HISTORY IN THE MAKING
July will be the month looked back on fondly. The build up to the launch of Centreforce going live with its DAB licence was a journey in itself and hopefully the story will be retold in the Centreforce stage play The House That Centreforce Built, which is now starting to pick up momentum and is looking like it will become a theatre production to hit the boards in 2019, just in time to celebrate Centreforces’ thirtieth anniversary. There’s a long way to go yet with the stage play but it’s we’re feeling optimistic that we can make it happen. And if we can pull this off, not only will it be the first stage play about the acid house scene but it’ll be something else that Centreforce will be remembered for being the pioneers of. And it will happen because the Centreforce family, under the leadership of Danny and Andy Swallow and Jonny C and its increasing stable of DJ’s and MC’s, makes things happen. The station getting a DAB licence proves it.
Centreforce is creating the Third Summer of Love. Fact! The first week of going live as a DAB station has seen some of the best dance music DJ’s play some of the greatest dance music ever recorded. The response has been amazing. AMAZING!
For those that have locked on the response has been positive, the attitude real and the support overwhelming (I’m sure Danny and Jonny will agree). I have thoroughly enjoyed locking onto the station throughout the first week as I have been driving around Kent. I have heard so much brilliant music. I’ve been dancing in the seat of the motor every day and because of it I’m certain I have even lost a couple of pounds.
The quality of sound is incredible too. What I have been getting has been loud and clear, live and direct and sounds authentic. The station sounds real, with edge and still carries that pirate feel. It’s not a ‘posh’ sound as Jonny C explained to me like lots of the other ‘professional’ stations have. Personally I hope the station will retain that authentic feel and then I will feel and, I’m sure many others who locked on back in 1989 and 1990 will feel that a part of their youth is being held safe within them. Those were good days and now the station is taking its listeners old and new back from the past and into the future.
Keep it locked, share the good news and be a champion for Centreforce Radio 883. Be part of the stations history.
This July newsletter includes some back ground history about the station, a review of July 14th when the station went live with its DAB, two featured members of the Centreforce family and a list of the shows from week one. Enjoy!
History of Centreforce:
The origins of Centreforce Radio began in the summer of 1988 when conversations were going on between Andy Swallow and Gary Dickel about putting on club nights in a venue called Faces, and this led to organising illegal raves (the first was in a warehouse near Carpenters Road in Stratford and area where Centreforce would set up several of their studios), which in turn paved the way and, laid the foundations of setting up Centreforce Radio in May 1989.
In fact it was Gary who played the very first record on the station after he, Andy and a few others had been playing their sets at an alldayer in Echos in Bow on Saturday 8th May 1989. Andy co-ran a night in Echos with Jonny Eames, who also played a massive part in the Centreforce story and helped to secure premises to set up studios and keep the station out of the reach of the authorities.
Andy Swallow adopted Pasha as his DJ and station name and the DJ rosta quickly grew to include local lads like Corporation Dave, Keith Mac, Connie, Roger the Doctor, Seeker, Nicky Brown, Jazzy M and Hermit. They were mostly faceless characters, just voices talking through microphones in some secret location; that kept the raving fraternity up to date and informed regards the parties, the meeting points and the latest tunes. Centreforce helped break many rave tracks: Starlight’s Numero Uno and Meltdown by Quartz were two of the most popular.
Many locations were found and secured for the purposes of setting up Centreforce studios. Many floors up in tower blocks around the East End were used. The higher up the better to assist with transmitting to larger areas and the station did indeed keep many a raver from the Home Counties happy.
Although there were other illegal pirate radio stations operating across London (Sunrise was one of the better ones) it was Centreforce who were the first station in the UK to play house music twenty four seven. To do this took a great deal of organising and to a degree professionalism. There was also the matter o staying one step ahead of the police and Ofcome because being shut down was one thing but having your records confiscated was totally unacceptable. The big fines and threats of prison sentences came in 1990 as Thatcher’s government piled their efforts and resources into stopping the illegal raves and the pirate stations that helped fuel them.
During its existence across ‘89 and ‘90 Centreforce continued to put on raves and some of the most memorable happened in a club called Shinola’s and Clinks and there was also the Woodstock weekender that was held in a field near Brands Hatch in the August of 89-the height of the Second Summer of Love.
One special reason why ravers loved Centreforce was because they could interact with the DJ’s-people who were just like them, people who talked like them, wore Timberland boots and Kickers just like them, and loved acid house, just like them. Ravers could relate to Centreforce and Centreforce could relate to them. It was a match made for a disused warehouse or farmer’s field somewhere near the M25.
Ravers could ‘lock on’ to 88.3 and communicate with the DJ’s. The studio had pagers and as the DJ’s received messages they would air the ‘shout outs’ live. To get a ‘big shout going out’ was an exciting thing. It’s no wonder that Centreforce was fondly known as the ‘Big One’ and for many Centreforce will be remembered as the premier pirate radio station from that era.
Almost twenty years after that fatal day when Centreforce got raided and eventually needed to shut down they reappeared as a station with a connection to Time FM. This period provided an opportunity to recruit new DJ’s (many of which had been just listeners of the station back in 89/90) and Jonny C, the current Centreforce Station Manager was amongst that Time FM crop.
Fast forward another decade and Jonny C, working tirelessly alongside Andy Swallow and Danny Swallow and few Centreforce loyals have created a whole station, initially taking advantage of social media to re-launch the station to grab people’s attention. Such was the response from people (there were over a million views in less than six months on the Facebook live streaming shows) that Andy, Danny and Jonny decided it was time to take the station to a new level, a new dimension and make it legal. They applied for a Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) licence and much to the delight and appreciation of their fans and supporters they got it. On Saturday 14th July 2018 the station went live as a DAB station called Centreforce Radio 883 and the next chapter in the history of this incredible dance music radio station. Keep it locked!
FROM The Centreforce Towers
WOW! How time flies… One month ago today we launched on DAB…29 years in the making. We would like to say a massive thank you to all of our DJs, Presenters, Hosts, Management team and most importantly you the listeners. We are carrying on the journey… From an east London flat a global force was born. Keep it locked. Keep it 883. Master Pasha
We had a few issues at the start but we have now sorted those. It was things like needing night time shows. But over the next few months the night time schedules will be in place. There are developments happening all of the time. For example we should be relocating to our new studio in the next few weeks. I’m interviewing DJ’s all the time so in the coming face there’ll be new DJ’s joining the Centreforce team. We’ll also have some of the original people like Seeker and Keith Mac coming on and also people like Swift and Zinc, The Rat Pack and Pied Piper and Creed. It’s going to be good1
Shows like The Breakfast, the Football and the Hall of Fame are doing really well and we are getting lots of positive response to the website-which is taking shape nicely thanks to Simon James. We have people from 106 countries locking on.
I feel really positive towards the future and all the emails and texts and phone calls from listeners, family and friends are doing this for me. People seem happy with the station and that makes me happy to know. Jonny C
This time with Centreforce DJ Rob Smilie
One of my fondest memories from back in the day was ending up in the Astoria after work on a Friday night. I was with two mates from work but they weren’t into raving at all. All they knew about raving was what they’d read in the newspapers and from what they’d seen on the TV. So going to the Astoria was their first introduction to what was really happening. I remember noticing them enjoying the night. I also remember speaking to so many people that night too. There was a solicitor, an air stewardess, a top face from Tottenham. All barriers were down and everyone was just having a wicked time.
I don’t know who was deejaying that night, it might have been Nicky Holloway, but I’m not certain. There was no MC’s back then so you never really knew who the DJ’s were.
Because I was from Hackney I’d end up in the raves that were in the area. Genesis parties I went to a few times, they were my first raves that started up around 1988. Those parties were lively.
I had first gotten into house in 1987. I was listening to KISS at the time and you had Jazzy M and Steve Jackson on there playing house music. They’d play a lot of the Chicago stuff: Marshall Jefferson and Frankie Knuckles. And then I heard Todd Terry and he really caught my attention. I really liked tracks like Bango. I also remember watching the video to Jack Your Body on Top of the Pops with my mum and my mum being unable to believe that a song sounding like that could be at number one.
The fashion around 88/89 was very lively too. Every other person seemed to be wearing a baggy NAF NAF top. I only owned one NAF NAF top because I couldn’t afford to buy any more. There were a lot of dungarees too. I wore them too. I do love a dungaree! I also had a purple and pink pair of Wallabees. I liked Kickers, I had a green pair, but they weren’t as comfortable as Wallabees. Back in 88/89 as long as it was baggy and colourful it was good.
I was a Centreforce listener back in day. It was a very important station because although there were loads of pirate stations about, Centreforce was the first that only played dance music. Centreforce also introduced people to all the new tunes that were coming out and then there was the information that they provided for what raves were going on. I know people relied on Centreforce for finding out where the meeting points were. I was fortunate because I always knew someone who was in the know, so it was more just a matter of jumping in the car and following them.
What does that period mean to me? I’d say life defining. From my point of view, as a man of colour, before the raves, all there was were either white clubs or black clubs. On a few occasions I had problems getting into certain so called ‘white’ clubs. But with acid house, the barriers were broken down and everyone was in it together. This was a very important thing for me and what I witnessed was one big happy affair. It was exciting because up until acid house we hadn’t had that. The white crowd mixed with the black crowd, it didn’t matter who you was or where you were from and that was special and life changing. It showed me that we can all get along and it was the music that did this for us.
FEATURED DJ’S AND MC’s
Introducing this month’s Centreforce family members
I was into raving from around 89/90. There were lots of parties going on and every weekend I was out. I’m from the East End and back then I was working for a firm called A&F Security. They other lads there always played Centreforce on the radio in the workshop and I got hooked on it from there. Through that firm I got introduced to loads of the Centreforce DJ’s because they’d come to the workshop to chill out. People like Seeker and Corporation Dave were always coming in. Psychedelic Eric would come down too and he became a good friend of mine.
By 1990 we were hardcore ravers going to Raindance, Astoria, Berwick Manor and World Dance. Around that time I was also friendly with the Fantasy FM DJ’s too and we hung about a lot. I wasn’t really into the deejaying side of it but I liked the MC side of it. I was around the grafters too-if you know what I mean.
When Time FM was going and Centreforce was involved Bubbler and me were doing shows on Friday and Saturday night and we had one of the busiest shows. I also helped out to keep the station on the air too. At the time I had my own security firm and I’d go and take down all the other rigs that interfered with ours. The joke of it was that in the end Ofcom employed us.
My link with Centreforce is strongly connected to the security side of things. Because I was a raver I know the people and know how to relate to them. This meant that when I got on the mic I could relate to the listeners and they could relate to me. We were able to build an audience because of that.
Centreforce coming back in 2017 was an amazing thing. I loved doing the live stream shows when they were going and now I’m looking forward to the DAB side of things happening. Centreforce getting the DAB licence is fantastic. It’s like everyone has worked for it. It’s become a joint family effort and it’s going to be good. Jonny and Danny have really pushed it through to make it happen.
Over the years I ended doing all the security for the parties. Through my firm Great Britannia K9 Security Ltd I also train security dogs and have done a lot of celebrity security over the years. I did the Centreforce raves in 2017 and will be involved in that side of things in the future.
Alongside house music reggae is another love of mine. I’ve been going out to Jamaica for years getting involved in music and have met and had connections with lots of the artists out there.
I started deejaying back in the rave days and played out in places like the Astoria and Busby’s. This was ‘89 and I knew Andy and the Centreforce boys because I was a West Ham. I didn’t get involved with the station in ‘89. I came on board later on. In ‘89 I was busy doing different things. I would often play in what was called back then the chill out room, which was more of a US house room. This was before garage came in. In 1989 I listened to Centreforce and I was aware of how important it was on the rave scene.
