Secret Loft Party w/ Ralph Lawson, Domenic Cappello, Tristan Da Cunha & Gui...

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A secret loft party with Ralph Lawson, celebrating his 30th year as a DJ.


Ralph Lawson

Domenic Cappello

Tristan Da Cunha

Guille De Juan

"I have no idea what happened or how I got here but it’s 30 years since I started out as a DJ. It was just a hobby at first, something I picked up having been a drummer through my teenage years.

I started out in my bedroom before playing for the first time in front of people at house parties around Hyde Park in 1989. I met a guy called Nick Sanders who was running a late night food truck that would bust out house music and found out that he also promoted raves called Joy. I made him a mix tape and he offered me some early doors slots at Joy which turned into one of the biggest events in Leeds.

I also started my own Wednesday night called Clear. It was a very open time in the city and I’d always seek out like minded heads, especially in the record stores. One of those guys was Ali Cooke who worked at Kik Flip records, he had a friend called Dave Beer and they were just about to start a club called back to basics. They invited me to join as a resident DJ and I ended up playing the first record at The Music Factory venue in November 1991. I had just finished college and thought I’d give it a go for a few months. Back to basics ended up becoming one of the most successful and long running clubs in the world and I ended up becoming a DJ. First and foremost a resident DJ.

I’ve managed to stay in the game for all this time but it definitely hasn't been easy. Anyone who has dedicated a lifetime to music knows it is often a case of survival and we are only ever in a job if people want to listen to our music. You’re only ever as good as your last record. I really do appreciate this fact and try to never take it for granted.

When it came down to thinking how to celebrate this landmark year I decided that I’d like to give something back to the city that has supported me since day one. So on September 28th I’m throwing a free party to say ‘Thank You!’ at a secret loft space in Leeds. It’s a Thank You to friends and family and all the people who give their energy on the dance floor. I’m bringing along a selection of my favourite DJs, that also happen to be true residents. For me resident DJs are the best, they have to be able to play so many different styles of music to fit around the guests so become very versatile. They are always first and foremost in it for the love of music and are often underpaid for their troubles compared to the guests.

Domenic Cappello has always been like a long lost brother in arms for me since playing together for the very first time at the Sub Club in Glasgow in 1992, where he has since stayed to this day. He is without doubt one of the most technically gifted DJs on the planet and it’s a rare chance to have him play outside his Saturday night residency for the club. Another close compadre and fellow resident DJ from back to basics Tristan Da Cunha, is another true hero of the scene and incredible player. We complete the team with a great friend of mine from Barcelona, Guille de Juan, who has been an ever present in life for me.

We are going to go to town on sound and visuals and make it a truly special night, I hope you can come and join us..." - Ralph Lawson

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