So the year is either 1994 and 1995, I can’t remember which…..
After surviving the 2nd Summer of love, the birth of Hardcore Rave and becoming largely disillusioned with the whole thing and generally cleaning up my act a bit I start hanging round with Trevor Loveys and Mike Shears and going back to my roots of Jazz Funk Fusion (and generally getting a major education far deeper into it than the usual master cuts album collection into the music, something jam eternally grateful for). Myself and the boys had discovered a deeper more soulful house sound through listening to a series of “Garage Groove” tapes coming from a guy called Rob Mello in London, filled with deep nuggets the likes of “Goodfellas Newark Swing” from nervous to Masters At Work dubs….and his deep sound had us hooked (Trevor more than most as he ended up making a career and travelling the world with it).
I had known about Bump n Hustle since it started at The Showbar (Now Aruba) in the early Nineties but had largely shyed away from it, keeping myself from clubbing and generally trying to get my act together (and generally fearing for my life if i went back to that lifestyle…but thats another story)….until it was mentioned that Rob Mello was playing at The BIC for Bump n Hustle for an Azuli records special…….so this due to our love of his tapes and releases had to be checked out.
I can remember walking into the main hall and seeing it rammed full of probably 1000 plus like minded people all going mad to this NYC sound we had fallen in love with. After dancing our collective arses off we decided to explore.
Tony Angus, Maxwell Harvey and Jay Ratchett were killing it in the R&B room, and although that groove was never truly my bag the atmosphere was equally intense, then moving into the third room to hear (I think it was but don’t quote me on it) Aitch B from Soul 2 Soul blowing the Jazz Funk room out of the water….I can safely say I had never experienced anything like it but yet again I was hooked on this new Life and new music…..I can’t remember the rest of the night but I had to be at every party from there on.
I didn’t know Jon Coomer and Bob Povey personally back then, which ended up costing me fortune, wanting to get to the next party, this time at Bournemouths Pavillion (my fav venue for these parties) i ended up paying some bloke £50 for two tickets at the last minute, and I wasn’t the only one.
Now The Pavillion was a completely darker more moody intense kettle of (probably completely off their tits if they had any) Fish. Starting in the Soul Room going absolutely nuts in the corner to everything from Aurra to Lonnie Liston Smith, dancing like no one watched and quite frankly not giving a shit if they were the boys were having it away and i was visiting planets far away from Earth experiencing this, it was heaven, I was home….then it got late and after chilling in the jazz lounge and it was time to visit the main room, and this is where Si Dunmore comes into the story.
All I can remember is walking in stage right to this booming sound system and seeing a wall of visuals to which the word “ARMADILLO” kept popping up, and then it hit me….
When I say IT i mean “Alcatraz – Give me Love”….mood changed, eyes closed, head in the bass bin….my life was ruined forevermore.
From then on and on a monthly basis who ever the guest was, myself and my best mates Andy Mills and Darren Pearce went for that moment this man took to the decks…..Simon Dunmore was the deep dark god in our eyes alongside Rob Acteson….in our minds these guys could do no wrong and for the past 23 years i have strived to throw parties that would get even close to the experiences we had there.
Si Dunmore has taken over the world since with his legendary Defected label and parties conquering the world, but he’s coming home this Bank Holiday to Bump n Hustle, this promises to be special.
The other reason we are talking about this on here is we have the double edge sword of after waiting 23 years finally being asked to play the Jazz Disco room alongside Mark Johnson, Steve Blackwax and the new upstarts on the recent “Loose Collar’ to which although myself and Chris are eternally grateful for I can tell you now when Simon Dunmore is on the decks, don’t expect me to be, i’ll have my eyes closed by the speakers dancing like a twat, i’ll be back in 1994 and i can’t fucking wait.
(ps i am sat here writing this and just put Alcatraz on youtube, i’ve got a tear in my eye, thanks Simon you ruined me).