Monday, May 09, 2011

Darren Jay, Greenwich Junglist

Darren Jay was one of the original London Jungle DJs, and indeed still plays out. This interview comes from the dance magazine Eternity (Issue 28) in 1995, and describes his SE London roots, growing up 'on a council estate in Greenwich' and going to reggae blues parties before coming across the Tunnel Club in Greenwich around 1988 where Micky Finn was DJing: 'At that time The Tunnel Club was playing out Acid House with the likes of Todd Terry, Fast Eddie, CC Rogers, Micky Finn and Jarvis'.

The Tunnel Club was in the old Mitre pub by the entrance to the Blackwall tunnel from 1983 to 1988 and was run by the late Malcolm Hardee as a comedy club as well as hosting music nights. It closed following a police raid.

[click on images to enlarge]

A period raving lead to Darren Jay's breakthough into DJing: 'There was a party called Asylum which was held at London Polytechnic in Woolwich. I managed to blag my way into playing by telling the guy who ran it that I had been playing for a couple of years. There was about 1500 people there and Micky Finn was palaying straight after me. Luckily I played OK and since then I have never looked back' (assume this was at Thames Poly). Jay and Finn went on to become part of the AWOL crew who put on a famous drum and bass club in Islington and later at the Ministry of Sound.

Here's an extract from a 1999 Darren Jay set at Helter Skelter featuring MCs Juiceman, Riddla & Ranger D:

Got any good Tunnel Club or Asylum stories, or indeed any other SE London ravin' memories?

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