I’ve played all over the world: Jordan, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Thailand, China and much of Europe. Jordan was very special. I went there to open up the Hard Rock Café and at the VIP opening was the then prince of Jordan. He was that impressed with my set that I got the invitation to play at his birthday party which was a few days later. This meant playing in the palace. It as mental! He is now the King Abdullah 11 of Jordan.
I’ve also played various clubs in Ibiza: Space, Koo, Pasha. I never got to play in Amnesia though. Ayia Napa was another place I’ve played at many times over the years. Club Ice and the Castle Club have been amongst the venues out there. I actually took Freedom out there. That was the club night I did for five years at Bagleys. An eight hour set every Saturday night.
I played at many places in the UK and for lots of organisations-Ministry of Sound and World Dance are right up there. I had the Gas Club in Leicester Square for a while and this was around the same time that Andy also used it. This was the break of the garage scene-the real garage scene. The Gas Club was one of the most darkest and dangerous clubs around at the time. Me and Brandon Block then went to Thailand and I fell in love with the place. It was when I came back that I saw Andy and he said to me that I should come down his pub and see what was happening with the Centreforce shows. After that I ended up doing a show, which got something like 25.000 hits, which I was over the moon with. I couldn’t believe the power of what Centreforce was doing with those live stream shows.
I then deejayed at the Centreforce Boxing Day party at the George 11 in Hornchurch. It was a good night and a lot of old skool got played. My next show was with Andy at the Dovecote on New Year’s Eve.
Getting the DAB is perfect for Centreforce for where they are now. Other stations like KISS have gone very commercial which means there’s a big call for a station like Centreforce which doesn’t play the commercial stuff. It’ll work and it’ll be good.
My favourite DJ’s are Roger Sanchez and Des Mitchell and my fave raves from back in the day would have to be World Dance at Lydd Airport.
Centreforce DAB launch 14/07/18
History in the Making and Taking You Back From The Past And Into The Future.
At noon on Saturday July 14 2018 Centreforce Radio went live with its DAB Licence and broadcast as a legal station for the very first time. I arrived at the studio in Loughton about 12.20 (there’d been an accident on the M25 which held me up and also prevented Ray Keith from getting to the studio to play his set (Jonny C stepped up to take over)).
The sun was shining, it was hot and the studio was jammed pack with Centreforce family, friends and DJ’s. I spent a while shaking hands and exchanging greetings with Jack Bass and Rooney the Roonsta before giving the thumbs up the Pasha (Andy Swallow), Master Pasha (Danny Swallow) and Jonny C, who had launched the station with Dr Packer’s remix of the great song by Evelyn King Love Come Down.
The atmosphere in the room was vibrant and exciting. It was clear that there was an element of relief too, after all, getting to this stage of going DAB live had been a long time coming as Danny, the station’s visionary pointed out ‘We’re finally here and to be honest it feels a bit surreal. All the hard work that we’ve done over the last, well 29 years has finally paid off and Centreforce is now a legal DAB station. We are also the first DAB station of our kind too and that means a lot to us. It’s a massive achievement for everyone here and here’s to the future’.
The remainder of the guys set included tracks like Your Love-Frankie Knuckles, Salsa House-Richie Rich and Strings Of Life-Rhythm is Rhythim. The mixture in the set of old classics and newer remixes and new songs demonstrated the stations intent and wherever Danny goes you can see in his shadow the Centreforce mantra ‘Taking you back from the past and into the future’. The vision and intention is clear and going DAB live is a massive step towards achieving the stations aim.
Once Pasha and Master Pasha had successfully lifted the station off they withdrew from the decks which meant it was Jonny C’s time to get the ship afloat. Now Jonny C is the station Master and Commander, a vital backbone in the success story of Centreforce Radio and going forwards he’d be one of the integral parts of the machinery that will steer the station into previously un-navigated waters and what is for certain the station is in safe hands. Jonny C ‘We are finally here but do you know what it feels normal but really strange at the same time. 29 years is a long time coming-you know I do like to get in a queue sometimes. Today is amazing though. We are getting loads of support and really good messages and everyone’s being so helpful. It’s a family that’s growing.’
