Astronauts, innovative workshops and a pop up cinema, oh my! All of these are taking one small step to Doncaster for the DN Festival Does Space this July.
Right Up Our Street are landing this exciting space-themed festival on the evening of Friday 27th July and all day on Saturday 28th July, in the Sir Nigel Gresley Square and the Village at Waterdale Shopping Centre.
Sally Lockey, project director for Right Up Our Street, said: “We are so excited about this year’s first festival.
“Using the theme of space we have invited and commissioned a number of Yorkshire-based artists to showcase ambitious work alongside a small number of handpicked nationally touring pieces. Doncaster’s own Lioness Theatre presenting ‘The Black Stuff’ and Jenkinson-Parks will be some of the many highlights.
“Thanks to Right Up Our Street’s continued relationship with Without Walls Associate Touring Network, we’ll be welcoming the innovative dance theatre piece ‘Urban Astronaut’ by Highly Sprung and the beautifully post-apocalyptic ‘The Wheel House’ by Acrajou.
“As with all our past festivals, empty spaces within the Village at Waterdale Shopping Centre will be reimagined and shop units will become hands-on free activity spaces for families alongside festival food and pop up performances.”
The summer festival will see a giant inflatable venue called The Big M take over Sir Nigel Gresley Square. The Big M will be the central hub for everything from a sci-fi Cosy Cinema screening to a family rave.
“We are already talking to a number of businesses about potential sponsorship and partnerships around these events as we want to make sure that we are delivering events that Doncaster can really be proud of.
“There is already so much to be excited about with the commissions for this festival and more activities and events will be announced soon,” added Sally.
Want to know more? Head on over to http://rightupourstreet.org.uk/
Rachel Horne interviews co-owner of Doncaster Warehouse Lewis Walker.
IMAGE: Warren Draper
RH: The Warehouse is a notorious Doncaster venue, but what’s the backstory?
LW: The Warehouse was originally opened in 1988 by a Doncaster businessman. He opened it as a nightclub, but the local authority would not give him a drinks license, so he decided to open anyway and let people bring their own drinks. It became well known as the ‘BYO’ – Bring Your Own. In the early days he struggled to get people to come, but then the rave scene kicked off and so he decided to go that route. Again struggling to get it off the ground, he eventually booked house and techno DJ Carl Cox and bingo – full club. Another name that came from The Warehouse is DJ Mzone, a Doncaster miner who at the time was doing weddings as a DJ. He is one of the founders of the Euro trance scene, a massively well-respected DJ who still plays at the Warehouse to this day and was with us on NYE.
RH: The club scene was pretty booming then. How have things changed?
LW: Yes, it was massive back then and as you probably know, yes, it has changed drastically now. It is much harder to attract people to dance clubs, as it is all so mainstream these days. Also, the smoking ban didn’t really do us any favours.
We concentrate on mainly the dance scene, i.e. Dizstruxshon, TFI, new wave, but we also offer the club to other promoters to rent, who bring in their own brands.
RH: Can you explain a bit more about Distruxshon and TFI?
LW: Dizstruxshon was probably one of the biggest events in our area going way back to
1992. It was a local event started at Howden near Goole, and moved around the area: Henry’s Mexborough, the Dome, Camelots (now Diamond Live Lounge). It has been going 25 years this year and is probably the longest-running event of its kind that has a continued to operate throughout. All of the lads that worked at Dizstruxshon went off and started their own event, TFI. So Dizstruxshon, BYO and TFI are now mixing the old genres with the new, still attracting people from the 90s and today’s youth also. We have a mix of happy hardcore and trance, right through to today’s harder styles of dance music. It is a good mix and even today’s young dance enthusiasts like the older styles from the 90s.
These brands and mixed genre events tend to be our best attended. As the Warehouse is out on a limb, people that come from other areas are coming straight to the club and don’t tend to go into town. So like its predecessors – Northern Soul, for instance – these people come to Doncaster because we provide what entertainment they require in a specialised, safe and secure environment.
RH: Over the years a lot of clubs have opened and closed. You’re becoming an endangered species…
LW: Granted, we are not the most aesthetic-looking club in Doncaster, but what we offer inside is different to all other clubs in our area. The fact that the club has been operating for 30 years in 2018, with just two operators over that time, speaks for itself. Never shutting its doors, even though its roof burnt off and it was destroyed again in the floods of 2002. When the recession hit again in 2014, it was very tough.
