Prior to his Funkademia gig this weekend we caught up with Terry Christian at home whilst he was cooking his Wednesday roast for the family and had a chat about funk, clubbing, Manchester, that London, celebrity and a bit of politics. Sadly he burnt his roasties!
Soulfunk music – how did you get into it ?
My older brother had a mate in our street – a lad called Roman – who we thought was quite posh ‘cos he had a record player in his house which we didn’t so we used to go round to his house & he had all these old tamla records which we’d listen to & he’d buy really rare soul tracks which were ace so that was my early foundation. I guess growing up in Old Trafford which was a real multi-cultural area with loads of black music going on was a big influence to. I’ve always been into it from there really.
When you were a regular clubber back in the day what were your favourite clubs in Manchester – where would you go out with your mates ?
We used to go everywhere really. Living so close to town it was easy to get in and out. We’d do Rotters, Pips, Placemate 7, Rafters and Legends (now 5th Ave) on a Friday night where they had a fantastic jazz-funk night with Greg Wilson on the decks. First club to have have a laser light which was quite exciting at the time. We went to the Hacienda a lot in its early days when the music was very varied & they’d drop some great hip hop such as Sugarhill \ Grand Master Flash tracks. The Gallery and Berlin were also top nights when Hewan Clarke & Colin Curtis were on. I’d do a lot of gigs to and went to the old PSV in Hulme to see people like Iggy Pop, Magazine, Gregory Issacs and I remember going to the original Factory nights when it was the Russel Club and saw an early Joy Division.
You’ve obviously travelled the world quite a bit where’s the best club you’ve ever been?
I’ve been quite a few places but I’m going to have to go for a place called the Bluenote in Derby. I had a radio show in Derby in the mid eighties and used to go their 2 or 3 times a week to the Bluenote. Paul Mason who went on to manage the Hacienda during its most infamous period was the manager at the time and it was a fantastic little club. It was a really cool little place with a great atmosphere and really good music, at the time I’d say the music there was better than the Hacienda. It had a back room where you could choose your own stuff on the juke box. Its still going strong today.
You could probably have progressed your career further by following the obvious celebrity lifestyle choice of living in London but you chose not to, how come ?
I did London for a bit when I was doing loads of TV work down there but it wasn’t for me. Its all about balance really, I prefer to be in Manchester close to family and friends. I like London for a visit but not to live there. Its impossible to go for an impromptu pint, you have to be dead organised to live there and I’m not. Its not where you are its who you’re with. Manchester’s better.
Whose the biggest celebrity nob you’ve worked with?
Too many to name ! Nah only jesting. They are all alright really. In some ways its hard not to become a nob though in that celebrity culture. Its a weird world to live in. Your environment can really affect you sometimes without you realising, it kinda sneaks up on you. I’m sure I became a right nob for a while
What’s your biggest regret?
Too many mate.
Who is the soundest celebrity you’ve worked with?
Tony Wilson. Brilliant bloke. Pleasure to work with and be in his company. Never felt like work when you were with Tony. I loved the banter with Tony. He could bullsh*t you about anything and make it sound like he knew exactly what he was talking about. Even though we spent the best part of the nineties having an ongoing ding dong we got on even when we didn’t get on if you see what I mean. I loved the mental sparring with Tony, nobody could compete with Tony on that front, I miss that.
If you became Mayor of Manchester with a magic wand what would be the first thing you’d do?
I’d erect checkpoints right round the City and have people checked for their ‘suitability’ to enter our city. Oh, and put a big fence round student land and keep them in there.
What do you reckon to George Osbournes “we’re all in it together” stance?
Hmmmm. Well its clearly not true. I reckon we’re all in it while he’s in his Bullingdon Club* with his Oxbridge chums Cameron, Boris Johnson and the like.
* The Bullingdon Club is a socially exclusive dining club notorious for its members wealth at Oxford University
And finally what can we expect from your set at Funkademia’s 15th birthday party?
Classic soul and funk, some New York Garage tracks & the odd reggae beat. All good stuff, nothing too obscure. You wont get any brain ache, it’ll be seriously un-cool. Looking forward to it.
Terry Christian will be playing the back room of Funkademia for our 15th Birthday Party this Saturday 6th November. Final few tickets are available.