In musical circles Paul Newman (not the actor) is a giant of a man, both figuratively and literally.
Better known as Tall Paul, and famous for mixing tracks rather than pasta sauces, he stands at an impressive 6’ 6” and for over a decade could be found casting a shadow over the decks at Cream.
“Cream was very much the place on the circuit to get to,” he recalls. “I remember trying to get in there for years and years. I have some fantastic memories.”
Renowned as the man behind The Gallery nights at London’s Turnmills club, Paul has also played for such feted club nights as Trade, Godskitchen, Gatecrasher and Sundissential
He has remixed for Human League, K Klass, Duran Duran, Blondie and even Keane and The Killers, shifted more than a million compilation albums for the likes of Fantazia, Cream and Ministry and has more best DJ, remixer and producer awards than you can shake a pair of headphones at.
These days he still hosts his Gallery night – now at Ministry of Sound – regularly but he is also finding himself much in demand as a wave of nostalgia sweeps the country.
“I am as busy as I want to be,” the father-of-two explains.
“I basically told my agency that I only want the gigs that we are confident are going to be good, fun and not too far away.
“I have been doing some retro gigs, some one-off jobs, and working with some people from the past who are coming up with some good ideas and rejuvenating a few memories of good nights we used to have in various places.
“That era, the clubs, the size of them and the people they were drawing, not just Liverpool but Manchester… Birmingham… it was a big time for clubs and for DJs,” Paul continues, “and there are a lot of people who were out of it for a while, but who were really in it at the time and want to go and hear that music again.”
Cream nightclub in LiverpoolCream nightclub in Liverpool
That said, Paul has discovered it is not just the people who were there “back in the day” who are attending such events. There are plenty of younger clubbers keen to see original superstar DJs such as him doing what they do best.
“A lot of tracks come out on albums every year – the best of this, the best of that… or get remixed and re-edited, beefed up. If you want to hear them by the people who used to play them originally now you can.
“And it is something a bit different than hearing deep house every weekend or EDM.”
On a personal level Paul is also enjoying the chance to catch up with old pals.
“A lot of them are really busy again and it’s great to sit around afterwards and get excited about the music and the scene,” he says.
“It really did fall off a cliff for a lot of us five or six years ago,” he adds.
“It (the scene) just seemed to run out of ideas. It was not a great time.
“Now, whether it is being pulled along by the whole EDM thing or what, it is definitely on again.”
Next weekend Paul will have the chance to catch up with a few such friends, as well as his Liverpool fans, when he joins John Kelly, Seb Fontaine and Paul Bleasdale for the latest Now and Then party.
“I have worked with John many times,” Paul smiles. “We have spent many a morning putting the world to rights. He is one of the originators, from the rave scene to what he is doing now.”
As for what to expect, Paul is coming prepared… and to party: “I will be bringing a big selection of music with me – re-edits and re-works of old tracks and some personal bits and bobs of mine that only I’ve got.
“I’ll get there early, see what the crowd is like – how old it is,” he laughs, “and what I can get away with, and I’ll definitely be staying over… and having a few tinnies!”
Now and Then takes place at District (New Picket) on June 28 with Tall Paul, Seb Fontaine, Paul Bleasdale, John Kelly. Entry £10.
[via Liverpool Echo]