Returning to play club classics – back where it all began for the reluctant DJ
GRAEME Park, one of the first DJs outside of London to play house music, is back in Nottingham tonight, where his career began.
The Scot, 48, will be playing club classics at Tantra, a stone's throw from Lace Market club The Garage, where he first introduced dance music to the city in the late 1980s.
"I was playing in bands in Nottingham while running the upstairs at Selectadisc," says Park, of the record shop owned by Brian Selby, who died in September aged 71, from pancreatic cancer.
"One day Brian walked in to the shop and said 'I've bought the Ad-Lib club, I'm going to call it the Garage and I want you to DJ there.'
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"I didn't want to do it but he hinted very strongly that I might not be working in his record shop any more if I didn't."
"And 28 years later I'm still doing it. If it wasn't for Brian I may have never become a DJ."
It was while at the Garage that Park would make regular trips to Manchester club the Hacienda where the acid house/rave culture began.
"I used to go because I was a massive fan of bands signed to Factory Records who would often play there. That's when I met the resident DJ Mike Pickering. He and I were the only DJs outside of London playing house records.
"In the summer of 1988, he went away for a few weeks and asked me to fill in for him. And it was incredible. There were 2,000 people crammed in to the club."
It was the first time Park had heard of ecstasy, the drug of choice for dance club culture.
"For three years, I was doing Fridays at the Hacienda and Saturdays at the Garage and I witnessed the acid house scene infiltrating Nottingham."
Since then, Park has DJ'd all over the world
"I do sometimes pinch myself that I'm still doing it all these years later," he says.
He was back in Nottingham for his former boss's funeral in Cropwell Bishop.
"The church was beautiful and the tributes to Brian were just incredible.
"I'd not seen him for years but I found it difficult holding it together. And I did, until I left the church and saw his wife, Dorothy. Then I just lost it. His influence on me was huge."
Graeme Park is at DiscoVery, Tantra, Victoria Street, tonight, with resident Chris Sims, from 8pm. £5 at the door. To find out more call 0115 985 9955 or email email@example.com.