Pill ’n’ thrills

Beneath the air of simplicity of

their songs there lies a less

frivolous message. At least, that’s what D:Ream’s Pete Cunnah tells

Calvin Bush.

‘My simple heart will live and learn.

I took a chance at the price my soul would burn ‘.

D:Ream ‘U R The Best Thing’

‘Cane: v. t. to conduct oneself hedonistically to excess; to consume a great deal ()fpleasure-giving


From ‘Bushwhackers Guide To Clubland Slang‘


This isn't about morals. it‘s not about principles. Basic human rights don‘t even enter into it. The topic is drugs not the whys and wherefores. not the rights and wrongs. Not the cause, just the effects. the damage after the disco‘s done. For D:Ream‘s garrulous and disarmineg honest Pete Cunnah. there are too many out there crossing over from blissed-out to fucked-up. When he sings ‘You‘re the best thing‘ in that honey-coated lrish voice of his. he‘s talking life and he‘s talking drugs and how we‘ve got to start

taking more care of both.

‘You take a trip, you do your thing, and

you pay the price. You’re always saying next day, “I’ll never do that again”. And that’s the feeling I tried to encapsulate.’

‘Basically, I went on a bad trip one night at Love Ranch [London nightclub. not exactly renowned for its abstemious atmosphere] and that made me realise how . . . I felt my own mortality encroaching on me. chart success of the irrisistibly optimistic tum-of—year and I thought, “We can‘t go on caning it this hard for l so long“. Y‘know. like the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And in order to preserve the

so richly deserve to be.

D:Ream: Pete Cunnah and Al Mackenzie

goodness that‘s there. you‘ve got to tone it down. ‘Of course. on the surface. it‘s a love song, but if you read between the lines, there are lots of drug and club references. What I‘m saying [in the above extract] is literally our morals tell us one thing. but this kind of lifestyle makes us do another. You take a trip. you do your thing. and you pay the price. You‘re always saying next day. ‘1‘” never do that again“. And that‘s the feeling l tried to encapsulate.‘ However. a stern linger-wagging moral lecture ‘U R . . .‘ ain‘t. One mighty anthemic slab of uplifting sensual disco glory that Pete Tong quite rightly made i his Single of the Year on its original release nine 1 months ago. it sure is. Now released following the

‘Things Can Only Get Better‘, it should finally make Pete and his DJ partner Al MacKenzie the stars they

Of course, there was a time when things weren‘t quite so filled with gilt-edged promise. Living that classic ‘poor and lonely foreigner in a bedsit‘ lifestyle until only recently. it truly was a DJ (in the shape of partner Al), as well as a small white capsule. that saved Pete‘s life.

‘I was working in a press clippings bureau.‘ he recalls. ‘and my boss at the time asked me to go out clubbing with her. So we went down to this place called Wiggle lt where Al was DJing. And the transition. literally. happened on a pill (and he‘s probably not referring to an aspirin, readers). At that stage l‘d never really gone clubbing before ‘cos l‘d never had the money. But Al literally soned me out and l remember going, “Fuck me. listen to that. listen to this“ and it all made sense.‘

‘i’m trying to concentrate on some greater issues here other than “.lack your body across the dancefloor”. it’s not about “Ooh baby, I wanna rip your clothes

off and lick you off”.’

in which case you‘ve probably got this D:Ream team pegged as some trance-dance chancers sploshing formulaic bland-o-matic rave nonsense .- onto addled dancefloors. Peg again, punk! D:Ream are not just about instilling transient moments of disco-necked hypno-bliss into our otherwise mundane lives. Forget the nature of Pete‘s see-the- strobe-light conversion. Contained within their sprightly melodies. Pete‘s determined to undermine the fallacy that you can‘t make great dance music with an underlying message too.

‘l‘m trying to concentrate on some greater issues here other than “Jack your body across the dancefloor“. It‘s not about that. It‘s not about “Ooh baby. I wanna rip your clothes off and lick you off'

Hence, next single ‘Unforgiven‘ is ‘a bit ofajibe against AIDS. lt‘s describing the irresponsibility of clubland‘. Yeah. real songs. golden melodies. choruses that make you whoop and holler on the dancefloor and then go home and take time to think. listen. learn. Keep the D:Ream alive.

D:Ream play The Tunnel, Glasgow on Sun 4 Apr. ‘U R The Best Thing’ is re-released on 12 Apr.

I Slam and Back To Basics (leads) will this week he mourning the tragic death of OJ Ally Cook and .los, who died In a car accident on Friday 12 Mar, while on the way to play Slam at Club Loco. Slam and the Back To Basic crew have been collaborating for some time and guesting at each others clubs in the past and will hopefully continue to do so in the future. Condolences go out to everyone who knew Ally and Jos, they will both be missed deeply.

I Avlemore ll line-up has now been anounced for the weekend of the 7

and 8 May from the Bomba crew. OJs will be Stuart Macmillan (Slam), Orde Meikle (Siam), Scott Gibson, Kevin Wilson, Colin Cate, Yogi, Zammo (Rhumba) and special guest is Paul Oakenfold. Luxury coach travel, two nights chalet accommodation and a free crate of beer In each chalet, all for the reasonable price of £85, a weekend that will be much talked about. For ticket details phone Oomba very soon, to avoid disappointment, on 041 248 8831.

I The Streetrave Organisation brings an Easter Bank iioliday Special to the Pavilion (Ayr) on Sunday 11 Apr, doors open from 4pm, be warned, be early,

price is yet to be confirmed. On the night will be Inner City and The Reese Prolect from Detroit, with Ms Kevin Saunderson (inner City), .lon Mancini, Boney and Michael Kllkle. Also look out for details of another massive bash at Prestwlck Airport, details in a future issue.

I Z-Rezerection Line-up is Ms Carl Cox, Bass Generator, Seduction, Jumping Jack Frost, Evil Eddie Richards and OJ Scott, PAs apprlng are Terrorlze, Oream Frequency and Ultrasonic, tickets £23.58. Free tickets on this issue’s competition page, be quick though, the last lot we had went very quickly.

I Records - a quick round up of new dance releases and forthcoming vinyl. Soma release Percussion Obsession by Otaku, limbo release Taboo by thmo Oa Vida and lleevro by Mukka, both in April, the same label that had national success with recent releases from Buru Chaccaa and liavana. Also from the 23rd Precinct stable, but under their new more hardcore label, comes Equation by Cyberflux (Kore) and O-Tex release Celebration (Stoatin’) with the launch of another new 23rd Precinct label sometime in April. Ultra-sonic release The Pulse EP, Oymenslon with Don’t Stop and Eurotech bring us Oreamscape, all in the near future on Clubscene Records. (Joe Lampard)

The List 26 March—8 April NW 57