The BAS year 2014 got underway on Sunday 2nd February with Dave Charles announcing the dates and initial line-up for the years Synth event on his Harborough FM show.
The very next day…
Bas Productions along with friend Rob Dyer travelled with brothers Neave and Jamie Merrick of the band ‘Automatic Writing‘ to Kelvedon Hatch and the former secret nuclear bunker deep under the Essex countryside.
‘Automatic Writing’ had already played at two BAS events in 2012 and 2013 and this was an opportunity to film and produce the video for their upcoming single ‘Nostalgia for the Future’.
Having been designed as the retreat for central government in the event of nuclear war, the three level bunker has an unworldly feel and sobering effect on the visitor. Having been hired for the video shoot the bunker was devoid of any other visitors which had the effect of making the passages and tunnels even more isolating.
photo by T.W.
Neave Merrick (Automatic Writing) : “Recording our video in a bunker in a remote location near Brentwood Essex was an incredible experience. The minute you went inside there was a real heavy, eerie atmosphere that was pretty damn unnerving but also really inspiring. We really were spoilt for choice when it came to shooting scenes because almost every part of the place was hugely cinematic but we only had a couple of hours so we had to be quite disciplined and not get too carried away. Working with the BAS team was a fantastic experience in itself and we were really pleased with how the video turned out! “
photo by T.W.
NOSTALGIA FOR THE FUTURE
BAS 2014 – Friday 20 / Saturday 21 June
The opening event at BAS 2014 was the annual BAS Depeche Mode Bus Tour which took place on the afternoon of 20th June when once again a group of fans from across the UK and Europe enjoyed being guided around key places of interest of the bands home town. While listening to first hand history of the development of DM, visitors took the opportunity to have their pictures taken outside the bands childhood homes and where as a band they had been photographed in the early days in Basildon.
Link to 2015 Tour
Since 2011 the annual BAS event has been held in a variety of different venues; a pub, a nightclub, a social club and a school hall. With encouragment for the BAS project from within Basildon Council, BAS took a step up, hosting the 2014 event in The Mirren Studio at Basildon’s prestigous Towngate Theatre. This provided a spacious stage, a great auditorium space for live music and excellent facilities. And with a new venue came a new streamlined format of six bands over two days.
‘Sounds of Basildon Night’ has become a regular feature of the BAS annual Synth event and we were delighted to welcome back stalwarts Modovar and Speak and Spell for the opening night. Modovar opened the night playing a set comprising the songs of Vince Clarke, Yazoo and Erasure while Speak & Spell who headlined covered the entirety of Depeche Mode’s career.
Friday 20th – ‘Sounds of Basildon Night’
photo by T.W.
Christopher Beecham (Modovar): “Bas Productions have played such an important part in Modovar’s history. Our very first gig together was at Bas 1 and we’re honoured to have played at every event since. Back in 2013 when we did our first Vince Clarke tribute set, we swore it was a one off but it went down so well that we could’t resist doing it all again in 2014 when we were asked for a repeat performance. We have such a great time, playing these songs that we have loved and been inspired by for the past three decades and performing them in the town they originated from. We’re thrilled to have been invited back once again in 2015. How could we say no to be part of an event that is so much ‘more than a party’ and has gone from strength to strength, year on year. We’re looking forward to making 2015 our best show ever and we’ve already started putting together a new set list with songs we’ve not performed previously, along with all the classics”.
“So what makes Bas so special? First and foremost, it’s the audience. They don’t get any better than at Bas and they are a highlight of each year for us. When we play at Bas, we know that we’re in very safe hands; the production values, the staging, the lights and the sound are all top notch and we know that loving care goes into every detail both in front of and behind the scenes. So much hard work goes on by the team in the months preceding each event and it shows… the name Bas Productions has become synonymous with the highest standard of event promotion. Modovar are proud to continue our long association with Bas Productions. Roll on June 2015!”
