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LEGENDS IN WARRINGTON: WHERE REALITY BECOMES MORE UNREAL?

Before the super club warped the ever growing popular genre of House Music into an unimaginable entity, the smaller venue was king. Over to Crilly for more...

House music venues were not purpose built venues at all. DJ's and promoters would put on their events anywhere that they could ... any where that was feasibly possible. Some events never worked at all. Then there were the events that were Legendary. We managed to catch up with Woody, a DJ whom provided the soundtrack to many of us House music hunters from the Mersey Delta circa late 1980's. When people went out around these parts they went to a club that was aptly named 'Legends'. Legends in Warrington, for some reason unknown to us was embracing new music and us kids loved it. We at caught up with Woody to ask him all about it.

1. We remember ourselves trying to put on similar House music events at that time but ended up facing a brick wall, the venue owners from that time didn't really want to try any new styles of music and especially one that was perceived to be 'dangerous' or to go hand in hand with drugs. What was special about the things backstage at Legends that made things work?

 

I think money motivates most club owners or promoters so if they see an opportunity they go with it, but about a year before I actually started to do Legends a few people I knew hired the back room and got Steve Williams down to play, there was a sound system, one strobe light and around a hundred Warrington scallies all e'd up having a whale of a time. I just remember at the end of the night the owner Jim saying never let those people set foot in this club again, about a year later Kev and Shaun the promoters of the Friday night employed Richard and I, but also paid Jim to stay away and Legends was born.

 

2. We enjoyed the various nights on offer at Legends. There was an Indie night too which we recall was one of the first places we witnessed the crossover of Indie into dance. Andy Wetherall had just produced Primal Screams sublime Screamadelica and the Madchester scene was starting to go thermonuclear. Legends seemed to be able to play what it wanted when other venues of the time were clueless. Were the DJ's given free control or was the venue loosely based on another venue anywhere else do you feel?

 

No we played what we wanted Shaun who mainly dealt with Saturday's and was joint promoter of friday, but the two nights were totally separate Shaun had no clue about House he just thanked his lucky stars that he was in the right place at the right time, the Music policy was ours, Richard was from the nice end of town doing a degree in politics (he was recently the producer of question time) and me wrong end of town just trying to get away with working for a living. The thing we both had in common was music and the Hacienda we got together at legends as he was playing already when I arrived and I brought the following I had already built up around town playing a couple of other nights. As well as the Hac Rich was going down south every so often with his studies and picked up the sound of Shoom the more balaeric tracks and I was picking up some of the new sounds from Europe known as New Beat which Steve Williams had pioneered in the UK and I was a bit of a soul boy too, these were our influences and so from Techno to Soul it just got played and it really worked and I feel this is why the Music is remember so fondly today.

 

3. What record stands out most to you from that era, which record or records would you not leave home without?

I think if you ask anybody who went in there today they would probably pick a Balearic start of the night track, something like Saturdays Angels - ‘If’ or the Beat Busters - ‘Let me tell you something’, one of my favourites is the Koxo's club band - Makes you blind, but there are too many to mention.

 

4. What was the furthest location that you know of that someone had travelled to be at the venue?

I know we had a regular from Ireland, but they came from all over.

 

5. We remember the lines of people outside the venue trying to gain entry on some nights because it was full to capacity. What was the busiest night for yourself? Which night was it that stands out most to you and why?

At it's height they were shoe horned in around 1500 or so but who knows, I have a few good memories I always think of Flowered up coming to see Richard after a concert in Liverpool and fitted legends in on their tour with us playing the warm up, in those days I used to take my decks as they didn't have 1200's and they were trying to help me take the deck's out but they were just too pissed do anything, they had a great time though. But just the best memories are playing the tracks and the place just going off I suppose it's like scoring a goal at the Stretford end or Kop.

 

6. The party never really finnished back in those days, quite often the revellers inside the venue would receive news of an after show party somewhere else. These were daubed illegal raves by the media and laws were eventually changed in government to stop these from happening. The police deemed them social catastrophies in the making, but they were harmless really weren't they? Are there any that stick out for you?

Not after Legends my days on the other side of the decks were already over I had copped the very first parties in Manchester and Blackburn in 88 /89 and they were the best I also so went to a couple of great ones in Huddersfield one in an old church it was unreal, Steve Williams tells me he has it on video I must get onto him about it.

 

7. Are there any venues out there today that you feel you could compare to Legends?

I don't go out especially now I live in Melbourne, Australia but Im sure people are having just as good a time in a dingy dive somewhere out there I believe South America is the place to go these day's but I can't pull myself away from my pipe and slippers and tales of the New World Order to bother with that. I still crank the decks up from time to time and do some mixes for UK web sites.

 

8. Quite a few DJ's of that era went on to produce a few records for themselves, did you ever have a go?

Yes I produced under the name's bbr streetgang, badroxx, mike woods and disco svengalis.

 

9. If you could go back in time what records today would you take back there with you to drop? 

I presume you mean what new records would I take back, there are a couple of disco records I wish I would of owned back then but my favourite newer record would have to be Moodymann - u can dance if u want 2.

 

10. Would you change anything about the club scene today if you were magic?

Yes those idiot's who wear the Gucci sunglasses indoors, what's all that about? It's great when something springs up out nothing and you witness the birth of it, but it always deviates into money making and tossers, or is it me just getting old?

No its not just you Woody fella. Thankyou for the time mate xx

 

 


Tags: legends warrington woody crilly house music 



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