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Go BackOPERATION M.A.Y.D.A.Y - Tribal Gathering's David Vincent is going to hang up his Indian headdress and retire

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‘May the first be with you…’ comes the latest bulletin from orifice of dangerous David Vincent as he declares a new Tribal warehouse event fresh for 2004, plus news of his impending retirement from the dance scene – We bring you exclusive intelligence!

Enigmatic and compelling, David Vincent called us up the other day to reveal an alluring and exclusive story… He is going to retire from dance music business, but not without a show (or ten) of resilience. “I’m just gonna do ten more parties and then that’s it, I’m throwing in the towel!” Vincent informed us…

After joining ‘Tribal Gathering’ as director in 1999, and creating the sensation that is ‘Tribal Sessions’ in 2000, David celebrated Tribal Gathering’s 10th anniversary with a stupendous secret Manchester warehouse party on 23rd August 2003. There quickly followed the fun (but perhaps less than perfect to Vincent) ‘Tribal Weekender’ during November. Now in 2004 Tribal Gathering remains tightly in the northern stronghold of Manchester and sets forth to continue the Tribal Gathering legacy in fine style with another warehouse party of epic proportions. For this new Manchester location, the Tribal team are currently drawing up plans and complex schematics for ‘O.P.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. M.A.Y.D.A.Y.David has furthermore aptly re-positioned his setting in the Tribal company to ‘Director of Fun.’ – “My job is to make sure everyone has loads of fun!”Vincentprofessionally explained.

Scheduled for the 1st May, this latest event promises much, as David’s own press highlights… ”While the music will be the perfect hybrid of old and new, the spirit of this gathering is set fifteen years in the past. As with the last warehouse party, this event is not a festival: While the line-up contains many of last year’s most celebrated points, a new battalion of turntable masters have been sourced to take the aural intensity to a staggering new height. Twenty of dance music's most unique names spread over three rooms, each playing a set that will take you on a twisted journey back in time, to the smoke and laser filled thump of those original acid house times… The acid-house revolution is aligning itself for a great invasion. The stage is set, the word is spreading and the clock is ticking away... We are on a road to somewhere incredible... May The First Be With You!”

“…If I can’t make a fool out of myself, then who can!” is his motto; he spent his birthday dressed as a woman; and following much recent ‘dettox’ effort he thinks that ‘caffeine is the worst drug about…’ He is David VincentParty Monster extraordinaire! So without further a do, let’s unleash the interview as we chat to Tribal’s David Vincent about his May Day holler and the future…

So let’s get acquainted with more about this latest Tribal Gathering venue you’ve selected, I presume it’s in Manchester, but how was it discovered?
David: “How did you presume its Manchester? (He laughs) Well it wasn’t going to be… We really wanted to do some other parties around the UK, but fate took over. Because I wasn’t happy with our last ‘Tribal Weekender’ (a lot of the elements weren’t right in my mind and we lost full control over aspects like the production and security;) I said I’m just gonna do ten more parties and then that’s it, I’m throwing in the towel! Ten more parties and each one will have it’s own theme and be in its own distinguished location. Each will have to be a masterpiece in itself! You can only ever experience it once. There will be no saying ‘I missed the last one, but I’ll make it to the next (similar) event.’ Each of the ten will be an unrepeatable and unique event, a new learning experience for Tribal’s team, the clubbers and myself as well. I see this as a follow on to what we did at our outstanding warehouse party in August 2003 – That was the best venue I’ve ever seen, a pure acid house cathedral, and when you’ve got such a great venue you’re half way there! We still want to do a warehouse because we feel a big outdoor festival is really not our style. Finding a venue like that is so very hard, but for our ‘May Day’ operation we managed it. It sounds daft but it’s damn near impossible to get somewhere, we scoured the whole country, city to city... Some places were fine, but were corporately owned and managed making it difficult to organise such an electronic music event. We were facing the end of January before my partners and I decided if we didn’t find somewhere quick we’d have to cancel the event, even after booking all these substantial names. Anyway, we’d come back from the Midlands feeling glum, as we’d found a really amazing venue (but for whatever reason it didn’t come together,) but then our train broke down about a mile outside of Manchester! We were facing a long wait on this train so we thought we’d get off and go jump a cab… And as we got off (no joke,) right directly opposite us was a massive, derelict warehouse, and we’re doing it right there. It was fate as the warehouse kinda found us, and now I’m gonna go for it! ”

Last time we spoke you were enlightening us on the musical virtues of Todd Terry, will he be facing a return to the Tribal source?
“Yes, ‘Todd the God’ is coming back and hopefully doing a similar thing to what he did last year - An old skool / new skool classic set with strobes and acid house vibes!”

