A Letter from Nick

Oct, 2006

Hello Party People, Gurner’s and all, so what the fuck happened to the Gurner’s Ball? It got stabbed in the back is what happened, who by and why?

Well I more or less know!,

I have been around the scene a long time and earnt a lot of love, respect and good friends but sometimes you can accidentally make an enemy or two. I don’t put up with people trying to take the piss or Shanghai what I‘m doing and if this happens and the people concerned, want to count me as an enemy for telling them to “fuck off” then so be it. I suffered some of this on the new-year party, I was well diplomatic about sorting these issues out but it’s hard and there were some egotistical and greedy people who wanted a lot more than they were due.  When I do a party the main aim is that every one comes out of it happy, that’s people through the door and the people working on it and that includes me. I’ve been doing parties a long time and I know how to organise that.

My idea for the New Year partiywas that all of us celebrate together in one building so we found the building and got in touch with some friends. The way I wanted it to be on the flyer was Mindscapes and Friends with Acid Monkey, Wild Things, a bit of Chicheme, Fairytales & various other elements of the London party organisers.

How Acid Monkey came into this is that, I mentioned the party to Vlado who worked with me on Shangri-la-la magazine and we are really good friends. He lives in the same house as Marlon and they are part owners of a sound-system this is how Acid Monkey came together and started organising parties, Vlado told me he was DJing in Brazil for the new year but if I needed the sound-system to speak to Marlon and Anton. I had a chat with them and also Kristian (Chicheme), Marchello (Fairytales) Beardy and Alex (Wild Things) and others that would be here, and they were well up for it (big time).Marlon and Anton volunteered to do the flyer and some promotion, which I though was very kind and agreed, big mistake. As soon as they saw the building and understood what I was on about doing the cash registers went off in there heads and their ego’s went wild,  they set about trying to turn it into an Acid Monkey party. They pulled so many strokes and caused a lot of bad feeling but time was short and doing the party was more important to me.

They tried to sneak the flyer through the printers with Acid Monkey across the top of it, I screamed at them to change it. They didn’t even show up on the Friday, they showed up late Saturday afternoon and started talking to me to other people like they owned us, yeah, they soon got told what was what. They promoted the party as an Acid Monkey party and I was billed £400.00 for flyer design and loads for promotion, their bill was paid in full, in front of witnesses who were outraged, and I have their bill as proof, For the people who think that was an Acid Monkey party, bullshit, you where mugged, it was a Mindscapes and Friends party. The friend’s bit is in respect for all the people who muck in to help make a brilliant party for you. If I hear one more person refer to that party as an Acid Monkey party, Ill flip, I went through hell to sort out that party and exhausted myself. Just to let you know, the Acid Monkey sound-system was in the chill out room, the main room sound-system was 20K New Generation turbo sound by the Crackpot boys from Brighton. The 10 piece Qawali band in the chill out room cost £1500.00 and was fully mic’ed up to a mixing desk, unheard of on a squat party or an Acid Monkey party, This is what you get on a Mindscapes and Friends party, plus loads more and all for your pleasure and a good time. Everyone that worked on that party was paid by me, most with a bonus, ask about. Nobody earnt large money and that includes me. After the party the Acid Monkeys started putting it about that I was a thief and a liar, I was disgusted, outrageous, ask anyone that knows me or that’s worked with me and they will tell you that is out of order bullshit. Marlon shit stirred between me and James K and tried to cause a fight.

I’ve more or less let all this go because I know that the people that know me know better and I do need a “no enemies’ situation to drop the parties I like to do but after getting stabbed in the back there’s no reason to keep quiet. Sorry for sharing this with you but it’s the truth, for all the people that put themselves out and were up for the Gurner’s Ball and disappointed, the truth is the least I owe you, There’s loads more but I can’t be bothered and that’s enough for you to get the gist. Even though I was angry and disgusted with all this to try to put things right and to make some peace I suggested we put out a joint statement but Marlon refused the offer, I was outraged and pissed off but stayed calm and quiet. They tried to shanghai the party and failed, they tried to steal the credibility for the party and part succeeded with the people that were not in the know. These people have pissed off a lot of people on the scene with shit like this. I can’t believe the ego and the arrogance of these people. I’ve been on the scene since 1988 and the acid house warehouses, you don’t get this behaviour from true acid people but you do get it from the egotistical and the arrogant, maybe we should call them Ego Monkey’s from now on. And  to them I’ll say, stolen credibility is worth nothing.

