On The Road With: DnB DJ Chris Garvey on life-changing South Africa and US tours

One half of The Prototypes talks blowing up things in Bogota, South African segregation and party town Vancouver.

What is your favourite on-the-road moment?

Playing a Colombian game called tejo in Bogota. Players hurl weighted steel discs called tejos towards a bocin, or metal ring, that’s rigged with gunpowder-stuffed targets that explode upon impact – you score points for how many you explode and where your tejo lands.

You pay for entry into the game with a crate of beer and play in a 5ft-wide lane next to about 20 other teams of players who are all trying to do the same thing, so there are steel weights flying in all directions. Health and safety is out of the window but it was one of my best experiences.

And your favourite city?

Vancouver has everything I love. It’s got amazing nightlife with clubs like The Red Room (redroom vancouver.com), which has a Canadian-owned PK sound system, which are the best sound systems in the world, and a sunken dance floor so clubbers can look up at the stage.

It has truly epic scenery with the Rocky Mountains on the doorstep, Stanley Park just past downtown Vancouver and Whistler close by, so it ticks all my boxes for some serious downhill mountain biking in the summer.

When have you been most scared while travelling?

One journey I’ll never forget was on the way to a mate’s stag do in Méribel, France. We were due to fly into Grenoble Airport but when we arrived in Grenoble airspace, the pilot announced that it was unlikely we’d be able to land due to heavy snowfall but that he’d give it a go.

He kept missing the sweet spot on the runway and aborting last-minute, then powering back up through the pitch darkness in thick cloud. Three failed landing attempts later we finally diverted to Lyon airport, where we had to wait on the plane for five hours.

All the food and drink ran out, the toilets were full and the police even pulled up because it was all kicking off. Eventually we made it to Grenoble.

What have you ever taken from a hotel room?

I’m a serial hotel pen collector but I still never seem to have a pen when I need one.

What’s the best souvenir you’ve come home with?

I’ve never thrown away a lanyard or entry band. Looking through my lanyard box brings back so many incredible memories, including our first international show in Vienna at The Camera Club for Mainframe Recordings and all of our US tours since 2014. It’s the only proper collection I have and it’s in the high hundreds.

What has been your most life-changing experience while travelling?

Travelling to South Africa. I’ve never been confronted by such divisions in society that are so evident from the minute you land in Cape Town.

Khayelitsha is a township where I learned quickly that things work differently to England. You have to keep your wits about you because social situations can collide quickly.

I’d never seen such stark differences between rich and poor, and I’ve never seen such racial segregation, but it was an amazing experience in a beautiful country.

Where are you hoping to go next?

One of the very few positive things to come out of this pandemic has been spending time with my partner and two daughters.

We have a converted VW T5 van and we’ve been able to go to nearby campsites. Our favourite is Alfriston Camping Park in Polegate, near Lewes (from £10 per night, alfristoncamping.com). Bucket-list destinations are India and Thailand.

The Prototypes’ Ten Thousand Feet & Rising is released on Friday

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