Raves, Venues and Genres that Shaped Me by Everson
We sat down with Samuel Willott aka Everson after his single ‘‘Grass is Green’. pricked our ears in 2019. The South-East Londoner talks us through some raves, genres and venues that have shaped his musical identity.
As well as producing & DJ’ing. Everson runs AAJA Deptford with Owen Howells. A burgeoning South East London venue, party series and label.
Ravealation & Elevation
This was my first venture into rave culture, having spent years (from 10yrs old) listening to Pulse FM and the Illegal Rave compilations while dancing around my bedroom with the lights off and holding a lighter in the air. This was my first opportunity to step into a world I had only created in my bedroom or imagined in my head.
I persuaded my mum to buy me a ticket, which I bought from Bluebird Records in Bromley… She thought it was for a pool party at the local swimming pool, not knowing it was in fact for Ravealation & Elevation at Wembley arena warehouses. Full of sound systems, multi-culture vibes, fairground rides and London’s rising underground DJ and MC stars.
This was it for me. After queuing up outside for a couple of hours then walking into those dimly lit smoky sweaty warehouses and hearing the bass as loud as that for the first time. I could see the DJ’s and MCs silhouettes on the stage in the distance, while all around me everyone was raving hard. This definitely opened my mind and changed my life forever.
From this point I was dedicated to the scene.
Between 95 and 97 my friends and I had been on all sorts of missions around the South East of England. In 97 we found ourselves at Heat on Hastings Pier. Raves were still popping up everywhere and in any location the promoters could find. The music was evolving and so was the scene.
Heat was definitely more on the beginning of the DnB spectrum. You were guaranteed to hear the same biggest track of the month dropped multiple times by different DJs throughout the night and it always went off. Headlining these types of events you would find people like Andy C, Grooverider, Fabio, Brockie, Det, Stevie Hyper D and Shy FX to name a few (often there were over 15-20 acts on these sort of line ups). This night wasn’t really a game changer for me. I Just came away from it with some amazing memories, moments and friendships.
Skipping forward a few years here. Garage was starting to break through. Although still a loyal Junglist, I was interested to hear this new sound developing. Still rolling with the broken beats but with way more syncopated, loose rhythms and low-end basslines.
People like D.E.A Project, Zed Bias, Reservoir Dogs and Todd Edwards really grabbed the ball and ran, creating various sub genres of this sound. We found ourselves coming out of the larger venues and moving into smaller bars and pubs. Wearing Moschino, Iceberg and Versace. It was at this stage my hands started to gravitate to the mic. I started to write what I thought at the time were ‘deep lyrics’ when in fact looking back, they were some form of mediocre cockney poetry.
It’s hard to define one venue for these moments in my life as so many venues were popping up. Garage was still finding its way to the larger clubs so promoters were using pubs and bars to start their events, although it wasn’t very long before Garage became mainstream.
To name a few of my favourite venues at this time..
At this stage my loyalties to one scene or genre were evolving, I was now way more open minded and becoming more inspired by different aspects of the underground scene. I found myself going to a multitude of free parties, which were held in fields or abandoned buildings.
One night that stands out the most is arriving on to Tottenham Court Road after calling a party line and feeling the pavement below me rumbling through my feet, it certainly wasn’t because of the buses passing by. We followed the bass, finding ourselves at the foot of an eight story building with only one way in. Onto a large wheelie bin and onto the lips of the building that shelters the entrance below and through a window. Eight levels of madness. Every type of music you could imagine, accompanied by dogs running around with bags of free acid tabs attached to their collars.
The Breaks Scene
By 2007 I found myself immersed in the Breaks scene. I was playing out regularly and had begun writing music at a more professional level. I was shaking hands with the right people and at this stage was having one of the best times as a Dj. People like Elite Force, Meat Katie, Koma & Bones, Far Too Loud, Santos, Hybrid and Maddox (soon to be Riva Starr) were at the top of their game.
I was going to multiple clubs including SE1, Rhythm Factory, Jacks, and Cabel. But out of all of them there’s one place that stands out the most to me. I’ve seen some of my favorite acts here and I’ve shared all of the same experiences in one building that I had in the entirety of my raving life. They’ve played host to all of my favorite genres and subgenres and I’ve had deeper chats on their stairs than any other. Fabric, London, I salute you.
Thank you to all of the venues, producers, DJ’s, MCs and promoters that have opened my mind over the years and still continue to excite me. Music for me is always evolving. I have always found it hard to pigeonhole myself as an artist because I’m continually inspired by music and the deeper multifaceted sub-genres within every genre. The rabbit hole always seems to keep on going and that’s what I love about music.
Catch Everson’s new ‘track a week’ project over on his Facebook page or Instagram.
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