Five for the Funk: Steve Parry (Lemon Lounge Classics)

As Liverpool's infamous Lemon Lounge looks set to open it's doors again, we asked Steve Parry to list his five favourite records from the venue's history.

Jimmy Coultas

Last updated: 4th Mar 2015.
Originally published: 27th Feb 2015

Image: The Lemon Lounge

Freeze's ten year birthday celebrations have been pretty jaw dropping in their ambition, with a renewed vigour on the Bombed Out Church allayed with a mouth watering alliance with Cream at a former asylum, where Marco Carola will be knocking out visceral techno in the open air.

But for many of those that have been with the clubnight since day dot, the standout was the return of a venue that was the location of hundreds of partygoers first steps into clubbing in Liverpool - the city's infamous "room above a pub" - the Lemon Lounge.

The small space that also spring-boarded Chibuku Shake Shake was the scene of Freeze's early highlights, with 200 plus regularly crammed in to see the likes of Claude VonStroke, Paulo Mojo and James Priestley as well as residents Andy Currie and Rob Casson (peep our interview with the latter).

Mojo returns that night alongside Danny Howells (read about it here), but there's the presence of another legendary Lemon Lounge and Freeze favourite that stands out, Steve Parry.

Parry's role as a DJ in Liverpool has been crucial over the explosion of dance music post acid house, a status he still holds to this day with his label Selador, run alongside Dave Seaman, one of the  leading hosue and techno imprints of the minute (check their latest release, Robert Babicz's 'One Day We'll All Be Happy' EP, above).

Djing in and around the city in the days of The State and Quadrant Park, he regularly played at Cream as the club took over the world, dovetailing with a job as a buyer at 3Beat Records during the hey day of vinyl.

It was there he would feed the masses desperate to own the records the likes of Sasha, John Digweed and of course Paul Oakenfold would make legendary at Cream and beyond, and ended up starting his own night Alderaan. Which, you guessed it, found a home at the Lemon Lounge.

Howells was a regular, as was the likes of Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren, as over five years it was a place to catch the heroes of the scene at the time up close and personal, Parry djing there alongside fellow resident Mike Owen on a weekly basis.

With that in mind we asked Parry to select five records which mean the most to him about the venue, a handful of classics that invoke memories of the lemon lounge, in his own words " not a list of what I will play in this infamous venue, just five that make me smile".

Breeder 'The Chain'

Well this track epitomises the ‘prog’ sound of Alderaan's peak. It was a guaranteed floor destroyer of epic proportions, and to be honest, I hadn’t heard it for years until being asked to do this.

I’ve just listened again - a flurry of hazy memories glazed over my mind as that frantic bassline arrives, and then the hairs on my arms stood on end. And we haven’t even got the the melodies yet. Yes by today's standards its fast, and frantic, but when those grinding noises land followed by the melody… oh lordy, time to surrender, hands in the air and rave like there's no tomorrow. 

Delerium - Silence (Sanctuary remix by Fade) 

Forget the version that was in the charts - THIS is the mix. I went absolutely crazy to get a copy of this and used to ring the label and the remixers ‘Fade’ every day from the day I heard it until I managed to get a U.S. promo of this.

I knew how huge it would be.This was more than a year before its release in the UK. It was one of those tracks, that even before it was released, this was the vocal anthem of coolness at Alderaan, people knew all of the words while other DJs couldn’t find a copy anywhere.

Chris Fortier from Fade who made this remix played it in the Lemon Lounge while it was still brand new, and to this day says it is his favourite ever DJ moment as the crowd reaction was so phenomenal.  

Saints & Sinners 'Pushing Too Hard' (Futureshock remix)

This got played a lot, a real lot. It was one of those tunes that seemed to get bigger and bigger every week at Alderaan. It samples an old HI-NRG track and just bounces along with its driving bassline, full of drive, it just worked so well! Grit your teeth, really dance as hard as you can, a little bounce of excitement, and this was the perfect soundtrack.

Sasha 'Xpander'

OK so now its a clubland institution, and no doubt gets dropped at many a classics night, but when this first landed it was a rip roaring futuristic mind blower of a track. It was ahead of the game, yet instantly familiar, with its electronic tough edge meeting beautiful melodies.

An end of night monster and was played by so many DJs that played at the Lemon Lounge, and elsewhere, but it always reminds me of those ‘jumping for joy’ moments by the crowd when it was dropped in that room above a pub!

It's been a Midnight on New Year's Eve classic from the day it was released. Many have tried to remix this, but nothing touches the original. Also a huge shout out to the flip side ‘Bellfunk’, just as effective and oozed of coolness. 

Tilt - 'I Dream' (Tilt's Resurrection Mix)

There are many versions of this track, but this is the real spine tingler. It is 11 and a half minutes long, so many DJs wouldn’t play it, as it would eat in to their set so much, however, when it was played in its full glory, it exploded!

This soundscape of mightiness caresses your mind with its up and downs, and it makes you wait for that BIG drop, a whopping three minute breakdown of euphoria, a smile inducing corker that is pure Lemon Lounge.

Tickets are no longer available for this event