So Richie, tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hey Guys. Thanks for asking me to answer some questions for you. Well I’m the lovable Welsh Arsehole from Cardiff and proud Member of the Journey team, one of the longest running, maybe the longest, Trance events in the UK.
Journey celebrates its 15th Birthday in May, that’s a mile stone to hit in this day and age, how did it all come about?
It basically started in June 2004 with 5 local Djs including myself and Hywel Matthews, deciding to put something on as a way to just play more regularly in our own area as sets were a lot less available then. Our first booking was a small act called Above and Beyond. You might of heard of them? Haha.
Why do you think Journey has had staying power over the years when a lot of other nights have folded?
By staying realistic and modest to our available market. South Wales is a very tricky market when your ‘niche’ is booking lesser known and more underground acts. We’ve taken a few risks over the years but nothing that would of damaged our progression if it went wrong. It’s about watching that bottom line, and knowing your limitations.
What makes the night different to others?
It’s not a Business. It’s a party, where the ONLY reason we do it is for personal passion and challenge. We all have good day jobs so financial gain is very far down the pecking order. If we break even, its a success as far as we’re concerned. Our basis is too bring acts to our area that you won’t usually see there, offering originality from our lineups, with the best possible production you will see from a night of our size. A room with 1 lazer and a scanner just doesn’t cut it, which you see from so many events of our size.
I’ve heard the Vaults in Cardiff is a pretty unique space, can you tell us about the venue?
It’s basically a grade 2 listed building that used to be a bank. The club is situated in the money vaults underneath the banking hall. In all honesty the less you know the better about it, so it’s just a surprise when you see it. Just think Tresor in Berlin’s, baby brother. Huge European feel.
Getting John Askew on the line up for an extended 3 hour set is so fitting for a 15th Birthday – What were you reasons behind the line up?
He’s an act we’ve wanted to book for a good while. While working with Sam Mitcham for the last event partnering with Wax, he said John was very keen to play in this venue as he’d heard amazing things. We had him pencilled in for October but thought what better way to celebrate out birthday event than finally brining ‘the boss’ back to Cardiff in May so brought it forward. (He actually played for us many years ago in our early days)
What can people expect from the event in May?
An amazing underground clubbing experience, featuring the full range and sub-genres of Trance and Progressive music with a kick-ass void system and top quality light and production. For those who want it harder again we’re bringing German hard trance legend Uberdruck back to Cardiff for Vault 2. Everyone supporting will be playing that little bit harder in that room.
Out of all the Journey events you have put on so far which has been your personal favourite?
Gotta be honest probably our first event with Above and Beyond, and our debut in the Vaults with Wax for our last one. A special mention must go to when we did a Co-event with local legends ‘Enter the Dragon’ back in 2017 aswell. That was probably the best crowd I’ve ever played too.
What DJ would you love to book for an event that you haven’t already?
John O Callaghan or Bryan Kearney without a doubt. Would be great to see either in Cardiff, in that venue.
Can you tell us a bit more about the team behind the event?
The team has chopped and changed over the years with even me taking a break at one time. The one constant is Hywel Matthews. It’s his concept and the driving force behind it. I can honestly say nobody I’ve met knows trance like this man. And I mean nobody. The current team also consists of myself, Joe Byrne, another great dj with an amazing passion for the more underground sounds, and our youngest member Arran Roberts, who brings youth and massive knowledge of Techno and progressive to the Team. Between us we cover every spectrum and are great long term friends.
You’re a DJ yourself, how did you get in to dance music?
It’s a bit obvious but I think it stems from the prodigy when I was a kid. Just a natural pull towards electronic rave music. I got into hip-hop and RnB in school as everyone listened to it, but a chance moment in a friends older brothers car on the way to play footie in 97 when I was 14, where he played a happy hardcore track called Q-tek – power of love. That was it. Bam. Hooked. Me and a few other friends were probably the only people in our school who listened to dance music. Trance exploded then in 99, decks bought in 2000 and as soon as I could get in, my first dance event in escape in Swansea. The rest is history.
Do you think makes you a more effective promotor?
Can you tell us any funny stories from a night On The Sesh?
Good god. I once covered myself head to toe in cold ambrosia custard and sat in it for hours after. There was a video of it knocking about somewhere. I once tore the head off my sisters prized stuffed owl aswell. Don’t ask. Maybe the best is being locked up (innocently) for Manslaughter in Falaraki. Again. Don’t ask. Them days are long gone though. Pretty sensible (old) these days.
What would your year book quote be?
‘If you like water…… You already like 72% of me’
If you won the lottery…….whats the first thing you’d buy?
If I won a euro millions triple rollover, I’d buy the Trance scene. Haha.
If you could go on a night out with 3 people (Dead or Alive) who would they be and why?
Hmmm. Tough one. Depends what you want from a night out. For a mental one and after recently watching ‘The Dirt’ it’d be Nikki Six, Tommy Lee and Vince Neil. Mental.
Do you have any bad habits?
The question should be, are there any I don’t? Ha.
What does the rest of 2019 have in store for Journey?