By Ade Blackburn
2022 will be a landmark year for Cream as it celebrates its 30 year anniversary. Since its humble beginnings in 1992 as a small underground club night, it grew to become one of the worlds most recognisable youth brands and a global powerhouse in electronic music.
Here we look at some of the key moments and events in the club’s history.
Cream originally began as a weekly house music night at the now demolished Nation (formerly Snobs Disco) in Wolstenholme Square. It ran from October 1992 to June 2002. Cream was viewed as a welcome antidote to the business-minded approach of London club, Ministry of Sound.
The club grew from being a small intimate venue catering for around 400 clubbers every Saturday night to being one of the UK’s first ‘superclubs’ regularly attracting thousands from all over the country.
The club was started by Everton-born James Barton and Chester’s Darren Hughes in the early nineties and within a few years had become one of the most famous in the UK.
Prior to Cream, James Barton was a resident DJ at Bootle’s legendary Quadrant Park during the acid house scene.
By the middle of the decade, Cream had arrived. Clubbers were sporting tattoos of the distinctive Cream logo (which itself had won awards for its ‘propeller-style’ design), DJs from around the world were lining up to play in the main room, and one Liverpool couple even decided to get married at a Cream event.
In 1996, Cream was cited as the third main reason people applied to Liverpool University in a poll conducted by the university.
Many of the titans of electronic music played at a Cream event, such as Paul Oakenfold, Pete Tong, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers.
People from New York were coming to the city week in week out and helped create a vibrant scene in Liverpool. Kylie Minogue even performed at Cream’s second birthday party in 1994. The brand had well and truly entered its Superstar DJ era.
Cream capitalised on its success by launching merchandising and setting up its own record label in partnership with Virgin and Paul Oakenfold’s Creamfields (2004) was nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the Grammy Awards.
Many of their compilation albums have also been commercially successful, Cream Anthems 2001 reached number 1 in the UK Compilation Chart.
James Barton helped the brand evolve and when Creamfields started it became the dance festival to go to in the UK.
The first Creamfields was at Winchester Bowl in Hampshire and had a huge line up including Run DMC. Creamfields has won the award for Best Dance Event at the UK Festival Awards a record six times and caters for around 40,000 clubbers.
As well as establishing Creamfields, they started successful club nights at Amnesia in Ibiza. The nights became one of the longest running UK club events on the island.
5. Legendary Status
Cream is still a very active brand in 2022. Never ones to stand still, in 2016 they launched Cream Classical in Liverpool Cathedral which has become an annual staple in the event calendar and yet another success story. The shows are fronted by the now-legendary 50 piece Kaleidoscope Orchestra and curated by DJ/Producer duo K-Klass.
To mark their 30th anniversary, the shows are making a return to the Cathedral for the first time since 2019, with two nights on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd October. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.
Liverpool Cathedral, St James Mt, Liverpool, L1