Danny Gilligan presents Ignition
Reported by HarderFaster
Submitted 18-10-06 20:23
When Danny Gilligan won The HarderFaster Resident of the Year Award in 2003 it couldn’t have been more well deserved. At the time he was resident of Riot!, Twisted, Proactive, Twist and Blast, yet also somehow managed to squeeze in gigs in Cape Town, Sydney, Melbourne, San Francisco and Ibiza, some most productive stints in the studio, as well as a demanding full-time job. He’s since had some well-deserved time out from the scene, returning to start his own event at The Fridge — Ignition.
Kicking off in August with an all-star line-up including Superfast Oz, Garbo, Steelo, Type 1, Matt Smallwood and of course Danny himself, the night emphasises musical progression, starting with electro and breaks and taking it up to banging hard dance via some funky techno and breakbeat. The second event confirmed this musical fusion, with Alex Calver, K.A.R.L., Jason Cortez and Justin Bourne joining residents Gilligan and Type 1 to cut out some serious carnage on The Fridge dancefloor. With the third instalment of Ignition this Friday night, a chat with Mr Gilligan was well overdue…
You were last interviewed on HF last November ahead of Blast vs Convergence and before that last February. Since then a lot has happened. What have been the highlights of the last ten months for you? Has 2006 been a good year overall?
Hi Tara, yeah its been nearly a year since I had my last interview. 2006 for me has been about making some big decisions about my dj’ing and basically having a little bit of time out to refocus myself and set some new goals so I guess from that perspective it has been a good year and I am pleased with how the later part of the year has panned out. I have also focused on some things out of dj’ing, which have had a massive positive impact upon me and the people around me which has been great!
You say on your latest chart page that after taking some time out you’ve “realised what I want to do next and have set myself some goals [so] you will be getting some new productions, current mixes and of course my new night Ignition.” Can you expand on these goals?
I have been dj’ing on the scene for nearly seven years, I have played almost every weekend between one, two or even on a bank holiday up to seven times!! All of these weekends without actually really ever having a weekend off away from the scene and it got to a point where I was just feeling knackered and therefore felt I was giving less when I played or not playing as well as I know I can. I am making a big effort to get some new material together and also regular mixes to give out to the clubbers every two to three months. I think you certainly have to do this and do it well if you are not going to be in the clubs each and every weekend, it’s really important to still be out there without physically being out there all of the time.
You touched upon my new night Ignition. This has definitely been something that is taking a lot of my focus and I have been enjoying rolling my sleeves up and organising it. So far the crowd has grown each party and it’s quite exciting to be running my own event. This is certainly another angle for me to hear the music I like played by some fantastic djs and not forgetting this is the only place that I am a resident for now, so it’s a bit exclusive to me in that it’s a place where those who like my music can come and hear me and others play.
You left your long-running Twist residency a couple of months ago and went out on your own, starting Ignition, a new promotion at the Fridge. Held on the third Friday of the month, it emphasises musical progression. What is the concept behind Ignition and how do you put such diverse line-ups together?
Yeah Twist was a party that was very close to my heart. After just over three years of playing to some of the best crowds each and every Sunday I realised that I had given all I can and had no more to give physically or otherwise, In my eyes it was time for some new talent to come in and keep things fresh and new in order for the party to evolve. I loved every minute of it and would like to thank Steve, the Twist Crew and the clubbers that supported me in my time there, November 12th sees me return for a 4th Birthday Set, which I am really looking forward to.
So, after I decided to leave and to have some time to chill out and recharge my batteries a great opportunity presented itself to me and that was the chance to run my own Friday night at the Fridge. At the time it seemed the perfect tonic for me to focus on something new and so I took the opportunity up and three months and two parties later here we are doing an interview for it!
As soon as the offer was given to me, the idea that shot to the front of my mind was to put a night of music on that was well programmed, progressed and built and took the crowd on a musical journey. To be honest, quite a lot of promotions don’t have a clue how to put djs together on a line up, it seems like it’s all thrown together with no thought given to it whatsoever.
I realised how big breaks and electro have been getting and so that was a small part of my idea. On the night you will get breaks, electro, funky techno, techy hard dance, hard trance and hard house all in the main room. This coming Friday we have: myself doing breaks; Type 1 doing funky techno; Sterling Moss doing live decks and FX; Pete Wardman doing us a special set, featuring some techno but moving into hard House; and then handing over to our finale set, Ben Stevens, who’ll be laying down some of the best hard house beats around! The next party includes our headliner Chris Liberator on Friday 10th November! Put it in your diary people!
The first time I ever saw you play was for Riot!, your first residency back in 2003. The Sunday arvo Riot!s were the stuff of legend. Can you remember your favourite Riot!? Are you still involved with the Riot! label and brand and is there any talk of any Riot! parties in the near future?
