Now people often speak about legends of a certain music scene, or founding fathers of a particular genre or type of night. People that were at the forefront, shouting down any naysayers and pushing their flavour of music to the good people who wanted to hear it, at sweaty underground parties and on the airwaves of pirate radio stations. But how many of them were truly at the forefront I wonder?

We’ve been blessed in dear ol’ fuckin’ blighty to have been at the forefront of many these burgeoning scenes. Punk, 2-Tone, Acid Jazz, Jungle, Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Garage, Grime (and countless more wanky named genres!). All pretty much originating on this tiny little island there, or therabouts. A mash up of musical styles, cultures and flavours from around the world, all put together with good old fashioned British ingenuity, some teenage angst and usually plenty of narcotics and liquor.

Rhythm Doctor Flyer for Hope and Anchor

One of the biggest of these scenes to hit our shores and be taken quickly and gratefully into our bosom was the Acid House movement. The music that kicked off, now getting on for 25 years of dance music. It helped spawn a lot of the dance music we hear today, and created some of the best party atmospheres that many a promoter will try to emulate these days. Some get it right. Others fail miserably.

The man they call Rhythm Doctor is one of those people that has got it right. From day nought. A DJ, Promoter, Pirate Radio DJ, Producer, Record Label Owner. And one of the early amabassadors of the ‘house’ sound in London. Now this is a true fucking legend of a music scene. But mostly a lover of good vibes and good music.

And on Saturday October 8th. The Sound of Upstairs at the Albany in Coventry.

The History of Rhythm Doctor.

With a DJ career spanning 3 decades, and production credits from 1988, the Rhythm Doctor has an almost unrivalled knowledge of contemporary dance music; an intoxicating fusion when combined with programming and mixing skills of the highest quality.

As a youth from inner city Birmingham, his first passion was Reggae Music. To this day, he enjoys splicing his set with a touch of dub or the latest dance hall rhythms.

Rhythm Doctor Flyer for Coventry Polytechnic

His first break as a DJ came in 1976, when he fused the positive vibrations of Punk Rock, with Reggae, Funk & Disco in weekly events at Coventry University (then Coventry Polytechnic).

Rhythm Doctor flyer for Greens

In 1980 he created a club called the ‘Rhythm Clinic’, which added a live element. With performances from bands like A Certain Ratio and 23 Skidoo.

Rhythm Doctor Flyer for Kid B at Rock City in Nottingham
Rhythm Doctor Flyer for Kid B at Rock City in Nottingham

In the mid 80’s, the Sunday all dayer scene was huge in the UK, and Rhythm Doctor was regularly spinning Jazz-Funk and pure Jazz and Latin in venues such as the Birmingham Locarno and Nottinghams’ Rock City, alongside such DJ legends as Colin Curtis, Baz fe Jazz and Paul Murphy. Live artists also featured heavily at these events and Rhythm Doctor was privileged to have supported, Sharron Redd, Mantronix and the first Chicago House Tour.

Taking on London and Apartheid with Jerry Dammers.

In 1986, Rhythm Doctor decided to move to London and together with long time friend and The Specials founder, Jerry Dammers created the now infamous 3A’s (Artists Against Apartheid) Club in Covent Garden. Guests such as Soul II Soul, Norman Jay, Tim Westwood, Coldcut (who formed Ninja Tune Records) and the On-U Soundsytem made this night legendary in the history of London Clubs.

It was at the 3A’s, that Rhythm Doctor introduced London to House Music. And together with the likes of Kid Batchelor, Eddie Richards, Colin Fazer and Jazzy M was one of the new DJ’s championing this new music in the capital.

Two live DJ mixes were created in the 3A’s Club by Rhythm Doctor which were soon to make it on to vinyl as the House mix of ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ by the Special AKA and ‘Mister/Phuture’ by Rhythm Doctor.

Rhythm Doctor Flyer for early event at Coventry Polytechnic
Rhythm Doctor Flyer for early event at Coventry Polytechnic

By 1988, House had exploded and pirate radio stations were at the forefront of promoting this new sound. Rhythm joined Fantasy FM, coming out of East London and worked with future heroes such as DJ Hype and Mr.C. This East side connection saw Rhythm Doctor spinning at the infamous Dungeons and later Clink St. Plus many of the innumerable massive illegal raves that were now popping up.

In 1990, Rhythm Doctor was looking for a more stable home to play. He found the Gardening Club and founded another legendary London clubnight in ‘Feel Real’. Together with Rob Acteson, Femi B, Evil O and MC E-Mix. Almost every major star from the US House scene performed at his night, and on one night alone the line up was, Tony Humphries, Lil Louie Vega, Arnold Jarvis, Kevin Saunderson and Inner City. Live! Big in the day!

The mid to late 90’s saw Rhythm Doctor spreading his vibe far and wide across the globe. In 1993, he produced a top 10 Billboard hit with ‘Enjoy Life’ on 8 Ball Records. This took him to New York and pretty much every major city across Europe. Then together with Phillipe Lussan, Rhythm Doctor formed Mama Records and releeased 16 EP’s and 1 album.

An offer of work in Estonia in 1995 was to have a major effect on Rhythm Doctors’ life. After being blown away by an amazing warehouse party in the capital Tallinn, Rhythm Doctor was offered a monthly residency and proceeded in bringing over many of his friends to perform, including, Robert Owens, A Man Called Adam and Basement Jaxx.

In Tallinn, Rhythm Doctor met the love of his life, married her, and established Estonias first monthly independent party – ‘Mutant Disco’ in 1997. Guests have been many, to name but a few, DJ Pierre, Joe Clausell, Gilles Peterson, Moodyman, The Bug Ame and Dixon and Cassio Ware.

A prolific career and a true ambassador of dance music in many forms. From reggae, dance hall, Jazz, Latin to House. His knowledge, his stories, his clubbing pedigree deserves a look in.

The Rhythm Doctor will be spinning a unique blend of house, reggae, dance hall, funk, disco, jazz and latin. And anything else he feels like.

You can catch Rhythm Doctor – ‘Rhythm Clinic’ at the Albany Pub in Coventry, alongside Silong and Disqueostu.

Saturday 8th October 2011.

Downstairs music comes courtesy of: The Kontours, Raucous Brew and DJ Raymondo.

Miss at your peril.

The Sound of Upstairs Facebook page.

Rhythm Doctor.