[The real story]
My involvement with music began about 1972 when I bought my first record. It was “Son of my Father” by Chicory Tip (you may know it better as a famous 70’s football chant) and was in fact the start of my fascination with synthesisers and all things electronica.
My professional involvement with music began in 1980, when I took a job as the resident DJ at a “Roxy/Bowie” night in Liverpool . This was after spending the previous four years as a regular at Erics, Brady’s and various other alternative music clubs. Over the next five years, I established myself on the New Romantic/Futurist scene, as one of the most successful and high profile DJs in the country, with a reputation for breaking a number of bands that went on to huge pop stardom including Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Ultravox, The Human League, Heaven 17 and ABC. During that time I branched out into management and live gig promotion. I became one of the biggest independent promoters in the North West and my gigs include A Flock of Seagulls, Blue Rondo A La Turk, Pete Shelley ( Buzzcocks), Animal Nightlife, Matt Bianco, Roman Holiday, Fad Gadget, Doctor and the Medics, The Farm and many more.
I also DJ’d onstage as the warm up for Spandau Ballet at the Liverpool Empire in front of 2000 people. I used to run parties for any band that came into Liverpool and was also the first DJ to hire a club and run their own night. This was called The Powerplant and it ran in 1982/3 until I became a partner in what became the most successful alternative dance music and live music venue in Liverpool …. The System. I booked the bands every Friday and DJ’d and ran a massively successful Alternative Dance night on a Saturday regularly attracting up to six hundred people plus.
It was during this time that I auditioned to be a presenter of “The Tube” and brought Frankie Goes To Hollywood to the attention of the programme. In actual fact I was one of the last four people to audition at Tyne Tees TV which consisted of me interviewing Jules Holland and reviewing ET to camera. I facilitated the filming of Frankie at the State ballroom where I was the resident DJ for a number of years on the hugely successful Thursday night. As a result of the filming Trevor Horn saw them on the Tube and offered them their deal.
At The State I was known to play everything from The Cramps to early House. It was a true forerunner to what became the Balearic/House music scene.
It was during this time I turned down the residency at Amnesia before Alfredo got the gig (Just ask Sid). The State was also where I promoted such acts as New Order (supported by James – That cost me 50 quid!), Big Audio Dynamite, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Howard Devoto, Chris Rea, Clint Eastwood and General Saint and Divine and also had PA’s from a young Jeremy Healy (aka Hayzee Fantayzee) and Dead or Alive.
In January 1987, I moved to London to work for Polydor Records. Responding to the rare groove movement in London at the time I set up a label called “Urban” and had immediate success with the re-release of a number of Rare Groove classics such as Maceo and the Macks “Cross The Tracks”, The Jackson Sisters “I Believe in Miracles”, Bobby Byrd “I Know You Got Soul” and Roy Ayres “Can’t you see me”. I instigated and oversaw the release of a number of classic albums by Lyn Collins, James Brown and Roy Ayers and I also compiled Urban Classics Vol 1 & 2. I was also responsible for commissioning the Mix of the ” Hot Pants” Breakbeat which is now the most used drum loop and sample in Dance Music ( even more than Funky Drummer).
During my Time at Polydor I also signed The Fat Boys and was responsible for the release and subsequent hit ” Wipe Out”
I left Polydor to manage British Rap artist, Derek B, taking him from a small independent label to a Two Album deal with Phonogram. During this time He had his only top twenty hit ” Good Groove”, which I helped write and produce (uncredited). It was through Derek that I came to mange the original Soul to Soul vocalist, Rose Windross (negotiating the deal for Fair Play).
In the summer of 1987 I returned to my first love - DJing. I remember clearly driving Paul Oakenfold to Liverpool from the Prestatyn Soul Weekender on Saturday morning when he told me how he wanted to start a night full of alternative and Balaeric music just like Ibiza. I told him that it was nothing different than alternative DJ’s across the country had been doing for ages but I would support him if he tried it in London (a brave move).
I am one of the small number of DJs who started the Balearic/ Acid House Scene, the effects and influence of which are still felt more than twenty years on. I worked at Shoom with Danny Rampling (my first night being to rescue the spirit of the night after Cold Cut). Having played at the early Boys Own parties with Andy Wetherall and Terry Farley, The Hacienda with Mike Pickering and numerous parties with Paul Oakenfold and Love at the Wag where I was resident DJ with Dave Dorrell as my warm up, I headlined the first two legendary Sunrise parties. I have been a guest DJ right across the UK , playing at Most Excellent, Back to Basics, Luvdup, Slam, Golden and Quadrant Park amongst numerous others, as well as running two very successful clubs in London , Promised Land and Better Days. The guests who played at Better Days reads like a who’s who of DJs and Includes most of the DJs mentioned above as well as John Kelly, Justin Robertson, John Digweed, Jon Dasilva and Kelvin Andrews. I was the First DJ to play Acid House on German National Radio and pioneered the International travel of House Music DJs.
During My career I have played at Wembley Arena, Docklands Arena and the Albert Hall.
I very quickly started to make records to feed the scene and released music under the names, Technodelia, Precinct 13, Better Days and The Better Days Project. Technodelia was one of the very first European Acid House Records and Precinct Thirteen “Listen to Your Heartbeat” was ripped of by Hardcore Uproar ” Together”. I had a record Deal with Music of Life, Living Beat and eventually Virgin and a publishing dea with Swanyard Music. I also Signed Rose Windross to Swanyard.
I have more than 50 remixes to my credit, including The Mock Turtles “Can You Dig It ?” (Top 5), Soho “Hippychick” ( Number 2 ), China Crisis “African and White”, Pete Wylie, The Railway Children, JBC, BoysWonder, C-Force, Neutron 9000, YBU, Candyland ” Fountain of Youth” ( Top 20) and many more. I also had a label called Better Days, which released tracks by myself and other artists including C-Force, Museka, The Disco Universe Orchestra,
Marshall Hain, Mahalia, and 2 Fabiola. Most of the releases included mixes I did. I also produced a Thrash Metal album by a band called ” Crowforce” which was released on Music for Nations.
I eventually retired from the music business in 2000, when my son, Tom, was diagnosed with Autism, in order to concentrate on looking after him.
I returned to DJing eight years ago to take up a residency at A Shoreditch bar called the Drunken Monkey. Over that time I have also played at Faith, The Egg, and other club nights and old school house nights in Liverpool and London. This summer I returned to my spiritual Musical home Ibiza playing at Aura with Danny Rampling and For Balearic Mystique and Folk Ibiza.
I still have a genuine love of, and excitement for, playing music to move people.
I have my own Soundcloud Page under the name “Acidiscotech” which includes Three mixes done at the Drunken Monkey, One for House FM and My own remix of ” Break For Love” by Raze.
My passion for, and experience in music spans three and a half decades and a number of significant musical movements. I have worked in every area of the music business and have considerable experience as an A+R man, Label Owner (including licensing and signing tracks and other Producers and Artists), Manager, Promoter ( Live music and clubs), Artist, Producer, Remixer and DJ.
That is the story so far….Much more to come!