Christian Woodyatt & Sam Bowery. The Venus Nottingham Story.

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Christian Woodyatt & Sam Bowery. The Venus Nottingham Story.

Christian Woodyatt is widely regarded by many as one of Nottingham’s best House Music DJs. Starting out at The Garage in Nottingham and eventually becoming Venus Resident, his time behind the decks afforded him the opportunity to rub shoulders with the biggest names out there in the 90s and beyond.

Another of Nottingham’s most acclaimed names on the clubbing circuit is Mr Sam Bowery. Working side by side with Christian as Licensee, Door Picker & promoter at the much-revered ‘Venus’, we will endeavour to lift the lid on the antics that took place regularly in Nottingham and elsewhere.

let’s go good evening everyone welcome along it is Inspire and be inspired another look at some of the UK’s biggest and best artist producers promoters uh my name is Andy Ward if he’s the first time you joining me it’s a pleasure to have your company tonight we are celebrating everything Nottingham and much more Two Gentlemen who will definitely need no introduction to anybody from that part of the UK uh I will always extend an invitation for you to join me in the comments do leave any remarks ask any questions of our guests we try to make this as interactive as possible and I’m just going to get straight into this tonight and bring on to the stream Mr Sam Barry and Christian woodyus good evening gentlemen how are you hi hi Andy thank you for the invite goody and Andy doing very well thank you great to have you here I can see that everything is working fine uh I will say good evening to Mr Jeff Jefferson uh a young gentleman that I’m sure you will both be more than familiar with yeah yes know him very well and anybody else that is with us in the chat I actually put a poll into the uh YouTube chat asking which was the best room at Venus upstairs or downstairs well that’s interesting because Christian glissian was downstairs weren’t you Christian and Lauren Laurie and Tim tends to be upstairs let’s move on it’s very different well listen I am getting ahead I am getting ahead of myself we are getting ahead of ourselves you can hear me fine um I would just say again to uh everybody because we want to thrust straight into this we do want to make it as interactive as possible so please do feel free to leave any comments that you like along the way so the reason why we do these shows is to give flowers to some of the people we feel are responsible for creating great things up and down the UK and anybody that was clubbing in the 80s and 90s and Beyond will know that Nottingham was definitely a big place on the map uh we all had those uh old wives tales of the ratio of women to men in Nottingham being two to one and I’m sure Sam and Christian will be able to tell me uh how how much truth there is in there yeah so let me Begin by saying uh welcome to Sam thank you for or agreeing to do this my friend somebody that I know quite well from my clubbing days in Birmingham and uh and about as well with Miss money pennies and chuff chuff I know you’re very good friends with those guys yes uh but so let’s roll back uh tell us roughly I always say this roughly because some people don’t like to say uh their exact age what kind of what kind of year were you born more or less so I I was born in the in believe it or not the late 50s wow did they have color Tellies then a color TV but yeah in the late 50s I uh was born not in this country in in the place called London place called Saint Kitts okay with my mother and brother uh at a very early age and and uh settled here um the great thing about Nottingham was it was a real Hub of people from the this from the Caribbean but mainly Saint Kitts okay other areas that were basically um saturated with Jamaicans but we kept ourselves to ourselves because we had more uh Caribbean I think was a small line small land of attitude wow one thing that I will surprise you my actually my birth father was from Saint Kitts so that’s crazy which I happened to go back to on my 60th birthday for the first time with my wife and my son and my wife’s mother and father and we had a the experience of trying to find some of my family uh unfortunately we didn’t particularly find any immediate relations uh but we did find some people that have had the same surname but spelled slightly different okay so my name is spelled Bowery b-o-w-e-r-y we found people that were named Barry b-o-w-r-y okay um but it was it’s quite interesting though I’m I’m visiting the small island that we where I was growing up and supposedly more expensive than I thought it was actually is that expected when you went back right yes and we we actually were there when they had the most um heaviest hurricanes uh around that part of the world and we’re having to leave small islands and come to Saint Kitts to to survive for some shelter wow it’s a terrible time but it’s part of the experience going to go to Caribbean have an hurricane stand it yeah standard there you go uh okay so paint paint a picture of Nottingham Forest in the let’s let’s skip forward to the early 70s okay so in those days after going to a club uh after school club called um I think it was called some Francis we used to go to a couple of Clubs that were local tours and they weren’t the best but they would play lots of sort of Tamil Motown um sort of that style of music I was into Michael Jackson like everybody else was um and uh it was more of that feel and the club we went to was called um oh my God it’s the mama leaves me uh but it was prior to the garage the same venues the garage was and some Mary’s gate and and it was quite of an arm it was basically I would say a reggae come time on the Motown club that was my first real experience of clubbing and meeting ladies of course okay so that would have been mid mid 70s more or less slightly earlier okay exactly earlier uh and then from from those days we went on to um um I think the Club I used to go to was a place called uh Isabella’s which is really big back in the day um Josephine’s um yeah some great some great times but it was basically just disco music um you know remember the days of staying alive all that sort of thing White yeah yeah but never really got into the industry at all it was purely there as a customer and then move forward to sort of the 80s I joined the place called the club which is a good friend of mine who’s sadly passed away owned and we started a club called the club right okay so what you put a timestamp on that for me so that was just about um 86 okay 1986. uh-huh well that someone carry on yeah but about for about two or three years I ran that I managed that club uh and uh it was a very very popular Club so just because you were friends with the the guy who owned he he brought you in and said right you’ve got to learn the trade or did you always no but but I’ve jumped in a bit I was involved with the bar industry okay uh before that but in bars uh Sam’s Grotto uh in a bar that used to became what was Jalen’s but it before that it was called Uriah Heap back in the day and Steve and his brother used to come there as a customer as customers so I got to know them through that okay and then when they started the club they were looking for a manager uh I was invited to join them which I did and then we formed the club which was I say a really really popular place uh but after about two years it started to get a little bit sort of flat and then I met a gentleman lovely gentleman called James Bailey [Laughter] his Knights and his bar and uh the music was obviously house music at the time we were playing a mix of disco and Funk and things like that RMB and James came along looked at the club and we said we’ll do a night there uh and then after some consultation and some meetings we decided to change the club into a house club and renamed it Vena okay okay and so that was 87 87. that would be May 1990 okay right so in 1990 made a kid notes of this well that will uh lead me very neatly to uh Mr widget set in very patiently thank you my friend for nice and education I’m trying to imagine with Sam with an afro in there I’m sure you did yeah I did yes absolutely I’m sure I’ve so far I’m sure so Christian uh tell us uh your story running parallel to that I’m I’m thinking that Sam’s probably got a couple of years on us right absolutely just a couple absolutely I come from nowhere near as cool a background so I I was born in Wales okay north or south South okay my other half were watching this and she’d be begging me to tell this story so I’m going to do it so I was born in a or I lived in a village or in a town called Blackwood and it’s the only thing it’s famous for it’s from where the Manic Street Preachers come from ah the same town but at the age of 10 this is like who do you think you are isn’t it at the age of 10 um we moved up to a little village outside of Nottingham um and I enjoyed just a typical English youngster’s life I guess um my first clubbing experience well my first Club experience was in the island of cars in Greece when I was 16 yes yes and we we were there I was bored out of my mind um and I remember the only thing the only magazine I could find to read which was English was ID magazine which was huge at the time and there was a whole whole article about acid house and you know imagine a 16 year old unaware of clubbing or anything was reading this and was just completely drawn into it and then was taken out by six copies not taken out like he’s gonna take it out for a drink we’re sick and my dad bless his soul let me go out with six Cockney girls who taught me around the bars of cars and Yaz the only way is up was the record was the tune of the summer it was a tune and obviously that was a pseudo house tune and I was already drawn I remember buying house arrest but I crushed the year before um by our very own customers yeah and obviously well I’ve jumped ahead but when I was sort of in my teens I was I was heavily into break dancing and all of