We had a quick chat with Graeme Park prior to him making his Funkademia debut on the 25th September. Tickets are still available but be quick as this night WILL sell out! BUY HERE
What were your earliest musical inspirations?
Listening to my Mum’s Motown, Stax and 60s pop. And some show tunes too.
How did you get into DJ’ing?
I used to work in a record store called Selectadisc in Nottingham and the owner opened a club called The Garage and asked me to DJ. I took to it like a duck to water and my eclectic tastes and being in charge of the second hand department in the record store helped me embark on a career that has so far lasted 26 years.
You’re most well known in Manchester for your legendary Hacienda nights. What are your top 3 memories from the Hac?
It’s difficult to remember specifics because every weekend for 8 years was so special. I remember my 30th birthday weekend in August 1993 and I recently found the cassette recordings too. New Years Eves and the Hacienda birthday were also amazing too. We used to always have the birthday on the correct date as well, not wait until the nearest weekend. So if it was a Sunday or a Monday or Tuesday we’d open and it would be packed. That would never happen nowadays. Those days will never be repeated. Sadly.
If you could go out for a pint with anyone in the world who would it be & why?
Either Tony Wilson (who I had a pint with not long before he passed away) for a catch up or my late younger brother Gregor for some major reminiscing.
What is the best club you’ve ever DJ’ed in & why?
It was The Hacienda because there has never been a club like it and there never will be again. Clubbing has become too corporate these days and accountants and “operational directors” decide what happens, not people who love the music, the DJs and the scene. The Hacienda grew organically and was run by hedonists for hedonists. That’s why it was a massive success and a glorious failure too.
When you’re not DJ’ing what do you spend your time doing?
I used to race a classic Ferrari in the Formula Ferrari Classic series but then I had twin boys and I couldn’t really justify the expense or the risk anymore. I replaced that passion with running but my knees have started to ache in recent months so this year I’ve started doing something I used to do 15 ears ago: mountain biking! I also fund raise for a couple of charities and love to cook too.
You’re generally associated with House music but Funkademia is primarily disco-soul-funk night – what inspired you to take the gig on and what can the punters expect on the night?
I’ve been a DJ for 26 years and a music fan all of my life. Although I’m credited with introducing house music to the UK, I started DJing long before house appeared and I’ve always loved funk, soul and disco. And punk rock! I’ve always wanted to play Funkademia and really can’t wait to dig out some forgotten gems from the 1970s and 1980s and beyond. House and hip hop were both heavily influenced by disco, funk and soul and it was a natural progression for me and others to embrace early hip hop and house. I’m just looking forward to playing some of the tunes I used to play over 25 years ago with relish. Come on!