Mistress Mo – Flashback. Brum as F*ck

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Mistress Mo – Flashback. Brum as F*ck

Mo Jones, aka Mistress Mo, is a name well-known on the Birmingham clubbing scene in the mid 90s.
From her residencies for Crunch & S.L.A.G to co-promoting legendary ‘Flashbank’ events, Mo and I have shared many a dance floor, DJ booth and interview down the years. As well as mastering the decks and running a record store, we will find out how Mo was instrumental in the development of online ticketing services, being behind the first company to sell e-tickets on line.


Every week at 6 or 7pm UK time, Andy Ward talks to an array of inspirational guests. Heroes from the world of music, business and every day life, each conversation is sure to reveal the incredible characteristics within all of us and help celebrate one another’s brilliance.

#positivementalattitude #inspirational #inspire #motivate #motivational #believeandachieve

foreign [Music] [Music] [Music] good afternoon hello welcome along it is Inspire and be inspired I know the weekly motivational conversation uh occasional life hacks and today on what I believe is the hottest day ever on record we are talking once again all about music in another of our series Brum as [ __ ] uh today I am joined by a legend on the Birmingham circuit somebody who I have a lot of uh history with and we’re going to be finding out all about mystery smoke AKA Mo Jones but before I bring her onto the screen I’ll say uh if you are watching live feel free to leave us any comments ask any questions uh reminisce about any of the events or the venues that we discuss and the same goes for you if you’re watching the recording we get a hell of a lot of people coming back and checking out these uh streams at various times of the day various days of the week it’s a pleasure to have your company uh without further Ado let me welcome my guests onto the stream mystery Smo how are you my love how are you slightly toasty I’ll be honest I know we’re not supposed to Grumble but I mean it is yeah silly okay so I mean you know let’s adjust the F let’s address the elephant in the room it’s all anyone’s been talking about for the last few days people grumbling about how the media uh you know over sensationalizing the uh the Heat and everything tell me uh where you are at this precise moment and what is the heat like for you so I’m in the flat in our house and um I haven’t actually had to go out much the last couple of days so it’s not been too bad it’s the whole keep your curtains closed you know don’t open Windows if it’s hotter outside than inside all that but I had to go to the post office this afternoon and I yeah it was not a pleasant experience I feel very sorry for anyone who’s had to work in a non-air-conditioned environment um I thought they were making a bit of a fuss to be honest but boy yeah it was it was toasty and then I got to the post office and um no collections all collections have been canceled so I guess Royal Mail were like so flipping hot for our drivers so you’re just gonna have to wait till tomorrow yeah taking full precautions to uh well I mean imagine I I’ve said to one or two people imagine getting stuck on a Motorway or stuck on a tube in those heat in those temperatures you know I mean I know I know it’s a very different um kettle of fish that you’re in a nice air-conditioned hotel or whatever so I don’t want to Grumble about it but I’m very happy this is like two days or three days or whatever right okay well we’ve that’s our that’s our current uh what’s the words uh our current topics done and dusted out of the way I’m just trying to get myself I’ve been through three chatting about the weather the world would like to chat about the weather as well I’ve been fiddling around with my camera and I seem to be completely off skew so let me do this there you go I look a little bit better now this is a very professional I am completely unprofessional so let me welcome you along again Mr Smo thank you for being here it is a pleasure to have you along um Mo Jones uh is your uh as you were known way before you became mystery Smo now I’ll do a very brief intro as to what’s been going down uh on the off chance that we have some of your friends who are watching or anyone that may pick up the stream at some point in the future um about 12 months or so ago I started talking to friends of mine from Birmingham discussing uh escapades in the Second City uh pretty much selfishly trying to piece together all of the uh venues that we were going to the dates the uh you know the years and so on and so forth and we slowly started to build up uh you know a quite a a good timeline of everything that went down in Birmingham along the way I’ve spoken to people from the house scene from the jazz funk soul scene as well and uh our histories go back to the early days uh the early 90s uh I’m pretty certain we would have met maybe at Marco Polo’s which at some point we will get to in your story but I I believe we need to hear a little bit more about yourself before we we get to that part how you became a ditty joke so uh even though it’s Brahm as [ __ ] uh I happen to know that you’re not Birmingham born and bred so do tell us all about that so yeah I wonder at what point you gain your official certificate for Citizens there for like City status but I um I didn’t move to Birmingham until I was probably just turned 19 after um after doing a levels I came here to go to university in 92. and um and really yeah so I’ve been in a few places before then but I think a little stint in Essex is what really kind of as stuck with me like this bit of a London twang so uh even though I’ve been here way more than half my life I haven’t quite succumbed to the grummy um accent it depends what I’m talking to actually but um you know what you’re like when you’re on the phone to a posh person I can do quite a good Posh and um if I ever meet any cockneys that’s brilliant because then it’s like cut me all the way um but yeah on a very brummy Day there might be a bit of a bummy twang that slips in but um but yeah so yes I’ve finished since I was uh 18. okay well before before we jump before we jump with both feet into the Birmingham story tell us about life before Birmingham uh how you uh became immersed in the music scene it’s you know something that automatically Springs to mind that thinks you know this is who I am this is how I became who I am life on the streets of the big bad town that you were brought up part of the Catalyst I think so um I think I was 12 but Mum and Dad pulled me out of um Essex I’d already done two terms at my senior school um and and as everyone knows that point in which you go to secondary school and you make all your buddies and you get your little clicks sorted out and all the rest of it that was really um that had gone well and then mum and dad were like we’re off now to the Sleepy uh Countryside so there I am I landed this lanky Essex Misfit into this sleepy Salisbury School um but it was great you know it was fine I it’s not really much to report from that area but I’ve always been very organized I organized assets from levers um do big sort of Black Tie gig in the uh in the Guild Hall in Salisbury and at that time my boyfriend had a um his business was called Party Zone and he had like a human Gyros though he had like those crazy Venus fly traps you know he put the velcro suit on and kind of run up and stick yourself to the to the wall so I had some kind of good um people around me anyway in in that kind of vein and then um when I was 17 um I part managed to pass my driving test really quickly so I have a September birthday so I’m old for my year so by November I was that desperate to be able to get him this is like a village where the last bus goes home at nine o’clock you know so by the time I was 17 it was like I’m gonna take as many driving lessons as I can and get my driving test so so by November that was it and so um so that story was a friend was like oh can you drive us to this Rave you know and I’m like oh what’s a rave and uh and so I kind of went to this about it with like zero expectations didn’t really know about the music didn’t really know about DJs none of that so you’re talking around about 1990 then yeah rough Maps now I don’t know why remember where we’ve got to in the story but I don’t know why whether you have said this in the past or I got the idea in my head I envisage the uh the the comedy show is it is it this country you know with the the guy and the girl in the little village and I couldn’t I could picture you in that kind of scene you’ve never drew reference to that right don’t think so but sleepy little town just going about doing what you can to keep yourself entertained okay so you you got the car and you you went off you were you were designated driver and that was it and that was it that was so so that was like you say that was 1990. um you know and it was it was like I I suddenly kind of you know everybody can remember their first wave you know the first experiences that they had and um and for me it was just it was a complete turning point and I can remember like the local Labs turning up to when this thing kicked out you know it was only like I don’t know 20 minutes driveway or something and all being like oh right not so pretty proper now are we you know look at all you little sweaty and whatever and it was just like wow that was absolutely brilliant and um and I think I’ve always had this kind of you know just there’s no reason not to do things is my attitude there’s no reason not to do stuff just give it a go you know and um and I can’t really remember what the next song was but I think I went to quite a quite a few of the sort of big legal rows in 1990 we worked at Fantasia summer time okay so I was doing the human gyroscope there so people like putting people in absolutely muffed and kind of getting them getting their legs strapped in and kind of pushing them around it wasn’t a sit down one it was like three rings where you literally um stand up in this thing I mean it was it was amazing it was an amazing bit of Kit um so we were at Fantasia at summertime uh which was like a legendary Rave now you know it’s down down in history and um and it was kind of food going to those roads I think at Dreamscape in um I think it was Exeter um I met a guy called Phil strawberry and it feels strawberry ever watches any of these