Graham Gold talks to us about the forthcoming Peach Reunion; the energy and love Peachy Ravers continue to share 25 years since Peach first opened its doors, up and coming superstar DJ’s, his defining moment and what fans can expect at this Easter’s much-anticipated trance and house anthems showcase.
Headlining Peach Reunion 2018 in the Main Room are The Thrillseekers plus residents Graham Gold, Darren Pearce, Pele, Dave Lambert and Pique.
In the Black & White Room expect floor filling classics from the likes of Special Guest AJ Gibson (Godskitchen), Dave T and competition winner, Mike Crawley.
Ben Ricci: It’s been 25 years since Peach first opened its doors at the former Camden Palace, now Koko. How does it feel to bring 1,400 Peach Ravers together again for yet another sell-out show? Your fifth since officially closing your doors in 2004.
Graham Gold: Well obviously it feels amazing! I am not sure if it’s us that brings them together. It’s the Peachy Ravers that bring themselves together. We just offer the means to do it!
Ben Ricci: Why do you think there is still such an appetite for Peach?
Graham Gold: Because it gave our clubbers an amazing Friday night for so many years; no one really wants to grow up or even feel old. We were always pushing boundaries musically; we brought so many DJs first to the UK. Peach [remains] like being part part of a great big family because the atmosphere is unparalleled.
Ben Ricci: When I attended last year’s Peach Reunion, it was exhilarating. It felt like the place was going too explode! I can’t think of any other club night that has that kind of palpable excitement any more. What’s your secret?
Graham Gold: I don’t think it’s our secret. It’s the energy and love that the Peachy Ravers bring that makes it what it is. Without them being exactly who they are, we would be nothing. Every event depends on the people that attend. No matter how much is spent on production, special guests or below-par residents with no enthusiasm for their music or the ravers in front of them. [Without energy and love], what do you have? Jack sh*t. Another mundane night that will be forgotten the next night.
Ben Ricci: How do you go about selecting your line ups? It must be quite an emotional experience bringing the old crew together for one night only.
Graham Gold: We ask our clubbers who they want to see and we listen. Obviously some are just impossible to get like Armin van Buuren and Tiesto, but we look at who is still giving 100% in their shows and really puts in the effort. Matt Darey last year for example went above and beyond. [On the night] it isn’t as emotional as I would like it to be because I am busy working and stressing and there really isn’t too much time to chat to Pele, Darren, Dave, Dave or Pique…I do feel the emotion when I go out to the queue and give the sweets out though!
Ben Ricci: How would you describe today’s trance scene? Some might say real trance has had its day.
Graham Gold: I don’t listen too much these days. I got disillusioned once tech trance went away and became very EDM. I hear all the tracks my son Ben Gold produces and I am aware of how DJ/Producers like John O’Callaghan, Simon Patterson, Gareth Emery and Scott Bond are still flying the flag for the style we were playing back then. In fact, I am noticing how many new mixes there are of some of the old classics. Scott Bond hit my up last week about remixing a track a signed to my label, Good, back in 2001. John ‘OO’ Fleming still continues to do what he always did; pushing the boundaries and staying way more than one step ahead of his game, whilst retaining integrity and amazing passion. It’s funny because the love I had for the tech trance sound of 2004/2005 brought me to where I am now; playing tech house, deep house, progressive house – the real stuff – and techno. I was always a massive Bedrock fan anyway. I never missed a monthly Bedrock event at Heaven ever!
Ben Ricci: You live in Thailand. How does the party scene compare out there to the UK?
Graham Gold: I live on an island called Koh Phangan which sadly is mainly known for the world famous Full Moon party, which is basically a bunch of 16-25 year olds drinking like they do in Magaluf, Tenerife or Aya Napa. Except here, they drink out of buckets comprising of sh*t fake vodka and Red Bull. But, we do have an incredible underground scene as well with pretty much a party every night. We are said to be South East Asia’s Ibiza but without a Pacha, Amnesia, Privilege or Hi. And certainly without the talents of Cox, Digweed etc. We did have our first festival which took place over ten days in the cool venues on the island where the likes of Mat.Joe, Supernova, Kaiser Souza and Marcus Meinhardt performed which was great!
Ben Ricci: In terms of top labels and up and coming DJ talent, who would you say is one to watch?
Graham Gold: I have my favourite labels including Selador, Suara, Deer Deer, Knee Deep In Sound, Still vor Talkent, Days Like Nights, Last Night on Earth and of course Bedrock. In terms of the next superstar…I am loving DJ’s like Christoph, Reiner Zonneveld, Eelke Klejin, Henry Saiz, Florian Kruse, Anna, Anja Schneider, Moonwalk, Eric Sneo, Fideles, Peter Makto, & Gregory S, Monkey Safari, Andhim and Oliver Huntemann.
Ben Ricci: You’ve enjoyed a glittering career as DJ, producer and presenter. Is there a standout party that holds special memories and if there was one moment that defines you and helped shape your life to date, what would that be?
Graham Gold: My favourite clubbing night has always been the big peach nights like our birthdays and our awards nights. That very first Peach night back in 1993 at Legends…was incredible and for sure a defining moment for me…we had a totally full house and they even had to close the doors! I never thought about it this way before, but it was that night that confirmed I had made the transition from a pretty successful soul DJ in the 80’s into a bonafide house DJ. And a moment that shaped my career? That was when I wrote to Tony Hale, Programme Controller at Capital FM: I was only getting standard replies back from every demo I sent him. He substituted the then presenter of the Saturday night/Sunday morning show, Steve Walsh, with a nobody, and it should have been me! So I posted a letter on Friday and got a phone call at 9am Monday and was in their studios on the Thursday recording two demos! That gig lasted about a year. Tony sacked me eventually. But I won some awards doing the show so………
Ben Ricci: What can fans expect at the forthcoming Peach Reunion?
Graham Gold: Another mind-blowing event I hope! Of course each special guest and competition winner jazzes it up each time. And this year, we are hoping we will have the podiums back. But It’s not 100% yet as we are still talking with Koko’s management.
Get your tickets for the 2018 Peach Reunion here: