Updated: Jan 26, 2019
Article first appeared in Muzik magazine 1995
*Its been pointed out that the timeline in the article is one year out. It began in September 1990. The NYE mentioned should be 1990/91. Sasha left Shelleys in May 1991.
Shelleys: Legendary club night late 80's early 90's based at Shelleys Laserdome Longton Stoke on Trent. Promoted most notably by Amnesia House and Delight. DJs of note included Sasha, Dave Seaman, Stu Allen, Nipper, Laurent Garnier & Tony Ross.
Shelley's was my first big club residency. It was the first club I did that people really travelled to. Before that, everyone used to go to the Hacienda. But after we opened, we used to get people up from London and the Midlands. The music was really exciting and fresh, Lots of cheesy Italian piano records were coming out then – not that they were cheesy at the time mind. It was that big Italian sound which nobody else was playing. Mike and Graham at the Hacienda were more on the American tip. It was started by Gary a mate of mine who used to do my DJ bookings and it was at a venue in Longton, Stoke.
It began in *September 1991 and ran every Friday for about 18 months. At first, I used to alternate with other DJ's from Manchester, like Tony Ross, Nipper and Laurent Garnier came over to play occasionally, but after four or five months, I wanted to do it every week.
I used to play the whole night, a five hour set, unless I was late. But I always managed to play at least three hours. I like to play long sets, I'm not into doing guest spots. Dave Seaman did the warm-up slot for me. He took over when I left the club and made a name for himself there. Shelleys was always totally packed. It was a big square room – you could fit in about 1500 people – with a stage at one end and a DJ box in the middle and it had a really loyal crowd. It was so exciting to see 1500 people waiting to get in at 8.00pm. The atmosphere was really intense, the air was full of horns and whistles and the music was all cheesy rave. Mad. The first few nights were incredibly exciting, but the best time I remember was *New Years Eve, 1992, it was unbelievable, the atmosphere was so emotional. I got pissed off towards the end. It was all tops off and a bit of violence, so I left. As soon as places get written about in the media they attract people for the wrong reasons. It's always best by word of mouth.