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Revisiting Balearic Berkshire with Mark Seven for Ban Ban Ton Ton

Last year Mark Seven was interviewed by Ban Ban Ton Ton about the early days of house music and the parties in London and Berkshire in the late 80s and early 90s. We've revisited the interview so many times over the past months, with new bits of information and anecdote jumping out with each read.

The interview is peppered with tunes, videos and old flyers, including this one for one of Mark's earliest parties, Shrubbery: "My family had a shop in Bracknell and Tommy Mac used to live in the block opposite. He`d come in on a Sunday in a fur coat or something equally “extravagant”. So my old man got to know him. He was well known for his dancing. he was on Top Of The Pops through the 80s. We’d already gotten a little name playing by this time so when he started at Valbonnes he asked us to play. It was pretty quiet when he started but within a few weeks it was mental. We played the main room a few times and then persuaded Tommy to give us the restaurant at the side to play more balearic stuff. We called it Shrubbery `cos it had plastic plants in there. We were playing stuff like Yellow Magic Orchestra and The Waterboys to a smaller crowd, made-up mainly of our mates."

"Before that we’d been playing more and more acid and house at these parties through ‘87 and ‘88 to largely bemused locals. Then one of us heard there was a crowd for this stuff in Windsor so we moved there, met this whole bunch of heads and never looked back. It was a function room by the river. The Old Trout… nice spot, shit name! Anyway, we started doing Saturday nights there about May `88. It was slowly getting busier and one week we were firmly told by our mates that “Boys Own are doing a party next Saturday and you have to go.” We told the sound guy to bring some records and cover for us. We actually left him with the night from then on! Within a few weeks he was wearing a bandana. He must have made a fortune that summer!! The Boys Own party turned out to be The Karma Collective and it was Andrew (Weatherall) who greeted us as we stepped off the coach. Boys Own brought together the council estate and the popstar, the hard-nut and the poet. It was an inspiration, I was changed forever."

There's so much more of the interview we'd love to quote, but you should just go ahead and read the whole thing via Ban Ban Ton Ton.

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