Andy Manston and Danny Gould are celebrating, with a couple of orange juices on the rocks. Why? Their brand Clockwork Orange is commemorating 30 years at the helm of hedonism, with 6 sizzling events and a spectacular performance by a 30 piece classical orchestra at Clockstock Part 2, Recinto Ferial, July 23. Despite the stressful logistics and a year’s planning, neither can wait for the finale of this year’s Ibiza activities; that electrifying moment when the sun sets to one side of Dalt Vila at this huge open air venue, when the DJs pause and the orchestra takes us on a magical trip through time.

“I’ve dreamt of this moment, but we needed the right time,” says Andy. “It all came together at Recinto Ferial – with the mayor’s blessing – and my vision of a sunset performance is finally happening. Instead of being 100% live like many of the orchestras doing club music, we’ve re–written the tracks with minimal programmed drums. We’re still using live percussion, but to give it more punch the base track has a really big thud to it, to feel like you’re in a nightclub, so it’s gonna sound really phat.”

Led by musical arranger and conductor Matthew Freeman of the London Symphonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, with the voices of pop rock singers Kevin Leo, Dawn Elektra and Michelle John who have sung with the likes of Lionel Richie and Meatloaf. It’s a spine tingling sonic experience of heavenly orchestral textures over phat beats, with twists, turns and unexpected surprises. “It’s unique,” says Danny. “It’s been stressful, costly, and it’s the most organisation we’ve ever done. But it’s never been done before, not in Ibiza, and not on this scale. Seeing these very talented classically trained musicians perform is gonna be very special indeed.”

From the start of their roller coaster ride through the 90s, founders and friends Andy and Danny have consistently delivered bigger and better parties, and as the leaders of the current resurgence of 90s house nights, Clockwork are veterans in the game. “We don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, we focus on doing what we do, better, and try to think of everything to create the magic, as Danny calls it. Everyone’s a VIP at Clockwork; everyone’s welcome. People know they’re gonna have an amazing time.” They do of course provide VIP tables, but showing off your Grey Goose is not the driving force behind the brand. It’s those old skool values of everyone coming together to have the best time, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, size, sexuality, status and even financial clout – values so prevalent during those heady early years of house music.

“When we relaunched in 2012 it was predominantly old skool, but with multi room venues came different sounds. I’ve always been a champion for pushing a more techy sound into Clockwork,” says Andy. As Clockwork booked bigger DJs like Mark Knight and Roger Sanchez – both playing at Clockstock Part 2 alongside Gok Wan and a host of international and Ibiza DJs – word got round the younger generations, while Clockworkers’ kids came into the mix and experienced vibes they’d only dreamt of. The Orange Armies, as they’re affectionately known, know what to expect; pure fun and friendliness, smiles and high fives to an amazing sound track of 90s classics, remixed and remastered, plus newer sounds like break beat and tech house. Clockstock Part 2 includes live performances from K Klass and Angie Brown, with the Ibiza DJs almost sure to drop some minimal tech house in the inside room.

“Anything we wanna do, unless we both 100% agree, we won’t do it.” says Andy. “We’ve always had that understanding, and we’ve both got our strong points and do what we’re good at. Danny is bloody good at promoting, we both DJ, I tend to take care of DJs, bookings and timings.  Luckily we’re of a stature now where most venues say ‘OK’ if Clockwork knocks at your door. When we relaunched in 2012 it was hard graft. I spent months persuading the director of Printworks in London to let us do a party there.”

The last Printworks party in 2022 sold out in 59 minutes, and 15,000 attended Clockstock festivals. 30 years ago it was a similar but smaller scale story; two fledgling promoters from the UK were riding a tidal wave of success after their first birthday bash in Leicester Square caused a police roadblock, and their reputation for delivering truly euphoric parties was sealed with sell out nights at The Electric Cinema, The Cross and Camden Palace.

After a call to Brandon Block and a fax from Natwest bank where Andy still worked, the boys sat at an empty Cafe del Mar, May 1994, and charmed their way into a residency at Es Paradis. By 1998 Clockwork was the top grossing night of the summer, breaking the Es Paradis door record every week of the ten week season, expanding across Spain and into Ayia Napa. Heralded in the music press as the craziest cats who throw the wildest parties, the duo’s all night partying antics were immortalised by Sky TV’s infamous Ibiza Uncovered series.

As Ibiza has matured into a more sophisticated island and house music has splintered into a multitude of genres, Clockwork’s founders have also grown up. So what’s the difference between Clockwork then and now? “Immaturity, jealousy and egos,” says Danny, now 19 years sober after leading the Orange troops on their hedonistic jaunt through the 90s with much gusto. “There were elements of aggression and bravado back then, and that´s gone now. The older generation simply wanna enjoy themselves and the music and have a laugh. That’s what we’re passing down to the younger generation. When you’re young you don’t quite know who you are. Our older crowd are certain, so they have nothing to prove.”

He survives the yearly Ibiza pilgrimage on Marlboro Lights, Coca Cola and the odd orange juice, and is more likely spotted on a golf course than a rave, while Andy loves to fish. Danny says, “Golf is the complete opposite to what I was when I was younger; this absolute maelstrom of lunacy where my brain was not capable of understanding golf’s foundations – relaxation, thought, planning, routine, direction, concentration. As opposed to rushing around, crazy, out night and day, barely sleeping, thinking I was something that I wasn’t.”

Will there be a 40th anniversary? “If we´re still alive,” laughs Andy. “I don’t wanna be walking around the club on my zimmer frame, but we’ll still be here, I’m sure.”

“I’ll be long gone,” retorts Danny with a grin. “Leaving it to the younger generation. But for now we embrace the fact we have our friends around us from the last 30 years, and all those we’ve come to love on the island.”

Is he serious? Well they only act if they’re both 100%, so you’d best get your taste of Clockwork while you can, culminating in Clockwork Classical at Clockstock Part 2, Recinto Ferial, July 23.

19 July – Sunset Opening Party with a taste of Clockwork Classical at Cafe del Mar
20 July – Sunset Cruises
21 July – Clockstock Part 1 at Cova Santa followed by Vinyl Only After Party at Es Paradis
23 July – Clockstock Part 2 with Clockwork Classical at Recinto Ferial
24 July – Cafe Mambo Sunset Closing Party

Clockwork Classical


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