DJ Manchester Talks Britpop, Shadowplay, Anderson's, The Smiths, Interpol, and More
ddie Lebario (a.k.a. DJ Manchester) is old school, just like his favorite musical genre.
As you'll read in this week's version of DJ Dossier, the cat has been spinning up the hits inside local clubs since the mid '90s. And more often than not, said hits have typically been from the early '80s era of Britpop and English rock, as Lebario has a rather substantial appreciation for acts like Joy Division, Bauhaus, and The Cure.
Back in the day, you could catch him schlepping his selection of Smiths and other U.K. tastemakers from that era at the now-defunct Anderson's Fifth Estate. These days, however, he works the mixers at Rips Ales & Cocktails during his monthly Shadowplay session (the latest edition of which takes place tomorrow night).
Read on for a rundown of Lebario's favorite Britpop bands, as well as a list of which modern-day indie rock acts he also enjoys, and who he thinks would win in a fistfight between Morrissey and Peter Murphy.
Name: Eddie Lebario
AKA: DJ Manchester
Genres spun: New Wave, post-punk, Britpop, indie, '80s alternative, etc.
Current club nights: My new monthly, Shadowplay, is every third Saturday at Rips Ales and Cocktails.
How did you get started as a DJ? Completely fell into it. I've been a local musician playing the clubs since 1996, and I would go hang out at Panic! with a lot of other local musicians. The resident DJ at the time was leaving and the promoter asked me if I would like to take over, and that was that.
Explanation behind your nickname: It's a tribute to my favorite musical city on the planet...Manchester, England.
Other clubs and events you've spun at: Anderson's Fifth Estate, The Haunted Castle, The Rogue Bar, The Ruby Room, Goat Head Saloon, and Club Red. I have also guest DJ'd for William Reed at the old Shake!, Style Council, and Pretty Vacant weekly club nights.
Bygone club you miss the most: I miss Anderson's the most since it was a musical institution for so many years.
What do you like best about the Valley's DJ scene? I like the diversity in styles and all the DJs I have met have been very supportive and professional.
What's your mantra? I try my best to make sure everyone in the house has a dancing good time, and I also try to play as many requests as possible.
Best experience as a DJ: My greatest moments were bringing out Andy Rourke from The Smiths, Paul Ryder from The Happy Mondays, and Kele Okereke and Matt Tong from The Bloc Party as guest DJs.
And the worst? Having one bar patron nearly get violent because I didn't have an obscure song from Outkast.
What's Shadowplay all about? It's the name of a Joy Division song, but I also thought it also best described the vibe I am trying to capture at Rips.
Which is? A comfortable place where music enthusiasts can go to dance, hang out, and enjoy the music.
Where can you be found when not DJing? Aside from holding down the day job, I am laying the groundwork for recording some new original music. The George and Dragon is also a great watering hole when time permits.
What sites do you use for music? I have been collecting music since I was a kid, so I have a pretty massive collection. I mostly spin what I have, but I do check in with NME and Filter Magazine to try and keep up with the new cutting edge bands.
Where do you shop locally for your music? Between Stinkweeds and Zia Records I can usually find what I am looking for.
What do your sets usually consist of? The Smiths/Morrissey, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division/New Order, and Depeche Mode usually lay the foundation, then I build out from there.
So it's safe to say you have a passion for English rock and Britpop? Yes, that would be an accurate statement.
How come? I would say that I was always obsessed with music from a very early age. My mother was a big fan of The Beatles, so it really started there. As I grew older, New Wave was my next major obsession. Everything about that genre really spoke to me: the music, the lyrics, the style, etc.
Is Britpop dated or timeless? In my opinion it is [timeless] since bands in that genre also include Oasis, Blur, Pulp, The Verve, and Suede, amongst others. It's really about carrying the torch from the previous generation.
Does indie and modern rock work its way into your sets as well? Oh, yes indeed. I also really like bands like Interpol, The Editors, The National, The Big Pink, MGMT, and many others from the current crop of artists.
Last concert attended: Modern English at the Compound Grill in October.
Last album purchased: Modern English, Soundtrack.
Last song downloaded: The Wild Swans, "English Electric Lightning."
Track currently stuck in your head: The Chameleons, "Soul In Isolation."
What else have you been listening to lately? I have been listening to a slew of reissues from The Cure, The Stone Roses, The Cult, U2, and many others. All of them have a bonus disc of demos, B-sides, outtakes, etc. It's been a real pleasure to listen to alternative versions of old favorites.
Favorite Brit band of all time? Yikes! Only one? The Smiths!
Who'd win in a fight -- Morrissey or Peter Murphy? It's a toss up, but probably Mr. Murphy.
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