Back to Basics with a notorious raconteur.
Leeds' Back to Basics is almost as old as house music itself. Founded by former punk groupie Dave Beer and the late Alastair Cooke on November 23rd 1991, it was a rally against the acid house scene of the day. Focussing on house DJs from Derrick Carter to Daft Punk to Basement Jaxx, Basics sticks two fingers up at the establishment and has remained true to its mantra of "two steps further than any other fucker." Beer himself epitomises this attitude. The man whose passport once listed his job as "purveyor of good times" is the life of every party, variously MCing from the booth, crowd surfing or dancing in various states of undress.
As well as its iconoclastic flyers and focus on residents—most notably 20:20 Vision boss Ralph Lawson—Back to Basics is a markedly diverse party that's brought a broad cross-section of society together every Saturday night for twenty years. Since 2011, Basics has been monthly and has continued to roam through a number of venues. The latest of these is a multi-use space and music academy called Church that has been founded by Beer, former New Order bassist Peter Hook and Digital Newcastle owner Aaron Mellor. In conversation with Beer, RA's Kristan J. Caryl hears about tragic deaths, breaking into The Clash's changing room—twice—and a spate of wild anecdotes covering the last 25 years.