Within the 1980s, many British South Asian youngsters have been anticipated to spend evenings at residence, 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, instructed the BBC’s Kavita Puri the way it started.
It’s December, 1985 approaching ten at night time. Moey Hassan is driving his taxi in Bradford when he stops to select up a younger man. It is a DJ who needs 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 offers him a cassette, a tape that can change Moey’s life.
Moey had been born in 1966 in Mirpur in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. He has few recollections from dwelling there however remembers the home they lived in was made of straightforward supplies and there was a lot of household round – his great-grandfather, his grandmother and plenty 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 have been, indirectly, associated to his father.
His mum was a housewife. His dad and mom spoke little English – they spoke Mirpuri at residence – 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 might sneak out via the lavatory window after which climb in again up the drainpipe… It was harmful as a result of there have been spikes and all the things.” He breaks into his infectious snicker once more. He tells me he could be visiting associates or going out clubbing.
At some point his brother advised he take his gray Datsun taxi out at night time. Moey jumped on the likelihood. Quickly he was incomes good cash and having fun with his freedom.
On that December night time when he begrudgingly accepted a tape in cost, he performed it on the way in which residence. “I used to be used to the Prime 40 Charts, and I believed that was all there was on the planet.” What he heard have 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 collection 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 turned an everyday buyer, and Moey wasn’t fascinated by money, he wished cost in tapes and DJ-ing classes. Quickly he was spending afternoons on the DJ’s studio, the place the partitions have been lined 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.
“Once I have a look at myself as an Asian man within the UK, it is very tough to have a way of belonging. And in that setting it was nice,” he says. His success as a DJ might be measured within the takings on the bar. “Unexpectedly you had a way of belonging and also you have been incomes your cash deservedly.”
Moey’s dad was considered one of hundreds 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, have been coming of age. There have been now a couple of 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 have been Asians from East Africa.
Most of the second era had lived via the outright racism of the 1970s, epitomised by the Nationwide Entrance, they usually have been discovering methods to specific their id not simply in music, however movie and theatre too. Like Moey, they have been forging their very own path, in a really completely different manner from their dad and mom.
The golf equipment Moey DJ’d in have been nearly by no means frequented by younger British South Asians. Moey knew that a number of South Asian children, like him, weren’t allowed out at night time, “and particularly Asian ladies”. There was new music on the scene now – bhangra. It blended 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 have been taking part in bhangra to a handful of British South Asian children. It gave Moey a enterprise thought.
He obtained along with another Asian DJs and employed the Queen’s Corridor, which was subsequent to an extra schooling school, 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 school. It took time to get off the bottom, however with focused promotion and word-of-mouth, quickly round 300 younger British South Asians have been turning as much as this new underground membership scene. The occasions turned referred to 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 wanting like Olivia Newton John,” he says. They performed bhangra, in addition to bands like Free Ends, Maxi Priest, and tracks from the Chicago Home scene. “It was groundbreaking.”
As Moey noticed it, it was a possibility for younger British South Asians to specific themselves on the dancefloor and let their hair down. “They wanted an outlet. And that outlet was not obtainable 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 might categorical themselves. It was lovely.”
There was no alcohol. Even when that they had wished a licence, they would not have been in a position to get one at the moment of day. Individuals who got here have 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 midst of the day. They fashioned friendships, even relationships – although they have 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 greater 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 all the things,” he says. On the similar time, daytimers have been occurring elsewhere in locations with massive British South Asian populations – West London, Birmingham, Luton and within the Midlands – generally with nicely 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 have been again in meal time at their dad and mom’ residence. Moey even organised daytimers outdoors Bradford himself. It was at considered 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 a couple of years individuals finally grew out of daytimers. He wished to maneuver on too. He was extra fascinated by stepping into mainstream music, and attempting his hand at appearing. Wanting again, he’s nonetheless amused his dad and mom had no clue about this different life. “I do know it’s kind of dangerous,” he says, “however we lied about what we have been doing.”
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