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Story last updated: 26 Mar 2004 0906 GMT Printable version of this page
The Detectives of Perspective are Billy's mates
Billy Nasty
by Liz Lewis
BBC Bristol website reporter

They went to Massive Attack's home gig with Mr Nasty after playing the terrace of Bar Latino while he whipped the inside into a frenzy and the news is, actually he's not nasty at all he's "really nice".

The Detectives all hail from the West Country and have made the sensible decision to settle in Bristol.

Their nights are not-for-profit but don't be fooled into thinking that the production levels and guests will be anything other than top drawer.

"We'd rather make sure everyone in there is having a good party - we don't chase the money all the time," Ross.

Ross Chester (Mr Promotions for the DPs) is jumping as he's just confirmed DJ Food for 23 April and it's fair to say he's something of a fan.

"He's one of their (Ninja Tunes) flag-bearers and he's still bringing out CDs that are ground-breaking and set the style," enthused Ross.

From the Ninja website it says "DJ Food is best described as food for DJs" - Oh really that's so helpful - Ed.

(There is a really long and complicated explanation on the site but frankly life's too short, just go and listen and decide if you like what you hear- Ed).

The Croft

So how did he get Food? Well it comes down to dogged persistance in the form of nagging emails.

"I wore him down and emails are far less intrusive than phone calls. There's a big contract still to sign but it'll be worth it."

They started out three-and-a-half years ago putting on a charity night to support a mate.

"We'd always been talking about putting on a night but you need someone to take it that step further and grab it so I went to what was then the comedy pub on Stokes Croft and spoke to the manager and got us a Thursday night for free," said Ross while braving a cup of BBC coffee.

"We've got a huge group of friends so we all pulled together, filled the venue, made £500 on the night and decided to give it another go.

"Thursdays became monthlies, then we got a Saturday which worked really well and we started picking up more DJs and musicians who wanted to play because of the vibe."

When the pub turned into The Croft they had to badger the new manager because he already had a lot of nights he wanted to put on but this is team who don't give up easily.

Welsh hip-hop

"Through people's enthusiasm it's grown and we bump into people like Billy (Nasty) - turns out a mate said he wanted to play so he came down," Ross continued.

"He was a bit untouchable at the start because we were small-scale and you could tell we hadn't got the high production levels at that time so he was a bit exclusive but he's come back to do another set and he loves it."

One of the bands the Detectives are about to put on is Arkane, a Welsh hip-hop group of boys and girls who're all vocalists, lyricists or have turn-table skills.

"A couple of the core crew of the DPs are Welsh, so through word on the street and the guys at Bristol Stage who put on Ashton Court it seemed everyone has been talking about them since last summer," Ross explained.

"They've done a couple of London gigs and just done an EP so they're about ready to let rip and they're doing it with us."

Arkane play The Croft on Saturday 27 March.

Since their early days the scale of production the Detectives of Perspective put on has changed radically.

"We have a ledger sheet with all money spent from day one which makes interesting reading. We spent £10 producing b+w posters at the start now it's £500 for a couple of nights."

Not for profit

Their sound is described as "eclectic" but that really means hip-hop, dnb, funk, Asian beats, breakbeats, techno, house and then live stuff.

One venture the DPs tried recently was putting on live music in the city centre.

"We were at Timbuk2 and went out flyering Ibiza-style and got a strange mixed reaction," said Ross.

"Lots of people just don't want live music in the city centre, they told us they only want 80s stuff and to go out drinking tons."

Having said that the club was rammed by midnight and Ross rates the manager of club as "probably the nicest person to do with a club that I've ever had to deal with," so all ended well for them.

It's going to be a busy few months for the Detectives - this is what's in store till mid-May:-

Friday 2 April Billy Nasty at Timbuk2
Friday 9 April
Shambala Fundraiser at Lakota
Saturday 17 April Crash DJs at The Croft
Friday 23 April DJ Food at Thekla
Sunday 2 May Bank Holiday garden special at Bar Latino
Friday 7 May Blackout at Timbuk2 (check our interview with the band)
Saturday 15 May Mo Funk at The Croft

We'll have more on each of these nights as they come up.

The Detectives of Perspective's work ethic is to try to keep it cheap, to fill a venue and make sure the night is not for profit.

Last word to Ross:-

"We'd rather make sure everyone in there is having a good party - we don't chase the money all the time."


Ninja Tunes

DJ Food

The Croft

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