that I was obviously drawn to some kind of thing in the electronic side of music because I loved Electro I loved all the sound had you ever had you ever done Rock CT and the likes was in from a breakdowns in perspective yeah yeah from a party yeah I remember going to see um I forgotten the name now the big crew Nottingham I’m going to see him on a Saturday afternoon and being crushed up against the window Rock City crew yeah was it just the Rock City crew it’s been obvious wouldn’t it but Jonathan was DJ in there that’s right yeah and master scratch yeah I later met in a taxi one night home from Rock City which was from Venus but anyway so yeah I went for the whole breakdancing thing and then I remember buying Crush house arrest and I didn’t know what I was listening to but was addicted to it couldn’t stop playing it um went to cars when I was like 16 late 16s and um got taken but I can remember the Yaz song was my memory came back and read all about and then started to realize there was references in that to a guy that was playing Nottingham Grand Park and to what was then the garage so a year later um this is a really complex type story Andy I’ll try and get to the point but uh take your time we’ve got all the time you need I will go off on tangent somebody was from a local I live in quite a village environment outside Nottingham I wasn’t like a a born and bred switch City dweller but somebody from a local Village was quite a big noise in Nottingham in terms of he won hairdressing he won clothes shops and he was a pseudo promoter at the same time as James um and the job came up in his hairdresser yeah am I allowed to name people I didn’t know yeah sure yeah yeah absolutely Yeah Ashley but you know and I strategically I strategically took a job at the hairdressers knowing that he was like the guy at the time and I would get involved with him and all the people I was seeing you know or knew about were going to the clubs like the garage and the first Club my first club and experience how privileged was I was going to the garage when I was like 17. with Great Park on a Saturday night and that was my baptism of fire into problems and that’s how I got into clubbing I started through Ashley the hairdresser started buying records starting to want to emulate Graham he was my hero start and then just got a couple of opportunities through local parties the duck call which was like yeah yeah the duck call was like a I think he was like a Nottingham equivalent to boyzone it was like a fanzine Ragtime they put a few gigs on and then I found myself yeah Stephanie and Matthew yeah um ended up playing with gray and Paul which was like unbelievable I weren’t very good um and then through that eventually got and there’s a whole story there got brought into the Venus Arena when at the time I think it was seen that my music fitted what they were trying to do but it weren’t a great story what happened there if I’m honest okay not something you’d like to elaborate on yeah no I’m happy to I’m doing if I’m jumping straight in but no no go for it because as I say uh before you get into the story let me just say again uh I can see a lot of people have recently joined us please do feel free to comment guys please do free feel free to draw any reference to anything that Christian and Sam are saying I’ll say good evening to uh Andrea to Chris uh to the two Chris’s to Emily as well so guys do feel free leave your name in the chat and let me say hi to you when there’s a break in the conversation okay all yours no no please trust me if you’re rambling I’ve been be the first to interrupt otherwise I’ll sit here um no so we’ll try and make it succinct but honest I basically was working in hairdressers above a very famous record shop called select disc in Nottingham um and at the time the guy I was working for Ashley was putting on nights at Venus before it really exploded it was the first first couple of months yes he did a night called boil wash do you remember this stuff you remember the night called boil wash um he was already trying to tap into the kind of London sect I think um because there was a lot going on with the flying crew and um Charlie Chester and his lot so we did a night called boil wash and through his artistic for his artistic merits he decided to put empty washing machines all over the club yeah don’t ask but yeah um so he was doing that I was doing the duck call Venus was already Gathering Pace I think the flying parties there really kick-started it but so you had as Sam said and used allude to Andy upstairs which was I think Tim and Laurie from the very beginning son from what yeah it was yes and then downstairs you had poor Wayne who worked in select disc the Record Shop um and DJ Psy who was an incredible DJ and obviously remains an incredible DJ and I think from my memory they were playing half an hour of Paul and half an hour of DJ Psy on and off back to back now Paul will cut comes from a you know he’s he comes from an indie background it’s probably the best way I can describe it he probably will tell me different but he came from a very Indie background which was quite the Vogue at that time you know the Happy Mondays the sort of slower pace so he he was right on the money DJ Sai was much more driving I’m not going to say hardcore but he was you know he was an upbeat and I think there was a real kind of juxtaposition going on between those two yes and I think what happened in time was a few people got the air of James and said this isn’t quite right for the moment even though I think everyone recognized Psy was an amazing DJ good friends of Paul and a few people put my name in in the year of James cut to the Chase and I was put in place of of DJ side let me pause you there then yeah thank you for giving us that I am gonna be uh quite happy to to skip backwards and forwards if necessary um so it’s all good you tell us whatever Springs to mind as it comes in but we have really got ahead of ourselves Sam really because I wanna I wanna understand about how the club decided to get the identity some of the next little steps that got you hooked up with the likes of the flying crew and so on and so forth right well at many of us as Christian was saying we we started uh Venus and we launched it it was a complete different clientele that I was used to we used to aim at the club we used to have clientele that was we hoped for more smarter um less a smart dress policy that was the was the idea for the club even though people were sometimes quite casually dashed but then a good strong door policy when James came along and said we’re going to do this night called Venus we were used to paint playing a paint a DJ a weekly wage and he was playing four nights a week probably the same uh sort of music every night a guy called John lovely guy um but then James said well I’ve got these guest DJs and we probably have about three or four DJs per night and I’m responsible for paying these wages so when I was paying one DJ for four nights a week a certain amount of money certainly I’m paying the same amount for one DJ per evening so I always find this a little bit sort of strength that I’m paying out all this money but we did increase the door charge which obviously slightly compensated for it but at first it was a bit of a sort of a amazing change or a drastic change button when I was used to and what James bought on board so can I ask you if I may please um tell me this is your story but tell me a little bit about James because I don’t really know much about James he’s an Infamous character but tell me a little bit about his background James was James came to Nottingham because he was working down the pit okay uh he came from a small town in Scotland for work uh I was working on the pit but again he had his he was into fashion I think his wife um blesser was had a close shot so it was quite a fashionable guy and he had connections in in London uh and so when James when I first heard of James he was doing a bar really cool bar just outside the city of Nottingham just out of town center and he created this nice this little buzz about uh what he was doing the sort of musical was coming he was playing and the sort of people that was attracted um I do think there was some added element that sort of helped the music um sounds amazing um and having gone to a one of James’s club nights I walked in and saw this where’s the atmosphere and thought Oh my God I need to have this not realizing the time there were some additional things that helped the atmosphere um but anyway back to James along I need we discussed the changes the policies and all those sort of things but James James is on board on the ball he had he knew about music policy he knew about fashion um way ahead of what I was thinking I was still a little bit behind on on that sort of scene but James was a a clever guy and uh we we so we created this like Venus right so let’s get back to the point where you were talking about the discrepancy the the difference the disparity in the wages right so a fun memory I would probably pay a DJ 700 pound a week the DJ for four nights a week four or five months a week James would uh have their guest DJs on and I’ll be paying that one DJ 200 pound for the night and we were doing this three four nights a week so the DJ wages were were so so much more than I expected um but I have to admit the club nights were getting busier and busier and the busier so through all the additional costs I could see the reasons behind it because uh these details are attracting an audience uh which I hadn’t seen before a very fashionable trendy I’ve never been on the door once and a guy turned up or some guys turned up with their shirts hanging over their trousers wow and I turned them away they’re saying gentlemen you put your shirts in now I didn’t realize that that was a fashion statement this is the way people dress you need to allow them in so so I I did step back and allow them to start coming in and then realize there was a transition of uh people coming through the door