash was. 

What for you is the ultimate London queer club?

(long pause)

Horse Meat Disco. Has to be. Totally.

Your relationship with Jim Stanton goes back to when you were running The Cock together?

Jim was my assistant! Eve we used to call her – Eve Harrington!

How did The Cock come about?

I was doing Crash, Jim was working in the office and I knew Simon Hobart from Popstarz who had just opened The Ghetto in my old space (The first Substation). Simon had a lesbian night on a Friday that wasn’t working and it kind of reminded me of the East Village. It was a bit alternative. Me and Jim went in there and we were sort of saying “There should be gogo boys in pants like The Cock in New York,”

We were trying to come up with the name and I think it was Jim who said, “Just call it The Cock.”

And I was like “OK.”

We had never worked together creatively on a project before and it just clicked.

Where did the musical identity come from?

That was more Jim. He’s got an incredible music taste. As have I! We’ve both got a very eclectic taste. Jim was very forward in that electro sound. I booked Tasty and Julia, Jim booked the Scissor Sisters. I remember fighting with the Ghetto about the name ‘The Cock.’ There were a lot of gay girls behind the bar and there was a protest before we started. Me and Jim were called in by Simon who told us we had to change the name. They thought we wanted to do a Men Only sex club. 

Was Summer Rites, in its original incarnation, a reaction against Pride?

We got involved with Pride in ’92 when it was Europride. Pride was really exciting then and each year the attendance went up and the sponsorship got bigger and the events got bigger and the budget got bigger. It was free to get in and political and it was great. Very quickly over a five-year period it grew and it became a national thing – you’d have coaches coming from here, there and everywhere. One year we had to turn half of Clapham Common into a coach park. Londoners being Londoners had that kind of slightly snobbish thing going on. So Summer Rites was meant to be a Pride for London. And it was always meant to be representing all the different elements of the London club scene. We were taking all the politics away and we were just having a party for Londoners. A more niche, condensed party without the coaches and all that.

What made you resurrect it three years ago?

Because I’m mental and because I’m a masochist like I said at the beginning! The last one in the ‘90s we were hit by really bad weather. It had been baking all week and it was boiling hot and literally the morning of the day there was a torrential downpour. It has been so dry and it was on a hill so there were rivers coming down. I think we did eight or nine years in the end.

About four years ago I moved to Redchurch Street, Sean McLusky had his offices there and he said “I’m doing this festival called 1234 and you’ve got to come!”

I went with Julia and we had a great time. He spotted me and said “You should do the Sunday! You should bring back Summer Rites!”

I said, “No. I’m alright thank you.”

But because I live on that street and because he saw me going past his office he would come out and badger me.

You got doorstepped into starting a festival!

I got doorstepped by Sean McLusky into starting Summer Rites. It came back. Three years in Shoreditch Park which have been fun, but parks are too stressful because it can just piss down with rain and you’re screwed. Literally it’s the flip of a coin. You put all that effort and then and you’re sat there looking at the weather report. It’s life-changing if it rains.

If I want to buy you a drink this Saturday where can I find you?

You’ll probably find me in the cabaret room. But the whole venue is amazing. I got introduced to the Tobacco Dock at Winter Pride this year. And it’s undercover but feels outside so it’s amazing. It’s half indoors half outdoors. There’s a lot of daylight, there’s a lot of natural light and some big outdoor spaces. It’s beautiful.  And it doesn’t matter of it’s pissing down with rain! 

Join Wayne at Summer Rites at the Tobacco Dock this Saturday from noon, followed by Bender here at Dalston Superstore as one of the afterparties with special guest Den Haan from 9pm- 4am.

Farley & Heller

It’s Friday afternoon treat time!

The hours until you can leave work are dragging…

You’re excited for the weekend to begin…

A good dancefloor work-out is sorely needed…

Then let the legends that are Farley & Heller take care of the next two hours for you with this recording of them in the laser basement earlier this month at Paris’ Acid Ball’s 2nd Birthday.  
Presenting… Big Room Drama In Little Dalston!

