Wham - Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma'am
Monday, 21 July 2008
You must have been living under a rock to not notice all of the ‘Wham Goes To Ibiza’ hubbub over the last couple of months, but what does it mean- A change of music policy at one of Bayswater Road’s most loved club nights- A change of address, venue or continent- A surprise international guest of whom no one has ever heard before but immediately commands your confidence with their country’s name proceeding theirs- Neither! Wham residents James Taylor, Tony Venuto and Ben Morris are taking their now world-famous brand of great music and club shenanigans off to ‘beefa!
After a brief moment of vanity discussing photo-shoots and whatnot, our cover stars reminisce about how by chance, they got the invitation of a lifetime.
James Taylor: (Ibiza promoter) Kerry was in the country on holidays for a few weeks. He came down to Wham on a Saturday night and he was old friends with Tony, but it was by chance he was down there when Tony was playing. He had a great time and when he and Tony got in touch he said ‘I run a party in Ibiza, would you be interested in bring it over-’
Tony Venuto: He was in town, specifically looking for Australian promoters.
Taking it with a grain of salt, James and Keryr had a chat about meeting up to pursue the idea of doing a satellite event in Ibiza, but when it actually got under way the next week, it was apparent that this was on.
JT: I was a bit sceptical, you know- I gave him a few drinks, and we were having a laugh in the club, so to be actually going is a big deal.
The trio agree that the path has been paved nicely for them and that the buying temperature of Aussie artists makes the international market take notice of the newcomers.
Ben Morris: A few people have put us on the map, more and more recently. Guys like Deep Child in the German minimal scene and Dirty South on the main room scene.
Morris, who appears to be the seasoned vet of the Mediterranean, talks about the camaraderie of Aussies overseas…
BM: There was about thirty of us last year at Space, guys from all over. There were guys from Future Entertainment, guys from clubs from Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. You’re all friends to begin with but your friendships become stronger overseas.
JT: It’s like patriotism that comes out with music!
BM: Even if it’s not your scene or style you all band together.
James Taylor has been booking the club for over a year and a bit now with his partner in crime Bianca sadly missing in action in today’s interview, however club residents Tony Venuto and Ben Morris did a good job of picking up the slack. Taylor is all business when it comes to how, who, and what he books.
JT: I took over after Jo and Juzzy left, with Bianca and it was really strong, when we came in. I brought down…
BM: He brought down all of his mates!
JT: I sorta shaped the music policy and it’s gone from strength to strength. We launch the fourth room in September, which will be a minimal tech room, so we have a jackin’ house room, a hip hop and main club style out the back. So four rooms is very exciting, particularly these days.
Taylor’s not one to big note himself and is aware of the almost folkloric appeal of their venue, the iconic World Bar.
JT: I think the whole thing behind World Bar is people come down with an open mind and knowing they can hear lots of different music, they’re not coming for just one DJ.
BM: They’re not coming to see me!
JT: Structure plays a massive part in what we do – the Baltimore sound I think is fun party music to get it started out the back, then I put the more driving techy stuff in the end of the night, if people want to get locked in to a groove. We reach capacity every week, so I am allowed to book people I like musically, and the other clubs are finding they have to book the kids, the newbies, who have to bring all of their friends to get the gig.
TV: The DJs are here to DJ, not to promote.
BM: These days, you don’t need talent, just internet access and two CDJs to get a gig.
JT: And perhaps that’s why clubs are suffering, and why clubs are emptying so early, when I started clubbing, you didn’t really get going till 4am.
BM: Some of them are booking a guy who isn’t going to get paid and who can’t DJ but will bring a crowd and has a nice haircut.
Relying on this successful formula, do the boys think it will have the same affect locally, given that they know no one over there-
TV: We were going to be doing the gig at Savanah but Kerry has been asked to take it to Es Paradis, which is a Super Club.
BM: We land on 20 July and the gig isn’t till the 30th, so we have a good chance to go promote the event, meet the locals and that sort of thing.
Hoping to make it a yearly occasion, the boys will stop by the Love Parade for a bit of research and development before pounding the pavement and giving the Spanish and British and any other continent’s DJs a run for their money.
WHAT: Wham! at The World Bar
WHEN: Every Saturday