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It was at the end of the rave era and
there were no clubs in our area. We had to travel to
London or the Hacienda in Manchester; there was just
nothing in Leeds. I started it with Alistair Cook, my
partner who’s sadly not with us anymore.
Not in the slightest. When we started the club it
was all a two-fngered salute to the rave culture that
was going on. It was dedicated to those with long
trousers and sensible shoes – we said it was for the
more discerning clubber. It defned an era and the
club got massive.
Because we
believe it; it’s real. It’s not like a nightclub to us, it’s
like a living breathing thing, it’s what we do. It’s
about the music, and the citizens of Leeds always
shine through for us.
Tere have been so many, but I suppose
in the beginning getting club of the year just before
Ali died - that’s a nice memory to have. But now
we’re spreading our horizons with an art exhibition
[coming to Leeds Gallery in February 2012] and
we’re opening a music academy.
It’s totally absorbed and taken it over;
it’s my baby. It’s the one love in my life that never
lets me down.
In the early
days we were on the panel with the council and with
Lorna Cohen setting up the 24-hour city. We were
the pioneers of it and Lorna Cohen was in the papers
dancing with me in the nightclub.Tey called her the
Disco Granny – she’s brilliant.
Back then, there
were only a few pubs, some kebab houses and a
chippy. It’s been great watching it develop and now
I think Conde Nast said it’s the number one place to
live in Europe. Sorry Barcelona, but that’s what it says.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT
HOW BACKTOBASICS FIRST
CAME ABOUT?
WHAT ARE THE MAIN
CHANGES IN LEEDS AND ITS
NIGHTLIFE SINCE YOU FIRST
SET UP BACKTOBASICS?
WHEN YOU SET IT UP DID
YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW
SUCCESSFUL IT WAS GOING
TOBE?
WHATDOYOUTHINKARETHE
SECRETS TO ITS SUCCESS?
WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS
FOR YOU?
HOW MUCH HAS
BACKTOBASICS AFFECTED
YOUR LIFE AND CAREER
PERSONALLY?
WHAT PART DID YOU PLAY
IN HELPING TO MAKE LEEDS
MORE OF A 24-HOUR CITY?
Back to Basics