Small Talk with Josh Bayat and Oliver Walkden

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Small Talk is a brand new night launching at Wire on Saturday 29th September. We spoke to creator Josh and Wire manager Oliver Walkden to learn more about it, and to find out what plans they have for the upcoming year…
First of all, tell us a bit about the launch of Small Talk, and what we can expect from the first night.

Our launch night features two really exciting Canadian artists, Peach and D. Tiffany, who are both making their Leeds debuts with us. It’s hard to say exactly what to expect on the night, as Peach is already gaining a reputation as such a varied selector, and D. Tiffany has been putting out some really top stuff, not only under that moniker, but through her DJ ZOZI alias as well. But at the risk of sounding pretentious, I think the one thing I am expecting is a great atmosphere at the club. Amongst a plethora of excellent labels, producers and DJs coming out of Canada at the minute, we feel like Peach and D. Tiffany are really at the forefront of it all, so to have them both playing on the same bill is something that we’re very proud of. As well as that, coming up in October we’ve got a collaboration with Bristol outfit ‘Idle Hands’, featuring Chris Farrell and Shanti Celeste!

What kind of energy are you trying to bring?

It’s hard to say exactly, if I’m honest. But Small Talk is something that I’ve been working on for the best part of a year now, with a lot of help from Oli and Dan. So from our end there’s a lot of excitement about both line-ups, as it feels like it’s taken forever to come around. Obviously we want that same excitement on the night, from both the crowd and us, but ultimately we just want to bring something different to both the city, and to Wire.

How do you feel this can add to the club scene here in Leeds?

Given that we’re placing just as much emphasis on bringing in lesser-known DJs and producers as we are on headline acts, we’re hoping that this will add to the scene in the sense that people coming to Wire are getting a chance to come and hear artists that they might not have necessarily have heard of otherwise, alongside their firm favourites. We’re also planning lots more Leeds debuts and first time collaborations with labels, so there’s definitely a lot to look forward to, whether you’re new to the city or have been here for a number of years.

As always, Wire has some great events coming up this autumn. Which are you most excited for?

As well as the Small Talk events, which feature predominantly female line-ups, we are welcoming three of Discwoman’s finest DJs to Wire for the first time: Volvox, SHYBOI and Ciel. For those who aren’t aware, DW are an NYC DJ collective, booking agency, activist group and all-round women’s powerhouse who have changed the face of electronic music over the past couple of years. We curated this line-up to honour the work they have been doing, and to ensure that Wire’s programme is as diverse as possible. For me, they are some of the best DJing entertainers in the world at the moment. I’m personally really excited for Butter Side Up’s Birthday with the colossal Craig Richards and Nicolas Lutz going back to back. BSU birthdays are always a huge celebration for Leeds’ minimal house and techno fans, and this is probably their strongest lineup to date. Young Marco, Tama Sumo, Pearson Sound and Blawan are all going to be great, but my hot tip is Up North with Markus Sommer and Felix Kluge in November. They’re two superb producers from Frankfurt who’ll blow your socks off with wacky tracks you’ve never heard of.

Over the last few years Brudenell Groove has become a Leeds staple, can you tell us about what you’ve got in store for the coming year?

BG will hopefully run monthly from October 2018 after the summer break, raising as much money as we can for local charities while showcasing our brilliant selector-friends from Leeds and beyond. The first event is at the really special and versatile Open Source Arts space on Kirkstall Road on 6th October, and we are coming back to Wire for a festive rave on 30th November. We may be doing a digital compilation for charity around that time too; there’s some very talented but modest producers in our ranks just waiting to be released.

Finally, Oli, you were once The Gryphon’s Music Editor, what
encouraged you to start your own brand and party collective? And what advice can you give those who are keen to do similar?

I actually met my fellow BG-founder Andrew Kemp while doing that job; he was one of the other music editors. I quickly found out that he had decks, so I would go round to his house all the time with the few crap records I had for a practice. We soon fell in love with playing music together, so basically thought we’d have a go at doing it in public for our mates. Quickly, the friendship group grew and grew into the dance floors that we have now. Setting up a charity night was always our goal, so that would be my advice: party for a good cause. You’ll feel much better for it later.

James Dewar and Caris Dollard

(Main image: Small Talk)