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.
The sun was shining, it was hot and the studio was jammed pack with Centreforce family, friends and DJs. I spent a while shaking hands and exchanging greetings with Jack Bass and Rooney the Roonsta before giving the thumbs up to 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, it was Jonny C’s time to get the ship afloat. Jonny C is the station Master and Commander, and a vital backbone in the success story of Centreforce Radio and going forward 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.
‘We are finally here but 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 DJing experience and love for house music came 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 and he choose vinyl too as 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 Bubbler’s 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 Smillie, 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
‘Centreforce going live with its DAB today – it’s history in the making!’
FAST FORWARD TO JULY 2019
Danny Swallow – Master Pasha
‘The last year has been incredible for us. We’ve gone from a little broom cupboard in Loughton, to an amazing studio. We have loads of fantastic new DJs and we’ve been able to work with so many great people from our scene. We keep on going and I didn’t know if we’d still be here a year on. I think 2020 is going to be a massive year for us and we’re going to be branching out into a lot of new areas, and I’m really looking forward to that. I also want to thank all of the listeners and Centreforce fans for their continued support, it means a lot to me and the station.’
Centreforce, with all of its management, DJs and team (big shout out to Simon James of the Super Smiley Club for all of his hard and superb work on the website and graphics for the various events) and can look back on an eventful year and feel proud of what has been achieved so far.
Since the first awesome party at the Bloc there have been several off the scale events and the memories of Storm Troopers and green aliens will stay with loads of us for many years to come.
The tiny studio in Loughton now seems a distant memory but having the studio now located in the Pixel Centre, Waltham Abbey and having guys like Ed and Hazel helping to steer things is just amazing. Along with a new studio also came a bunch of new DJs. There are too many to name but each bring something special to the station ‘keep it funky’ Alex P.
‘Moving from the broom cupboard in Loughton to the Pixel Centre was a massive step up for us. We’re really lucky to have what we have now. From the moment Danny and me came to have a look, we fell in love with the place and we’re so pleased that Ed called us up. There’s still more to come too as we’re thinking of having two studios and possibly even a recording studio. Our first year has been busy with all the various shows and parties. I am using all of the equipment that I wanted to use and that gives us our authentic sound. Centreforce TV is taking shape now too and that will be a whole new level. I really pleased with everything and there’s a lot more to come’.
‘It’s been an amazing year. I’ve learnt a lot about what’s needed to make a station work. I feel that I’ve been able to contribute my business experience, and maybe bring some stability in when its been needed. Having the station at the Pixel Centre has provided a working environment that has upped the game and that was needed. Since Centreforce has moved to here, it has flown. People now know that we’re not messing around. We are here to stay!’
Ed Simpson ‘the Landlord’
There have been loads of guests coming onto the station too: Judge Jules, Marshall Jefferson, Louie Vega, Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling. The list goes on and will continue to grow as the best of the best are always keen to come in and be part of the ‘newest, oldest kids on the block’.
Centreforce has always been a station to help and support where it can. This has been demonstrated by incredible events such as Balls To Cancer, a top idea from Hazel and, there’s more planned.
‘Centreforce Radio is growing rapidly, and you can see this in the increase in the number of social media followers. Our social media statistics are off the scale as we’re getting huge numbers of people joining our Facebook group as well as our Instagram. Our listeners and followers all interact through our Facebook group and it’s great to see new friendships forming and even more so when it comes to our events where people who have never met before meet up for pre drinks. We know we have something very unique and love that people have a sense of family and familiarity when it comes to Centreforce. It’s like the summer of love all over again and spreading the love but through social media.’
Hazel Minns, Marketing Manager
The website is looking fantastic with all the DJ bios, the 883 Mag, the previous shows and the shop, really do check out the shop for tees, caps and mugs etc. And, also there is the Street Sounds page as this is a healthy connection and collaboration that will be sending lots of exciting stuff the stations way in the future.
And then there’s the Centreforce App. Check it out and get involved and stay close at all times for the latest news and developments.
What can be said about Centreforce. Well, we love it, we know you love it and we’re all in this together as we take the station from the past and into the future, and the future is ours to take.