One Foot in the Rave - Chinwag with Steve Raine (Hard Times) L18

Festival 19


Wednesday 02 May
19:00 - 21:30

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Steve Raine — Hard Times One Foot in the Rave x Chinwag

One Foot in the Rave’s Chinwag series goes on to sit down and have a good chat with some of the icons of the acid house scene, which shaped both this city and the music scene as we know it. This event features an interview with Steve Raine of Hard Times fame.

25 Years… a quarter of a century. That’s some mean feat in any industry let alone Electronic Dance Music. Through the hard times and the best of times Steve Raine’s ethos has remained steadfast. Uncompromising underground House music. The iconic club event Hard Times is arguably responsible for some of the most defining moments in UK house music over the last few decades and they’ve done this with absolutely zero frills or gimmicks and an uncompromising dedication. From day one it has always been about the music. Hard Times endeavoured to bring the USA’s underground House elite over to the UK at a time when they were still honing their skills in their homeland. It was this introduction of what we all now recognise as ‘House Music’s legends’ that lit the Hard Times fire that still burns on today.

Launching in August 1993 in the sleepy West Yorkshire town, Mirfield, Hard Times moved to Huddersfield before taking over The Music Factory, Leeds in 1995 and then onto Nato. Events have also been held at the legendary Warehouse and now 20 years on, they have a new home at Church.

The Hard Times contribution to Leeds’ and the world house music scene is nothing more than incredible – winning accolades as the number one club event in the country from Mixmag; Muzik; and DJ magazines – the only club to have ever achieved this.

At the beginning of this year the seminal brand moved into a new era, joining forces with London’s finest – fabric, with a true legendary headliner, Tony Humphries. A regular at Yorkshire’s Hard Times events down the years, he was joined by Hard Times regular and label artist DJ Spen; Leeds legend, Paul Woolford and resident, Steven Dunn.

Every article written about Steve highlights his ‘bleat to beats’ status (thank you, Dan Prince) – the farmer by day turned promoter and label king by night! Creating some of the best nights in UK dance over the last 25 years plus launching and managing the Hard Times label which has produced seminal albums. This includes A Night in the Life of Todd Terry, recorded live at The Music Factory, Leeds and Roger Sanchez: The Album. Their artist roster reads like a Who’s Who of dance music, which includes the likes of The Masters at Work; Todd Terry; Roger Sanchez; Robert Owens; Micheal Watford; Martin Doorly and Angel Moreas, to name just a few.

The label is as relevant now as it was then with new Robert Owens tracks about to be released by Nick Moss Aka Groove Assassin and Malachi. Last year saw them release their first album for 20 years, a joint venture with Todd Terry and Roger Sanchez, which sold worldwide and was Album of the Month in Mixmag – no mean feat in today’s saturated market.

Steve says, “In the first few months of our history we would book a lot of different DJs and had some amazing nights. However it was when the US House masters came and played that the nights would really go off. They connected with our crowd who loved their style, no other club was specializing in one particular music policy and we figured that was our best way forward. It meant people would travel from far and wide to witness the Hard Times experience – which is pretty much how it still is today.”

He continues, “Over the years I’ve been asked many times why we named our party Hard Times. Life can be tough but on a Saturday night the club would be full of like minded people all up for a good time – their Hard Times were all forgotten. This is as relevant now as it was then. Over the years we have had many ups and downs laughter and tears. Twenty five unbelievable years have thundered along, leaving a mountain of memories and a heap of casualties along the way. Yet, after all these years, the club continues to encapsulate the very meaning of what we love and know as Hard Times.”

Hard Times on social

Wednesday 2 May

19:00 - 21:30