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Mark Moore's History Of Clubbing- 1980 to the Present

Author: Jonty Adderley
Saturday, February 8, 2003
"If you look at the world in terms of the history of clubs from punk onwards then this is what happened; during the punk/ new romantic days clubland was very flamboyant and there were lots of artists and fashion designers going to tiny clubs. So you literally had the creative people of the nation cramming into two or three clubs in London or New York and these were the people that would be producing the fashions, music, writing or films of that time. But you didn't get that in acid house so much; a little bit, but not so concentrated as it was before."

Sitting in the studio of London internet radio station, hugely experienced superstar DJ/producer Mark Moore appears somewhat subdued on the topic of the genre that made his name.

I was always worried that acid house would lead to a big blanding out of the nation and, in a way, that eventually happened," he suggests.

"You've got to see the whole history of clubland to understand what happened."

As an original London punk turned regular at Steve Strange's seminal New Romantic 80s haunt The Blitz, Moore remains superbly qualified to discuss the past and present behind today's club culture and his own clubbing career path tells its own tale.

A resident DJ at mid 80s key hang out The Mud Club, he also opened up Danny Rampling's definitive acid house club Shoom in '87, becoming London's most successful DJ of the decade as the city itself went raving crazy. Then, as the decade drew to a close, he formed sampedelic acid house superstars S-Express, whose introductory anthem Theme From S-Express topped pop charts throughout the world. For much of the 90s he also enjoyed the superstar DJ lifestyle pioneered by many of his old clubbing mates from the 80s, before discovering a distinct sense of dissatisfaction as the decade drew to a close.

"Up until about three years ago I was doing all the big Northern clubs, the Gatecrashers and Creams of the world, then one day I realized was hating every minute of it," he admits.

"I found myself thinking that I absolutely hated the music that they were wanting me to play."

Walking away from his big room DJ life ('it meant a drastic cut in wages', he chuckles) Moore decided to go back to basics, an approach he tells Skrufff's Jonty Adderley has already paid off.

"I started to find little clubs where I could play an eclectic set. I now do lots of things alongside the Ping Pong Bitches, for example, being their DJ and stuff like that. Then Nag Nag Nag opened up and I also started doing alternative sets at places like the 333. Nag, Nag Nag was wonderful when it opened, there were about sixty people there but it was great. I definitely remember thinking 'there's something else going on here, these people want to do something different'. And more importantly I started having fun with my DJing again, which is really all that matters."

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): How easy was it walking away from the superclubs and presumably progressive/ hard trance music-

Mark Moore: "Well that was it, I guess I burnt my bridges when I left (laughing). People thougth I was a bit mad when I walked away, my agent was telling me to carry on playing that kind of music to keep my name in there, which I did for a few months until I realised I was hating it- it wasn't what I was about anymore. Gradually the word just spread that I was playing an alternative set and then things improved with people like Electric Stew and other promoters starting to invite me to play. But it's still early days for this scene right now. What was missing before was a focal point, because you always had the music and also DJ who would delve into new electro (or electroclash, whatever you want to call it' he adds), but now with Nag, Nag, Nag, there is a focal point."

Skrufff: You've been at the centre of the Punk, New Romantic then acid house scenes, does this electro thing feel like a new scene in the same way-

Mark Moore: "Yeah, total