Catch Farley & Heller at the Shoom 25th Anniversary on Sunday 9th December at Cable Nightclub.

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.

 

Rhythm Connection w/ Terry Farley by Rhythm Connection on Mixcloud

 

 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.

Elles

Tonight sees Elles of Legendary Children fame join us in the top bar for a game of Truth Or Dare with host Miguel Dare! Normally known for bringing the H.O.U.S.E. she’s more likely to be digging through her collection for records on the poppier side of things! We caught her alone for a more in-depth chat…

How would describe your role within Legendary Children?

Umm..  Legendary House Mother (see: Willi Ninja for definition)?… I would say I am the networker of the group: I love meeting people and socializing and casting the net a bit wider than maybe the two boys would do if they were a duo. My approach to music is perhaps more open too. I love pop as much as I get techno and house. Although you wont hear a huge amount of the former at our nights, sometimes I play things the boys might be unsure of but tends to work out in the end.

The three of us are very distinct personalities and each bring something unique to the table. Pac is the technology man while Neil and I are more creative, which is vital cos if we were all dreaming up things and staring out the window but had no clue how a mixing desk worked we’d be stuffed.  Lucky we do all know how to work a mixing desk so that’s not a problem, but ultimately whatever it is that works between the three of us creates a pretty good balance.

You’re also pretty tight with Thunder. Anything on the cards lined up with them?

Ah we love Thunder! We did a Vs. party with them last month which was ace. Their parties are so good. There is talk of repeating that at some stage and also whispers of doing some sort of New Years day party with those guys so keep it locked….

What can we expect from your set at Truth or Dare?

Not strictly a typical Legendary Children set! I’ve played for Miguel a few times before, the crowd are always really fun and up for whatever so there is a lot of freedom to be creative. Last time I played for him it was straight up hip hop and r’n’b all night which I loved as I don’t tend to play much R.Kelly at LC. Haha. On Friday I’ll probably go for something that is a bit of everything: Vogue-classics, house bumpers, party vibes. I love playing at Superstore and the upstairs bar is always so fun I’m really looking forward to it.

Truth Or Darer poster

What’s the most embarrassing secret you’ve ever spilled during an actual game of Truth Or Dare?

I’m a Dare girl. I tend to wear my embarrassing secrets on my sleeve so I’ll go for Dare every time.

 And what’s the most embarrassing “guilty pleasure” record in your collection?

Err the entire lot? Haha. I am a long-term Kylie fan and own most of her back catalogue but to be honest I’m not really embarrassed by that. There’s probably a great deal in my collection that my peers wouldn’t be seen dead with. More fool them. It ain’t all Hinge Finger and Nu Groove you know. Well, it is that too but you get what I mean.

While we’re on the subject of cringe records though, a friend of my mums did the classic ‘oooh you like vinyl here are a load of LPs that have been in the garage for the past 40 years’ and offloaded them on me. Unsurprisingly, it was a lot of Rod Stewart and things that probably made sense to people in 1972 in there. Most of it found its way swiftly to Scope on Peckham High Street, however I took a bunch of vinyl down to Music Exchange recently, mainly ’00s house and drum & bass but slipped a few of the dodgy ones in there just for good measure- see who was paying attention, like. The guys behind the counter looked so sad and confused. They were like “Um we don’t really sell much of this kind of thing”. At least I made a valid contribution to their bargain basement. Although my record shop rep is now officially in tatters.

What do you hate about clubs?

In general? Ummm… Not enough clubs with free bars and taxis home? As a rule I tend to steer clear of clubs that I dislike with any passion. If pushed I would say I am deffo more a fan of smaller clubs although big rooms can also be amazing if done well. The recent DJ Harvey gig was testament to that. There are so many factors that create a great clubbing experience from the music to the crowd to whether or not you got out of bed the right side that day I couldn’t say there was a rule of thumb for all clubs that defines greatness or hatefulness.

What are your favourite house records that aren’t house records? 

