Sat 14th April 2018 – The Basement, Stoke-on-Trent.
Lineup – (more tbc)
The original concept of LOAD was to shine a light on local talent and give opportunities to electronic artists that we thought had something, but didn’t fit directly in to what was happening in Stoke at the time. We knew that they would struggle to find a space to perform and we wanted to provide that.
It was a reaction to what we thought was a bit hum drum and predictable in the city. After all, promoters are generally into the scene to make money or progress their own careers if they are a dj or something but this, to do this quickly, usually means appealing to a mass audience in a safe way. That just makes business sense. I know this isn’t everybody and this is a broad brush, because I know there are many that are really passionate about their music. However, the net result of this was, what we thought at the time, a pretty boring club night menu for those heading out in Stoke. Everything seemed to be varying degrees of the same stuff.
Creativity is important. As a producer, I try to go the extra mile to be distinct, even if it pisses people off and they find the music hard work. Even Dave Clarke described my music as a hard listen. There is a lot of pressure to conform and a lot of haters out there to tell you when you are not doing so. This makes it difficult for artists to do what they ‘really’ want. For example, you’d be surprised by the number of Dj’s locally that have techno in their veins but play house (because of the above). LOAD hoped to be somewhat of a tonic, a safe space, a sort of . . . “fuck you, we’re doing it anyway”.
Attitude is so important . . . the sense that you are being true to yourself, something that you wont find in a generic club night. I know that people can smell attitude and whether or not you are on a bandwagon . . . people know the real deal when they see it. I have faith in people. If you want to be involved in something different it does take some nerve to dangle your feet over the edge, deviate from the norm, but some of the best nights I’ve ever had is when I’ve done this. These opportunities are difficult to come by though. I can think of a handful of nights internationally that meet this brief.
So to LOAD in 2018. What to do? Is Stoke the pit of predictability it used to be . . probably not. Recent events in the city have, to some extent, put Stoke on a path that looks forward rather than back. Also, the dance music landscape has certainly changed nationally as I discuss in this post. However, there remains a hole regarding attitude, honesty and pure experimentalism in what is an amazing city for these things in other areas of the arts.
So, LOAD is here to do exactly as it did 10 years ago. We hope to piss people off, confuse dance floors, create a community and most importantly, bang it out . . . really hard!
Come and say hello on the 14th April at the Basement.
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Here’s me playing out live at LOAD – Satchmos in 2008 –