So there’s one example of how to accidentally make enemies, not my choice, and here’s another one. Me and a friend had the Stonebridge building sorted, found out its story, cracked it, alarm codes and the plans, sorted. When we take over a building it needs a team effort. I’d had a chat with Salvatore months earlier about working with us, I’ve known him nearly ten years and been a good friend so it should have been safe, I pulled him in as he’s been squatting a long time. The idea was to hold the building after the party and I’d pay Salvatore and some of his friends to be a part of this, they were paid in full later. We moved into the building as planned no problem. One of Salvatore’s friends turned up the next day, this was Anthony, they wanted to party a room in the building, so I gave the ok, the next thing they wanted was to do a bar even though they knew that we had sorted the bars, so why, they told me it was just for friends, so I said ok, they then do a full on bar and sold lots of drink. We also let Don move in. We finished the main party on New Years day, so that the hired equipment could leave, but they wanted to carry on, yea but we needed to lock down the building to keep it and the remaining equipment safe. So after all we had done, and now being totally exhausted we had to totally de rig and clear all the equipment from the building. The next few days were messy but we got the building secure in the end. I started to organise and paid for the clean up, we recycled nearly everything. I paid for the sewers and toilets to be unblocked by the council and all sorts. I left one day and left Anthony and the clean up crew there, I left the info line phone with Anthony with instructions to ring me if anything happened as I’m living near by. The Owner/agent for the building turned up and Anthony didn’t ring me but tried to sort it himself. From that point on Anthony & Salvatore tried to stand between me and the owner and take the building for themselves. They offered the owner 20% of my door money for the next time I did a party, they made him allsorts of promises, I was not a part of this. They wanted to do some small parties there, I was ok with that, and they earned good money, I got nothing, the owner got nothing, this happened a few times. They hired out the building to another party firm and I saw Salvatore put £500.00 in his pocket from them, me and the owner got nothing. Don wanted to do a party, I was ok with that as he was living there, so he organised a party, Anthony did his best to take it over and Don got next to nothing. They agreed to move out at the end of February, and they did, I stayed and cleared up the mess they left behind from their parties which they had promised to clear up. Since then the owner and I have become good friends and have come to some agreements. The owner is seriously angry with Salvatore and Anthony for the lies, bullshit, greed and mess and so am I.

The underground parties need people like this owner to work with us, this was the perfect opportunity for this to happen, the man is really ok and they shit on him and me for there own greed. I had to do a lot of work to repair this situation and after that it was still possible to do parties in Stonebridge. I’d heard that Anthony was shouting about that it was his building and that he had cracked it, that’s a 100% lie, I cracked it, I live one minute away, they live in Clapham, so what do you think.

I have been doing parties since 1988 in this area, check the history bit on the website, Destination Moon which was wrote about in New Musical Express was done in the Park Royal area. I heard that Anthony was having a lot to say about  the Gurner’s ball probably being in Stonebridge and lots to say about it being his building, So what about that for a suspect.  What the fuck is Salvatore doing bringing low lifes like this into our parties and he’s backed him all the way, birds of a feather flock together. Both pairs Marlon and Anton, Salvatore and Anthony have shit on me and pissed me off enough for me to write this. These are the sort of people that stab you in the back and then say “it wasn’t me bruv” (short for brother) to your face. I was angry at this shit, it’s enough to make a man see red and want to hurt someone, but I don’t have to bother myself just me writing this down will damage them, there’s no weapon sharper than the truth and the truth is so bad here there is no need for lies, there isn’t even the need for the other half of the truth for you to understand. If I’ve got any of this wrong let them sue me or whatever.

