Me & House Music

Given that Sven Vath has put a link to my review of Cocoon In The Park, I feel I should elaborate a little more about what my relationship is with house music, in the hope that it might get a few more people to understand house music.

Growing up in Hull, in the north of England, it wasn’t the nicest of places and there was little hope for the future. Grim, would be a good descriptive word.

But as early as 1990 when I was about 10, mid-way through the Kylie Minogue & Jason Donavon thing, I begun to realise that I liked a beat – tracks like ‘Ride On Time’ by Black Box were beginning to inspire me.

It wasn’t easy growing up in Hull, in fact, I would say it was quite traumatising at times, especially at school. My parents were fantastic, I’m not quite sure how they managed to cope with me – my dissatisfaction with the education system led me into troubled ways, but somehow I got through it, or more like, they got me through it. And all the way through it, was my love of dance music in all its forms, happy hardcore in the early years, rave, handbag house, jungle – anything with a beat that I could in future years dance to in a nightclub in Hull, such was my dream.

Every Friday I would get excited because I knew I could go home and listen to the Essential Selection by Pete Tong, and that was my only way of getting new music. I would have 2-3 hours of music, to last me a week, on repeat. That is all I could get. No internet, no ability to get to a record shop or nightclub, just one show.

Though there was another show that I enjoyed too, though most of the music I didn’t like to listen to, I just found it interesting, and that was John Peel’s show. And I am pretty sure he was the first person to introduce me to Sven Vath, by mentioning him and a club and playing a techno track, by, shock horror – a German! (Remember Italia 90? I cried. Never again). I might be mistaken, I would love it if someone could corroborate this strange old strand of memory – have I made it up? Surely not, but maybe it wasn’t Sven? Surely not though.

Anyway, 18 years of growing up in Hull, which is still deprived and somewhat backwards to the day, which is a real shame as the people of Hull have such a good heart in them, they deserve more and if I can ever give anything back to my home city one day in the future, to help it back on its feet, I will do. People of Hull, hear me, immigrants are good people! Yes they might take a job, but they buy the services offered in the local area too.

Back to the music.

In 1998, I went to Ibiza for 2 weeks. I knew what music I liked, but having only ever been to little towny clubs in Hull playing chart dance at best – going to Pacha, Amnesia, El Divino, Privilidge, Eden, Space, Kaos, etc, one night after another was just too exciting, too much of a different world. I just could not understand why the crowd at Space on Sunday at 9am had so much energy for dancing – I had only just got out of bed…

Then I went to university. Again, very few shared my passion for house music, though perhaps that was all down to trance music (ATB – do da do da, do da da do da)…sorry.

I actually thought about 7 years ago that I would never find anyone to share my love of house music with.

Then all of a sudden in 2006 I stumbled upon and perhaps slightly helped create the most fantastic group of clubbing friends (it would never last, seen it all before, said the naysayers), who actually liked house music, albeit mainly funky house drinking music, the kind still played in Revolution bars across the land today.

Again I was frustrated as I had a couple of years ago been to Cocoon, and was slowly discovering something called minimal, which was widely derided (and in my opinion has very recently been the creator of the new house music scene).

Slowly I managed to get people to come to Cocoon with me. And I don’t think the story needs telling much further. Does it?

Multiple trips to Ibiza, a trip to Frankfurt, crazy nights in matter…Sven giving our Carley a ring, when she just wanted to shake his hand! Our book of gratitude to celebrate Cocoon’s 10th birthday to which they amazingly replied…the connection that everyone I know who has been to a Cocoon event feels to not only Sven, the other DJs, and all the staff behind the events.

I don’t always find life satisfactory, it can be pretty shit at times. But any pain I do feel can always be outweighed by listening and dancing to the music I love, with the people I love.

I feel that there are a lot of not so happy people in society at the moment and I wish I could try to make the world a happier place as I think I know how to – through my experience, house music can bring people together, people of all ages, races, creeds and kinds, to dance in any location, to a beat, with a smile.

And I wish that there was a bit more of it around! For now I will just keep on trying to share the music I have discovered that I love, with the people that I love.

And I look forward to many more years of fantastic music, memories and friendships – and will try to spread a bit of love throughout the world, as it does need a bit of love at the moment, I hope you can help too. x

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