Celebrate on of dance music's most exciting lives, Brandon Block
What’s On teams up with Hype to bring you an excerpt from Brandon Block autobiography ahead of night at Story Rooftop Lounge in Dubai Media City, Dubai..
When it comes to the History Of House, British DJ Brandon Block has plenty to say. His story is documented in his colourful biography. In this excerpt, he recalls hooking up with Alex P on the soon-to-be legendary Space terrace, in Ibiza…
Brandon was determined to make his mark on Ibiza in the summer of 1991. With faithful friend Baggy Baxter in tow (Brandon’s very own Bez), the pair arrived on the Balearic clubbing island with the next two or three months their oyster.
“We didn’t know how long we would be there, but we knew we wanted to stay as long as possible. We had a bag of clothes each, £500 in cash and we turned up with five boxes of my records, and headed straight for San Antonio.
“We found an apartment nearby and took our bags up to the room. I immediately got chatting to this geezer across the balcony, and he said, ‘You’re Brandon Block, you know my mate Alex P.’ This guy, Matt Jahal, went on to explain that Alex had heard I was on the island and wanted to see me. We saw Alex the next day down at Café Del Mar and he explained how he had built and opened the terrace at Space at the end of the season before, with his pal Jimmy ‘The Switch’ Mitchell, and wanted me to come down that Sunday and play with him. Before Alex built the bar outside, the terrace was used as a cloakroom and people would chill out there from the huge main room. There was no DJ booth as such, the decks were behind the new bar they had built there.
“Me and Baggy got there that Sunday, with my five record boxes, and it was packed. And that was it, the gates to heaven and hell opened at the same time. I played my set and Alex said, ‘Great, I want you to do it every week,’ and I did, pretty much, for the next five summers, and for several of those seasons, three or four times a week. It was literally the best place in the world to DJ.
“It became the place for all the Brits to go, long before there were UK promoters at any of the other clubs, and eight years before DC10. It was the place the DJs went to unwind, where they went on their day off.
“They were brilliant times. We used to play all sorts – Depeche Mode’s Just Can’t Get Enough (live mix), Chris Rea’s Josephine, Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing, New Order’s Blue Monday, Tears For Fears’ Shout, Magnificent Seven by The Clash and Rolling Stones’ Sympathy For The Devil.
“It’s strange because before acid house came along, if you went to a decent nightclub or a so-called discotheque you’d expected to hear disco and funk and a fair amount of pop music, but now house had taken over, and the fact that in Ibiza you could drop The Thrashing Doves or some of the Belgium stuff, like Code 61’s surreal Drop The Deal track, opened up so many things again. Those tracks wouldn’t be out of place now and all came under the acid house umbrella, as such.
“I remember one time, towards the end of my set on the Space terrace, getting so carried away because it was going off in there so much that, one by one, I started throwing my records into the crowd. At the end everyone was shouting ‘One more, one more’, but I didn’t have any records left. It wasn’t until a couple of people gave some back to me that I was able to put another tune on.”
The Official Brandon Block Biography By Matt Trollope is on sale now from amazon.com
History Of House Ibiza Warm Up Party, Story Rooftop Lounge, Holiday Inn Express, Dubai Media City. Friday, 9pm to 3am. Ladies free before 11pm, Dhs100 after. Taxi: Holiday Inn Express, Dubai Media City