Rhodesy’s Biog

Rhodesy. A brief history of a man possessed.

It’s difficult to know where to start to explain how I became a member of 2 Bad mice, so I suppose the beginning is as good a place as any.

Way back in the day, when Sean and Si were boarding and BMXing their way round Hertford, I was 183 miles away in a Manchester town called Altrincham. At the tender age of 13 I had discovered the 3 things that I would go on to love for the rest of my life, Music, Girls and Booze!!!

Malcolm McClaren’s ‘Duck Rock’ and Streetsounds ‘Electro 1′ were the sound tracks to every street corner, usually accompanied by 3 or 4 break dancing kids on a roll of lino, in their Sergio track suits and Baseball caps, on backwards of course! I’m proud to say I was one of these spotty teenagers.     Around this time I was also experimenting making my own mix tapes, this was fairly difficult on an Amstrad combined turntable and tape deck though!! Enter the murky world of ‘over dubbing’ and re recording repeated sections of tracks. Little did I know that 10 years later I’d be doing it again, but more about that later….

Having moved around the country more times than a frigging Pickfords lorry, and along the way, notching up my first nightclub residency at the tender age of 16, I eventually found myself living in Hertford. Now, back then, the classic training ground for us old dinosaur DJ’s was the ever ubiqutious mobile disco, and, after stepping in at the last moment to run a fun day in the Tescos car park in Hatfield, with my sound system, I was offered a residency at the local 800 capacity night club, West One. Being in Welwyn Garden City, about 5 miles from Hertford, it was the natural place for young Hertfordians to go for a fight, try and pull a slapper and a kebab! This was to be my life for the next few years, every weekend, and most wednesdays and thursdays, spent playing to a capacity crowd. (In about ’95, I held the record for the most people through the door, well over 1000!!)

Also, around this time in 1990, a new record shop opened up in Hertford’s Parliament Square. One day, ever on the scrounge for some free vinyl, I popped in and spoke to the geeza behind the counter, one Mr Rob Haigh. We struck up an instant friendship, and before long, I was working there. In the early days of the shop, Rob, having come from a management background at the Virgin Megastore, was still finding out what Hertford really wanted to listen to. Eventually, the Carpenters and ELO were quietly shown the door and more experimental sounds were welcomed in. My decks and sound system were installed and we were off and running!

As we started to stock more and more vinyl, we started to get a bit of a following. Every day, another van or car would pull up outside and off-load another box of the next big white label hit. Along side Black Market in Soho, Basement Records in Reading and Suburban Bass in Romford, we were becoming a major player in the expanding hardcore and rave scene. So, it goes without saying that the natural progression was to start making our own tunes and selling them in the shop!

Thus began a frantic and noisy foray in to making and recording music. Our first recording together was recorded on Rob’s Revox B77 Reel to Reel tape machine. In a garage. In Welwyn. Editing and over dubbing just like I was doing back on my Amstrad with ‘Captain Rock’ and ‘Egyptian Lover’!!The next track was mixed live, on the decks, in the shop. Not exactly a Brit award winner, but, we were making hardcore and shifing a few thousand units in the Hertford shop and also in our new Hitchin shop.

Enter stage right, 3 people that would go on to become a major part of my musical life. Sean, Si and Rob Playford. Sean with his comical hair do, Si with his Mercury van ramped up out side the shop. And Rob with a box of the latest Moving Shadow 12”s.

As my only real ‘work’ at the time was Djing and working at the record shop, I offered my services to Playford. Initially, I started over in the Moving Shadow Nerve Center – house – office – studio in Stevenage, doing the mail-out. Even then, we were sending out 100’s of promo’s to ALL the big tastemakers, DJ’s and press alike. Si would breeze in, moaning about some shit or other, Sean would be in his little gimp cave, under the stairs. Alledgedly designing the next record sleeve, but it all looked like it was in Dutch or German to me. After a short time I started looking after the Shadow offshoot house label, “Label Is Red”. The quirky thing there being all vinyl was pressed in red! No shit sherlock.

Rather nicely, whilst all this was going on, West One had had a re-fit and a change of management. The new kid on the block, Neil, had some fantastic connections in the DJ world and promptly started bringing in some big names to play there. Ritchie Malone, Roy the Roach, Paul Trouble Anderson, Graham Gold, Lindsay Wesker, Alan Russell and most of the other Kiss 100 DJ’s all started popping up. Not one to miss an opportunity to move in to the world of radio, I became good mates with Graham Gold, working on his legendary Sunday. Show.  And also with the Kiss 100 head of music and founder member, Lindsay Wesker. Lindsay’s Early Breakfast show would get people tuning in, spannered, driving home from various London clubs. Most weekdays I’d get people coming in the shop saying “was that you on Kiss this morning?”. This proved to be an exellent platform for putting our releases right in to the hands of the main players at Kiss, such as Judge Jules and Tall Paul.

