I’ve done an interview with Andy from Development about their fourth birthday bash stroke comeback party on Friday night. Because it will probably be a while before it shows up on the CityLife site and because Andy gave me some very thorough answers (which by themselves were 500 words over my allocated word count) when I spoke to him, I have decided to provide it all here for your enjoyment.
More info: Development 4th Birthday
Everyone is raving about Sound Control at the moment. Are you looking forward to getting started there?
Most of all we’re all just really excited about getting back into doing a regular club night again. The buzz, excitement, worry, anticipation you get as a promoter is all back again. We’ve had a break from doing parties recently whilst waiting for the right venue to come along and we think we’ve found it in Sound Control. It’s great to start out at a brand spanking new club, which has a great bar, nice facilities and a killer sound system. The place really feels like a proper underground venue for dance music, it’s got a bit of a warehouse feel about it. When the 3 of us all first saw the club we fell in love with it immediately and it motivated us to do parties again. We’re as excited as we’ve ever been about Development, we’ve got some great parties planned between now and September including 3 parties on each of the bank holidays from May to August which we think are different, very forward thinking and perhaps with a little bit of a surprise element as well so keep an eye on us for those.
We’ve spent the last couple of months having some (heated) discussions about which DJs to book. We really want to avoid the line ups becoming stale and predictable so we’ll definitely be taking some risks on some emerging talent and mixing it with what people want. Our bookings for the rest of this year are looking really strong.
Tell us about Spinna and Osunlade please.
We’ve had some great parties with both of these DJs over the past 4 years and to be honest every time they’ve come over they’ve absolutely nailed it, so the combination of the 2 for our birthday tied in with our great crowd and the new venue should be perfect.
Those who have seen him will know that Spinna is a ridiculously talented DJ. Having come from hip hop and soul roots he has got DJ skills than most straight up House or Disco DJ’s out there couldn’t dream of. And the best thing is he uses them. The guy can go from scratching up two copies of your favourite 70’s Soul and Hip Hop records to mixing early House releases on Trax and Disco records on a sixpence, but still manage to make it sound amazing and keep his flow and the crowd locked in. There just aren’t that many people out there who can do that. Spinna is also a party DJ so who better to book for the birthday.
Spinna is also doing a pre party with us early doors at Revolution upstairs where he’ll be playing a 7” soul/funk/hip hop set. He did this the first time he played at Mint Lounge with us and it was that good we’ve asked him to do it again. Once word spread on this, the pre party pretty much sold out which is a testament to how much people love him here.
Osunlade is different. His music is really popular amongst people who like deep and soulful house. That slightly afro and techy sound of his is still really unique. OK there are reams of people emulating that sound now but it pretty much originated with him and his productions still stand apart. This uniqueness also comes across in his DJ sets. No one else can quite play like he does; it’s quite infectious for the crowd and it locks them into his sets. Osunlade plays really quite deep music, which if played by someone else might not work so well, but his delivery has so much energy it can be explosive.
Plus, they’re both top lads too, really humble and attitude-free. Last thing we wanted was some stuck-up big time Charlie ruining our birthday party!
What’s more important to you – that this night is a birthday party or that it’s your debut in a new venue?
I think it’s a combination of the two. The fourth birthday thing is great as it’s definitely about the fact we’ve made it this far and with quality underground bookings pretty much all the way as well. To think we started off doing parties in the Attic in Manchester nearly 5 years ago with bookings like Franck Roger, Alix Alvarez and Quentin Harris who were all UK debuts at the time from what I remember. We had our time at Mint Lounge which was a great 2 years which we’ll always remember and we had some great parties there. Then came our residency at Spektrum which was great for us as well especially as Sankeys gave us the opportunity to work with some great DJs like Carl Craig, Deetron & Ame and helped us be a little bit more experimental. I think this will be the key in the new venue – taking it back underground, back to a Manchester Basement in the area of town where we started doing parties. It’s about a new start for Development, we intend to build the party up again and the bookings we’ve got coming should really help do that. Plus it’s about settling into a new venue and a new dance floor for our crowd. The dance floor is a belter at Sound Control, split levels and a proper rave pit. We can’t wait to get stuck in there; it’s the sort of venue we’ve been trying to find for years.
What are you most proud of from the four years of Development?
Making it this far. We’ve had a few venues over the last couple of years and it makes us really proud that our crowd follow us and keep supporting us. Development is all about the crowd; all the DJs we have on absolutely love them and always have done. They like what we do musically and the atmosphere that our parties create, so the fact that they keep coming is the reason it’s a success. Not only that as well, the fact that Tom & Chris have been given the opportunity to DJ all around the UK with some great DJs and at some great nights, doing parties in Ibiza and going over to South Africa where Chris has been back once already and off there again in May, deep house is massive over there and is something we all enjoy getting involved with. We’ve also started a label Development Music which gives us something physical (and we mean records not mp3’s) from doing all this and something to look back on in years to come and say – we tried to do something, had a great time doing it, and did it pretty well.
What’s all this about a record label?
The record label was a logical step for us, because the parties have such a strong identity musically. It’s nice to have something tangible that will last forever with the Development name on it. We’ve got another great Zed Bias and Jenna G track about to drop, so it’s great to represent Manchester artists too, even though Zed is from Milton Keynes! Having Tom’s tunes signed to Freerange is really about his talent and hard work in getting into production. I’m sure the fact that he has played alongside most of the top DJ’s around at Development has been really beneficial to that. You can hear Tom’s records here.