PBR Streetgang are a Leeds house music institution. Bonar Bradberry and Tom Thorpe regularly play the biggest parties around the world, sharing line ups with the most acclaimed names on the scene. For a series of nights in 2016, however, they are trading in some of this globetrotting glamour to put on a party in their hometown. They have chosen Wire as the venue for their ‘Lost Property’ event – so we had a chat with them about their plans, their philosophy and what they have been up to.
Tell us about what has driven you to start Lost Property?
TT: Vodka, lots of vodka! Jokes aside, I think two main reasons – firstly, we have always been surrounded by, or involved with, or organised parties through our lives. We genuinely love it – it’s what we know, and do, we’re pretty old school like that. Secondly, we just feel everything is a little the same out there at the minute. You’re seeing the same acts on rotation throughout the scene – it’s not very exciting or inspiring in my opinion. We want to create something fresh, without necessarily using big names. We want our events to be about a vibe, where people come because they know it’s going to be a great party, and fun, and not just about the DJ.
How have your past clubbing experiences informed what you do with the night? What made you choose Wire as the venue?
BB: we’ve been going to night clubs and djing in pretty much all of our adult lives which combined is something like 30 + years experience !! In that time we’ve had a hell of a lot of different experiences good and bad but it all essentially boils to 3 key things, A great space, great sound & great people, if you have all those you can’t fail. For us Wire provides the first two straight away !
What else have you been up to recently?
BB: We’ve just come back from a great winter touring period, Pisa, Berlin, London, Dubai, Rotterdam, Paris, Rio De Janeiro & Tokyo in the last 6 weeks, the last two we’d not been to before so all in all and amazing experience. We Aslo just finished hosting a month long residency with Maxxi Soundsystem on Rinse which you can check out here:
On the music front we’ve been fairly busy too, we have tracks coming.
When travelling around the world, is Leeds still on the mind? How does the city influence what you do?
BB: I dont know how much it’s on our mind exactly, but its certainly shaped and influenced our outlook in terms of DJing and parties. When it’s good here, there very few places that are as much fun or as intense as Leeds, honestly. For a relatively small city it punches way above its weight.
How did you find working with the legends X-Press 2? How did that collaboration come about?
BB: That was a great experience. If you’d told the 18 year old me we would be making music with X-Press 2, I would never have believed you! It was through a mutual friend, I think. They had some more experimental music that they thought would be great for collaborating on.
Your releases always seem to be with the dance floor in mind, and can be anything from disco-inspired chuggers on Futureboogie to punchier stuff on 20/20 Vision. If you were writing a song to be played at your night, what would it sound like?
BB : I honestly don’t know! We’ve always had the motto of “if its good music, play it” and our party at Wire will be no exception so expect to hear everything from slo mo disco & funk to Detroit techno.
Being on a label like Futureboogie ties you to disco roots. How important is it to incorporate elements of disco in your music? Why not make a completely futuristic record?
BB: I think we feel its important to try and incorporate the essence and the vitality of disco into our music but in terms of sounds, we never really tie ourselves down to anything, were not revivalist or purist about things. With regards to making futuristic records I think thats a much bigger question to which the short answer is, who says we don’t already ? On one level the technology we use to make music now is very futuristic in many ways. In terms of sounding futuristic, thats entirely subjective I think. One man’s sound of the future is a Jeff Mills record from 1991.
What has been your proudest moment as a duo?
TT: Good question, and to be honest there have been a lot of great moments over the years! One of my favourites though – was closing Space terrace for We Love, on their summer closing party. The line up was huge, just in our room there was Bicep, Groove Armada, Fat Boy Slim, and 2Manydj’s. We went on the decks at 5am, getting told we should aim to finish at around 7. We ended up playing till 9, the rest of the club had shut, so everyone including all our friends were dancing on the terrace (and the booth) with us. Even the staff were going for it! Pepe, the owner came in to the DJ box and shook our hands when we finished – a pretty special time, one I’ll never forget!
Tell us about the bookings you’ve chosen for the first Lost Property.
TT: I touched on this a little earlier – we’re trying to do something a little different with Lost Property, and avoid big obvious acts. We want to involve as many friends as possible, plus invite acts who have really inspired us over the years. First up is Artwork and Maxxi Soundsystem – both friends, and also people who we respect and look up to. They guys are both shit-hot producers, and DJs – they can both read crowds really well. I’m expecting a full on riot when they’re playing. I think we could all do a b2b at the end, which could be fun/dangerous!