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Greg Wilson Inteview
Interview with Greg Wilson
Related links: Funkademia one central street

Greg Wilson is an adopted Mancunian who was the first DJ to play a full night of dance records at the Hacienda, and - it's claimed - the first DJ in the UK to use three decks. His skillset goes beyond the 1210s, and he's an acomplished writer, producer and general all around music lover. He's interviewed such greats as Norman Cook and Dave Clarke, but now he's on the other side of the tape recorder. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Greg Wilson......

What got you into music?

I grew up in a seaside town in the 60?s, across the River Mersey from Liverpool, with music all around me throughout my childhood. My family ran a pub, which had two functions rooms above it. Every weekend there were weddings receptions and birthday parties, with mobile discos coming in and out ? I lived there between the ages of 6 and 13, so this must have made a big impression on me.

Furthermore, I had an older brother and sister who bought Soul records on labels like Tamla Motown, Stax and Atlantic (my sister also bought Reggae singles, mainly on the Trojan label). I ?inherited? these records from them and started buying singles myself when I was 11.

Despite this solid grounding in black music, the first record I ever parted with money for was a novelty single - Benny Hill's 'Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)'. I've since found out that this was also the first ever record bought by Bill Brewster, the co-author of 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life', who's the same age as me.

How does it feel to be the first ?non-resident? to play at Funkademia?

It's really great that such a well established night, which doesn't need to rely on guests for its success, should invite me to play there. I'm really looking forward to it - I'll obviously be drawing from the 70's and early 80's, given the vibe of the night, with a number of re-edits sure to feature, both my own and other peoples.

Have you any memories of One Central when it was the Number One Club?

I didn't realise that it was the Number One club! I only think I went there the once, some time around the mid-80's after I'd stopped deejaying, but I'm aware of its place in the hearts of many Manc clubbers.

What?s your take on modern Manchester, the glitz and glamour that comes from being a city reborn, and the struggle to retain originality?

There always have been mainstream clubs and always will be. Most people don't get too deep into things and follow the whatever musical trend holds sway. On the other hand, there are always a significant minority who are on the look out for something a bit different to the norm, and these are often people to whom music has become more of a passion than a recreation.

It's the underground that caters for this audience and, like everything else, it all goes in cycles. I'm really encouraged by what's happening at the moment - throughout the 90's the dance scene became far too corperate for my liking, but now that's peaked, there's room for underground clubs to begin to flourish again.

The fact that I'm constantly up and down the UK playing at underground parties, as well as more established nights that want to shake things up a bit, is an illustration of how things are changing - this wouldn't have happened 5 or 6 years ago, unless I completely switched the type of music I played in order to fit in. There's definitely more of an open-mindedness now and, with the internet re-defining the way that music is shared and consumed, I think it's an exciting time.

I know that many people look at the changes in a negative way, wishing things were still how they used to be, but life moves on and I believe that we should try to embrace change, as you can't turn back the tide. There are always pros and cons, but I prefer to focus on the positive, and how these changes can be of benefit, rather than falling into the trap of dismissing the future whilst living in the past.

Greg is playing at Funkademia this Saturday, click here to win tickets

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