Tom Craven hails from the northern strong hold of Manchester, UK. From the Stone Roses to the Hacienda to the house parties of modern times, the city’s ever-changing music scene has always been a major influence, be it inspirational or reactionary! The Hacienda was the club that first sparked Tom’s imagination at the age of 16 as he began his journey through all things house, but the clubs subsequent demise and the inability for the city to fill the void created by the loss of its favourite son, made Tom look further a field for inspiration and direction. In 1997 Tom moved over the Pennines to Leeds to study Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds. As the Manchester party scene was living on past glories, Leeds was on the crest of a wave with seminal clubs like Back2Basics and Hard Times leading the way - it wasn’t long before Tom was hooked and started DJing and spending his entire student loan on his new vinyl addiction! But as house music got more saturated and more formulaic in the late 90’s, Tom explored the more experimental, dubby, stripped down beats synonymous with Basics and the Hacienda and, it was these years that played a major influence on his future musical development. This evolutionary process is still pivotal in Tom’s music today, always trying to push things forward, , whilst staying true to his roots.
The last few years have been something of a whirlwind. After graduating from University in 2002, Tom put all post-University job ambitions on hold, packed a few bags of records and headed off to live in Ibiza for four crazy summers. Over four amazing years he gradually worked his way up through the ranks from cool bars and villa parties to landing a much lauded summer residency with close friend Dave Sandford as DAT Elektronique in the Red Box at We Love… Sundays at Space. Things would never to be the same after this point! Tom came home that summer and found himself DJing at some of the coolest parties across the UK and, inspired by the music, people and parties of a crazy summer, Tom became influential in developing the foundations of two of the best parties in the UK. The amazing Below parties in an open-aired Victorian warehouse in Birmingham and, the Space Ibiza inspired line-ups of the Dirty Disco in Leeds. Both parties, held in some of the most amazing venues in the UK instantly became the two most talked about parties in England, booking the freshest, most cutting edge DJs/artists in the world, whilst pushing the music forward and creating that special party atmosphere.
With the huge success of Below and the Dirty Disco, Tom decided it was time to create his own legacy in his hometown of Manchester and in the summer of 2006 BackToFront was born. Created out of necessity and the need to create a small, intimate, fun party; BackToFront showcases forward-thinking house music in some of the craziest and most interesting venues in Manchester (and the UK). Through carefully selected residents and guest DJs/artists from around the globe, BackToFront has become one of the most loved and talked about parties in the UK. For its first year BackToFront was held at the now legendary but now defunct CAST skateboard shop (ramp included!) in Manchester’s bohemian Northern Quarter, introducing to Manchester for the first time international luminaries such as Mike Shannon, Jay Haze, Cassy, Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, Mara Trax and Agnes, whilst introducing some of best new talent the UK has to offer in residents Adam Shelton and Adam Proctor and good friends such as Jamie Jones, Matthew Styles, Hector, Inxec, Subb-an and Matt Tolfrey. Since the early days of the CAST skate shop parties, BackToFront has taken residence in quirky art galleries, dance studios, transvestite hotels and even proper clubs (!) but wherever BackToFront resides there are always a few constants; good music, quirky venues, a great crowd and a fun party! The success of BackToFront and his other residencies in Leeds, Birmingham and London has bought Tom many plaudits and recognition and has made him one of the most in-demand, up-and-coming house and techno DJs in the UK, keeping Tom and his deep, groovy, intelligent house sound on constant rotation around the coolest parties in the UK and Europe; from London to Glasgow to Barcelona and everywhere in between.
Tom has recently set up a new side project with fellow BackToFront resident Adam Proctor called Protocol, a new production and DJ duo focussed at exploring all facets of house music! These guys have been tipped for big things in 2009, so watch this space (www.myspace.com/protocolbeats) ! With a busy DJ schedule taking in all corners of the globe, Tom is definitely one to watch for 2009…. but don’t take our word for it!