We speak to promoters Julian & Mario ahead of Cheer Up with Kym Sims.

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

How did you meet? 

J: We met at the very first Cheer Up party that was put on when the PWL concert in Hyde Park was cancelled, back in 2012. We just clicked and not just over the music, we feed off each others humour and personality. M: It was great to meet someone you got on with instantly, music brought us together but it's the deeper stuff that has blossomed our friendship, I totally agree how we just feed of each others personalities, humour and creativity, it’s great to work alongside someone who praises what you do, it encourages and together allows us to achieve and come up with exciting ideas. 

What made you start Cheer Up?

J: We made a decision to hold a reunion party 6 months after the first party as it was such a huge success. The crowd that showed interest was and still are so amazing and so eclectic. A mix of people that would probably never mix, but came together for the music, this is what we have based our nights on ever since. We want anyone and everyone to come together and just have the most fun night they can have. M: As a child in the 90’s to like Stock Aitken Waterman & PWL you felt like an outcast at school, it wasn’t the cool music and by the 1990’s SAW was like a swear word - I think that is why so many people who grew up listening and adoring the music went underground in many ways. Though fast forward to 2012 and suddenly people who felt like no one else liked the music they enjoyed from the Hit Factory suddenly came together and basically Cheer-ed up where the misfits and the minority had their own place to come, to dance, to sing and pretend to be Sonia and Bananarama without anyone battering an eyelid. Cheer Up was a place you felt accepted and something to be proud of. 

What’s the biggest PWL dance floor filler?

J: Every single song they released!! Have you ever seen our nights with an empty dance floor? ;) Seriously though, Kylie's Better The Devil You Know or What Do I Have To Do? Bananarama also gets those arses jumping. I Want You Back and Love In The First Degree definitely gets the crowd going. M: The SAW sound has a magical formula, but I agree with Julian, Kylie knows how to fill a dance floor and thirty years on her SAW/PWL is up there as some of her greatest stuff. Others who demand the dancefloor have to be Rick Astley, Bananarama, Jason, but one which surprised me since doing Cheer Up has to be Sinitta’s GTO. I remember this being played about five years ago and the crowd went wild. It wasn’t Sinitta’s biggest hit but it's magical, forgotten singles like this that revs the crowd up. 

Your five dream dinner guests dead or alive?

J: Ooh, there are so many people I would love to eat with but Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett would be my top two. Can you just imagine the campness and inappropriateness. Fabulous! Madonna would also be a dream guest, but I don't know if I'd make it out alive... she's a beast! Of course Kylie would be there and for eye candy, Dermot O'Leary, but I'd eat him and not the food.. M: My love for both Pete Burns and Divine has grown more and more since doing Cheer Up. I adore their music and would be fascinated to have them at the dinner table. I would love both Kylie and Dannii Minogue as I think it would be great to hang out with both sisters at the same time and see how they would interact together - what they will be like after a sherry or two while nibbling on an After Eight mint. Lastly Jane Badler who played Diana in V in the 1980s as she truly rocked the bad bitch vibe and I can imagine she be a lot of fun. 

If you should be so lucky where would you take Kylie for a date?

J: There's only one place worthy of taking Lylie one date and I think we all know where that is... EAGLE! I'd love to holiday with her in San Francisco. Imagine all the queens getting whiplash trying to catch a glimpse. M: Totally agree a date with Kylie in Eagle would be fantastic, imagine if she came over as a surprise and popped out from behind one of our Kylie cut outs... hello it's me.

If you could step back in time to any club which would it be?

J: TRADE, without a doubt! My music tastes aren't the only cheesy thing about me as I was a real cheesy quaver (raver) in my day. There was something truly magical about that place, but I'm talking way back in their early days. It's what gave me the inspiration of being all inclusive in anything I do, well, outside of sex... M: The first nightclub I ever went to was in 1994 when I was 16 and had moved to London. I went to GAY when it was downstairs in the LA2 on a Saturday night and Kylie Minogue was appearing. She was back with her new single, “Confide in me” and wow! To step back in time to when the streets of London where paved in gold and they played Newton “Sky High” and Corona “Rhythm of the night”. I think nights like that and tracks I heard has inspired some musical choices when doing our Popalicious nights.

Talking of Bananarama earlier, if you heard a rumour about yourself what would it be?

J: Aside from some of the rumours I have heard about myself over the years, I heard a rumour I helped one of the most fun and brilliant nights London has… oh, hang on… M: Ideally if a rumour was leaked I would want something scandalous like “Mario in hot champagne, Charlie three-way with two reality TV hunks”. The closest I got to “celeb” scandal was buggering Bungle from Rainbow back in 1999 - obviously he wasn’t in his suit ha!!

Describe the PWL sound. Tell us why you’re such aficionados?

J: The classic PWL sound oozes fun, catchy vocals and really has stood the test of time. Thirty years on the sound still sounds as fresh as ever and still fills dance floors from the first recognisable beats of each track. M: I totally echo Julian. The first record I got at ten was Kylie's “I Should Be So Lucky”. After that I was drawn to the Stock Aitken Waterman sound. I was surprised by the various genres they produced: pop, soul, Hi-NRG. To me their sound is simple, if you can sing along to it and dance to it, which actually has become one of the ethos to our nights, Cheer Up, Popalicious, it's about a familiar sound which can transport you back to a time when everything seemed simpler. Music is joyful so why not stick on something cheesy and happy and sing along like you're 12 or 18 or 25, that is the magic of SAW! That is the magic of Pop! 

What one of your outfits cheers you up the most?

J: I don't know about the outfit that cheers me up the most, but I can tell you which one cheers my hubby up the most - my birthday suit 😜 I'm a real t-shirt, jeans and trainers boy, but add glitter and I'm the happiest boy alive! M: Julian I have howled - love it! I am a massive fan of tartan. I have about five tartan shirts, three tartan pants, tartan trackies, shorts, skirts and kilts, few scarfs and a throw. I love the whole Vivienne Westwood / punk style with a bit of AllSaints and Bolongaro Trevor thrown in.

In the words of Rick Astley what is the one thing you could never give up?

J: Predictable I know, but KYLIE! M: Love, friendships, Kylie (obvs) goes without saying but also dreams and ambition. You are never too young (or old) to aspire and create fabulous things.

Cheer Up is Saturday, August 10th with Kim Syms live from 9pm.

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