Prince Of Wales, Brixton 5th December 2014
In this EDM governed dance music age, it is often very easy and highly appropriate to view DJ’s, promoters and their ligging entourage as parasites on the commercialised carcass of a once mighty beast. Internet reports of obscene fees for a few hours pre-Traktored, pre-medicated and overly prevalent pap, dished up by jetsetting charlatans from Ibiza to America and anywhere they can get the perks that a 50 Euro door tax affords them.
In the UK, the original parties threw up an acid house credos of benevolence and social inclusion. Anyone was invited if they had the passion and determination to get involved. Sure, there was still a tax, but that tax paid for the party to happen and the original mass orchestrators to enjoy some spirit.
In London Town, several influential and innovative DJ’s and producers have for nigh on four years been determined to bring back some of that original “Pay It Forward” ethos. Sharing their good fortune and hard graft, knowledge and creativity with a youth team benefitting from the same positive impact they gained from older siblings and comrades back in their early days.
“Groove School” have run and hosted free DJ and Music Technology Workshops for young people across London since 2011.
These workshops aim to generate momentum and energy, ideas and creativity through music. The free programmes encourage young people from poorer backgrounds to get involved, and all children gain and build confidence, self awareness and worth. A further aim of Groove School is to train potential advisers/ tutors to become a sustainable project for communities.
A charitable and inspired event in the Himalayas saw project stalwarts Richie Littler (Swag Records) and compadre Simon play at an altitude of 6,500 metres on Mera Peak in the Himalayas. A successful highest altitude gig in everyone’s favourite gift The Guinness Book Of World Records. Unfortunately, Ross and Norris weren’t around, but you get the idea here.
They raised enough funds so that the build of the charity’s orphanage in Dhulikel just outside of Kathmandu could be completed.
This week’s event will feature Terry Francis (Fabric), Murf (The End), Nathan Coles (Wiggle), Tom Gillieron (RvS Music) and Sam Russo (Fabric). The younger participants of Groove School, fresh from their recent invitation day sessions at Fabric, will also have the opportunity to play earlier on in the evening, supported by their family and friends.
This special night also sees one of the rooms hosted by the cool cats from We Love Vinyl (WLV). With DJs including Andy Nicholls, Rob Fung (WLV), Andy P (Funkd Up) and Lloyd Awakeman (Slide and Get Diverted).
Terry Francis sees the potential in schemes like this. “I thought I would have loved this as a kid myself. Well, a young man like these guys and girls – it’s a great opportunity.”
“I’ve known Richie since we both worked at Swag Records in Croydon. We were talking late one night and I suggested why not try and arrange something at Fabric. We made a date and turned out that I couldn’t make it as I was out of town. So I phoned Keith (who owns Fabric) and he said he would do it. Keith loved talking to the guys and they enjoyed the whole thing too, so it’s going to be a monthly event for us.”
He also is confident that this tuition, through unconventional avenues will take the intended beneficiaries far.
“Confidence to take something on, something new, to get involved and build social skills. I think life skills are important, mixing and communicating with people.”
Terry sees a great future in projects like this, and is adamant to get involved further. “Hopefully a few more fundraising nights to help the charity. Groove School are doing great things so keep tuned in.”
To donate, use this: https://www.justgiving.com/grooveschool
To learn more, use this: http://www.grooveschool.co.uk/
To buy tickets, use these: