Preview To Freeformation’s final free party with Exeter’s answer to Scott Project, Nick The Kid
Reported by Allan@Nu Energy
Submitted 10-06-06 12:55
You might not be instantly acquainted with Exeter’s hard trance dynamo and Future Sound Corporation artist Nick The Kid but that is likely very much a temporary situation. His tunes are championed by everyone from Kevin Energy and Mark EG to Judge Jules and Dave Pearce whilst his dj sets are continually flying the flag for the soaring but often overlooked sounds of quality European hard trance.
Forget your mindless hardstyle stomp, Nick’s sets are built on pure musicality and melody, tracks that bridge the power of epic European synths with tough beats and bass: the kind of tough but melodic epics that made the likes of Scot Project such hard dance icons a few years back.
Something of a cult figure in his home of the South West, Nick has been promoting underground dance tirelessly in the region for near on a decade. Despite being just 25 years of age. These days, his Hindsight hard dance and stomping trance rave up is the region's most respected event with everyone from Ed Real and BK to PA acts like Organ Donors and The Nu Energy Collective coming back full of tales of debauchery and one of the most havin it underground crowds around.
Of course, recently the dedicated producer has been making his first waves in the capital thanks to his recent sets at the Nu Energy Collective's Freeformation events (win a recording of his last Freeformation set here: http://www.nuenergy.co.uk/new/interactive/competitions.php), and with the final free entry Freeformation just around the corner we thought it was time to catch up with Nick The Kid and uncover a bit about his colourful past . . . read on!
Hi Nick, first of all your recent works on Germany’s acclaimed Club Quake and legendary Italian label Future Sound Corporation have been gaining much deserved dj support, from djs ranging from underground stalwarts Mark EG to Radio One's Dangerous Dave Pearce. How pleased are you with the glowing success of your recent productions and how did you first get picked up by such respected European labels?
‘Dreams’ was written over a year ago now and at the time we hammered MP3s of it to all and sundry but to no avail. Then months later we got an email from Drizzly in Germany saying they loved it and wanted to release asap! I was totally gobsmacked as Drizzly is a really prolific label and has had so many wicked releases over the years! To get a tune out with them was a dream come true! It finally feels like I’m getting somewhere with my productions now and to have respected names in differing scenes supporting them is wicked and a real boost to turn out even better tunes.
With tracks like your tough yet euphoric ‘Dreams’, you’ve displayed a production sound that lends heavily on the classic European trance sound of strong melodies with an underground feel and stomping beats. How did you first come into contact with the underground sound of European trance and which djs and artists were most responsible for nurturing your love of it?
I’ve always been bang into my trance music since school way back in 96, I used to listen to Billy Nasty, Nick Warren, Blu Peter, Platipus Records etc. and an all time fav album of mine is Oakenfold’s ‘Perfecto Fluoro’. God we used to cane that! Mark EG had a real impact on me the first time I saw him play and got me into buying stuff on Spaceflower, Go For It, EDM etc. Not many people were playing that sound at the time and it was different!
Where did you spend your early raving days?
My early rave days were spent at the late Pawlett Manor, Dreamscape @ Shepton Mallet, Fusion @ Bath Pavillion, Kingstons in Taunton, Kingsley Leisure Centre in Westward Ho, a small club in my home town called the Tube (where I first starting promoting nights) and copious south west free parties, almost one every week and sometimes two in the summer months! It was madness!
Dangerous Dave Pearce has been playing your uplifting stomper ‘Dreams’ on his Radio One Dance Anthems show. Which other djs have been most supportive of your tracks?
Danny Slade gave us a stonkin review for ‘Dreams’ in IDJ mag as did Tom Harding, Mark EG, Jon The Baptist, Dave Joy, Judge Jules, Kutski and Sol Ray have been diggin our stuff too!
What are your main ambitions with your studio production for the next year or so? Which labels would you be most proud of releasing on and why?
Over the next year I’d like to spend more time on the production side, there’s still a lot I need to learn about in order to get better results and speed things up, but I’m gradually getting there. I’ve got my eye on some tasty new pieces of hardware which should get me sorted!
I’d love to get a track signed to Traffic (DJ Wag’s label) or Red Alert, they’re two labels that are in abundance in my collection and the consistency has been there for every release! It’d be wicked too to get something out on NEC maybe at some point ( . . . wink, wink!!).
In terms of other UK hard trance artists, who is really tickling your pickle right now? Is there anyone that is really standing out head and shoulders above the rest?
In terms of UK artists 100% it has to be Jon The Baptist, his tunes are right up my street with all the right elements and enough balance of melody and tuffness! His riffs are faultless and I love his arrangements! Others who have been rockin it for me of late would have to be Mark Richardson, the Organ Donors, K90, JK Walker, Trevor McLachlan and your very own K Complex.