Also, as if life wasn’t mental enough at this time, another milestone occurred in the shape of the new Hertford night club, Zero’s. With the record shop being right next door, my position there was pretty much guaranteed. This coupled with the fact that I brought along my mates from Kiss to play, and Si bringing the likes of Ray Keith and Randall to the party, a revolution was happening in this little county town!!

After the blistering success of Bombscare 2 years earlier, we find ourselves in ’94, I suggested to Playford that maybe a remix was on the cards. He thought this was a good idea and I spoke to Graham Gold about doing me a favour, and a remix! It’s a little known fact that the production team that worked with GG on the remix were Kool World. They were fucking massive at the time!! In fact, one of their biggest anthems (Invader), sampled the Bombscare stab. So, Rob Haigh and I set to work on our own mix, GG and KW delivered the good’s, but what to do next??

Our old mukka Mark from Altern 8 had just pulled off an amazing stunt with a ‘fake’ US import of a UK track, namely “Slo-Motion – Bells of New York”. This went ballistic and right through the roof! So, we thought, why don’t we do the same?! Enter DB in New York. He set up the import scam with John at SRD and we shifted over 3000 units in one week alone. It was firmly seated at the top of every dance chart. This, coupled with the fact that GG was caning the arse out of it on Kiss and his TV show, what more did we need? Enter stage left, Terry Donavan at Arista records………………..

Terry had a plan. Re-release Bombscare on an Arista off-shoot label. Only trouble was, there was no off-shoot label. No worries say’s I, I’ll invent one!! I had some history of creating names for various events and promotions for West 1 and Zeros. And in creating a new Parliament Records sub – label called 1831 Records. (18 for Parliament Square and 31 for our new shop address in Hitchin). So, with this in mind, MOSHED was born. “So, what the fuck does that mean Rhodesy?”, I hear you say, Moving Shadow HousE Department. Simples.

So, we’ve got the classic original. We’ve got mine and Rob’s mix, the Graham Gold and Kool World mix, also on board are DJ Sneak and the main man of the moment Tall Paul. The next thing is, this tune is gonna need a video for MTV, a major press campaign and a promotional tour.

So, one day in the house in Stevenage, a meeting was called. Being a complete media whore, it was decided that I should be the front man for the campaign. Fame, fortune, fast women and fast cars all beckoned. Any day now, Sean and Si have given me their word it’s gonna happen.…………… Just you wait Rhodesy. They still text me that even today. From their mansions.

We roped in some eye candy, Brucella. A friend of the new Shadow label manager, Lady C. 2 Bad Mice were repackaged and looked amazing. Sort of. The plan was all coming together!

In the mean time we were on the move to our spanking office and studio in the heart of London’s Soho. We had the 1st floor (studio) and 2nd floor (office & stockroom). Now this wasn’t any old building in the piss ridden alleyways of the West End, this was the internationally renowned Trident Studios. The list of the artists that have recorded and worked there reads like a who’s who of modern music culture. Bowie, T-Rex, The Beatles, etc, etc. We were in a happy place!!!

The video was out on MTV,  the mixes were getting caned worldwide again. We toured with a special 20min P.A. mix., you know the sort of thing, keyboards not actually plugged in, randomly fingering the ebony and ivory. Assaulting the eager audience with CD’s and 12 inches. Happy days!!

And so, after all that we just nudged the top 40 once again. Bugger!

Having said that, 2 Bad Mice are in the Guinness Book of hit singles, we’ve all travelled the world, seen some amazing things and met some amazing people. And some fucking knob heads as well.

And what of today? Here and now? Well, after a long and unnecessary absence from Djing for Si, I’m pleased to be sharing the decks with him once again. We love what we do, and whether it’s playing to a couple of hundred people or a few thousand BangFace nut-jobs. It’s the best job in the world!

And as far as I’m concerned, I’ve become part of a very exclusive club, and you can fuck right off if you think I’m leaving now………………..

As a bit of a post script, you may enjoy the following………….

However, get a dustpan and brush ready for some blatant name dropping!

Rhodesy was the most featured DJ at one point (much to the annoyance of Radio 1, Kiss Fm and Dj Mag!) in the ‘saints and sinners’ (mixmag) for exploits such as:

Running out of the DJ booth, breaking up a mass brawl, throwing someone out of the club, and then running back to mix in the next tune ;

Drinking all of the Chemical Brother’s beer on stage during their show in Galway, much to their dismay: imagine Tom saying “where’s my beer”?

