Q&A: MARKO CROSSLEY
We are thrilled to have Leeds legend Mark Crossley on board as our new resident for Soul Train over the last year. This of course hasn’t been the first time Marko has played down in the Hifi basement, he’s frequented the booth many times over the decade, and always knows how to make the people move!
What was your first gig? Where was it and how did it go?
Oporto bar 2004 ish, when I worked there on the bar, I realised I wanted to start DJ’ing straightaway.
Just blagged it, made up I had DJ’d before, & worked everything out as I went along. I played there for another 10 years after that, so must of done something right. It was probably rubbish.
We’ve honestly loved having you on as resident for Soul Train, it’s been great to see more and more people making their way out to enjoy this music. How have you found it?
I love HIFI, always have. ‘Move On Up’ was a massive night for me when I started going out in Leeds. Matt (Bolton) has been amazing over the years & still go when I can. Looking forward to playing with John (Morelli) at Soul Train who was the founder & original DJ @ MOU…
You were always one of the familiar faces of Jumbo Records. When did you start there, and how was it working for a record shop behind the scenes?
I started shopping at Jumbo when I was 15. I’d tried to get a job there for many years, but no one really leaves JUMBO so it’s hard to get a foot in. They have very loyal staff. I took over Michelle’s job in 2016, I had a great time working there. Still socialise with the staff I worked with.
Obviously your passion for records has continued over in to your new venture with Tony Green – Released Records in the Corn Exchange. How did you meet Tony, and when did you first have the conversation about opening your own store together?
I first met Tony many moons ago when I was around 18. I used to go to a lot of his events (Fresh Jive mainly) at the Fav & Elbow rooms. We started bumping into each other again around 2016 & started playing a night together called “the 7″ Disco”.
Tony had been running Released as a label for about 4 years at the time & I started getting more involved with that, the shop naturally followed when The Corn Exchange was kind enough to give us a pop up. It was a beautiful accident really that we haven’t looked back from. The response from all our regulars, friends & guest sellers really made us believe it was possible to do something special.
It’s exciting to see you’ve already upgraded the store to ‘version 2.0’ in such a short space of time, and now providing KMAH Radio with their new studio space. It will be a brilliant hub for years to come. What triggered that decision to do the refurb and also work with KMAH on it?
Like I mentioned before we started as a pop-up, so when we knew we could stay with the Corn Ex pernamently, it was the right decision to finally make the shop look & feel how we wanted it to. We aim to make the shop we would love to dig in, with the layout & stock we carry.
Tony & Mike (KMAH) have a great relationship & I started spending more time with Mike & his crew of faithful interns. The very first night we opened the shop, Mike run a live video stream for the DJ’s via KMAH. So, they have been with us from the very beginning. When you see the two together it makes perfect sense. We are lucky to have them in the shop & can’t wait to get cracking.
We’ve enjoyed watching your continuous house upgrades over the last few years… What has been your proudest achievement with those, and what was the toughest? The BBQ? The interior decor?
PAHA, I don’t think anyone enjoys that but thank you! Everyone loves a BBQ, & I got my dad round to help with that, so that was a goody. The record room that Tom Mayger built for us we love the most I’d say. Tom also built the new released shop for us. The man is a genius. Listens to my nonsense & somehow makes it. Props to Tom.
Let’s take a look at your record bag…
First record ever bought?
Velvet Underground & Nico.
Toughy. ‘Gloria Jones – Tainted Love’ never fails.
Best crate dig
He Baba – Manzil Manzil (Bollywood Soundtrack)
Rita – Erotica
Best chill out record
Koreless – Sun
Most nostalgic record
Doves – Pounding
Most valuable record (monetary or sentimental)
Love – Forever Changes. My favourite album.
I’ve got about 500! Ha.
Fred Frith – What A Dilema
Last record you bought (for yourself, not the store!)
Chuck Jackson – I’ve Got The Need
Record you wish you could own
Daddy Lindberg – Wade In The Shade
It’s 1.30am, there’s a large group of 12 that’s just walked off the dance floor. You’ve got your connoisseurs over in the corner, you know they’ll leave if you go too cheesy. There’s a new group of 15 at the bar, but they’re just there for a friends birthday. You need the ultimate all round pleaser. What do you play.
Donna Summer – I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley remix)
Finally, what was the most Spinal Tap moment you’ve ever had at a gig?
I remember getting a bit giddy once and punching the ceiling in time with the track, then the roof tiles gave way, fell on my head & the decks. Not at all embarrassing.