Saturday night at the Arches saw long-time friends and house music legends Felix Da Housecat, DJ Pierre and Marshall Jefferson come together for what can only be described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In the words of DJ Pierre, “Chicago was in the house!”
The event was organised by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) in partnership with The Arches, and aimed to promote a positive attitude to mental health and to ‘change minds’.
Chris O’Sullivan, Policy and Development Manager had this to say:
“It wouldn’t be possible to do this kind of event without internationally renowned artists like Felix, Pierre and Marshall coming back together to draw the crowds and support the message, and a top venue like The Arches hosting and supporting the event and its theme.
“Evidence tells us that being part of arts events is good for your mental health, and we hope this is the first of many great music nights in venues across Scotland and beyond.”
And we also heard from Paul Fegan, Music Programmer at The Arches:
“We see mental health in the same realm as physical health but it has just got these things attached to it that really need to be brushed aside, so the opportunity to create an event alongside the guys seemed like a good thing to do and a positive thing to do with the venue…
“…The overall feeling after the night was one of a really positive and good event for the audience but also for Scottish mental health.”
For more information about the Mental Health Foundation visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk
We were also lucky enough to be able to be able to speak to Felix and Pierre after the show; this is what they had to say about the night, the Glasgow crowd, their history, and mental health.
MHF: How did you enjoy the night Felix? It was amazing for us!
Felix: I just wanna say thank you guys for letting me represent you and your organisation. It was amazing, Glasgow and Scotland in general. The first time I came here was in 1993, Soma brought me over and it was the first time I met Daft Punk, they had never even released a record, I have the photo of that, we were all here and my life changed then you know. The Arches was like one of the first places, maybe the third place I ever played over here so a lot of memories here and it’s a blessing that I’m still doing it, you know me being an old man…! So I wanna thank you guys for giving me the opportunity.
MHF: Thank you so much. So how does the Glasgow and Scotland crowd compare to other places?
Felix: I was telling my driver who picked me up, I was like, man they got so much energy here it’s like one of the best rooms. ‘Cause I just came from Ibiza and you know that’s a different energy, here it’s like you got to get you a good 8 hours sleep you know. You gotta be ready! I started off a little slow and the crowd just lifted me up you know, between the crowd and DJ Pierre. They are always so supportive and amazing, unbelievable. So like I said, thank you.
MHF: And I know you have got quite a history with Pierre and Marshall, don’t you? Tell me a bit about that?
Felix: I used to live with Marshall, when I ran away from home I went to Marshall’s house! And Pierre helped me make my first record when I was 14. It seems like yesterday he was like, “you wanna make a record?” And I’m like “yeah, right!” And we did Fantasy Girl and he invented Acid, you know Phuture Acid? And Roy Davis Jr. introduced me to Marshall Jefferson, ‘cause Roy Davis was A&R for DJ Pierre and Chicago for Strictly Rhythm, so I moved in with Marshall.
MHF: So quite a history!
Felix: Yeah it’s crazy, my man here [DJ Pierre] is like a genius and you two and the whole organisation! I’m thinking this happened, this is like crazy! Everyone has a role in each other’s lives and you know you brought us together. I haven’t seen Marshall in like over 20 years, so you brought us all together and I got his number and I’m like “Man, yo, you gotta get back in the studio because house music is putting me to sleep, but you gotta wake me back up!” That’s what I’m saying to him and he’s like, “Okay I’m gonna do it son”. Because of you, I welcome you into the studio in London and we will work on our new secret project!
MHF: For people that have come along tonight, just seeing your name and Pierre’s name and Marshall’s name next to mental health does do much to remove some of the stigma.
Felix: You know this is so tripped out because of what I love about the UK and England. Because I have a little daughter – she is like 3 – and what I love about the programme here is mix of mental health with the kids, they don’t try to hide it you know, they don’t discriminate against it. That’s what I love about Europe. And I’m not trying to be political but you know. In the States they try to act like it doesn’t exist and they try to cover it up. So for me to do this you know it meant a lot. It is truly a blessing. My wife is British and she pointed that out to me. The difference between mental health in the States and the whole…I don’t wanna say ‘cover up’, but you know: it reminds me of racism when people don’t wanna acknowledge it. So for me to do this, and for you to bring us out, I think it’s amazing.
MHF: Well thank you so much…
Felix: Your turn [Pierre]
MHF: Pierre, how was it for you?
Pierre: How was the night? Amazing. I mean the crowd was really hype, I mean it was like oceans of people hands in the air so it was a really good energy, I loved it.
MHF: So you have been to Scotland lots of times before?
Pierre: Oh yeah, definitely, I been to Scotland a lot of times but I haven’t been here probably in like two years so it was great to be back!
MHF: Wow, I am so glad, the line-up was incredible tonight, I am so glad we could bring the 3 of you guys together.
Pierre: I mean, Chicago was in the house! It was great, I seen a lot of action on twitter about it, so I mean it was a pretty good reaction.
MHF: The aim of tonight was to raise awareness about mental health and to challenge the stigma that surrounds it, so do you have a message about why you support a night like this?
Pierre: Well I mean I think that it’s important for people to understand. I know what the electronic scene is like and I know what things are floating around the electronic scene, as far as mind altering drugs and stuff like that. I think particularly the mental health organisation being involved, it shines a light on. Listen, you need to take care of your mental health because some of these mind altering drugs can create permanent damage and then you will need to be working with the mental health organisation to get right again! So I think it’s a good fit, you know, definitely promoting anything towards mental health awareness is good.
MHF: Well thanks you so much for that guys – that was excellent
You can listen to the full podcast here