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An Exclusive Interview with Dave Beer

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We spoke to Leeds legend Dave Beer about 25 years of his club night Back to Basics and how they’re celebrating this summer!

Back To Basics founder Dave Beer is collaborating with Leeds’ fantastic Orchestra of Opera North and Leeds City Council to stage a huge party at Millennium Square.

Huge dancefloor anthems will be reworked into classical arrangements and performed by a 50-piece orchestra, together with live vocalists and some very special guests to be announced.

Since its inception in the early 90s, Back to Basics has blazed a trail for the Leeds club scene, helping put the city back on the musical map.

‘The Symphonic Sounds of Back To Basics’ marks the first collaboration between the promoter and the Orchestra of Opera North, as two contrasting Leeds-based music institutions come together to celebrate the full range of the city’s sensational musical offering which is sure to provide one of the cultural highlights of the year and an event not to be missed.

We caught up with Leeds legend, local entrepreneur and Back to Basics founder Dave Beer to hear the full story of Back to Basics and to find out more about their performance at Millennium Square on the 28th July.

Most people across the country know you for Leeds club night Back to Basics, can you tell us what you were aiming for when it was first started?

We’d be travelling down to London for parties at the time and we just wanted to open a little place for our mates, we thought we’d get six months at best! And then here we are twenty five years later. We wanted something for the more determined clubber and somewhere that was into the sort of things that we were.

In your opinion, how did it become this phenomenon and how has it managed to last the test of time?

There was nothing in our area that was doing what we were doing, it was very Balearic; we were music conscious and fashion conscious as well. It was for the more discerning clubber and we made it as hard as we possibly could for people to get in. Which, of course, made people want to get in even more.

It’s gone over generations now and it’s crazy. It’s getting to the stage where people say ‘oh my Dad used to go’ and soon it’ll get to the stage where they’ll say that about their grandads! We do still stick to our original ideals, we pay respects to the pioneers of dance music and we’re not interested in the commercial side of it. I’ve never been one for following trends.

So you’ll be celebrating 25 years of Back to Basics with a performance at Millennium Square, can you tell us a bit about this?

I think this performance at Millennium Square will probably be the proudest day of my life. We want it to be a celebration of Leeds, we’re getting people to send in photos of themselves so everyone will be a part of it. We’ll find out how many Back to Basics babies we’ve got out there… there’s been a lot of people that have met at the club!

I’m quite humbled by it and I’m just shocked that we’ve got such a forward thinking Council who are so far ahead of the rest of the country. When the rest of the country are closing down nightclubs and looking at the dance scene as unsavoury, our Council have seen what a cultural impact it has. Besides amazing universities, a lot of students come to Leeds for the nightlife and they’ve noticed this and they want to pay tribute to us for everything we’ve done for the city, culturally and economically. I do think we’ve paved the way for a lot of the city to develop as well. From fashion designers through to musicians, Back to Basics has been a melting pot of young people.

‘The Symphonic Sounds of Back To Basics’ will be at Millennium Square on the night of the 28th July.

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