INTERVIEW: Man Power | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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On Saturday 22nd May, Newcastle’s own Man Power (aka Geoff Kirkwood) is hosting a summer sit in at the Boiler Shop. Having recently returned to the North East following a five year stint living in Mexico and performing all over the world, Man Power brings with him a group of outrageously talented DJs to help celebrate.

Over the last couple of decades Man Power has made a name for himself globally, drawing on diverse genres and with an eternally restless mind, he’s spearheaded dance parties the world over, created his own Me Me Me imprint and nurtured up and coming talent. The enforced stillness of lockdown must have come as a bit of a shock to one so restless? “I started off lockdown by releasing an album I was sitting on just to try and get some money in when it appeared I’d have no income. Then I did a series of releases to raise money for the NHS instead, as they were having a bad time, and then I tried to help people with online radio shows by recording mixes for anyone who asked.”

His philanthropy didn’t stop there, and it appears Kirkwood’s found his calling as a benefactor and mentor. “I also did as many free remixes as I could for people who would benefit from the added exposure of having me on a release. I am also creating a not-for-profit organisation that uses dance music to promote regional development, working towards levelling privilege and increasing access, equality and representation within the music industry.”

Friendship, community and social benefits need to be the starting point for any of my decisions going forward. People smiling and listening to special music by exceptional talents ticks all those boxes for me

While he admits that you can’t beat “connecting with people in the act of communal release”, he’s also been able to take stock over the last year. “There’s been loads of benefits from the enforced break. I’ve been able to identify that a lot of the gigging I’d been doing was purely because it was my job and that I was doing a lot of things that, while appearing outwardly as a lucrative sign of my success, were things that just didn’t appeal to me at a core level.”

The forthcoming Boiler Shop event is a somewhat more chilled out take on the clubbing experience, but it’ll be no less euphoric, as Kirkwood explains. “It’s the first day we’re all allowed inside listening to music. We couldn’t wait till June to take advantage of that so we picked a whole bunch of amazing DJs (some of the best in the world) who could play music so good that you’ll be excited be able to sit and hear it with your friends.”

As such, choosing the artists to take part in the Summer Sit-In was a no-brainer for Kirkwood; joining him at the decks will be Dr Krippa (Zerox), Hardway Bros (A Love From Outer Space), Jaye Ward (Me Me Me/PLU), Micky Hell (Last Waltz) and Optimo. “They’re some of the best DJs in the UK and potentially the world. I feel I’m qualified to say this after the last decade spent travelling and hearing what’s on offer. They’re also all friends of mine, which is really where this needs to begin and end for me after this year reflecting on things. Friendship, community and social benefits need to be the starting point for any of my decisions going forward. People smiling and listening to special music by exceptional talents ticks all those boxes for me.”

Me Me Me presents The Summer Sit-In at the Boiler Shop, Newcastle on Saturday 22nd May

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