videos or anything I would so love to hear from I found some letters from him the other day and this is another thing about kind of modern um culture or whatever like I he literally drew me pictures and sent letters and I’m sure there was obviously reciprocal letters going the other way and I kind of found all these in a box in my loft not so long ago and it’s just what a precious precious thing they have these amazing letters from A like Rave buddy you know Rave buddy for years but um it was him that was like you know there’s another side tool this mode there’s like the free party scene and he took me to my first or told me about the first spiral tribe um party and that was a Camden roundhouse when it was a squat so they’d squatted it and then New Year’s Eve 91 they put on a party there it was like a week-long party I think and we ended up going to that and that was sort of even even better even more Next Level you know it was so underground and so special and like nobody knew this [ __ ] was going on it was just it was like it was like a magical moment in time great that’s the beauty of it it was so underground and when you look back you know the explosion of it all it’s very difficult so uh again forgive me for uh just putting a pause in the conversation I tried to make this as interactive as I can we have people watching we get a lot of people coming back and checking that recording I’ve got a gentleman here stug says Telmo I’ll marry her to give her the brummy green card so I just did it tell us dog it’s a deal there you go fantastic lovely lovely welcome along stuck thank you for the comment thanks for watching um okay so well and truly immersed and uh I mean I know this because I’ve heard another interview in the past tell us how you actually did academically oh I’m a bit of a swap really um I’m one of those annoying people like I just when I when I went to University so go back a bit when I was at school doing my a levels I was a bit of a mess I’ve been dumped by my boyfriend of like four years he started seeing one of my mates and it was just it was all when this kind of free party thing was kicking off and I was out every weekend you know whatever that and um my dear art teacher did I live with my dear art teacher took me to one side and she was like no you’re an absolute mess you know you’ve lost loads of weight you look a wreck you know you’ve fallen asleep in your classes on Mondays and Tuesdays you know you’ve got to sort this out because if you don’t craft your availables you’re not going to get out of here and you’re going to be stuck in Sleepy town and actually you’re the next thing for you is to is to get yourself off to University and then and then your whole kind of life is ahead of you once more and she was she was totally right and um and that’s why I kind of stopped raving for a little bit because I was just like you know I need to sort this out I need to I need to spend six months really focusing and sort of buy my ticket out of Salisbury and um and that’s what I did so for so for a good few months in the summer of 92 I’d kind of I’d kind of put paid to everything and that’s why I missed Castle Morton I could remember like my dad used to get the Sunday Times or some one of the big um papers and um I can remember coming down on a Sunday morning and like on the the whole of the front page of the Sunday whatever um was it was an aerial photo Castle Morton it was like no have you seen the some of the footage of the TV interviews the local news crews talking to the locals down there right right right no I haven’t actually it’s hysterical there’s so much footage on there and I uh just a few months ago finished reading the the book dreaming in yellow the the DIY guys yeah yeah yeah I’ve been meaning to check that out actually it’s really really good book and they of course they document that very heavily and a lot of the things that went on um you would read it you would really like it there’s I’m going to read that a whole heap of um Works surrounding you know the as you say sleepy tan and the Rave culture the end are really burgeoning underground scene uh but anyway that’s a different conversation uh for a different time so you got your head down and uh you it all came good for you yeah yeah so I started my ticket to Birmingham um and then when I landed in 92 [Music] um I didn’t really have to do much work because I picked a course where you had it was like an introductory course but I’d already done math physics a level so I was like well that’s a year that I don’t need to pay too much attention so that was brilliant that was a good bit of planning and um but because it’s an engineering degree there was a lot of hours like I can’t imagine these kids now that are doing like history or English and there’s like a couple of contact hours and the rest of your time you’ve got to motivate yourself and you know get yourself to the library or whatever I mean when you’re doing an engineering degree and it’s and it’s I think it’s 25 hours a week or whatever I just I can’t skip this I’ve got to do it because otherwise I’m you know I’m not my purpose here is to actually you know do this degree and whatever so um so I just went to all my lectures you know I might have been a bit tired bit jaded from the weekend but I just decided you know I’m gonna I’m gonna do this uh you didn’t actually you didn’t actually share uh uh the story about how you decided upon Birmingham oh you know it’s so funny isn’t it I mean I see the kids now like making these decisions about where they’re going to go to university and they’re so sensible they’re so like you know they look at the course content and what happens in year two and you know what opportunities this all leads to well I when you’re when you’re choosing I don’t know if it’s still five but at the time you you could choose like five universities that might be where you go to and so I drew a like two hour radius around where we lived I didn’t want to be more than two hours away and um I think it was Cardiff Swansea wedding and I just you know I had my little car and I drove myself up to Birmingham you know there’s no no thing about parents coming with you in those days it was like why would they you know I’m going off and exploring and seeing if this kind of makes sense and um and I just got to Burnham Birmingham University is beautiful anyway it’s a drop of red brick campus um uni and Stelio slash Ed bastard and it’s quite awe-inspiring you know you kind of get there and and there’s this beautiful like Courtyard and Old Joe the clock and the campus is wonderful and in it just there was no real Grime or Reason actually and it just felt good just felt like you know that there’s something intangible about this but but it feels good and that was my that was my number one um Choice then so it all worked out hurry wonderful so then um your earliest memories of arriving in Birmingham uh maybe you will have names that you can pull off the top of your head were there people that immediately were like right okay you’re my You’re My Tribe now and this is what we’re doing or did it take you a little while to to to to jail it didn’t take long it didn’t take long it’s funny because I think um when you’re a bunch of 18 19 year olds and you all land I mean I was in Maple bank which is still there and um so it was self-catered flat so there was five girls on the floor with a shared kitchen and um one of the girls was a lesbian so she was like right come on let’s go to the gay night at The Guild which is brilliant it’s a you know great fine no problem with that and through her I met a gay lad and then he lived in a flat with someone who smoked a bit you know okay so we’ve been within a few days it was like hey hi you know and we became friends um and then he knew someone who knew someone and all the rest of it but um I think my real in actually rather than rather than these silly first years that don’t really count was um our um precious ball um SL2 played in the in the Deadpool which was amazing I mean there’s a there’s an act there’s a um exhibition on at the moment actually and it’s on until October if you can get down to Birmingham University it’s the Bramble music building so if you’re looking like at the Great Hall you know the Crescent of building it’s on the left there and Jess Collins has pulled this together and it’s absolutely brilliant and it’s a history of Music at the University it’s like a collage and like a montage on the wall kind of thing you don’t have to pay to go in and just wander in there you can get yourself a coffee uh while we were there but it’s it’s that it’s like it’s this amazing cultural music history that’s kind of happened at Birmingham University you’d have thought you know birmingham’s not well known really for its sort of cultural um contributions or whatever um but anyway I digress loads of people have done amazing shows in the dev Hall and uh and so in 92 it was it was SL2 and there I was I think I had like little dreadlocks and undercar and my stripy trousers that I’ve made myself I thought I was obviously cool as [ __ ] and um Dancing Away dancing away and and and and and a second year security came over like based based employee students it’s like security um helpers kind of thing and she was like wow you know your your race you are do you want to like hang out with me and my friends and I was like ah and it turned out that was Lisa Bayless bless her and it was Lisa and John Hollis that ran and and cookie who ran crunch so really kind of you know a few weeks into being at University I was then sort of hobnobbing with the people that were running these amazing um club nights so it was just yeah I did I definitely that point I was like hey I’m in here you know this is brilliant and a lot of those people are still my friends now so you meant you mentioned crunch though crunch was already up and running um it was a wobble at this point right oh oh sorry at the venue before I bought at this point yeah yeah on on the every second Friday so you had Crunch and bubble I think I don’t know because you know I remember going there I think it was weekly but it might start at sport nightly but certainly by the time we were going regularly it was it was literally every Friday in the in the back of my mind um crunch was one Friday uh it was Fridays wasn’t it it was Friday it was Fridays yeah yeah crench was one week and then bubble was the other week and bubble