Aficionado 25: Jason Boardman + Moonboots and more…


Alan Dearling hands over some of the reporting reins to Catherine Moore…

I’ve enjoyed many of the ‘collections/selections’ from Aficionado over many years, so was anticipating this gig. But, shit happens. I have been (not) enjoying a chest infection and wasn’t up to the rigours of a seven-hour set of music sessions, despite having done a fair amount of research. So, I contacted friend, Catherine, and her dj-ing partner, Matthew (pictured below), and asked them to fill into the music-journalist breach (dear friends!!!).

Here’s what it said in the advance publicity:

A soirée to celebrate the launch of Jason Boardman & Moonboots – 25 years of Aficionado compilation album.

It was definitely billed as a 25th birthday celebration for the: “Mancunian ‘Balearic’ institution, Aficionado…. With Jason Boardman and Moonboots’ collection of 17 songs cherry-picked from play-lists, spun over those 25 years, pressed on to double vinyl by Re:Warm.”

The running order for the All-dayer was: Phil Mison (Cantoma); Brenda Ray (Naffi HQ); Martin Brew (J-Walk); Nev Cottee (Acoustic) AND Jason Boardman & Moonboots (Aficionado).

In background ‘research’ for the gig, here’s some interesting info that Alan discovered from Tat from ‘Trackhunter’:

“If ever there was a truism to the statement ‘Selection trumps the mix’ then it belongs to Aficionado. A party built around the ethos of great music first and foremost, no posturing, no influencers, no hype, just selections of the finest order. To mark 25 years since that first party in 1998, hosts Jason Boardman and Moonboots have curated a compilation that captures the Aficionado sound.

The catalyst was the music and the desire to be able to play relaxed oddball music and create an atmosphere without any pressure to rock the dance.

At the time the scene had changed somewhat from the experimentation and DIY ethos that flourished with Balearic and acid house a decade or so earlier. How important did Aficionado feel it was to keep that spirit alive?

Aficionado: It was important to us, it’s more of an attitude than a spirit. We weren’t playing popular music, just playing what we liked to listen to at home.”

Richard Walker from the Golden Lion was the host/promoter:

“That was a long time coming …


Bloody wonderful




Catherine Moore writes:

“Whatever the weather, whatever the time of year, a bit of Aficionado vinyl arriving is always like a ray of sunshine coming through the letterbox. When we found out that special 25 year anniversary event of the Manchester club was happening at our local, the Golden Lion in Todmorden, we were really very excited.

We walked into the Golden Lion on Sunday afternoon when the November chill really was starting to bite and I did wonder how the Balearic tunes would chime with the rain beating down on the flags outside, but there was no need to worry.

The tunes built beautifully, first with gentle tracks to warm up the early afternoon. An hour or so into the afternoon and pub regulars who had come in for a quick pint were getting up and dancing and asking ‘who is this and what are they playing’?

Not long in, tables were cleared and the pub became a club and we were dancing our Sunday Dinners off! In every direction I saw big smiles, beautiful sounds filling our hearts and ears.

I spoke to folk who had travelled for the event from Carlisle, North Yorkshire, Derby and Stockport to name a few, they were telling me that their journeys were worth every mile to see Jason and ‘Boots’ create an incredible atmosphere filled with blissful tunes.

By 5.30pm the temperature in the room was really raised with some truly amazing tracks and it was less like a soggy Sunday afternoon November in Tod, and more like a late sultry Saturday night somewhere far far away. This is music that transports you… it’s the best kind, joyful, cleverly put together, it makes me, and by the looks around the room, lots of other people, smile and just feel happy!

These guys are so good at what they do, as I left the Lion I expected to be stepping out onto a sandy beach, sadly it was still chucking it down – but I’d had my escape to  Balearics, till next time….”

To round off, here’s what Alan discovered that Rough Trade have commented: “Celebrating twenty-five years of Aficionado as a place to play away from suffocating mainstream club culture, DJs Jason Boardman and Moonboots have compiled a contemplative set of 16 tracks that holds a deep meaning to both themselves and attendees of their now legendary parties. The compilation includes two new tracks exclusive to the release: J Walk’s ‘Cool Bright Northern Morning’ and Begin’s remix of Canyons’ ‘Akasha’.

The lovingly crafted musical mystery tour of this compilation, considering its pleasantly hypnagogic intent, may not reflect the madness of these now distant memories. This is an older and considerably more responsible collection and this is what we need right now – a temporary respite from a world almost capsized. A mood, a meditation created by masters of their craft. Odd socks from disparate global locations making new sense side by side. An assemblage, if you like. A thread through many different kinds of thinking. A new picture pieced together from the lost pieces of many jigsaws.”




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