Photography by Lauren Maccabee

Club reg­u­lars 009: Danielle

DJ and former Phonica employee Danielle guides us through one of the UK’s most exciting nightlife cities: Bristol.

Bristol’s a small city. But ask any under­ground elec­tron­ic music fan about the scene there, and they’ll be able to list a num­ber of great Bris­tol records off the top of their head. The city’s com­pact geog­ra­phy, laid­back cul­ture and cheap(er) liv­ing costs make it an encour­ag­ing place for DJs, pro­duc­ers and reg­u­lar ravers. Lon­don­ers can be a bit snooty about Bris­tol, but they could learn a lot from its less ego-dri­ven club scene.

Danielle got to know Bris­tol after her dad moved there in 2011, and she decid­ed to move per­ma­nent­ly in 2014. A pas­sion­ate raver and for­mer Phon­i­ca employ­ee, she took to DJing and quick­ly became a respect­ed selec­tor in the Bris­tol scene. Year on year, Danielle’s tour sched­ule gets big­ger and more inter­na­tion­al. Check out her Bris­tol tips and sto­ry so far, below.

When did you dis­cov­er your pas­sion for raving?

I guess it was the same time as most peo­ple, so between the ages of 18 – 21 was when I went out most week­ends. 2009 – 2012 I was real­ly into dub­step and bass music and I was just real­ly eager to attend all the events I could that show­cased those sorts of sounds. A lot of the Fab­ri­clive events dur­ing those years in Lon­don were some of the most mem­o­rable I have. Then, in Bris­tol, the Cra­zlegs events were real­ly excit­ing and I remem­ber this as a time where I was mak­ing some of my first friend­ships out­side of edu­ca­tion and it was so great that the thing we had in com­mon was our taste in music. When you look back now at some of the line­ups they had it’s actu­al­ly crazy! I also remem­ber going to what was The Croft and [dub­step night] Subloaded at The Black Swan and hav­ing some of the best nights ever.

When did you start tak­ing DJing seriously?

I guess it’s some­thing I’ve slow­ly built towards but worked quite hard at in some way or anoth­er over the last six years. It’s def­i­nite­ly been on my mind for the last 10, though! I start­ed work­ing at Phon­i­ca in 2009, but it took a good few years of me col­lect­ing and buy­ing records before I start­ed to learn how to mix or DJ out­side of my bed­room. I had my first prop­er gig in 2013, after upload­ing a mix series onto Mix­cloud where I made mix­es using all my dad’s records. Actu­al­ly, Omar [McCutcheon, aka Batu – pro­duc­er and Timedance label own­er], Sam [Ploy] and Lar­ry [Bruce] used to run a night togeth­er in Bath called Recall, and they were the first peo­ple to ask me to play a prop­er club gig. After grad­u­at­ing in 2014, I start­ed to play Phon­i­ca events and stuff like that. But it wasn’t until 2016 that I thought I want­ed to do it more pro­fes­sion­al­ly, and towards the end of that year I start­ed as a res­i­dent at the BRSTL nights in Bris­tol along­side [Idle Hands shop/​label own­er] Chris Far­rell and Daisy Moon, and that gave me a taste of what it was like to play reg­u­lar­ly in clubs. Once I got my NTS show in 2017, I knew for sure it was some­thing I want­ed to pur­sue more seri­ous­ly and I have been get­ting busier and busier since then, espe­cial­ly after join­ing Odd Fan­tas­tic agency last year.

If some­one is vis­it­ing Bris­tol for a week­end, where do you rec­om­mend they go?

For club nights, there are a few places I go to reg­u­lar­ly and it’s the same for all my pals. Cosies if you want a more inti­mate night out. The Exchange is good for more alter­na­tive events – the Young Echo guys do their par­ties there. The Island is always good fun, that’s where some of the big­ger pro­mot­ers such as PPG and Good­ness run their par­ties, and it used to be where Timedance did theirs. The sound sys­tem that gets hired in always sounds impres­sive in that space. The Loco Klub is a space I’m quite new to attend­ing, but Room 237 do some wicked par­ties there. I would also sug­gest going to The Black Swan, Arnolfi­ni for House­work and The Love Inn for the Liv­i­ty Sound events.

If you could change one thing about the scene in Bris­tol, what would it be?

I know I’ve men­tioned a few venues above, but to be hon­est there aren’t many more than that. Lots of good club spaces have been and are being shut down in Bris­tol over the last few years, so it’s vital that new spaces can pop up to replace what we’ve lost. Strange Brew – the new ven­ture form the crew who do the Dirtytalk par­ties – are some­what help­ing with that! I also think it would be good if we could get some lat­er licens­es. You don’t realise how ear­ly things shut here until you go to oth­er cities in Europe. 

Any oth­er DJs, pro­duc­ers, pro­mot­ers or per­form­ers from the scene that you’d like to shout out?

Too many peo­ple to name, so I’m just going to shout out three of my best but under­rat­ed pals — Deep Nal­strom, Daisy Moon, Em Williams :)

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