I played every month for three years and also had one of the best times and experiences playing that residency! The party was untouchable.
My favourite Riot! Has to be when Ed and I did a monster b2b. It sticks in my mind as one of the best sets we have both ever played. We played 30 tracks in an hour, so that shows what sort of mad mixing was going on: cutting, spin backs, mixing before the breakdown and just doing some stuff we both hadn’t done before, we were in the zone!
I know Ed has been touring around the country with BK doing Riot! tour nights and of course the label is banging out release after release but I am not sure if Riot! will resurface into a monthly mash up like it used to be? Mr Real can you shed some light? As with all things they have to change in order to move on and keep fresh and therefore I am very grateful for Ed for giving me the opportunity to learn my craft at Riot! While I was there for those three years, we had the best times — I am sure everyone on here will agree!
Danny & Ed Real
In 2003 you were also HarderFaster resident of the year. Do you see your Riot! and Twisted residencies as a turning points in your career, or were there other contributing factors to the award?
2003 was a year where it all happened for me, I was resident for Riot!, Twisted, Twist, Proactive and Blast. I was playing everywhere and managed to squeeze in gigs in Cape Town, Sydney, Melbourne, San Francisco and Ibiza. There is no doubt that without the residencies named above and without the very loyal support of people like Twisted Mick, Ed Real, Paul Jack, Steve Darragh, plus my friends, family and loved ones, I don’t think I would have ever got to do all those wonderful things and play at some of the most having it parties out there! Big love to you all, I am forever grateful.
You originally started playing hard house, but have now also dabbled with breaks and electro. How would you describe the Danny Gilligan sound? Would you ever give up the hard stuff altogether to focus on breaks and electro?
My sound is still and will always be energetic cross over hard dance, but as I have grown that little bit older and that little bit wiser I have become very open musically and really enjoy most forms of dance music but especially breaks. Broken beats are like my second hobby aside of hard dance, so now and again I get a chance to play a set of this and really enjoy it!
Who were your greatest musical influences growing up? And now?
Growing up I would say I was into everything, from anything hardcore or jungle, and everything by Prodigy. I was also listening to Colin Faver playing dirty German Techno on Kiss FM, as well as Graham Gold playing his legendry weekly residency at Peach at Camden Palace.
I found myself listening too a lot more commercial bands like UB40 and U2 while I was growing up, so as you can see a very broad range of styles. These days I would say that musical influences in my dj’ing are Andy Farley, Ian M and Phil Reynolds and on the production side anything Nick Sentience always excites me. In a commercial sense, I am pleased to still say that Prodigy and U2 are kicking it. Muse have been a band that have certainly caught my ear lately, I’ve got their album recently.
For those who don’t know you, how did it all start? Did you always dream of making music or was it something you fell into over time?
A single trip to Camden Palace for Peach changed everything for me, the music and the dance floor energy I heard and felt that night blew me away. It definitely kicked me in the arse and said ‘this is what you need to be doing’. I have made ten tracks and still have 4 tracks that I have done nothing with but I am going to be sending them out to labels soon so in a way I have not made a great deal of music but when I have I have really enjoyed it. In this world you are either a dj or a Producer and at some stage you will try your hand at the other.
As well as dj’ing, producing and promoting, you also hold down a successful day job. How on earth do you manage to juggle everything?
You would laugh if I told you of some of the times I have been on maybe my third or 4th gig of the weekend, played the last set at Twist, got changed in the car park then gone straight to work on a Sunday for the rest of the day lol.
Thankfully that job lasted a year as I was proper burnt out, but I have really found a job that I really enjoy now. I am recruitment consultant within finance and I really enjoy it, I feel quite lucky to have what seems like a really good balance, and no more working Sundays!! I have to admit I have also calmed down a lot now: I used to get up Friday and actually stay up all weekend then go to work on Monday morning, madness hey, but I’m glad those days have gone!
As well as playing at Twisted, Riot!, Twist, Party Proactive, Blast and Hue you’ve played at a number of gigs in and out of the UK, including Hard House Academy, South Africa, Australia and the States. What’s been your favourite set over the years? Where in the world would you most like to play?
I have to say my gigs abroad have all been very memorable and great experiences but I would actually say my best gig is to come. I am playing at a 5000 people party in New Zealand on New Year’s Night, headlining with Karim and Captain Tinrib. I have a feeling that this is going to be huge and an experience that will be massive for me, I am really excited!
In November 2003 I said in a review of Riot! that: “Gilligan is a dj that will surprise you every time you hear him play — he can’t be pigeon-holed, he’ll play his set to suit his mood.” Did you agree with that at the time? And now?
Wow I am stoked that you wrote that! Thanks!