RH: You guys have the marketing budget to tell your story, promote what you do and have done more commercial venues. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you seem to get quite a lot of bad press.
LW: Yes, unfortunately over the years the venue has had bad press. An incident at the
Warehouse will reach the front pages, but any incident in town does not seem to have the same press interest. People can only view it from their own perspective, and that would be by trying us out. If you don’t attend the venue because of hearsay then you are only depriving yourself if you have a love for dance music. No other venue in Doncaster can offer what we do. We offer the only the best music, covering many genres in one event, all played by DJs from all over Europe. It is a safe environment. Granted, we have incidents, but no venue is immune from them. We have a very good
relationship with the local licensing officers and have regular visits to discuss how we operate. I can safely say they go away happy every time.
It is only on rare occasion that we have to ask for assistance from the police. Mostly they are tied up in town. The people that attend the Warehouse are all coming for the same reason, to dance and have a great time socialising with their friends. We are always happy to see new faces at the club and everybody is welcome. We have also had a drinks licence for the past 15 years, so I’m afraid the BYO days are no longer in operation, even though we do still get people turning up with a carrier bag of cans.
RH: What have you guys got coming up?
LW: 2018 is a big year for Doncaster Warehouse. There are not many venues that can boast 30 continuous years of operation, especially in the entertainment industry, and even more so as an underground dance venue. So we have some big plans going into the new year.
We hope to feature a lot of old brands and artists too. We don’t think 30 years can be celebrated in just one night, so we will stage events throughout the whole of 2018, starting on Saturday 17th February with a BYO Reunion charity event organised by a local Doncaster business, Anarchy Hair. Tracy Grayson, the business owner, wanted to put the event on to raise money for charities SSAFA & Yorkshire Air Ambulance, so all proceeds will go to them. There’s literally nothing else like it in the region, so why not come give us a try? You might be surprised. See you on the floor.
Click HERE for the link to the Facebook event page.
Those of you who like to transcend their consciousness with new and unusual left-field sounds should definitely check out D.J. Craig Manga’s show New Weird Planet on Doncaster’s Sine FM from 12pm-2am on a Friday Night…
Each week its venerable host gathers together a selection of the weirdest, wonkiest and most marvellous records on the planet in order to create a cosmic “headspace” for us, his faithful listeners, to explore their own surreality. From the experimental electronica of Craig’s Mangabros and its various offshoots, through to the avant-garde esotericism of Alan Moore, by way of the industrial sound of The Young Gods and the sludge-metal of Doncaster’s very own Klagg: Craig has everything on offer for you, his loyal
listeners, to kick-start their weekend in the most sublime way possible.
Anyone who has met Craig or seen him perform live with his various projects will know he is a force to be reckoned with and New Weird Planet is no exception. The show is relentless in its ability to warp your mind in the most beautiful way possible; mainly through the carefully chosen underground music that Craig curates.
The show takes a “wide-slice” at the most eclectic and soul-stirring sounds of our time and succeeds effortlessly. We get no “schlock-jock” platitudes from our host Mr. Manga, just a hell of a lot of integrity, music, belief in what he’s doing and his trademark tongue-in- cheek delivery. The show has also spawned a series of New Weird Planet “Micro-fests.” Live events which, although still based in South Yorkshire, aim to reach out to all the experimental artists in the country. Craig curates and gathers together these bands and collectives for the pleasure of the faithful and the fanatical love he has for distinctive, otherworldly, sonic experience… Craig is unstoppable in his passion and undeniable integrity. He’s also a lovely fella–New Weird Planet is gifted with twice the charm of anything on Radio 6. It is definitely a source that requires your complete attention and, much like its host Craig Manga, is a force to be reckoned with…
New Weird Planet can be found at 102.6 fm on your radio dial and upon the internet@ www.sinefm.com
Or join the New Weird Planet Network and introduce yourself to Craig @
This summer saw the release of Doncaster “progtronica” collective Manga Brothers’ distinctively otherworldly long-player deepfleshred on Fusion Records. The album looks at life from a distinctly feminine perspective and although Mangabros head honcho Craig wrote all the lyrics and music himself, he has collaborated with some fantastic female vocalists to produce an ethereal record which occupies a space of distinctive otherness.
