F**k Gary Barlow. If anyone in Britain deserves an OBE, it's Lars Sandberg, the great Scot who just keeps on giving. Silver-haired member of the British house and techno old guard, he's improved with age like the fine champagne of his Francois Dubois moniker, more so through his work as Funk D'Void on Slam's Soma Records and more recently Outpost Recordings.
If only The Queen knew anything about house music. She'd have knighted him long ago; his Midas touch responsible for gems such as 'Diabla' and 'Jack Me Off' as part of a catalogue of work incorporating the original sounds or Chicago and Detroit, as well as the club of his hometown he's long pioneered. Making a comeback after a year or so out of the game, he recently dropped the next excellent installment of the Balance series, following sterling efforts from Deetron and Nic Fanciulli. Of course, the corresponding tour took him far and wide, so we asked him to jot us down a jockey journal...
Club G-6, Taipei, Taiwan
“Touched down in Taipei for the first stop of my Asia/Australia tour and went straight to Species Record Store to say hi to DJ Vertigo, who was putting on the night, and A Tao, the owner, then I signed the shop wall and crashed out before the party. The last time I played in Taiwan was about 10 years ago at a beach festival, so it was a nice surprise to see the same promoter that booked me show up at the gig, which was a perfect start to my Balance Tour. Lots of fun and the afterparty as well...”
Lantern, Beijing, China
“I had two days in Beijing so on the first day I had some time to look for a place to play ping pong, eat some great food and party until dawn – I dropped in on Elements and nearby Cargo club where I witnessed the effect of the infamous 'Gangnam Style' go off in an Asian club – it was explosive! It was also great to see old friend DJ Mickey Zhang and meet the Spanish DJ Lupen, who rocked the second room of Lantern for our Balance gig. I vaguely remember giving away my FDV baseball hat to a fan, signing it first of course. She asked me to do it, ok?”
Brown Alley, Melbourne, Australia
“Melbourne’s always a pleasure to play, not just because of my family roots (my mother is from there) but on this particular visit especially to meet the owner of the Balance Series, Tom Pandzic (with whom we did a hilarious radio interview on Kiss FM). Unfortunately it was only a one night stand with a great crowd at the club, but that didn’t stop me from continuing matters until the break of dawn, working with my new label manager on Outpost business, who then decided to travel with me to my next gig in Sydney to join in on the fun.”
Chinese Laundry, Sydney, Australia
“This city is one of favourite stops in the world, but every time I’ve had the chance to play there I’ve been ill... both times with food poisoning. This time I was going to make up for it and it ended up as one of my best gigs of 2012! It was also great to meet some old friends from Ireland and Scotland make it down and stay with me until the end. I was nearly kidnapped while leaving the gig to go to some other club that stayed open late, but I saw sense in the end and managed to grab some well-needed kip back at the hotel, but not before visiting grossburger joint
Brisvegas, Brisbane, Australia
“I love these guys that run the Subtrakt events in Brisbane, so it was an honour to come and play for their fifth Birthday party, bookending that part of the tour in style. The vibe was already in full swing when I arrived as it was a Sunday and people like to party earlier so that they’re in a good state for work the next day! It was national Zombie day as well, so that explained a few scary pale faces and feet shuffling slowly at points during the day. Back to back with Rikki & Adam was a great laugh too. Thank you, Brisbane!”
Miller Mansion, Moscow, Russia
“Moscow was bloody freezing upon arrival of course but it was fun to bump into Steve Lawler and his manager at the airport (all three of us with the same type of Rimowa bag, typical), and the set was a late one so I slept until 6am and showed up for my 7am set – which ended up much later because Guy Gerber kept playing and playing! Not complaining though, it was great fun and I left straight for the airport after the gig – missing the horrendous traffic that almost made Robert Babicz miss his flight (he ended up ditching the taxi on the motorway and jumping on a train!). No hangover either, result!”
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