January 23 1993 in The Old Paddocks, High Holborn, in London’s West End, friends gathered to host a party andClockwork Orange was born. From humble beginnings, word of mouth spread throughout the capital and Clockwork Orange parties in Holborn and Cinnecita, Oxford Street saw Clockwork really pick up momentum. By the time it celebrated its first birthday, Clockwork Orange had firmly established itself as one of the hottest parties in the city, with police moving crowds from outside the birthday venue as it had sold out and they couldn’t get in! Parties followed in Electric Film Studios in Kings Cross, The Cross, (which would become one of the favoured venues for the event), as well as Camden Palace, as word of the party spread beyond the city limits.
Three weeks after celebrating its first anniversary, Ibiza was calling and Clockwork Orange hosted its first party on the island with Brandon Block and Clara da Costa, (AKA Miss Bisto), occupying the booth, what followed was the emergence of one of the biggest club brands of its time and one that still lives in the hearts of clubbers of that time today. Clockwork would dominate the island for the next few years, filling the famous Es Paradise club regularly, breaking all previous capacity records along the way. The biggest DJs in the world would jump at the chance to play for the partisan Clockwork crowd, knowing full well the atmosphere that would greet them. Ibiza propelled Clockwork on to the international stage, making it a household name in the UK in the process, the first Ibiza reunion party in September 1994 resulted in Leicester Square being shut down with 2000 clubbers outside a full Maximus club, trying to get in.
Danny Gould and Andy Manston return to Ibiza in 2014, to Es Paradis on Friday July 25 and to Sands Beach club on Sunday July 27 as Clockwork Orange celebrates its twentieth anniversary. After posting some old Clockwork pics from back in the day on Facebook, Danny Gould noticed a real gathering of momentum as Clockwork fans came out of the social networking woodwork, tagging and sharing, creating a real buzz for the iconic club brand. The last two years has seen Clockwork host and sell out numerous parties around the UK and with the twentieth birthday dropping this summer, the time was right to bring it back to Ibiza and recreate the magic that made it one of the outstanding Balearic parties of the nineties. Danny Gould was at the heart of every Clockwork dancefloor, living and breathing the party; he looks back on the creation of the clubbing giant and forward to the weekend in July when he returns to Ibiza, joined by Jeremy Healy, Seb Fontaine, Tall Paul, Brandon Block, Alex P, Clara da Costa and Andy Manston, as they get set to recreate the magic of Clockwork Orange…
Clockwork Orange ventured to Ibiza for the first time in 1994, just after celebrating its first birthday, what convinced you that it was time to take the party international?
All we wanted to do is dance, party, sunbathe, party some more, drive around in beaten up old jeeps, laze on the beaches, which were never packed, drink ourselves stupid and hang out in what we believed was the best club in the world, Es Paradis. It was just what the name suggested; it was paradise on earth by name and to our heart of hearts the best club on the island of Ibiza. I was going for my second summer anyway so Andy said lets take Clockwork over there, the rest, as they say, is history, it was literally a boys jolly up. No business plan in any shape, form or fashion, just good old Balearic fun. The old fashioned type.
The party evolved from a small gathering of friends to a respected international clubbing brand, was there a point during that evolution that you began to realise you had something special?
It’s only when a party is truly going off with an amazing atmosphere that you really take a step back and go wow, we have created something special. It was during the first birthday, the actual day of the event and everyone’s phone was ringing off the hook, that’s when we knew something big was coming. Clockwork.
While Clockwork Orange hosted parties around numerous holiday destinations, is it fair to say that Ibiza played the biggest part in getting you to an international crowd?
If it wasn’t for Ibiza, Clockwork would just be something people knew in London years back, Ibiza took us to a whole new level, and with it a whole new remembrance of amazing summertime parties, sunshine seems to imprint on me more than the doom and gloom of a grey English winter sky. Ibiza is where magic was made, and that, dear sir, is the fundamental foundation of Clockwork, it is the only reason I do parties. MAGIC.
What prompted the decision to start promoting Clockwork Orange parties again?
I left in 2001, the magic had gone, the scene had changed, the days of Balearic had finished, boys and girls became mums and dads, mortgages became a necessity and the God like DJs reduced to mere mortal status. Every day I dreamt of returning Clockwork to the stage, to its former glory, ever single goddamn day. It was never about the money, it was about recreating the euphoria, the absolute, concentrated bedlam that was always about Clockwork, f**k the posing, unless it was going absolutely bananas what’s the point? About three years ago I posted hundreds of pictures from the Clockwork years, this person copied this person, tagged that person and low and behold a buzz started, from small acorns grew the Clockwork familia once more, it’s as simple as that. Andy rang me and said, YOU READY YET? I said you know what, lets make magic.
Technology has advanced considerably since you were manually collecting database names and mailing flyers; have promoters got it easier now or do they have to graft their crowd in a different way?
Social media is the word of mouth of today and it’s the best form of advertising ever, the endless waiting outside clubs and putting flyers on cars seems to have disappeared, it’s a skill that most haven’t got a clue what they are doing. You got to know when to ease off on the promotion, yet it’s all about keeping everyone interested, funny though, it’s through facebook that I created the incredible buzz for Clockwork.
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that Ibiza broke you first time round, are you better equipped to handle the island this time?
On August 18th 2014 I will be 11 years sober, that’s sober longer than everyone knew me as the mental bloke of old, I enjoy it for the buzz now, the greatest buzz was under my nose all the time, Clockwork and atmosphere (usually powder ‘90-2013). I will enjoy it more than anyone else, there’s nothing to break me now, back then it was all about burning the candle at both ends, when the end finally came and all the shit that came with it, everything collapsed inwards all at once, and me with it.
You’re hosting a beach party at Sands on Sunday July 27, following the Es Paradis party on the Friday night, does that have anything to do with the average age of your Clockwork Orange clubber?
Balearica is all about giving rather than all the clubs seem to be is taking nowadays, you could walk in and out with a hand stamp back then, send notes to people to let friends into their parties, that was Balearic. Clockwork is born from that generation of Balearic love, not the ‘Ibegas’ of today, the beach party is a throwback to the old days, friends as far as you can see all together without having the financial shit ripped out of you. It’s our thank you, besides you can’t beat dancing in the sand, worshipping the planes over Bossa.
What are you most looking forward to or want to take from the Clockwork Orange anniversary weekend?
In 1999, the day I left to go home around 10th October I knew that that was the last great year of Ibiza, clubs, drugs and house music, it was an amazing summer, during which I nearly died (another story), I want to recreate that atmosphere that was unique to Clockwork when we used to take the roof off, to fill an Ibizan club, look around and see all my old Ibizan chums and make some new ones and to finally smile the biggest f**k-off Balearic grin and say “I’ve done it!” Ibiza is in my heart and my soul.
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