This weekend is getting off to a rocking start with Quake bringing NTS radio resident Sofie K to Bar Eleven on Friday. Not content with just making the crowd move, this alternative dance event also has a live art element, inviting Lawrence English to flex his familiar brush strokes on the night.
Ahead of the party we spoke to Brad Cook who runs the brand, to chat all things Quake, space and mates...
First thing's first - who is Quake and why did you decide to launch?
Quake is me (Brad), Jim and Kit. I launched the night a few years ago just to try and do something a little bit different. I used to put on DIY punk shows in my youth and as I got older, I missed all the fun I had doing it so starting a night seemed like a natural progression.
Jim and I do all the booking and promoting and Kit’s our video/photo/content guy. We all have input over the whole thing and bounce ideas off each other.
How did you meet?
We all met through working together at a bar actually. It was like a big family there, but us three enjoyed going to parties and raves so we started to bond through that.
Jim went to uni in Hull, Kit’s from Stroud and used to do the festival circuit every summer and I’ve lived in Nottingham all my life, so we all had very different experiences of club and party culture. I like to think that’s why we’ve got good chemistry though, like we’re three different ingredients combining to make something delicious.
We saw from your 'gram that Houghton put a twinkle in your eyes – who else inspires you?
I think the obvious one is Wigflex, Lukas is doing absolute bits for Notts at the moment. Every single party is consistently top quality and he brings so many sick artists to the city. When you think about where Nottingham would be if Wigflex wasn’t around, things definitely start to get a little dicey.
Other than that I think Brilliant Corners are definitely a big influence. After spending most of Houghton festival at the Giant Steps stage and visiting the venue in London it definitely opened all of our eyes to how differently you can DJ in a club.
What do you aim to bring to the city?
We just want to give people something different to go to in Notts. There are a lot of great promoters doing really cool parties but we want to give people an alternative. Clubbing doesn't have to be this deep and dark experience, or a massive event, and it feels like options other than that are few and far between here.
We want to strip it back to its roots - just a bunch of good people in a room having a great time to some amazing music. We’re big believers in that ‘people make the party’ and I guess we’re trying to use that ethos to build our own little community.
You officially launched back in '17 at Bar Eleven, with the follow up a year later - what took you so long?
Yeah it was a while before the next event. We consider the 2017 event with Blades as a soft launch - at that point it was just me and my friend James who’s currently in Australia, and I don’t think either of us knew what we really wanted to do with Quake.
But afterwards I knew what direction I wanted to take the night and what I wanted to get out of it. Later met Kit and Jim who were on the same page and keen to start something, so we officially started Quake in its current form.
Now in your third night, you're still at Bar Eleven. What made you choose this venue as your home?
Bar Eleven is a critically underrated venue. It's such a nice space when it's used correctly - put a Funktion One in, grab 20 or so mates and you’re halfway there.
Das and Dan are super easy to work with as well, it’s definitely a nice experience every time we put an event on. We've got future events planned for some of our other favourite spaces in Nottingham though so watch this space.
Bobson Dugnutt is playing on Friday as well as other Notts names - talk us through some of your residents…
Ah we can't wait for Bobson's set on Friday, we've got him closing up shop after Sofie K so it's definitely gonna be a belter. We respect him a lot both for his selection and for his mixing, so we’re always keen to get him to play! Jim and I are the other residents, the "Quake Djs" if you will.
We both DJ at a bunch of different bars in Nottingham and collect vinyl pretty fanatically, getting to plan sets and musically curate the night is a big part of the fun for us.
Now to the headliners - Notts duo Blades started off, with Admin at your next night and now Sofie K. What's your policy for booking headliners?
No strict critera, just DJs that we’re enjoying right now and we want to see in Nottingham. We’re fortunate enough to be in a position where we’ve got this platform to be able to help emerging talent, so we definitely aren’t looking to book anyone massive.
We try not to think about what genres are being played and more just if the Dj bangs. Like I said earlier the people make the party, we’re just trying to facilitate that party.
Art is a big element of your night too, with Scarce doing bits previously and now Lawrence English. What can we expect to see?
I don’t think any of us know what to expect from Lawrence on the night, or if he even knows, but I guess that’s the most exciting part. A lot of our friends are doing interesting things within Nottingham’s artistic community so there are definitely some bigger collaborations on the horizon. We’ve got this great platform showcase not only DJs, but artists and whatever else we want too. It’d be a shame not be using the opportunity to the fullest.
For those who have never been to Quake, can you tell us some tracks that might summarise that they're in for?
This one’s a Quake favourite!
Straight out of Sofie K's latest NTS show, a proper groovy number:
There’s definitely a spacey theme to our event this Friday, with plenty of synth driven Italo like this:
You’ve teamed up with Soul Buggin' for their Alexander Nut pre party at the end of the month - do you have any other collabs like this planned in the future?
Yeah we’ve just started planning a Notts crew collaboration for charity sometime in May, which should be a bunch of fun. And we’re also collaborating with a Nottingham based art collective for an event in June. All to be announced very soon!
And what's next in store for Quake?
Just plenty more events I guess, we've got some sweet headliners and collabs all to be announced soon.
Quake presents Sofie K, Bobson Dugnutt and Quake DJs at Bar Eleven on Friday 15 March.