Groove Armada: “Manchester is fundamental to us and everything we’ve done”

They did not have to Think Twice about bringing their farewell tour to Manchester.

After Superstylin ‘for more than 25 years, Groove Armada are set to bring their latest show to the O2 Victoria Warehouse on Saturday (April 9). The gig forms part of the dance duo’s final UK tour after calling it quits on their live shows.

The renowned dance act kicked off the dates in Glasgow on April 5 and will close at London’s Brixton Academy on April 16 and 17. Guests and support acts include Ewan McVicar, PBR Streetgang, Andy Baxter, Luke Una, Ishmael Ensemble, Warm DJs, Arielle Free, Hot Blood and Normal Jay MBE.

The electronic dance music legends, comprising of Andy Cato and Tom Findlay, have so far released eight studio albums, first dropping Northern Star in 1998. The pair have produced huge hits over the years including At the River, I See You Baby and Superstylin ‘ .

READ MORE: Two Greater Manchester towns officially named among the best places to live in the UK

Ahead of the Manchester show, the BUT chatted with Andy Cato about tour memories, plans for the future and what we can expect on Saturday.

Why no more live shows and what comes next?

“We were sound checking [in Glasgow] last night and it’s this incredible venue up here. As we walked up to the venue, we spotted a poster advertising a Groove Armada gig 25 years ago to date.

“When you’re walking into venues and they’re empty and you have the sights and smells, you realize you’re experiencing it for the last time. We’ve got to make sure we enjoy it.

“There was a time in 2010 where EDM was on the rise and we had a pretty miserable summer. We found ourselves trapped between EDM acts.

“Almost 10 years ago we did a last night at Brixton Academy and retired the live band. We said were going to DJ from now on – it had lost the magic.

Andy from Groove Armada

“We were supposed to have done our last gig 10 years ago. We got the gang together; we were on the road with the same people for 15 years.

“We would hang out and see each other again and we decided to do a few shows for a laugh and the magic was still there.

“We decided to do this second send off. It’s the right time to leave it just because it’s never been better. We’re doing this new thing for this tour using surround sound.

“We’re the first band to properly do this and it’s quite mad when you’re in the middle of it.

“We always said things would stop when they were at their peak. This is the retirement of the live band, we still want to DJ. ”

Groove Armada

Any favorite memories from touring over the last 25 years?

“There’s just so many – we’ve been so lucky.

“There are amazing views from stages all over the world. There are crazy after parties where everything seems positive. It’s peak life where you do not want to be anywhere else but there – the camaraderie of being at these experiences with such a lovely group of people.

“When you distil it all down, there’s that moment when it’s the weekend and you’re having a couple of beers and doing a gig that night. The whole time the city is on the move and you feel at the heart of the night ahead. ”

What does performing in Manchester mean to you?

“Manchester is fundamental to us and everything we’ve done.

“Tom was there in college and I was there clubbing in the late 80s. It’s a formative place for us – we’ve had some fantastic gigs there over the years.

“We were a resident at Sankey’s for years and had magical times there. It had to be on this last run. ”

Really looking forward to seeing you play this weekend. What can we expect from the show?

“The live versions have always been different to the recorded versions.

“We’ve made some more tweaks to some of the new tunes.

“We’ve re-done all the lights and spent a lot of time so it’s going to look and feel different.

“I just want to be an emotional wreck. This is our last tour but we have some Covid-postponed festival gigs this summer. ”

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