Back in the early 2000s, when I began to explore the internet properly, discovering a number of DJ forums discussing dance culture and its history, it was clear that the early ’80s had been largely obscured. This was the period that followed the supposed death of Disco in 1979 (prompted by the vitriolic racist / homophobic ‘’Disco Sucks’ campaign fronted by WLUP Chicago shock jock Steve Dahl), and preceded the emergence of House music during the mid-’80s.
Whilst London’s Acid House era is defined by nights like Shoom, Spectrum, Future and The Trip, there was also a crucial off-the-beaten-track warehouse party in Alperton near Wembley called Hedonism, which helped define the spirit of the era. Although there were only a quartet of gatherings in all, taking place between February and May ’88 (the event originally intended as a one-off), their impact would resonate throughout the capital.
The third edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture:
The second edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture:
Last December, whilst I was in London to collect the DJ Mag Industry Icon award at their Best Of British event at Heaven, editor Carl Loben and digital editor Charlotte Lucy Cijffers approached me with the idea of writing a regular column for the magazine focusing on various aspects of the history of dance culture during the pre-Rave era, taking in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
I’d written most of this post at the end of last month on the flight from Lisbon to Salvador in Brazil, where I played New Years Eve at the idyllic setting of Biopeba Island in Bahia for the Mareh Music Festival. The intention was to post once I got back to the UK on January 3rd, but fate took a turn.
Meant to give both of these the heads-up in recent months, and certainly ahead of Christmas, but I’ve been so swamped with other stuff I haven’t had chance.
The anniversary weekend in Liverpool went off wonderfully, both at the celebratory Saturday night gathering in The Garage and a somewhat more sedate talk session on the Sunday evening at Jacaranda Records.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of my first club appearance. Last night I played for 5 hours at The Garage and tonight I’m at The Jacaranda to conclude a celebratory weekend in my home city of Liverpool with a talk about what it was like to be a DJ back in those proto-Disco days.
One of London’s longest running, and most influential underground club nights, Low Life, bowed out with a bang on Halloween. The party originally started in New York back in the early ’90s (before transferring to London in 1997), its driving force being Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton, who were later to publish the book ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ (1999), charting the history of the DJ, as well as subsequently setting up the DJ History website. A Ransom Note interview with Bill outlines the reasons behind the decision to call it a day, not only with Low Life, but also with djhistory.com: