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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 gig?

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 Club4?

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 everybody behave)

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 - Forever Changes

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?
English Martyrs

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?
Manchester United

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 films.

Fish Net Stockings or crutch-less knickers?
Fish nets

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 and myself.



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