was run by uh Matt uh other guys from Marcos I was a bubble resident I wasn’t around I wasn’t a crunch resident at the beginning but I did used to play a lot for crunch uh by the way how amazing just John Holly John Hollis look at the moment on Facebook particularly because he’s just put up a very um a very suntanned picture of himself but yeah fair play to him you know I mean he’s got a very um prolific like exercise regime and you can you can definitely tell so uh yeah he does he looks great well you you and I uh we’ll have a wry smile because we remember that’s not the John Hollis that we all know and love from oh he’s still completely Bonkers he won’t mind me saying so absolute absolutely not I mean how the man holds down a you know he’s got two beautiful children that he looks after and um and and earns a good wage is bloody clever really really clever guy I mean I’m not sure if he ever actually finished his degree but I think he was doing a physics Masters when I met him right so yeah right okay I love John because he could have been really famous really really famous I mean he could have been like up there it’s really famous kind of Danny Howells um people like that he if he put his mind to it but he could he just never could be after DJ could he not really he liked the idea of it when it actually came down to like you know practicing or um packing your bags and actually getting to a gig on time but we’re left to get John on and he can uh have a fair representation of himself and and give us the reason for it I love you John we love you John so let’s get let’s get back to uh the story so you you piggybacks with them and you mentioned at least you mentioned Lisa of course um so then you started going that Raven partying with them um had you picked up a pair of headphones at this point no so we um our first or foray into promoting was February 93 so we started in September and we were like we’re gonna put on a party and everyone was like oh that’s ridiculous you’re only a bunch of first years that’s never going to happen um and that party happened in February 93 and we did we did have help we had help from like Stu Hackett Nick Thompson they had like um so things that the guild you had to have a society and if you had a society then you could like use the guild buildings and stuff like that so we kind of pity backed off the back of their um society and we did a gig and that was Diggs and wush from DIY um and that was a sellout it was Berlin so it was the basement um venue it was 400 and it was absolutely brilliant it was such a good party like it was I think it’s because everyone had such low expectations you know a bunch of videos and then they kind of came and was like oh this is quite good so that that kind of that was the first thing and then at some point in that year something must have happened like um at some point that was where I’d gone to this guy Stew’s house he was dating a friend of mine um Sarah and um and he had decks and I was just like oh there’s a guy in the decks and just kind of started mixing and whatever and it just I just I just kind of got it I’m not really very musical I had violin lessons when I was a kid so I don’t know if that kind of helps um but I just yeah I was just like this is brilliant I like it I got myself some Decks that was it and I’ve got a flyer from 93 and I think it was a sunflower Lounge um and that was just djmo so that that I think that’s that’s my first flight from 93 yeah 93 so you you you make that throwaway comment I just got some dicks how does how does a student just get some dicks I don’t really all I know is that I I mean I had a bit of spare cash um when I was a student bizarrely and I can remember the guy that I got them secondhand I don’t even know if eBay was a thing then or how I’ve managed to get hold of them it’s the same it’s the same 12 10 as I’ve got now and the same Chef code of speakers that I’ve still got and that was 93 and I got them second hand and I’ve only serviced them once in that whole time and they’re still going I started going strong I’m not sure I’d want to take them out with her out to a club but you know absolutely yeah brilliant kit for a play so so you got on the decks um did you have to uh retrospectively buy lots of vinyl or had you been buying vinyl no no I hadn’t been but I hadn’t been buying vinyl at all so I think it was a I think it was a bit of a you know I think those early gigs turn up and I had my boards but I really didn’t have like a you know she’s praying the DJ before you didn’t play anything yeah the crowd was into what I was doing [Laughter] not very professional but good fun well how many of us were professional in the early days so 1993 you’re so you just uh 20 20 years of age yeah about 20 yeah um and then you got you you were bitten by the book as they say uh you know I don’t expect you to remember every single gig and every single person that you enter but uh you know just how did it progress from there I mean the thing the thing is I’ve never kind of been um like a professional DJ so I’ve never needed to do it for money and so it’s always been people kind of going oh do you fancy doing this gig you know what you know I’ve never really had to do the sort of brown-nosing thing which is brilliant you know um a lot of the time it was because I was quite convenient I didn’t you know just turn up do a good job don’t make a fuss so for two years I was resident at crunch on a Friday and we bought the decor business off Ian and so I used to go down there during the day and put all the decor up all the little balls and the little crunch logos and all the rest of it and then it was my job to take it down at six o’clock in the morning so for two years they gave me the graveyard shift I did four till six in the morning at crunch because I didn’t mind doing it because I had to be there at six anyway to take the blinking Decor down so that was that was amazing because then I had this when I was getting paid I had the graveyard shift so you can pretty much do what you want in the graveyard shift you know and um and it all kind of fits together and I think by doing that so frequently that’s when people started saying oh you know we might as well book mode because she’s people are people in Birmingham know and she doesn’t charge very much frankly well I think I just better as I’m sitting here listening I want to State something that’s painfully obvious to you and I but to anybody else that might know repeat what I’ve already said crunch was at the same venue that wobble used to be at wobble was a Birmingham institution every week and then um John Lee saying cookie I think the three promoters behind it yeah yeah and I I will admit I’m it’s quite sketchy as to um how often it was I can’t remember bubble may have been once a month it may have been once every three months who knows back then uh so so you were doing that and that was like uh with myself really my um I can pinpoint how momentum started to grow for myself at Marcos I guess the same would be for yourself at uh crunch yeah definitely and then and then kind of I’m not sure what point I started playing at slag I think that might have been 93.94 um and those boys because I I could work that out that’s going to be 94-ish because one summer I I had a house on the personal road and it was an amazing house for students used to call it the palace and um so I stayed there with my third year but I was doing a four-year degree so um all my friends buggered off after the three years and I was like I’m hanging on to this house come what makes is brilliant and that summer Pat and tap lived with me okay in that house so you know at that point it was I was all over um slag as well because you know I was in their ears every week when slag began at money pennies because I’ve had conversation with all of these people and it’s gone out of my head this is steering wheel era okay so it started at money pennies and then it moved on to steering yeah yeah yeah yeah okay right so that was it about this Andy so a friend of mine well cookie actually every time we um we go out Raven and then we come back and we obviously dissect the evening and have a good old chin work we have the same conversation was that then or was that then and we’ve decided at some point we need to do what we’ve pulled a dementia diary dementia so we actually write down now so if anyone’s got any ideas how to do this because everyone’s got different like Recollections of their evening haven’t they so if you can pinpoint the kind of dates by finding something on Facebook or whatever and then the idea is that everyone can throw a few photographs in and write their own kind of feedback about those nights and how absolutely brilliant a kind of piece of um you know collaborative journalism that would actually end up being you know a particular night of flashback or particular night of crunching and sort of actually get it all in the right chronological order and the right the right people involved and just really like I say like a proper collaborative piece of work so that we can fill all these gaps in so we’re not every time we talk about this we’re not scratching our heads trying to work out what was what well I’ve been attempting to do that over the last 12 months and we’re still no clips but what I always say every time when I had these conversations I have no notes I have no set questions I like it to be as relaxed as possible and sometimes that means that there isn’t a great deal of instruction we we get no closer to pinpointing down actual facts and statistics but it makes it all the more fun um okay so patterns hat uh legendary on the scene again we we uh we you know we lost Pat and again because I heard this story um it was Pat who suggested uh your DJ name right yeah yeah yeah yeah so I was just DJ Mo um I’ve never been one for like glamorous attire as you can tell um and I just used to rock up to slag I was DJ Mo I used to wear my jeans and my t-shirt whatever and they were like hang on a minute there were literally no female DJs at this point 93.94 none you know I think angel heaven so maybe there was a couple but not many and um and they were like you know you’re you’re kind of our resident and yet if you look at a flyer people can’t work out whether you’re a bloke or a girl and then even when they turn up frankly they can’t it’s hard to tell which is true which is true it’s fine I can take it um so Pat was