Thursday, 5 April 2012

Will the real Niallist please step forward ...?

The Nialiist is one of those enviously hyper-productive modernists: a musician, blogger, party organiser, remixer etc etc... But just who IS the real Niallist, or better yet, who the hell does he THINK he is? Let's get him...!

Photo by Nickie

How did you get into music and parties and what motivates you to bring new things to the scene?

I've been into music since I was a child but I've been DJing and putting on nights since the late 90s when I lived in Glasgow. The music scene there is very healthy and it taught me a lot - people there take the music very seriously and can be pretty harsh, but it forces you to up your game all the time.

I'm part of a night in Glasgow called Menergy, which is a drag-and-disco party, and when I moved to Manchester a few years ago I knew immediately that this was the perfect city to do something similar. We had put on a vogue ball in Glasgow and when I met Joe Spencer we decided to put one on here too. That was our first party, Vogue Brawl at Legends in January of 2011, which was a big success and that basically was the birth of Tranarchy, our art/music/parties collective.

Tranarchy is all about creating a safe space for all the freaks and weirdos to come together and have a good time to some great music. As the name suggests, it's very drag and queer-oriented, and we're also into putting on parties in unusual locations, like our recent outlaw tram party Tramarchy:

Tell us three singles/albums/videos/artists that inspire you to do what you do.

1)...Daft Punk, Homework

This was the record that made me think I could make music myself without having to rely on a band, I just needed to get some boxes and pump them up! Homework also acted as an amazing crash course in Chicago house, Detroit techno and New York disco. I think this album changed an entire generation's musical lives, and you can still hear its influence fifteen years later.

2)... anything at all by Missy Elliot

Missy is such an inspiration – she's always pushing the envelope in visual and musical terms, while remaining accessible and unpretentious. To me Missy is the artist who represents that golden age a few years back when chart-topping pop music was genuinely bizarre. She's also representing for all the big peeps who consider themselves to be ‘freaks’!

3)... Azealia Banks, ‘Liquorice’

I think I'm falling in love with Azealia Banks. ‘Liquorice’ is the follow up to last year's dance floor smash ‘212’ and is basically just her rapping over a track by the house producer Lone. I'm impressed that she picked this track to rap over, and her flow is fresh and unique. It's the return of hip-house! I'm hoping her album is this good…

Share three of your own musical creations with us that you're most proud of, or that say most about you.

1) My current album AKA is available now as a free download at – everyone should go grab a copy! There are loads of guests on there, including Cherie Lily, Yo Majesty, Scream Club, Beth Ditto, Andrew WK and rappers from the ‘homo-hop’ scene. Musically it's got quite a hip-hop vibe, but crossed with my usual electro-funk and Chicago house influences.

2) I've put together a mix for my new club night starting on Friday at Night & Day on Oldham St. The night is called Bang The Box and is all about the 808, the 909 and the 303! There's 44 tracks in 52 minutes on this, covering old skool rap, freestyle electro, Chicago house and newer things like New Orleans sissy bounce and the modern vogue/’cunty beats’ scene.

3) And here's an oldie but goodie - this is my single ‘The Hots’ which was released on the respected techno/electro label Dissident about three years ago. It's heavily influenced by hi-nrg producer Bobby O, and also a bit of the Human League, but slowed down and with way more sleaze:

Tell us three events we should be excited about and WHY, damnit!

Well, firstly my new night Bang The Box which is Friday 6th April at Night and Day. I'll be DJing all night long playing my favourite tunes (booty-bass meets acid house meets disco) and mixing things up on Ableton with a few added drum machines for extra funkiness. Those boxes will get banged!

The following Friday it's the UK live debut of New York's vogue queen Cherie Lily, at Kraak Gallery in the Northern Quarter, presented by Tranarchy. We've been hammering Cherie's single ‘Werk’ at all our events because it's a floor-filling modern classic (‘i-i-i-i-icon!’) so to have her over to perform it live is gonna be very special! Also Cherie's husband Andrew WK might put in a wee appearance…

April 27th sees Trouble At T'Mill at Islington Mill, event curated by Trash-O-Rama, where I will be playing alongside the Drunk At Vogue posse, which will be a lot of fun and which I am looking forward to.

And if I can just squeeze one more event in, I wanna plug Hunx And His Punx performing live at Islington Mill on Sunday May 13th. Myself and Kurt Dirt are preparing a very special Tranarchy live show in support that will feature drag queens, leather priests, motorbikes and more...


Owain said...

Nice interview Greg. Lots to look forward to... exciting times. Anyway, not meaning to be arsey in any way I was just wondering as I seem to remember Mr Niallist,quite rightly, having a rant about other club nights using his ideas, names and flyer designs. Is he aware that Lovebox festival already run a club night called 'Bang The Box'?

Niall said...

Hi Owain, thanks for the comment! Yes, I am aware of the London club Bang The Box, and would hope that EVERYONE is aware that phrase "bang the box" is a quote from the classic "No Way Back" by Adonis! :-D

My gripes with the people who did Menergy in Detroit were not that they had used the same name as us - again, it's a name I don't claim to own as it originally came from a song. My problem was that these people had also copied our logo, used one of our slogans, and blatantly ripped off one of our flyer designs, all of which was much more than a mere co-incidence.

While this is my first BTB party in Manchester I have been using the name infrequently over the years for small events where I perform live with my grooveboxes. I DO hope that there's enough of a distinction between my BTB and Lovebox's BTB not to confuse people!