16 years ago i moved from the big city lights of leeds to the outer regions of the cotswolds, to a place called wotton-under-edge.
a small lovely market town that i have become very attached to in recent times.
when we first moved here, i was a dad with a young boy, and so had no idea as to the towns involvement with the raving community, which by all accounts was pretty full on.
one of the main reasons for this was a 14 year old local lad, dan pearce, aka eats everything, holding a rave in the small town hall.
from this, dan then expanded onto organising mini-bus trips for him and his mates into the cosmopolitan excess of the bristol club scene, and then proving his value as a resident dj for various venues.
these small town beginnings were just the start, dan now headlines dance festivals and pulls in crowds of thousands.
it was only during this summer when my eldest son, now 19 years of age, came running down the stairs in a state of excitement that i was advised of all this :
him : dad dad dad .. have you ever heard of eats everything
me : nah .. sorry ..
him : he’s this big name on the club scene
me : ok great .. but sorry, not heard anything.
him : well, he’s from wotton !
me : huh !?
he then made me watch a video on youtube in which dan describes his journey from wotton town hall to the big stage.
all of which was rather lovely and interesting, but still meant little to me as my clubbing days came to an end after the arrival of said son in 1996.
but then a few weeks ago word got around that dan was going to revisit wotton and put on a bit of a rave in the town hall again, under the banner ‘eats meets west’.
information was slim, and no-one really knew much more about it.
until a couple of weeks ago when resident advisor posted an article about the event happening on sunday november 13th at the dad friendly time of 6pm-10pm, and an ‘rsvp’ link.
after a few too many drinks, i clicked the link, and the ‘rsvp’ link updated to saying ‘attending’
the day came, and despite still not sure as to whether a 48 year old bloke would be allowed to attend such an event, i decided to go along to the pub just opposite the town hall and assess the situation.
as the hour arrived the pub got more and more buzzy.
then it started.
dan rocked up with a bunch of his friends, walked into the pub and was welcomed with open arms by many of the regulars i have come to know and love over the last few years.
this clearly was a rather special homecoming.
soon after the allotted time, the town hall door opened, and things began to happen.
i decided to chance my luck, i walked up to the entry desk and gave my resident advisor login name – and there it was.
my name was on the list, i was going in.
upstairs in the town hall were two large ‘e’s were hanging from the ceiling being splattered with laser images, a massive mixing desk, and a compact but excellent sounding pa system.
the early doors entrants were still unsure as the beats kicked in, giving it a feeling of being at an old school disco. however, given that most people in wotton know each other, the atmosphere soon warmed, aided by the generous flowing of free eats everything branded ‘black rat’ cider,
so, it wasn’t too long before the town hall was packed with a crowd going absolutely mental to a stream of old school hardcore anthems all mixed and blended to perfection for the next few hours.
throughout the session, dan behind the decks was guzzling cider straight from a 4 pint carton, dropping tunes, allowing people to take selfies, running around the mixing desk to get into the centre of the action, all while his mum stood on the side grinning from ear to ear.
the result of all of this was one of the most wonderful, if not surreal, nights i have ever had in wotton – if not my life.
the community vibe, the sheer joy being spread around, the banging tunes, and, of course, the lashings of cider that helped make monday such a quiet day.
basically, everything came together perfectly.
thanks to dan aka eats everything for sorting it all out, it was truly wonderful.
let’s just hope that wotton does not have to wait another 20 years for such an amazing event.