like I don’t know I don’t know if it was Power Attack that came up with the idea but they were like right from now on you’ll miss your snow so that it’s very obvious that you’re female um and really could you make a bit of an effort with your with your outfits and stuff uh so I took myself off and I got the kind of I got a rubber dress and I’ve got some leather gear and I’ve got some silly platform by my boots I’ve still got up and a lot um and I kind of really went to town with it and actually it was really good fun and especially it’s lag because it really worked you know it was silly wearing that kind of stuff to crunch because crunch is about crunches are serious right if you know you went there to party hard and sweat and all the rest of it but a sag it was definitely a more dressy crowd and then you had like Twiggy and Chrissy darling on the door you know I had to be careful to make sure I didn’t end up looking like I was in drag but um but yeah so for a while for a while that was the that was the look you know and that was the name and then by the time I kind of thought you know what I don’t really like Mystery Spot it’s a bit cheesy it was way too late and actually and I can remember but I I did phone you I’m pretty sure I phoned you and I was like you know as a sort of established reputable name on the scene like might have been when we were doing the Bad and the Ugly or something like that and it’s just like oh Andy I think I think I’ve messed up a bit here I’m gonna I’m gonna change my name um and I was going to be motion that was it motion it doesn’t really work because of the T in motion motion um and you were like nah sorry too late stuck now stick with it you’ve got it yeah again I remember hearing you you tell that story uh and I thought oh it’s nice to have had a little bit of input at all but nice to have been asked an opinion anyway so the uh I don’t remember that part of the um the uh what’s the word I’m looking for the metamorphosis into you know the the the leather gear and the all of that I I really don’t remember that at all it did didn’t last that long to be honest I mean I’ve got photos I mean there’s a photo board behind me that I can’t see the detail on but um my dear business partner Jimmy made that for me many years ago and there’s a few photos and there’s a photo of Lewis Osborne actually trying to get his backside into my rubber dress in a hotel in Ipswich of all places but um then Crunch and flag did a joint New Year’s Eve party at the Centennial Center it was an amazing party and I think flashback hosted the front room and crunch and slack kind of did the the main back room um I say back room but it was at the back um and and I think that was one of the last outings because we left and it had been um it’s been really cold and just trying to get down the slope out from the centennials and it was like you know you could drive up on a car and sort of down the other side and it was literally I’m gonna have to slide down this on my backside because my boots were so skinny and then trying to walk back to someone’s house down on the Hagley Road or whatever it’s just that nah this is this is not this is not it it’s not me and it’s not happening it’s really not very convenient okay I think I think we got a little bit ahead of ourselves there because you mentioned flashback uh that you you were hosting one of the rooms there we need to know how how flashback came about you know because clearly you were starting to gain momentum as a DJ playing at um cringe and slag at this point were you traveling more out of Birmingham did you feel like you were getting a reputation and you could because it was all about bringing people with you to different parties wasn’t it yeah totally you know I mean you know as I can be back in those days like everybody knew everybody didn’t they and it’s kind of like even though the sort of money pennies and Baker’s crowd was very separate they had their thing going on with total respect for that you know they’re the kind of dressy crowd and whatever and it was just like um it was kind of like everyone supported everybody else in in that club scene at the time um but I didn’t really start playing out of Birmingham much I think I did like passion in Colville and they’re slightly like further afield but then in 97 I did the gift from the Gods tour and that was like all female DJ tour and um Lisa lashes on that uh Miss bisto who I’ve subsequently realized is Clara de Costa who’s resident at dc10 and Ibiza doing smashing it up amazing um and that was when we really started to go um National because um we were sponsored by Aussie hair care it was absolutely it was wonderful so you know someone would book two or three or four of us and because we were all girls we had to get a hotel room that was part of the deal uh so you drive somewhere stay in a nice hotel do your set get smashed have fun and drive back the next day you know what’s um what’s not to like so yeah I got to see it I got got to see a lot more um of the country at least doing that we did a couple other jerseys we had to fly to Jersey that was exciting to fly to Aberdeen well in all of this talk uh of you becoming a DJ you going to the venues um I think it’s important for me to state that I’ve always perceived you as a very um serious music person you know the other DJs are quite um I don’t know how I can say it without sounding like I’m being derogatory but you were very much always about the music focused on the music you took your music seriously the music that you shared it wasn’t throwaway music um and you always had that pride in the in the music you play so tell us if you can how you perceive your music to have been back then you know the not any names of Records but just the vibe you were looking to to portray as a DJ yeah I mean I somewhere in the middle I like to play kind of because I’m always an old school DJ as well I like to play recognizable um tunes that aren’t the big anthems you know because it’s like you know when you hear those Tunes you’re like oh that’s dull you know I’ve heard that a thousand times before and and and so that’s it so it’s always been a bit of a mixture of kind of quite underground stuff and then a good few well-known Tunes because even now like I go to um drum and bass waves and I know you know it’s all about having the latest tunes and this and that but actually sometimes you just you know in an hour-long set you just want a few of those ones where you’re like oh yeah I know this one this is my favorite kind of thing and that’s and that’s kind of always been my my attitude to it and even when I play now I like to sit and zero those in but because it’s not the anthems up here it’s the sort of possibly the slightly better known Tunes here people like oh my God I haven’t heard this out for like ages um sorry talk you know when you’re from the era you will have a recognition a recollection sorry of the tunes that were big on the circuit that aren’t necessarily all of the anthem so it will be a huge soon but it’s not one that you’ve gone ahead make it onto a Ministry compilation CD and what I was trying to you get from the back of my brownies you weren’t a handbag house DJ ever and there were a lot of handbag Heights DJs around for a while weren’t there yeah I suppose so I suppose it but you know to be fair there was a time really and it’s kind of that crunch sag here with that you know there was a lot of um I suppose it was like the early sort of speed garage kind of sound wasn’t it you know um if I look through my collection there’s probably more of those in there okay so I’m putting too much respect on your name all right so I’ve just undone all that good I don’t know yeah I’m the only one or two that’s it okay I’ll give you that uh we’re getting a message uh Mo used to look after the selling of uh Sweat tickets way back when and they say hello that’s from the sweat Funk Club we will get on to talking about the tickets very soon so flashback how did it come how did it all start how did it come about we went back to that party in 93 The Guild um that kind of went very well but it was a bit of a one-off you know everyone kind of got a bit serious about their studies after that and then I bumped into I met Jimmy my very long-standing um business partner in that was later on in 93 actually his brother was at the University and his brother was friends with Stu Hackett and Nick Thompson and the people have kind of helped us through this um party and um you say Jimmy do I know Jimmy you I mean Jimmy and Jimmy were like the thing for a long time you know Mom and Jimmy used to run flashback blah blah I mean I mean I love Jimmy to bits but he he’s very much not involved in the scene anymore you know he’s he’s a he’s got a beautiful wife and Jimmy I just I just think it’s not it’s not Jimmy Hill is it it’s not Jimmy Hill that’s why I was thinking this wasn’t you made the gym it’s yeah I mean I mean the thing is it’s kind of if you speak to people from back in the day Moe and Jimmy were like this kind of partnership we um we started flashback we had old school days we started to get sellers together you know and we’re still you know he was here today chatting about this and that so um I’m very lucky to have someone so close for so many years um and we’ve I don’t think we’ve ever really fallen out um so he’s like my brother from another mother to be honest you know just the total respect and Trust there which is lovely I will extend my respect to Jimmy my apologies Jimmy if you’re sure if you’re going what are the it’s me to me so forgive me the old brain’s a little bad so okay Mom I’ll shut up continue with your story oh that’s all good so I think it took until 96 actually but it was Jimmy’s idea right um you know it seems a bit ridiculous doesn’t it to start an old school hardcore night in 96. um but we but you’d have that little guy four years um between sort of 90 and 92 and Jimmy was just like you know raving it kind of got just completely cut out didn’t it by the um criminal justice act so all the free parties disappeared overnight all the big Raves kind of um sort of turned in on themselves or whatever and he was like I think we should play this music and so we did another well we did the first flashback at the University in I think it was October 1996 and it was me it was topped tots quite a famous DJ in her own right now Simon M and um do we have a headliner I don’t even know