Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Riot girls & Revolutions!

Would you mind Introducing yourselves?
Paul St Paul.
The Brass.
Lady Frog.

What’s your favourite colour?
The Brass: Electric blue.
Lady Frog: Green .
Paul St Paul: Pink .
What’s your favourite food?
The Brass: Fermented cheese. Anything with a bit of mould on it in my fridge is a God send to me.
So do you like black bananas?
The Brass: I love a brown banana.
Lady Frog: Sushi.
Paul St Paul: I like raw foods such as fruit.
I plead ignorance but you seem to have come out of nowhere. Where have you come from?
The Brass: We started earlier this year and i think we just got really good high profile gigs in the beginning. First of all at the Caberet Maximus in March and then we kinda of got picked up and rolled with it really.
Lady Frog: The funny thing is that we met like a week before and then I went to the first gig which was very new to me as I’ve never performed or sang in my life before.
How did you guys meet?
The Brass: I met Paul about five years ago and we’ve always shared this major obsession with early nineties riot girl bands. We’ve always wanted to form a girl band that was made out of trannies and so literally we got it together this year with Paul helping produce it, so that’s it really.
I noticed you play over a backing track why is that?
Paul St Paul: Well we’re a punk band and as the spirit of punk is doing things that people are afraid to do. So we mime when we should be playing live and we play live when we should be miming and that’s kind of the punk attitude.
Transexuality has normally been portrayed as larger than life but always with an emphasis on femininity. You are combining transexuality with a much more masculine expression (punk) is this done with intent?
Paul St Paul: Well we see ourselves very much as aligned with the early nineties riot girl movement as The Brass said. In riot girl it was all about rebelling against the idea that women should be pretty and gentile and kind of innocent bystanders while men do all the heavy lifting. We think transsexuals, transvestites; gay men should have the right to be as masculine and as aggressive as straight men.
If that’s the case then why dress up as women to be masculine?
Paul St Paul: Well we believe that gender should be free from any concepts, you know it’s actually about freedom. Transvestism and transexuality is actually about freedom.
The Brass: Gender is just a constructed idea; we’re all playing a role of male and female at the same time.
Yes I see we all got our blue blankets and pink blankets, you just stitch them together.
What can we expect from you in terms of releases? Record Label? Further shows?
The Brass: We have a gig at the offset festival and we have gigs lined up for the rest of the year and some early next year. We’re recruiting new members so we can form a transsexual rock revolution that will lead to thousands of transgender angry men and women on stage with us.
What’s role does transexuality play in London at the moment?
Paul St Paul: I think people get a big kick out of it because their deeply repressed. We don’t, we just do what we want to do and if someone else wants to make it there fetish by all means just buy the record.
For the record, just buy the record.
The Brass: I think transvestism and rock ‘n’ roll go hand in hand, i think they were born from the same planet. You know people have said its revolutionary trannies doing punk rock, really?
Paul St Paul: Little Richard was a trannie.

Are you aiming to stay in London or will you go abroad?
The Brass: Next year we wanna be doing queer festivals and major European festivals. As well as getting out of the London performance drag live scene and just take our Ladynoise voices to Sheffield or something.
Paul St Paul: We want to do a tour of working men’s clubs.
The Brass: Yeah!

I’ve heard one of you is a performance artist, how much of that side of expression do you employ in your live shows?
The Brass: I think there’s energy of what i do as Ryan Styles in The Brass. The Brass is kind of a character I’ve formed using my experience of performance. I mean I’ve always been a live performer who generates really interesting stuff when there on stage, which is exemplified when i do Ladynoise.

Would you say then Ladynoise is more of an Artistic movement than a band?
The Brass: Definitely.
Paul St Paul: But any band that doesn’t think of themselves as artists shouldn’t really be in a band.

Your songs seem very aggressive for example (a song i love) ‘chop it off’. What are you so angry about?
The Brass: Well i think in queer society in general gay men are perceived to be really camp and funny and that’s not the black and white of it all.
Paul St Paul: I mean we love camp but what we don’t like is the modern straight appropriation of camp. We wanna take camp back to its roots, it’s revolutionary.

What do you think about metrosexuality?
Paul St Paul: Well I know Mark Simpson, he’s cool. (All laughing)
The Brass: It’s just a word.
Paul St Paul: I’ve always had a thing for the Swiss guards; I think they’re pretty camp. So if there are any straight men out there who wish to work for Ladynoise just get in touch.
Thanks To Ladynoise.
Interview - Darragh O'Meachair
Photography - Princess Julie (colour) / Tom Medwell (B&W)

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Vivian Volta

What’s your favourite colour?

What’s your favourite food?
Tofu! No chips with loads of mayo, loads of ketchup.

