INTERVIEW: Horse Meat Disco | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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On Saturday 26th August, the Boiler Shop in Newcastle is turning into an all-day disco paradise, as Me Me Me take over the venue for a twelve-hour party including a live appearance from Hercules & Love Affair. Joining them on the bill are the legendary disco DJ collective Horse Meat Disco, and I was fortunate enough to grab some time with HMD’s Luke Howard ahead of the show.

Discussing his route into Disco, Howard informs me, “I was a closet disco lover when I was a young child. My sisters and me were more into punk, new wave and reggae in the late seventies but I can remember seeing artists like Earth Wind & Fire, The Jacksons, Diana Ross and Chic on Top of The Pops and thinking how glamorous they were and how fun their was. My cousins came over from New York in 1977 and they bought I Feel Love, we spent the whole summer dancing to it – I guess that was my first taste of how intoxicating disco can be. I loved going to clubs and dancing and I was a bit obsessed with music so it was kind of inevitable that I’d start DJ-ing eventually”

Although already established as a DJ before the advent of Horse Meat Disco, Howard has since become a core part of the central quartet of HMD DJs. “I had a residency that began in 1990 for fourteen years at a house and disco night in London called Queer Nation, and Jim [Stanton] and James [Hillard], the founders of HMD, asked me to do their first party at The Eagle and the DJ after me didn’t show up so I ended up playing a long set and they kept me after that, so I guess I did a good job!”

Since then, Horse Meat Disco has evolved into a global phenomenon, playing across the world and expanding into radio (with a show on Rinse FM) and compilations, whilst still maintaining its Sunday residence at The Eagle in Vauxhall. “I still have to pinch myself when we do big festivals and parties like Glitterbox in Ibiza. Even though I’ve been a jobbing DJ for twenty-seven years, I can’t believe that I’m still doing it and travelling all over. I mean we have a residency in New York that sells out every time we do it –  that to me is amazing. I love doing the radio show on Rinse FM more than anything as I get a chance to play whatever I like and we have built up a loyal following of listeners. It’s nice to be able to play music and not worry if people are dancing!”

Recently, Horse Meat Disco have also expanded into their own productions, with the release of soulful debut single Waiting For You To Call, featuring vocals from ROY INC. “We began doing demos with Darren Morris about three years ago and the music just kind of ended up on the shelf. I played them to Luke Solomon and he thought they had potential so he helped us do some more production and get them finished. Hopefully we’re going to release quite a few singles.”

Discussing their upcoming Newcastle date, Howards tells me, “I’ve never DJ’d in Newcastle before. Jim is from Newcastle so he always does the Newcastle gigs. I’m really looking forward to playing there as I’ve heard it’s a great crowd and an all-dayer is the type of thing that I love, especially on a Bank Holiday.”

Horse Meat Disco play Boiler Shop on Saturday 26th August as part of the Me Me Me All Dayer, with Hercules & Love Affair, Man Power B2B Elliot Adamson, Last Waltz and Birds of Paradise.

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