Many of your tracks have been created with your partner in crime Louk. What is it about your studio relationship that gives your tracks that magic touch? Or do you just need one of you there to skin up/fetch bacon butties while the other twiddles some nobs until it sounds good?
When Louk first came up to mine he was totally into Reason and with me into Cubase, we both worked in completely different ways, but in the end we both ended up showing each other a trick or two! I think a studio partnership has to be like that, I’m a tad against people who hire a talented engineer for a day and sit there like a nodding dog and not getting hands on! What’s the point?
We’re both very opinionated people and not afraid to tell each other if something sounds shit or needs re-editing! And as our tastes (as far as hard dance goes!) are pretty synched it all seems to come together quite nicely!
Lauded as one of the best underground hard trance nights in the south west, your Exeter based night Hindsight has been running for 6 years now and is still going strong, with guests including Goodgreef’s not so secret weapon Dark By Design and our very own Nu Energy Collective. What first inspired you to set the night up and how would you describe the vibe and music policy to those who hadn’t yet had the pleasure of attending?
I was already promoting a small old skool night in 97 called Plastic Fantastic, we used to have guests like Sy, Dougal, Hixxy, Slipmatt etc. playing pre-92 old skool hardcore! It was a good laugh but we outgrew the venue. I was working in Exeter at the time and came across St George’s Hall, had a talk with the manager and Hindsight was born! Originally an old skool night, we had Ratpack, Shades of Rhythm, Vibes etc. down but I wanted to create a platform to play the endless amount of European trance I was buying and build a future thinking kinda vibe!
The core music policy has since then been underground hard dance with residents including Mark EG, M Zone, Vortex and myself and guests such as Jon Doe, Kevin Energy, Sharkey, Ed Real, Organ Donors, BK and simply too many others to mention over the years. We have ventured into techno and also had the likes of the Liberators, D.A.V.E. The Drummer, Geezer etc. and also still throw the odd old skool party too!
How many people rock up to Hindsight each times it's on?
Hindsight can hold 500 people and it really is a mixed bag of young and old. We kicked off just as Monastery (a local all-nighter) got closed, so picked up a lot of support from that. You also see a lot of people who have been coming since day one each time which is wicked and as we don’t have an all night licence, it’s still surprising how far people travel to our events. Recently we had a group of die hards from Halifax which is about a 6 hour drive!
How often are you running Hindsight and what guests have you got lined up for the rest of the year?
At the minute we are having 4 events a year at St George’s Hall, Exeter, but will most likely be involved in hosting a room or two at other south west nights throughout the year like we usually do! So this year we’ll have one on 30th June, 22nd Sept and one around Xmas time too.
Guests-wise we obviously have the Nu Energy Collective in the house on the 30th June & other guests throughout the year should include the likes of Mark EG, M Zone, Jon The Baptist and Vortex.
What is the Exeter rave/club scene like these days? Is Hindsight flying the flag for underground music solo or are there other nights still keeping the vibe alive?
As far as hard dance goes, Hindsight is the only night of its kind within Exeter. We used to run a smaller weekly event Subterrania at a club called Voltz on the quay which ran for just over a year before the club changed hands. It was only a small thing (200+) but we had some good names in!
There are some good other nights like Rinseout – they get some fat D&B names in like Pendulum, Nicky Blackmarket etc. Then there’s the Amber Rooms, which I frequent regularly for their house nights, they have people like Groove Armada’s Andy Cato, Digs & Woosh, the Stanton Warriors etc. On the whole it could be better.
I have just heard whisper of a new techno night startin up this month by OLLIE 303 at the Cavern Club, they have D.A.V.E. The Drummer for the first one and it looks like it will be a regular thing, which is cool!
On Friday 23rd June you’re going to be belting down to London to join Sharkey, Kevin Energy and the Nu Energy Collective for their Freeformation party at Hidden. You also played their March party but how did you first come into contact with the Nu Energy Collective and what were your first experiences of them?
I’ve known Jon (Sharkey) for quite a few years now, I used to bump into him when playing for GBH and North nights in Plymouth and Bristol. I had Jon and Kev down to play our Summer main event way back in 2001 and it all kind of went from there!
My first impression of Jon — fuckin nutter!! Lol The council had put up lots of money for the first summer main event as it was part of the Exeter festival, so there were a few suits floating around the place making sure all was going ok and there was Jon on the mic urging everyone to ‘get messy’ and ‘drop another pill’ with a raucos sore throat! Classic! I’ve seen Kev around at loadsa gigs over the years and he’s been really sound, plus sorted me out with tons of promos which is well appreciated!