You’ve told us that you are dying your (head) hair yellow leading up to the Operation May Day event. So why yellow, does the colour hold special significance to you?
“I think come May the 1st it will all ‘click in.’ Yeah, there’s a story to it, my hair will actually go blonder and blonder, and I’ve started this week! With the yellow face paint and yellow hair I’ll soon be ready for operation ‘May Day…’ Yellow is a big significant to this event and people will see why on May the 1st!”

How’s your favourite alias ‘Ketaman’ going to deal with the yellow, won’t he look like a MacDonald’s clown (with the red cloak/ cap & yellow face-paint/ hair?)
“Nah, he just has put his cap on over the yellow hair. Actually it’s his birthday on June 14th so we’ll be doing a joint party at DC10 (in Ibiza) with Charlie Chester, should be a lot of fun there had by all.”

So you’ll be ‘out there’ in Ibiza this season then?
“Oh yes. But I don’t think I’m going to Miami. I’ve booked for the WMC but I don’t think I’m actually off. Thinking about it now, I really want to join my friends in the sun, but feel strongly that I want to concentrate on making this next event the best I’ve ever done - It’s not gonna happen if I go out there for a week. After the huge success of the August (2003) Warehouse event I felt there was some backlash against Tribal and I from some jealous people. The May Day event I see as a test, and if it means I have to sacrifice Miami then so be it.”

Last time we spoke you talked of a new, smaller Sankey’s mark two. Has this project been realised, or is it now on hold after your recent ‘retirement revelations?’
“Yeah that’s obviously on hold for now. We maybe plan to open a new club in Manchester come September, but at the moment it’s like spinning plates, meaning you can’t take too much on at once. If it does go ahead it will be at the opposite side of the spectrum to Sankey’s (which is a dirty underground club,) so imagine the opposed side to that…”

So do you feel ready in yourself for retirement; ten parties is that equating to about five years?
“I really love putting on parties and making people feel good, but yes I’m ready to pack it in about five years. I want to leave at the top and be able to still connect to the clubbers whilst I am still young, and when I still fully love and understand the club scene. The moment I have to leave the dance floor, then it’s time to pack it in, and I reckon five years will be the right time. I will be sad though come my tenth and last tribal gathering party. My mum always said I had ‘healing qualities…’ I just like individuals to be happy, and it’s a buzz when I get emails from people who’ve met at my party then become great friends, or even got married as a result from meeting up at my event. I think I’ve only got ten parties left in me though and I will do my utmost to make them the very best dance music has ever seen since acid house. I am not saying this will be the end of Tribal Gathering however - Just that I’ll step back for a younger ‘Jedi’ to take over. I’ll go and retire on Tribal Island with a tribal princess and a few mental tribalists…”

Finally what about the ten party animals, where will they come from and will they have to be caged for crowd safety?
“Oh just ten party animals who I’ll recruit beforehand, people like Dave Beer, Charlie Chester, Paul Shurey and Alex Hardee will be in there for sure. Yeah we could put them in cages hanging from the roof… like a real modern Tribal art gallery!”

Sounds good, ‘The United States of We R House’ in a post-modern art gallery in Manchester – It’s coming soon, so stay tuned!

Info/0161 661 9668/
Tickets /0161 832 1111/

Bank Holiday Saturday 1st May, 4pm – 6am
A Tribal Gathering in a secret Manchester Warehouse...

Armand Van Helden
Andy C
DJ Marky & MC Stamina
DJ Sneak
DJ Yoda
Greg Vickers
Jazzy Jeff
Krafty Kuts Soundsystem
Plump DJs
Rahzel - Live
Stanton Warriors
Steve Lawler
Todd Terry
Unkle Sounds

+ More artists to be announced plus support from Sankey's friends AIRTIGHT
Bill Subject to change
An initial run of 500 tickets are currently available at £25.00 each until Friday 6th February at the Tribal Gathering Box Office on 0161 832 1111. After 6th February tickets are £29.00

Words by Lisa Loco