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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Monster reputation

MONSTER Monster has built up a reputation for putting on legendary parties across the North West. KARL STEEL catches up with the main man and the headliners of next week's birthday bash in Barrow.


 DANCERS, light shows, samba bands and a heavyweight sound system – every ingredient you need for a perfect party.

How about throwing some of the UK’s top DJs and live acts into the mix?

Over the years local promoters Monster Monster have built up a reputation across the North West for organising crazy raves and bringing in top talent from across the country.

So far we’ve seen the likes of electro pioneers Utah Saints, Britain’s biggest drum and bass DJ Sub Focus, beatboxing mega-star Dub FX and celebrity soul spinner Craig Charles headline their Cumbrian shows, and next Friday 90s stalwarts Dub Pistols top the bill at the ninth anniversary birthday bash in Barrow.

Founder and main man Dave Crossley, aka Mister Monster, says: “These last nine years have been pretty crazy and a hell of a lot of fun, and have involved parties in mansions, fields, barns, beaches and clubs across the UK, including the infamous Gatecrasher in Sheffield and now regularly at Barrow's Nines club.

“My mission when I started out was to bring together all the different styles of music I was into – drum n’ bass, electro, breakbeat, hip hop, dubstep – then add the kind of elements that you would normally associate with a festival or carnival, such as circus skills, burlesque, fire performers, home-made decor and visuals to create a more interesting, multi-coloured and interactive clubbing environment.

“I think we have managed just that and it has worked well for us since we still regularly attract 500-plus ‘up for it’ people to our colourful raves. We are very proud to have brought some of the world's biggest names to Cumbria, all of whom have had good words to say about the night, and we pride ourselves on creating a friendly, inclusive environment where everyone is welcome from 18 to 108.”

From humble beginnings at Retro Bar in Manchester to the present-day sell-out shows at The Nines, every show will live long in the memory because nobody does ‘indoor festival behaviour’ like Monster Monster.

Dub Pistols frontman Barry Ashworth certainly remembers their last appearance in Ulverston a couple of years back.

“That was a good one, but they always are,” he recalls. “I’ve been to a few of their parties now and yes, they are monsters.

“They’re just a really crazy party crew, and that suits us just fine.”

The London-based dub electro outfit have picked up a big following up here following dozens of appearances at festivals such as Kendal Calling and Beatherder in Lancashire, and Barry feels like the North West is becoming like a second home.

He says: “We’ve got a good fanbase up there, without blowing our own trumpet, and they all seem to get what Dub Pistols are about.

“We come up quite a few times a year - a lot of that is off the back of the festivals - and we’re headlining Ravenstonedale (festival, near Kirkby Stephen) this summer.

“I’m just looking forward to playing those guys some stuff off our new album.”

Dub Pistols follow up their acclaimed 2009 full-length Rum & Coke with the release of Worshipping The Dollar in July, and are already out on the road in support of it.

The band won Best Live Act at DJ Mag's Best Of British Awards at the end of 2011, and Barry is confident that the new material will be equally as well-received.

“We’ve just started out the tour, but all the shows so far have been sold out.

“The set’s got about six or seven new songs in it, and they’ve all been going down a storm. It takes some tweaking to get a new set just right, but it’s coming together nicely.

“The new stuff just has that raw adrenaline that lifts the show to another level.

“The guys in Barrow can just expect the usual anarchy from us. Sometimes I watch a band and they just stand there and play, but when we’re on stage our punkiness comes out and I guess that’s why we were voted best live act.

“You can also expect some new stuff that is even newer than the new album – it’s for the album after this. There’s some drum n’ bass stuff on that, and that’s something we’ve never done before, but doing the live show has brought that out of us.”

l Catch Dub Pistols in action at the Monster Monster’s Super Mario-themed birthday event at The Nines, Dalkeith Street, Barrow, next Friday.

The line-up for the show also features: Kathika Rabbit, Robin Walker, Peter Kay, Digital Slag, Mister Monster, Olivia Lumb, The Deatbeats, as well as dancers and light shows from Ultra Violet Violence and Hooping Harlots.

The 18-plus event starts at 9pm, and tickets are available in advance from Bar Five, in Dalkeith Street, and All Style Tattoos, in Crellin Street, in Barrow, and Working Class Heroes, in Market Street, Ulverston, or online at skiddle.com


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