Well there’s an insight into the stuff that goes on behind the scenes and what we have to go through to put on party’s but this is just a few low life’s, most of the people that work on the scene and with me are proper people who work hard to put on the party’s we love, a big thanks and respect to them.

Writing this letter is good therapy for me, it s good for me to get it down and get it done as a lot of people have been interested and concerned as to what happened and after writing it I won’t have to go through explain it to each person individually and can get on with other things. So now I feel a bit better, maybe now the truth is out I could even think about a truce with these people, I’ve got better things to do than deal with their shit, if I get anymore crap off them the other half of what they did will come out.

There’s an old saying “all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing” In that spirit I say, all it takes for arse-holes to take over our party’s is for the people who know the truth to say nothing. Don’t associate with arse-holes, people will think your one too,
birds of a feather and all that. I love the parties and making parties better and know that we can’t let people get away with crap or the whole scene will turn into crap, do your bit where you can, make it better, no going backwards, move it forwards.

So on to the Gurner’s ball, yes it was going to be at Stonebridge, the situation I had there was well safe, we did the Feb 25th party there with no problems, we had the Mindscapes and Friends banner outside above the door and if the police needed to speak to me they know me and where I live, I’ve lived in the same house in the area for 20 years, not a word was said so no problem there.

Yes we were very concerned when the flyers were shown in the Daily Star in the shit about the Primrose Hill party. I’d been to a party there a few weeks earlier and it was ok, not too loud, not too crowded, but when you get someone like Marlon involved, putting a bigger sound-system in and over promoting it yes it will cause a problem, hence the article in the papers, It’s a residential area what do you expect. Ego and greed before common sense guarantees a problem and that causes problems for all of us. Luckily we hadn’t put an address on the flyer and we hoped for the best. Someone suggested we change the phone numbers, but that would have fucked us up and everybody else.

People with silly un-informed talk on the forums also caused us concern, to those people please don’t chat shit on the forums when you don’t know what’s going on, you make putting on parties even harder, its hard enough and it is still illegal remember.

The shit really hit the fan the Tuesday before the party, I was round the building having just met the owner as he was leaving I saw someone banging on the door, I asked if I could be of assistance, he introduced himself as the Senior Environmental Protection Officer for Brent and that he had been told that there was a large rave party that was going to be in the building on Saturday and that he was here to find the owner of the building and the organiser of the party to let them know that it was definitely not happening, that injunctions would be served and if we want against that we would be risking arrest and/or confiscation of equipment. Wow, I had one of them “beam me up Scottie” moments, but knew I had to deal with it  I told him that I was part time caretaker and that I knew of something happening but it was only a small affair (yeah sure). I knew it was fucked. The next day after a chat with the owner who had had phone calls from him I rang him to tell him that no party would now be happening in the building, he then told me that the police “had this land on their plate and they had landed it on his and he would be doing his job and issuing the injunctions on the building and on us to make sure”, he also said I was a lot better off him dealing with it than the police. Now look at this, the police had this land on there plate”, that’s not the result of an investigation, that’s the result of a phone call that “lands it on their plate.” The fact that they take the less serious option of handing it to the council man shows me that the police had no problem with me or that would have been an excellent excuse to see me, but having got the phone call they had to do something. A phone call is a stab in the back and it felt like it too. So what to do next? Cancel it? What! Surrender to that shit, no way, what no Gurner’s Ball, no way. So find another building and reorganise it, after chasing other buildings and a lot of fucking about we got it done. We know that it was getting hot and on top but no surrender and onto Uxbridge. I thought by going right on the edge of town we would stand a better chance of getting it done. Even though I knew it would be even harder to get to, sorry about that. I also thought by putting the info out late it would also help us to get it done, hence the lateness and vagueness, I hope all that were trying to get there now understand. Not long after we let the address out to public release the police arrived and very quickly that turned into a street full of police vehicles, shit. We tried very hard to sort it out but they were not having it, it got a bit heavy but not too bad. We were all rigged and ready to rock, we had people in the building but not enough really, they stopped people coming in so we had to deal with them. They looked like they’d had a right wind up and it took a while to calm them down. In talking to them at different times and in different groups of police, environmental protection people and fire officers, I came to the conclusion we had been stabbed in the back again. They have their way of letting you know without saying it directly but when even the police man down the road says “someone didn’t want you to do this tonight did they” there’s no denying what had happened, not just the address given but a right wind up too. Throw in the idea of someone ringing the police, giving the address and shouting large illegal rave, thousands and, thousands of people, drug’s drug’s drug’s and the response from the authorities fits what happened. Once they were there they looked like they realised this too and were a bit apologetic but explained that now they were there they had to do thier job. This stinks, I’m disgusted, what we had set up there was awesome; people that got in were impressed, this would have been one of the top squat parties and in-spite of two stabs in the back and a venue change we still nearly got it done. Its a sad day when a party like this gets stabbed in the back. Fuck-em


