Don’t Believe The Hype _ Interview With Giles Armstrong
I know you did the radio show on Power FM for a long time. Who did you have on doing guest mixes? How hard was it to organise stuff in the days before the internet?
A friend of mine Joey Ryan had a late night show on Power FM every Tuesday that I would guest on at least once a month. After a while, I progressed to my own show which I called the ‘Punish Techno Show’ because it was on late on a Sunday night and it was punishment trying to get up for work early every Monday morning. It was a two hour show, and I used to play for a half hour either side of a mix from a different studio guest. I did the show for a good 6 years and got to meet so many people that I’m still friends with today. It was mostly Irish DJ’s but sometimes I would feature a mix from an international guest like Grovskopa or Paul Damage. Once email became more widespread I was able organise giveaways like Tresor CD’s or tickets for gigs around the town. I loved every minute of my time doing the show; so much so that the thought of playing in a club never even crossed my mind for the first few years while on air. I’d like someday to do a show again but not on a weekly basis as I wouldn’t have the time now for the amount of preparation that’s involved.
Yeah we have one every 2 weeks, it’s all guests, but that in itself takes up a significant amount of time. I shudder to think what a weekly one where we’re playing tunes as well would be like haha.
Just in relation to what you were saying about playing clubs.. It’s funny, if you were to ask me who I went to see in clubs from 99 onwards, my memory would be pretty hazy.. but I do know that there was a point where you were playing a lot and probably I seen you most weekends, maybe? It’s quite possible. Yeah, without a doubt, you’re the DJ that I’ve seen the most. You definitely seemed to be everywhere haha. How did DJ’ing out begin?
As I said, I was so happy and content doing the show for the first few years that I never really bothered me that I had never played a club. It was around 99 that I got to know Tom who ran what was about to become the infamous Creation Raves. He had put on a small party that went well and was planning another one, which he asked me to play. I bit the bullet and said yes. The party was the first Creation party to be held on Donabate beach, but it was low key and weather was pretty grim until fortunately the sun came up two mixes into my set. After my set [which went very well considering all the nerves I was hiding] a Slovakian guy came up to the decks and asked me whether I would I been interested in playing a party in Bratislava. I thought this guy was a just being a madser but gave him my number anyway, just to be nice, ya know. Then, low and behold, there I was a few months later with Jon Hussey in tow, playing to at least two thousand people in a big fuck off warehouse in downtown Bratislava, complete with its own outside TV broadcasting unit. Jon played last and my set was between local techno gods Olga+Jozef & Rumenige. To be honest after the rave went well, it gave me loads of much needed confidence. Upon my return home, I was well up for playing around town which thankfully started happening quickly as I had a bit of a name already from doing the radio, I suppose. In between those Creation & Boomerang gigs, I had my first Dublin gig in the Basement on McGrath’s on O’Connell St. The night was called D’Fuse; formerly Fusion, which was and still is an Acid Techno Dublin Institution. I played first that night to a handful of mates and my girlfriend [not yet my wife!]. This track sums up those gigs as I opened all three sets with it:
The Second Creation Rave at Donabate.
And at what point did you start promoting?
Myself & Simon Conway met in 95 through a mutual friend at an Eat Static concert in the SFX, but we didn’t dream of putting a gig on until the turn of the millennium. We did our first Electricity show in February 2002 in the The Temple Bar Music Centre (TBMC), which is now called The Button Factory. On the bill were The Hacker & Percy X, who is nowadays known as Edit Select. It was one of the Hackers first DJ gigs and you could tell as his mixing sometimes sounded like he was falling down a flight of stairs with a deck in each arm. Meanwhile, Percy X got struck down with food poisoning, only perking up every time we mentioned Paddy Power; who I worked for at the time. In the end he could barely play for a hour bless him, but apart from all of that, it was a great night!
Haha – A close shave Giles!