Walking past the old Vintage Rockbar about two years ago, a poster caught my attention. It was stark, minimalist and industrial with the heading: ‘Donkaster Elektronische Freundschaft – Live electronic music in Doncaster’. Doncaster was to have a dedicated electronica based event.
Time passed, and with it came a new name: Doncaster Electronic Foundation. I sampled the events and started listening to their radio show defsynth.com every Monday at 9pm.
Now, I find myself sat here in DEF HQ about to go on air! Head honcho, DJ and mastermind Derek Williams is close by, preparing for tonight’s show.
He’s a driven man with a burning desire to bring quality electronica to Doncaster.
As the programme spins out he shows considerable skill chatting knowledgably with his listeners, gifting them obscure but brilliant music skipping across genres from darkwave to synth pop, coldwave, industrial and goth.
I was impressed and somewhat alarmed, when I was asked to contribute. My suggestions stray slightly from the wonderfully rich carpet of electronica he’d laid out for our delectation as I usher in archaic things as guitars and pianos.. Oops!
After the show he tells me how he’d wanted to bring a regular and vibrant electronica event to Doncaster for quite some time. Believing that ‘If you could just get people through the door, some of them are bound to love it aren’t they?’ Yes – they are! The success of the last two events in 2015 proves this.
Large crowds packed into the leopard, for Def’s Halloween special, to see delights such as the glamtronic Jan Doyle Band, horrifically great John Merrick’s Remains and simply superb The Webb.
Finally, back where this all began at a packed Vintage Rockbar, was a truly international affair on Nov 21. It featured Poland’s Sexy Suicide, the USA’s Night Club and Sheffield’s own Promenade Cinema.
DEF offer a platform for local artists to perform alongside acts from around the UK and beyond. The same bands he promotes also appear on his radio show.
As I left Defsynth HQ I felt that this was something new and exciting taking place in Doncaster. If your tastes are in tune with Depeche Mode, Human League, Ultravox and Gary Numan, there’ll be something there for you at DEF, so get yourself to one of their shows and listen in at DEFSYNTH.COM.
The next DEF live show is at the Leopard on the 6th Feb and features Hungarian band Black nail Cabaret, Canadian band Soft Riot and Derek’s act – Jan Doyle Band.