The Gurner’s Ball will be re-organised, most likely in the spring, with as many of the original elements as possible.

So what next, we’ve been getting busy, getting re-organised and not doing too bad. The next party will be on November the 4th The Night of the Spirits, Hallow‘e-en party.
Hallow‘e-en is on the Tuesday so the Saturday after is ok. This party was also going to be at Stonebridge but after what’s happened and the massive disappointment I wasn’t into risking another shutdown. So it will be in the Renaissance Rooms, Miles St, off Wands worth Road, Vauxhall Road, SW8 1SD. We already had the flyers printed to be given out after the Gurner’s Ball, so they have been updated with some stickers. We’ve got the place till ten in the morning, the website for line-up or pick up a flyer in Camden. It will hold over 2000 people so plenty of room to play + it will give us a chance to develop some ideas. I’ve wanted to do some experiments with audio-visual for quite a while but having to sort the building, organise the party and do the visuals etc. doesn’t leave much energy or time to explore, so at least we will have a better chance of doing that now and we will be able to put on some really good party’s. We will also be doing a full on Christmas party at the same place and until ten in the morning again, so stay tuned.
On to the membership, firstly sorry about any confusion but we couldn’t be blatantly clear because of the law but its easer now. Basically the £12.50 for membership was £2.50 for the membership to cover making the cards and postage and £10.00 for entry to the party. As Access All Areas were dealing with all that they add on a charge like a booking fee to cover thier expenses and the credit card charges but because we are not selling tickets, which is illegal for an un-licensed event it’s called an admin charge. The memberships are still valid and you’ll be able to get in on November the 4th if your membership is fully paid up, and you can still join. We are new to running a membership so please be patient with us. Some people thought it was wrong, when what added to be £15.00 for members and £10.00 for guests and said it should have been the other way around, I was just trying to keep it to most people coming in for a £10.00 instead of £15.00, If you look at it as £35.00 for 3 people that’s pretty good for an event like that, plus that’s legal or pretty close. As we were legally in the building charging people on the door was our vulnerable point with the law, that’s why there was no price on the flyer. The membership was basically the way around a legal problem and not a money issue. Once you’re a member each event will be a bit cheaper for you and your guest’s, and we will keep you updated and see what other bonuses we can give you. With party’s that size these things have to be paid attention to or it can cause us big shit, plus its an attempt to get us more organised and find a way to do the party’s we love in a more legal way for the future. Thank you to the people that joined and understood or tried to understand.

Putting on party’s is hard, putting on beautiful special parties is really fucking hard but I do enjoy it, seeing people have such a good time and taking a step forward in them selves makes it all worth it. I’ve always tried to help the party scene move forward and tried to move the squat party end of it forward this year and didn’t do to bad, we got 2 out of 3 done so ok. So if moving things forward has to be on a different aspect of it for a while so be it. We haven’t finished doing full on wild ones by a long way and we will be carrying on with the same spirit and love for the parties where ever and however we have to. Thanks to all the people that support us and come to our parties, big respect to you and I’m happy that you love your parties as much as I love mine. Thanks for taking the time to read this, sorry if it’s a bit long, so is life.
See you on November the 4th on a dance floor somewhere soon.

Love and Light.   Nick.

Ps please don’t post this onto any other sites.

Pps check the website http://www.mindscapesandfriends.com we have been busy and loads more to come.