What’s brought you to London?
Well my father’s English but I’ve just come back to London seven months ago from Russia before that I was in New York making music. Unfortunately it was really shit, pop-y, Disney channel stuff! They wouldn’t let me do what I wanna do so I took all my money and went to Russia. Now I’ve come to London to form a band.

What was Russia like?
I didn’t want to socialise.

How much influence has New York and Russia had on what you’re doing now?
Zero to none. They crossed me in New York; they put up a crucifix in Time square and put me up there!

Were you signed to a label in New York?
It’s kinda complicated

I like complicated...
Yeah basically it was attached to a label so there was the option if i was to do what they wanted.

So why after NY & Russia did you come to London?
Dunno because i lived here as a kid.

Greenwich from the age one to four.

You have an attachment to London?
Yeah it was a feeling, I can’t describe it i just want to get to know it because i lived here and hardly remember anything.
Did you want to get to know it as an adult rather than a child?
Yeah and it’s a great live scene here because people actually want to go to gigs here as opposed to New York. It’s more corporate in New York. People only go to Trannie clubs. I mean why would you go to a gig in New York if you can have booze for free in every nightclub as long as you’re good-looking and young. Why would any young good-looking person go anywhere else?

Are you saying being good looking in London doesn’t give you the same advantages as it does in NY?
I never said that i was good looking!

I’ve just seen you perform which was impressive as you overcame obstacles (Technical problems stopping Vivian from playing guitar) took on the stage and won. Innao your computer band doing marvellously to keep everything musically together.Is performance more important than the music for you?
No what a naughty question performance comes naturally.

Did the glitter in your hand come naturally?
I found the glitter in a tree on the way here.

Oh so it did come naturally. (laughing)
I’m really good at the guitar!

(Now due to technical problems at Vivian’s set that evening I had not heard him play. He rectified that problem and played with talent and fluency outside the venue for
me. He was good at the guitar.) Where did you learn how to play the guitar?
On YouTube over the last three years starting in Germany, then continued in the South of France, New York, Russia and now here!

Do you have an attachment to a guitar as an instrument?
I don’t really believe in instruments i believe in sounds and the way you play an instrument. Although i find the guitar very expressive because you touch the strings you create vibrations and you can do all these little finger tricks.

So where is Vivian Volta going?
Well I’m gonna go in do some shots and get wasted!

Not tonight Vivian (laughing) as a band where are you aiming to go?
We’re going to do Vibe bar next Thursday and then a few other gigs like the Off-set festival in September.

Would you like to do the X-Factor?
Yeah sure, I think they’re easy to shock, so why not.

Thanks to Vivian Volta.
Interview - Darragh O'Meachair
Photography Courtesy of - Guro & Enko

Peering into Cooks pot, what's bubbling?

What’s your favourite colour?
Eh, probably purple

What’s your favourite food?
It’s definitely not my mum’s curry! I’d probably say its Thai green curry right now because it’s fucking spicy.

Cooks you’re from North London what effect did that have on the type of music you got into?
Yeah i was raised in between a really fucking ghetto area and a really fucking nice area. Half my school was full of gangstas and half my school was full of posh kids. I was one of those kids that was stuck in between both the classes and somehow I’ve managed to come out alive and not turn out like a geek either.

What effect has it had on your music then?
Oh loads, it’s probably been the biggest influence, you know one week I’d be listening to emo-goth the next week I’d be listening to grime. So definitely because of the way I’ve grown up I’ve been more open minded to get on with both types of people rather than being a typical Asian rude boy from north London.

I see your a tutor in the 808 academy taught anyone how to beat juggle yet?
Basically I used to give lessons about ten years ago to all the little rude boys in the area but since then this will be the first time I’ll be doing it again. I’ve been pretty busy recently so I’ll start from mid September and then I’m pretty much booked up after that.
What’s a Geek Dj Cooks?
When i say a geek I’m just talking about someone who’s middle class and totally does not understand working class culture or working class ethic. Not that i necessarily have any problem with it as most of my mates now are middle class.
You see the benefits in both Geek and Street and combining them?
Oh yeah definitely coming from a working class family and being raised with middle class people is probably the best set up. I can put on my posh accent when i go for a job interview but at the end of the day i can still get on with everyone from the ends.

What’s so important in mashing up genres for you?
Personally I’ve went through so many phases into so many types of music and i still haven’t really found one genre where i was like this is it. So when it comes to a live set i know there’s people out there like me as well who are like ‘fuck i really wish you could drop a grime sample in there’ or something like that. Also when it’s too hardcore or too techno i think it kind of gets saturated so to bring it back to earth what you can do is throw a few samples on there or loop an acapella which makes the music so much more accessible.

