Much like any clubnight, Coco de Mer’s embryonic stages involved a series of conversations that morphed from into vague plans of putting a party on. Resident and main promoter Mark Mac already had experience of promotion with Freakdifascino where he brought Claude von Stroke and Clive Henry to Liverpool for the first time back in 2006. Teaming up with Arron Hunter, the pair sketched out the concept for their own take on house and techno, showcasing their own DJ talents and lustily hoping to bring some serious names to the city for the first time.
The intimate surroundings of Hannah’s Bar was where the first party took place with the pair’s favourite local DJ, Chibuku resident Leo Belchetz, headlining. A selection of like-minded people and a rousing soundtrack, it was an inauspicious as beginnings could get, but it marked the start no less. There would be two more parties at two more venues before the club found its home, showcasing another Liverpool stalwart Brendan Long at Bar Fresa and collaboration with SubSound and their residents at the Vault. It was at the Magnet, celebrated as Liverpool’s premier afterhours establishment, where it would take its most significant inroads.
Announcing their new residency with a bang, they brought Funk D’Void and the Inland Knights for a rip-roaring soiree in June 2008. The policy of bringing the cream of the underground to the Magnet continued; Mike Monday, Mobilee’s Pan-Pot, Stefan Goldmann, Get Physical’s Paul Ritch and Italoboyz all amongst the names that marked the first year, establishing them as the leading dance music party at the venue. It would be the last party of 2008, a double headline show from Ame and Will Saul, which would really announce the club as serious contenders for the city’s dancefloors.
Packed to the rafters for the Innervisions starlets to drop a stunning ensemble of dreamy techno and luscious house, it was tantamount that Coco de Mer had fully established themselves as one of the leading lights on the city’s scene. Partially funded by the city’s council as a celebration of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture, it showcased everything that was great about small clubs; a knowledgeable and savvy crowd completely enraptured by one of the world’s finest DJing outfits. Put simply, Coco de Mer had arrived.
2009 saw no relenting, bringing M_Nus heavyweight Konrad Black to the city for the first time for the first birthday in March, underground sensation Sascha Dive, VeryVeryWrongIndeed and their talisman Tim Sheridan and a sell-out with Gabriel Ananda in May which instilled heavy praise from a reviewing DJMag. Liverpool suddenly had another small club to be proud of; Coco de Mer nudging itself into the fabric of the city’s clubbing history alongside the greats of the present and the past.
Having worked with a series of the city’s other institutions they’ve managed to make an indelible impression. They’ve hosted rooms and rocked afterparties for tastemakers Chibuku and Circus and collaborated with likeminded institutions Plastic Soup, Dorsia and Pigeonhole Disco - not to mention being asked by Cream to showcase their sound in the residents’ room when the superclub reunited Sasha and John Digweed. It’s clear the boys mean business.
And yet the fun has only just begun. 2010 has seen them bring the best of British to celebrate their 2nd birthday with Pete Heller, Spencer Parker and Will Saul performing a once in a lifetime back to back set. Not to mention man of the moment Motor City Drum Ensemble rounding off Coco's season with a blistering 3 hour set. Add to this a special bank holiday collaboration with Circus and Chibuku in an old Warehouse in which Berghain's very own Marcel Dettmann topped the bill and you have the perfect platform from which to springboard.
Their residents are enjoying a growing reputation beyond the city’s walls, the national media continue to take notice and best of all the future guests lined up outstrip the clout of the ones who have followed them before. Amid the gloom and doom that surrounds recession hit clubland, Coco de Mer represents the bright new breed. This party has only just begun.