Ooh I love a bit of house-not-house. Always down for slipping a pop or disco record in here and there. At Bestival I played Sylvester’s ‘Do You Wanna Funk’ in a house set. Although he is as disco as they come there are also few artists more H.O.U.S.E than Sylvester. On a similar note Miles (Simpson of Thunder) and I warmed up for Robert Owens recently, my parting shot was Jellybean’s Material Girl remix which I’m not entirely sure Mr. Owens ‘got’ but the crowd were on board with so there you go.. If it feels right (within reason), stick it on and see what happens innit.

What’s the worst record request you’ve ever had whilst DJing?

The worst requests are not usually specific songs but when someone thinks they could do better or is just generally rude. We played in a well known Dalston basement, not a million mile away from DSS a couple of months ago and a girl came up and asked to plug in her iPod. When I said ‘sorry, no’ she skidded the needle across the record that was playing. Went down pretty well. Requests can be annoying but are not the end of the world. Being disrespectful of someone working is not ok though.

If your house was burning down what one thing would you save?

Any of my loved ones or anyone else still inside for that matter. Stuff is stuff.

What does 2013 hold for Legendary Children?

Before the year is out we are very excited to be playing the Shoom 25th Anniversary party in December. But 2013 is all about the production, we have a bunch of stuff due for release next year, including a forthcoming collaboration with the ineffably talented poet James Massiah which has been in the pipeline for ages and will hopefully see light soon!

Elles plays Truth Or Dare in the top bar tonight (Friday 26th October 2012) from 9pm – 3am.

A Little Summer Of Love

These amazing pictures come courtesy of our friend Dave Swindells who’ll be presenting a sample of his fascinating photography this weekend at visual art exhibition A Little Summer Of Love. Celebrating the early years of acid house, the exhibition will also feature the graphic art of Dave Little, a private screening of Gordon Mason’s acclaimed documentary film ‘They Call It Acid’, a live performance of the first British acid house tune, ‘Voodoo Ray’ by A Guy Called Gerald feat. Diane Charlemagne and DJs including Paris’ Acid Ball residents Hannah Holland and Dan Beaumont.

Being the kind sir he is, Mr Swindells has sent us a selection of his snaps from London and Ibiza in their acid house heydays with pictures of Danny Rampling at Shoom, Feral Is Kinky in Ibiza, crazy Boys Own parties and more plus explanations of each one in his own words…

TOP IMAGEAmnesia, 1989

To me this photo seems like it could almost have been taken last week at a party in Dalston. The fashions have changed somewhat, but not by much! This was 7am on the main dance floor at Amnesia on the opening night of the season in June 1989, when Boy George was invited to celebrate his birthday and host the club. Although it was taken in 1989 I’m putting it first it as was clubs like Amnesia which inspired Balearic beats and helped kick-start the Summer of Love in 1988. 

The Duchess of Norwood and friends in Ibiza, 1989

The Duchess of Norwood and friends in Ibiza, 1989

The Duchess of Norwood wasn’t her real name (natch) but she did make good friends with the local boyz. Ibiza had a properly polysexual scene long before London, and it was already a major gay holiday destination in the ’80s.

Danny Rampling at Shoom, 1988

Danny Rampling at Shoom, 1988

At Shoom Danny and Jenni Rampling created a small, friendly, New Age-y and intense underground club where Danny mixed Balearic beats and acid house and everyone went a little bonkers. Anton Le Pirate (top right) and Frankie Foncett (blue top) are in this photo, which was taken in the tiny Fitness Centre in Southwark. There were grumbles about the tight door policy, but Shoom was very significant because it was the underground club that DJs, club promoters and the media knew about (even if most of the media couldn’t get in). Just around the corner was RIP in Clink Street, but that’s a whole other story* – and they didn’t allow any photos to be taken. 

* The story is told in the liner notes to a new CD, ‘Richard Sen presents This Ain’t Chicago, the underground sound of UK house and acid 1987-1991’, which is released by Strut Records on June 25.  

The Future, 1988

The Future, 1988

This was taken at Paul Oakenfold’s night, The Future, for a feature on acid house and Balearic beats in i-D magazine. The clubbers there, including DJs Lisa Loud and Nancy Noise, had all been to Ibiza the previous summer, so we photographed the way they dressed and danced, because moves like the ‘shelf stacker’ were strange to people who’d grown up dancing with their feet rather than their arms.