Your rise seems meteoric, while other D.J’s seem to be happy with their regular slots; you seem to want to be after a global slot. Is it just the paper or is there something else?
It’s not the paper at all! A couple of years ago i was living a really comfortable lifestyle while playing the west end clubs and i was doing so much more than your regular west end dj. Its piss easy, so it’s not about the money actually it came to a stage when i was doing three or four nights a week at places like Movida and Amika and they were paying me £400-£500 a set. It just hit a point where i wasn’t getting to express myself so fuck the money I’m on this because i fucking love the music.
Are you after world domination then?
Most definitely! I’m in love with this stuff and it pisses me off when I’ve played a festival where a big name Dj has come off after a massive set having just played one record after another. Then I’ve been his warm up and destroyed it more than that! It’s just that hunger for it.
So seeing big names above you who are less talented gives you the hunger?
Without sounding like a cock, 100% most definitely! There are Dj’s and then there’s Dj’s who are in love with music and study music. Anyone can mix two records together using laptops. It’s all about bringing a bit of creativity to it and bringing a bit of talent as well.
Do you consider yourself part of the East London scene?
I don’t want to pocket myself as saying I’m East London but I’m definitely not West London, if anything I fucking hate that place.
Why so?
When i was getting criticised for being creative that’s when i thought they might as well just have an I tunes playlist on. Similarly with the east end thing i feel it’s like you can’t go to Tesco’s without an SLR camera slung over your back. It does get a little bit too much. At the end of the day I’m not one of those people that dresses first and then listens to the music. I’m one of those people that listens to the music and that’s what influences my culture and everything else.
Seeing as you’ve played around the world, how does London’s scene compare? Are we overrated?
Right now there’s not many good nights going on in London and there’s too much beef with throwing a warehouse party. But on the other hand we’ve got so many fucking wicked Dj’s coming down, for example one of the best nights in London right now for me is Always Fridays. I love going down to it but sometimes it hasn’t been so busy and they’ve got massive Dj’s playing! I don’t see how that’s possible! Until you consider there’s so many three pound nights where you’re average Joe whose wearing the skinniest jeans on the planet, doesn’t actually know anything about music but because it looks quite cool his fucking playing a set. It’s watering down our culture to be honest. Until you think that it’s only because east London is so fucking saturated you know i wish we could take a break for a second and all these people who are die hard east London heads could sort of step back for a second and say you know what we need to stop.
From our peripheral a capped villain appeared. “You guys want any coke?” Spreading wraps like playing cards in his hand. “Nah mate we’re recording an Interview, safe though.” He left, we continued.
I listened to your May mix which smashed it I especially liked the last tune. Shouldn’t D.J’s play the slow number again so we can get our slow-grind on?
Ahhh, i don’t know man fuck like if you’ve got an hour set and boyznoise is coming on after you and you’ve finished with a slow jam. The minute he comes on your gonna look like a fucking pillock! I don’t know maybe that’s the reason. I mean I love a few slow jams I’d play vibe at the end of every set if i could man or bump n grind.
What’s next for Cooks down the train tracks?
I’ve pretty much gone as far as i can with Dj’ing and playing records. The next thing for me on that path of world domination is to make music. While touring I’ve met loads of cool people in the industry so there are a number of remixes coming out which you should watch out for. The first one is Deadkids – snakes, I play with Dels quite a lot so we’ve got a remix for Shape-shift which should be coming out on his E.P. A Franz Ferdinand remix is on the horizon as well.
Thanks to Dj Cooks he has also hooked us up with his August mix packed with plenty of exclusives!
Interview & Words: Darragh O'Meachair
Photography: Voita Otevrel

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Other Peoples Property - The Sets & Rises of Messr Beautifuck

O.P.P @ The Korsan
“Come on babes, come to my bbq?” With a whine I hopped out the sack still recovering from last night’s encounter with a Broken Battered Doll...
BD -”It’s my second time.” MB-“got some straps?” BBD- “yeah in the drawer...”

Cue draw contents – perfectly stacked Aztec pyramid of prophylactics with a Rabbit sat to its right side and KY to its left – so it turned out she was a faux virgin. Still a bit shaken the following morning I threw some shapes and clothes in the air which landed all Indie on my body.
With a deranged headache and a tube journey looming at the top of my road I popped into the corner shop and hooked myself up with two secret agents (can of coke and JD miniature). Slugging them down as my train wound its way from the arsehole of the suburbs into the guts of London. Appearing slightly a-sway at Mile End Station I was hollered “babes!” by Port Au Luis my Portuguese chi chi pal. We headed to the BBQ. Shortly after we left because it was seriously tame and we arrived post food. Selfish?

