We prepare to say farewell to a London institution.


We prepare to say farewell to a London institution.

This weekend marks the close of what has been of the most succesful parties in recent history. Thunder has become an institution of sorts having invited some of the most innovative figures in dance music to London. Always with a smile and a hearty sense of spirit the party has now decided to close. We spoke to Miles Simpson as he prepares to bid a fond farewell to what has been a loving home for many a familiar face....

Thunder is the sound we hear from the sonic wave caused by the expansion of air that has been rapidly heated by lightning. How do you feel that sums up the Thunder parties over the years?

I think that kind of works! It started small, like a little distant rumble, that grew stronger during the year the party was at the The Waiting Room, and by the time we hit Dance Tunnel, with Ron Hardy's protégé  Gene Hunt, did Boiler Room, and played with Derrick May at Barabarellas, it was a fully blown electrical storm! We've managed to sustain that up until now, every storm passes eventually, and now that time has come. We're going to make sure everyone is going to get soaked one last time though!

The Norse God of Thunder, Thor, was also god of strength, agriculture, farmers, free men, rain and fertility.  Which ones are you?

Have you seen my hands? Farming obvs.

Violent thunderstorms are an altogether too frequent occurrence these days. Do you feel that your party has contributed in some way to global warming and these regular storms?

I think clubland  and nightlife is going through own phase of global warming at the moment. Big money, big venue, big line-ups, mass marketing and people buying into it all without the any consideration of the broader and long-term consequences. It satisfies an instant need, it maybe even creates the need in the first place, but it feels like it's be commoditised, and that money drives everything. That's the reality of business, any business, which is fine as long as it doesn't suffocate all other life. I think Thunder is the antithesis of that, it's about passion on every level, one guest DJ, word of mouth, the crowd, the friendship and the music we believe in.

"They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning" Clint Eastwood. What would be your perfect musical marriage?

House music and dark, sweaty, smoke filled basements. 

At any moment around 18,000 thunderstorms are taking place somewhere on Earth. The most thundery place on Earth is said to be Tororo, Uganda, where it thunders 251 days a year. I'm assuming you've never been there? What DJ caused the most Thunder on a Thunder dancefloor?

We've never had a dud, everyone who ever played for us was great. I'd like to name check them all really, but as I have to narrow it down, Neville Watson and Domenic Cappello . Neville was our first ever guest, he was brilliant, an absolute inspiration and without him the idea for Thunder may well have died on the vine. Domenic was the first party where I thought, "Fucking hell, this is nuts". Then they both came together and played our second birthday party and it was magical. The less said about the after party the better, but they are two of the best DJs in the UK, as well as being the soundest men you could ever meet. 

Fear of thunder is called ‘brontophobia’. Fear of thunder and lightning is ‘astraphobia’. What are you scared of?

Being irrelevant and spiders.

“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work,” (Mark Twain). What was your lightning moment with music?

I've never been a fan of work, so I'm most definitely thunder...

The final tickets are available HERE


Part of the impetuous for starting Thunder was the interest my blog, Beyond the Stars, generated over the few years I was writing it. It was really just me wittering on about house music, at a time it was still pretty unfashionable, but people seemed to like it and that helped inspire me to get my finger out and start the party. I had actually wanted to call that blog Beyond the Clouds, after this track, but some git had already bagged the name on Blogger, so I had to come up with something else. That aside, it would be fair to say that Chicago house and Larry Heard were massive musical influences for Thunder and all involved in the party. Actually, I could have included 'The Sun Can't Compare' but didn't no one needs to hear that one again, right?