Within the 1980s, many British South Asian youngsters had been anticipated to spend evenings at house, so an underground membership scene started to emerge within the afternoons. One of many individuals behind the “daytimer” pattern in Bradford, a younger DJ referred to as Moey Hassan, advised the BBC’s Kavita Puri the way it started.
It’s December, 1985 approaching ten at evening. Moey Hassan is driving his taxi in Bradford when he stops to select up a younger man. It is a DJ who desires to go to a nightclub in Leeds. The fare is £5, however – to Moey’s annoyance – the passenger has no money. He says he’ll pay him later. Within the meantime he provides him a cassette, a tape that may change Moey’s life.
Moey had been born in 1966 in Mirpur in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. He has few reminiscences from dwelling there however remembers the home they lived in was made of easy supplies and there was plenty of household round – his great-grandfather, his grandmother and lots of others. He laughs heartily as he remembers at all times being thrown from one auntie to a different.
He got here to Bradford when he was 4. The household lived in a small home not removed from one of many metropolis’s many textile mills, the place his dad labored shifts. Moey referred to as everybody on the street “uncle” and “auntie” and he thinks they actually had been, not directly, associated to his father.
His mum was a housewife. His dad and mom spoke little English – they spoke Mirpuri at house – so Moey was their translator. It was a strict family. Even when he was 18 he wasn’t allowed out after 9. “And if I did exit, I’d sneak out by means of the lavatory window after which climb in again up the drainpipe… It was harmful as a result of there have been spikes and the whole lot.” He breaks into his infectious snort once more. He tells me he can be visiting associates or going out clubbing.
At some point his brother advised he take his gray Datsun taxi out at evening. Moey jumped on the likelihood. Quickly he was incomes good cash and having fun with his freedom.
On that December evening when he begrudgingly accepted a tape in cost, he performed it on the way in which house. “I used to be used to the High 40 Charts, and I assumed that was all there was on the earth.” What he heard had been sounds he’d by no means skilled earlier than. The Chicago Home scene had simply are available with artists like Daryl Pandy and Mr Fingers. There was underground R’n’B, and soul music. “I used to be simply bowled over, I used to be blown away,” Moey says.
Discover out extra
- Moey Hassan options within the new sequence of Three Kilos in My Pocket, which begins on BBC Radio four at 11:00 on Friday 6 December
- Listen to the first two series on BBC Sounds
- See additionally In Pictures: Bradford’s Bhangra daytimers
The person who gave him the tape was a widely known native DJ. Moey picked him up once more in his cab, and this time he requested for a cassette. The DJ quickly grew to become an everyday buyer, and Moey wasn’t all in favour of money, he wished cost in tapes and DJ-ing classes. Quickly he was spending afternoons on the DJ’s studio, the place the partitions had been coated in his awards and newspaper clippings. There, Moey learnt about music and mixing. Then he began to get gigs in golf equipment. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than Moey was “DJ Moey”, and he was thriving.
“After I take a look at myself as an Asian man within the UK, it’s totally tough to have a way of belonging. And in that atmosphere it was nice,” he says. His success as a DJ may very well be measured within the takings on the bar. “Rapidly you had a way of belonging and also you had been incomes your cash deservedly.”
Moey’s dad was certainly one of 1000’s of males who had come from Mirpur to work within the textile mills of northern British cities, starting within the early 1960s. By the 1980s their wives had come over too, and their kids, many born right here, had been coming of age. There have been now multiple million South Asians in Britain, not simply Mirpuris, but in addition individuals from different areas on the Indian subcontinent just like the Punjab or Sylhet in Bangladesh – others had been Asians from East Africa.
Lots of the second technology had lived by means of the outright racism of the 1970s, epitomised by the Nationwide Entrance, they usually had been discovering methods to precise their id not simply in music, however movie and theatre too. Like Moey, they had been forging their very own path, in a really totally different manner from their dad and mom.
The golf equipment Moey DJ’d in had been nearly by no means frequented by younger British South Asians. Moey knew that plenty of South Asian youngsters, like him, weren’t allowed out at evening, “and particularly Asian ladies”. There was new music on the scene now – bhangra. It combined Punjabi folks songs with Western music. He’d heard individuals taking part in it in school. He as soon as went to Tumblers, a membership, through the day – they usually had been taking part in bhangra to a handful of British South Asian youngsters. It gave Moey a enterprise concept.
He bought along with another Asian DJs and employed the Queen’s Corridor, which was subsequent to an extra schooling faculty, the place they placed on a membership session from noon to 4. It was held each Wednesday, as that was a half day on the faculty. It took time to get off the bottom, however with focused promotion and word-of-mouth, quickly round 300 younger British South Asians had been turning as much as this new underground membership scene. The occasions grew to become often known as “daytimers”.
Moey remembers how South Asian women turned up of their salwar kameez with a provider bag. They’d go into the bathrooms and emerge sporting denims and a leather-based jacket. “They got here out trying like Olivia Newton John,” he says. They performed bhangra, in addition to bands like Unfastened Ends, Maxi Priest, and tracks from the Chicago Home scene. “It was groundbreaking.”
As Moey noticed it, it was a chance for younger British South Asians to precise themselves on the dancefloor and let their hair down. “They wanted an outlet. And that outlet was not out there to Asian individuals at the moment,” he says. For Moey, it was good enterprise too. Each clubber paid a £2 entry charge – not a small quantity again then.
As he was on his decks he would look down on the dancers and really feel elated. “To have the ability to transfer individuals was such a thrill. They felt free. They got here from stifling houses, right here they may categorical themselves. It was stunning.”
There was no alcohol. Even when they’d wished a licence, they would not have been capable of get one at the moment of day. Individuals who got here had been, like Moey, second-generation Mirpuris, or from Bradford’s Punjabi group. “Again then faith wasn’t actually an issue” he remembers. Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus danced collectively within the Queen’s Corridor, Bradford, in the course of the day. They shaped friendships, even relationships – although they had been discreet. However Moey factors out that in some instances the ladies who got here had no brothers to object to them being seen at this underground membership. (Or in the event that they did, they made positive their brothers weren’t round.)
After a 12 months or so, Moey had larger plans. He organised day-time occasions in bigger venues in Bradford, just like the Maestro. “I wished them to expertise an actual nightclub with the lights and the whole lot,” he says. On the identical time, daytimers had been occurring elsewhere in locations with giant British South Asian populations – West London, Birmingham, Luton and within the Midlands – typically with effectively over 1,00zero in attendance. Moey organised coaches to take younger individuals from Bradford to a few of them, although he at all times tried to make positive they had been again in time for supper at their dad and mom’ house. Moey even organised daytimers exterior Bradford himself. It was at certainly one of them in 1990, at Applejacks in Manchester, the place he was approached to current a music programme referred to as Bhangra Beat for mainstream British TV.
Moey says after just a few years individuals ultimately grew out of daytimers. He wished to maneuver on too. He was extra all in favour of stepping into mainstream music, and making an attempt his hand at appearing. Trying again, he’s nonetheless amused his dad and mom had no clue about this different life. “I do know it is a bit unhealthy,” he says, “however we lied about what we had been doing.”
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