that were not coming to the club and then having to turn the people that come to the club before away because they didn’t fit in with what we were trying to do so it was quite interesting the change of clientele and also having the door policy that was quite strict but in a more casual way than someone arriving in a suit would say sorry you can’t come in sir because you’re overdressed okay so am I am I getting ahead of myself uh with this because I do know that you had the DIY guys involved at some of the parties was that much later or around the same time because they weren’t particularly the the most well-dressed we we what we did is on the uh Venus we had a strong Saturday night and then we had a sort of rotate on the Friday of of guest nights so we’d have um DIY we have the flying whatever some guys from Manchester I don’t remember quite so much now we used to do a night there most excellent yeah most excellent then we had Steve Lee Steve me got Steve Lee Steve from uh London he did a Steve Proctor a better day or something better days yeah so we had sort of four or five rotating Friday so these were all Fridays okay oh it’s on Friday and then the flying um thing was the biggest night that we used to sort of had because they have four or five coaches come from London and and then I’d pick up on that summer you I we’ve talked about memories but I think James came in I think he knew exactly what he wanted to do with the club he had the idea he was tapped into the London idea that the center call the music the fashion I think he struggled if if I don’t know if you agree I struggled for a couple of maybe a month or two yes the first flying was like when not only did he bring bucket loads of londoners up yeah but also a lot of locals went and it was like an epiphany it was like right this is what the name is and that was really the kind of what launched it to the locals that this is what the club is about that’s right that’s right exactly yeah I was getting ahead of myself and that thing you were right you took about a month or so before the club actually Vino started to kick in so we’re talking like we’re taking talking the summer of 90. 91 it would have been in the 90s yes up in May so yeah the throughout the summer uh then we’re doing I think Ashley was doing his but started doing his bank holiday nights yeah yeah and there was something some student nights that kicked in on their sort of Tuesday night I think it was a guy called Pete used to have Tuesday night so the students started catching on um so it kind of grew over a few months it starts to pick up and then established itself okay um so where was it the connections with the London guys that then made you the The Darlings of the press that got you the Nationwide coverage I think I think definitely the London um guys helped obviously Dan Finn started to come along obviously it was mixed mag um and then we started to we managed to um get DJs to DJ at the club that probably wouldn’t have djb before like um uh there we go member’s gone now but you know some DJs when back in the day that started the whole scene uh right like Oakenfold or session came and played and then there was um yes they when they started to play the club then we they then people started to recognize it uh the cabinet has established himself that’s when it really started happening I think it also built I think there was there was such a Nottingham Nottingham London Nottingham Manchester connection as well with the likes of Justin Robertson and Greg Fenton with the most excellent they were coming they were coming in on this on the all on the week uh bank holidays with the flying crew it was like a perfect storm in terms of media exposure is uh the Manchester people talking about it the London people talking about it and all three brands coming together regularly on these bank holidays let’s not forget the I won two ones let’s not forget the old ones right so that is interesting so welcome to so the guys are Lee Mick Jim and Denmark obviously money pennies or chuff chops they were doing before a little little boat parties on the river seven I think it was there basically come down quite regularly and what happened is that I I lost my license to run the club myself and Steve the owner because we were caught um but overcrowded so I was a professional licensee at the club uh we had the police outside the back and the front can’t even people coming out we were licensed performance of people they counted out about 800 people so I lost my license so I wasn’t allowed to work there anymore so that’s that’s getting into 91 in the night of two uh and then I was asked to go and do miss money’s so that’s where that’s how they’ve got the boys started to get involved with Venus and then doing their money pennies and chips of Tours okay right okay that’s a connection there Christian I’m gonna come to you in a second I just want to say good evening to Andrea uh hi to Jimmy uh someone is chuckling at one of the comments that you made earlier uh where we were skirting around a certain topic uh good evening good evening John Mr Rogers how are you and everybody else with us we’ve got a crazy crazy load of people watching on YouTube which is nice because I don’t want to touch on certain subjects and I don’t want to emphasize that things were important in the in that era to to listen as far as far as I’m concerned unless you don’t want to discuss anything because of people watching you can say whatever you want there’s no problem to talk about anything on this show yes well I do believe that there was a certain um element uh and and that was that that was obviously shared amongst lots of people in the club which gave him a big high and and that certainly did add to that that was just that was just the culture wasn’t it Christian that wasn’t unique to Venus but it stood out for lots of other reasons I was I’ve seen the Change of Atmosphere at the club so that was there with in Venus yeah because of there’s a there’s an additional sort of um thing that came along uh it was my first experience of seeing that because prior to that I’d heard stories about people going clubbing and they’re taking this and taking that and I didn’t quite understand it because I was not a part part of that sort of scene so I could see the massive difference and the atmosphere would just be amazing it gave me um the impetus to keep going and work in the club industry because at that stage I was lucky to leave it because I was getting bored it’s getting a little bit bored so the energy of everybody else not you getting involved yourself that’s why yes okay so I’m gonna come back and talk to you more about the running of the establishment the setup the door policy Christian I want to focus if I may on yourself as a DJ please basketball in the glory of being one of the uh finest DJs known for the more sweeter Soulful sand tell us about your DJ style tell us about the music you used to love tell us about the following that you attained uh you can keep going if you want because I love it um I wouldn’t yeah um like I said I think I think I joined Venus when there was the musical Trend was the kind of slower I’m gonna Branch it I’m gonna sort of book it all under the weather all sound or whatever yeah um my background was you know whilst Psy was superb you know and you know that was an awkward thing that happened there I would by no means up to his standard but I was seen as a better fit musically there was still a little bit of a juxtaposition with me and Paul because I came from a kind of gray and park background so I had been educated in the kind of the US sound the the garage you know the true garage the kind of New Jersey sound uh and a little bit Detroit Paul definitely was coming from an indie background but obviously had a leaning towards the house sound and whatever so it was it was not it was not abrasive but it was different and I think that worked I think that worked in many ways but I still say I think my love has made it comes from the Electro from the kind of program beats kind of background but there was definitely a bit of me that loves the kind of Rhythm the melody the Disco all of that I think that’s my grounding to be honest okay yeah I get yeah so my wife is uh jumping into the chat she’s saying I’m sure I saw a man called Adam downstairs at Venus uh Andrea says she saw Saint Etienne at Venus now as you guys both know I uh I shared with you a photo of my membership card we went to Venus quite a few times I’ve got zero recollection of any anything the only thing I can remember is walking through the the shopping center where we used to park the car you just have to walk through the shopping center in the queue [ __ ] ourselves that whether we were going to get in or not we never got turned away um and um one record was uh done public animals the Venus record I remember that getting played there that’s my only recollection of Venus and I went a Fair View times um so to tell me about when you used to get onto the deck scene Christian and how you’d play and how correct I’m going to be as honest I I was a probably I’m going to try and phrase it as an over Keen or over enthusiastic youngster thinking that he was the next big thing in fact another way I was probably just a bit cocky and a bit arrogant but I love I love what I did I genuinely love what I did I love the idea of being able to mix I like the technicality of it I loved putting out there you know there’s a level of endorphins power isn’t it you know it’s you can’t hide that you can’t say a DJ doesn’t enjoy that level of feedback from what they do all of that for a 18 year old um I probably was an absolutely nightmare to be honest but I I love what I did I had a real genuine I couldn’t wait I would practice all week I couldn’t wait to get the next record everything there was nothing but passion for what I did probably sometimes with some naivety at the cost of relationships or people or other things going on but I think I’d like to think I played a part in it but I think