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Monday, 25 January 2010

Rock the Kasbah: An interview with Thanos Staikos



It all began with a closure... 17/9/2007 saw the long-foreseeable closure of an uninspired Coliseum, Coventry city’s last real showcase and beacon for live music.  After years of loyal but eventually lacklustre servitude, its doors closed upon an auspicious rollercoaster of an era.

Now, just 2 years later, the visionary who brought us the new Kasbah Nightclub (a beyond recognition Coliseum) takes time to address his public, as I get an insight into the mastermind of a man behind the resplendent rejuvenation.

Thanos, thanks for taking time out from your busy schedule...

  •     Taking aim with your peashooter/pellet gun/sniper rifle, you’re aiming at whom?
  •     Politicians, there’s too much corruption around.

  •     Where do you go when it all gets too much?
  •     Home!

  •     Is bedtime more half nine with a half read paper or more half four with fully red eyes?
  •     More 3a.m. and exhausted.

  •     What do you do with any ‘you’ time?
  •     Spend time with my girlfriend, watch movies etc.

  •     What’s the last gig/concert you looked forward to?
  •     Tiesto @ London Victoria Park.

  •     What’s the best / your favourite music video?
  •     Just Morale live @ The Kasbah.

  •     If you were a musical instrument what would you be?
  •     Piano.

  •     What’s ‘love at first sight’ all about then?
  •     The expression says it all.

  •     Care to share any regrets, missed opportunities or things that might’ve been?
  •     Finishing a computers course in university.

  •     Will your past come back to haunt you or will karma be kind?
  •     Karma will be kind.

  •     What makes you better than everyone else?
  •     I’ve got a good heart.

  •     When do you plan to take over the world?
  •     In forthcoming years.
  •     What does a student strong crowd want?
  •     Cheap drinks and a great atmosphere.  The once popular Thursday nights fizzled out; rock music saw a decline and so basically killed the appeal.  And so aside from being without any sense of direction, electro and rave music replaced rock.  Funeral for a Friend and the like still appeal to the 15/16 year olds crowd but mainly, the people want to booze and to chase the opposite sex!

  •     Who were your heroes as a teenager?
  •     Rocky and some football players.
  •     What music are you listening to of late?
  •     Anything that makes me chill.

  •     Any career highs or lows you care to share?
  •     Managing Just Morale.

  •     Your career defining dream moment would/will be what?
  •     Helping Kasbah being the best independent venue in the UK and getting Just Morale to the top.

  •     Know of any upcoming bands that are destined for greatness?
  •     Just Morale.

  •     How important do you feel visuals are in relation to music?
  •     Very important, they get the crowd’s attention.  
  •     What’s been the highlight of your year?
  •     Signing Just Morale.

  •     Best song, movie or album ever?
  •     Loads!  What comes to mind...? Delerium- Silence and Daft Punks Around the World, Heat with Al Pacino & Robert De Niro and Forest Gump with Tom Hanks.

  •     Where did you sleep last night?
  •     Home.

  •     What does your head in?
  •     The weather.

  •     Where’s the place to be?
  •     Greece or anywhere next to the sea.

  •     Which instrument does it for you most?
  •     Guitar.
  •     Are you a good dancer and can you prove it?
  •     Not really, but when I get the chance I dance.

  •     What kinds of music (if any) do you dislike the most?
  •     Rap Screamo and Grime.
  •     Where will you retire to?
  •     Greece.

  •     When will the world end?
  •     2012.

  •     How important are the single / album charts?
  •     They’re very important.

  •     Fondest memories of this place?
  •     When the Coliseum closed to become The Kasbah and was filled with stylish Moroccan decor, which was memorable to say the least.  Also, seeing Supergrass perform, Calvin Harris too, he had the whole room bouncing… and Therapy, they played with no security barriers, it was amazing!

  •     Which era would you have been born in ideally?
  •     70’s.

  •     Are exercise and diet important to you?
  •     They are but I don’t exercise very often.

  •     If you could protect and save 1 thing in the world, what would it be?
  •     My team Aek Athens.

  •     Who’s the most gifted person alive today?
  •     All of us.

  •     Have you got any famous relatives and if so, who are they?
  •     Not really.

  •     Does complaining accomplish anything?
  •     Sometimes.

  •     Whose autograph do you have and why?
  •     My favourite DJ, Tiesto.

  •     Which rules... the digital age or the vinyl/cassette age?
  •     Digital.

  •     Which musical style should become extinct first?
  •     Rock n Roll.

  •     Was it easy becoming who you are today?
  •     I chose a hard life but I’m happy about it.

  •     Have you ever been conned into or out of something?
  •     Yes.

  •     Do politics have a place in music?
  •     Yes. Music talks about life and politics are part of our life.

  •     What effect has the name changes had on the place, 2 years on?
  •     It’s business as usual and a lot of people still refer to The Kasbah as The Coli (seum).  We’re torn as to whether the roof should keep its ‘The Coliseum’ design, as an adage to the old days... I’m undecided but it’ll probably remain.



Speaking with Thanos, it’s instantly clear that more than anything, he has integrity, drive and perhaps most importantly, the respect of his colleagues; being as charismatic as he is, it’s no wonder why the staff are so familiar, relaxed and comfortable in his presence.  Therein lies the man’s secret to success perhaps?

Please visit http://www.kasbahnightclub.com/ for a greater insight into Coventry’s top spot.

Interview conducted by Ant Standring- http://www.wordsmithonline.co.uk/