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Do you Knowwhere it all began?
Reported by minimoo
Submitted 27-09-06 19:39
When you think about successful trance events in London, two names immediately spring to mind, Knowwhere and Trance on Thames. Knowwhere has been synonymous with quality trance parties in the capital for a good few years: they’ve spread their wings abroad on one or two occasions and gained a reputation for being all about the friendliest vibe around. When they moved to Heaven some time back they diversified, and were soon bringing fans the very best on the hard dance menu, as well as serving up funky and trance. With solid residents like Anthony Dean, Adam White and AJ Gibson on the trance floor, and regular appearances from big guns like Dave Pearce, Lisa Pin Up, Billy ‘Daniel’ Bunter and many more, they can certainly be seen as part of the London clubland establishment.
On the other hand, Trance On Thames is a small, almost anti-establishment party that somehow manages to feel like a private function, where absolutely everyone is invited! From London’s central superclub, to a narrow strip of sand down by the London Eye, their venues couldn’t be more different, yet they have both managed to capture that special something that provides lots of smiling faces every time they appear.
Since Knowwhere’s last monthly party earlier this year, the Trance on Thames parties have been wetting our appetites throughout the summer for Knowwhere’s massive 5th Birthday on October 6th at Heaven. I brought two of the guys behind the two parties, Richard (aka Pathfinder) and Pablo together to find out where it all started and the secret behind their success.
Hello guys. Let’s start from the top. Pablo; some people know about the beginnings of Knowwhere but for those who don’t, please tell us where it all began.
Pablo: In 1998 there was a core of people going to the Gallery nearly every week to listen to trance music. As time went on, we realized that the amount of quality trance we were getting every week was diminishing, until we found we were spending most of the night waiting for Steve Lee to play the last two hours for us. With the Millennium coming up we all wanted to spend that night listening to good quality trance all night, so we decided to turn my flat into a club. It took us three months in which we built podiums and a full on dj box, we hired and fitted more lights than your average super club, booked dancers, painted backdrops, re-modeled my hallway to make it look like a tunnel with 5000 luminous stars and planets and turned our flatmate’s bedroom into the coolest chill-out room I have seen in a private house or a nightclub. Anyway, it was so much effort that after that my wife said “you either get yourself a venue or a divorce”, so we chose the 414 and Knowwhere was born.
And Trance on Thames? This is a very unique party Richard, so tell me how it all came about?
Richard: I saw a program on the BBC about a group called Reclaim the Beach who were holding events on Festival beach. The beach was originally one of the places that Londoners could go for a day out; families would come down with deckchairs, knotted hankies on heads and buckets and spades and the children would be swimming in the river. There was obviously a lot more sand there then, lol.
After seeing the program I thought, hmmm, if they can do that maybe I can, so one cloudy day on May 2004 we all scurried down there with a rig and put on our first party. It was difficult persuading people that there was actually going to be a beach party in the middle of London and to come along. I was more than a little nervous that plod were going to come steaming over the horizon and nick my rig, but it went well and gradually people have heard about the event enough to give it a go.
So how did you guys both meet?
Richard: We first met Stevie on the green outside The Fridge in Brixton one sunny mashed up Sunday morning and then about a year later at the HarderFaster party at the Aquarium. He introduced us to Pablo and the Knowwhere gang soon afterwards.
Pablo: Stevie met Richard and Linda about a year before me at a HarderFaster party I was at, but he forgot he had met them. He then met them again and introduced them to me shortly after that.
Richard, Trance on Thames was the most talked about of all of the beach parties this summer. What would you say is the secret to its success?
I think probably because it is so unusual. We are lucky to have had some fabulous djs playing for us, but Trance on Thames has a very special vibe — the same as Knowwhere. It’s not all about the latest tunes or the funkiest club wear. It’s all about having a damn good party.
The tourists looking at you from the South Bank make it very special as well. It gives them a chance to see a little of what clubbing is all about. They are always smiling and happy to see so many people having a good time. I have received e-mails from tourists who have happened across the party. Some have said it’s the best thing they did whilst on holiday here. Even the Arts Director for the South Bank Centre came down to the last one and said how much she enjoyed it
It’s not surprising every trance dj in London wants to play Trance on Thames seeing as it is such a unique party. How do you choose the djs that play there?
Richard: I have met many great friends and djs over the years, all of whom are very good at what they do. I select djs who play the music I like — uplifting trance, and I have tried to give as many people a set as possible. They’ve all rocked it this year.
Pablo: Richard decides who plays there but we do often make suggestions or occasionally plea on bended knees when I want to play. The music policy is not as strict as it is at Knowwhere, but we only have nice, friendly djs who play trance or hard trance. Well, it is Trance on Thames!
Pablo, people have always connected the Trance of Thames parties with the Knowwhere brand. Was this always the intention or was it something that happened by chance?
