Chris Wells

Author: 
James Winfield
We can now actually call our features a series with our second interview, Ubereadoolische is delighted to talk to Christopher Wells - better known as 50% of Skint Mondays and Ubereadoolische favourite Cubed.

So what came first – Skint Mondays or Cubed?

Skint Mondays started way back in 2008, it's the 5th birthday in June where we're close to finalising somebody very exciting to play. CUBED is a little younger, 2 years old this Friday 22nd March.

Why did you start Cubed?

CUBED started because there wasn't many options for clubbing in Reading at the time for those into music other than Drum n Bass or Dubstep. Music that was current and fresh to us. We'd had some success at Skint Mondays with guest DJs (AC Slater, Drop The Lime, Stopmakingme to name a few) & wanted to expand to a bigger stage.

Why Sub 89?

Soundsystem, venue size, central location.

What was the first party like? Did anything go wrong?

The first party featured Metronomy's Olugbenga (a longstanding favourite guest booking of ours) and Joe & Will Ask. It was well attended and gave us a small insight into the possibilities of what we could achieve in Reading. In terms of fuck-ups I'd look back & think it ran relatively smoothly! We did have a different concept for the Cube at that point & in hindsight the set-up wasn't ideal. It made it difficult for the artist and crowd to connect, which of course is a massive no-no. We learnt from it and evolved the visual concept however.

There seems to be a wide range of good music played – do you have a particular music policy?

I personally grew up listening to a lot of my Dad's vinyl, The Buzzcocks, Roxy Music and Squeeze all featured very heavily. We're both eclectic music lovers and that comes across in our bookings. There isn't a specific music policy as such, it has been incredibly varied for the past two years. We once flew in Drop Out Orchestra from Copenhagen, a live disco/re-edit act, which was one of my favourite sets to date. If we believe in it, we book it.

Did it take a while to build the crowd?

Last month was our first sell-out so you could say it has taken a while to reach that point, but this is Reading. Getting 600 music lovers into a room isn't easy!

Do you have a favourite ever Cubed night?

Back in April 2012 we took a bit of a gamble & put on what was quite a forward thinking line-up at the time, Disclosure (Live) & Eats Everything. There was a vibe at that night which I hadn't felt in Reading before, pockets of people dancing, smiles all round. I still can't describe it too well! The night reached a pinnacle when Disclosure invited us to perform a back-to-back DJ set at 4am!
I'll also never forget the infamous Erol Alkan set back in November 2011...I was so nervous about meeting him that I shook his hand and ran off!

You both DJ too – what would you describe your style as?

We're both very good at tailoring a set to our surroundings. At our weekly Monday party, Skint Mondays, the music is a real mix-up of indie remixes, electro, house, party & bass, we feed well off one another. Personally I love playing a little deeper, but keeping the vibe eclectic. I really enjoy dropping curveballs & playing stuff I know nobody else will in Reading...

How did you discover underground dance music? Can you remember the track that changed your music world?

I've been on a journey throughout many genres of music. I started DJing nu-rave & obscure indie back in 2006. I wasn't much of a DJ then though, was all about track selection! Looking back I vividly remember buying Paul Johnson 'Get Get Down' back in 1999 when I was 13 and being very fond of Armand Van Helden's 'U Don't Know Me' in the same year. The experimentation in Late Of The Pier's 'Fantasy Black Channel' was an eye-opener.

Do you have a favourite tune of 2013 yet?

Friend Within - The Cause, Krystal Klear - The Addiction ft. Jenna G, Alex Coulton - Too Much Talk, Duke Dumont - Need U (100%) (Skream Remi).

How famous are you in Reading nowadays? Do you get stopped in the street by randoms?

Haha. Not in the street, but it's really appreciated at one of our nights when people come up & say how much they enjoy the party. We've honestly put blood, sweat & tears into this, it's warming when you receive a compliment after the hard graft.

Who came up with the design elements such as the cube and the flyer design?

The Cube idea evolved & escalated pretty quickly. There were a few of us involved and we just kept asking 'can we do this...what about this?'. We eventually built the Cube by hand. Flyer design is all done by our good friend Ralph Solly.

If money wasn’t an issue, who would be your ultimate DJ for Cubed?

To put SBTRKT on live at CUBED would make me very happy.

Any secret special plans for the future you can let out of the bag?

We've booked all of our guest DJs up until September, but i'm not willing to let anything out of the bag! If you get us drunk enough we have been known to spill the names of forthcoming guests!

Do you think that Reading could become the next Berlin?

We need a few more decent club spaces before that could ever be answered. It's something Reading lacks, music venues of varying size. I'd love to bring some smaller, underground, up & coming acts to Reading but have yet to find the 200-300 space to suit my needs.

Did you see the attempt at a DC10-style sit-down at the February party or was that our imagination?!

That definitely happened!

What else in Reading would you recommend to the readers of Ubereadoolische?

I love dancing at From Disco To Disco and drinking at Milk.

Anything else to say?

Listen to mixes by Jackmaster, this one in particular - I've not been as excited about an upcoming guest DJ at CUBED in a long time, he plays for us on 31st May 2013.