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Centreforce Newsletter NOVEMBER 2018
1st November was the date of the first Centreforce family meeting. Over 40 DJ’s, presenters, staff gathered at the Centreforce Studios. Several matters were discussed regards the Centreforce music policy, which is basically that the station has always just played ‘good music’. Andy, Danny, Jonny shared their vision regards the way forward and the stations intention and aim and Ed Simpson introduced himself as one of the owners and investors in Centreforce Radio. It was an upbeat meeting and it was clear that everyone involved, especially you the listener, wants this station to succeed. We will RAVE ON!
Centreforce family from the inside looking out.
On the night of the meeting Connie (Runting’s Crew) held the station down with a mix of old and new house music. It’s always a treat to have one of the original Centreforce DJ’s coming back onto the station.
For Sterling’s new Saturday show he got Topbuzz into Centreforce Towers and that night, kicking off their new Nicky B and Jack Bass night time show, Jack lifted the roof off of the house and took us back to the heady day’s of Raindance at Jenkins Lane. He really did smash it that night and those future Saturday night shows are going to be massive ‘proper old skool’.
Nicky Brown and Jack Bass in da house on Saturday nights. Keep it locked to the big one-original Centreforce and Raindance mash up!
Master Pasha-the only way is up!
At 9am on Monday 5th November, remember remember, Centreforce launched it’s biggest competition to date. By leaving a comment on the CF FB page about why you think you or someone you know deserves the all paid for flight and hotel for a weekend away, you had the chance to win. But to do so you had to be in it to win it! There’ll be plenty more comps in the future so keep it locked to the BIG one.
On 6th November Peter P did his show from around the pool whilst out in Cyprus. He was there for the week spinning tunes in the sun whilst us lucky back in Blighty battled the wind and rain drenched roads on our ways to work. But at least we had Centreforce to keep us amused and in high spirits! Peter also dropped an exclusive track from Frankie Knuckles called Carefree this month…BOOM! The track will be out next year.
He was Back! Dean Lambert returned from the land of OZ, well not quite, but he had been to see his family in a land far far away. But there he was easing out the come down’zzz from the Third Planet party with set on the Soulful Sunday of 18th November. And Dean knows what we all needed.
Remember Street Sounds? Well, another highlight of the month included Peter P, Andy Smith and Morgan Khan with the Street Sounds Radio Show on the 22nd. Morgan was the man that brought us the those incredible Street Sounds records and, who didn’t own at least one of the comps throughout the 80’s. There were plenty to choose from too. My personal faves the Electro and House Trax ones. Street Sounds delivered it all from disco, funk, soul, hip hop and house. It WAS one of the most influential labels from that golden age of music. Welcome to Centreforce Towers Street Sounds.
Plus we Bad Boy West inviting his old Sunrise Radio boss Peter Stapleton into Centreforce Towers and they played tunes that took us all back to the heady dayz of the Second Summer of Love. Many a Centreforce listener also locked onto Sunrise back then. Both were important pirates.
Now, DJ Sterling is a man that puts in the graft. We know he is passionate about his music, but now we also know that he likes to interview people for his shows too and, those of us that do similar know that organising and setting up interviews can either run smoothly…or not! It comes with the territory because although most guys are easy to get along with and work with, sometimes they are not, and sometimes just getting past their agents can be a challenge. So, an approach is often one of being friendly and polite and, with Sterling we know the approaches are in safe hands. And, he delivered again on Saturday 24th when Detroit master and pioneer of the techno sound Kevin Saunderson joined the show. What a treat t have hooked in one of the Belleville boys and we hope in the future to have Derrick May and Juan Atkins on the station too- now that will be Big Fun!
The Centreforce Soulful Sunday’s eased us through a wintery day and the DJ’s on the day kept our souls warmed to the core. ESP closed proceedings with his Kicking Old Skool show and special guest DJ Rapid joined him for that. A fitting closure to the week.
The closing week included New Yorker Victor Simonelli on Texsta’s mid-week show. This now means that the we’ve had guys from Chicago, New York and Detroit join us and the international community is being added too constantly and there’s much more to come! Germany, France, Italy-we’re coming for ya! And original Centreforce DJ’s Hugs and Seeker were back doing their thing and this was followed by the launch of the new weekly show from another original Keith Mac, who’ll be sharing the decks with Jodi and in the future being inviting a range of DJ’s to play guest sets-this is going off!