A typical group of London clubbers in Ibiza…

A typical group of London clubbers in Ibiza…

Yeah, right. MC Kinky (aka FeralisKinky), Boy George, Fat Tony and Louise Prey photographed in Ku (now Privilege). It’s a night that we remember for the massive electrical storm (lots of the British chose to dance in the rain) and because the orgasmic ‘French Kiss’ by Lil Louis was played three times. When we left the open-topped jeeps in the car park looked like baths: full of water.     

Spectrum at Heaven, 1988

Spectrum at Heaven, 1988

Spectrum was a Monday night phenomenon at Heaven in 1988-89 where Paul Oakenfold was the main DJ. After a very quiet start it snowballed and used to draw clubbers from across the country – club folklore suggests that Spectrum inspired the name of the band Happy Mondays. This was taken one night in July 1988 when the air conditioning failed. No wonder the dancers were sweating. 

Gyroscope, acid house party in Deptford, 1988

Gyroscope, acid house party in Deptford, 1988

In 1989 and 1990 every rave had to have lasers and a bouncy castle (and they’d definitely get a shout out on the flyers too), but in 1988 the novelty was a gyroscope. Logic didn’t come into it: Hey, I’m feeling high/drunk/wasted, why don’t I throw my body everywhichway possible on a gyroscope while the strobe light blinds and disorientates me! Yay! 

Time Out meets Spectrum in Jubilee Gardens

Time Out meets Spectrum in Jubilee Gardens

Time Out was offered the chance to help programme a festival in a big top in Jubilee Gardens. Spectrum was at Heaven on Monday nights, so we teamed up with them and on June 6th 1988 acid house (and Balearic beats) were blaring out across the Thames towards Big Ben. 

Trip at the Astoria, 1988

Trip at the Astoria, 1988

It’s hilarious that the first club to bring acid house to the West End weekend was called Trip. Nicky Holloway’s Trip, with Pete Tong as a resident DJ, opened in June 1988 and was mobbed. Darren Rock (of Rocky & Diesel) is wearing the blue top while most of the dancers are wearing Trip t-shorts because the promoter saw me taking the shot from the DJ box and made me wait five minutes while he handed them out. 

Café Del Mar, Ibiza 1989

Café Del Mar, Ibiza 1989

‘Peril of Drug Isle Kids!’ warned The Sun. They weren’t wrong. Those kids are still in peril but these days it’s more likely to be the drinks and admission prices on The White Isle that will give them a heart attack.  I was out in Ibiza with journalist Alix Sharkey for 20/20 Magazine, so the fact that The Sun made Ibiza front-page news while we were there was lucky for us.

Boys Own Party, 1989

Boys Own Party, 1989 

1989 was the summer of orbital parties (parties at locations off the M25, hence orbital and hence Orbital, the band) but the Boy’s Own event, in a beautiful valley overlooking a reservoir near East Grinstead, was not a mega-rave to scare the tabloid writers, but a brilliant night of top tunes and larks. Why were these two climbing a ladder to nowhere? I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time…

The launch party of A Little Summer Of Love will be held this Saturday 30th June from 7pm – 2:30am at Westbourne Studios, W10 5JJ, with A Guy Called Gerald, Noel Watson, Kid Batchelor, Richard Sen and our very own Paris’ Acid Ball residents Dan Beaumont and Hannah Holland.

Legendary Children’s Guide To London House

Those H.O.U.S.E. obsessed Legendary Children are back for another Superstore takeover! Neil Edward, Prince Pac and Elles McFierce’em return with their take on Balearic, acid and bumpin’ house. After their recent inclusion on the updated version of the revered London House Tree for Faith fanzine, we thought we’d quiz them on their own thoughts on the London House Scene, where they started out and what their top picks are…. And they’ve also made us a very special mix especially for us!

London House Tree

What was the first house night you ever attended in London?

