Mr Scruff and DJ NikNak take over Leeds' HiFi Club for a five hour music special this weekend

Legendary Manchester DJ Mr Scruff is joined by Leeds' own DJ NikNak this weekend for an evening at HiFi Club.

By Abi Whistance
Friday, 12th November 2021, 11:45 am
Legendary Manchester DJ Mr Scruff is joined by Leeds' own DJ NikNak this weekend for an evening at HiFi Club. Photo: Dammes Kieft / Blitzkickers
Legendary Manchester DJ Mr Scruff is joined by Leeds' own DJ NikNak this weekend for an evening at HiFi Club. Photo: Dammes Kieft / Blitzkickers

After last performing together three years ago, Manchester DJ Mr Scruff (Andrew Carthy) is again joined by Leeds' own NikNak (Nicole Raymond) this Saturday for a night of body-moving music at popular nightclub HiFi.

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The pair, who share an equal passion for crate-digging for the strange and spectacular, crossed paths for the first time nearly half a decade ago at the very same venue they are set to grace tomorrow evening.

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Leeds legend NikNak takes to the stage at 11pm tomorrow night alongside Mr Scruff. Photo: Sophie Jouvenaar

Asking them how they first became acquainted, Andrew was keen to reminisce on his and Nicole's connection to one of Leeds' most legendary club nights, Cosmic Slop, currently on pause after the pandemic.

"Funnily enough we met at the HiFi Club!" He laughed.

"Nicole was taking photos and I think it was Thom Smith from Cosmic Slop that introduced us.

Being from Manchester Cosmic Slop is my main connection to Leeds really.

I think it's incredible- people always talk about Plastic People in London with their fearless music policy and Cosmic Slop has that same thing.

The wooden dance floor, the community and the richness of the music there, and all the connections I've made musically and personally- it's just such a positive thing to get involved in and the intent behind it is what makes [Cosmic Slop] really special."

It was this sense of community and their love of music that brought Andrew and Nicole together behind the decks, with both DJs passionate about collaboration and searching for new sounds.

With a combined discography that would take a whole day session to work through, they spoke of an equal love for creating music as well as listening to it, both eager to learn from their peers and expand their horizons.

"There's just so much music nowadays!" Nicole exclaimed.

"I'm a sponge and I listen to too much music.

That's not a bad thing but I do feel like my brain is that meme- you know the one where there's loads of Google tabs open at once and you can't find which one the music is coming from?

That's my brain!

I had to shut up Google before jumping on this [call]."

"I'm aware of so many other bits of amazing music and I'll be listening to that most of the time." Andrew went on to say.

"I'm not on a mission to release a certain amount of stuff, plus there are a lot of manufacturing delays with vinyl at the minute.

I'm not cutting edge with what I do so I don't worry about it going out of date after three months, I know it'll stand up after that."

A sentiment also shared by NikNak, both artists prefer to take their time with releases and avoid the dreaded sense of urgency that many artists feel creep in.

"The music I make is quite weird so I take my time with it." Nicole explained.

"It's more like I'll do this now and make it, then I'll try and put it out at a comfortable time in the future when I have enough time and energy to social it and stuff- there are people who are so good with strategies on social media but me, I'm not!"

Yet despite this, tonight's event has been a regular feature across social media platforms, with excitement surely building amongst Leeds fans of both Nicole and Andrew as they prepare for a five hour stint of back-to-back action.

"As soon as I announced [the gig] I was like oh my God! I need to start scouting for records to play!" Nicole laughed.

"Both Nicole and I are all over the place musically" Andrew continued. "And we are mega nerds for new stuff."

"I'm hungry for new experiences and neither of us will know what we will play [on Saturday] until we're there but that's not important.

We're both technical and quite varied so we get to weave this story together in the moment- it's part and parcel of what we do.

I think it's really exciting and I'll put an awful lot of work into getting music ready, but I won't know what I'll play until I'm there- it's how we feel on that night, with those people, on that soundsystem and working through those feelings and instincts."

Nicole agreed- "I think that spontaneity when DJing is great if you kind of know what you have and you've gone into your library to fish bits out that work as a base."

"Then it's having the confidence to chuck stuff on and revel in a good feeling or nostalgia for however long that track is."

So what can we expect from this weekend?

It's clear that crate upon crate will be crowding the HiFi stage to keep the pair satisfied, with both artists as excited to share records with the crowd as with one another throughout the course of the evening.

"I already know that [me and Nicole] will both bring hundreds of tunes even though we only have two and a half hours each" chuckled Andrew.

"Yeah!" Nicole retorted. "And I'm sure that [Andrew] is going to play something and I'm gonna be like damn it, I had a tune that would've gone perfectly but I didn't bring it."

Only those in attendance on Saturday will get to experience exactly what the duo decide to pull out of the bag, but it's safe to say that some serious genre-bending dancefloor fillers will be gracing HiFi's speakers more than a couple of times tomorrow evening.

Hifi presents: Mr Scruff & DJ Nik Nak starts at 11pm on Saturday 13 November, with tickets available via Resident Advisor.Find out more about the event on The HiFi Club's website.

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