And not forgetting another much respected man from the house scene who graced the station with his presence-Lenny Fontana came, conquered and took the roof right off. What a month it has been!
And lastly, a BIG welcome to Hazel Minns who started full-time employment with Centreforce this month as the Marketing and Digital manager. She’ll be handling all of the marketing for the station and we know she’ll do a tip top job.
SANTAFORCE IS COMING TO TOWN
If you have any raving tales from raving adventures over a Christmas period from back in the day please scribble them down and send to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll include them in the December newsletter.
THIRD PLANET FROM THE SUN 16/11/18 E1 CLUB, WAPPING.
AND SO we had the party of all parties! The Third Planet From The Sun on 16/11/18-a night to be remembered. This was the third Centreforce party since the station returned and it delivered all the flavours and essence of the original warehouse raves. For many of us it was a night of spills, thrills and bellyaches.
The E1 club in Wapping was chosen as the venue that would be best suited for the event. There were three rooms, each jam packed with bright eyed and bushy tailed ravers, young and old and the energy was vibrant and hot. The DJ’s lifted the roof off the E1 and the staff and security did a sterling job to maintain a happy and safe place to be.
‘When is the next party?’ was the question on everyone’s lips as they staggered out of the club into the sun rising. See you next time you loyal Centreforcer’s.
Keep it locked for news coming soon of the next party on 1st March and also a very, very special event that relates to Marshall Jefferson ‘the Godfather of House’ and the launching of his autobiography ‘Diary of a DJ’. You will not want to miss this one!
Just a few pics below from our night at the Third Planet From The Sun: the venue before, Ray Keith and Danielle Montanna, Mervyn, Tre and Ramsey, girly ravers from Kent and Essex, Trevor Fung, Colin Hudd, Brandon Block, Alex P, Jonny C and Trevor, the amazing crowd and the awesome Shades of Rhythm for their live set and of course, our very own Haifa.
FROM The Centreforce Towers
ED Simpson better known to us as ‘The Landlord’
‘Like a lot of other people Centreforce was a big part of my life back in 1989. When I learned that it was back I got in touch with Andy because I thought I could help out due to having a studio on my Pixel premises. Andy and I talked and it’s just kind of spiralled from there and now the station operates from my building. I have started to get more involved because it’s very interesting to me, it’s exciting and the team has loads of good characters-they are all rockets without rudders. I also see something in Danny that reminds me of me back when I was first starting up my business and, it’s all good fun.
It’s Centreforce so there are many highlights at the moment. There is a lot of exciting stuff happening, for example Centreforce will be on Spotify soon an we’ll be doing other things with media like Youtube. I have done some research and learned that 89% of people still listen to 10 hours of radio a week. Radio certainly isn’t in decline so Centreforce has a real opportunity to succeed.
We need to do certain things to sustain the station, this includes events, advertising, sponsorship and having a store that sales merchandise. What we have is the listeners and going forward we will be introducing new and exciting ways to connect to them.’
Danny (Master Pasha)
We are now in November and it’s finally set in what we have done. It’s a been a mixture of hard days and good days and so far it’s being everything that I thought it was going to be. The listener numbers are much higher than what we expected to be at this stage and that is amazing. We had a three-year plan to get to where we are now and we’ve smashed that in four months. We’re getting 70,000 listeners just online a week.
We have some new members in the team which really help’s and we have a number of DJ’s who are taking on roles because they want to. Having Ed and the other partner Peter with me in the boardroom really helps too. They are really hand’s on and it helps share responsibility. At the moment Centreforce is a baby and it needs to be nursed 24/7.
We have the party at the E1 coming up and since we’ve come back this has been the easiest to organise. This is because of a few things but at the front it’s because of the loyal Centreforce listeners. Centreforce is a passion subject and that makes it something very special.’
INTRODUCING Spank E.
Spank E (real name Stevie is a 21 year old male currently living in East Ham but he’s a Salford lad. Fave group-The Happy Mondays, fave club-The Hacienda, Fave car-RS Cosworth, Fave London night out-anything in the Astoria, Fave pirate radio station-Centreforce (Sunrise on Sunday’s), Fave tune of all time-Fools Gold-The Stone Roses. And his best mates are Centreforce Cindy and Centreforce Sid-tales and adventures coming in future episodes of the Centreforce newsletter.
