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Homobloc DJ Will Tramp on Manchester's pumping LGBTQ scene and Attitude's Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch

Joel Corry and UK Black Pride are also on the bill as the iconic Swiss watch brand delivers stellar party sets as part of Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna.

2021-06-25

Homobloc DJ Will Tramp has reflected on Manchester's iconic nightlife scene in an exclusive interview to celebrate his DJ set for Attitude Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch.

Swatch, the innovative Swiss watch brand that tells us ‘TIME IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT’, is living up to its good times ethos by partnering with Attitude to deliver four sensational DJ sets that premiere on Attitude’s YouTube channel as part of Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna (17-27 June).

The Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch, is delivering four stellar sets of live music, including exclusive performances from Joel Corry and Josh Harrison, founder of queer club night Outhaus. (Watch now at youtube.com/attitudemag).

Ahead of his DJ set on Friday 25 June at 6pm BST, we caught up with Will to discuss the ascent of Homobloc, his favourite DJs, and what to expect from his set for Attitude Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch.

How did you get involved with Homoelectric? Tell us about the club, too...

I was running a weekly club night every Wednesday called Tramp! from 2004-2009-ish with some friends in a scummy Mancunian basement. We’d visited Homoelectric after learning it was the queer sister rave of the infamous Electric Chair which had become a staple of our lives both musically and socially.

We were blown away by how good both clubs were and tried everything possible to get on Luke Una’s radar. We shared the same ethos in many ways so it was a natural fit.

Our booking policy was quite similar at the time so we were kindly asked to host one of the rooms at Homoelectric on a rain-sodden November evening. That night was the start of a long, beautiful friendship with amazing music being the cornerstone.

To me, the ethos of Homoelectric is to provide the queer community of Manchester and beyond with quality, underground music of all styles in a safe, non-judgemental space full of like-minded souls who want to hear a smorgasbord of underground music on decent speakers.

Your age, sexual preference, look, race, religion and gender have no bearing when it comes to this disjointed, dysfunctional meeting of anti-establishment outsiders, weirdos and dance hungry dandies. If you’re a good person who likes top-shelf music then you’re welcome to join our clan. A more succinct tagline could potentially be ‘Homos, heteros, lesbos, don’t knows and disko asbo’s'. Just to clarify there are never any height restrictions whatsoever.

What sets the Manchester dance music scene apart from the rest of the UK?

I’ve heard many a sweat-soaked smiling soul say that Manchester crowds tend to be the best in the UK. Needless to say, I’m in agreement. It’s programmed into our DNA that we love to let go whenever possible and find a dancefloor. Be it to flirt, dance, learn or just observe.

This, coupled with an overwhelming cacophony of talented, passionate, forward-thinking promoters, producers, DJs, bands, artists, performers and dancers that weave this Northern hedonistic tapestry all make for a very rich melting pot which translates into amazing club nights, parties and raves. Either that or it’s something in the water. 

Who are your DJ idols?

Larry Levan, Erol Alkan, DJ Paulette, DJ Harvey, DJ Spinna, Kenny Dope, 2ManyDJs, DJ Nu-Mark, The Blessed Madonna, Jayda G, Optimo (Espacio), Dixon and Moodymann are a few of my favourite selectors and people I’ve been influenced by in some way or another.

What can fans expect from your Attitude Pride Powerplay DJ set, supported by Swatch?

An hour of rare '80s love funk, UKG, private stock disco screamers, booty bass rap edits, Grade A house and questionable dancing. All neatly packaged in an audiovisual extravaganza in the surroundings of my front room. (Which I’d only just moved into so excuse the relatively plain backdrop.)

How exciting and important is it to be part of Pride celebrations at a time when the LGBTQ community have been kept apart for so long?

It’s hugely important for me personally and for Homoelectric as a brand. We’ve thrown Pride events pretty much every year since the club's inception and they tend to be a catalyst for the most highly anticipated, pre-rave excitement that we all get sometimes.

There is a huge LGBTQ community in Manchester and it’s an honour to be part of the landscape in some small way. However far the movement has come in the last 50 years though, it still feels like there is a lot further to go in many ways. Awareness is key and things like this can only be a step in the right direction I guess.

What is it about music that brings people together, even when dancefloors are closed?

The love of shared, communal emotion even if it’s just online, is a beautiful thing to be cherished and repeated whenever possible. Knowing that another person or group of people are experiencing the same feeling when the bass drops or the vocals kick in can never be underestimated. It must be some kind of tribal cave person fire dancing thing. Yes, I know I sound like a hippy.

What are your favourite Pride anthems and why?

Loleatta Holloway’s ‘Love Sensation’, Madonna’s 'Like a Prayer' (Mike Simonetti gospel acapella edit) and Dan Hartman’s ‘Relight My Fire’ (12” mix).

'Time Is What You Make Of It’ is the spirit captured in the latest Swatch campaign - after a year of social distancing and lockdowns, what are you most looking forward to doing with your time this summer?

The lifting of lockdown so we can dance. Riding my bike. Hanging out with my mini sausage dog. She's called Stevie Licks and she’s my queen. Making music on my new MPC. Seeing all the people I’ve missed for the last year or so and chatting about nonsense. Playing on an absolute belter of a sound system to loads of smiling lovely ravers and having that magical music connection that we all crave.

Swatch has always been a natural supporter of the LGBTQ community. What does this kind of support mean to you?

It is refreshing and welcome when established brands from all sectors have useful, genuine and long-standing commitments to things like social activism, human rights and environmental issues etc. Let’s face it, there are so many brands that get it wrong and a slew of companies that just pay lip service to that stuff or use it as a thinly veiled way to increase sales.

That’s the cynic in me talking but I am a believer of established organisations spreading the good word on a range of topics of which LGBTQ rights is one of them. Love is the message.

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Swatch, which prides itself on celebrating life – and, with it, a commitment to diversity, inclusivity and equality that dates back to the founding of the brand in 1983 – has an outstanding record of working on inspiring collections with and for the LGBTQ community (Attitude cover star Mika among them).

 

Though you can keep the party going right through Pride season by dipping into Swatch's CELEBRATING LIFE SINCE '83 COLLECTION in the form of three all-new pieces. 

First up, ALLA PARATA (‘At the Parade’) model (above) – ablaze with striking rainbow colours and graphics. Delivered to your door for just £83, it’s a style statement and a show of solidarity all in one.

LET’S PARADE (below) with a semi-transparent matte white strap and bright and bold print makes the perfect statement, yours for £104. Be Proud!

 

Finally, PARADONS features multi-coloured crystals, vibrant movement elements and a polished stainless-steel strap, at £207.

 

#OpenSince83

#TimeIsWhatYouMakeOfIt

The Pride Powerplay, supported by Swatch, is part of Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, that runs from 17-27 June at attitude.co.uk, youtube.com/attitudemag and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, is to benefit the Attitude Magazine Foundation for LGBT causes – this year supporting ten amazing organisations including AKT, Black Trans Foundation, Curly’s Legacy, Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Food Chain, Kaleidoscope Trust, LGBT Youth Scotland, Mermaids, Stonewall UK and Switchboard LGBT.

Each will receive at least £1000 courtesy of our sponsors Klarna, Bentley, Clifford Chance, Slingsby, Swatch and Taimi, as well as individual supporters.

To donate £5 please text ATHOME5 to 70480 or see our Virgin Money Giving link here. Visit attitudemagazinefoundation.com for more details.