Complete this sentence, ‘I’m Nick The Kid and you should come check out my set on June 23rd because…’
You’re here for a good time, not a long time!!
A little bird, ok a little fish, or possibly even a Shark, tells me you’re no stranger to a serious session of partying. Will you be staying down for the night on June 23rd and getting stuck in to the Freeformation festivities?
HaHaHa is this my chance to tell all about the Shark informant too? Lol! Absolutely well up for the sesh (like we were last time! HeHe), we will be in town all weekend and ready for action!
What did you make of the last one? Everyone seemed to have a few stories to tell after their night on it, what was the story of your night?
Had an absolute blinder, really enjoyed my set and we stayed until they threw us out in the mornin! Then it was on to the afterparty round the corner which lead on to us missing our train home! Lol! Then back to Jon’s for a serious session of drinking with your guests from Finland . . . hence missing my booking the following night for Bionic in Bristol! Ah well, it was worth it! We’ve booked our train home for Monday this time just to be on the safe side and for extra messiness!
Our Freeformation parties have so far been totally free entry as you know (maybe the empty wage envelope gave it away eh!). What is the most extreme free party experience you’ve ever had and are will you be hitting Britain’s great outdoors for free parties over the summer?
I’m a massive fan of free parties and living in the south west there are simply loads goin on over the summer months! There was the Tecknival in Cornwall last weekend which attracted 5000+ people & 20+ rigs! Mental! My most extreme free party experience was something called Lunatec in a quarry just outside Exeter, 2000+ people, just one rig but it was massive. I got to go on after Easygroove, what an absolutely wicked night, really well organised and went on for ages!
Finally, who else will you be hoping to catch come June 23rd? Are you a fan of the more driving UK hard trance sound or will we see you cutting shapes and doing the running man at 300 bpm in our bonkers hardcore arena??
Definitely more into the UK hard trance scene at the min and looking forward to checking out Greg Brookman which I’ve heard good things about, Phil York and The *Ting* also, all of which I’ve never seen play before! Will def venture into the Hardcore room to check out Jon and Kev and was loving the middle room last time round especially the old skool 92 stuff!
P.S. Why Nick The Kid??
It's quite simple really, I was only 15 and landed a booking at Pawlett Manor for Chapter 33 in the hardcore room. I needed a name so me and my mates sat around and brainstormed names after a night out. They came up with the name for me due to my age, little did I know I would reach 25 and have to explain why I’m called Nick The Kid on a weekly basis! Lol!
All photos courtesy of Nick the Kid. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Friday 23rd June
10 PM - 6 AM
FREE!! NADA!! GRACIAS!! ZILCH!!
The only way to secure a 100% free guaranteed door entry is to send your full name and email address to 07962928623 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All names will be added to the door list and then contacted 7 days priory to the event and asked to confirm their door number. No confirmed door number, no entry till after 12 pm!
Remember this is the last completely FREE ENTRY Freeformation so don\\\'t miss out! Get your names in NOW and get ready to wise up, get stupid and rave on with Team Rave!!!
Calling Team Rave!! It’s barely 5 months since our need to celebrate the festive period in style collided with pure chance to bring us the first Freeformation at Hidden and it’s a been a non stop rollercoaster of pure party mayhem ever since…
Two manic capacity crowd rave sessions, some truly mesmerising DJ sets, men dressed and ostriches and Sharkey, Kevin Energy and all the Nu Energy Collective crew and Team Ravepartying til dawn! It's been truly mental and we've got you lot to thank for much of it so for our third and final free partyexperience we've pulled out all the stops once more...
In our hardcore room Next Generation’s hardcore legend Ham makes a rare London appearance, Freeformation leaders Kevin Energy & Sharkey go head to head, whilst Robbie Long & Marc Smith get together for an exclusive party b2b session!
The trailblazing producer Greg Brookman headlines our hard dance room alongside Insekt’s filth experts James Nardi & Marc Johson, Tranzlation’s hard trance master Phil York and a special one off from party nutbags Kevin Energy & The *Ting*. With sets from Druid, Ham and RSR crew in the old skool room, you’ve got a night of priceless rave revelry that is just that…. Priceless. It aint costing ya a penny so get on it
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Other Features By Allan@Nu Energy:
The Elevate interview — Phil York & Kevin Energy get ready to take you higher
Decimation interview with Alter Ego of Opeum
Preview to the Nu Energy Collective’s Freeformation with Tranzlation’s Phil York
A preview To Tasty's Generation E with underground legend Eryk Orpheus
PUSH goes Deepgrooving
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.