In the world of Sydney house & techno, they don’t come bigger than Kerry Wallace - DJ, part-owner of Inner West vibes-den SLYFOX and pioneer of one of Sydney’s most revered nightlife institutions, S*A*S*H. Here's his exclusive chat with Rave Reviewz' Sean McDonald...
RR: Kerry, great to see you. Let’s dive straight into our favourite Sunday sesh – how did S.A.S.H begin?
Kerry: It actually started in London. I moved to England when I was about 22 and lived there for 5 years. I ran a party called Pulp Sessions at Egg which used to shut at midday on Sunday, then everyone would carry-on partying at the Chapel bar, which we ran for a couple of years under the S.A.S.H banner. That was S.A.S.H back in the day!
RR: And then you brought S.A.S.H to Sydney! You’ve held it at a few different venues over the years - what did each of them bring to S.A.S.H?
Kerry: They’ve all got their merits. White Horse was the beginning - that was 7 years ago this April! We still pop back there now and again for reunion parties, for old time’s sake. Then the Abercrombie had that rough and tough feel and was where we really got cemented in everyone’s heads. Flyover Bar was more of a polished venue and we had the new Funktion 1 system which was cool, but there was some rule about the glass doors to the outdoors area being shut, which ruined it eventually. Then we finally settled down at the Greenwood & Home.
Kerry: There’s just something about that room, with the glass all the way round. The whole venue’s not open right now, but when it is certain guests like Enzo from Fuse who have been there before will say, “hey just want to check I’m playing The Terrace”. He’d rather play to 200 people than 1000 in the main room because it just has its own vibe!
RR: It certainly does. What has been the most memorable gig for you?
Kerry: The closing of Abercrombie comes to mind – I played the last tune. And to be fair I think the last breakfast at S.A.S.H on the October long weekend was easily one of the best. The Terrace was just cracking all night. At about 10.30am I started heading a bit deeper because Sakro was before me and he was pumping it. So I had to go tougher for a while, and then I went back into what I love through till midday and it was just fucking alive!
RR: 7 years is a long time for a party to still be going strong in Sydney. What do you put that down to?
Kerry: I’ve always said that a good party starts with a good group of friends. And then of course the other pieces of the puzzle are a good venue, a good sound system and a consistent music policy derived from who you have playing. So if you can get all 3 of them right then you’ve got it. The S.A.S.H parties were built on word of mouth - our crowd is probably 80% international people on holiday, who then go home and tell their mates to go to S.A.S.H.
RR: You’ve said in previous interviews that S.A.S.H can mean whatever you want it to mean, and your event details often include tags like ‘SocksAssShoesHats’ … what is the story behind the name??
Kerry: Well, in London before S.A.S.H was created, my mate and I were trying to think of a name for a party on a Sunday after Egg and the old TV show M*A*S*H was on. It’s got the stars in-between, and one of us said “what about S*A*S*H?” And that was it, no real reason. I don’t even remember which one of us said it but that’s how it was born!
RR: Haha that’s brilliant! This Sunday, you have Germany’s Tim Engelhardt at Greenwood and local Sydney duo, Monkey Tennis at Home. Do you have any personal favourite DJs who you would like to bring over to play?
Kerry: Yes - Steve Bug. He looks likely to be coming over pretty soon. Dyed Soundorom too. I’m playing with him at Circoloco in January because Apollonia are coming over, but I’d love to bring him back by himself because to me he’s right up there for me.
RR: So what’s next for S.A.S.H? And for you?
Kerry: Well I’ll give you the scoop, we’re going to start a series of S.A.S.H secret parties. They won’t be on Sundays but on a Friday or Saturday and they’ll be a bit more like old-school raves. No promotion online - it’s all going to be through word-of-mouth. We haven’t worked out the exact details, but you’ll get a phone number to call up an hour or two before and get given a location. You then turn up to the location and get taken somewhere else. The venues are going to be places that have never been used for parties; not a typical warehouse! We also have a label that’s been in the works for about 6 months, so keep your eyes peeled for that too.
RR: Exciting stuff mate! See you at S.A.S.H!
Visit www.sash.net.au for details of their upcoming parties.
📷 - S.A.S.H Queen's Bday Long Weekend 2017