Grab yourself a Not G&T and settle in to enjoy this long read, as our Co-Founder Jack Horner Strykk's up a Convo with legendary DJ Guy Williams to discuss all things music and partying.
Tell us about FLASH!
The name is part homage to Flesh at the Hacienda where is used to be a resident DJ and part snappy, like a flash of inspiration. Flesh was a magical gay night that ran for five years - so it was a combination of that feeling and then the spirit of clubs where I was resident in London like Trade and Fiction where is was not just about being gay but being open minded, and also focussed on really excellent music programming. This is why I love Pikes Ibiza for FLASH! as it’s an eclectic place - we start by the pool, dial it up, move inside and over time the whole vibe shifts.
So inclusivity is important to you then?
DTPM, Trade and Fiction were gay at heart but really pushing a mixed crowd, this is where my head is at. I’ve had Homoelectric over twice as guests they are my disco family from Manchester, their mottos is ‘For homos, hetros, lesbos, don’t know and disko asbos' that says it all really. I’ve had a lot of fun in all male bars - but it’s not really my thing. I was resident at a club in Leeds called Vague - you had trannies, dealers, truckers, men, women - it was the maddest melting pot but the energy was insane.
What does Guy Williams usually play?
If I am playing a main club set - it’s Deep House, Nu Disco, Jackin House and Acid house - that’s where I’m happiest. But I love real disco, chill out and funk. Because of the lockdown I’ve been able to explore this more - a chilled approach to music.
The old days - when you were a young Guy in the late 80s and 90s - what was your journey?
I was born in London but moved to Manchester when I was three. My dad was in the record industry - he was a rep for Chrysalis and Arista and then Virgin. I was literally surrounded by records - the house the bedrooms, we couldn’t get the car in the garage as it was full of vinyl and merch! I used to nick merch and sell it at school! I’d sell the guys at schools two tone stuff and they loved me! In the mid 80s I was into new romantic scene and in '89 when the acid house explosion happened I knew that was it. Being in Manchester in '89 was pretty special as you can imagine! I was a religious clubber for a few years and started DJing in '92.
What’s fuelling these parties then, are people drinking less?
I hear about younger people drinking less in the UK overall - but when people come to Ibiza they’re often letting their hair down so often they are there to drink. That said there’s a clear trend of people who don’t drink at all. A lot of the residents are pretty drank out - so the more holistic wellbeing movement has grown fast in recent years, and because clubs have been closed it’s accelerated a more healthy mindset.
How has partying changed in Ibiza?
The main change is the hours - it used to be a 24 hour vibe, Space and Bora Bora, Manumission would keep on going. But the government stopped clubs opening after 6am and then a few years ago they stopped music outside after midnight. This has a huge impact and pushed a lot of the after hours partying back to villa parties. It’s why DC10 had to close the garden at midnight - it changed a lot about the culture.
What are your favourite spots to hang out?
I’m biased but I have such a deep love for Pikes not just to hold parties and DJ but just to hang. It’s like Ibiza is a centre of gravity, and within Ibiza Pikes is a centre of gravity and within that Freddies (the club indoors at Pikes and favourite bedroom of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury) is a centre of gravity. It all pulls you in. It’s also traditionally the spot where a lot of the UK’s DJs and promoters and emigrants who live on Ibiza gather.
How do you look after yourself?
Being in Ibiza really helps, I live by the beach so at least five times a week I’m in the water, I lie in the sun, I recharge. That is my medicine. It’s literally medicine! I walk a lot with friends. It’s been a bit overwhelming for me and some of the people I talk to - the readjustment to how busy it’s suddenly become. I can sense when my body is tiring and my organs are crying out so I will regularly switch into not drinking for a period of time. Sometimes a few days but from January to April this year I didn’t drink alcohol at all. Strykk helps get through these times as we still need to have a treat now and again!
How do you feel about alcohol?
I’ve never really done the whole ‘couple of glasses a night’ or pints down the pub. So it’s usually about the parties. I’m not sure which is better or worse!? In my industry the binge is the thing, and at clubs the session can last for 12 hours. You don’t even notice it - and that has such a physical effect on your business.
Strykk has been a great supporter of FLASH! for the past few years - and it’s on the menu at Pikes to be a simple alternative to drinking. I introduced it to some of my friends who play at FLASH! - Jon Jack was like ‘hmmm this could work’ and I really like the Not Gin & Tonic so whilst Ibiza feels like a place where it’s all party, I really think it’ll work for more and more people.