My First Club takes us back to the beginning, transporting DJs and producers back into the depths of their memory, asking them to take us on a trip to those pivotal first nights in clubland. Following entries from our writers and Danish techno don Kolsch, this time around, Bristol's hungriest house head Eats Everything rewinds back to November 1995.
I'd been to a few raves before, but November 1995 was when my clubbing nights and days began. I went to the Lakota in Bristol on a Friday and the night was a techno one called Temptation. I saw some massive names there, people like Jeff Mills, Carl Cox and Richie Hawtin, alongside ones that have faded in the memory banks of the public: Dave Angel, Daz Saund, Colin Faver, Gayle San, Tasha Killa Pussies – all those proper havin' it, hard as nails, techno DJs. We're talking proper, proper techno, flat out 135-140 BPM stuff. The kind of techno that's having a bit of a revival now.
The Lakota used to have a glam house night on Saturdays called Fandango which was notoriously difficult to get into. You had to dress exactly right. I guess it was the Berghain of Bristolian handbag house. Temptation was different, you could pretty much wear anything and still make it through the door. I used to get there at 10pm and leave at 9am, never even touching a drop of alcohol.
After that first Friday I was hooked. For the next three years we spent near enough every Friday and Saturday night in Lakota. Saturday morning would roll round after Friday night and we'd just stay up till the club opened again. I was 15 at the time and had to drag myself through the school gates on a Monday morning. When I got to college I used to sack Mondays off as standard. I started working for a company called Quality Products halfway through my A-Levels so I'd go in to college Monday, Tuesday to work, Wednesday and Thursday to college and Friday back to work, and we'd stay up all weekend – it was horrible and it makes my skin crawl just thinking about it now, but it was fucking amazing really. Those were the best times of my life.
I was incredibly lucky really, Lakota wasn't just my local club: it was one of the best clubs in the whole world. They had the pulling power to bring in the sickest DJs from all over the world. God, back then it was the best fucking place in the world. One of the best nights I had there was a Carl Cox one. There were two particular parties and two of my four favourite DJs in the world played at them. I was chatting to Carl at his house the other day about it actually. He remembered it the same way I did. It was fucking rammo that night, you couldn't move at all – horrible stuff. 3am came and Carl Cox hadn't arrived. 4am rolled round and Carl Cox still hadn't arrived. Then it was 5am and he still hadn't fucking arrived. It struck six. A Carl Cox-less room. People left in their droves. There was about 400 of us stood about, feeling a bit down, by that point. Then he rocked up and thumped it out till midday in this now intimate spot and it was fucking incredible. He didn't take a DJ fee for it because he was so late, he actually clarified that with me. It's still in my head now.
The other one was Tony De Vit, the last gig he played in Bristol before he died, he was playing 11pm-1am and I remember getting in there at 11.10, I'd never seen it like that on a Saturday night, it was absolutely jam-packed and it was going off like you've never seen a place go off in your life. Tony De Vit could do that no matter what club you were in, no matter who was playing, when Tony De Vit came on it would just go. The tempo would rise, the music would get a little bit harder and the whole atmosphere and energy would just increase, and it was just fucking absolutely mind-blowing.
Obviously, even with a club like Lakota, a club that could bring in those big names, the importance of a solid resident DJ can't be overstated. Lakota's was a guy called Ian Wilkie. Lord knows what he does now but back then he was amazing. He was the first person I ever heard play Da Hool's "Meet Her at the Love Parade" and I literally left the club at 8am and hung outside the door of Bang Bang, a record shop, till they opened at 9, and I managed to get the last copy of what was, at the time, a super underground tune.
Bang Bang is closed now, sadly. When you first started visiting you went through a kind of hazing process. You'd nip in and stroll to the counter and ask 'Sorry to bother you but have you got this particular record in stock?' Then they'd just look at you like, 'Who's this cunt?' You had to keep your head down and ride it out. After a while I became friends with the owners, Mike and Rachel, and they'd start holding the good stuff back for you, promos and stuff, records they only got five copies in of. They'd keep one for me and give the rest to the visiting DJs.
It got closed down in about 2003 I think, it was a sad day when that closed. I'd stopped going there because I didn't use vinyl anymore, everything became CD and Limewire! I'm not gonna lie, you could just download it all for free! At first when the whole MP3 revolution came along you used to just download it all for free, I didn't care, I was a fucking builder, I earned 200 quid a week. You could just get all this amazing music for free and so you stopped going to the record shops, that's what fucked them. Sad, but it's the way of the world I suppose.
Eats Everything is hosting a New Year's Day spectacular at Electric in Brixton, tickets for which are available here.