ILLUSTRATION BY LEE CASTLE. Lee is a Kent lad who is heavily rooted in the skinhead culture. He is a top artist who’s work captures the essence of the scene. Examples below. Check him out on Facebook.
BANGERS AND SMASH (FROM RAVE-WAVES)
COW Steeple For The People
The music policy at Centreforce Radio is simple-we play ‘good music’ and it doesn’t have to only be house and dance music. Therefore, to support this attitude for this months newsletter we are doing a piece on the new COW album Steeple For The People.
From the very first track, Family Stone, it’s evident that the main songwriters, Maxine and Mark Boxall (husband and wife team) have their influences rooted in anything psychedelic and a bit other worldly. There are hints throughout the album of 60’s psychedelia, rock, mod and funk and, this connects them with the type of sound that a band like Primal Scream based their music on around 1990 and, into the early part of the 90’s. Centreforce listeners will relate to this and I’m sure many will have a copy of Screamadelica not too far away. There’s a real Indie Dance theme that floats in and out of each song. Each song lays the foundation to the next and, it grows organically before reaching its final cosmic climax which eases in Some Old Romantic Way.
Recorded throughout the summer of 2018 at Sunshine Recording Studios with producer Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard, who also plays drums and some other instruments on the album, is a new adventure for Cow, who for previous albums have recorded their songs at Blackbarn Studios. That studio is the recording home of Paul Weller, who has also played on some of Cow’s songs. Maxine and Mark have family connection with Weller and Maxine recently provided some backing vocals on Weller’s True Meanings album.
For the recording of the album Richie Morey, Kenny Carroll and Aaron Uddard were brought in by Mark and Maxine Boxall.
Free The Love
Ha Ha Lucifer
Some Old Romantic Way
Steeple For The People is available now via www.cowmusic.co.uk
FEATURED DJ’S AND MC’s
Introducing this month’s Centreforce family members
‘I’ve been doing the Soulful Sundays shows on Centreforce. I’m enjoying it and it’s good to be involved with the station again. I used to DJ at Centreforce parties back in 89. They’d be at venues like the Fitness Centre and Clink Street. There’d be me along with some of the other DJ’s who were on the station-people like Randal and Hermit. This was where my connection with Andy and the Centreforce guys began.
My starting point with house music really goes back to listening to disco. To me house was an extension to disco. I was one of the original disco boys and had been into it since the late 70’s. House had that energy and good vibes that disco had and when the Chicago sounds started to come across around 1986 I liked it. The music that was coming out on Trax Records was very good and it started something off here in the UK. There was also DJ International and they too were very influential at the time.
What I liked about Trax was that the music they were putting out was deep in a way that hadn’t been done. It was also different to anything else around and it was fresh. The deep house sound really appealed to me.
Outside of playing at Centreforce parties I also played at other places. There was a lot happening throughout 1989. I was also involved in organising the Freedom To Party demonstration, along with people like Tony Colston-Hayter. We did that to oppose the new laws that were coming in to stop us having our raves and dancing. By this time the acid house and rave scene had been going for a few years.
In some ways the Freedom To Party demonstration also signalled the end of the summer of love. There was a marked shift. The music started to change around that time of going into 1990 and the whole mood changed. We were moving out of a period that was full of love, parties with no fights. But the scene started to get a bit darker, it wasn’t as friendly and it wasn’t like it had been. There were people getting into the scene just to make money and it changed what we’d been doing.
I look back on that period before it went dark with fond memories. I’ve been around for a long time and I’ve seen new scenes come, get big, then die out. What I’d say about that acid house scene was that it was probably the last period of what I would describe as genuine fun. During that time you knew that once you left your house you’d be going out to have a good time. The weekends were exciting and you looked forward to them. But going into 1990 there was a shift and that excitement got lost.
The records at that time were so uplifting. We had tracks like Sterling Void’s It’s Alright and we Tears from Frankie Knuckles and Promised Land by Joe Smooth. We had Robert Owens and Ce Ce Rogers. Those guys defined a period for us. Our political music was being played at raves and we embraced it. We rebelled against what was happening with our music. It won’t happen again.
That period was a special time. We created something for ourselves and Centreforce is around to remind many of us what it was like back then and how good it was.’
