by Bernie Bostik
These two ARE
Legends - Part 1 Mike Woods
Isn't the Internet great, it's thanks to this great invention that I get
to pick the brains of two people who were responsible for the soundtrack
of my young clubbing life. The two people are Mike Woods & Darren Nogurel,
two DJ's who played at various clubs and party's around the Northwest
during my youth. I never knew them at the time (I knew some of their
friends) so I never got the chance to question them about certain nights
and records they played. After stalking them down thanks to the world wide
web, I got the chance to interview them via e-mail.
It was strange surroundings the first time I ever heard your name
mentioned Mike, It was at a Roy Harper gig in the Parr Hall (Warrington).
All the gang were in attendance, waiting with great anticipation for Roy
to belt out Advertisement (Another Intentional Irrelevant Suicide). But
all we could hear was Mark Grimes chattering on about ,
"Woody's going to be playing tonight, it's going to be top".
I inquired "who's this Woody?"
"You know that DJ fella...goes out with Sally so and so from Sankey"
I retorted with " Not Sally who goes the Hacienda an that?"
"Yep" came the answer
" The jammy bastard"
We ended up at Legends that night Mike and I think it was your first
night. What had you been up to before? and how did you get the Legends
I first heard House Music from going to the Hacienda especially the Nude
nights with DJís Pickering & Park, I was introduced to Steve Williams who
took me under his wing and showed me where to buy these records, the store
was Eastern Bloc in Manchester. Before Legends I did a couple of midweek
nights in my home town of Warrington and a few parties, but my first break
was the Thunderdome in Manchester very underground by todays standards one
room hot and sweaty with more Salford heads than you could shake a stick
at, one night my girlfriend was sat near the door taking a breather when
all of a sudden about ten lads with baseball bats burst in through the
door it got more and more dangerous as the doormen got shot at a few weeks
later, Taxi for Woods. I got the Legends gig by going to the club and
saying I could get people in basically and it seemed to go up a hundred
people each week till there was the best part of 1300, word of mouth must
of spread as there was no flyers at the time, Richard and I both were
Hacienda regulars I was getting an influence from Steve Williams and
Laurent Garnier who were championing New Beat and Chicago and Richard was
going back and to to London so the Balearic came from there and then we
both had Hacienda classics and over time it turned in to anything goes.
I remember one summer a party that was happening at the Mersey View. My
memories of the day and night are somewhat hazy, I know it was a red hot
day and I have recollections of me, Mark Grimes and Oggy walking home
afterwards as our trusted mini cab Tex Red failed to turn up. I think we
got home about noon the next day. I know you played there Mike? and who
else played and what do you both remember of the night?
I think you are referring to the 808 State alldayer yes I played along
side 808 State, I think Steve Williams played but donít quote me on that
Darren* didnít play but he is the one with memory so he will fill in my
blanks, but it was a great gig and it was rocking.
I seem to recall years ago a friend pointing out a review of some record
that you had something to do with in Mix Mag? or am I just making that up?
I have produced quite a few tracks that have been reviewed but none that
we have both been involved in I was happy with a Derrick Carter review as
he liked my drum programming, but I nicked them off Carl Craig, but lets
be honest Iím not the only thief in House Music.
Right, Club4 in Widnes - what the fuck was the sweat box all about? I
only ever went once and yet again I cannot remember much. I was working in
London at the time and all I kept hearing off the lads was "Club4 man ,
it's fucking A1" or the funny story about one of the lads 'Frankintom' who
left the club for a change of clothes and ended up locking himself in
the back of Stanley's van for 4 hours off his nut. What's the story behind
A bouncer from Legends who lived in the same street as me asked would I
start a night there so I went down to have a look. it was in a ridiculous
place next to a railway line in quite an industrial place not your average
club venue, it also had a dancefloor that lit up like Saturday night
fever, fuck me thinking back it was bad, but I accepted the challenge and
had it rammed in no time with the help of Steve and John Williams and
Noggy it was a sweat box which had a powder keg atmosphere, with some
dodgy characters, I might add most of them being people I knew but the
drugs made everybody behave themselves.
(Yeah sounds about right, I got told a few Speke & Halewood heads use to
intermingle with the Widnes & Warrington crowd.... I was surprised that
their wasn't any carnage! As you say the happy pills did alot to make
The last time you played Legends, when was it? and was there a tear shed?
and can you remember the last record you played?
The last time I played was August 93 I think and I think I was a little
sad but I have no memory of it what so ever I had had enough I needed
something different and Sean the owner wouldnít invest in a new sound
system but thinking back even if he would of put a new system in I would
have left not long after as the Balearic start to the night had run itís
course the material wasnít coming through anymore. To answer your other
question as to what was the last record I played there I havenít a clue as
I just wanted to leave so it was no big deal what the last record I played
was, and with Legends I think everybody appreciates it more now looking
back at the records that were played.
Those Legendary raves that took place in warehouses around Warrington,
you played at a some of them, correct? what was the one when the convoy
left Burtonwood heading for Manchester, then doubled back on itself to a
disused warehouse on the quickly expanding Winnick Quay trading estate.
The scousers had control of the doors and were charging people a fiver,
when it should of been free.
I couldnít tell you which rave that was I did go to one in Winwick Quay
but it was shit not one of the best I had been to I didnít play at any of
them either as the Police had a tendency to take your records and search
through them with all the finesse of a bull in a china shop in fact they
purposely scratched them. Hey, but it was all in the line of duty.