Taking Port Au Luis in hand we headed off a skip down to Kingsland Rd to a friend’s new night at the Korsan. Under hugs and pecks I wound through an undulating crowd of adult all sorts and people pic ‘n’ mix. The music was absolutely fucking mental with men in masks, pet middler and bonnersmotherfuckingdropdown playing a game of dominos with their track list, setting them up to knock them the fuck down! Bumping into friends of friends and chatting away with complete strangers who mutated into new acquaintances over the evening.

Mandy seemed to be in everyone’s pocket or on most minds with drink and the rest filling up every other skull. I thought this worth investigation and no sooner had I thought but a short Victorian looking girl popped up beside me all cockney and questions. Turns out this party had what it now seems most others missed.

A Cockney Victorian Lesbian narcotic middle bird.

She knew all the shotters on the premises and just told the collected crowd what was on offer and where to find it. It worked a fucking treat as this night had a vibe I rarely see, a vibe of smiles and jolly’s under a blanket of dark booms and shrill squeaks, a villainous frivolity as surrounding as the speakers. Fuck Ken in this rave the Barbie’s smash it. I will be at the next one.

Words - Darragh O'Meachair
Photography - Voita Otevrel

Back of the Q – The Sets and Rises of Messer Beautifuck

A big red lobster scuttled south from the Sun and merged with my skin, ouch! I did not expect this to happen in a Manor House garden, especially not when I was sipping Stella getting my cheap drink on. Once again last night’s antics hung over me. I had sex in a K-Hole. It was weird being in more than one intense hole simultaneously, a crisis of cockfidence had descended and beer was the only leveller. So drunk and cock sure I headed once again towards the eastern quarter where all things can happen (and do happen to me).

A drunken patwa chattering madman serenaded my 234 bus as we wound and constantly avoided near lethal crashes charging towards Kingsland Rd. I held the bus pole as a pirate would his rigging riding the high streets of East London swigging from my XXL secret agent (500ml Irn Bru laced with 500ml Glens Vodka) with a rhythm. A bass-line had already begun in my head, a preamble for the night that lay ahead.
Disembarking with a cutlass swagger I came across an ethereal looking character called Tim Hilton scoffing chips. This guy was one half of the dead head DJ’s and one tenth of the Q collective, a bunch of likeminded chaps behind the evening I was here to witness. To begin to witness this evening I thought it best to bomb a little mandy and take out a Dictaphone, what follows are the results.

Back of the Q: Q Collective interview.

Dead Head Dj’s are Tim Hilton and Coco Emanuel

What makes this night different from all the other nights I’m seeing on Kingsland Rd?
Coco: It’s run by us.

(Laughing) Alright apart from the obvious...
Coco: It’s basically run by a collective of Dj’s, emcees and V.J’s...
Tim: And graphic designers who are all coming together with different influences and ideas.

Where are you coming from?
Tim: We’re kind of cross genre
Coco: We play like a lot of classics

Garage classics?
Coco: Yeah now and again, like we’ll put on a really heavy dub-step tune then slap on a bit of Daft-punk on top of it just so people can hear. Cause Dub-step is still one of these underground genres you’ve got the big players in the scene and the tunes. You need to be in the scene to really know the tunes. So we always slap over a bit of Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx. Just a bit of sugar to make the tune go down.

How did this night come about? Have you done any nights previously?
Coco: This is our first night we’ve ever done really.
Tim: Well, no that’s not completely true though, I mean I’ve done two other nights, the first one is down on brick lane at the Vibe bar called Air Max, we did that a couple of times. The second one was under the Q collective as well.

Q Collective why that name?
Coco: We just wanted something that stuck out a little bit and that was a little bit niche-y.
Tim: So basically with the Q collective there’s about ten of us involved so far.
Coco: We all have our own individual contacts to book other artists.

Right I mean you sound like you’re from another part of the country Coco.
Coco: Yeah I’m from Nottingham. What we’re basically doing is we want to promote each other as well as ourselves and we thought ganging up and doing this would probably be the best way to get out there a bit more.
Tim: The plan is for us to not do just one night, but many all with different concepts but all under the same name, that means we’ll reach out to a bigger crowd.

Who are you aiming to reach then?
Coco: Well this is the thing, I mean the launch night is more of an urban night, very dub-step and grime, but we want it to be varying. Myself and Tim have DJ’d up and down the country and met many a dj and we’re hopefully gonna pull in some minimal stuff.

How did the Q Collective come about?
Tim: It actually started with me, i wanted to get out and play a lot more, and the first idea was a tour. We met Lakey at Nuke Em All and I gave him a Facebook message saying let do a tour.