if we had a headliner you know but again we did the guild but this time we did the um upstairs venue and and it was absolutely it was a sellout it was fantastic it was a lovely day I was still in touch with the guy with the party stuff so the gyroscope was um outside in mermaid square and I was Birmingham you will know there’s like a courtyard bit in the middle of the guild um and we had the gyroscope out there before they knew what happened like the doors were open and and people were dancing on on on statues and stuff and it was just it just it just went off completely so you know the first flashback was was one of the probably one of the best events you know it was great um and then I graduated in 96 so um we then needed to find some willing students that were prepared like I said you can’t do an event unless you’re like a society or something so we then have to find some willing students to pick up the mantle for us so Pat Sweeney Danny fee Paul Ivory thank you very much because they kind of gave us they bought us that extra year by sort of fronting flashback and so we were at the University again and then the university found out that you know we were basically in charge but not students anymore and they were like see you later but it’s funny isn’t it and it happens so often in life that um something that happens that you think is really bad and ends up being good it’s the start of the next phase isn’t it you know and they kicked us out and we were like [ __ ] what we’re gonna do this is too good to kind of Let It Go um we didn’t have any money at that time at all um and so we that’s when we approached Crunch and we were like you know how about you know every now and again letting us um letting us host the upstairs room I think the first flashlight crunch was in 97. okay and were you and was you just yourself as residents or were you you still bringing in the headliners well here’s a funny story was born don’t you I was uh chatting away with him at mostly uh uh jazz festival last weekend and he said did you know that you’ve got them I mean Louis Osborne’s like pretty famous right he said but do you know you had the most exclusive booking because you are the only person to have ever booked DJ hardcore rushed so hardcore Rush was his like you know it’s hardcore DJ uh name so he he played from flashback I’m not sure if it was more than once certainly once um but now we were starting to we were starting to sort of bring some bigger names and then DJ sire played um we had some of the really old like key suckling people like that Robbie d uh MCM for us so yeah we were slowly because we had more budget by then um we were sort of bringing in some of the bigger um bigger names so this was in 96 97 for crunch so where was that at still at branston’s still at branston’s and we had the upstairs room and so what used to happen it was it was monthly for ages and so what used to happen was all the flashbacks as you turn up and they’d be pinned downstairs because the club didn’t want upstairs open until there was enough people that both floors looked good so you’d have all these like hardcore fans sitting downstairs like come on come on and so we’d sometimes open at one or two in the morning and then run through till six right um upstairs I think I found a poster um recently and it was yeah I think it was like me one till half two or something like that Glenn Aston and then Mickey Finn during the last sort of hour and a half but it was ridiculous at times especially after it got successful because it was so rammed up there and I can remember that I remember Groove Rider playing there and the whole floor just you know it was wobbled for a reason right and uh and just thinking Christ there’s too many people here if this floor goes through that’s gonna be a nightmare but thankfully the floor never did go free so we’re all good amazing so you created created a big name for yourselves in Birmingham uh it’s fascinating listening to it because as I say by this time myself I was uh you know already busy doing many things myself my music at our music began very similarly you know in the early 90s but by 97 I was well and truly down there American uh and UK Software House scene so you wouldn’t have saw me at a flashback you know because I was doing my own things so it’s really interesting to uh hear you telling about these dates because I would have thought it was a lot earlier um but but still uh when did you do Marco’s Andy when was your we I began DJing at Marco’s um around 92 I started playing there and then I went through all the way was it mornings or evenings I used to do the mornings and then I took over for the Sunday evenings right I can’t remember when I even took I think it was about 95 or 96 I took over the Sunday evenings and we used to go through and until it closed which I think was 2 000 something like that no I remember actually Andy Ward Sunday nights definitely but um so obviously because we were Fridays we were all piling into Marco’s on a Saturday morning so a bit a bit different from the kind of money pennies and and whatever crowd who were all piling there on a Sunday morning I mean God knows what they must have used to think in there I do not know I mean we’re Pile in there all of our Cups of Tea everyone’s will be twitching a little bit and staring at each other and then the bar would open it like I don’t know something ridiculous like 10 o’clock they’re never gonna be out on the plane smooth brilliant the good old days the innocent days of the Second City um so you mentioned you mentioned uh about a record store in in amongst all of that history um when did that begin so we signed the lease on the shot in April 98. and it come about because we’d flashbacker got pretty big by then we started doing I think the first Q Club gig was 98 as well and um and so it was it was becoming quite an operation you know we had ticket agents all around the country that needed tickets and posters and flyers and we drive drive dive and and you know we needed a base basically and we found because Celio was our place really you know I’d been a student there and Jimmy had lived there for a long time and um we employed the services of the prince’s youth trust and staff Birmingham Enterprise engine so they’d helped us find the premises and so we had this little tiny shop um that used to be a solicitor’s office I was literally just you opened the front door and there was a room on the higher Street um opposite where the where the Aldi is now in cellio and um so we had that as a ticket uh office for a while and then uh it was Jimmy’s business actually he started flashback vinyl finder so off the off the name you know we were like okay let’s do that and so he used to sort of drive around and um buy up Old School record collections so we wouldn’t we never had new stuff it was always um sort of potluck old school but I mean he did really well of it to be fair by the end we had a lot of Records in there I made a lot of regular customers and I have to give so much respect because people now like message me on Facebook or whatever and they’re like oh I used to come into your shop every Saturday and I had this and like that and it was like you know when you’re doing it you kind of forget I mean you you know Andy what it’s like going Michael shopping was like a it was like a religion wasn’t it it was like you know you’ve got to find memories I’ve got fond memories of the store because it was part of my little um what started off as tapes then moved on to CD brute and I used to sell a few tapes and CDs allegedly because it’s not legal in your store back in the day you know uh and a few tickets for the the coach trips that we used to do for Marco’s as well so it was a very well respected shop uh and an important Hub on the circuit I mean it was really nice because we had sort of flashback on flashback was going really well we almost had like instant trust with people because people kind of knew us through through that and because we’d always taken flashback quite seriously and we had you know come 98 we had um we had amazing business partners in in Gerald Bailey and and Danny ma from um Atomic Jam so I think that kind of you know like we talked about everyone had known everyone for years and years anyway and then it was that kind of Next Level thing oh you’re now doing parties at the Q club and stuff and um so it was an easy it was an easy sell to people you know God’s kitchen was massive in Birmingham then gate Crusher um even some essential bless matters you know um it was it was easy to say to them we need to sell your tickets because because we had that trusted you know that trusted Vibe going on would you in this conversation you’ve mentioned some real pretty big hitters um we won’t we won’t dwell on the specific names per se but you know you can reoloft so many of those institutions so many of those DJs who actually went on to and it’s not a it’s not an exaggeration world domination right you know some of the DJs I started off with at Marco Polo is a millionaires now it’s ridiculous I know where I went right but I wouldn’t change it for the world would you change anything for the world so my my equivalent of this story was um uh Lisa lashes so we we were kind of on about the same level about 96 something like that and then and then I watched her career just those stratospheric and I and I used to look at that and I think where have I gone wrong you know why am I not getting so many bookings but I had the I had flashback I had the Record Shop we had the ticketing fledgling ticketing business and it’s like if you’re going to be that um you know if you’re going to be that major of a star it has to be your your true Focus you can’t mess about with this once you’ve got there then you can kind of delve into the other the other bits and pieces and I think when I look at it now and and you know I’ve been in touch with Lisa recently on LinkedIn you know that we’re professional now and she’s doing brilliant stuff and she’s got all sorts of business things going on and total respect to her for that but you know at that times late 90s mid to late 90s she must have been entirely 100 focused on focused career you know many things every weekend and it’s funny it was it was it was our friend who taught her how to DJ Cool crazy you know it’s mental um so I’m not doing this anymore I’m just respectful I just think that’s yeah totally I’m I have nothing