The Mangabros sound is difficult to place, but tentatively I would like to suggest that it occupies a liminal space betwixt two worlds. The album skilfully embraces a new, sonic surreality/a zone that encourages us to trance out and be healed by our visions, hopes and dreams.
Craig is not classically trained and doesn’t read music: however, the people he mixes with who do are all astounded, saying that he must be able to because of the skilful way in which he makes music. All he can say on the subject is that he knows what sounds good sonically and melodically, although he doesn’t like cliché and tends to avoid classic chord sequences.
Craig Manga recently subverted this concept in the song “Tallest Man on the Planet,” (also on deepfleshred) by actually using classic chord patterns, giving people what they want and then destroying this equilibrium in a distinctive assault upon the “control” system. Originally written on acoustic guitar, the track was then given the Mangabros treatment, which involved singing saws, a “John Cage style” prepared piano, guitar distortion and toy percussion. The track went on to become the co-winner of the Sine FM Musicbomb Songwriting Competition.
There is a very liminal quality to the new album and the Mangabros sound in general. This sensorium transports us to places of inbetweenness. Intellectually offering the sonic sensation of a series of questioning emotions, which belong both everywhere and nowhere? Craig is happy with that.
The new album deepfleshred is doing something progressive with electronica. For this writer it takes him to a place where the memories of all those classic movies and arthouse films that shaped his mindscape (cue: Rosemary’s Baby, Hardware, Blade Runner, Kenneth Anger’s Magick Lantern Cycle) have been hardwired to his brain…The greatest film I’ve never seen!
Craig claims to be cursed by the plural; utilizing many collaborations and always describes Mangabros as a band. However, Craig sadly laments the departure of his long-term collaborator Paul Manga who, due to health reasons, can no longer offer textures of shredded guitar. Craig now finds himself in a distinctively solitary situation regarding his music.
Fortunately upon the periphery is a coterie of musicians including “Audio-Visual Artist” John Alexander (Johnny Manga) and Tim Manga (modular synths: from dance electronic outfit, Uncles of Wise) who contribute to recording and live duties.
There is a distinctive mythic quality contained in everything Mangabros do and deepfleshred is part one of two. There is a complex, conceptual narrative running through the new album which could only be elucidated from Craig’s highly individual mind-set: this first release looking at life from a feminine point of view and the one after being masculine has Craig singing all the songs.
Recently Craig performed at a recent festival in Gainsborough accompanied by the Lincoln-based creator of sonic machines Peter K. Rollings. Craig says it was one of the most enjoyable musical experiences of his life. Craig loves the way that the project is becoming more amusing and fun.
For example, at a recent gig in Derby, Craig grabbed a lectern, wore a cassock and instigated an impromptu sermon for the song Rev. Lazarus, skilfully and convincingly inhabiting the character of a born again Preacher. On the subject of religion Craig likes to look on the bright-side and is firmly agnostic. Let’s just say that he believes in the light of hope. Another example of Craig being somewhat satirical can be heard on the Porno Karaoke song narratives “Tall Tales of the Skin” which points fun at the machinery of pornography.
Craig believes that art is magic. The man himself is a firm surrealist who believes we can change the status quo through creativity. Craig is a trained graphic designer and primarily studied Art and English at college. Craig loves artists like the surrealist René Magritte and the Dutch graphics of MC. Escher: the former in particular who with sound mathematics deceives our visual cues. Using Escher as an analogy it is easy to see how Mangabros got its non-linear/subversive/ agitant stance and creates a strange surreality of a certain order, out of the chaos of inspiration.
There is something inherently subversive about the Mangabros sound and you could never say that anything the collective do is throwaway. Craig deals with important issues and uses his project to hold them up against the light. Steeped in William Burroughs and J.G. Ballard, meeting Craig is somewhat akin to witnessing a discourse from a creative dynamo. His knowledge of not just music but underground culture itself is somewhat encyclopaedic. Both he and his music are encouraging you to free your mind and actually do something that matters…
Deepfleshred is out now On Fusion Records (UK), Amazon and Spotify.