Leeds clubbing institution, Back To Basics, has been at the heart of the city's clubbing agenda for over 20 years and boss Dave Beer remains at the forefront of scene to this very day. With a brand new club on the horizon, news of the Back To Basics 23rd Birthday Party next month and of course the next edition of Back To Basics just around the corner (Wire - Saturday 18th October) we caught up the man himself.
Check out the full interview below and pick up tickets to Back To Basics at Wire (Saturday 18th October) here.
Hi Dave, hope your well! Firstly, let’s go back a while to when you posted your Facebook status announcing that you are opening the new club FIFO. The initial response was huge. How did that make you feel?
Yeah it was totally amazing. The amount of love and support I received from that statement. It's crazy as I wrote that post late on a Sunday evening and woke up to hundreds of messages, which totally blew me away as I’d forgotten all about it by the time I woke up. But everything I said came from the heart. Anybody who knows me knows I wear my heart on my sleeve, in some cases to my detriment. I always say what’s on my mind, and at that time it was an idea and due to how much it has resonated with everybody, it is now becoming a reality.
This announcement that you will be bringing a new club to Leeds has obviously excited a lot of people. Can you give us an insight into what you have planned for the club?
Well like I said, I just personally think clubland has become stale and people are not getting value for money. It seems everything is leaning towards warehouses and festivals and overpriced clubs, overpriced drinks and overpaid DJ’s, with no attention paid to comfort and detail. Nightclubs are supposed to be otherworldly, multi sensory experiences, places that help you forget about the outside world, places for freedom to have fun where you can listen and dance to music, most importantly to feel safe to do your own thing. I want to create something special, a club for the clubbers. Not a straight club, not a gay club, not a black club, not a white club, not a young club or and old club, just a club. The name FIFO is supposed to be more amusing than offensive, although it speaks for itself as I just want the club to be full of good people with respect for each other, people who know the dance. It won't be a place for cattle who follow the crowd, as Fit In Or F**k Off is not about being cool and looking good, in fact the opposite, although I want people to make the effort it will be a place with a difference. It’s all about your approach. I’d rather have the misfits that don’t normally fit in just as much as the fit that fit in. Just make the effort and do your own thing.
You said you want this club to be a club for the people. How do you mean?
The idea is to give shares to the public so they could own a part of the club, kind of a crowd funding effort. This is something I still intend to do. A lot of people have offered their services and I have a big list of them so I intend to give people a share for either £1000 or £1000 worth of work, whatever skill they have to create it. It’s all about making that grand gesture! It’s a crazy idea but I think it might just work. I also intent to make FIFO a members club from the start to create the perfect crowd and these people will be the first to start inviting members.
And this will be where Back To Basics will be able to call home?
Yes, hopefully this will be the last home for Back To Basics. I want to create a legacy; somewhere that has something for everybody. I want it to be a fully creative space and also house the Back To Basics Music Academy, where the young and old can learn the basics from Back To Basics. We are looking at teaming up with SSR, which means the academy will provide the means to getting a national diploma. DJ’s will be able to come in and teach production and software skills, it will be like a music college with knobs on, literally.
Dave Beer - Back To Basics (Photo - AJ Esquire)
The response for the first Back To Basics Gets Wired party at Wire last month was overwhelming. Next weekend you have the second part, again at Wire in Leeds. What are you expecting this time around?
For the first I was expecting just a lovely warm get together with the Basics family, friends and ever faithful. What happened took the lid off from start to finish. The crowd were totally up for it, which made the DJs work even harder. Musically it was like the tide coming in, just wave after wave with some real rip curlers from time to time. I was like proud Dad, considering they are all my residents. The special guest that evening stayed on the dance floor, respect to Miguel Campbell and Luca Cazal (Infinity Ink) for coming down. Judging by the buzz it’s looking like it’s going to go off again, the special guest better be prepared to play or stay on the floor with you guys.
After October’s event at Wire, have you got any other dates that are lined up for the coming months?
Obviously the 29th of November is our 24th anniversary. We will be holding this event at Beaverworks after last year when we had an amazing party there, with the venue turning out to be a perfect place, although last minute. We are also holding another special party on the 1st of November. It’s going to be something from outer space that I think you’ll all love. Think that might give you a big enough clue! If not, think the coolest English master of reinvention DJing, who has always been part of Basics since the beginning, also my favourite DJ!
Dave Beer - Back To Basics 22nd Birthday (Photo - James Abbott-Donnelly)
So finally, do you have any idea on when the club will be opening?
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure on an opening date. Since I set my stall out with my mission of intent I have been working 24/7 on pulling everything in, but the hard work and sleepless nights are now paying off. I’ve had great meetings with the council who are fully behind this project, as not only is it going to be a club like no other, it’s the fact that it’s going to be teaching music skills to the people of Leeds, something the city can be proud of. Dance music and clubbing often get a bad name for all the wrong reasons, which we don’t need to go into. My intention is to create the positive and nurture the ideas that come out of all the craziness on the dance floor from music fashion to art. Now I’m just totally working on raising the funds, it’s not going to be cheap but the best things in life aren’t. But by hook or by crook I am determined to get this together. I am determined to make this happen. I’ll either do it or cry trying.
Thank you! Good luck with the club, I’m sure we will be on its dance floor very soon!
No problem, looking forward to seeing everyone on the dance floor at Wire on the 18th!
Back To Basics Gets Wired
Saturday 18th October
With a selection of Back To Basics renowned resident DJ's;
Tristan Da Cuhna
Also introducing fresh new talent from Leeds:
Plus special guests to be announced.