Sugarbeat in the Gardens
Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Fri 13 Jul
(Image: Utah Saints)
When SugarBeat started in Leeds in 2000, it wasn’t intended as any sort of major new career move for the sometime Utah Saints partnership of Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt. The duo, who were described as ‘the first true stadium house band’ by The KLF’s Bill Drummond back in their early 90s period of prominence, were just looking for somewhere to play the kind of music they liked to an appreciative crowd. ‘We never set out to be Cream or anything,’ says Garbutt. ‘It was always just an excuse for us to put on DJs we liked.’
Held every week at Arthur Baker’s Elbow Room in the city, SugarBeat has nevertheless taken on more of an event-level profile since it began, with the duo’s two-year-old residency at Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire stemming from an earlier date as Utah Saints at the Liquid Room. ‘We met Sarah [David, manager of Cabaret Voltaire] when she booked us for Snatch when she was working at the Liquid Room,’ says Garbutt. ‘She liked what we did, and told us we should give her a call once she’d opened her new place’. Since then, SugarBeat has been one of the Cab’s flagship clubs - it’s the Utahs’ third franchise, alongside nights in Leeds and Bristol.
This month’s SugarBeat will be a particularly special occasion, with the night being taken outdoors to a thousand-capacity tent in Princes Street Gardens, as a tie-in with the Rat Race adventure sports weekend. Garbutt’s looking forward to the event, a far cry from the sweaty and atmospheric Cab, particularly as the evening’s special guest is breaks king Krafty Kuts was one of SugarBeat Leeds’ very first guest DJs.