So it’s between friends?
Coco: Well like we’ve met many a dj that won’t even shake your hand cause they see you as competition and that’s dark. It’s like why the fuck act like that, but we’ve also met enough people who are decent as well. We want to big these people up so we decided to gang up and hit hard.
Tim: Well me and Lakey came to the conclusion that a tour might be a bit much right now so maybe we should start running a night instead.

Do you think you come under the umbrella of the East London scene?

Tim: Yeah definitely.
Coco: Yeah I think we are definitely part of that scene
Tim: We’re residents at Calling All Tribes and we’ve been doing quite a few sets at Nuke Em All.

What’s your opinion of that scene?
Tim: It’s cool but we’ve got to be careful not to be branded under the one label. Basically I’m from Sweden and have only been here only 15 months so the scene is really exciting and I’m glad to be involved in it.

So Coco your from Derby/Nottingham why come to London?
Coco: It’s where the scene is; it’s where the gigs are and where the money is.

So there’s nothing going on in Derby then?
Coco: Yeah but like the people involved in those nights are massive twats. I hate Derby to pieces and don’t want to be part of that scene!
Tim: We’re playing there soon aren’t we?
Coco: Yeah we are playing there doing a gig for a mate at a big dub-step night they’ve got there.

What’s next then for the Q collective?
This night at the Russian bar is going to be a monthly night. But we’re also planning a warehouse party aiming for maybe three months from now. We’re also playing as the Q collective in the Rhythm Factory next September as well as a Sunday night at The Social called Quorn down Sundays.
After rushing till my skull shivered I decided that was enough Dictaphone-ing around and jittered my way inwards to the rave. It started like a book, slowly but with determination and drugs I was sure things as with books get better with time. With this realisation I relaxed and got my drink on waiting for an inevitable swelling of people. My eyes all over the place and a drink in claw I decided to check the down stairs out. A dub-step dungeon lay in wait, a hot sweaty marvellous swathe of bass and bodies, I fucking loved it. Flashbulbs lit the off key array of dancers who were a feast of fashion and poses. This room was like most the people in it off its tits!
The strange thing about this evening was the upstairs which although boasting the bigger names on the decks was a lot more sedated. The emcee cypher was something I had to resist attempting joining but was a plus point as you rarely see a circle of chatters in such close quarters. My night and addictions dragged me outside for a drag and although the night was called back of the Q I couldn’t fucking believe I had to stand in one to smoke! When I finally did get out grasping for smoke I noticed a curious chap being a cunt to everyone who tried to get into the venue. This fucking security sucka even made one of the promoters go home and get his I.D. One word. Dickhead.

It was outside smoking when to get my mind off this dick on the door I turned Dictaphone on again and Interviewed Lakey and Shredex part of the Q collective.

Lakey & Shredex
What’s different about this night from all the other nights in East London?
Lakey: Well for me it’s the only Grime thing with grime emcee’s that’s going on really. I haven’t seen another one since straight outa Bethnal. We also have got a guest D.J every month and that’s gonna keep it fresh.
Shredex: The most different thing about the night is it’s solidifying the fusion between dubstep and grime, which isn’t happening anywhere else.
Lakey: Basically the plan behind the whole thing is every month we do one month here and one month at the Rhythm factory. Next month we’re gonna have massive dubstep Dj’s like Excision and Trolley snatcher with Revolver and me on the mic.
The night continued and so did I ending up in a manor house warehouse face down in a pillow I made of ketamine. Back of the Q was a fucking good night in an unexpected way the dub-step dungeon was an amazing find I look forward for some more heat and bass next month.

Words & Interview's - Darragh O'Meachair
Photography - Courtesy of MEGAMEGAMEGA

Monday, 10 August 2009

Buster Bennett and his fingers and his pies!

What’s your favourite colour?

What’s your favourite food?
Egg and Chips.

Red or brown?
The egg is sauce itself!

Where does the Bennett come from? And where does the Buster come from? How have they combined to form Buster Bennett?
Well I guess if we talk about the Bennett it’s more like where I’m from and where my family is from, which is to be honest all over the place. Most of my family are from Manchester but by the time I was born my family were already moving around. So I don’t see my extended family very often I see my cousin’s maybe once a year but it’s not really like a relationship. So that kind of affected me in that I quite like moving around, I like moving to cities rather than local places. I feel a bit kinda transient as I moved around schools, which is essentially moving through different social networks. Buster came about because basically my dad was gonna call me Buster when i was younger. Then my mum called me after my uncle John. So you know it was John or Jonny. But obviously I found that out when I was a bit younger and was a bit gutted because I could of had this really cool name and it’s got good alliteration between the Buster and the Bennett. So you know eventually I got a bit of money and did a bit of Google-ing and just changed it by De-poll.