but the utmost admiration and respect for the for you know some of the guys who have gone on to hugees I mean I haven’t got a problem I’m thinking of you know Steve Lawler puts DJing side by side with him for years look at him now no Steve from slack yeah it’s mental uh hi Audrey thank you for listening uh thank you for watching and just say hello there just giving us a smiley face so the the shop old school days um you you do doing big things there um relatively speaking so to speak and then you talked about the the ticketing and with the um the Advent and the rapid rise of Technology uh who’s who was the one with the finger on the pulse in in that aspect well sadly neither of us old dinosaurs I mean it’s it’s still quite funny now to think that we’ve we’ve grown this like massive company wow it’s not massive but you know it’s it’s pretty it’s some big numbers um but it is it’s absolutely a technology company now you know we don’t so just give us the um total idiots guide of what the idea you had what it became you know we don’t know anything so tell us all about it so we started selling tickets in our little shop as you know there was like the Depot in town and it was awesome and every every city or every town kind of had a hub didn’t it as I have a record store or hairdressers or Hackman or somewhere like that somewhere where you could go to get your Rave information and it’s so difficult to comprehend now because we’ve got the internet and you can find anything you want and you get loads of spammy emails telling you about stuff but back then you had to kind of dig didn’t you had to you had to be proactive in finding out where these parties were happening and what parties you wanted to um to go to and so you know we we got to a point where we didn’t want to drive around anymore we didn’t you know it was it was a it was a long haul going to Manchester to collect ticket money or Exeter or somewhere like that and so we were like you know why don’t we just take phone orders and so we started off taking phone orders and doing like customer not present um transactions and and we do these things and and literally someone would phone and you write all their details in a carbon copy book you know ridiculous and then hang up and then you’d go and put the details into the switch machine and it would puke out a little receipt for you and then and then we would type the details into a Word document and at the end of the week we’d fax that document to whichever um whichever Club it was and so you know here’s your here’s your list of ticket buyers for tonight and it was it was really it worked you know it was it now you look at it you just think that’s that’s a Madness but anybody anybody in gdpr would be like twitching full credit card number the whole shebang I’ve just got a [ __ ] of paper in the office brilliant um so obviously getting a website was the obvious thing to to do um and but again at the time we didn’t I kind of kicked my I don’t have many regrets in life I kicked myself at that point we didn’t say right let’s get some serious money let’s really properly get funded and do this properly instead we did our usual thing which is do it on the cheap paid some student to to build a website for us that um ended up sort of crumbling years later but you know you learn these lessons the hard way don’t you and and you know we we’ve managed on that and our student built website for a long time and and like you say because we had that sort of trust and and all the rest of it we had loads of good organizers selling their tickets with us and it was really really good so what was the name what was the name of the uh the organization you set up and that first website this online presence needs to be it’s not old school days old school days is the Record Shop really um you know what do we do and and again I’ll give credit to Jimmy because he did come up with the name the ticket Sellers and it’s like you might as well just be obvious about what you’re doing you know um did you get the idea of the blueprint from anyone else or can you say no we stamped our identity on this you know we were there we were there first no one else no one else was doing it then I mean even Skittle who are massive now was launched in 2001 so it really you know I would imagine at that point the big guys maybe Ticket Master C tickets they were probably doing some kind of like electronic ticketing by then but it was a very New Concept and we used to do codes we didn’t do barcodes we did code so we text you a three-digit code it’s really simple and people go I can guess a three-digit code but it’s like when you got to the door so you’d have your whole list 101 102 103. and so you’d be like oh 103 what’s your name so if you guessed it you wouldn’t know the name it was it was against it kind of thing so it was really simple but really effective um but you know many many um years later we did realize if we’re going to really smash this we need a tech person and and we tried several times tech people are very expensive and again probably tried to cut corners and and had a few rather disastrous technical um leads and until we we found our current um he’s now CEO of the business so it’s obviously done very well um but Phil who came to work for us as technical manager probably in 2014 and he had the proper eye for like I can see where you’re doing it all wrong I can see what you need to do I mean we have this like ridiculous old um hairy horrible website that needed upgrading and you know we’d had it we’d had a quote from a um a sort of uh you know a third-party website Building Company for half a million quid to rebuild this website and it was just like wow and he was like no you don’t need to do that we’ll take a pragmatic approach we’ll kind of rebuild it bit by bit this that and the other end and um and actually it was that it was the addition of a proper technical head into the business that really kind of has given us the you know the ability to get to where we are now brilliant um without going into too much detail and being too specific in the early days before you are the super slick organization that you are now are there any occasions that immediately spring to mind where the [ __ ] really hit the fan and you’d make the complete balls up oh Jimmy’s gonna kill me for saying this one but uh Mark Lambert as well if you’re watching I’m really sorry about this but we um so we’re getting this e-ticketing business so and it’s and again it’s really hard to imagine and I don’t know what year this would have been maybe 2008 2009 we used to have a little thing called a zorus and it was like a little mobile computer thing and that we used to we used to have that with um with a with a battery and a battery is called a dog came back in it’s a powering like cameras and things like that so the whole thing was portable and you and when you have these things put together and you put them in your in your backpack with a pair of Aerials and then we have these um what were the little device like a Hewlett-Packard PDA thing because this is this is before phones were as clever as phones are you know so these little PDA things would talk to the to the server in the backpack you know and um and we sent Jimmy who is not very technically minded down to do a hardcore till I die event I think it was in Birmingham I’ve got a feeling it was at the warehouse or something like that and literally the tech did not work and I think I I don’t even know if it was him or if it was the Turk or whatever but it was just like you know you have to go to the promoter and go we can’t scan anyone it’s not working we’re just gonna have to protect most of the time because people think you know if you can print your ticket at home you’re pretty confident it’s going to get checked right so you don’t turn up with 10 in your pocket you just bring your ticket and then you go so maybe that night a few people flagged it in maybe they didn’t I don’t know but all I know is like from a from a technical nightmare perspective Jimmy still I think has flashbacks about that and not in a good way literally literally flashbacks so uh here we are in 2022 things are going great guns um have you have you uh Diversified within the business yeah totally I mean we you know in lockdown we were so busy you know we furloughed most of our staff but then from the customer service side we had to like we had to give people overtime because you know being honest I know things have been very difficult this year and like we’re not getting back to people as quickly as we should on emails and stuff but I’ve got I’ve got to ask people for a little bit of a buy here because it’s so difficult you know we’ve got some events happening now where people bought their tickets nearly three years ago you know and that we if people were on installment plans and we stop the installment plans and then we started them again and and all the rest of it so um you know it has been very um it has been very tricky but I forgot the original question sorry I just said if you diversify within tickets that’s it yeah so we were like you know we’d like to have started to do online events and stuff like that a lot of people are kind of pivoting their business weren’t they but we just we were so busy just dealing with all the rollovers and refunds and stuff from our existing customers that we didn’t really have time to do that but the key diversification for Ticket Sellers and the reason I think that we’re doing as well as we are is because we found our Niche and our niches that um back in 2008 we persuaded Shambhala who are very like green focused very sustainability um LED Festival an amazing the blueprint in how to run an event actually um we’ve persuaded them to stop sending out paper tickets it’s such a pain in the backside you know you’d have to send in recorded delivery and people wouldn’t sign for them and um anyway so we moved them on to this like e-ticketing thing and then they kind of came to us and they said well look can’t remember what the percentage was at the time it’s like we’re selling 7 000 tickets say there’s 2 000 people that make this event happen you know the workshop leaders the fencing contractors the medical staff blah blah can you build something that helps us manage all of those people and we were like oh okay fair enough and so alongside ticket sellers grew this other platform called inventory that you probably won’t have heard of but