Dave Beer has legendary status in the UK dance scene. The creator of Back to Basics tells Neil Hudson why he’s launching his own degree course
That did not deter Dave, however, who followed them to another gig and “made a deal” with the notorious frontman, that if he knuckled down and did his [academic] work, he would be able to tour with them. So he did. He went back to art school and gained his GCSEs and A-levels but his obsession with the music industry was overwhelming and he ended up taking up with the Leeds-based band The Sisters of Mercy. It took him all over the world and would end up shaping the rest of his life to date.
That’s when I first heard house music,” recalls the 51-year-old father of two (he has two children, 22 and 16). “We were doing all these gigs in US and then we would go out after but the only places that were open were these gay clubs playing back to back house music. It was really cutting edge at the time. When I came back here ’86/’87, it was only just emerging.
“I’d already been to Chicago, Detroit, I’d been to places like The Sound Factory and Paradise Garage [in New York] almost by accident, so I had a knowledge of it which others didn’t.”
But the club scene at that time had a ‘whistles and white gloves’ image and was associated with illegal raves and drug culture, and Dave spotted a gap in the market. He created Back to Basics, one of the most original and now oldest club nights in the UK,