Star DJ returns to his roots for Ribble Valley Beat Herder festival

Lancashire Telegraph: DJ Paul Taylor DJ Paul Taylor

SUPERSTAR DJ Paul Taylor says he will never forget the halcyon nights at Angels nightclub in Burnley that made him famous.

“They were the best days of my life and it doesn’t matter where you go, you cannot create what we had in Angels,” said Taylor, who is preparing to kick up a storm at next month’s Beat-Herder festival.

“There was this raw energy to it which could only be created because of the music we were playing and the crowd we had in.

“I reckon we were as influential as Manchester’s Hacienda.

“None of the music press wanted to write about a mill town in Lancashire, but people came from far and wide — London, Ireland and Scotland — just to be at Angels. In my book, Angels was definitely a better vibe than the Hacienda.

“At the end, there was a gloomy, nasty element creeping into the Hacienda, but Angels was always just a beautiful, uplifting, celebration.”

Taylor was in the eye of the storm when the acid house revolution hit like a raging storm in the late 1980s.

Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Pete Tong, Tall Paul and Boy George all played Saturday nights for Taylor, who became the mastermind of the Retro brand, eventually becoming one of the most popular DJs in Ibiza.

He has released several hit compilations of the monster tracks which made Angels famous and still plays to thousands at clubs across Europe.

“The last hour on a Friday night was used to play older stuff, like Acid House and hip hop, as house was growing.

“It took off and then the Italians and Dutch got involved in the house scene and it exploded in to its own night at the end of 1992. We were already taking it to different clubs across the region by the time Angels shut and that is what we have carried on doing ever since with Retro.”

The former Burnley Grammar School lad, who lives in the town, will be making his first visit to the Ribble Valley event next month.

“I’m truly humbled to be asked to play Beat-Herder — it is going to be one of the highlights of the year for me,” he added.

“I’ve heard so much about it, and a lot of my friends say the vibe is a little bit like Glastonbury in the early days. It is my home festival — I live just over Pendle Hill — and I promise to dig deep to make it a very special Saturday set.”

Taylor was also part of the dance act Loveland and a Northern Soul fan before he found fame on the decks.

“That’s how I got my love of music — I went to a lot of Northern soul gigs and then got offered a job as a DJ at a club that had just opened in Burnley called Angels.”

Taylor has just announced a special night at Burnley’s Alter-Ego Club, once the home of well known nightclub Panama Joe’s.

“It will be on my birthday — August 10 — and we’ve all sorts of exciting things planned. I’m looking at playing a five-hour set.

“A lot of the big clubs have shut down in Blackburn and Burnley and both towns have lost their musical mojo.

“We need to get that back and lift the vibe again.”

  • Beat-Herder Festival, July 5-7 July. £110. Tickets 0844 888 9991 or from Townsend Records, Clitheroe.

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