You've had some good Legends re-union nights in the past, what's it like
getting the old crowd back together again?
I think the first one at the View caught a little of that atmosphere and
what Legends was about, and it was good to catch up with people I hadnít
seen for fourteen years or so, the other three I didnít really enjoy all
that much but the crowd seemed to, it was that same old Warrington problem
shite clubs with shite sound systems.
At the time, I wasn't one for knowing Artist's and track names. In fact I
remember getting back to peoples houses after nights out, for the chill
out session. The chin-wag would be something like "that track that woody
dropped about an hour in, you know the one, it goes bum bum bum bum beep
beep beep skiddily do wop wop wop bop, then those chocolate bubble noises
come in and it finishes with a crescendo of snare drum and bass" some
smart arse would pipe up and say "Oh that's 'so an so' with 'thingy me
bob' - How did they remember! I was always sat in the corner trying to
remember my own name and trying to come to terms with my twitch. Now that
I am trying to add more and more music to my iTunes collection, here's my
chance to put names to some off those tracks that drove me crazy.....so
here's the inevitable ........
Top 5 Legends records and why?
Sound Factory Ė Cuban Gigalo (Funky arse House Music from Mantronix) Koxo
Club Band Ė Makes you blind (I just love it always have always will)
Brooklyn Funk Essentials Ė Change the track ( that old organ sound that
seemed to get used a lot but this was the best riff nicked from Virgo) La
Banderita - Mediterranea (Top Balearic Italian Legends classic) T99 Ė
Invisible Sensuality( Why Legends stands out from the crowd, play this to
a regular and the hairs will stand on end, what happened with T99 they
release this and then put out total shite)
What was the feeling you got when you spun some tune that just made the
whole place bounce? was it a feeling of pure emotion like when a footy
player scores a goal? Or were you to busy head down in the crate sorting
out which tune was next? It used to get quite crowded in that DJ booth of
yours - why didn't you just tell Stanny to fuck off on the dance floor
like everyone else?
I was busy with my head down a lot of the time but it is a rush getting
that kind of reaction from a track you play thatís why I love the Music so
much it has the power to do that to people. Stanni is a very good friend
of mine so he was always with me, and the funniest person I have ever met,
razor sharp wit he has me crying laughing everytime he phones me.
Mike, I know you have just recently moved Down Under. What's happening for
you over there at the moment and what's in the pipeline?
I have only just unpacked my records as I have just finally bought a
house, I really donít know if I will play again Iím happy as I am at the
minute which is spending time with my family, but I see clips of clubs
like dc10, that rush inside never leaves you when you here a great track
on a great sound system.
Was there a party that took place in Orford woods one time? The rumour we
heard was they had strobe lights set up and everything. We were going to
go but our relationship with the Orford lot was a little frosty.
I remember the idea of a party on the common in Greenwood but nothing
happened those greenwood lot couldnít organize a piss up in a brewery so
If I remember it was a none avent but knowing my memory I was probably
dancing away in the trees.
Right now the boring trivia stuff...
Top 5 favourite records ever?
I think we should go with albums as I always get asked what my top
favorites are in House Music so I will choose from my other collection.
Van Morrison Ė Veedon Fleece (equally as good as Astral Weeks but I will
go with Veedon as Astral is most peopleís choice) Rolling Stones Ė Exile
on Main Street ( I also love the b-side of tattoo You as much) Joni
Mitchell Ė Court & Spark ( The lady is a song writing genius) The band Ė
Music from big pink ( The Band are just superb a real band, check out the
Last Waltz) Talking Heads Ė Fear of Music (My favorite Talking Heads
album) This is without going through my collection if
I do that the five might change daily. Can I have a Substitute? Love -
What sinks your submarine these days, music wise?
Club wise I donít get to any as I have just recently moved to Australia so
donít know anything over here yet, but a small venue with an up for it
crowd is were itís at for me, with Moodymann or Theo Parrish playing.
Top 3 clubs and why? (those visited on a non playing basis)
Hacienda, great club and an atmosphere in the early days I havenít
encountered since. Frenzy in Blackpool Steve Williams & Laurent Garnier
on the decks a regular trip to Blackpool on a Thursday night quality
entertainment. The Thunderdome Manchester as dodgy as a club could be,
lots of people you didnít want to bump into in a dark alley but again
Steve Williams and Mike Pickering were the dogs nuts.
Which school did you attend?
Did you play for the school Footy/Rugby team?
Both, I even played at Warringtonís ground in front of the crowd before
the main game I always remember the roar of the crowd as I tore down the
wing before some twat took me out.
And if so did you ever get a tonking off Penketh High?
Probably at football English Martyrs didnít have the best team.
What Footy/Rugby team do you support?
Favourite flavour of crisp?
Good old Cheese & Onion
Favourite breed of dog?
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Angelina Jolie or Sienna Miller?
Jolie would be too High Maintinance so Sienna, hold on who has the biggest
breasts I have a little or shall we say big fetish, think Russ Meyer
Fish Net Stockings or crutch-less knickers?
Brazilian or hairy scary Mary?
Brazil all the way.
errrr....I think we'll leave it there. Thanks Mike for providing the
soundtrack to some of my most enjoyable nights and thank you for filling
in the blanks to some of them.
*Next month I shall be interviewing Darren Noguerol (Mike's old sparring
partner from Legends), who's going to be filling in the blanks for Mike