I was a sum of all the parts I think Tim Laurie were a huge they were the heartbeat of it upstairs Paul was Paul brought with it the perfect music background at the perfect time and a level head and uh no no shortage of passion I’m not saying that but Paul was very real you know he just loved music and wanted to play music and educate I wanted to be a DJ and I think there was a difference so out of all of the names out of all of the names that you mentioned before you were the only one who really um kind of started to forge Forge a name for yourself it would appear regularly in other magazines would be talked about a hell of a lot how did that come about it’s just a good black Air or what no I you know what you could ask me that I don’t really know how it came out I know that Paul Paul managed to play a couple of times in flying in London he was like he was on the transfer market with James for whatever I still had connections with the guys from so I talked about the duck call which was a Nottingham funding akin to what is probably now Faith or or Although our equivalent of boy’s own the person behind that or the people behind that included Matthew Collins the the writer and his partner then Stephanie who was my manager and she was I don’t even can’t even remember how that came about but she wanted to manage me so she was getting me in at Full Circle uh I played the first ever Back to Basics when it was like just that little place on Brigitte it just seemed to evolve and I think I think if I’m totally honest there was a little bit conflict with James I’ve got to be completely honest I think James was managing Paul more than managing me um which was fine but I was obviously starting to get work out and it was starting to sometimes impact on my Saturdays at Venus so but I never wanted to lose that I realized I think above all else I realized what a special place that was and what he’d done but I was starting to get interest from other places so it sort of grew organically it sounds crap but that’s really what sort of happened so that would that will this take us into 9192 or are we still the back end of 1990. this is probably more into 90. bear in mind I was only at the club for so I’m gonna correct me here for about a year and a half I think yes that’d be about right and don’t forget um Venus continued after my my depart because of uh a good friend of ours took over the licensing devices they didn’t manage the club so some of the um money plays and chuff chuff tours at Venus well after my time okay and and the name of the and the name of Venus was still going strong and I was actually then becoming a customer uh of the club uh more than obviously after working there um but yeah a year and a half you were doing uh Venus yeah I think I’m not this is not this sounds really bright what I’m about to say but it links in with what Sam said I think Venus ran for a good few years but I think there was a year and in no way coincidental to what I just said there was a year when from the flying thing when it was really like the intensity of it was incredible yes it was it was beyond and I used to look back and people still tell me the Venus was actually start the real start of of guest DJs I know in other in other genres and other they’ve been a touch of that but from the flying thing to James’s James is called James’s tenacity to book people to come in it was the real star of that kind of traveling DJ played big wages I agree I agree yeah those bringing those nights in and bringing those DJs so Nottingham everybody had the chance to see DJs and probably wouldn’t see seeing other cities because they’re all playing in Nottingham and I mean I used to stand on the door and obviously I’m I’m renowned for this awful dormant they used to knock people back and not let people in and be very picky but I just wanted to make sure that the people in the club were the right people in the club so a lot of people didn’t get in and obviously the club hold a certain amount of people but I said Look Down outside and look at the queue and go my God people are traveling from all over the place to get here and I was just amazed by it and it really was for me as a I was in my 30s then these kids were coming longer but since I found out since we’re 15 16 17s get my managed to get in so I was in my 30s way past I thought that those those coming days I remember driving around the corner sandwich with my dad who was you know bless his soul you know he was from from The Valleys in Wales he didn’t really understand what he wanted me to get a proper job I’d gone into fashion design and then hairdressing and then DJ and he started to question certain things anyway I remember in driving around Stanford Street one night when I asked him to take me in and he couldn’t he just couldn’t believe what he saw was actually for the club it was like or deep all the way up you know you hear these stories all the time but that was quite exceptional in those days there was literally cues onto over two streets and he just couldn’t get his head around it the venue was a very popular venue going back years before because before it was called originally was called the dungeon and that’s got a good following song following even still now they have reunions and the dungeon was an established venue um then it became uh I think a place called the Asylum which was also so very popular probably more appropriate and uh and then I think it was one stage it was a gay club and then Stephen filled the owners took over and named it the club so the venue itself was well renowned throughout the city but also outside the city that venue was a good venue to uh attend and being this added to that that reputation let me let me ask you from a a crowd point of view I threw back earlier mentioning the likes of Rock City you know the infamous all dayas um that was very much more um A A hip-hop into the beginnings of the house crowd but as towards the back end of the the 80s or the middle to to the end of the 80s as the house scene automatically progressed from that did you ever get an overspill of that crowd wanting to come to Venus or was that never ever never ever really an issue I think there was a maybe a smattering of that sort of um clubs coming along uh but not really uh I don’t think we really got that many uh if you’re into break dancing and Hip-Hop you you might come to Venus because it was different from the standard nightclubs that were in the city playing the general sort of disco or um top of the pops type of music yeah um I didn’t sort of see those people the thing is that Venus attracted certain people that were dressed so outrageously sometimes I didn’t know where they’ve come from the more outrageous the better uh and the more stylish and obviously certain fashion labels were important like I think John Richmond was a big one back then and there was some Japanese um labels that were really big so I didn’t really sort of pick up on who where they’re coming from or what sort of music background they had it was just a really fresh young vibrant very interesting uh crowd so can I pick can I pick up on that Andy because I think I think what I I seem to forget is that that same time as Venus was in his ascendants you had what was the garage Park yes and then you add Graham sort of realized that he couldn’t run he was doing the Hacienda Friday in the garage on Saturday which was a big coup for Nottingham the wonderful talented Aleister Whitehead sort of was his understudy and sort of took over when Graham literally I think drifted away on Saturdays and you had these two camps to a degree you had what was then the garage was rebranded the call cat the cool cat was a real Nottingham Club a cool Nottingham Club absolutely probably the kind of crowd you were talking about that Venus I think originally was a bit of a people in Nottingham my experience was sorry as a bit of a a novelty even though it wasn’t it was like a novelty new thing with predominantly a lot of people traveling to it and I don’t think at first the Nottingham people took with the exception of a quite a core crowd they didn’t quite buy into it at first and tell them to fly and do and then a few probably club nights after and eventually you had this migration that it started to fill with more locals but there was a limited capacity and there were still a lot of people traveling so whilst it was in Nottingham was definitely had Nottingham people in it there was still this other Camp of people that were going to the what was the garage and then James had a bar uh initially uh again the the name Papa bins that had that sort of crowd that wasn’t would go to the cool cat afterwards because it was a bar and it closed and the next thing was to uh going to a club and I think that was the sort of cloud that uh sort of filtered through Papa bins to cool cat and then they say they migrated slowly to to Venus I think either it closed I don’t know what happened but it yeah I can’t remember it yeah it was still you know it was a massive part of Nottingham free Venus it was like the acid house it through Graham and all of that yeah then just came in as this kind of all singing dancing and it needed it but I think a lot of people had a bit of resistance to it because they they’ve gone through that formative house wave being at the garage and with Graham Park and all that sort of thing so Venus was always seen as um I remember it as always been extremely credible indeed with the the names that you mentioned to begin with that James was involved with or you know all the guys down in London do you recall it ever getting to a point where it became a little bit kind of cliche um you know and it was starting to then you look around and you think what’s going on here I mean you would like you would have long been long gone by then Sam right yes I I’ve moved on I’ve moved on Venus was still going um but then I’d moved on with to work with um the Ryan brothers and the league Eric when they formed money pennies at Bonds in Birmingham uh that was