Speak & Spell
photo by Elektrographie
Joe Beaumont (Speak & Spell): “The Bas event is always an important gig in our UK calendar and one that we’re privileged to have played every year since Bas 1 in 2011. The passion is there in everyone; from the behind-the-scenes tech teams to the people in the front row screaming. The event is now entering its fifth year and seems to go from strength to strength. To celebrate this, Speak & Spell have a very special show lined up – a Violator-themed show, just in time to celebrate the 25th birthday of this seminal album. Of course, all the hits and fan favourites will still be there too. Expect an unforgettable night… but then it’s a Bas event – why would you expect anything else?”
Saturday 21st – ‘Nu Synth Night’
Mesh – Saturday night’s headliners
photo by T.W
Richard Silverthorn (MESH): “When we were first asked to Headline BAS14 we really didn’t know what to expect. What we found was a very atmospheric, enthusiastic and professional event. We had a fantastic time. The whole premise of BAS is the connection with all the pioneering electronic music that came out of Basildon in the early 80s so it only felt right and fitting to do a cover of some kind to mark this event.
We chose Tuesday from Upstairs At Eric by Yazoo. It felt strange to be playing a song by people we aspired to when we started in their home town. The whole event was amazing”.
‘Tuesday’ by Mesh
photo by Elektrographie
Sinestar: “2014 was a fantastic year for Sinestar. For the fourth time, we were invited to play at an event organised by the BAS team. We have previously played at BAS2, The Box, and BAS3. We were thrilled to be asked back for BAS 2014 which was quite simply, the best BAS event yet in our humble opinion.
The on-stage sound and visuals were simply stunning and impressed both crowd and bands alike. The BAS guys pulled out all the stops and produced an incredibly slick and professionally run event. Two nights of great music in a superb venue attended by an audience who were obviously having a fantastic time.
To be part of a BAS event is a treat for any band. We have made many new friends through our appearances and will forever be grateful to the BAS team for giving Sinestar the opportunity to be part of the BAS story.
We wish the team and bands every success with BAS 2015. We are sure it will be another blinder!”
Sinestar – The Same Way (Maxi MixMans Unofficial video)
photo by Elektrographie
Local Basildon legend Robert Marlow returned to perform at BAS having previously appeared at BAS 1 in 2011 and BAS 2 in 2012. Robert’s eight song set included many of the tracks made popular through his album ‘The Peter Pan Effect’ including electro gems ‘I Just Want to Dance’, ‘Claudette’ and the classic ‘The Face of Dorian Grey’. Having enjoyed such a long association with Vince Clarke who worked with him on some of his early material, Robert is a genuine link to the early days of electronic music in Basildon.
Dorian Grey (Original Video)
photo by Elektrographie
EmT are an electronic duo comprising Ema Walter and Tony Blue. Incredibly, they stepped in to BAS with just four days to go before the event. Naked Lunch (originally billed to appear) had to pull out at the last minute when mainman Tony Mayo suffered an injury. As special guests, EmT opened saturday nights line-up and were very much the surprise package on the bill. This was only their second ever gig but this was belied by their confident self assured performance.
Their numerous catchy electro songs are achieved through the combination of Tony’s rich and varied synthesized melodies and Ema’s heartfelt vocal delivery with their singles ‘Regret’ and ‘Walk Away’ being perhaps the stand-out tracks. A real treat for the BAS crowd was a perfectly executed cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Any Second Now’. They were a revelation to many and its not surprising that they have subsequently gained more and more radio airplay including by legendary DJ Rusty Egan. It was also no suprise that the CD’s they brought with them sold out very quickly after they left the stage.
EmT: “We were honored to be asked to open the legendary BAS 2014 Saturday night gig on 21/06/14 – it was the best night ever!”
The BAS 2014 DJ’s
BAS Productions would also like to highlight and thank all the superb DJ’s who so perfectly set the scene and added to the electronic soundtrack of the weekend both at The Towngate Theatre and at The Edge Bar.