Pablo: Knowwhere and Trance on Thames have always been connected. Richard and I both found out about the beach at festival pier in different ways. Then he came to me and we had a chat about it. I was too busy to spend the time that was required to make sure it was a good party, so Richard agreed to find out all the legal ramifications and basically do most of the work as long as we helped him with the promotion. And Trance on Thames was born. He is the boss and still does most of the work.
Do you think you’d ever put a Trance on Thames room into one of the Knowwhere events?
Richard: I am not sure if we could persuade a venue to let us dump 40 tons of sand on their floor, but you never know? I like the idea of the Pina Coladas and Hoola Hoola girls.
Knowwhere is about to celebrate its 5th Birthday party, congratulations! Did you think you’d ever get to this stage and what is the secret in your opinion to Knowwhere’s success?
Pablo: I always believed that Knowwhere would progress and keep going for some time, but I never put a time on it 3 years, 5 years, 10 years who knows. I think the secret to our success is that we all believe in each other, we all believe in Knowwhere, the music, our residents, the staff and helpers and Heaven our home. We have always kept the clubber in mind, making sure they are provided with the nicest, friendliest club. We have never focused on the money, which is why we don’t have any! But the party has always been the most important thing.
Why do you think people always come back to your parties?
RichardD: Because there’s nothing like them. The vibe is brilliant and being free probably helps a lot.
Pablo: We’ve spent a lot of time building up our core crowd, who are the nicest, friendliest people in clubbing, and they’re always really up for it. This creates a very unique vibe which most people love to be part of and which djs love to play to. Both KW and TOT have a reputation for being very friendly parties, which we are very proud of.
If you could have any dj play at your party, who would it be?
Pablo: It has to be Paul van Dyk! In my opinion he is the best dj in the world. Please Paul, come and play for us! [Minimoo — I’ll put in a word for you!!]
Richard: I’m keeping quiet on that one. I’m hoping to get him down next year — he’d love to play but his gigs have always clashed.
What record do you think sums up your parties?
Pablo: For Knowwhere it has to be Agnelli and Nelson — ‘Everyday’. For Trance on Thames it would be Heaven’s Cry — ‘Til Tears do us Part’.
Richard: Hmmm, I haven’t got one really. I guess it would have to be beachball but one of my favorite tunes to play is the Dark Monks — ‘Insane’. Mariella requested it before a party once. I had never heard it so downloaded it to have a listen, then liked it so much I tracked it down and bought it. I have played it at every party since. Ed Real’s ‘Sunshine on a Rainy Day’ was very apt at a party last year when the weather couldn’t make up its mind. It started raining, I dropped that tune and everyone went nuts — in the rain. Classic!
Where do you think trance will be this time next year?
Richard: On the beach of course, lol!
Pablo: Trance went through a bad patch a couple of years ago, when nobody wanted to be associated with it let alone admit to playing it. That was the time when hard dance emerged. Let’s face it, hard dance is hard trance, or it certainly was then. Now trance is really on its way back, you only have to see how much of it makes it to become the soundtracks for adverts or ring tones. I think you will see a few new trance clubs spring up and a few of the old ones will unite to make new clubs. The fastest growing genre at the moment is psy trance with Antiworld being the only club in London who is packing it to the rafters. They are also putting on the first psy trance festival ever held in this country (good luck Enrico!).
Who do you consider to be the next Future Hero of Trance?
Pablo: In my opinion, it will be a long time before we see any new superstar djs. The scene can not support the wages and the flights of these people anymore, only the largest clubs can afford them now. The future heroes of trance are the producers who are still making the tunes, even though there is very little money in it any more, and the promoters who are still putting on the parties because they love the music, and finally the clubbers who have supported the scene through some hard times, especially when trance was a dirty word. The djs who stand out for me are: Adam White, Sean Tyas, Anthony Dean, and Jurrane. We are lucky to have Adam and Anthony as the Knowwhere residents and Jurrane as a friend who loves to play for us; all three will play for TOT anytime they’re free.
Richard: I only really know London djs so would say Jurrane. He’s a lovely bloke, an excellent producer and a mighty fine dj.
What music do you like to listen to when you’re not listening to trance?
Pablo: I like Bjork, PJ Harvey and David Bowie to name a few, but I do have new mixes, new tunes, and demos etc. to listen to, so a load of my time is taken up with trance.
Richard: Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Motorhead, Pink Floyd, Bowie sort of stuff. I like the Virgin classic rock channel on digital radio.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Richard: I’m usually playing tunes, off-roading or doing DIY around the house. I have been hard at work putting in a new kitchen over the past few weeks.
Pablo: I don’t have much spare time, but when I do I spend it with my wife, my friends and going clubbing. I like fishing and recently I have been renovating my property to sell and move.
Who inspires you?
Pablo: My Dad and my Wife because they are both fantastic business people. I like people who are happy and maintain a positive mental attitude.
Richard: Anyone who is prepared to work hard at what they want to do. I hate people who give up too easily.
So Pabs, over 5 years experience as a promoter and with the huge success of Knowwhere, what advice would you give to budding new promoters out there thinking about starting their own party?