And so with a Sunrise Radio connection here is recent Centreforce Radio DJ Jim Woods:
I bought my first record in 1978, that was Can You Feel The Force by the Real Thing. I loved my music and I started being a DJ in 1982. I’m originally from South London. It was that due that part of London connection that I got to know Nicky Holloway and we became good friends and we started deejaying together. I did my first gig in Upper Street in Islington. I then started doing the circuit around the Old Kent Road area and continued with that for a few years.
In 1989 I joined Sunrise Radio. I did the early morning breakfast shows on the station with Bad Boy West. This led to me getting various residencies around North London. Back then I did the Camber weekenders, Seduction, lots of parties really. At the time Sunrise was the next biggest station next to Centreforce. I have a lot of find memories from that period and up there are the nights spent down Kings Cross, there was some really good underground house events happening at the time. It was the acid days! 1988 to 1992 was a really good time and then other scenes started coming in-like jungle, hardcore. I followed the trends and would get records sent to me from the majors like Sony and I really liked having white labels and exclusives to play out.
Over the years I have worked on lots of radio stations: Shine FM, Time FM, Unknown FM and House FM. I’ve been a professional DJ for about 15 years but did have a period when I retired, but then I got the call from Recki inviting me to come onto Centreforce. I’ve known Recki for a long time and had one of my records released on his label. I’ve had a few tracks released, one was a remix of Sweet Dreams which got a lot of attention. I have produced for other people too and worked out of a studio that I had.
House music has always been there for me. It’s just something that you have inside you, you just know. It’s instinctive. My shows are varied in the choice of music that I play. It has to be responsive to the vast audience out there and the drive time show will be different to say the breakfast show. Doing a radio show is different to doing a DJ set and I try to cater for the listeners.
My regular Centreforce show will be 2-4pm on a Tuesday afternoon and being on the station feels great and it’s a bit like having my youth back!
BACK CHAT From the Centreforce Family
ESP (Steve Pellicci)
I grew up listening to my parent’s music. They had been mods and so it was Motown, The Beatles, Small Faces and Manfred Mann. When I was older and developing my own tastes. I knew someone who had some turntables. This was around ’82. He was deejaying so he was collecting records and I liked what I heard. There was jazz funk, then electro came in and I was hooked on that.
I bought my first set of decks in ’86. I just wanted to play my music. It wasn’t my intention to be a DJ. DJing came as a natural progression. I lived in Stratford and so with whatever money I had I’d go into the city and buy records from places like Groove Records and City Sounds. I’d buy hip hop and then house once that started to come in.
That was exciting time because acid house was just kicking off and I started going to warehouse parties in the east end run by people like the Runtings Crew. I continued to by a mixture of sounds, like hip hop but from ’91 I was only buying house music. At the time it felt very much like a London thing but I had family in Durham and we went up there. One of my mums friends had a son who was a similar age to me and we went out. I took a bag of records with me. But there were other people also playing records that I hadn’t heard and I was playing stuff that they hadn’t heard and it was all good. Different areas really did play different tunes.
When I got into the rave thing there was a real buzz around. A sense of freedom came with it too. I was at an age when I was going out all of the time. And going to raves wasn’t like trying to get into pubs or feel like something was going to kick off. The rave scene was much more friendly and the music was just brilliant. I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. For me its always been about the music and the house music at the time was fresh and exciting. I was one of those people who heard a tune at a rave and next morning I’d be in a record shop trying to hunt it down.
And then there was Centreforce and coming from the east end you couldn’t not be aware of the station. There was a massive buzz about the station and the DJ’s like Seeker and Hermit played the music that I wanted to hear. I remember hearing Call It Techno by Frankie Bones and blew mind. I went looking for it the following day.
ESP came about because when someone asked me my name I must have mumbled or he miss heard me and when I said my name Steve Pellicci but my DJ name is SP the guy heard ESP. It stuck and I’ve used it ever since.
I did pirate radio for many years. One was on Force FM. I did some stuff with Centreforce when it came back on just before the Time FM sessions. I was doing shows before Keith Mac on Sundays. I got to know Jonny C and the opportunity came around to play on Centreforce. I’m now doing a regular show with Centreforce at 9-11pm on Sunday nights and I’m loving it. It’s like being a teenager again.