eventually is um an accreditation platform so that if you’re running um it doesn’t even need to be that large scale an event but instead of constant like so you’ve got three people working in your office and they’re all sending people emails it’s all done through this thing so that if someone’s off sick or someone leaves the company you can see and you can make a kind of template email for your volunteers say and that’s different to say your Traders so when you’re sending out tickets to them they’re getting the right information it’s got health and safety stuff on it now that you might have to do a health and safety briefing before you can download your ticket um so this is like you know we’re doing the secret garden party next weekend I don’t know how many thousands of crew they’ve got but many thousands of people on this system from guest lists to volunteers to traders to to you know crew um and it’s a very complicated bit of software um but we this year it’s been brilliant um I mean we’ve used it a download Isle of Wight Festival Park life right so we are we’re we’re working out we’re working we’re working with some Big Boys sadly we’re not doing the tickets for some of those that’d be nice but you know you’ve got to get you’ve got to start somewhere wow that’s very very impressive indeed um you know 20 plus years on from where it all began um you know all very serious but let’s roll it back let’s take it back to what is I mean obviously you’ve got to pay the bills uh your beautiful young family to take care of but let’s get back to the important stuff the music and you know what what you what drives you um when did flashback initially start doing reunions yeah we we stopped in about the early 2000s we had a couple of then as now as any any event organizer knows and the scale obviously is very different from small club night as well to Major festivals but you know we used to the budgets for those shows used to be like 25 maybe 30 000 huge budgets you know and um and and you work so hard so hard and if you haven’t sold enough tickets it’s so depressing you’re opening the doors to this club and you know people come with with high expectations and obviously doing the queue Club it needed to be rammed because if it wasn’t rammed it wasn’t good so sometimes we’ve maybe not used the chapel if we hadn’t sold so well we’d sort of shift things around luckily at that venue we had options um but um you know I think the first proper reunion party was 2006 and we did a party at the customer what was that the last ever reunion did you say no don’t just asked me to ask you how many last ever flashbacks have there been I don’t know sorry I I don’t know he’s having a dig at your idea you’re off my Christmas card list for that that’s stuck up you’re stuck you’re getting me into trouble so 2 000 to 2001 I don’t know 2012 let’s say the club were literally like we are selling the club it’s going to be a hotel do the last party we did the last party we said there’s going to be a surprise at 6am and the surprise was that we booked Mickey Finn and baseman to do six till seven so we paid for extra DJs we paid for the security we didn’t make any more money out of it because you know it was it was that was it anyway and um and that was the last ever parted it was absolutely amazing there were tears and very emotional and then about I don’t know six months later maybe a year later the venue owners were like oh it’s all falling through do you want to do another party and we were like you are joking I mean like how ridiculous is that you know and and to be fair like they said the same to Danny at the topic damn and he’s got more Integrity than us because he was like no way I’ve done the last Atomic down there’s no way I can do another one whereas we were like yeah maybe we’ll do one more come on then why not yeah so we did a couple of reunions there and then we haven’t done one we haven’t done one on our own since 2014 so the event on Saturday is the first one in math help uh eight years okay so again let’s let’s imagine that no one knows anything about this um tell us all about this coming Saturday the date is the 21st of July 23rd of July 2022 flashback back after eight years tell us all about it so I’m I’m so privileged to be in a position to be able to do this party and and I’ve had lots of offers that sounds really big headed but lots of people I do this club do that club and I’m like do you know what flashback used to be the Q club and the Q Club used to be flashback and the two went hand in hand and I I just kind of always felt like I’m not just gonna do an all-nighter in a club in a small Club it just doesn’t do flashback justice but when I um can I stop you there sorry let me stop yeah you’re fine as I’m listening um we mentioned about you moving to the queue club we don’t need to go into the whole um you know the ins and outs of how it happened but just give us a little insight into what flashback did become you know how big it was the amount of people that were going because not everyone will be aware of that so you know flashback in its high day you know give us a a little so about year 2000 2001 we’ve done a good few parties at the Q club and that’s when it it was selling out like two three weeks before um I think the official capacity was about 2 800. it’s probably used to sell a bit more than that because not everyone would be there at the same time um and and it was amazing I mean you know we’d look at the data from where people have bought their tickets and people were traveling from sort of Manchester to Exeter to you know Swansea and and parts of Wales and stuff I mean it was a national thing but then Birmingham was a national treasure at that point you know we had God’s kitchen and its Heyday and we had gate pressure and you know Birmingham was a club in Mecca and people thought nothing in those days of kind of jumping in their car and driving for for an hour or two hours to go and the cue Club was such a legendary um venue as well it’s kind of hard to imagine um now but it really was it was incredible and and the joy of that is obviously once you’ve sold all your tickets you can forget about the marketing and just really focus on kind of what makes the what extra touches can you put to the to the party to make sure that everyone has a brilliant time you know and what and what were those what were those touches aside from the brilliant lineups that you used to put together what was it about flashback that made it so uh we had um I need to give a shout to my Natasha because he’s documented so much of this and again Jess Collins is um in the queue exhibition if you haven’t been down there yet at the Birmingham Museum at the moment there’s an exhibition about the Q club and a film and um and that’s on until October and it’s kind of documenting this phenomenal venue you know we’re so lucky to have a bit apart um of it but um you know it was just it was just it was just a really special moment you know people I don’t know how to describe it it was awesome and actually at the time when you’re in it you don’t really realize how amazing it is but there must have been there must have been some things that you take pride in you know those little extra touches that you think back and think well we used to do this we used to do that maybe everybody so we had like we had we had members and so we’d write this like really detailed newsletters and we’d send out like little membership cards and um you know there would always be loads of posters up on the night explaining exactly what was where and we’d have merchandise on sale we’d make sure there was drink um offers available at the venue and we just always tried to look after our punters you know at one point um the security at the cube Club were a bit rough and so we got loads of our mates um to wear these like red flashback Steward jackets and so we put in these newsletters you know if you’re if you feel like the Security’s a bit over the top or you’re not feeling safe or protected or whatever go and see a flashback Steward in a red jacket and and they’ll kind of make sure that your your story is heard or whatever and I and I think that’s it you know we kind of this is why I’m so excited about next Saturday as well it’s because the DJs and the MTS are important but really what makes flashback is is the people that come and we’ve always just about to say you know you you’ve nailed it there with your uh your review if that’s the right word it’s all about Community right you you’ve built a community and so that will lead us into why you’re excited to see in the morning on Saturday there’s people like that have emailed me like I haven’t been raving for since before covid I haven’t been moving for five or six years you know and it’s like like I said before it feels like such a privilege and an honor and I and I genuinely feel like we found the right venue I need to like have a word with them and make sure the security are going to be nice to people and all the rest of it but we’ve tried to make sure there’s plenty of seating and we try to you know there’s going to be a photo booth there so you can kind of recreate that kind of craziness of going and getting your photo taken before we all had phones that could take your um photo and stuff and just just again really try to think about how we can just make it a little bit more special than just you know arrive in a nightclub and I did ask you um about the the clientele that you’re expecting and you are looking to you know um bring bring back together that Community it’s not going to be a mixed bag of Ages it is going to be very much your um loyal people who have been with you for years right I really think so I mean I mean it’s just a great excuse to um you know a lot of people are like you know I did used to love raving and I’m really hoping that this is kind of a nice way for them to experience a rave without being totally um full-on and it’s like we haven’t really made that much effort to appeal to a younger crowd I mean we’ve got Mrs Magoo playing who’s who’s young and totally smashing out with with um with the youth now but other than her it’s really a proper like old school old flashback um lineup and I think the only youngsters that will be there potentially are the ones that are going to come with mum and dad you know because mum and dad want to show them all about so the venue and lineup for Saturday I knew I should have written