An integral fixture on the vibrant Leeds nightlife circuit, PBR Streetgang are the Patrol Boat pairing who can outlast any rave, no matter how many days it fails to die for.
First forming a DJ’ing duo over five years ago, Bonar Bradberry and Tom Thorpe started-off playing parties at their local club, longstanding cult venue Asylum. Today the two are a fixture on the international festival schedule and regularly release singles and mixes via 2020 Vision, Red Music, Futureboogie, E.A.R, ISM and Wolf Music. Working a residency at the epicentre of clubbing destinations, Ibiza’s ‘Space’ every Summer, Bonar and Tom were born with an insatiable hunger for nu-disco. Together they have done for Leeds nightlife what Eminem did for white rap in the 90s. Here, the lads gave i-D online a run down of the top ten favourite PBR moments from the Leeds music scene, from the past ten years and serve-up an extra-exclusive mix. Listen, love, liberate and live loud.
2002 – Play Music record shop: Back in the day when vinyl ruled the roost, Saturdays were all about going to THE record shop, or in Bonar’s case working in it… ‘Play Music’ felt like the epicentre of all things beat related when it opened.
2003 – Asylum’s first birthday As a promoter and resident DJ of a brand it’s probably fair to say your first birthday is definitely the most memorable. Asylum, now in its ninth year of parties, has been our longest standing residency. One of our fondest parties, and acts to play alongside has to be Danny Krivit, one of the New York’s legendary ‘Body and Soul’ crew alongside Francois K, and Joe Clausell. He played a four hour set at Asylum’s first birthday.
2004 (New Year’s Day) – Apperley Manor: Parties in venues that are non-conventional clubs often require more thought and imagination, and normally turn out to be pretty special. Apperley Manor, a then Victorian hotel/guesthouse on the outskirts of Leeds was the setting for an outrageous New Year’s Day party in 2004.
2005 – After hours parties: In a city such as Leeds which prides itself on a great club culture, the after hours scene can be as equally entertaining. Many moons ago we used to host monthly parties at a quirky out-of-town recording studio known as ‘Sponge’ – an amazing little space, with a relaxed attitude and easygoing owners.
2006 – Being a rock star: Preparations for the sold out ‘Soulwax’ party we hosted in Easter of 2006 were going according to plan. The only thing missing two hours before we were due to open was the band. In rock star fashion the tour bus pulled up, with a frantic band. Before we had time to speak and get acquainted, I was tossed a shirt, “we’re running really late, can you give this the once over with an iron please mate?” Now that’s rock star, isn’t it?!
2007 (New Year’s Day) – Ghost Walk: “Meet at the statue of the man with the barrel at 8pm” was a text we received in the afternoon of New Year’s Day 2007. Working out where this Leeds’ landmark was we made our way there for 8pm. We were then escorted through the back streets of the city, where around different corners we were entertained by jugglers, fire-eaters, and a even a bag piper. The finale was a fireworks display viewed from a bridge overlooking the river. Afterwards we were taken to a basement club that had been transformed into a labyrinth for the night and carried on well into the 2nd!
2008 – Flash Mob: We got involved in a relatively small gathering that took place on a bustling Saturday afternoon on the busiest shopping high street in Leeds’ city centre. The overall aim was to create awareness for a party we were promoting. Out of nowhere we huddled together in a group dancing to the Clash’s ‘Rock the Casbah’ that played from a small stereo we brought with us. It felt amazing! There is some amusing video footage from that day (look right).
2009 – Leeds Boat Party: Do parties and boats mix? In somewhere like Croatia, yes… but in Leeds…. We have proof they don’t.
2010 – Crowd Surfing at Back to Basics’ Eighteenth Birthday: Tom was in the DJ booth with promoter and local legend Dave Beer at Back to Basics’ eighteenth birthday bash in Leeds a couple of years ago. Ever the entertainer, Dave proceeded to stage dive off the DJ booth into the crowd. After seeing how much fun it looked and never being one to miss out on anything fun, Tom didn’t even hesitate and followed him straight over Ralph Lawson’s (who was DJ’ing at the time) head and into the crowd. Luckily the crowd caught him and to my disbelief passed him around a bit then launched him back into the booth completely unscathed!
2011 – The Garden Parties: The Garden Party events have become an institution on the Leeds’ Bank Holiday clubbing calendar. These twenty-hour shindigs are now in their sixth year, having grown from a few mates wanting to carry on from Saturday night in the sunny, leafy surroundings of the Faversham to an 1800-people-going-bananas-at-a-kind-of-mini-festival. As residents and co promoters it’s a fantastic feeling when all the hard work pays off. These events are real proof that the underground music scene in Leeds really is flying high!
Downstroke by PBR Streetgang is out now on Hot Creations.
Text: Milly McMahon
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