One of the city’s most exciting promoters returns for a fifth season, with bookings from Folamour to Honey Dijon for a new series of parties at Headrow House. Our Music and Clubs editor Safi Bugel chats to Andrew Devine, Leeds-based DJ and founder of Natural Selection, as it all kicks off once more.
When and how did Natural Selection start?
Natural Selection started as means of using a space in Leeds that hadn’t been used for very many “club events” before. At the time when NS started, I was actually working at Belgrave Music Hall and had just become a resident DJ there. I had expressed an interest in hopefully doing a few events in one of the venues and through working with Marcus Christensen, my creative partner in all this and the Super Friendz team, Natural Selection was born.
What is the process behind curating your line-up for each season?
It normally starts with a list of artists that we could only dream of having alongside some of our favourite up and coming artists. Once this is whittled down and we have booked our headline line up (which does often include some of the artists we could only dream of!), we then try and curate the support line up to match each artist. We’ve had some amazing support/headline moments; Alex T b2b Moxie b2b Saoirse being one of them and DJ Seinfeld playing b2b with our lighting whiz and all-round-resident-genius Marcus Christensen being another.
Who are you most excited about hosting for Season Five?
We’ve got some great things coming up this Season. Derrick Carter has always been a hero of mine so getting him down will be absolutely amazing. Identified Patient with Manfredas will be another personal highlight for me as two good friends Jordan Bell and Zoe Pea are on warm up duties which is sure to be a real treat. Steffi with Kessie is sure to be an absolute blinder of a night also. We’ve had George Fitzgerald come through for us before, so it’ll be nice to see him again.
What do you think is the key to hosting a diverse and inclusive club night?
I feel that ensuring we try to bring people together and give people a chance to really show what they have got is really important. Making sure we don’t forget the roots of what we do and why we do it is something that is really close to my heart also. Ensuring that people off all backgrounds are represented and celebrated I feel is what makes our party so special.
What would you say is so good about the Leeds clubbing scene?
How friendly each promoter is with each other. Through working in other cities I have seen people be quite snide with each other and hold back on giving another crew advice or a hand with equipment. In Leeds it feels like the exact opposite. Luckily I’ve got some really good friends that work in other venues or for other events, be that Oliver over at Wire or Stephen at the Academy or Laura down at Duke, people are always ready and willing to give each other a helping hand. The fact everyone loves a good after party once the night is all cleared up is also always a nice addition!
Why do you think Natural Selection and Leeds go well together?
The openness of the city plays a massive factor in it I think. We try to tailor our line ups together so that people who go along to all different types of nights kind of end up meeting in the middle. People in Leeds are so open to trying new things and experiences so that lends itself really well top us being able to book a multitude of artists right across the spectrum of electronic music and further afield.