If there’s one thing that links every single show we’ve ever hosted it’s that each one is laced with possibility – the chance that someone’s life could be changed by what they’re about to see – and we love hearing your stories about how the shows you’ve seen at Lighthouse (and before that Poole Arts Centre) have helped shaped your life.

Here’s international DJ and dance music promoter/creator Rob Campari on how his life in music and love of travel grew out of a concert here by sixties survivors The Kinks in the early 1990s.

“I went with my dad Roger and my brother Tom. It was seated, but we got up and got down the front and started grooving out and pogoing to ‘All Day and All of the Night’ and swaying around like loons. I remember Ray Davies having words with his brother on stage – it seemed they were having a bit of a set-to.

“From that concert my brother and I started to get into The Kinks and reading up on them found there’s an on-going saga between Ray and Dave Davies. I particularly like the album The Village Green Preservation Society that influenced Blur’s Modern Life is Rubbish.

“It was my first gig and it got me hooked on gigs and promoting. I became a concert booker and promoter in 2005 and I’ve booked Gang of Four, Twin Shadow, Andrew Weatherall (my hero) Dean Blunt, Anna Calvi and Ariel Pink amongst many others. Campari Safari is the name that spun out of a club night for Italo-Disco and weird dance music and has stuck.

“Live music and clubs are my main passion and Wonderland at Poole Arts Centre was my first experience of a rave! These under-18 nights with huge DJs from the rave scene were my portal into another dimension. It really was a wonderland and I knew then what I wanted to do is to put on concerts and clubs and I've been doing it on and off ever since.

“I also make music with another musician from Bournemouth, Peter Reeves, as Haram Tapes. It’s music inspired by events in the Middle East – we both travelled a lot as teachers and artists – and work with people from Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Iran to make a kind of musical and visual art project about people living outside the confines of their cultures and shady world events. We did a show in Vienna and Istanbul and we worked out our music works best as part of a music and performance piece in a gallery with a permanent exhibition in a space as opposed to gig venues.

“I absolutely love what I do and it all started thanks to that Kinks gig in Poole.”


Published 11 January 2022