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Diary pays tribute to DJ Paul Trouble Anderson

The top DJ was known for his entertaining parties in the West End and inspiring other young black men to perform

07 December, 2018 — By The Xtra Diary

DJ Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson with Gordon Mac


It feels like a full stop to a very special story in London musical history.

The death last week of the legendary DJ Paul Trouble Anderson marks the end of a time and place in our shared music culture: fans will find it incredible not just that he is no longer with us, but that he was 59 – where does the time go?

Diary has long been a fan: Paul entertained us many a night.

We remember him being one of the first DJs to play on London’s groundbreaking pirate radio station Kiss FM, earning legions of dedicated followers.

A trailblazer in London’s clubs and raves from the 1980s onwards, among the many who say he influenced them include the band Soul II Soul and DJ Norman Jay.

Kiss FM founder DJ Gordon Mac told Diary he remembered when he first saw Paul DJing at Crackers, a club in Soho. Crackers became something of a landmark: it would have a Friday afternoon session featuring DJ George Power, with the young Paul Trouble Anderson warming the crowd up.

Those who went there recall, because of the archaic licensing laws, food had to be served… Mother’s Pride bread with some Spam squashed between the slices sufficed, and would litter the dance floor by the end of the session. There was no dress code but regulars recall jeans, T-shirts and loafers to dance in were the order of the day, with a small towel tucked into a back pocket if you managed to get onto the tiny dance floor to deal with the sweat on your brow.

And for Gordon, who has played such a big role too in London’s music scene for the past four decades, watching Paul at work was a masterclass.

“I remember seeing him dancing. I was a little DJ in some pubs at the time and he just blew me away with his moves and his music,” he said.

The pair would become lifelong friends.

“We clicked musically. He introduced me to so much, to electro, hip hop, boogie, I just relished working with him. He was a great entertainer,” Gordon tells Diary.

He added: “He was one of the first people in London to get into the house scene and loved playing soulful house music. Other DJs saw him and wanted to do what he was doing.”

Mr Anderson was also considered a pioneer, helping young black men to have confidence to perform and party when racism was still all to frequent in West End clubs.

Gordon adds: “All these guys would come to see this black DJ who was doing it and being who people wanted to be.

“He was a real entertainer – a brilliant dancer, he could play drums, he could mix, he had everything.”


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