probably about 92. so I’ve moved on business are still going but then when I went to work at money pennies uh it was a different crowd again because the Birmingham people seem to want to just a little bit smarter and more more fashionable I don’t know first was the wrong word um but more more sort of glamorous um and money pen is sort of kicked off and and then we they would do tours at um at Venus and then chuff chuff was obviously a big thing on the boat and then obviously we did the uh the big state homes um so I’ve gone from Venus back at the end of 92 so I wasn’t sure what was going on because I was already working in Birmingham at the time but Christian I think I I think I was pretty much the same I think for whatever reason I think I I’d eventually gone or taken the decision to go or was taken for me um but I moved on to like you say I started to go on the guest circuit yeah I think what Venus was was a bit of a launch pad for if you think about the late 80 89 you know we went through the kind of Rave of era of dressing down and going to and then it was forced back into clubs effectively and it was still in the kind of dressing down stage a little bit I think the garage was a little bit of that I think what Venus became is this kind of new explosion of let’s get dressed up again let’s go let’s enjoy it being in a club with the same soundtrack and whatever a company wants to go with it it was like the blueprint to many other clubs I’m not going to say it takes credit for money pennies or any other club that’s that’s all dangerous I’m not making everyone shirt him yes yes it’s all your fault mate yes yeah it was when I look back at that now it’s just find it so funny that I was turning and obviously the I started then wearing my shirt out I’m outside you’re crazy kid crazy guy yeah so I obviously remember Hacienda was the the big a big band on Manchester um and so am I my friends used to go there and I think Hacienda became such a busy club and obviously started that had that sort of gangster element people started to uh move away from it um and then we had this sort of a little bit of a gay influence as well with with the with Venus which I think helped because a lot of people just come there and feel comfortable uh there wasn’t any sort of an Italian element coming in and being abusive and creating issues so it was a safe place yeah okay so then we had spoken just before Sam came on Christian uh about their DJ agency that that spawned from the the club that’s kind of connected but yet also not connected yeah a couple of things born from the club that not just us the but one of them being um to the to the girls that worked there um were basically approached I’m not taking credit again but they did approach me to sound me obviously at that point to your to your early conversation Andy they were I was starting to get guest slots not in any kind of Gravitas but I was playing away and they were sort of saying you know what are you being represented I was like I have an agents there are agents that are booking DJs it’s like a new thing you know there’s money to be made from many of them we were just concert promoters and now seeing the Gap in the market so so A lady called Jane and Catherine basically said we’d like to do something like that but using the Venus name so make Venus the DJ agency um and had my full support but yeah I wasn’t I wasn’t sort of instrumental in it happening I was just a conversation person I think they went to Steve at the time Sam and got to use the brand yeah Steve Kirk allowed allowed the girls to use the name Venus obviously it was quite quite a strong name at the time and then and they they created a good little agency definitely and they had good picking grounds because they had they had some Nottingham Talent um already you know them they had Alistair and they had a wonderful up and coming DJ called Angel also yeah but so they how obviously they had a line straight into some of the biggest people in in clubland who were coming to Venus so they could they could make their approaches through the club and I think quite quickly it grew um and became probably one of the one of the one of the most credible agencies for for a period I remember uh Patrick’s move was on their books as was um Andy Roberts I I remember going up the motorway with Patrick to meet the girls asking if I could get on to Venus Venus’s books and they said well Andy you know you’re not quite right yet maybe see if you can get onto the radio or something and uh that that gave me the kick up the ass that I needed I went back and uh you know eventually they did they did take me on and started getting me some gigs so Andy so was it well you uh playing along at the same time was Patrick or did you come along after Patrick was already established um just before me I started DJing in 1991 92 Patrick had been already playing for a while and he was already quite established as you know Patrick uh he’s got the gift of the gab he talked himself into a lot of great situations and of course he could back it up with great music and great talent and then eventually I would um I would watch Patrick from afar uh sort of slightly envious and you know in awe of what he did and then we would become really good friends he kind of took me under his wing started taking me down to London took me over to Miami got me in with the likes of Bobby and Steve at garage City and you know stuff like that and then it eventually my own hard work and my own gift of the gab would eventually get me onto the radio and so on and so forth but yeah Patrick uh I’ll always give him praise for for being the man you know yeah yeah I wanted to Patrick at Rob fowl’s 50th birthday in Birmingham a few years back and after Stephanie had his accident um bless him uh it was actually two years ago two years this week yeah DJ that the at that event um we could see he was struggling I haven’t seen him since then so have you heard from him yeah I’ve spoken to him he’s in a very good place now he’s in a very very good place a lot of love for Patrick let me just say hi to uh Christopher Barron he’s saying uh flying up Venus was some of the best days ever um Steve Reed was commenting talking about Rock City and castle Rock casts and Atlas are actually two guys that eventually I am gonna bring on because they’ve got their own stories to tell so what are the gaps are we missing from this important important story because I feel we may have raced through this for fear of not wanting to talk about too much but I’m sure there must be other things that uh that that were quite important obviously established itself and uh and then they started I think they did some events in um in Italy um with the flying guys um they started to take businesses started to go on tour uh and um and spread the word um so yeah I’ve said it remember too much about what happened but um I’ve got a memory come on go ahead I remember Venus in Paris and well the only we I think there was you remember Sly and love child the band Yes absolutely um and Dan Prince was there yeah bull and my only memory has been pushed around Paris at four in the morning in a wheelie bin that’s that’s the only thing I I can’t say anything I can’t tell you I can’t say anything about the club I genuinely can’t I can’t tell you anything about how well I think I know Lauren Garnier was playing which was incredible but I all over all I remember nothing about that I just remember being pushed around Paris streets in a wheelie bin yeah that’s not much of a story is it representing representing Nottingham I do have you partake have you had you had something to to give you that sort of I was just drunk some okay just drunk okay come on wonderful I’m on might be watching um so I I guess we should uh you know everyone knows the story of how the 90s would have progressed and it would have gone so crazy how long did you remain uh working the doors and the likes um what was the natural progression for you right so from Venus I went to work at money pennies um and I was there to to try and establish a similar crowd of a nice Cloud for for those guys because they want today somebody kind of knew the crowd obviously you know a lot of people traveling from Birmingham to Venus so I knew a lot of people fighter working there would travel from all the different cities so I was working uh at um money pennies as a as a guy that picks the crowd who was saying yes and no to people um supported by three four Burly Dorman so just in case I was uh sort of a abuser attacked she has had to be that if he’s watching yeah yeah yeah there you go so and what it was I went to The Vines the Bible has invited me to a party at um on the river seven of Worcester a little boat party called um it was the most amazing place can you believe in floating down the river and everybody’s dancing and enjoying themselves and it’s very very small compact um space um and then they said to me but we’re thinking about doing a club night and I said okay um and we’re thinking about asking you to come and do the door I’m fine okay but I’m not a doorman I said I put two pictures and do the guest list that was the plan um so I was happy to do that and that sort of continued my sort of role in working for clubs on the door and I think for most people they always say but I was the doorman which I was and as I did make decisions about who came in um but that became my reputation as Sam on the door for many many years I was managing venues all over the Oliver Nottingham as a licensing I’d run clubs I’d run pubs I’d run restaurants um but I was enjoying the the kind of clouds the kind of music that was being played at these clubs so the natural transition from Venus was to money pennies and then money pennies we started doing chuff chops the State Daily homes uh but I was I was all about the crowd and people attending so how long are you excited about it how long did that last for um well I think for many pennies I was can their tour manager for the next sort of seven years after that we were doing tours in different different cities uh different countries obviously we did Ibiza uh it’s a lovely lovely venue uh by inviting the ports it was amazing El Divino was called um so for about seven years I was running all over the country managing nights at different in different cities and uh different countries it was um it was it was amazing Jeff Jeff Jefferson when they’re all about that I’m sure did you were you involved in that legendary Tel Aviv party no no not me no I don’t know what story that story went down then but no I said you were very quick to say no wow definitely not yes I don’t know what you’re talking about yeah yeah good evening Sherry yeah okay all right then so um Christian any next parts of the story tell us how your DJ career flourishes I can tell you one of my biggest regrets which I got booked for the first ever Chuck bow party on boxing day I think it was and I couldn’t drive so I was hugely dependent on friends and I remember ringing I think it was Jim I’m saying I can’t and he wasn’t happy and I didn’t think anything of it I didn’t realize I’d let him down so never played for them again big mistake huge mistake but it was genuine I couldn’t get there but um in terms of I think some of one of the biggest I’ve got Birmingham to thank for one of the biggest things in my career I went to play at the dome is that still leather Dome it is but it’s I think it’s called The O2 Academy now of course yeah and I was booked to play with CJ McIntosh who was one of my you know a mixing day yeah um who at the time was with Lynn Cosgrave who was then fundamental in BMG and the ministry um and it was empty it was completely empty but we were playing and I I’ll never forget she came up and said I’ve not met you up but Chris plays some of your tapes in the car and I literally nearly hit the debt and you know this was I was a young cocky confident but also death like eager over eager person but to hear that he was playing my tapes and that was when sort of I was launched into doing the ministry that was when she basically got me to play the ministry every month for literally nothing but that’s the way the ministry rolls um and that sort of then was a bit of a springboard to get you know I got into Southport I got into many other clubs and then and then your ego went through the roof oh can you imagine I was an [ __ ] let’s be honest I I was I was I became don’t second that I’d be no no it wasn’t I was about to say I became Christian’s driver for a while of course I forgot about that everything couldn’t drive so getting these gigs all over these different different clubs across the country and I was driving around can I tell him the story Sam about the watch now probably not well I don’t know what story about the one so you said one of the one of the most um insightful lines I’ve ever heard and you know Andy I’m sure you’ll you know um this will resonate with you went to a club I think it was in Torquay or somewhere you know when every Club every every town had a club yeah and we turned up and it was probably not even half empty not even half full sorry it’s all empty um and towards the end of night it was clear that you know this is not what they expected and the promoter came to I think to you Sam and said well he’s not very busy can we can we pay you know X percentage and and you said if it was busier than you expected would you pay any more for the for the DJ and I just thought what a genius piece of information that was is that that was the culture then is yes yeah we’re going to pay you when you get there but they didn’t account for they would actually have to pay you yes yeah I remember those uh quite actually I traveled I didn’t tell them the watch story but there you go well you think the money I’ll have your watch and then when you come back I’ll give you a watch back and it was like so I I did did that so I’ve traveled with Alistair for quite some time as well across the country and it’s quite interesting because I became a promoter sometime later and one of my first gigs I did was a place called a bar called Browns and um I’ve been going to The Milk Bar in London on a Monday night and listening to Darren Emerson who I thought was amazing so I did a gig it was Jim shuffling as the Whitehead Angel and Darren Emerson uh and I was Reliant and I was expected to be very busy and at that time it was a day party so people people that were coming in didn’t know what to expect and it wasn’t busy enough to have made money but it’s just about enough to pay everybody and uh it was almost the most important thing because I remember saying to Jim and Dallas and Darren can you take a reduced rate against the irony of it that’s what I believe in I was asking them to take less money because it wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be but the fact is that I used to say that often to promoters you can’t pay them less because it’s quiet and let’s go pay them more when it’s really busy usually won the argument most most times but as a promoter you suddenly started to believing that the booking about DJs you think you’d get a club full and that wasn’t always the case and that was the coach I think that was what they sort of was like an implosion wasn’t there when it became so saturated yeah so you know I look across people at my level in the league whatever I’ll call it you know well certainly weren’t the top of it but we were getting regular work but you were just on this circuit and it was like the mid-level and every you know some of the places you went you know they were just thinking well I’ll book that I’ll put a name on yes there was no thought beyond that they just assumed they would make money they would and not every DJ can pull in those kind of crowds you know that you know that was a fact of life I think I was struggling a lot with Sasha back in the day so actually was over to this big name um I think Sasha was doing a lot of gigs at Venus uh then he became so popular then I think that’s when DJ side came back and become a resident at Venus but Sasha was killing it everywhere uh but there was that many parties going on so you’d be able to be a party in the evening but there’ll be a part in the daytime and then party in the morning so we would go and do three gigs in one day and the morning party wasn’t as busy I understandably and then the afternoon party would get busier than by the night time it was really busy but the adulation he used to get when he was traveling that we were traveling around it was I mean ridiculous and so much legendary status I mean yeah he was the first Superstar DJ really for many of us exactly I got a story about him as well go on go on this one this will remain with me for what I’ve gotten decent nice guy what you know he was at that he was really on the crest of that wave when I when he started playing Venus you know as you said Andy he was really hitting the front cover of of which was unheard of as a DJ standing like you know um and he came to Venus and the record I really wanted that you literally remember the days when you couldn’t get records Yeah well yeah which was um Denise Lopez don’t you want to be mine that there was a dub of that and it was only available on promo on a m and he played it and I told him I said you know oh this is an amazing record you know I’d love this he the next time he came back which was only a month later the first thing he did is walk over and gave me copy and he said I got it from the DMC office in the US for you he’d remembered and I I was just a lowly resident DJ you know I was just overly eager as I’ve told you but no he you know he just remembered he’d done it there was total humility and I just thought wow you know he was he could have been losing his head at that time I’m sure he maybe went on to do so but at that point he was just a great guy yeah yeah I did a lot of traveling with Angel as well because Angel from from being a a resident at the Venus Club then starting to get I mean it was it was Christian and Angel that seems to get in more of the gigs guess Scots at different clubs across across the country so I was also uh not the driver for Angel but we traveled together because when he traveled up to all these various City he’s a female yeah on her own so I will travel with her and again it was a great experience to go into these different clubs and all these small towns I mean I ended up going to I remember going to Latvia uh in the winter when the snow was everywhere and she played this club that was basically a lap dancing club uh and we were given dinner served by scantily addressed ladies it was sorry sounds terrible yeah it sounds it was yeah so it wasn’t it just just that those experiences were going to this far away countries and these small cities um it was very back in those days it was it was excellent times and great fun but just getting to see these different clubs in different cities was because look it was a club in every city that was yeah in the night um yeah it was I mean fantastic times and in the 90s got into the into 2000 um yeah I never I never forget them never forget but let’s let’s start bringing it back to home turf let’s start bringing it back to nothing um you mentioned Sam that you uh started to do other gigs then uh other promotions is that what you’re still doing there tell me what life is like at the moment um so I wasn’t really interesting um sort of 10 to 20 years ago but then I remember um Tim and Laurie did a couple of no tell lie being a shot and gone and but then James decided to do a big reunion in a couple of bars at an area called Hockley so you come along uh I don’t think it was a child to the on the night but you could go into two three different bars and have all the residents playing I think it was a guest DJs playing as well on it and it was mobbed it was it was amazing and um from that spin-off from that I think Tim and Laurie did a couple of three Venus parties um that that went pretty pretty okay and then it’s been a sort of disappeared uh and then by chance a friend