DJ Dominatrix / Kellertechnik
Mixmaster Morris / DJ Dave Charles / DJ Steve Thorogood
Lilian DJ Ska / DJ Electric Dream
After parties @ The Edge Bar
Both evenings of live music at The Towngate Theatre were followed by after-parties held at the Edge Bar in Basildon town centre where the DJ music, dancing and socialising continued through until three in the morning. BAS Productions offer our grateful thanks to Tracey Scutter (duty manager) and all her staff for making the after-parties such a success.
photo by Andrew Garley
Exhibition at the Towngate
During BAS 2014 the Towngate Theatre also hosted a photographic exhibition. The exhibition was in two parts. Firstly a series of enlargements, photographed by Tim williams, of both live and session photographs of the embryonic Depeche Mode taken in 1981, many previously unseen. The exhibition also featured a wonderful series of photos by Andreas Lechleiter (Elektrographie) of many of the bands who have played at previous BAS events. Some of Andreas’s photography can be seen in this review.
photo by T.W
The success of BAS 2014 was the result of the hard work and support of so many beyond the immediate BAS team. The event would be nothing without the music and so we wish to highlight the passion, commitment and professionalism of every band and DJ who performed at BAS 2014.
Thank you to all those involved in technical support with sound, lighting, equipment and staging. Also all the volunteers who helped in so many aspects of the event. These include Holly and Ryan for their front of house support with ticketing and information and the bus tour guides Steve Burton and Peter Hobbs.
We would also like to acknowledge the staff and volunteer team at The Towngate Theatre and Tracy Scutter, all her staff and the managment at the Edge Bar.
By recording the event, the official BAS photographers Andreas Lechleiter & Paul Magner did a fantastic job as did so many others who have shared their photo’s and video’s. Particular thank’s to Andrew Garley for his extensive photographic record of the BAS 2014 weekend.
Many thanks are also due to Dave Charles of Harborough FM and Rob Harvey of Pheonix FM who have been so genourous in announcing and promoting BAS news and events while playing so much new electronic music and a range of bands loved by regular visitors to the BAS electronic synth event.
But more than anything, thank you to everyone who made the journey to Basildon. You make it the event it has become. In the past, BAS has received visitors from as far afield as New York and New Zealand. This year, journeys to the event ranged from less than one mile to trips from Moscow and Tel Aviv. We look forward to greeting old friends and making new friendships in 2015.
The promotion and celebration of Basildon’s rich musical heritage was the founding aim of BAS Productions. That, along with the exciting project of hosting a wide range of new and established electronic acts in the home town of Depeche Mode has hopefully provided a focus for worldwide DM fans wishing to visit the town. This hasn’t gone unnoticed within Basildon Council and we were delighted to be notified by Councillor Andrew Gordon that the Council had passed the following motion a few days before Christmas.
Looking forward to 2015
BAS 2015 – Friday June 26th – Saturday June 27th
The venue for the two night’s of live music at the BAS 2015 Electro Synth Event will again be held at the Towngate Theatre (St.Martins Square, Basildon) with the after-parties at The EDGE Bar (five minute from The Towngate).
The Friday, ‘Sounds of Basildon Night & Beyond’ (26th June) will feature Speak & Spell and Modovar performing live, with special guests opening the night, Model Depose, followed by the Depeche Mode themed after-show party with specialist DM DJ Martyr Dan [Dan Martin] (Depeche Mode Barcelona Fan Club) at The Edge Bar.
The Saturday, ‘Electro-Synth Night’ (27th June) will be headlined by De/Vision from Germany who will be supported by Tenek, newcomers, Empathy Test and special guests Shelter. The after-show party at The Edge Bar will feature guest DJ Dave Charles with a further DJ to be announced.
Ticket Office – Towngate Theatre
BAS 2015 Facebook Event Page
The BAS Electro Synth Event Group
BAS DM Bus Tour Facebook Event Page
We look forward to seeing you all in 2015
Susan, Gary, Richard, Kevin &Tim
© BAS Productions