The second interview in the series of three and Madchester welcomes Quadrant Park resident and internationally respected DJ John Kelly to discuss his life in music and the final party of the year to bring the 25 year celebrations to a close.
Q-“John you have had a long and successful Dj career can you tell us where it all started for you and when did you realise that House music was not a passing trend ? “
JK – “It started when one of the lads came back from a LFC trip to Europe in 1984 and as you do brought back a few souvenirs including the first ever CD Ghetto Blaster I had ever seen.It was a portable party with 80 watts of crystal clear Hi-fidelity sound and i bought it off him because he didn’t have any CDs which cost £25-30 each then and I had quite a collection of about 20 ! I used to bring it to all our family parties and when your Grandma had 16 kids there wasa party every week.The old Aunts and Uncles in one room singing “Day-O” and “Chapel on the Hill” and the young ones in the back room partying where iwould place the CD Boom Box on the fire place and just stand there all night selecting the tunes including Talking Heads , Big Audio Dynamite, Prince Eurythmics etc, this is where i learnt how to keep a party going and to “program” tunes in a instinctive order. I soon started doing a few lock up Garage parties followed by a Acid House party in my uncle’s pub this is where I got offered the opportunity to be a director at the Underground Club in 1988”
Q – “The State and the Underground in Liverpool are always spoke of highly in clubbing circles and then Quadrant Park came along and you became a resident what was the difference between the 3 ?”
JK – The venues where completely different, the State was a grand ballroom with the first Laser I had ever seen in a club where as the Underground was a small dark cellar with no lighting to speak of and made to look like a road complete with kerb and beacons.The Quad was not in the city centre but in Bootle , a 3000 capacity it was Super Club on multi levels with a state of the art lighting system.but it was the Quad crowd that was biggest difference between them . There was so much energy in that room it was electric at times . They where so passionate they would cheer , whistle and scream for more for a full 15 minutes after the music had stopped , they where unbelievable.
Q – “Quadrant Park then started to attach 1000s from all over the UK when did you realize how important and special a club this was?”JK – The Underground had just been just been closed down by the Police and the State had been closed for months,Mike and Andy already had the Quad bouncing and when I walked in it was packed and I was on my own so went the bar and couldn’t get served not because there was a queue but because everyone was dancing on the bar and i had to squeeze between peoples legs to get the bar staffs attention and thinking to myself “this is gonna be good”.
Q – Did you feel the Quad gave you National exposure and did offers start coming in to play around the UK because of it ?
JK -” Yes defo, DJ’s and promoters from all over the country would come to the all nighter and would heard me play and when it closed the offers came in to DJ outside of the city”.
Q – When the Quad finally closed which other clubs did you start playing at in the city was this around about the time G Love started ? How was G Love we feel it was forgotten gem in the city ?
JK – “I was playing G-Love on a Thursday when the Quad was still open and G-Love was the first of its kind in Liverpool that had live bands/musicians collaborating in a regular club night ,we had guest DJs and we showcased some great live bands and singers”
Q – Your career as took you to many places around the world including Ibiza where you spend many years.,tell us your take on the Ibiza lifestyle ? highlights and low points if any?
JK – ” DEVIL’S ISLAND, nuff said
Q – “If you had to choose one track that was so special for you to play at the Quad what was it ? and the reasons why ?
JK – “For me it would have to be” Let the Music Use you” by the Nightwriters,i would virtually mix the whole track over “Chime” by Orbital and yeah the message was in the music”
Q – This will be the final party in the 25th Anniversary of the club.,tell us what to expect and have you any plans in place for next year ?
JK – “The night has come alive again and we look forward to 2016 with some great nights planned , expect the same amazing light show and production as the last party and we are all looking forward to seeing you again on the 27th Dec”.
Thanks John been great speaking and look forward to seeing in Liverpool on the 27th…With love from Madchester !
Interviewed by Marcus Winder
Christmas Quad ~ Quadrant Park Reunion ~ 27th December
New Bird Warehouse, New Bird St ; Liverpool