of mine or friends of mine owned a lovely bar called um Riverbank by the track Bridge and they were doing their what’s called pop-up parties and playing that sort of nice Dancy vocal house music people who watched the people will come in and they well I suggested maybe you should do a business reunion and so we did that um I think it was 2020 no sorry it was the 30th of that anniversary so it could have been 2020 no that would that was the first pandemic so it would a couple of years before the first pandemic well well before that I think was it from the public I don’t know I think it was 25th anniversary party okay uh we did that at Riverbank and and it was it was sold out but it sold out within hours right because the first meeting we did for for some time but I think I think you’re playing yourself down there a little bit some because you know if you go back to the first reunion and again I’m not trying to make out the Venus is the pine but somebody Ian Squire one of our regulars in Bowling Club you put a post on Facebook and I don’t know when the first reunion was but you’re going way back 10 years maybe yes you put Venus the first Super club we should get back together we’re gonna get Neil Webster is commenting saying he thinks 2015. yeah let’s go out yeah Webby was there yeah I think where we came yes and that started to build and the first one was was weird and crazy it was mobbed as Sam said and it was probably the first time some of us got together for 20 odd years or whatever and it was just it was novel it was great it was that same feeling I think what happened is then they they tried to um relive that kind of reunion several times after and it just died because there was nothing new it was it was okay I’ve not seen you for a while I’ve saw you last six months ago or whatever I think what Sam brought was we’re not just gonna replay Venus in Nostalgia we’re gonna do it like Venus would have done it nowadays you know it’s with the ethos of the club right and guest DJs and the right attitude and wanted to be a great party night not just reliving the past it was it was an element of that but I think some brought to it the kind of Glamor back and and the kind of excitement of what Venus was about uh and it was a bit of fun it was a great venue as well a perfect weather outside uh and inside a lovely lovely venue so people got dressed up and they came and it was successful uh and then obviously I was asked to do a few more which we did um but then it obviously then it becomes a little bit I don’t know just became a bit sort of samey blocks which I think was a a great venue uh we love the outside space and again it was it was very busy but I was dealing with a couple of guys called Adam and Robin who were doing proper parties and between us we were doing some some decent nights um my last one I did which was the during the pandemic which was disappointing because of changing venues the wrong time of the year wrong venue and the pandemic obviously affected people’s decision to to come to a club so at that stage I I called it a day I I wouldn’t do no more parties I did a couple of units for the garage cool cat with a friend of mine Dave Dave um coxville I used to used to work there um and then that was the end of it I wouldn’t do any more and then recently I was approached by the guys that do the Woodland disco Festival in Nottingham they did one last year it was very successful and in my day job I am I manufacture and print labels I’m fat and fabric and producing banners and flags for festivals um and they approached me to acquire some banners and flags and then in that conversation they said do you fancy doing the Venus Revival Venus a VIP at the festival I thought about it for a while I didn’t think I was going to do it and then thought if I expressed my wife and she said yeah we should do that so we then now uh have this plan to do the festival on July the 8th again Christian Lowry um DJing um Ian Squires the man who started the Venus um Facebook page is going to sort of play as well and then we’ve got some not some guests but we’ve got some local guys um that are that are playing as well called the neon Hustle um so yeah and I’ve I’ve got I’m inundated with people wanting to buy tickets for this for this event so I think the whole festival vibers is really cool but having there’s been this Venus area is going to be also very popular is that not is that not Testament because I I don’t know the guys behind this obviously I’ve come for you but there’s a new wave of promoters in Nottingham now obviously but there is still that Legacy that they can’t you know it’s that seminal in in the not in history yes pulling on the brand yeah you know you you write yourself being picky and what we you we you put against them but that that’s definitely Testament to how big the brand was in Nottingham and how it sits in the culture of the city yeah yeah I think I think there’s there’s still a strong I I I spoke to the Ryan boys about um they were asked as many times to do money Pennies on chupcha and one of one of the things mate Ryan said was do I really want to see 60 year olds say well 56 year olds dancing on a dance floor trying to dress up in the the way they dressed back in the sort of to the 90s to 2000s I don’t think I want to do that sort of event so I know that uh Jim still does the old uh money pens event uh so I was a little bit sort of hesitant about it but there’s a new audience out there now 60s the new 40. yeah yeah you’re telling yourself that and we keep going with that one what about 50 what’s that the new 30. I don’t know yeah that’s what 50 is 50 is what I’ve had people contact me from who’s come to Venus back in the 90s to say I’m coming to that Festival I won I wasn’t bothered to feedback the previous events but I’m definitely coming to that Festival because I think it adds a little bit of a different sort of vibe to you know the whole festival Vibe you’ve got this one area that’s going to be Venus the VIP area with bus toilets and nice tables and table service maybe um that’s so Venus isn’t it let’s come back to the festival in a little while I just want to uh pick up with Christian and find out um about how and when the steam started to kind of uh run out of your DJ career so to speak cheers I beat you up at the beginning and I gotta strip you down now come on Boss no no well you know is there’s an honest conversation I think I think towards the end of the 90s um I think I’m I’ve sort of touched on it earlier I think there was a little bit of an implosion where um so Venus the agency did majority of my bookings along with a couple of others and it was becoming too regular that you were getting a call on the Wednesday saying the gig on Saturdays canceled canceled yeah and they were they were issuing contracts you know payments in advance but it was never it was never really enacted in that way you know people still expected to pay you on the night and I think what happened over the course of probably a very short period of time in in hindsight maybe three to four months I started to see genuinely a proper decline in things were getting canceled the bookings weren’t coming in and I think again in hindsight I didn’t fight it I almost felt like I had a bit of an imposter syndrome I thought I’ve done this for 10 years it’s coming to a natural end I need to go and get a proper job as my dad would have said and I just almost drew a line in my head that I was completely real in that there were people you know that were up the leagues that were working there were new people coming in I just thought my time’s done now and I don’t think I was alone I think there was a few in that kind of bracket the bookings are dropping off the clubs are closing there weren’t enough clubs to service the circuit of DJs and you didn’t want to play UK garage okay I think I just felt like my time’s up I think I’ve done it and I I I’m happy with what I’ve got I’m not going to pretend I was happy to stop doing it but I think I sort of just sort of resigned to the fact that maybe I’ve had my my time and I’m never going to be there and I’ve had my time here and it’s just come to a natural end so sort of just so over the last 20 years of every now and again people have been contacting you saying oh we want to do this we want to do that or have you just complete did you complete stuff the only thing I’ve probably done you know I’ve been completely candid is I’ve done the Venus things um I had a few doubles I I’ve always sort of still you know it’s a passion you don’t lose it I’ve always sort of kept my eye on it I’ve probably missed it more than I would probably claim to still got all your vinyl um most I’ve sold a lot I’ve sold a lot but not sold it I’ve just realized that some of it is just excess but I’ve probably got a large I probably still have about fifteen twenty thousand finals knocking around wow maybe not that many actually now but um God bless this goggs but no I captain but every time I started a DJ out I started to realize the setup is digital so I would play digital which I didn’t really have a major issue I like the idea of digital and it quickly dawned on me that lots of things with the exception of a core amount of those that are sentimental or important to me a lot of it is stuff that even if I was a DJ again I still wouldn’t use them they were just vinyls that getting Gathering dust so no I didn’t play out a lot um at all really it was just part of my history it was what I did um I missed it but I didn’t crave it to a great degree what I missed was the involvement in the music and understanding the latest music and that kind of thing so how do you find yourself back in the studio with a release out this week how has that happened so so and this is a I won’t make this a long story so about just under two years ago a guy that once got me a deal with Virgin for one of my records that didn’t really happen but he was a major um Club promotions guy from the labels you know what I’m told Andy you send out all the twelves in