MEET THE CREW BEHIND LEICESTER'S DRUM AND BASS SCENE: OPEN MINDS 

Here in Leicester, drum and bass nights seem to be overlooked. With the likes of Beastwang dominating the bassline scene, it’s as if people are forgetting about drum and bass, until now.

 

Open Minds is the new drum and bass night in Leicester, ran by Shannon Havergill, Ryan Devereux and Dale Cooper. We spoke to them about how it all happened: “It all began back in March 2017. We noticed a hole in the drum and bass scene so thought we’d try and create one in Leicester. The original ideas came to us over a coffee in Morrisons cafe.”

Drum and bass nights in Leicester are near enough non-existence, partly because the people running them finish university and go home, they told us: “Basically, there is no drum and bass scene in Leicester. We went to a few of the Overground Sessions nights when they were in Leicester but unfortunately they have all finished Uni and have moved back home. Their nights made us realise that creating a drum and bass scene in Leicester is possible as they all had great turnouts, and good names playing for them, and this inspired us to give it a go ourselves. However, we appreciate all genres of underground music, especially the rise of bassline in Leicester – it’s amazing how much it’s grown over the recent years!”

The big problem with nightlife in Leicester, is too many clubs going commercial and not providing the music that people need, they continued: “In (Dale) his opinion it is lacking when it comes to the underground scene. As it is quite a touristy area the music tends to cater for the commercial crowd.”

Open Minds keeps their group close-knit and keeps residents their friends, they told us about their resident DJs: “Ryan Devereux aka Devereux has been DJing for 5 years, and as a founder of Open Minds it was only right that he was a resident. Dale Cooper aka Cooops, and also a founder, usually DJ’s house. He wanted to further his experience and knowledge within the drum and bass scene and has been playing big tunes for Open Minds. George Turner aka Phraze, only recently starting mixing and as a good friend of ours we thought we’d let him have a go at playing a live set. He absolutely smashed it, and he is now a resident of ours.”

Keeping the residents a part of the crew keeps the crew tight, and shows they’re sticking to their roots. Their most recents nights have been hosted by the murky basement of Sub8ten, they explained how the infamous Leicester nightclub differs to other venues: “Sub8Ten is the prime place to go to in Leicester for underground music. As one of the smaller clubs in Leicester it provides an intimate night between the DJ and the crowd, and is also the perfect after party for when other venues close.”

It seems like they are aware of the niche market that drum and bass falls into, their name somewhat expressing it: “As there wasn’t a drum and bass scene in Leicester, we realised that there wouldn’t be that many people who listened to this genre of music. Therefore the name Open Minds came from us wanting our audience to be open minded about our nights and the scene.”

If you live in Leicester, then you know how it is run by students. Some events are purely only kept running because they rely on students, Open Minds are trying to branch out to bigger and better things: “We’re hoping to get the Open Minds name out there, not only with students, but with everyone who enjoys drum and bass in the city. In the future we’d love to get some big artists to play for us such as Spectrasoul, Technimatic and Nu:Logic. All going well for us, keep your eyes peeled!”

Their recent residents night was a huge success, with their biggest turn out yet and special guest DJs Archa and Nexu. They told us what is in store for Open Minds: “We have a residents night taking place at Sub8Ten on the 8th of December. We’ve got special guests KRS Skills who is a DBE resident, and Spektra joining us.”

Shannon finished off our interview about their debut night at Boxed: “On 26th January we have our first night at Boxed, and our first official bookings with Ed:it and Malaky and we are so hyped for it! It’s going to be a BIG night so make sure you don’t miss out!”

Big up Open Minds, Shannon, Ryan and Dale, Sub8ten, Boxed and everyone supporting the dnb scene in Leicester!!

Check out their Facebook page for all things Open Minds.

https://www.facebook.com/openmindsleicester/

https://www.facebook.com/events/288204518345522/

Matthew Knight

November 14th 2017

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