this down so it’s at the Mill in Birmingham which uh is the old rainbow rainbow warehouse and the reason I love it so much is because they’ve got the Terrace the outdoor Terrace and so under the railway arches they’ve now got the DJ booth um so the DJ’s under the railway archers and then there’s a beautiful like area like a covered area with like all like floral stuff hanging down it’s absolutely lovely but then to the left of that you’ve got the Upper Terrace which is all seating it’s outdoors so it’s a little bit risky but hopefully the weather next week looks alright still um and that’s got just epic views across the Birmingham Skyline and there’s just so much seating and stuff there so the venue allows us to have proper dirty German base inside jungle sorry amazing sound system and then we’re going to have old school on the Terrace like outdoors and then you’ve got this like proper outdoor seating area and the timings we start we’re doing a three till three Rave so 12 hours if you’ve got the stamina and um three till eleven is the Outdoor bit and then and then indoors is seven till three so there’ll be two rooms open for a while but when the Terrace closes at 11 because of the noise um constraints it will still be there to be like a smoking area chill out and all the rest of it so there’s no need to go home because you can just sit down and have a little beer and a cigarette or whatever and chat to your mates for a bit and then uh when you’ve got your legs back go back indoors for another road you know and and some of the um Headliners and and regular DJs yes I’ve mentioned Mrs Magoo I’m so looking forward to meeting her but we’ve got I mean like my my absolute favorites like Mickey Finn um Nikki Black Market Reiki all beautiful uh top bars Jason and Patrick just you know again I’ve known these boys for so long now you know um we’ve got Fearless coming down Lenny in basement we can’t have a flashback without Lenny you you know but then we’ve got some amazing local talent as well and I say local but you know Glenn Aston shock C Tim Ryan phase two all you know Legends in the game and then the same goes for around she’s like Boogeyman vansky you know if you look these people up they are they are smashing it right now absolutely smashing it so you know whether you’re whether you’re sort of early bird warm-up DJ or a kind of 30 years established veteran I I just thought you know the music’s gonna be good and the other thing is because I’ve told I’ve spoken to Mickey and Nikki and Ray and and SS sorry SS as well I’ll get you there um sometimes when you play Old School sets and you’ve got a room for the kids it just doesn’t actually go down that well you just you’re kind of play in these tunes that are older than they are and you’re like oh you’re really feeling this I’m not so sure I’ve said to all of them this this crowd will really appreciate you digging in the in the crates kind of thing don’t don’t feel afraid to kind of you know to proper bring bring some of those old school shoes so I’m excited to hear what they were going to bring I relate to that I relate to that comment I’ve made the same comment myself on several occasions to um DJs that I’ve worked with and I say to them listen you know I want you to I want you to try and and have this set that you’ve always dreamed of you’ve got that crowd in front of you and I don’t think you could ever I wish for more as a DJ to hear that and they trust you that’s the thing they trust you so even if you play a couple that are a bit like don’t really do when you feel that one they’re not going to just suddenly leave the dance floor for you because they trust you it’s like I didn’t like that one but I’ll stay for the next one are you trusting yourself to squeeze an hour in somewhere I am actually oh I’m playing at six o’clock so all you flashbackers out there make sure you’re there by six o’clock or else but I um pops here to Tim Ryan so Tim and I played at uh Forbidden Forest in uh Leicester a couple of weeks ago and we were like Raven back at the the camp afterwards and he put this tape on and I was like wow what’s this and you’re like this is you this is brushback’s second birthday and I was like no way and and it was some proper like 89 house and I was like you know what I’m gonna I’m gonna throw some of that out and then I’m just gonna play some filthy break beats as well so um again I hope that flashback crowd trusts me but that’s my plans I’m really early like slow piano stuff and then just launch hit them around the head of it well the enthusiasm and the excitement is uh you know I’ve got something else to say as well so my I’ve got a lot of good friends that are coming out to flashback and bless them they’ve all bought tickets I’m like I can’t give you all guess this and a load of them club together look at this I don’t know if you’re a trainer fan but a loading them club together to buy me look at those prepared trainers I wear shelters all the time everyone knows this at the front there have they’ve actually been customized or are they I don’t I I don’t know how kind of rare or whatever they are but but they could see the front are they superstars thanks guys amazing there’s nothing better I as I said I totally relate to that having built up an event myself that is purely all about Community there’s nothing better than the excitement and you know going out there and knowing just how wonderful it’s going to be um so the journey you know 23 24 25 years um and it is this is this the last ever flashback no beautiful I mean that that’s the thing we need we need we need to see like I don’t take this for granted and everybody knows that I do not take flashbacks names for granted we did um we did an arena at maid Festival in 2019 before covid and Pete was like I’ve got a marquee it’s about three and a half thousand capacity do you want it on a Sunday and I was like yes because that was special enough you know and it was it you know it was a horrendous rainy day it was really muddy but we just waved hard in this like proper Market at the site where Mage Festival had been on the Saturday and that was the right thing to do and since then obviously covered but there hasn’t hasn’t felt right so I need to kind of gauge on Saturday are you just coming for this one because it’s really special or shall we maybe do another one next year I don’t know watch this space fantastic well the energy as I said to keep repeating that the phrase the energy will keep you rolling as long as the people are there for it you know and everyone’s happy to work alongside you um it’s been very interesting to to catch up and hear the story I think we I think we got a very good uh representation of your story I I had said when we began uh that we would probably have a lot of uh common tales and things that we could laugh and joke about but I’ve really just enjoyed sitting here listening to you tell your story no no it’s still you know I can I can chat let me tell you so the enthusiasm that you’ve got um it’s brilliant to sit and and listen and and and and reminisce as well because it has been um a journey of twists and turns and we have lost some people along the way unfortunately there are a lot of people who would have been very um important and influential in your story and unfortunately when we’re talking live it’s difficult for us to get across um and in the in the line of sight of a lot of people for them to comment live but so many people will come back and check out this recording and I’m sure they’ll all be telling you uh how important you’ve been and you’ll be getting a lot of so there’ll be one or two tiers on on Saturday right it is a joy Many Tears of Joy or snuts going on three half three in the morning we’ve all snot we’re all right it’s okay are you taking the decorations down at half three I am not I don’t think that no one does Decor anymore I mean we’re gonna put a little 90s mode no one does decorate got a beautiful screen so we’re working on like the visuals for the screen and I I don’t suppose I’m giving it away too much to say we’ve got an amazing laser going in because you can’t have flashback without a laser there you go and don’t forget the vix and the dummies no Vixen no dummies right Mo I will leave you to the rest of your Tuesday evening thank you so much for talking to me I truly pleasure Andy thank you and uh all the very best of Saturday I’ll drop you a message next week when I know you’ve come back to the land of the living and find out how you’re feeling brilliant thanks everybody take care wonderful Mr Smo uh excited that for flashback this weekend so as you heard me saying there uh it is always very difficult to try and get in the line of sight of people when we are live getting people to um comment reply to things that we’re talking about if it’s the first time that you joining me thank you for being here I can see on the screen here one or two people like the video shared the video for me followers of the page Inspire and be inspired I have tons of interviews very much the same as that that I’ve conducted over the last 12 to 15 months many Birmingham Stories the promoters of money pennies the promoters of the steering wheel the promoters of the PowerHouse uh just so many outside of Birmingham as well I’ve also been talking to some serious serious producers and then we have some in-depth conversations as well talking about mental health talking about relationship ships check myself out on YouTube DJ Andy Wards and also on their page Inspire and be inspired I know a hell of a lot of people come back and check out the recording I know a lot of people listen to the podcast so thank you for being here uh and I’m going to be taking a few weeks off as it happens me talking about gaining momentum and getting into people’s line of sight um as the heat increases here I’m going to give myself a few weeks break I’m gonna get some more guests in the diary and then I’ll be back maybe towards the middle of August thanks again lots of love have a great week don’t get too hot now [Music]


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1 x AOC U2879G6

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DJI Mic2 = https://amzn.to/3IKIDjf

DJ Kit:

Shure 55s Radio Mic = https://amzn.to/3Igp94w
DJ Controller = Pioneer XDJ-XZ
Technics 1210 Turntables = https://amzn.to/3Eqzyth
Stylus; Ortofon DJ = https://amzn.to/3xHmSL5

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