I have to say that my mood certainly influences where I take my set and the records I play, I would say this is what makes me who I am and perhaps what might separate me from say the next dj out there. At the end of the day we all have to have our own identity and I am very happy to be seen how you described me.
Dj’ing, promoting and producing are certainly not vocations for the faint-hearted. What advice would you give up and coming HFs keen to keen to get involved in the music scene?
Words I remember hearing over the years that stuck in my head were that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Working in this scene can be some of the hardest work you have ever done, so if you are serious about what you are doing be prepared to work hard to get the rewards. It doesn’t happen over night but I would welcome any new faces wanting to get into the scene and help make it stronger!
In the last few years the hard dance scene has had many ups and downs, and 2006 has perhaps seen some of its most challenging years yet, with clubs closing and re-opening, promotions losing their venues at the last minute and labels having to shut up shop. What, in your opinion, does the hard dance scene need to get itself back on track? If you had a million pounds to invest in the hard dance scene, where would you spend it?
The hard dance scene needs less politics, less bitching and for more people to work together. It needs those who are educated derelicts to come out of their shell and show the great music they have been making, as there are many people I know who make great music but seemingly don’t do anything with it. Producers, your scene needs you! I think that promoters need to think about how they put their line ups together, so that when a clubber walks out of the club they are like, “F*ck me, that was amazing!”
If I had a million pounds I would probably buy the lease on Camden Palace and bring back the good old days.
After playing at Twist for so long you must have some great stories from Twist parties. Can you share some Twist anecdotes with us, or is it a case of what goes at Twist, stays at Twist?
I think those that don’t know should go and find out. There are many back room stories with everyone chilling out. In particular, I remember Lisa Lashes, Ilogik, Farley, Ian M, Bianca, Peter Ward, Steve, Stef, plus there were others. Some of the stories we were talking were very funny, good times!
You’ve dabbled in production, notably with Ingo’s ‘Now Is The Time’, ‘The New World’, ‘Kill Bill’, ‘It’s About The Groove’, ‘Risin’ with Alex Calver and ‘Powwer’ with Digital Cowboy. Do you have any production plans in the pipelines at the moment?
There certainly is, watch this space!
You used to be an active member of NOMO, seen by some as a predecessor to HF. Can you tell us a about NOMO and the early days of message board madness? Is it true this was where “GTFRI’ started out?
GTFRI or “Get The F*ck Right In” was a saying that was started by a good mate of mine called Chris Curtis, a certain Si the Hat carried it on and in true tradition I felt compelled to carry this magnificent saying on into club land. I believe this is a saying that has travelled the world and should actually be names in the thesaurus.
This Friday’s Ignition sees you warming up for Type 1, Sterling Moss, Pete Wardman and Ben Stevens. Why should HFs reading this come along on Friday night?
If you like and know your music then you wouldn’t want to miss this party. Since it kicked off the party has grown each time and is getting better and better, as the crowd and vibe grows so does the level of dj we are having play for us.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to plug? Do you have any news on future Ignition parties? What’s the best way for fans to stay up to date with the world of Danny Gilligan?
Future Ignitions are:
10th November featuring Chris Liberator, Nicki S, Tom Basquil b2b Steve Maynard, CD, Type1 and myself
December 8th featuring Lady Bianca, James Nardi b2b Marc Johnson, Type 1, myself, + a special guest.
Other forthcoming gigs:
Proactive @ Turnmills 4th November with the mighty Eskimo, Farley b2b Pete Wardman + Many more!
You can catch me at the 4th Birthday for Twist on 12th November!
Summit @ Indigo — Xmas Eve. Myself b2b with Ed Real!
New Zealand from 28th Dec–19th Jan. Catch me at the Uprising Dance Festival in Motueka, Nelson, it’s going to be huge! I’m headlining with Karim and Captain Tinrib!
Photos courtesy of Danny Gilligan and the HarderFaster photo archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Friday 20th October
The Fridge [map]
£12 b4 12 More there after (£10 Concession List available)
Ignition 'the perfect way to start the weekend!' The concept is simple, we will deliver you a night of well programmed cross genre dance music, a fusion on Electro, Break Beat, Funky Techno, Hard Trance, Hard Dance and Hard House, the progression through each set will keep adding to the dance floor energy which will make for an intense finale!
Trance. Acid Trance. Hard Trance. Tech Trance. Psy Trance. Nu NRG. Hi NRG. Hard House. Deep Techno. Funky Techno. Techno. Breaks.
Danny Gilligan (Resident)
Type 1 (Residents)
Sterling Moss (Dance Valley)
Pete Wardman (Trade)
Ben Stevens (Vicious Circle)
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Matt Smallwood on 18th Oct 2006 20:37.10|
Nice one Danny mate, all the best with Ignition! Nice to see a fresh approach
From: bennett on 18th Oct 2006 21:15.35
hey danny, long time no see! hope ignition goes off for you mate!
