steve | 11.08.2003 14:19 | Sheffield
This was the third such promotion for the event which has included getting loads of people at a certain place, writing with chalk and paint the details of the event and then taking a photo which is then used as a poster.
Sparxie died after collapsing at a Headcharge night at the end of May. He was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer at the time. He was interested and active in various kinds of alternative media including Pirate Radio and Sheffield Indymedia.
Below is from the Headcharge email just after he died...
Last Friday's Headcharge was one of the most memorable Headcharge nights we've ever had; unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. Lab4 returned after over a year and played an absolutely stunning set, rounding it off with a scorching 170bpm rendition of "Reformation II," the best track ever written in my humble opinion. You lot seemed to be pretty blown away and there didn't seem to be anyone on the dancefloor who couldn't stop bouncing.around. Not to mention a storming set from Big Ron Atomizer, finishing off a damn fine night of musical and sensory entertainment.
We're sorry to those who stood around confused at 6.30am when the music stopped and to those who had to queue to leave the club to give their details to the multitude of policemen who waited outside to take your details. Was it a raid? What was going on?
Well, that brings me to the reason why it was our worst night down the Arches. The police were taking your details not because they were going to come and get you, but to try and piece together the cause of an "incident" that happened some time after 4am, when the humid, sweaty fog created by all that bouncing around just got too much and led to an horrific couple of hours for all those involved.
That night, we lost one of our Headcharge family, an all-round nice bloke, and a man who was respected by everyone who met him. Someone who'd run half the length of the room to hold the door open for you, who amazed you with some of the radical things he had to say, surprising you by his seemingly quiet demeanour. He loved Headcharge and the Arches and we loved him. Always willing to get in there and help, tirelessly video-taping every gig he went to, till he had literally months worth of video images to come and play to us on a slow Monday morning after a long Headcharge weekend.
We only knew him as Sparxie or Sparks, never knowing his real name. He didn't sit there and bang on about what he was doing or what he had done, which was a hell of a lot - he'd just occasionally pop up with something that would blow your mind with its unexpectedness.. And yet we'd always expect him to turn up, video camera in hand and a big grin on his face. He was such a rare find - someone who never seemed to want anything in return for his hard work except love and respect for what he was doing. It was never about money or glory with Sparks - he just seemed to get a buzz out of helping people out. He was so chuffed that he'd just got his security badge and I remember him telling us about all the 6'4" thugs he'd been doing the course with, who he managed to manhandle despite his slight frame, not by using force but by using his brain. And he didn't get the badge to be a thuggy bouncer, but so's he could help people out if they needed him.
We're still waiting to hear exactly what happened to him but it certainly wasn't drugs 'cos Sparxie didn't do Class A's. Our eternal gratitude goes to Scottish Dave, Mike Glowbones and everyone else who kept him alive till the ambulance came. Sparxie was still alive by the time he left the Arches but I like to think that, if he was aware that he might not make it, he was surrounded by people who loved him and who he loved. I'm just sorry it was so unexpected and such a shock, but glad that his last memory was not of cold hospital walls and the sound of heart monitors, but of the stone walls of the Arches, the pounding music and the vibrancy of the people he shared it all with.
We'll miss him.