It’s extremely hard going out there, you have got to be prepared to put in lots of hours promoting. You should also be prepared to put in all the cash you have and be willing to never see it again. There is no easy way of doing it anymore, long gone are the days that you can hand out a few fliers, open the doors and the punters just come in. Advice — be careful!!!!!
Thanks a lot guys, now for something a little fun. Some quick fire questions I’ve always wanted to know about you both…
Fosters or Stella?
Pablo: Stella every time, but quite often a gin and tonic.
Richard: Bleurgh! A cup of tea, weak and milky with two sugars please.
Glowsticks or whistles?
Pablo: Glowsticks, I hate bloody whistles!
Richard: Out of those two it would have to be glowsticks cos they don’t make any noise.
Gas hob or electric hob?
Pablo: Gas. I was a chef some time ago and it has got to be gas.
Richard: Electric touch control baby.
CDs or vinyl?
Pablo: I love vinyl, but recently some tunes are not being released on vinyl so I have bought myself two CDJs. The truth is, digital music is growing on me.
Richard: Both, but I prefer vinyl.
Kisses or cuddles?
Pablo: You can’t beat a good cuddle.
Richard: Lots of both.
minimoo OR Adam White?
Pablo: I can’t kiss Adam White (much).
Richard: Ooh would have to be minimoo, she’s a much better kisser.
Photos courtesy of James ‘Ra’ Rae. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By minimoo:
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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.
| From: starseeker on 27th Sep 2006 21:33.59|
Great interview. Thanks for all the parties over the years, and bring on the fifth birthday!
PS: well done Adam, Anthony and Jurrane for the high praise you've justly received!
From: Kris Noble on 27th Sep 2006 21:46.06
2 quality parties and 2 quality people!
From: Adam White on 27th Sep 2006 21:52.54
Great interview angel xxx I am really proud to be a part of 2 amazing parties both ran by some amazing people... and to be minimoo's boyfriend
From: The Soundman on 27th Sep 2006 22:24.38
Excellent article Minimoo. Really good reading!!!
From: Andy T on 28th Sep 2006 07:45.00
Wicked stuff Bring ON the 5th BDAY
From: Jurrane on 28th Sep 2006 08:06.25
Fantastic interview with a couple of true legends on the scene and, even more importantly, whom I count as great friends. Congratulations on your success guys: you deserve every bit of it and thank you so much for the kind words - they mean a massive amount. Roll on the 5th birthday - onwards & upwards!
From: Agent69 on 28th Sep 2006 09:20.32
Many a fine time has been had shaking it at Club Knowwhere and with my toes in the sand @ Trance on Thames! Always a friendly vibe and great tunes! Pure bliss is dancing with my friends & like-minded souls on the beach!!
Thanks for all the fantastic parties and many happy returns! xx
From: Stevie on 28th Sep 2006 10:13.27
Two of only a small handful of people in the world who I can honestly say I look up to, both lovely blokes, I'm proud to work with and call you both friends
From: The Momentum DJs on 28th Sep 2006 11:03.21
Great parties run by great guys
From: K.A.R.L. on 28th Sep 2006 15:11.24
What a great read. Looking forward to the birthday.
From: James Rae on 28th Sep 2006 15:56.18
Wicked, can't wait for 6th October!!!!!
From: suzy-q on 28th Sep 2006 17:47.33
2 fantastic parties where you are always guaranteed to have a great time
From: Steve.C on 28th Sep 2006 17:54.49
Just over a week to go - cannot wait.
From: Sly One on 28th Sep 2006 18:37.39
*Raises glass*. To a bunch of people who know what a party is meant to be. Two of the best parties in London, fantastic to play at and party at. My set last year at ToT is one of my favourite DJing memories. Keep the faith and keep putting on those parties!
From: STACE on 30th Sep 2006 10:11.50
Soooooo proud to work for these events and be a part of what's probably the strongest friendship group in the world.
From: theviceroy on 2nd Oct 2006 11:00.38
Really interesting read guys and gals, always interesting to know where it all began, good luck for the big 5
From: quantumluke on 2nd Oct 2006 11:59.12
Looking forward to friday guys ! i am so proud to be part of knowwhere and honoured to have such a great circle of friends in the knowwhere crew
From: pablo on 2nd Oct 2006 12:03.52
Thanks everyone for your kind words
Big thanks to Minimoo for such a good interview
Bigest thanks to every one involed with Knowwhere for making it such a great party especialy Anthony, Stevie and Adam White.
From: Ped on 3rd Oct 2006 10:49.20
Great interview and two great parties - had a fantastic time playing at TOTT this year.
Can't wait for Friday either, is going to be a great party.
From: Craig Luck on 4th Oct 2006 13:55.52
Definitely two of the best parties I've been to this year. Gutted I wont be there this Friday (unless I manage to pull a few strings).
Can't wait for next years beach parties. B)
From: minimoo on 6th Oct 2006 07:41.34
See you all on the dance floor