Making A Splash
Conan Liquid, real name Conan Manchester, is a British DJ living in Dubai. He’s (almost) met more celebs than us and is even related to one. He’s done things most of us only dream of, like playing ping-pong with Brad Pitt and watching Winona Ryder dance on a piano. Professionally, Conan, 40, is working on a solo album, setting up a record label, and is a resident DJ at Nasimi Beach and 360°. He will also be the resident DJ at The Royal Island Beach Club on The World’s Lebanon island, which opens soon. Read on for all the goss...
You’ve played in most of the big clubs around the UAE. Why are you here rather than a clubbing capital like Ibiza?
I love it here. As a DJ you can be a lot more diverse in what you play. I still do international gigs in places like Ibiza, London and Moscow but they expect a certain type of music there. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing in Ibiza and have considered moving there but my path brought me here.
Being a DJ, you must see a lot of celebrity shenanigans and party antics. What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve witnessed in a club?
Celebs don’t seem to be able to hold their drink too well! My best memories – a well-known premiership football player stripping off on the dance floor and then falling over as it was wet and slippery, Justin Timberlake trying to teach people to dance and failing miserably, Winona Ryder dancing on a piano, Brendan Fraser falling flat on his face trying to jump over a tennis net while inebriated!
So tell us, how did you end up playing ping-pong with Brad Pitt and who won?
It was at a New Year’s Eve party a few years back in LA’s Hollywood Hills. I was doing my best to be typically English and challenging people to ping-pong and drinking games, and trying to be the funniest loudest in the party. I’d shared a few beers with him earlier in the evening and he was great fun – very chilled out with a super-sharp humour. He accepted my challenge and proceeded to whoop me, I don’t think I won one single point! But he got me another beer as a consolation prize.
We really fancy Christian Bale and hear he’s your uncle – can you introduce us?
Ha ha. Maybe a few years ago that might have not been a problem, but now he’s stellar. I think you’d probably have to join the massive queue on that one.
Mentioning Christian’s is your uncle must be an icebreaker when you meet other celebs?
I’ve certainly brought it up in conversation if the person knows them, but I’m really not into that whole ‘oh I know this person and I know that person’ thing. Weirdly enough only my very close friends know about my relation to him [well not anymore, Conan!]. I don’t really think of him as a famous person but it’s a bit weird thinking of playing tennis with him in LA and now he’s Batman! He beat me, before you ask.
What’s Christian like? As moody as he appears on film?
He’s a lovely guy. When I lived in LA he looked after me and I had some amazing times with him and his dad. I guess as someone gets more famous it sells a lot more newspapers focusing on the darker side of someone, Christian Bale is a nice fella is probably not going to sell newspapers.
You used to live next door to Keanu Reeves. Is he ‘the one’ to party with?
He was quite quiet really. He was very intelligent and had a great sense of humour and was friendly too. Where I lived in Los Angeles led me into some very surreal situations, like being stopped by Jodie Foster’s security for overtaking her and passing George Clooney on the bridge over Hollywood reservoir.
We also love Ewan McGregor, who we hear is in your BlackBerry. Have you ever found your other half trying to steal his number from your phone?
Tayla can have his number if she wants it! To my knowledge she’s never gone through my phone looking for it. Sometimes I forget who is in there to be frank. It’s funny when I get a text from someone and I do a double take.
Where do you hang out?
If I want to relax and have a nice afternoon drink and some good food then Nasimi’s a great choice. As the sun goes down it has to be 360° (great DJs and an amazing venue) and if I want to let loose in the old classic indoors club environment then it’s Trilogy every time. If I want a lovely night with the missus then it has to be La Petite Maison.
And finally, your plans for 2012?
My aim this year is to get back in the studio to work on collaborations with some people in Dubai and internationally, and also concentrate on getting my solo album finished. There are also some interesting DJ projects on the horizon including DJing at The Royal Island Beach Club on the Lebanon Island on The World! Invite please, Conan!