Ape-X – Lockdown and Labels

Mollie Denton


Although it feels like a lifetime ago for Newcastle’s partygoers, the chances are they will have mostly heard of or attended an Ape-X party. For thirteen years, Ape-x have been providing unforgettable clubbing experiences, from hosting pioneers of house and techno alongside upcoming new artists, as well as weekly club nights in Cosmic Ballroom and MSA. 

Before the events industry was driven to a halt, Ape-X set up began their very own record label showcasing sounds from local artists. Jake Murg sits down with Marketing Manager and regular resident Luke Scott, to discuss memories from parties and guests over the years, as well as what the future holds for the brand and label. 

For those who do not know, Ape-X is a club night that has been running in Newcastle for the last thirteen years. “It was started by Gabriel Day, who was at uni at the time. The idea was to have an alternative to what clubbing was at that point in the city – it was a night that started with a few of his friends, that grew from there.” Luke states. Luke Scott first got involved with Ape-X in 2014, after graduating from university having worked the tills and attending a majority of the nights at Cosmic Ballroom. “I had been to small nightclub events, but nothing like this. I remember being there and thinking this is amazing, I don’t think I had heard underground house and techno on that level by that point. It was a real eye-opening experience.” 

Defining the brand and what it stands for, Luke states how Ape-X means a lot of things to a lot of different people. With the events and club nights clientele mostly being students, it is understandable when Luke says that people have come and gone, attended the nights, lived with the brand and then gone off to other places once their time at uni is over. Ape-X events brought these students together, like minded individuals with a share of the same love for electronic music. “As Ape-X has gone on and grown, it has sort of become a beacon for the underground in Newcastle, hosting quality music. Ape-X doesn’t discriminate on genre or anything like that, it is always about the music and a clubbing experience you can get lost in, and that’s what we aim to deliver.” 

With thirteen years of parties, its hard to narrow it down to one with what sticks in mind as a favourite. Luke narrows down performances that have a special place in his Ape-X memories, including a live performance from KiNK, Mall Grab, Midland and a back to back with Eris Drew and Octa Octa. 

Earlier last year, Ape-X set up and began their own record label, showcasing sounds from artists and producers in and around the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne. “We’ve been doing events for thirteen years, and we got to the point where we wanted Ape-X to be more than just an event brand. Event brands come and go, so we were figuring out how we can keep some longevity and make a lasting imprint.” 

“We have always been working with residents and producers from around the city, and we have always been listening to lots of unreleased music from people, and trying to lend our ears and give feedback. We figured that, because we had spent lots of time speaking to people and encouraging as well as helping them to get signed, why don’t we just start putting some music out ourselves?” 

As the current pandemic and lockdown continues to loom over the UK, it’s hard to say when we’ll be under one roof again dancing to electronic music. For the moment, Ape-X are focusing on upcoming releases and the label, however, for what is to come, is most definitely something special. “As soon as things are ready, we will be there and pushing events out again and I am sure they are gonna be some of the best events we have ever done.”