If you wanted to hear house music in the London scene in 1986-87, then your best bet was to head to Delirium on the Charing Cross Road. And if you were looking for one of the most sussed DJ’s, then Noel and Maurice Watson were the boys. Schooled at Orangefield Secondary in east Belfast and sometimes residents of Bangor, Co Down, these Irish brothers were so ahead of their game that they almost caused riots during their sets.
The club was founded on hip hop and rare groove, and many of the London B-Boys hated this new music that was burning up the clubs of Chicago and beyond. The management had to install a cage around the DJ area to protect the Watsons, who were so far into the scheme now that they weren’t going to relent in their mission to convert the capital to house. Maurice was spending much of his time in New York, checking out the Paradise Garage and realising that this house thing was unstoppable.
When they moved Delirium from The Astoria to the Heaven venue, they brought Frankie Knuckles over for a long stay, building up the roots of the scene even more. One of the regulars was Danny Rampling, who was putting his own vision together. In time a bunch of acolytes came to the Watson camp. People like Phil Asher and a young whippersnapper called David Holmes. Noel taught the latter how to mix.
Some years later, David paid his dues by dedicating his album Bow Down to the Exit Sign, to the memory of Maurice, who passed away in sad circumstances.
Local legend Noel Watson has kindly given us a short mix for download … its a recent one with some his own productions and edits
You know it makes sense