the vinyl in mailers a guy called ideal Rasheed who was a huge guy in the industry managed Todd Terry’s label managed Todd Terry was played a part in signing things like Alison Limerick and snapped the power so he you know he’d been there he always had my back and always was trying to keep me in the loop he rang me over Christmas and said and I think he picked his moment between Christmas and New Year late in the evening he knew I’d had a drink at that point you know I’d say and he basically said would you want to come and play on the radio and the radio station is a radio station called crackers which not many people will know but is a famous club from the 70s um that was occupied by a DJ called George power who founded KISS FM he was pioneering the 70s because he was the first guy that played that club and said I’ll only play he was Major massive in demand for soul and Funk he said I’ll only play at the club if it’s an open door policy if it’s black white gay straight that was his terms um and it went on to be legendary in those era for disco Funk it was an afternoon session in the middle of London it changed but basically George power was the man went on to form Marcus FM sold that and then set up this station called crackers which sounds strange to people listening when you say crackers they think it’s a children’s TV show or something um but it’s full of people with huge Heritage in the kind and more recently they’re bringing on people like Georgia Corgi this mix is coming from Kenny Dope David Shaw it’s starting to move from a station based in the past to something that’s a bit like Venus it’s using the ethos of crackers to build a new kind of sound so he asked me to do it and I stupidly said yes and then spent three months [ __ ] myself thinking not only have I got to start getting back in you know interested in music and buying music although he wanted me for my history not just all new stuff but I’ve got to learn to actually broadcast I’ve got to learn to speak I’ve got to things I would never have ever thought I could do and the challenge was quite enticing and that’s two years ago actually beginning in February I started doing this on Friday night and that reinvigorated the whole thing I’ve had a studio here for all this time so it’s like well hang on I could just make records that I want to play on my show they don’t have to be hits they can just be little projects or little and that’s that’s where I am today tell us about this track that came out on Friday well one track came out at the end of last year called feel Lovegood Groove because my show is called feel of Friday with a nod to Donna Summer so the field of group came out um did quite well got to the top of some of the download charts the one that came out on actually comes out in February it was on pre-order on Friday called move it move in close on Disco Down Records these are you know there’s a lot of these small kind of digital only labels um it was a project track it was something as I said to play on this on the show and there was a little bit of validation when you send it out and somebody says yeah we’d put that out that’s what it is love to hear it love to hear it so Sam all all queued up for the um Festival you said July the 8th well so I’ve sort of kept my my eye in on sort of certain some events and I I’m still quite close to some of the guys that put on some of the events in Nottingham blue box being one uh the guys at Robin and Adam from Tom Brown’s um I I did a well I was involved in an event in Dubai sorry Abu Dhabi in November called the rich list which was amazing that was a were the Formula One um circuit um so when I went there in November I kind of got that sort of Feeling Again about being involved with an event um some great celebrities there gorgeous weather and Dubai and Abu Dhabi have got this new sort of thing going on where clubbing’s really good many daytime like Ibiza and one side sort of been there and came home I was like oh God I got a bit of taste for that so it was just purely by accident that I got asked to do um the Woodland and so at the moment we’ve not launched any tickets but they are going for launch I believe on the 27th of this month uh and we’ll then see what happens but as I say it’s getting great to action great sort of attention um we haven’t had a festival we’ve had festivals in Nottingham called Splendor which are more family events um at the williter park uh there’s been some small festivals um detonate I think because they’re doing based event that’s done very well at the Racecourse groovebox have done their festivals and done very well and they’ve used a few other venues as well but the woodlands kind of opened up a uh uh a new sort of uh uh a crowd with not just into just certain music policy but just want to come out and have a great time and it attracts it also attracts a nice age group and I think the guys who have organized it said they wanted to have a a more mature age uh Cloud coming along as well which is why our Venus was born but like the Dave for the VIP area so yeah it’s um the planning is going very well I’m speaking to the guys every day from um they’re called artists active active talent agency that’s the guys gecko Barry almond are the guys behind it quite a few events Jeff Jefferson is saying we’re coming Sam hint hint I think the lineup’s already finished I think the lineup’s done I’ve seen the Flyers it’s all confirmed so get this so I was told when I was uh first invited to do the event that I have I would have the resident DJs From Vedas and a guest DJ um so I’ve booked Christian and Lolly immediately and then I start looking at a gas DJ and then very quickly the guy said to me listen We’re not gonna have a guest DJ you’ve got a small budget and I won’t say what happens to the budget was but I’ve got you got a small budget and and that’s it so about to work with Christine and Laurie and some other DJs some of the one of these guys getting paid nothing just wants to be involved um so it was a very small budget so and really I think we’ve got a very cool lineup all Nottingham DJs uh but it’s very Venus influence and it has to be because you’ve got another a brand called love zoo playing I think they were about 2 000 2010 when they started um formulating so they’ve got their area and then we’ve got the Disco uh stage so they’ve asked us to play that sort of early 90s to 95 I suppose sort of Music policy which is aimed at this or more mature crowd for the VIP area I’m sure I’m sure Christian will have absolutely no issues well ladies and gentlemen I am going to uh say thank you very much for giving me your time this evening it has been a pleasure especially listening back and remembering everything that was clearly a big blank in my own mind that’s one of the reasons why I do these conversations is just basically just so I can remember what I was doing in the late 80s and the early 90s you were there andy I saw you you definitely were there yeah I definitely was some it is beautiful and I want to say thank you to everyone that’s actually passed through and shared some of the comments in in the chat so I’ll just gonna say thank you so much Christian good luck with the releases and uh Sam good luck with the with the festival and uh keep in touch I will I will be in touch with you to say thank you a little later on any final thoughts any any final mentions you want to say before we leave well just uh I look forward to seeing everybody at Woodland Festival I can’t wait to see to hear Christians Place uh set on the day it’s gonna be very interesting to see what he falls out of the bag wonderful just Echo that looking forward to the festival it’s yeah it’s nice to do Venus now and then not all the time yeah okay okay respect you thank you very much okay guys thank you so much uh thoroughly enjoyed that uh to everybody with me live we’ve had a fair few people uh pushing this on YouTube now every week uh focusing a lot on the Channel music and motivational conversations the occasional Life Hack That is what Inspire and be inspired is and as you can see here next week we are talking to a gentleman who is uh really somebody who can just have us sat in or Mr I was I said to myself do not say mister Dr Bob Jones 50 years of Music Excellence is going to be in conversation next Monday evening uh thank you to Emily to Jeff to John uh to Webby have a great birthday at the festival my friends uh and everyone else passing through thank you so much uh all I will say is if you enjoyed that then do take a look in my playlists for the Soulful House Mafia and the rest of the Inspire and be inspired conversations I also have a playlist that’s called Brahm as [ __ ] excuse a profanity but most importantly you may be interested if you’re from Nottingham in hearing the conversation that I did with Mr Jonathan woodliff that goes back a few months ago and it was really really uh an in-depth look at the beginnings of the Nottingham scene you may have seen when you logged on I asked the question which was the best room at Venus uh downstairs when the vote Christian will be pleased to know so there you go ladies and gentlemen thank you so much for being here check out this next video be sure to leave me a like if you’ve enjoyed it and I would just say


Streaming Gear I use and recommend:


Mac Mini M1 2020 (upgrade to 16GB RAM) =
Elgato Stream Deck =


1 x AOC U2879G6

1 x AOC 24B1W


Sony ZV1 =
Logitech Brio 4k (x2) =


Wave XLR =
DJI Mic2 =

DJ Kit:

Shure 55s Radio Mic =
DJ Controller = Pioneer XDJ-XZ
Technics 1210 Turntables =
Stylus; Ortofon DJ =

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Set For Love: Andy Ward 3 Hour Vinyl Only Session.

Recorded live on Friday 22nd March, World Water Day 2024, this audio-only extract is from a live stream in conjunction with Last Night A DJ Saved My Life and CastRooms. A fantastic session and a really great showreel of my musical tastes and mixing skills which I’ve taken so much pride in down the years.

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