By 3pm Peter P was behind the decks. In fact Peter will go down as being the DJ to have played the first legal vinyl set on Centreforce Radio and Peter’s set was outstanding. The weight of Deejaying experience and love for house music coming through loud and clear along with his words ’30 years in the making’, ‘what a journey’ and we’re going to tear it up’ and tear it up he did with tracks such as Urban’ Soul’s Alright and Make You Whole by Andronicus.
An integral part of the Centreforce story has been its ability to communicate and relate to its listeners. This was important back in 1989 and it became evident that it was still important with the Facebook live streaming sessions and Peter P kept the shout outs alive ‘shout out to the Camden Palace Crew’ and ‘East London in the house’.
Peter P continued to rip through his set of original house that echoed the past but hinted at what’s to come in the future and built the vibe up with Laid Back’s White Horse and Jazz and the Brother Grimms Casanova (the Raising Hell remix). On this day of the launch Peter P set a standard.
4pm was Bubbler the Troubler’s time. Bubbler had been present for the past hour shooting the breeze either in the studio or out in the car park. Choosing vinyl too he stepped it up and opened his set with Mory Kante’s Ye Ke Ye Ke a track that dates back to 1987, the time when Andy Swallow was first discovering house music and what Ibiza’s part would be to play in the evolvement of acid house in the UK. By the following year Andy was kicking down warehouse doors and putting on his own parties and the acid seeds of Centreforce were being sown.
There were more shout outs to the ‘smiley face crew’ and the ‘Essex Crew’ as Bubblers high octane set ignited the ravewaves and upped the tempo and tossed in Making Happy by Crystal Waters for good measure. Bubbler continued to cause more trouble being signing out with DNA La Serenissima. Job done! Until next time!
By the time Nicky B and me took our positions behind the decks Centreforce Radio DAB was truly live and direct and hitting the ravewaves hard and Nicky B, one of the original Centreforce DJ’s from 1990, was going to take us back with a selection of the finest acid house ever committed to vinyl. First up was The Children’s Freedom, something from the vaults of Chicago’s DJ International label.
I helped keep the shout outs going out and directing listeners old and new to the phone lines and website as Nicky continued to toss in more stompers such as House Nation –Housemaster Boyz and Acid Over-Tyree Cooper. Jonny and Danny are fully aware that many of the original Centreforce listeners love this acid stuff and they know there’ll always keep the acid side of things included in the stations future, so we will be seeing more of Nicky B.
More people came by the studio Rob Smiley, Randy Cee, Perry K and Joey G who was up next and took over and treated the Centreforce listeners to the likes of Monie Love’s Grandpa’s Party and Index’s Give Me A Sign, two fave raves from back in the day. Joey kept his eye on the messages flooding in too and acknowledged every one with his ‘hold tight Jimmy’ ‘hold tight Kelly’.
Danielle Montana and Jenny Bean followed by Rooney the Roonsta and Danny Lines cleaned up for the remaining three hours until the launch of Centreforce going live on DAB came to an end. Jack Bass summed the event up well with Jack Bass ‘Centreforce going live with its DAB today-it’s history in the making!’
Keep it locked for the August newsletter. Let’s Get Busy!
All the best (Centreforce Features and Reviews Editor-coz that sounds good)
SHOWS IN JULY
12pm – 1pm Pasha Master Pasha Jonny C
1pm – 2pm Ray Keith
2pm – 3pm Pasha Master Pasha Jonny C
3pm – 4pm Peter P
4pm – 5pm Bubbler
5pm – 6pm Nicky B and Ian Snowball
6pm – 7pm Joey G
7pm – 8pm Danielle Montana and Jenny Bean
8pm – 11pm Rooney and Danny Lines
Chris Phillips 11-1pm
Carly Denham 1-3pm special guest appearance from Haifa MC
Jack Bass 3-4pm
Randy C 4-5pm
DJ Ramsey & Reki 5-7pm
Matt logic special guest Andy Skilz-7-9pm
Perry K 9-10pm late pick up ?
