Festival review: Mint Festival at The Tetley, Leeds
The festival took more of an urban feel this year, with it being right in the center of the renowned Leeds nightlife. The MiNT Club and Warehouse in the past have been well-known establishments in Leeds for students and local party people and more recently, the venues have become a hot spot and popular topic of conversation in surrounding cities and in a huge distance within the industry. Attracting some of the biggest acts from around the world to West Yorkshire. Setting the standard with their well-known reputation with this years closing and round up of a great summer, September’s MiNT festival.
If you have been a student in Leeds like myself then this event is like a social playground of familiar faces and resident DJs and even if your from further a field the event is equally enjoyable with enormous fancy dress chests, perfectly created themed stages including a psycadelic colorful stage for elrow events, some huge name acts like Craig David and Ms Dynamite.
The one thing I would say about the organisation of the event was the queuing to get in. As this year it was a sell-out weeks before, this means the venue was at full capacity, plus workers, which could have been thought out a little better. If you had a standard ticket the waiting time was around an hour before entering the venue itself. Maybe this was due to a new location of the festival, however, once you were in, the buzz and atmosphere was well worth the wait.
On arrival the first thing I did was head to a glitter make-up stall, set up by a group of girls from the North West of England who have has experience in face and body paining at the Zoo Project in Ibiza, a simple but effective idea, bringing sparkle to the urban scenery.
Fully loaded with drinks tokens which were easily accessible and a face full of party glitter, I headed straight to the ‘Knee Deep in Sound’ arena, hosted by the talented Hot Since 82, Cristoph was warming up the crowd when we arrived, integrating heavy bass lines with quality, uplifting melodies, appealing to a broad spectrum of fans in the crowd. During his performance Kerri Chandler jumped on to take over and grounded the crowd for another hour or two.
I was lucky enough to pin down Cristoph after his set and ask him some questions over a couple of drinks backstage…
Q) What a set! Perfect for a psyched up Northern crowd during the peak of the afternoon. After speaking with fans, the one thing they love during your sets, is the quality progression of the tracks and the energy it creates and also your attitude towards life itself, would you say your personality reflects within your tracks and performance?
To be honest, I thing it’s my Geordie mentality. All of the DJs from up north are genuinely nice guys, who all come from working class backgrounds, and they know they have to work hard to get where they want to be and stay there like myself. Its so nice to hear positive feedback from fans, but Id have to say the thing that drives me the most is my family and friends. Aside of my passion for house music, making people I love proud and taking them around the world is what I love the most about my career, this drives me into producing tracks which can make this happen, a massive perk to the job!
Q) One thing I would like to ask you about is the production of your tracks, I like the way you use the Moog instrument when producing, that’s pretty unique and creates a supernatural sound which house music fans seek, what influenced you into using the instrument and do you think it plays a big role in your tracks?
In the past I have attended huge minimal house and tech events in the UK and Ibiza, these events were always rammed and hugely popular within my friendship groups, and to be honest with you I never got it. I was never into the repetitive beat, which everyone seemed to love. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t understand how the same beat for half an hour can be enjoyable. Which is why I like to produce my track with more of a creative approach and give my fans an experience. The gentleman who created the Moog instrument was into his electronic music, which is what house music is all about essentially. I’m obsessed with 80s music, its so much more melodic and influences music lovers. Which is why I started playing with a certain deep and memorable setting on the Moog, which is called Sub 37. I watched lots of you tube tutorials on how to play and basically taught myself from scratch. ‘The Moog’ is such a fat piece of kit which I saw it and had to get it, along with another piece of music equipment called ‘TINYTESLA MUSICAL TESLA COIL ‘which is extremely hard to use but creates a nice electronic sound.
The only thing I would say is turning hardware into software is a huge hindrance, but worth it in the end. Its good to test out different ways of producing sounds as there is new equipment coming out all the time.
Q) What would you say is your proudest moment in your career so far? Did you ever imagine playing with your first favored house label, Defected?
Well I had DJs around Newcastle as one of the residence since the age of 16, and I would say my proudest moment was being a resident for where I was from at one of the biggest nightclubs, which gave me an insight into where I wanted to be. But to get there I knew that I had to not only be a DJ, but also start producing. Back then I worked for my Dad in his bar, so I was lucky enough to have a supportive family who were able to give me time off work to start producing. Having that support and belief from my family was so important to me. Without them the whole process of getting to this point would have been much longer. But my plan is not yet complete but I still have a long way to go and everything is running smoothly, so fingers crossed there is exiting things to come.
Q) So your plan was to become good enough to play at all of the world renowned venues and festivals, is there any particular venue or place you would love to play, if you haven’t already?
I have been booked to play in Brazil with Sasha which is pretty surreal for me as he is one of my heroes. I love South America as you are able to play longer sets, which means you can take the audience on a journey thorough progressive tracks which is what its all about for me. In my opinion you can’t do much during an hour’s long set, but everyone is different, which is what creates a unique and sustainable fan base.
Q) A hot topic of conversation right now is the shutting of Fabric; did you ever play there? The circumstances surrounding the closure seem to support the need for industry action like the #NightlifeMatters campaign in order to raise awareness of the economic and more importantly cultural value clubs and electronic music add. Why do you think there is such a difference in stance between the UK and our European neighbors like Germany or Amsterdam when it comes to the understanding the benefits?
I never had the privilege of playing at Fabric and I would have loved to. I think that the European views on the industry is completely different to the UK, and I think people do need to open their eyes to reality and stop all of the negativity. It is a shame what has happened, and hopefully it will all work out in the end, the organizations are a great idea as social media has such an effect on decisions made nowadays. One thing I do know is after working in nightlife and bars for a long time I know how difficult it can be to compromise with the council, I do think there is huge communication and understanding barrier between the council and business owners, there will always be debates. I think it’s important to have young and fresh opinions taken into consideration when making a decision. House music and the party scene will always be present, weather it’s illegal or not, so attempting to wipe this out will only push the affected people into a corner, which will cause a rebellion.
Q) I hear you’re playing with Pete Tong and Emanuel Satie at Egg, London for 25 Years of DJ Mag, is there anything else we should be excited about in the months coming up to Christmas?
I’ve recently started on my 8 track European tour which runs all the way though to finishing up in Bristol on December 3, and then the following week I will fly across to North America to start another 8 track Tour over there, come back for Christmas, launch my own party in Newcastle and then fly straight across to South America to start my South American tour. My break will be to fly home and play with Hot Since 82 and Carl Cox in London for New Year, and then to finish off my tour in South America. It’s such a busy lifestyle but I can’t complain, I love it.
Q) So Mint festival today, Sankey’s Ibiza tomorrow? Can you fit me in your suitcase?
Yes, of course, that’s if you make it to the airport after tonight.
After the interview, we enjoyed marathon sets over at the system. stage, which had a deep dark vibe, with the likes of Loco Dice, Adam Beyer and to finish off Joseph Capriati, amazing scenes!
Just before we left we finished off the evening watching a set from Hot since 82, the energy was unforgettable and drinks were flowing, Daley Padley himself expresses his love for house music during his sets, his personality really shows though when he performs which is infectious and got everyone in the mood for the after party at MiNT Warehouse.