Angels was created by clubbers for clubbers and quickly became one of the greatest icons of the Great British Northern dance scene. You came to Angels to get lost in the music.
Pre Retro time, around the mid to late 1980’s Paul Taylor had been playing underground jazz funk, Disco, Tamla Motown and northern soul from the 70’s in the club, he established a unique sound with a unique Balearic feel, right in the heart of Lancashire.
It was during the early to mid nineties when Paul started booking the new breed of DJ’s emerging, mainly from London to showcase their talents, jocks like Sasha, Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Boy George, Pete Tong. It wasn’t long before Angels became the epi-centre for the new sound – house music. Even the Americans were wanting a piece of the action with people like Kevin Saunderson, Derrick Carter and Joey Beltram hitting Burnley town centre at the weekend – surreal to say the least!
Paul saw it as the logical progression and roll over from the disco era from the States with fresh new producers and song writers quickly emerging with a darker sound coming out of Europe (places like Belgium, Germany, Holland and Italy) and the UK was also producing it’s own unique brand of house.
But like everything that gains popularity quickly so does the financial aspect of it, house/dance music had in fact created it’s own monster, DJ’s became horrendously expensive and Angels, with its 1200 capacity, simply couldn’t afford the high fees and expenses, DJ’s had now become worldwide super brands in themselves. This totally went against the grain of Paul’s beliefs of his passion for dance.
In 1989 RETRO was born. He hand picked the best local talent who had been slipping under the radar as the warm up guys. People like Markus Kaye, Rick B (local heroes) and many more were now given the chance to step up and a new wave was born. They quickly became a solid team with a great ear for good dance music.
The crowds kept coming and Angels became more iconic due to it’s unique and different approach. They were discovering their own sound but sticking with great tunes. Paul decided that too much music was being quickly forgotten in favour of the self perpetuating need for “new jocks” to try and create a the “new sound”.
He came up with the theory that so many great tunes were too quickly being shelved that he decided to dedicate Friday nights to lost gems from the great musical era that was 1985 to 1991, when hip hop and acid house was in its prime… and Retro was born,emerging from a music policy devoid of any house genres – a party in its own right.
Angels became so popular that it eventually burst leading to sellout gigs all over the country. When the monumental front doors of Angels finally closed in 1996 (blame Burnley Council) the brand had given credibility to the club classics concept. Retro then quickly made a huge impact on the Balearics, and in particular, as the big success story on the white isle during 2000, bestowed the award of “best newcomer” by Mixmag.
The Retro brand has been firmly welcomed in Ibiza since 1999 with a residency in Eden, Es Paradis and more recently took the roof off Pacha for three seasons with Paul being the main resident on the hugely popular Pacha Classics night every Sunday. During that period Pacha asked Paul to produce and compile a three CD compilation, which became the biggest selling album in Ibiza’s history and is still selling in large quantities around the world as one of the island’s musical must haves.
Paul celebrated his 60th birthday in 2017. Yes 60. We still can’t quite get our heads round it. But that doesn’t change a thing. In the words of Paul “After 40 years I’m still here doing it because I love it – music is the celebration of my soul and that is going nowhere”.