Carl Cox: "If we get a licence, Space Ibiza is 100 per cent coming back"
King Carl Cox is bringing the spirit of Space Ibiza to London this summer and is also refusing to give up on re-opening the club on the White Isle
Carl Cox might live 10,000 miles away from Ibiza but that doesn’t stop the spirit of the island, which he’s been a tireless champion of for so many years, seeping into the parties that he throws.
Cox recently announced a massive set at The Steel Yard in Finsbury Park this summer that will bring a slice of the legendary Space Ibiza to London.
Carl Cox’s love of the club he once called home has become an integral part of his DJing and is something he aims to revive, bringing in talent from Space’s history to perform alongside him.
Mixmag caught up with Carl to get the inside story on his summer setlist, the ongoing legacy of Space and the changes on the island that has become his second home.
Grab tickets to The Steel Yard show right here.
What can we expect from your set at The Steel Yard?
When I last played it last year in Liverpool it was a fantastic room to play in. It was like nothing I've ever played in before. I didn't realise it was a structure you could disassemble and resurrect anywhere in the world.
What Creamfields did with the production and the sound in this room was just amazing. It's probably one of the best rooms I've ever played at a festival and I told them that.
So when it came to the opportunity to play The Steel Yard and they said that it's gonna be in London, they were like well ‘okay, here's your room, what would you like to do with it?’ So I said, ‘you know what, it would be really nice to bring the Space Ibiza sound to London’ and with that, we were able to bring out Space production, Space ideas of what it's like to be in Ibiza.
It won't be a full-on techno set, it won't be a full-on house set, it won't be a full-on classics set, It won't be a full-on rave set, it will just be a set of what I used to do at Space, where I used to bring everybody together based on how happy they were with the music.
So it's a continuation of the legacy?
It will never be the same because it's in Finsbury Park, but what it will be, is the essence of what was created at Space.
The Steel Yard is 15,000 capacity, Do you miss playing smaller clubs?
I mean when we used to play at Space, when we were playing outdoors in the [large] car park, every DJ that played rose to the occasion. So it was obviously a bigger atmosphere, bigger cheers, more hands-in-the-air moments and with that because The Steel Yard is so big, hopefully you're gonna get that.
That was the nature of when I played there before, I did experience and understand what can be achieved in this building, so obviously it's not our first rodeo here, we have a feel for what it's gonna be like that. Something of which we are going to elaborate on, knowing that that was one of the reasons Space was so successful.
Why is it important to keep the Space Ibiza brand going?
It was the biggest part of my career and my life. I've been going to Ibiza every year since 1985, I haven't missed a year DJing and I actually really enjoy the island itself.
I have an opportunity to support the island, be a part of it and to [deliver] the essence of what people enjoy from the island. For that to now be taken away [from Ibiza], and never to return, It's a tough pill to swallow.
The club was never destined to close, because no one stabbed somebody or there wasn’t a big fight – all these scenarios why clubs shut down. There's a reason why the doors were closed but it was far from that.
We just kind of move on from it and try to do the best we can to keep the legacy of Space's flag flying and make the most of every opportunity that I've been given to do this.
Are there plans to bring back Space?
The biggest problem we have, more than anything in the sense of trying to bring that club back onto the island, is that the government are not issuing any licenses to clubs or bars, or new additional licenses. If we do get an opportunity to get that license, then I will say 100 per cent that the club's coming back. There are enough clubs on the island, of course there are, but Space and the way it was taken away, it was never finished.
Having Space back would mean a lot to thousands of people.
When you have something open for 27 years, that's a long time. I was a resident there 16 years ago, can you imagine what you were doing 16 years ago when they opened that club? It doesn't bear thinking, but there we were, doing what we were doing.
We got it to a point which was adding to people’s lives, in a sense of how they enjoyed that club and what it gave to so many people. For it not to be there is a crying shame. I have an opportunity to do something about it and believe me I am trying my hardest to keep focused, keep the flag flying and trying to do as many Space-orientated events around the world.
I'm doing this for a reason and the reason is at the end of the day, if and when we get the go-ahead to build this club, all roads lead back to Ibiza, back to that club.
What sets have you played that match that Ibiza spirit?
Anytime I play an open-air terrace or club night I always kind of play the Space Terrace set. We did Space nights at a place called the Greenwood in Sydney, hosted by a guy called Paul Strange and he's now been flying the flag for Space for 10 years. I had a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat playing [those parties]. To be so far away from the Mediterranean, and here I am, in the middle of Sydney, in a place called the Greenwood Hotel, open air, every single record that I was playing was being nurtured and caressed. It was an essence or a glimpse of what it was like to play the Space Terrace.
Carl Cox presents Space Ibiza at The Steel Yard London on Sunday May 26. Grab tickets here
Harry Lye is a freelance writer, follow him on Twitter
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