So you’ve actually changed it by De-poll?Yeah so it’s on my passport and everything, I didn’t want to be flaky or anything.Now I’ve lived in Essex as well, and found it a creative black hole apart from the Arts Centre, how much has that home county shaped or driven you to your current circumstance?
Well like you said it was an inspirational vacuum there’s absolutely nothing going on there so that became an inspiration in a way. The inspiration to fuck off and leave and therefore do stuff on my own.

So it was the lack of inspiration that was your inspiration?
Yeah basically that’s right, It’s funny enough you mentioned the art centre I did go there a few times, I actually came out to my sister there when i was 15.

What happened then? Go on...
I think it was Terrorvison playing.

Oh I remember them (singing) “The aliens are coming wait for me I’m coming along.”
Sooo that’s the memory I’ve got of that place. I also went to the Colchester institute but that was shit so I skived off all the time. But I had a job in London so I had already half jumped ship.

So you’ve come to London now when was it? Where did you land?
7 years ago when I was 19, and I first moved to Bethnal Green where I still am. I was mainly looking for a job rather than socialising and as a young gay guy the other gay guys I knew where into shit stuff like Heaven and G.A.Y; I obviously hated the fuck out of it. Eventually I figured out there was an alternative gay scene and that kinda brought me into the whole Nag Nag Nag scene and then I started an electro pop group with my mate Scotty called Yr Mum Ya Dad.

So that was the start of you and the East London scene?
Yeah pretty much. When we started that I also started my first club night and that was called Club Synthia in a tiny venue called Push which was on Wardour St I think it’s called the Black Gardenia now. It had a capacity of about 70 which we never used to fill and it was a Lesbian club - so that was fantastic.

The events you do and the scene your part of can be seen to have a strong streak of Irony and counter culture, does that come from your experience in the gay scene?
Yeah probably, but if I was to define my scene I’d say it was a mixed one. I don’t really go to gay clubs. But definitely I can see it was an inspiration. I mean when I came to London, before the Nu-Rave scene and before Shoreditch really, really took off. There were only a couple of nights pushing it like Nag Nag Nag and then that tailed off a bit and became a bit of a Spanish tourist pop spot. There wasn’t many people doing the drag thing or dressing up. There was another club which I forgot to mention at the time called Cashpoint, which was kind of a major club at the time, it was quite infamous, reminiscent of Taboo or the Blitz.

I’ve only ever seen Ironic Rude Boy/girls at your rave...why don’t the real ones come?
There are some proper rude boys that do come occasionally. Like I’ve got a couple of mates that work in prison and they come down in there Reebok classics and they’re not doing it ironically. I mean I wear Reebok Classics and I’m not doing it ironically either, I actually fucking like them.

The edge of the Shoreditch scene seems to have been blunted by Byrlcreem and lolly leading many of London’s livest nights to move down the Kingsland Rd and beyond. Is this a factor of the movement that artists and inventive promoters come into run-down areas because it’s cheap, make it popular then move on? Are you guys the regeneration factor that countless governments have been searching for?
Yeah you know you’re exactly right and it’s sad that isn’t recognised. You know all the councils and the governments don’t really understand the cultural underground scene and they try to eradicate it by imposing licensing, which really does affect it - but in a way it does kind of send it out as well. We feel kinda homeless at the moment - we made Shoreditch/Hoxton our home and now they’ve moved in. All the bankers have moved in and venues have realised they can make more money from R&B nights. So we’re moving a bit out you know Hackney, Dalston. These areas are getting regenerated as well so you know it’s a good thing for them. But these creative people are always on the move so in a way that probably gives them a bit of inspiration. The problem is though; Hoxton/Shoreditch was ideal just because of the architecture it was old kinda light industrial with lots of big spaces in old Victorian warehouses. You go to Dalston and hackney and it’s a bit more residential and it’s harder to have big clubs or anything and sooner or later when that gets gentrified where you gonna go, you know?

Shall we send you North?
Yeah it would be good if there was a mass movement, a mass migration because you can’t just send a few it’s all or nothing. I think a few people have dabbled with going to other cities but it doesn’t have that gravitational pull that London has. I’ve been around the world (and I I I I can’t find my baby). I’m not saying I’ve been to every city but I haven’t experienced anywhere on the same level as London in terms of multi cultural attitudes.

You been to New York?
Yeah I’ve been. I found people more segregated in New York I think they probably got the same kinda mix in terms of multi culture I mean New York seems to be a bit more segregated in geographical areas. I know we have some areas here but it still seems a lot more mixed in London. Maybe cause it’s a little bit smaller than New York but yeah i mean i think it’s a brilliant place to be because of that reason and everyone can just get along with each other because their used to it.

