Ralph Lawson leaves seminal Leeds party Back To Basics after 28-year residency

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  • The UK DJ estimates he's made more than 700 appearances for the long-running club night.
  • Ralph Lawson leaves seminal Leeds party Back To Basics after 28-year residency image
  • Ralph Lawson is leaving Leeds party Back To Basics after 28 years as resident. Lawson, who grew up in North London, played the first-ever record at the seminal club night on November 23rd, 1991 ("Open Your Eyes" by Marshall Jefferson Presents Truth). He went on to make an estimated 700 appearances across numerous venues, playing alongside everyone from Kerri Chandler and Goldie to DJ Harvey and Daft Punk. In a recent blog post, Lawson says he knew his time was up during a party last May. "As I watched Carl Cox tear the roof off the last Back To Basics at Church, I realised I had come full circle," he writes. "That circle of the line has taken a mighty long time to get round, and been one hell of a ride, but in that instance I knew that I didn't have either the time or the energy to take another trip around." He adds: "Without [Basics cofounder] Dave Beer's loyalty and perseverance, none of the residents at Back To Basics would've had such a long-lasting gig. I always compared Back To Basics to being in a band and I've been happy to sit at the back and play the drums. Over the years all bands get into conflicts and there are very few that last. We've definitely had our fair share of hard times but Basics has managed to function in its own chaotic way and we're all still friends after all these years. Dave Beer doesn't intend to stop Back To Basics—and nor should he." For much of its 28-year run, Back To Basics was a weekly club night, eventually earning the title of Europe's longest-running weekly. More recently, the party has run sporadically. Lawson should now have more time to focus on other projects, such as curating inner city electronic, the Leeds festival he helped set up in 2018. Here's the flyer from the first Basics party, and listen to Lawson's last-ever Basics set.
    Revisit Lawson's RA Exchange from 2014.