Sometime in 2019, Leeds' much championed MiNT Club will be consigned to the anodes of great nightclubs that have been and gone. Like many of the legendary venues that preceded them, news of MiNT's somewhat premature fate has drawn both an outpouring of grief and reminiscence from its faithful. After 20 years at the forefront of its city's underground scene, MiNT is a club whose community acknowledge its worth all too well.
Indeed, the people behind the venue are committed to bowing out on a high with a closing series of events that does the legacy justice.
As a city, Leeds is often touted as a musical hotbed - contradictory to that of its larger nearby counterparts. It has been Mint's contribution - amongst others - who have cemented this deserving reputation.
Throughout its history, former regulars have recounted fond memories. We are told stories of Teknicolour’s 4th birthday, when hometown boy Hot Since 82 played all night long. There was so much sweat dripping off the ceiling, that umbrellas needed to be used to shield the decks to avoid further sound cut-outs. Others can’t pick out specific moments, but point to era-defining events. Jam-e D, who played there himself umpteen times, and spent many more nights on the dancefloor recalls midweek student nights with a garage music policy. “It’s a ‘proper’ club; low ceilings, open until the sun comes up. In the early noughties, elsewhere in the city had adopted the fluffy Hed Kandi sound. But over at MiNT they were exploring a darker, tribally sound and bass-driven genres. One time I remember D. Ramirez absolutely stealing the show with dirty electro. At the time it was innovative.”
There were several other promoters of note. System would deliver the most revered underground brands to MiNT’s doorstep, including FUSE, Apollonia and Innervisions. Then we come to the label takeovers: Moda Black, Knee Deep In Sound and Avotre. Louche were among later additions to the program. They left no stone unturned in booking acts as diverse as Zip and Nicolas Jaar, before going on to throw parties in London after gaining quite the reputation in Yorkshire.
Another promotion who has a storied history with Mint, is Asylum. They've been a part of Mint for 15 of the 20 years, so the two's history is very much intertwined. Saturday 10th November is the date for the official celebration. For the landmark occasion, Asylum add some extra poignancy by inviting one time residents and original founders PBR Streetgang back to MiNT. The duo have enjoyed their most productive year to date, so this brings things neatly full circle with an emotionally charged return to an old stomping ground. Other faces from Asylum’s past called upon include Luke Unabomber, Dan Ward and Andy Whittaker. Headline duties fall to the inimitable Maurice Faulton who will draw on his decades of knowledge to give Asylum the MiNT send-off they warrant.
Although we only know the schedule until the end of the year, management promise the closing series of events will continue into early 2019 before it's time for final farewells. If you want to say goodbye in the only appropriate fashion possible, then you still have a few more months to do so. When MiNT departs, it will leave a gaping hole in Leeds’ nightlife. But the memories will remain.
Last remaining 1st release tickets for Asylum are on sale now before we move to 2nd release.