"Surprisingly enough my career started in 1985 at my local boozer, The John Lyon in Harrow west London – it was a great pub, everyone went there. My friends and I used to buy a lot of funk and soul
Brandon Block - Autobiography
Surprisingly enough my career started in 1985 at my local boozer, The John Lyon in Harrow west London – it was a great pub, everyone went there. My friends and I used to buy a lot of funk and soul (the sound at the time) and one night the DJ there didn’t show, so me and my then DJ partner Ali Jobe asked the governor if we could bring the records down and do it. We were so good that he fired the DJ. In fact it got so popular that they started charging an entrance fee.
And then acid house took off and I started DJing properly. It was 1988, and at a night called ZigZag at Broadway Boulevard in Ealing, London. We used to spend our Sundays at Queens in Colnbrook which became such a success that Dean Thatcher (best known as a founder member of techno/house act The Aloof) and I started up our own Sunday night, Haven Stables - well, it was more of an afternoon evening really. The place used to go off big time and was packed to the rafters until it came to an end in 1991.
Our adventures in clubland got so successful that we hooked up with Charlie Chester (now famed for DC10 at Circo Loco in Ibiza, Charlie also founded legendary record store Flying Records in Dean Street, London) to promote a Tuesday night at Queens, which is out near Heathrow Airport. You’ve gotta excuse the pun, but this is where my career really took off; my profile was raised and I was able to grab guests spots around London.
Going Mad On Ibiza
1990 was also the year I first went to Ibiza with the small record label that I was
working for. I loved it so the following summer I packed three or four bags of records, £500 cash and a small bag of clothes with the full intention of staying there for as long as I could. And that’s just what I did. Fast forward to 2001 and me and my frequent DJ partner Alex P seem to be as much a part of the Balearic scenery as Pikes, Manumission and the puke in the streets of San An!
The first time we met in Ibiza Alex was really drunk. He threw beer all over me and rolled around on the floor. And then he got arrested and we met up the next day and the rest is pretty much history. Two years later I met up with Peeze again and he invited me to play at the Space Terrace, which he had built himself. For the next five years we were residents at the Sunday Session, a place that confirmed the Terrace's reputation as one of the most special places in clubland.
Over the past ten years I have seen Ibiza transform from a secret party island somewhere in the Med to one of the craziest places on earth. It has grown so big now that you can easily have the best night of your life every day of the week. Every year I look forward to a summer of what life should be like all year round – absolute madness.
More clubs than Tiger Woods
I’ve been lucky enough to have had my fair share of wicked residencies over the years like Up Yer Ronson in Leeds, FUBAR at the Milk Bar in London (which I co-promoted with Lisa Loud), Club For Life and Malibu Stacey (both in the capital) and Scream in Plymouth. Nowadays I play regularly at the Ministry of Sound, Turnmills, Miss Moneypenny’s, Golden, Republica, Progress, Karanga, Colours, Clockwork Orange and Kelly’s. I’m sure there’s loads of other places which you’ve probably been to and see me larking about on the decks – I’ve been all over Europe, my international tour of carnage has stopped off in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, the US (I love the Ra Club in Las Vegas) and all points in between. Israel’s a good one – I’m a regular at Allenby 58 in Tel Aviv and C Bar in Eilat.
Records, radio – I do them all
But it’s not all DJing and partying. Production-wise, I’ve had three singles released as Blockster, which I made with the M&S boys of Salsoul Nugget fame – Something Goin’ On, Grooveline and You Should Be Dancing, all out on Ministry – and a collaboration with DJ Gee last year called Zeus’ Dance out on London/Systematic. Tall Paul and I did a record as The Grifters which was out on Duty Free and there's new projects on the boil as we speak. I could go on, but for my full discography, click here...
Those who live in London also have had the pleasure, since October of '97 I became a fully fledged radio presenter, presenting a show on Kiss 100 alongside Ibiza’s other legend and my oldest mate Alex P. Peeze and Blocko's House goes out every Saturday evening from 5-7pm – catch us if you can!
At the end of the day
My favourite thing about DJing is seeing crowds go mental. It’s fantastic. It makes your job worth doing – it’s everything you work for. It just makes it so good to see the happy faces, enjoying themselves… everyone’s in there, waving their arms in the air. It’s a DJ’s dream.