As the eighties gave way to the nineties, and rave/club culture spread across the UK, Leeds played host to a number of hugely influential club nights that have gone on to have a lasting impact on the world club and dance scene.
Now, thirty years on from the Acid House revolution, One Foot in the Rave, as part of Leeds International Festival, celebrates the legacy of Back to Basics, Hard Times, Kaos, Orbit, Soak, Up Yer Ronson and Vague.
The week-long event is curated by club legend Tony Hannan and looks at the long-lasting impact these clubs have had on the global scene, as well as the influence these clubs and the people who ran them continue to have in arts, culture, fashion, music and night time economy.
The event takes place between Saturday 28th April and Friday 4th May at Trinity Leeds and will feature an exhibition of historical images and videos from back in the day, along with a programme of “Chinwag” sessions. Each Chinwag session is hosted by Chris Madden where he’ll meet with key figures from the scene to discuss how these clubs collectively changed lives, and provided a haven from the humdrum of daily life, transcending class, gender, sexuality and race.
The exhibition is free during the day, opening its doors at 12pm, while the Chinwag sessions are ticketed at a cost of £5 per person with tickets limited to only 100 per session. Doors open for Chinwag sessions at 5.30pm with each event starting at 7pm.
See the full programme of Chinwag sessions below.
SUNDAY 29th APRIL
George Evelyn – Nightmares on Wax
Tony Hannan – Kaos, Soak, Up Yer Ronson
DJ: Mark Alexander
George Evelyn, better known as Nightmares on Wax, creates a brand of music – an electronica, hip hop, acid house amalgam – that, for many, snapshots a time and a place. His sun-drenched, dubbed-out soul collides with fragments of hazy memories on halcyon days. Evelyn created some of the 90s’ defining moments. First there was his involvement in writing two of the UK’s early rave classics – Dexterous and Aftermath – then he went alone in ’95, bringing us Smoker’s Delight, the downbeat, archetypal 90s stoner album.
Tony Hannan, the man who gave Leeds Soak, Kaos and Up Yer Ronson, who introduced Acid House to Ibiza and who MTV came to for dance music advice, is also the man responsible for bringing the One Foot In The Rave Exhibition to fruition. Still promoting great dance nights, and lecturing and advising ITV on music programmes, Hannan is responsible for bringing these clubs together under one roof for the first time.
MONDAY 30th APRIL
Nic Gundill – Orbit
DJ: Mark Turner
The Orbit started life in 1991, a club born out of its Yorkshire creators’ desire to have their own local “rave” club, having become tired of travelling the motorways to Manchester, Nottingham and further afield. It went on to become one of the most influential techno / electronic music clubs in the UK and across Europe, shaping the scene with its weekly roster of the world’s finest underground electronic producers and DJs.
TUESDAY 1st MAY
Suzy Mason – Vague
DJ: Claire Melodie Whitehouse
Suzy returned to her hometown of Leeds after graduating from Goldsmiths, co-founding the Kit Kat Club in 1992 in direct opposition to the rave scene. This widely acclaimed art club had a cigarette girl, a cage, blue cocktails and cheap champagne, as well as regular variety acts and some very distinguished clientele. She witnessed a lot of prejudice and a lack of opportunity for girls at this time, as well as blatant homophobia. She formed Vague in 1993 – the first purpose-built, mixed, safe-space club in the UK – in response.
WEDNESDAY 2nd MAY
Steve Raine – Hard Times
DJ: Steven Dunn with very special surprise guests on the night!
Hard Times was opened in 1993 by Steve ‘Rubel’ Raine , Donna Skinner and Pete Jenkinson in a little known town called Mirfield in West Yorkshire. They called it Hard Times because at the time they were all skint! Hard Times was one of the first UK clubs to base it’s music policy around US house and garage. From that one amazing night they have continued to write and re-write history time and time again. Twenty Five unbelievable years have thundered along leaving a mountain of memories and a heap of casualties along the way.
THURSDAY 3rd MAY
Graeme Park – Kaos, Soak, Up Yer Ronson & The Hacienda
Following The Summer of Love, Parky quickly became one of the biggest names on the emerging dance scene enjoying a nine year residency at The Haçienda, He was there before it all started, he was at the forefront of the dance scene when it was at its zenith, and he’s still here, still rocking it. For a man who came to DJing “purely by accident”, Parky is still regularly gigging around the UK, more than three decades on, and celebrating over twenty years as a radio DJ too, with shows on Kiss, Galaxy, Juice FM and more.
FRIDAY 4th MAY
Dave Beer – Back to Basics
Back To Basics was founded in Leeds in November 1991 by Ali Cooke and Church’s co-owner and protagonist, Dave Beer. After Ali’s unfortunate passing during the early years of the club, Dave has continued their efforts in making Basics one of the beacons in underground music in both the UK and the world over. Over the years the club has been instrumental in helping launch the careers of some of dance music fondest artists including Daft Punk, Groove Armada and Basement Jaxx.
Further information on One Foot In The Rave can be found at the event’s official Facebook page.