An excerpt from Specific State ’89 by Ian ‘Snowy’ Snowball and Centreforce Radio. Out now (Amazon/Waterstones etc)
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: RIDE ON TIME
Patch kicked off the show with Ride On Time. He loved the track and it didn’t bother him that it had reached the masses and was partly responsible for bursting the underground bubble he had been living in for the best part of eighteen months. As the track reached the end, Patch – who had been happily pouring himself over the article from an issue of ID magazine that was already a year old on ‘Amnesiacs’ – snatched the microphone from the grip of Tat who was about to start talking.
‘Big shout going out to the Penenden Heath car park crew down in Kent, that’s Craig, Chang, Colin, Sparksy, Chris, Noddy, Justin, Tim, Tel, Jason, Smitty and not forgetting Pedro Pete and his chicken legs dancing. Get yourselves through the Dartford Tunnel quickish coz you don’t want the Old Bill getting there before you – you remember what happened last time when they blocked it to stop you getting to South Ockendon. And keep it locked for updates on meeting points either side of the tunnel. You wouldn’t want to be heading in the wrong direction, would you? It’s gonna be a big one tonight, see you there…and lads…bring some girls eh!’
Having said his bit, Patch passed the microphone to Tat, who had been busy rolling a joint all the while Ride On Time had been spinning and had been mixed into Cry Sisco’s Afro Dizzi Act.
‘We have all the info about the location of tonight’s party,’ he began, ‘and all the back-up venues if they need to be used. Energy is on and for those who still have their tickets from the last Energy party that got cancelled-your tickets are valid for tonight’s party/ That’s right-your tickets are valid for tonight!’
‘The number for dial-a rave is 01-726 8845 or direct to 0860 212571 and become part of the best-kept secret in town.’ Patch took the microphone back and chipped in.
Tat played The Beat Club’s Security as he reclaimed the microphone and told the listeners that he had control of the ones and twos and that they were locked on to Eclipse 89.9.
‘We have a page in saying that Shaun and four car-loads of his Bexley crew have had their cars stopped and searched down by the Black Prince. Cheers for the page Shaun. Its turning into a bit of a hot spot that area. Word of advice for party goers – avoid that neck of the woods and get to the meeting point a different way.’
‘Yep you all know the score, it’s essential to get to the party early coz we don’t want the Old Bill shutting Energy down again,’ Patch encouraged.
‘Pass us that pile will yer Patch mate?’ said Tat pointing his chin at a bunch of tickets and flyers that had been stacking up for weeks.
Patch stretched out and grabbed most of what Tat had requested. He put them on the table beside the mixer, decks and records. Between them they sifted through the pile. There were numerous flyers and tickets for parties they’d been invited to. There were simply too many going off for them to be getting to.
‘It’s good that promoters see us as being valuable assets in helping to promote their raves,’ said Tat, marvelling at the artwork on one of the flyers.
‘Yeah, for sure! It’s been getting me thinking though. There’s ways to start making some money out of all of this too.’
‘What d’ya mean mate?’ asked Tat.
‘Adverts Tat. We should be getting the promoters and also record labels to pay us to make adverts for them.’
Tat’s ears pricked up. It seemed to make sense.
‘It’s all good that we get free tickets for raves and that we’re getting records sent into us, but I think there’s other opportunities that we’re missing out on. I’ve heard that some of the other pirates are starting to do the same.’
‘Seems sound enough to me,’ replied Tat, ‘How do we go about doing it then?’
‘Hold on a mo,’ said Patch putting on another record, ‘I’ve not thought about that bit yet, but we will sort that out.’
‘I’ll organise a meeting to let the other Eclipse DJs know. DJ Need All will have some ideas around this. He’s good at that sort of stuff.’
Patch agreed that would be a good idea and left the planning to Tat.
‘Where’s Kim tonight?’ Patch asked.
‘She’s making a night of it with some of her friends that she used to go to Ibiza with. A couple are back in the country. I told her where the Energy rave is, so they should be making their way towards the Heston Services about now.’
‘It’s going to be a big one tonight. You can feel that people are right up for raving.’
Tat agreed and, leaning into the microphone, put a few shouts out.
‘This next track goes out to Stacey down there in deep dark Kent and to Julie Gilliland – thanks for the support darling.’
A promo copy of Quartz’s Meltdown took the show to the next level. Tat and Patch loved the track but wished they’d broken it before Centreforce had.
Keep it locked for the next newsletter. Let’s Get Busy!
All the best
Snowy (Centreforce Features and Reviews Editor)