CLOCKWORK Orange proves there is no age limit on having a good time or a good dance.
The 90s party-starters and Ibiza veterans returned in 2013 to celebrate 20 years since the first Clockwork party was held for a group of friends at The Old Paddocks nightclub in London’s west end. After that first party, things escalated to the point where by the late 90s Clockwork Orange had become one of the most celebrated parties in the scene helping to define London clubbing, Ibiza and the hedonism and care free spirit of that first golden era of dance music.
The second coming of Clockwork lit the fuse for an army of middle aged ravers to return to clubs in London and Ibiza and has endured since their Ibiza revival in 2013 and now the parties look set to eclipse the success of the heady days of yesteryear with a huge festival, Clockstock at Chelmsford City Race Course later this month together with another massive summer season in Ibiza and London taking in clubs from fabric to Amnesia.
So why has the second coming of Clockwork Orange been welcomed with open arms? The infectious enthusiasm of the men behind the party, Danny Gould and Andy Manston is definitely a factor but so are the line ups which feature a mouthwatering selection of the very best DJs from the history of house from Paul Oakenfold, Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez, Seb Fontaine, Jeremy Healey, Danny Rampling, Joey Negro and many others.
Another reason is that the original 90s ravers have grown up, paid off their mortgages, raised their kids and decided they aren’t done yet! But make no mistake Clockwork Orange 2019 is not another nostalgia party. You won’t just see veterans at the front, the younger generation are there in force too and are discovering that being part of the Orange army is a hell of lot more fun that just being a drone paying VIP. Clockwork is about the music and the party. Danny and Andy know how to throw parties that are inclusive whatever age or background and that are true to the original spirit of the music. It comes with experience.
We caught up with Danny Gould this week to have a chat about the history of Clockwork Orange, how things have changed since 1993, a very exciting summer ahead and how things have always run like Clockwork.
Can you tell us how it all began for Clockwork Orange?
It all started back in 1993, way before some of your readers where born and that confirms why my hair has gone grey. It’s been a long time, a quarter of a century and that sounds even longer, ha!
It was in an old snooker hall in High Holborn where we started, 2 rooms with polystyrene ceiling tiles and musty old carpets. January 23rd 1993.
The name was inspired by Kubrick’s famous film but can you tell us what made the name stick for you?
We had been searching for names and none really stuck, Teflon titles that slid right off. It was because of a night in London in 1991 or 1992 entitled Naked Lunch that when we saw an abstract image of Clockwork Orange and everything slotted cog-like into place. JUST like Clockwork.
You were a self confessed lunatic back in the 90s alongside fellow nutters Alex P and Brandon Block. They gave me some of their memories from those days in an interview I did with them for Space closing back in 2016 which made for EXCELLENT READING Can you share with us memories, however blurred from the old Clockwork days?
We crashed cars, destroyed a Clockwork van in a head on crash, We fought imaginary gypsies consumed with paranoia and psychosis. We blew things up, CS gassed each other for fun, branded each other with hot metal (Bugle club membership!). We pretended we were the Guardia on long curtain closed hot summer days scaring the bejesus out of all on the sesh! We set the house alight. These are just the things I can talk about. It was the 90s, the pinnacle of excess, before the sensible business bods of today moved in.
Why did the first coming of Clockwork come to an end? (I think I can guess!)
End of an era, Ibiza became saturated, we went through a copyright battle and changed nights due to so much competition. Heaped on top was the excess of drinking and drugging. You can’t keep burning the candle. It’s with hindsight the greatest thing that ever happened. Today, Clockwork in my eyes has created events that blow me away even more such is the atmosphere. And that’s why we do it, unless its amazing, why bother.
With those heady days behind you how do the parties compare from your sober perspective today?
The buzz is in the creation, to create an ultimate experience, the people Andy and I know who come, the old’s cool Clockworkers in their thousands. We know 99% of them. That’s unity, that’s friendship, that’s the Clockwork family. The Orange army. Sober, in Ibiza, sunshining, having a laugh, the crack, the endless sun kissed smiles. That’s the buzz, the music, that’s the buzz, always was, just all the potions, chemicals and powders got in the way.
Fast forward to today and the last few years have seen Clockwork return with a surge in popularity and the Orange phenomena is bigger than ever?
It’s because it stands for something, the Clockwork way is not just a statement. You look out for your fellow ‘Clock-worker’. If you find a wallet or phone you hand it in. This mostly comes with wisdom and maturity yet it is the underlying qualities of Clockwork today. It’s the rebirth of big line ups and big venues and big décor or lighting which is an element that faded out after the millennium when it all went rather stale.
Could you have envisaged this from when you brought the brand back in 2013?
Never. Every single party is all about not overpowering people. Never rest on your laurels or you get stung. I’m always on my toes and thinking one year ahead. It’s grown and grown and grown. From small satsumas big things grow.
We have chatted before about the nostalgic aspect of clubbing and ravers from the 90s coming back for more after getting married, having kids and paying their mortgages off. For them the rave evidently was not a flash in the pan and the appetite amongst this demographic continues to grow. Why is this do you think?
We simply love it. Our generation of music 88-99 created the thousands of the best tunes ever created, fact. We have the appetite and knowledge, we are vinyl yodas. But to sit still is to slide silently into insignificance, to bop, hop, jump and shuffle, this is the essence of celebration.
Clockwork’s return has also seen a resurgence in the popularity of the big 90s DJs. It must be great to have these guys with you, celebrating this life together again with the Orange army?
It’s like it always was, but now its great to have conversations opposed to just ‘hello you got any gear?’ Since Clockwork re-started 7 years ago the country seems to be waking up once more.
Can you talk us through some of the parties you have coming up this summer and obviously the huge Clockstock festival?
Its not a festival, it’s a Clockstock! Posh raving on 22nd June 2019 and it is almost sold out. The sun will shine and there’s 67 DJs and acts from Erick Morillo to Roger Sanchez to Joey Negro and Rat Pack. It is Huuuuuge! Then it’s Ibiza with Oakenfold, Harry Romero, Danny Rampling, myself and Andy, Seb Fontaine, CJ Macintosh plus Gould knows how many more on the 18th to 22nd July. Then onto London’s Printworks on September 21st, then Fabric on November 30th. All the events are all day parties. On 21st July, we will hold the first all dayer on the terrace at Amnesia in Ibiza. Now that’s making history!
For more information and to find out how to book tickets to Clockwork Orange parties HEAD HERE.