I have written before about the joys of small venues. The Redhouse has been a key part of my life – at least these latter years. Dealing with business matters there, security, event planning, djing, vjing and so on. It will soon close – unfortunately such pub chains as Punch have little appreciation for the aesthetics of the matter, only the pounds, shillings and pence, no real humanity, just an adding machine.
This was a venue that gave us the widest range of music, certainly in South Yorkshire if not Yorkshire full stop. Here you could find bands, admittedly small, but still from all over the world. Personally I have played music here from every continent. Events such as the celebration of Che Guevara’s birthday, at one time an annual event, where I supplied visuals. I remember playing balkan to a particular crowd, african – from african zouk to kizomba and kudurro, at other times kwaito and afro-beat. Some of the biggest nights were ska events and here I would play not only english language ska, from the UK and regularly the USA, but also french and spanish, mexican and dutch, with odd bits of german thrown in.
There will be a goodbye party next weekend.
Pretty well all music styles can manage to find a place in a big venue, if done well can succeed with the big gig. For me though, sometimes certain sorts of music just fits nicely with particular places. Trip hop, old or its newer reflavouring, always seems to fit so well in venues like the Harley or the Redhouse – both Sheffield venues. Each has a very particular taste and texture – each has a history. The Redhouse has a history going back over 200 years. I have performed at each.
via Roger Molls.
… and then you run across something else, someone else – taking a look at a recent Saturday Night Live I was introduced to St. Vincent – moody, sort of arty, sometimes described as baroque
I have written previously on the subject of small venues. In a different blog – f4mmedia – I looked particularly at the Redhouse, a Sheffield venue typified as providing the widest range of music in South Yorkshire. I love small venues – so much friendlier, warmer, more personal. I have worked at quite a number and DJed at many. These have included:
- the East House, now a cake shop and cafe, once known as the Dodge City saloon courtesy of murders decades ago
- the Tea Gardens, now a food store, once a temperance house
- the Harley, still going!
- the Earl, once a pound house, stables in the rear
The East House was the venue where futurhood was first established leading to the creation of futurhood av. Its origins lie in the phrase ‘in the neighbourhood of the future – that’s where we are’, a phrase coined by a close friend. This was the venue where I re-engaged with djing putting on nights based around northern soul, ska, classic soul, liquid dnb, 2 step garage, funk, deep house and all sorts of other material.
The Earl was the venue giving rise to an event which made some personal history for me and the group of friends with whom I co-promoted – Spannered. we use to say it did what it says on the tin. Based around breaks, techno and other electronica, it made DJ mags top ten nights in the land and forged brief links with other DJ mags. it was the venue which saw the birth of Aromatiq.
The Redhouse was a major step in my own history of involvement with small venues. Aside from dealing with security I put on events and djed for others. The range of music included ska – all 3 waves and most languages, house, techno, trance, mashups, funk, jazz funk, deep house, balkan, african, latin of all varieties, dubstep, dnb, garage, broken beat, nujazz, nusoul and probably a load I have forgotten.
a history by Dave Mumblist
Room 303 was born from the many late night, early morning, post party, smashed out our faces conversations which myself and my housemates/band of reprobate friends found ourselves having over and over again while playing music and eating disco biscuits.
The situation was thus it was about 2007, we were all in our early 20’s and fresh out of university without a clue what we were doing. What we did know was that our taste in music was fresh, deep and completely underrepresented in Sheffield. We were into acid techno (that was rapidly dying on its arse everywhere in the world), dark drum n bass, old skool hardcore, dubstep (before it turned into an obnoxious bassline war) and breakcore jungle. What we wanted was to go to a night which played some or all of these things but specifically didn’t just play the same thing all night (we had short attention spans).
So one Sunday morning I found myself talking to a stranger I had just befriended while waiting for some form of transport in surprise view car park after a free party in the middle of the peaks. I was bending this gentleman’s ear about how we could put on an epic night that was fully underrepresented in the city we lived in, the reply was that this person owned the Redhouse (I had discovered the redhouse several months earlier for a Tinnitus night, when it still looked like an old man’s pub, full of teenagers moshing to gabber with their shirts off). I asked how much it’d cost to put a night, free he said and they would pay us if we filled it.
Room 303 was born, the name was a mixture of Room 101 from 1984 and our love of the Roland TB 303 acid synth. I banged up a poster on the photocopier at work and we postered, flyered and facedbooked our hearts out. We made a banner, took our decks, mixer and laptops down to the redhouse and waited nervously to see if anyone would turn up (The first night was billed as surprise view car park dave presents a night of….. due to me neglecting to tell Jeff what we were called). No one showed for the first hour or two and then smack bang in the middle of my set the place was rammed. The flyer said seven hours of banging music for free and that’s what our lovely crowd got.
We continued in this vain for the next 12 months (Jeff made us start charging money on the door), booking whoever of our mates we thought were mint in whatever style of music they wanted to play (we liked for people to play what they were into). In Summer possibly 2009 we got summoned to see the owner of the Harley who invited us to do a regular Friday night gig once a month, which would allow us to be able to book actual DJ’s at a bigger capacity venue, so went for that. We booked a slew of class acts including Warlock, No Yeah No, Zomby (Worst and funniest booking- 2 hours late and so smashed he couldn’t DJ), Ant, DAVE the drummer, King cannibal, Stormfield, Scan one and Altern8 to name a few. We got loads of people down for the first 6 nights then numbers started to drop, I have no idea why, some of us fell out with some other of us and left the night, then the owner said that he didn’t want us to continue!
At this point it was pretty much only me keeping the 303 flame alight, so I went back to the Redhouse and put on a couple of sparodic half-hearted gigs. In about 2011 my good friend A.R.D. pushed me into putting Room 303 on more regularly and because he was into the harder end of dance music the BPM of the night increased and it slowly morphed into playing UK hardcore, hardcore techno, really hard drum n bass, core and bass, breakcore and gabber. Our mate Scott Kemix (orifice) moved to Sheffield and with him a bunch of contacts in the nails end of dance music which meant cheaper bookings of higher quality and more extreme music! Towards the end of 2012 I decided to move to Leeds and left 303 in the capable if not slightly deranged hands of A.R.D. who brought on board Bee log (Neil) and they have since put on the most forward thinking, hard as balls DJs they can muster.
Going into 2014 Room 303 is keeping in good health, still putting on aggressively independent music which you wouldn’t see if it wasn’t running. It’s put on for the love of it, with passion and largely cos we want to stomp our feet to fucking mental music and stay up forever!
on deviant art – resources, prints