Managing to convince Damian Lazarus (Crosstown Rebels) that a promoter from a nightclub on the Falls Road in Belfast wanted to book him for a drums and bass gig- at five o’clock in the morning, on a room to room call in a hotel. 10 years later, in Ibiza, Sean revealed all to Damian. He’d had been relaying the “shocking” story for years;

Having to ask David Bowie to ‘shift over’ as he was in the way, sitting on Rhodesy’s record box in a Dublin night club;

Dangling one of the E-Z Rollers (Lock, Stock & 2 Barrels Soundtrack), with long time partner in crime, Dave Hodges, out of a Dublin hotel room window.

Whilst doing something naughty on a record sleeve at the new Moving Shadow Soho office, he looked up to see Kim Mazelle

and Stefan Dennis standing there, & with impeccable comic timing, said “aren’t you the bloke off Neighbors”?!

At the same office, Tom Baker (Dr Who Legend), knocked on the wrong office door, looking for the studio upstairs. When he asked for the Natural Sound Studio, Rhodesy replied “No, that’ s upstairs, it’s like a Tardis in here.”  Tom looked like he’d heard it a million times before;

When Noel Gallagher turned up to play for Goldie at the studio, both Rob Playford and Goldie were late in. Being the only person there, Rhodesy had to take him into the studio. Whilst playing the track back to Noel he asked “what key is it in?”. The answer was “fuck knows”. A few weeks later Rhodesy was coated off in NME by Noel;

Tried to have a sensible music based conversation at the Bjork European end of tour party with Pete Tong in a night club in paris. Pete with trousers on, Rhodesy not with trousers on;

Dancing in a cage with rubber bars with Mark Moore (S Express) in another Paris nightclub;

Climbing out on to the 25+ floor parapet, at the Milford Plaza Hotel, NYC, having lost the rizla game with Dj Razor, Sean O’keeffe and Quadraphonic head honcho “Biggie”. Doing the chicken dance.

In one of those Japanese photo booths with Nile Rogers, in a Manchester club. (Chic bass playing legend,Madonna, Bowie, and Diana Ross producer);

Previously, when meeting Nile for the first time in a New York night club, lost for words, asked the worlds most stupid question; “So, when Rappers Delight (one of the biggest rap records ever} ripped you off,{Good Times Break} did you get a royalty”? His answer’ “Yes”. Fucking obvious really.

When on tour, promoting the re-release of “Bombscare” in ’96.. …

Arrested for smashing up the hotel, and letting off the fire extinguishers. Only the 1st  night of the tour.

2nd night, turn up in Blackpool to an audience of 3000 plus,Very free bar. V messy.

On route to 3rd gig, leaning out of the 3.0ltr Ford Tour Car, across to the 5.0 ltr TVR with Record Company Boss Playford in, on the Motorway at 120 plus, let’s go of the tour schedule, watching it drift off in to the night. Eventually find last gig in Blackburn. Late.

When introduced to Alexander McQueen at a showbiz party, belched in his face and said “Alex who?”

Gatecrashed the John Paul Gautier after-show party at le bain douche, Paris, storming past all the paps and the celebs, in a fucking Adidas tracksuit. Went on to drink most of the free fizz. Much to the barmans angst.

Jeremey Deller. (Turner prize winner 2006). (A good friend of Lady C). Would often pop in to the Soho studio to say hello.  One day he was thrilled to find the basket on his (victorian) bicycle stuffed with pornography, however, the fairy liquid on his brakes wiped the smile off his face – his parents didn’t believe the porn was Rhodesy’s.

Trenton, UK manager of Public Enemy and Goldie was shocked to hear the bailiff’s were at his Maida Vale house removing his property due to an unpaid parking fine. The reality was Goldie had instructed Rhodsey to phone him to wind him up. You could hear trenton handbraking the car round to get back to his house to stop the bailiffs.

Whilst doing an interview in the corridor’s of Radio France following a alcohol fueled radio show, he told the reporter of Swiss Radio ‘I love your Toblerone” as Danny Brown did the caterpillar for twenty feet in front of everyone.

Staged a fake nightclub in a icelandic guest house by putting up the record company banners,  because  him and Sean couldn’t be bothered to put them up in the club. The photo’s convinced those that needed to be convinced!

3 Comments on "Rhodesy’s Biog"

  1. mrmaw says:

    wow you was resident of West One!! hahaha that was quite possibly the worst nightclub ever, except for the Coconut Club in Hatfield!

  2. Centrix says:

    Ha! Loved reading all that. Sounds like you had some right times there! Quality.

  3. Marky71 says:

    Takes me back! As a Stevenage lad we used to pile into the car and drive down the a602 to the square in Hertford, as Kiss reception was cack in Stevo. Colin Faver, and Steve Jackson smashing Shut Up and Dance as we blazed it up in the back seat of the mk2 escort, suspension creaking as we bounced to Spliffhead and Hooligan 69. Then we got Impact FM, and it was Friday nights misspending our youths ;)
    Nearly wore the groove off Bombscare, learned to mix with that and Far out, on a battered set of DLP1s. Good times :)

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