Elles: I think it was on my 16th birthday at Ministry of Sound of all places. Roger Sanchez was playing… I have no idea how I got in as looked about 10 and had the most suspect fake ID. I guess the will was strong. I’d been to a few house nights at home in Cambridge, but being a bit clueless and overwhelmed we just went to the one we’d heard of when me made the pilgrimage to London.

Pac: I didn’t really come to London until 2007, being stuck down in the arse end of the West Country, but the first proper house night was probably Disco Bloodbath in their pink basement – despite playing loads of disco it was still very HOUSE.

Neil: Growing up in Hertford we would sneak down to Liverpool Street on the train for illicit late nights out in the smoke… The End was a favourite haunt of ours. As for House specific nights, Josh Wink’s Ultimate Base in 1998ish was probably the first.

What’s your favourite current house night here?

E: Legendary Children of course! Hahaha after that Thunder is rad, also secretsundaze- they’ve still got it even after all these years. Bodyhammer is wicked too, and shout to newcomers Silk Cuts who are ones to watch.

Pac: Bodyhammer probably, or, if it can be considered house, World Unknown. I guess as it’s on the house tree it must be house, although I’m sure Andy will pick that one up with me at some point haha.

Neil: Yeah if we’re talking purely House Music it would be a toss up between Bodyhammer and Thunder. Joe, Paul and Matilda from Bodyhammer do a fantastic job and their party ethos is in the same vein as Legendary Children’s. Their music policy sums up everything I love about house, their choice of venue is always spot on and they have a knack of picking low-key guests that absolutely nail it. The Thunder family are up there because where the fuck else are you likely to see someone like Patrice Scott in a 150 capacity venue in Stoke Newington?

Nights in the capital come and go, so what now defunct night do you wish you’d had the opportunity to go to?

E: Shoom! An obvious choice but there you go.

Pac: Sabresonic or Blood Sugar I reckons, again an obvious choice, but I think this was Weatherall at his most creative and discerning point of his career.

Neil: You can’t help but say Shoom! can you? Also The Loft in Camden, blissful NY Disco and NJ Garage music policy, dedicated resident DJs and the list of previous guests is ridiculous… Loleatta Holloway, Tony Humphries, Kerri Chandler…

Who is your favourite London born and bred producer/DJ?

Elles: Terry Farley. A lovely chap who has been very supportive of us. And of course Miles Simpson who is the original Legendary Uncle and head-man at Thunder. Also I loved Norman Jay when I was growing up- DJ-wise he was one of my first teachers (not personally, just through his work) of soul and disco.

Pac: I’m not sure who’s London bred and who’s just been here for years! I’d probably choose two of my mates as I know they’re definitely London born and bred – Andy Blake and Charlie Bennett. Charlie’s mix for us from last year was fucking outstanding.

Neil: That’s a tough call… There are so many good people out at the moment. Andy Blake would have to be in there for both for his production and DJ sets, both of which never fail to stun me with their versatility. Rocky and Diesel X-Press2 have been outstanding for the last 20 years or so, likewise for Uncle Terry Farley.

And finally what track do you most associate with the London House scene from any era?

Elles: I don’t think I can pick a single track. There are too many. The house-oriented sound most evocative of London is UK garage though.  I know that’s a whole genre but it breathes this city. Does that count as answer?

Pac: I don’t think there’s one track as the London house is so broad. Different club nights have their own perspective on what house is and that’s what makes it brilliant. I guess if you had to push me for something it’d be one of Pierre’s Wildpitch mixes which I hear played most times I go out. 

Neil: X-Press2 – Muzic X-Press. If Boy’s Own was the hub of the London house scene in the late 80s/early 90s, this record would have been in the centre. It perfected London house to the point where Junior Vasquez and subsequently the rest of New York welcomed them with open arms, and you can’t ask for a finer endorsement than that.

Legendary Children takes place here at Dalston Superstore with Neil Edward, Prince Pac and Elles on Saturday 23rd June from 9pm – 4am.

They also made a special mix ahead of their Superstore appearance that you can listen to like right now

James Baillie

Our friend James Baillie is known around these parts for his work programming Lovebox’s fantastic Sunday lineup – but he also has a serious acid house pedigree stretching back to his seminal club night Venus and beyond. He spoke to Superstore’s Dan Beaumont about formative years at the frontline of house culture and his plans for this years Lovebox Sunday…

Your club Venus has passed into acid house legend… what prompted you to start it?

