Last updated: 2nd Feb 2018.
Originally published: 8th Oct 2017
People are always asking what is the best tune from that magical era and I always say how can you choose a one or ten even! It is just impossible to choose which is the best or my favourites, so I have chosen tracks that have a personal story to me that I played.
Johnny Potatohead - Vicious: I first met Stuart Crichton at Streetrave in Scotland and we would go back to his flat just down the round from Ayr Pavilion and he would sit at his bank of keyboards and blow our minds! Anyone who came back couldn't believe how talented this guy was, I remember K-Klass coming back one time and they were in awe of his skills. We became great friends and Stuart became an international producer for people like Kylie Minogue and Sugarbabes. He has just had a number 1 album in the US with Ke$ha. He is by far the most talented musician I have ever met. This track typifies Stuart's talent, I can still see his fingers whirring playing this bassline! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agnvr6EiJKk
Zero Zero - Charlie Parker: I can't actually remember the first time I met Simon Robinson but it may have been at the International 1 in Longsight where were both playing. We struck a bit of friendship immediately and I had been playing his tracks for years and didn't realise he was a Longsight lad. I remember going round to his mum's house in Plymouth Grove I think and having a jamming session with his set up. Think we ended up smoking more that creating anything that day! Charlie Parker is such an epic powerful tune and I was always telling him how good it was. He has just released a 2017 version, probably to shut me up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E36fGxtnUtw
Moodswings - Works of Atreus 6 Train: This is probably the piece of music I get asked about the most. Moggy and I had been hammering this amazing tune for a couple of months when Colin suggested why don't we remix and release it with Mainline vocal on it. So we got in touch with Joseph H Bernard II and he promptly flew over. There were multiple reasons why the track never was produced, naivety on both sides but it was a great experience for all of us and I know we all learned from it. I speak with Joe and we will one day get him back over to play his epic anthem again on these shores! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77evC_LB_rM
PSI Divison - Mind**k-2000: I haven't a clue how we met up but I am so glad we did. We had such crazy times together at the Clash nights and in Newcastle on a few occasions. They were ultimate cyber punks, I am sure I remember Alex Martin with a baseball bat one time when he performed at Hippos. James Todd from their circle went on to create Global Underground and that is no small thing to have on your CV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NGvBl8-o0w
Switzerland - Inflight (The Correct Use Of Dope): I had known Martin Price from 808 and E-Bloc, I used to batter this masterful production at Hippos and from my support of it I got friends with Martin & Neale Johnson and would go up their studio in Bolton and they would come to the Riverside or sometimes to the Scottish gigs. Again we had some very wild times together, I remember us all walking on the beach at Prestwick Airport gig on NY morning with the scariest sea trying wash one of us into it never to be seen again. How none us drown I never know! https://youtu.be/0mor5xQNPuo
CJ Bolland - Horsepower: I had been a fan of CJ since Space Opera on the mighty R&S. His releases on the label under differing pseudonyms were consistently good but when Horsepower was released it blew my mind. I booked him several times for The Riverside and he is best person live in a club I have seen. I have many many people say how awe inspiring it was to watch him on the mass of equipment weaving his sonic magic. He was world class. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nkbqxr4Ht7k
808 State - Pacific State (White Label): I remember in my very early days of DJing and I was off to try my luck in Ibiza as a DJ. I was given a white label of the new 808 track Pacific State. I was in Es Paradise as I had befriended the DJ in there and I got him to put Pacific State on and this girl ran up to the box and was shouting that's my brothers tune. It was Andy Barker's sister Debora and his girlfriend. What a huge coincidence but my life has been full of them but that is for another article. It was the first and definitely not the last time it was played in Ibiza. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K0AqsNVwlE
SL2 - Way In My Brain: I first met Jason Munn and Mash in Sequins in Blackpool when they were helping promote Raindance and sleeping in a van. To cut a long story short, they ending up staying with me and they were blown over with the northern hospitality and we became friends. Jay and Mash were close friends with Slipmatt & Lime, which then in turn meant we would have them up to play for us. I remember Jay bringing me into his bedroom in Loughton and playing me Way In My Brain, when Matt and Jon had just finished it. It was such a rush to hear it. Sounded so fresh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI8S1Nn6NRk
The Beat Club - Security: Always reminds me of the Thunderdome and a band who I always admired. When I was looking for acts for the second Clash night we were playing. I wanted them to play but it was such massive piece of detective work to track Ony and Mireya down. It took months, we would have had them on at follow up to Hippos Reunion. This had to be put on the backburner as had a lovely baby girl Daisy. Watch this space. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUlXy-WHB78
Geneside II -Narra Mine: Hhmm well this is a story. I really wanted them to play at the Hippo's as Narra Mine for me always reminding me of those unbelievable nights we had there. It was huge struggle to find them it took months of research until I tracked down Kris Bones in New York. He was more than happy to help but he had not been in touch with Killaman for years as he had been in jail for a long stint and very much doubted he would be out of prison. I never gave up faith and Kris came up trumps. Killaman came and he was better than I could have imagined what presence and skill he had with his lyrics. I'll never forget that performance, it actually made me dance! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oL87uZ1rJY
Catch me playing a two hour set at The Marquee Party Oldham RUFC
Tickets are no longer available for this event