In House is a feature showcasing some of the creative people that pass through the Harley every day. What better way to start this by spotlighting one of our promoter teams that curate our club nights. Bluewave are a collective that specialise in grime, jungle and everything weighty in the sub frequencies. Their focus on not only selecting innovative DJs but also creating a party has meant they've quickly become one of The Harley's most popular promoters. We asked them a few questions about their collective and experiences so far.
So first of all, who is Bluewave and what are each of your roles in the collective?
Bluewave is a team of 3 good mates who all go to University together and share the same love and passion towards the music. We tend to split the roles pretty evenly, our group meetings to organise the events usually consist of about half an hour discussing innovative ideas, half an hour assigning different roles eg organising competitions / booking artists etc and then about two hours on top of that getting drunk.
How did it all start, what made you want to get involved with running events and how did you come up with the name?
It all started in December 2014 really when Elliott noticed a slight lapse in the number of nights in Sheffield and The Harley were looking to stage some new nights. A lot of nights such as Knives and Forks and Ambush had disappeared when the previous University year finished so two of us had the idea of putting on a free night to try and get a name out there. To begin with there was just Elliott and Jamie running the night but we recruited our third member Dom at a house party about a month later when he went on a twenty minute rant about how he wants to get involved in some basement at about 5am. I said to him Dom, if you can tell me all of this tomorrow and let me know what you’re going to bring to the table then you’re in, and good on him he came straight up to me the next day and pretty much recited the same words. We came up with the name due to the infamous blueberry cheese of Sheffield, we were going to call the night blueberry waves but even saying it made us cringe so we cut it down to Bluewave and went from there.
The Harley seems to commonly be the first venue people go to when starting in the promoter world, what is it about the place that you guys like?
The Harley’s a great venue to kick off a night if you’re thinking of starting one; it’s a perfect size and always generates a positive, like-minded crowd. We’ve spent half of our University life in The Harley and love the place so we love the fact we get to put nights on there. Number one tip I can give is the double Old J and ting, that stuff is dangerously nice and always has us stumbling home after a night wondering how we got so pissed.
What’s your most memorable moment from one of the parties you’ve done here?
Elliott: My favourite moment had to be when we turned The Harley into a jungle, we ordered so much random stuff from online and when it all came together I was pretty pleased with it all. Benton went off that night and it was still packed at the end, people didn’t want to go home even when the lights came on. All the inflatable animals and big trees we bought all got nicked and I love that.
Dom: It’s got to be selling out the 90s night for me, we worked extremely hard promoting that and are glad the people of Sheffield recognised, they all made an effort in donning their 90s gear which was good to see. I also liked giving away free sweets to all the heads that came down early to get in – big up yourselves.
Jamie: I first realised we were onto something good when we booked two grime artists from Manchester and got around 300 people in to witness it. It was only our third night and I was over the moon at how many people afterwards were saying how sick it was. James (Korra) our resident agreed with this as well, and noted Fallow dropping his unreleased Sino tune as a major highlight.
Your 90s special went down seriously well, is it something you are looking to continue or was it a one off?
It did go pretty well didn’t it. It’s definitely something we’re considering doing again, the 90s were a great time, but more importantly everyone had a great time on the night and that’s our sole aim, so we’re looking into possible dates for a Bluewave 90s Special part 2.
What acts are you on to at the moment, any tips in the grime and jungle scene?
For myself, my number one tip for jungle is the older the better; I love those raw stripped down sounds. Check out classics like Omni Trio – Renegade Snares (Foul Play VIP), goes back over twenty years now but its untouchable stuff.
Going to get James (Korra) on the case for the grime, he knows everything about the upcoming scene:
"For grime, I'd definitely keep an eye out on labels that have already done a big job this year. Gobstopper have been pushing the boundaries already with releases like Iglew's Urban Myth, and there's only going be more to come. An artist affiliated with them but without an official release called Okedo is one I'd watch out for, he has some really nice tunes floating about in mixes and I'm sure he'll be getting a release of sorts soon.
I'd also be checking out stuff by Local Action, who have already put out releases by Finn and Fallow who we had this year. I've heard that T_A_M is in line for a release next year on Local Action, and some of the stuff he's putting out sounds amazing as well, he's definitely gonna break out next year.
Other artists to look out for would be people like Myth, who's had a release on Rabit's Halcyon Veil label, Grizzle, who's affiliated with Chow Down, Double Clapperz, two Japanese grime producers who seem to be killing it at the moment (check especially their Pied Piper VIP), Smodi who's played in Sheff before a few times for Jam & Bun, Utah?, another local act who's killing it, Invader Spade (who might be playing Sheffield next year but isn't confirmed) and Archer. He's supposed to have a release coming out on Far East Sound I think but yeah his stuff sounds sick too, a lot of computer game influences in some of his tracks - I'd definitely watch out for him.
Koala as well is someone I've been listening to recently, he's from Finland and has had some plays from Mr Mitch and he's got some really nice sounding stuff. Actually, our mate Flint as well has been putting out some decent stuff, he's getting better and better and recently was one of the winners of this little production contest put on the online collective Classical Trax. There's plenty of others as well, too many to list probably, but finally, there's a few artists who aren't strictly grime but have some grime influenced stuff I'd like to recommend such as Silk Road Assassins, Yamaneko (and his alias Talbot Fade), Toxe, Dinamarca, Venetia and anything coming out from DJ Marfox's Principe label - killer stuff."
I know you’ve started to get some gigs outside of Sheffield now, how have they been going?
One of our co-owners Elliott MCs over drum and bass and works with a DJ called Ackroyd. They’ve been constantly expanding over the last couple of months and were recently booked to play at a night in Birmingham called FZKS alongside Skeptical and Hybrid Minds. Big things are going to be coming from these two in 2016 so keep your eye out.
Finally, where do you want to take Bluewave? Is there a particular act or party you’ve set your eyes on as a goal?
We just want to continue what we’re doing right now, putting on bangin’ nights and upholding Sheffield’s reputation for its mad music scene. There’s an artist we were looking into booking last year but it didn’t work out, so we’re onto them for 2016 and it’s in the making – afraid we can’t reveal it right now though! Go ahead and like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter (bluewavesheff) to keep up to date with all our happenings, we’ve got some sick surprises in store for next year.