I was doing clubs nights and acid house warehouse parties and other clubs before Venus. My first ever club night venture was back in 1985. Venus started in 1990 when the owners of the venue, which was then called The Club, approached me. The crowd then was footballers and I suppose WAGs. The owners had been following what I’d been doing around Nottingham so approached me to change the venue. I came up with the name Venus and got a load of my friends in to help put my stamp on the venue. It already had a good sound system that had been installed by Ian Levine (legendary Northern Soul DJ and Hi-NRG pioneer).

Its success didn’t happen over night – it took a few months to get it where I wanted it to be. The turning point was when I started to invite other club brands to do nights at Venus. These use to come on a Friday… Charlie Chester’s Flying, Justin Robertson’s Most Excellent, Steve Proctor’s Better Days, Sean MacCluskey’s Love Ranch, Dave Manders’ & Rosko’s Kinky Disco and the deep house pioneers DIY (who you had play at the DSS a few weeks back!) We were one of the only venues Danny Rampling put on a Shoom and I think Patrick Lilley’s High On Hope with Giles Peterson and Norman Jay.

One weekend I brought over from NYC the club night Jackie 60. People use to travel from far and wide. It was the club that help kick start the whole DJ culture as we know it today. It came at just the right time. The whole rave scene had gone lowest common denominator, seedy and overrun with gangsters. And I sat there thinking “Is that it?” 

But when Venus came along it was just perfect. It was the place that bridged the gap between the north, south divide and brought the whole Balearic network together.

Who were your favourite DJs who have played there?

Andrew Weatherall, Slam, Angel Morales, Laurent Garnier, Danny Rampling, Bobby Konders, Todd Terry and one of my residents Paul Wain who was an outstanding DJ. He was spotted by Andrew Weatherall when he sent a chart into Boys Own. There was so many great DJ’s that graced the decks at Venus. I also use to book in some excellent live acts… Ten City, Saint Ettiene, The Grid, Flowered Up, A Man Called Adam… I could mention tonnes!

What was the thinking behind Lovebox’s Out and Out Fierce Sunday?

A heart attack after putting together Cable club which gave me some time to have a re-think on my future. Going to Lovebox Sunday 2009 and thinking Sunday could work as a gay/gay friendly day. I sold the concept/idea into the Mama group and they let me go away and develop the idea further. I did a lot of research and chatting to close friends who all said it was a no brainer… I can remember you, Dan, saying “Bastard, why didn’t I think of this?!” I wanted Sunday to be a celebration of everything gay and so far removed to what London Gay Pride was offering.

What is your ultimate Lovebox Sunday lineup (feel free to include deceased legends!)

The late Donna Summer, David Bowie, Bjork, Kraftwerk, Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Fever Ray, Caribou, Yello, Giorgio Moroder, Pet Shop Boys. David Mancuso presents The Loft, House of Ladosha, DJ Harvey, Green Velvet… There’s a load of acts I would like to add in but it would only be me and a few friends that would turn up to see them!

You consume more music than anyone I know! Any hot tips for new bands?

There’s a lot of great new bands around at the moment, here’s a few… Churches, Night Angles, Warm Digits, Gold & Youth, Opossom, Stealing Sheep.

Current favourite dance labels?

Wurst, Permanent Vacation, In Plain Sight, Snuff Trax.

What bands/DJs will you be checking out at this Lovebox?

I don’t really get to see much as I’m usually back stage or running around all over the place. I will try and catch a bit of Niki And The Dove, Azari & III, Tim Sweeney, Optimo and Andrew Weatherall in the NYC Downlow and hopefully experience the whole disco explosion with Chic, Chaka Khan and finish off with Miss Grace Jones.

James will be playing at our Lovebox Sunday Warm-Up with Andrew Weatherall, Jim Stanton and Dan Beaumont on June 8th. More Lovebox info can be found here… www.lovebox.net