Clubbing Royalty Back to Basics Turns 18!

Words by: Lisa Loco
Posted: 3/12/09 9:39

Clubbing Royalty Back to Basics Turns 18! Now officially sporting an 18 certificate, Leeds' clubbing institution Back to Basics came of age this year, and celebrated with a whopping big birthday bash last weekend. Its theme was ‘A Right Royal Affair'... ‘For Queen and Country', and the lunacy started right there. Widely recognised as the longest running club night in the UK - if not the world - it's headed up by one of the most enduring figures on Leeds' clubbing landscape. A lionheart in the lair of Loiners, who has survived a car crash, a coma, and a Yorkshire council estate. Dave Beer, aka The Beero, a one-time art student, turned roadie, turned club impresario, who, especially in today's commercialised climate, seems like the last of the Mohicans, always staying true to his roots, the original spirit of acid house, the faith. His party was born with one foot in punk, one foot in rock ‘n' roll, and has famously proceeded to boldly go ‘2 steps further than any other fucker' ever since. An irrepressible creation that grew legs and ran amok, from its early days at The Music Factory, to The Pleasure Rooms, to The Mint Club, Rehab and, finally, My House, B2B has relentlessly put the art in party, attracting the world's best talents to its tables, while boasting the wittiest quips and graphics. Yes, fierceness is always welcome here, so what could be in store behind the doors this time?

Well, upon arriving at My House, in the pounding pissing down rain, it was blazingly obvious, for even the venue's exterior was well dressed. Inside, the jubilant decor continued, with victory laurels, monumental effigies and flags a-flying. It was only 11.30pm but already a fancily dressed menagerie had engulfed the main room. There were wall-to-wall smiles, and volcanic were the sounds of ‘warm up' resident DJ Tristan da Cunha. The vibe frenzied, quintessentially British in its quirky randomness, with walking sticks, swords, police batons, riding crops, blow-up toys, and a spatula all puncturing the air... Tally fuckin' ho! Indeed, here was everything but the kitchen sink, although there were yards of kitchen roll, unwound and emblazoned, simply, with the word ‘Basics'.L-R: Ralph, Ivan, Dave & Buckley....

Next came Buckley, another bastion of Basics, who put us on red alert, heralding a ‘Warning', courtesy of Adeva. He continued to rinse his mix as old and new heads poured though the doors to pack the floors. Upstairs, in the dark depths of the BlackBox, long-time B2B jock James Holroyd was on a warm-up tip for another true original - Andy Weatherall. Meanwhile, up another floor, in the Bedroom, The Pigeon Detectives and Sunshine Underground guys were popping out to Blondie's ‘Atomic'. Later, joining the axis of entertainment back downstairs was the French touch of Ivan Smagghe, who unfortunately had technical problems with his laptop/extra kit. Yet most failed to notice, despite Dave Beer's apologies over the mic. Tonight Dave had donned Union Jack face paint and big white hair, and was bearing a slight resemblance to a medieval Amy Winehouse. Anyway, as they continued sorting out the gear, Mr. Weatherall started opening up a chasm in the space-time continuum, in the BlackBox. Hark! He was playing such slow and subtle house that it felt, strangely, as if we were moving back in time, to the future, and the crowd responded warmly. What sublime grooves. What a dude.

Returning to the main room, it was obvious Ivan's glitch hadn't turned anyone off; oh no, The Force was too strong. Now we were ready for the right honourable Ralph Lawson, and it was around this time that I believe we were pricked by shards of another classic that spoketh through the mists - ‘I Got The Power'. Sure enough, Ralph's set sizzled from start to finish, and the classic blurred into the contemporary as Dave urged the room to ‘now dance like you mean it!' The lord of merriment even crowd surfed, DC10-style. Ralph slipped on Garnier's immortal ‘The Man With The Red Face', and those left standing were thus prepared to enter another dimension - the afterparty, which was about to kick off in the BlackBox.

Of course, there's nothing else like it and, whether or not they get certified by the Guinness Book of Records, as the oldest club night on the planet, everybody knows what is what with this unique institution. Yes, the whole affair showed once more that B2B remains strong as a king among club nights.

B2B remains strong as a king among club nights | |


Roberto Capuano
Politics Of Dancing
Ralph Lawson