Rewind 10-till late
Jonny C and Master Pasha all day long
Master Pasha 7-10am
Perry k 10-12 noon
Oldskool 88-89 JonnyC & Rooney1-3pm
DJ sterling 3-6pm
Dean lambert 6-8pm
Enyaw wayne 8-10pm
Master Pasha 7am
Peter P 8-11am
Rob Smillie 11-2pm
Oldskool Run 2-3pm
Jazzy M 3-5pm
DJ Clockwork 5-8pm
Carly Denham 8-10pm
Re play 10-7am
7-10am Wayne Eldridge & Mete
10-12noon Peter P.
12-2pm Chris Lavish.
2-5pm Danielle Montana & Jenny Bean.
5-8pm Pasha, Master Pasha, DJ Charlo.
8-10pm Hall of fame returns with Connie Con Runtings Crew
7-10am Peter P
10-12noon Max Fernandez
12-2pm DJ Davibe
2-4pm Jon Dubaya
4-7pm DJ Tre
7-10pm Rooney Danny Legend Lines
10-2am Friday nights mix Exclusive
2-6am Centreforce favourites
9-11am Chris Doulou
11-2pm Matt Emolsion & Stuart J Aka the Acid Bothers
2-4pm Master Magri
4-6pm Rooney Danny lines
6-8pm Nicky B special guest DJ Peshay
8-10pm Joey G & Dj Bubbler
10-6 Centreforce mix
9-10am Chris Doulou
10-1pm Captain Chris Phillips
1-3pm Phil Phillo
3-5pm House of Soul
7-10am Ramsey & Reki Breaky
10-12 Olas Boss Reggae Rumble show
12-2pm DJ Speed Debut show
2-4pm Jon Dubaya afternoon blend
4-6pm Master Pasha Drive time
6-8pm DJ Bubbler’s Monday mash up
8-10pm Colin Hudd house Legend
7-10am with Master Pasha & Pasha
10-12noon Peter P
12-2pm Perry K
2-3pm Jonny C
3-6pm DJ Sterling
6-8pm Dean Lambert
8-10pm Carly Denham
7-10amRamsey & Reki Breaky show
10-12noon Randy C
12-3 Rob Smillie
3-5pm Jazzy M
5-8pm DJ Clockwork
8-10 Joey G bkb Jack Bass
7-10am Wayne Eldridge & Metty
10-1 Peter P
1-2pm Jonny C
2-5pm Danielle Montana Jenny Bean
6-7pm Master Pasha
8-10pm Hall of Fame Rubber Ron Originally on Centreforce fm 88.3 back in 1989 ? Summer of Love
7-10am Peter P
10-1pm Max Fernandez
1-4pm Jonny Dubaya (marbs)
4-6pm Ramsey & Reki
6-8pm DJ Tre
8-10pm Rooney Roonsta
10-6am Centreforce late mix
9-11am Chris Doulou
11-2Pm Matt Elmolsion Stuart J
2-4pm Robbie Pump
4-6pm Rooney Danny Lines
6-8pm Ryan Wallis
8-10pm Joey G Dj Bubbler
10-6 Centreforce mix
9-10am Chris Doulou
10-1pm Chris Phillips
1-3pm Bonnie DJ
3-5pm House of soul
5-7pm Special Guest Cleveland Anderson show
7-9pm Matt Logic
9-11pm Centreforce Mix
7-10am Ramsey & Reki
10-12pm Max Fernandez
12-2pm DJ Speed
2-4pm Jon Dubaya
4-6pm Master Pasha
6-8pm Dj Bubbler
8-10pm Colin Hudd
7am Peter P covering for Master Pasha
12-2 Perry K
2-3pm Jonny C
3-6pm Dj Sterling
6-8pm Master Magri covering for Dean Lambert
8-10pm Enyaw wayne
10-12 Centreforce mix