The Good Old Days - The very early 1990's
Soulshaker’s roots can be traced back to the late 80’s and early 90’s. Dance music was in it’s infancy and promoter Andy Bunn et al started to put on parties in the region to cater for demand.
The Cow Club was launched in 1991 at the Loft Norwich as the first ever Friday night house club event in Norwich with the best local DJs plus national names such as Jim ‘Shaft’ Ryan, Dean Thatcher and Pascals Bongo Massive (all big names in the early 90’s). The Cow Club ran successfully for over 2 years. Other events were spawned from the success of the Cow Club such as ‘Dance Like Yer Dad’ at the Ocean Rooms, Gt Yarmouth, and Ibiza Foam parties at the Winter Gardens in Gorleston.
Having outgrown the Loft, the newly opened Waterfront called looking for good dance music promoters. The Cow Club obliged and lent it’s name to the night for the first ever night with supporting dance act the Fluke and brought along a DJ of it’s own choice – John Digweed. The Cow Club sold out the venue on a Wednesday night (and only paid Diggers £300).
The Waterfront had appetite for more and a regular fortnightly club was born. Andy assembled a team consisting of Jay Patel and Dan Cunningham and the Milky Lunch club was born and featured national DJs such as; Al Mackenzie, the Flying Records boys, Rocky, Diesel, Ashley Beedle (now of X-Press2 fame) and Mark Wilkinson (Problem Kid). Milky Lunch was the first in the region to showcase global dance acts such as Moby!
In 1994, The Cow Club and Milky Lunch presented ‘Late Lunch’ – the first ever all night parties in Norwich at the Waterfront. The launch party featured a mystery guest DJ – who was only announced on the night - Sasha (to this day Milky Lunch are the only club to have Sasha play in this region!).
The talent just kept coming, with big name DJs from the time such as Tony De Vit, John Digweed, Boy George, Smokin Jo, Jon Marsh (The Beloved), Farley Jackmaster Funk, Billy Nasty, Ian Ossia, Alistair Whitehead, Dave Seaman, Princess Julia, Phil Asher and Mark Moore (S-Express) to name a few.
The success of Milky Lunch at the Waterfront saw spin-off events and tours at Tiffany’s Gt Yarmouth, The Whitehouse, Newmarket, Club UK Ipswich and Milky Lunch hosted a room at the recently opened Ministry of Sound.
The Cow Club/Milky Lunch continued to grow with a new night ‘Love Bomb Baby’ at Zoom (now part of Mercy Nightclub!!), the first ever weekly Saturday house night in Norwich which ran for 2 years.
By the late 90’s the demand grew, Andy and Jay needed a bigger venue. Milky Lunch Promotions present the first ever UEA dance events and the first ever club tours in East Anglia. These consisted of Miss Moneypennys bi-monthly featuring residents and guest such as Tony De Vit, Lisa Pin-Up, Lisa Loud.
Cream tours arrived at the UEA featuring Darren Emerson, K-klass etc. Ministry of Sound tour nights with big name residents on rotation.
Milky Lunch were also renowned for being the first in the region to hold bi-yearly boat parties on the Norfolk Broads. Djs from tour nights such as Miss Moneypennys and Cream would stay an extra night to play on the exclusive boat parties for free!
New Years Eve parties were the talk of the region months into the new year. Glitterball’s at Manor houses and exclusive country hotels where the first of their kind in the area.
A new millenium, Soulshaker is launched
In early 2000, Soulshaker was born! Soulshaker started the first ever all-night after party at Devils Advocate running 2am-7am every Saturday morning. Norwich lacked any after party venue for events at the UEA, Soulshaker would play host to Steve Lawler and many more top UK djs and then keep the party going for the die hard house heads!
Soulshaker took up it’s residency with Po Na Na in 2001 and has been a pioneer in the Norwich scene maintaining an esoteric music policy. Keeping true to their roots, Soulshaker went back to basics with posh illegal raves at the Manor House near Norwich.
Over the past few years the Soulshaker brand has become one of the UK’s flagship club nights, daring enough to be the first to try new things, yet established enough to go back to basics.
Soulshaker has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and continues to do so. Summerfest, Pams House, Egg, Somewhere, Pacha, Bar Mission, The Cross to name a few.
Here’s to 2006, a year that will see great things at Soulshaker.
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