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Adam Coverdale - We Have The Party Covered

Author: Justin Levy
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Adam Coverdale, the man behind monthly house night Lookin’ Good! Has some big things planned for its fourth anniversary. 3D’s Justin Levy finds out exactly what these plans entail.

Coverdale is well aware his huge romp for Lookin’ Good!’s fourth birthday is not ideally positioned during the holidays. He prefers to think of it as extending the holiday season. 

“It’s an 18-hour party, man!” he boasts. “It’s a boat party ’til half four, rock up at Home Terrace and have a bit of a deck session, a few DJ arguments ’til half nine, then kick on to Candy’s from 10 ‘til six the next morning, which may turn out to be nine.”

The British-born Sydneysider played the trumpet from the age of four, the drums from 10, then started mixing nine or 10 years later. A nice compliment to our fair city, he left the UK dance scene to start his own night here in the Cross; and to stay in the country, he found work in sales promotions and event sponsorship, what he lovingly coins “posh administration.” His concentration now is with administration work for the upcoming Playground Weekender, some dabbling in production and, most importantly, his beloved monthly Saturday night at Candy’s, of which he is the promoter and resident DJ. He’s a businessman and good time party man rolled into one.

“I am a DJ first, promoter second, for sure,” he admits. “Financially speaking, I’m a promoter first and DJ second. The problem is when you’re doing a day job, and then promoting, and DJing as well, I had absolutely no time to get mixes together, packaging, getting stuff designed and printed and stuff. But now I’ve got more time to focus on it, so we’ll see how things go with Playground over the next few months, and then hopefully start getting a few labels to squeeze.

“Plug, plug, plug, plug,” he says with a laugh.

When Coverdale arrived in 2003 he started Good Fridays at World Bar, which fell apart after a few months. A second night he was organising with friends never quite eventuated. He then took some time to scout and scope out a location for a night he wouldn’t rush into.

“When I moved here I wanted it all to happen in, like, the first two weeks I was here, but y’know, that’s never the case,” he says. “In hindsight having arrived in August and not starting at Candy’s until February was one of the wisest, by default, best-chance moves I’ve made. It gave me another six months to really build more relationships and get to know more and more people. And I met Mark Dynamix, who has played with us for quite a long time, starting out as a resident, and technically he still is; he’s just been away so much.

“When I got here I looked around quite a bit, and there were loads of deep house nights – it was all kind of educated and the posher end of house. I couldn’t find many parties where everyone’s hands [were] in the air, going fucking off, people on the tables, people on the stage, drinks getting spilt everywhere. To me that’s what a good party is. I like a bit of chaos, something that’s not trying to be too cool for school. I think Sydney has a lot of electro nights on at the moment – there’s more of a party going on at the moment. Maybe people are just taking more drugs.

“I looked at everywhere from Home to Abercrombie Hotel, and the key thing is finding the right venue. It’s all about the venue,” he continues. “You could run the bloody Wiggles DJing techno in fucking green jumpsuits and if you’ve got it in the right venue it doesn’t really matter. If you tried taking Lookin’ Good! to Yu or Home or anywhere else, it would fall on its arse. I think in Sydney I’d rather be running a party in a small venue and packing it out, rather than taking the risk of some of the bigger venues that are busy one weekend and half dead the next.”

Lookin’ Good! blends ‘traditional’ uplifting house with a good measure of classics, and in the second room more techy minimal electro. The fourth birthday is going to be a similar arrangement, but on a cruise, with a few of the residents and others guests such as Jackster. You may wonder how Coverdale goes about selecting DJs to play at Lookin’ Good!. Aside from sexual favours, he jokes, diverse experience is crucial. (And we’re talking about music here, not kinky acts of smoo).

“Lots of people want to play at Lookin’Good!, without being too arsey about it, but the reason I get people like Craig Obey, Mark Dyanmix, and Kate Monroe is because they’ve all been around the block long enough and they’ve got a load of the older records,” he reveals. “At the bottom level I want people going around saying, ‘Ah, Ioved that tune’, or, ‘I haven’t heard that one since 1997’, and incidentally I get an older crowd. I usually select DJs that are familiar with the older stuff, that get it. We play loads of different types of house, but there’s no kind of master plan. It’s quite nice that we also get some of the younger DJs that have been brought up on playing harder, dirtier electro-type sounds.”

Coverdale is insistent Lookin’ Good! will never become a weekly or twice monthly night. He’s found the right dynamic with the first Saturday of every month. 

“The problem is, every monthly night that does well – they get ahead of themselves,” he says. “If I’m honest and look at the proportion of people who show up to Lookin’ Good!, probably one to two hundred of the five/six hundred are there.

“You see a lot of promotions, like a lot of the bigger name promotions that are trying to be too cool and promote the fluoro. I wanted Lookin’ Good! to have ‘No Frills’-like marketing, no high levels of design. I wanted it to feel more of an underground party, a bit [coughs] rough around the edges.”

WHO: Adam Coverdale
WHAT: Lookin’ Good! Fourth Birthday, Lady Rose cruise/Home/Candy’s Apartment
WHEN: Saturday 2 February (Cruise departs King St Wharf at 12pm)