‘Squiggle Dee Mash‘ was a nomadic event running from 1998 – 2002, which took over a myriad of legendary venues across the city, including Generation X, Club Havana, UMIST Underground and K2 at Man Met Students Union, and helped to showcase a vast range of local Drum & Bass talent.
Well, it’s coming back with a special event on Deansgate Locks on Friday 21st October.
The night was started by promoter Ottilia Ordog, who was a University of Salford student when she launched the night in 1998. Its trademark fun and easy-going atmosphere was well-known across Manchester, and it was her dream to operate a night that felt like a festival – where everyone was welcome; both students and Mancunians. This, she said, was another key to the night’s peaceful and unique presence.
“As well as the best jungle DJs and MCs, we always had live entertainment including dancers, drummers, fire breathers and jugglers,” she said, “and we would decorate the venues we took over, often taking days to make everything by hand. The festival vibe was very important to Squiggle Dee Mash and set us apart from other events.
“Lots of our regulars started to wear fancy dress outfits. One used to dress up as a witchdoctor. We always said to people that they could get in for free if they added to the entertainment, so people would turn up with didgeridoos and all sorts,
She also said that her diminutive stature may have played some role in keeping the peace in troubled late 90s clubland.
“I’m a five foot nothing Transylvanian drum and bass and jungle fanatic!,” she said.
“I was nobody’s idea of threatening and, being tiny and female, perhaps I was able to get away with being a bit cheeky without offending anyone.”
Ottilia, now 44 and mum to a four-year-old, went on to work at a young people’s recording studio, Gorse Hill Studios in Stretford, alongside managing Tony Wilson’s grime signing Raw-T.
She eventually set up her own music organisation called BeatBazaar, which runs music and cultural projects for young people, including pan-European exchanges and promotes Manchester’s annual Transylvanian festival Gobefest.
She said that after 20 years, the time just felt right to bring her night back.
“I met up with uni friends after Covid,” she said, “and we all started talking about it. And when I tried our former residents Sappo, Mark XTC and DJ Prophecy, they were all well up for it. It all just started coming together like it was meant to be.”
DJ PROPHECY “NORTH BASE”
KERIN (LIVE PA)
Squiggle Dee Mash
Date: Friday 21st October
Time: 10pm – 4am
Venue: Bee House, Deansgate Locks