From: BiohazardTwist on 19th Oct 2006 05:48.44
Excellent interview mate, see you at Ignition!
From: Simon_Vegas on 19th Oct 2006 08:24.24
Awesome ready buddy, spot on!
From: Richard Launch on 19th Oct 2006 08:27.56
Its all golf mate - good to see you on the weekend...!
From: Type 1 on 19th Oct 2006 10:01.06
Mate you are a leg end and a true friend!! its great to be part of ignition and long let it live!!!
From: Stevi D on 19th Oct 2006 10:04.35
Smash it up, Danny boy!" Top lad and always a pleasure to see!!
From: raving.looney on 19th Oct 2006 11:08.54
Danny...you're one of the nicest guys i have met on the scene...you're a fantastic dj and a real pleasure to know!
All about the old Riot! days ay.........god i'd do anything to be back there!!!
Keep up the good work babe......if anyone deserves to be up there with the best of em its you!!! xXx
From: Getonit on 19th Oct 2006 12:02.11
Nice 1 Danny! See u in the Fridge
From: paul jack on 19th Oct 2006 13:51.16
nice one Danny!
From: Hannah Wild on 19th Oct 2006 14:35.25
Ello stranger! x
From: Steve Twist on 19th Oct 2006 16:55.06
Danny always gave 100% committment and energy to Twist and I think djs that have never held a weeky residency just cannot even comprehend how hard it is. We shared many highs and a few lows but through it all Danny was a shining inspiration.
If I could sneak out of my party to attend this you know I'd be there. great line up.
From: dani d on 19th Oct 2006 17:27.29
Nice interview Danny,keep it high !!
From: sexyminx on 19th Oct 2006 18:35.10
Wicked interview sweet keep up the good work. Mass to you. See you Friday
From: Ben Stevens on 19th Oct 2006 20:27.42
See you on friday mate :o)
From: George-E on 20th Oct 2006 08:29.12
Keep it coming on Dan!
From: Neats on 20th Oct 2006 11:11.26
Have a great time in NZ, don't forget your sunblock
From: anushka007 on 20th Oct 2006 15:52.58
and how 'posery like' you look on these pictures
Exellent DJ, fab friend and hard working man. Good luck to you sunshine - I know you dont need it - but have fun and loads of it
From: NickiS on 20th Oct 2006 16:49.03
Nice one Danny Fanny!! You're the best babe!! A true inspiration. Mmmmwwwah x x
From: Redrum on 20th Oct 2006 20:51.19
Danny! Wicked interview.And Ignition has the right concept for an excellent night out for music lovers.Fast becoming one my favourite nights out.
From: Batch on 22nd Oct 2006 16:49.24
looking forward to seeing u back at Summit On Sunday Xmas Special....
Definately outstanding at the last SOS.... as commented by many!!!
Spoke to Ed and unfortunately he cant make it which is a shame
From: mattpickup on 23rd Oct 2006 09:35.28
spot on danny !!!!!!!!!!
From: Ian Edwards on 23rd Oct 2006 10:29.06
Noice one mate. see you soon.
From: K.A.R.L. on 23rd Oct 2006 14:14.02
Was a pleasure to play for you mate. A wicked party with a great concept.
From: Si T Fi on 23rd Oct 2006 16:36.09
NOMO! Those were the days mate! What an amazing board that was! keeep up the good work- I have many memories of those early days us at EGA etc... GRFRI!
From: Letty Bird on 23rd Oct 2006 21:25.37
nice one Danny xx
From: danj on 24th Oct 2006 03:20.29
Nice one tart
From: Maria on 25th Oct 2006 16:38.38
I still remember the first time i saw you playing at Riot! Twisted Mike asked me to help him to support you around the dj box! Glad that we all still loving it!!! mmmmwwwhhhaaaa
From: WEBBO on 25th Oct 2006 22:28.59
top stuff danny , never let me down yet with your sets
dont forget acid disco on the 12th mate : see you then
From: Ed Real on 26th Oct 2006 21:20.21
words cant describe the legend that is danny g! the man who coined 'get the fuck riot in' is the london don! look forward to catching up on the weekend munter! :-)
From: *charlie*! on 31st Oct 2006 19:13.46
Wow, what a wicked interview
Danny... you are a true legend, I have had many fantastic weekends with you I am SO pleased to hear things are working out for you hon, you deserve it babe.
and as for the GFTRI - Get the F*ck right Illigan more like
I see there is no mention of the 'Gilly gone wrong' hehe
Keep up the good work honey, Im really proud of you
From: Busta on 31st Oct 2006 21:44.01
nooooice one danny, i got alot of respect for you mate, good effort ( thumbs up eh )