Tell me about what I consider the best fucking night in London right now - Nuke Em All?

Well Nuke Em All actually came from this whole migration out of the Hoxton/Shoreditch area. Previously to Nuke I was running a night called Anti-Social which is kinda a big Nu-Ravey, multi-cultural, multi-sexuality, everything-night and that was at Bar Musical every Saturday night. After a while Bar Musical realised they’ll make more money by getting bankers in rather than kids that sneak loads of vodka in. We got ousted pretty much so we killed off the night we didn’t want to drag it through the bush backwards so to speak. After that I wanted to do something where I could go fuck you, you know Nuke the rules! That’s where the name came from; it was more about the rules and obviously a bit of tongue in cheek, apocalyptic era, beginning of the recession and all that stuff. So you know that’s why we did that and that’s why went into Images in Hackney Rd. It’s a strip club and we had a really late licence which is something that just isn’t happening in Hoxton/Shoreditch because they all shut at two. So Images in contrast has a late licence, a full nudity policy so anyone can break the rules. In Shoreditch a poster becomes a fire hazard or you put up some sort of installation and they have to take it down so can’t do simple stuff it’s like Nanny State so Nuke Em All really is the Anti Nanny State club.

Your other main night is Calling all Tribes. Are you keeping a foot-hold in Shoreditch?
Well I kinda don’t really consider The Macbeth to be in Shoreditch because it’s not in that Bankers Shoreditch it’s slightly off the beaten track. There’s not many walk by unless there actually going, so it’s kinda of fake (laughter), but we also arrange a temporary late licence because normally they only go to two but we push it to four so to make a good party out of it.

I found in Calling all Tribes and now creeping into Nuke Em All quite a young clientele so to speak. It’s a bit disconcerting and scary for me, what do you think about it?
Yeah i mean it is funny really, even before Niyi started his massive 16+ rave at the Fridge we’d noticed that the crowd was getting younger and younger. It was after the Nu-Rave thing. A kinda underage movement in a way, their all clued up these kids, like they know how to Photoshop I’D’s so I think that made it a bit easier for them to get in. I mean I don’t mind this happening my party’s are safe enough for them so I’d rather them actually be there than on the streets.

You sound like my mum...Are you the mother of this underage movement?
Yeah well that’s why when we were running Anti-Social we were called Yr Mum Ya Dad because it was kind of family theme.

Well I mean I think your nights and the scene your part of is something young people i know really identify with. I mean there putting on their own raves now like UTR Commando Rave and The U.K’s Result Festival 09’, which seem to take the soundtrack mostly from Nuke and other similar parties. So mummy, are you proud?
Yeah I think the underage movement is a positive thing, just for them to be involved and doing something creative as well as actually living there lives rather than sitting behind a Playstation, you know i think is far more interesting.

I think one of the most noticeable things about you are your make them yourself, why?
Well when i first moved to London actually I didn’t really know what to do job wise i was a bit lost originally i wanted to be an artist but I became disillusioned with it.

How come?
I just found it obsolete I don’t think it made any kinda difference in society.

Was it because you couldn’t make any lolly from it?
No because I think you could if you play the game right. I just felt it was a bit hollow i didn’t feel it was much of an achievement. So I thought about other things I could do and one thing I dabbled in was t-shirts and graphic design. I had a company called Killpop where I used to make my own t-shirts using a little stall in Camden Market to peddle them it became my first little business. It was like a shed practically but I had my own range and it was cool for a while. Only I wasn’t making any money in fact I was losing money so in the end I had to close. I had made some quite fundamental mistakes the main one being too small a range. But like i had fuck all money and I’m quite surprised looking back that i actually pulled it off for as long as I did. I’m quite proud I did that it gave me confidence to go and do other things. So I’ve always been interested in fashion and clothes and stuff and a lot of the people that come to my clubs are fashion designers so it’s a massive part of what I do. So yeah I like to have a nice little outfit I don’t really like shopping in topman or anything like that unless I’m buying something basic.

Like the Black polo shirt you’re wearing perhaps?
Yeah yeah (laughter)

So where do you shop Buster Bennett?
Well all the sceney kids in London shop in KTT on Greek St, but there’s a new one called Digitaria which is a bit pricey but it’s a good one on Berwick St.

Yeah occasionally I’ve got a pearly king jacket which i made and i got the jacket in a retro shop.

Have you ever seen a Pearly King or Queen?
Yeah I met them, I emailed them and everything because I thought about becoming one seriously but it’s a bit of a commitment at the moment.

Would you be a pearly Queen or Pearly King?
Pearly King or hmmm..Actually a Pearly Burka! I think the clothing is all about creating things rather than been handed them on a plate. I mean everyone knows that all these High St shops pick a designer then rinse their ideas, then water it down. I don’t want to be seen in watered down ideas I want the fresh stuff

You have also started a D.J school called 808 D.J Academy, now for some reason it reminds me of a Channel four show faking it. What is it and can you really teach anyone to mix and not clang In just a six hour course?
Yeah I totally can, I’ve got amazing students that have already graduated and we’ve only been running it for six months.

Have you given your students slots in your Events?
Yeah I have in fact I put on a regular event called Carni-Mash Up and they have sets there. I mean there just as good as the other D.J’s I mean most D.J’s are a bit arrogant and they don’t like being thought anything so they just teach themselves. So a lot of them are actually quite bad. If you’re just thought the basic principles behind it you can actually learn to D.J quite quickly but you have to have a good tutor like me someone with a bit of patience. And with all those components you can do it really quick; basically you’ll go from beginner to expert in 8 hours.

Is that cheapening the skill of D.J’in?
No its not, why would it be cheapening the skill?

Well I mean a lot of people spend a couple of years learning how to mix in their bedroom.
Yeah well there stupid aren’t they, take some lessons and it will be a lot quicker!

Hahaha...So what lies ahead for Buster Bennett?
Well there’s loads of stuff, I’ve always wanted to make more music, I’ve always made music with other people producing it on my behalf. Your Mum Your Dad for instance did an E.P with Jim Warboy we also did tracks with people like Niyi. I’ve done tracks with Crazy Girl and I also did an E.P with Frank Music. But yeah I’d like to produce my own stuff so eventually I’d like to move on to that and eventually I’d like to start my own record label and as someone who runs events I really need to have my own venue so I can make the rules.

No it’s not domination because I don’t want to push everyone out of the equation.

So you’re bringing people with you?
Yeah that’s true actually if you look at the club nights. For example Alex Sedano is a massively talented graphic designer who we’ve put on a pedestal at Nuke and his now getting international gigs at huge festivals.

Well finally my last question is what’s the next big event that’s gonna Nuke us all away?
We are planning a warehouse party pretty soon.

Plug it for me then?
No i can’t yet don’t have the venue confirmed.

Oh alright well when is aimed for?
We’re aiming for Halloween because it will be our second birthday.

And what’s your theme?
Well it’s Nuke Em All so it will be apocalyptic.

So we’re talking an Apocalyptic Halloween...Like Nuke victims...Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Yeah I think so probably.

Hahaha..Great, well just to say thank you so much for the Interview Buster.
That’s alright Darragh.

Photography by Neemo Bawany
Words by Darragh O'Meachair

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

1234 Shoreditch – The Sets & Rises of Messr Beautifuck

A panoramic view from canary wharf to the Gherkin poured through my shut eyes filling my mind until my eyes opened and I was awake. Stumbling to my soles I gripped at sun rays to steady myself this weekend had been heavy so far and Sunday promised no let up. Meeting girl in flower pattern dress in the communal kitchen of this ‘legal squat’ I proclaimed a lack of knowledge as to my exact location. Putting me straight she led me out and with cheerio’s of “I’ll see you at 1234!” I left.

A hangover lay like a low pressure keeping my head down and I noticed nothing of my return yard other than a can of cider nestled in my paw. Getting to the front door I bustled in, my phone bleeping constantly with questions. A quick re-up was in order so i exchanged clothes with my wardrobe and empty pockets with cash. Re born I spring heeled my way east to find Neemo who I was sure was floating about the foundry.

Clinking our beers we traipsed off towards the festival, joining a column of retro throwbacks and decade clashing festival goers. After passing the steep tax man we entered what looked like an empty field with congregations surrounding the two tents and one stage. The weather fucked it a bit a grey drizzle hung low above the site and yo-yoed on top of us through the day. I first entered the ‘club tent’ and got my drink on while Neemo snapped-flashed the dancing density. The atmosphere was definitely more in keeping with a club than a tent. The bands that filtered to and fro on the stage seemed to reflect the weather a grey drizzle of inevitable similarity.

Then the moon came out and Patrick Wolf strut-jigged on to the scene. Bumping into a fashion blogger pal of mine we knocked knees and wobbled within the hopping crowd. What a fucking performer, he even managed a costume change which really stood out in an empty and familiar festival. The sound wasn’t that great and I’m not personally a huge fan of Pats back catalogue. But as a performer he really excels and makes the head turns fixed. After the howling wolf who told a bottle casting crowd member to come up on stage and get “some raw bum sex!” I headed to the other tent as it became known and its innards to be resolved to be unknown as my drink was really on by this point and dancing was my aim. This tent offered me no option to achieve that aim.

Photography by Neemo Bawany
Words by Darragh O'Meachair