Trailblazer Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson remembered as the DJ ‘who had everything’
House music star played at legendary club nights at the Electric Ballroom
06 December, 2018 — By Dan Carrier
DJ Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson with Gordon Mac
TRIBUTES have been paid to Paul “Trouble” Anderson, a legendary figure on Camden Town’s music scene who has died from lung cancer aged 59.
The DJ played at the Electric Ballroom, Camden Lock’s HQ venue, Dingwalls and many other famous nightspots, as well as London’s groundbreaking pirate radio station Kiss FM, earning legions of dedicated fans.
A trailblazer at London clubs and raves from the 1980s onwards, he influenced the band Soul II Soul and DJ Norman Jay.
Kiss FM founder DJ Gordon Mac recalled when he first saw Paul DJing at Crackers, a club in the West End. “I remember seeing him dancing,” he said. “I was a little DJ in some pubs at the time and he just blew me away with his moves and his music.”
They 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,” Mr Mac said. “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 a role model for young black men, giving them the confidence to perform when racism was still all too frequent at West End clubs.
Mr Mac said: “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.”
Mr Anderson, born in east London, grew up in children’s homes. As a teenager, he discovered his passion for music and starting DJing for friends at parties.
Camden Town music impresario Lee Bennett said: “I was doing warehouse parties and I’d set one up in Dalston, but only a carload showed up. I asked them where everyone was and they said to me: ‘Well, Paul Anderson is DJing in Camden, so everyone has gone there’.”
He booked Mr Anderson to play at Bagleys in King’s Cross and his club Open, in Tottenham Court Road. “We arranged to do a live broadcast over the internet to a club in Italy,” he said. “It was around 1999 and nothing was working properly so we were enjoying a glass of red wine. Suddenly a technician shouted: ‘You’re live!’ Paul threw his glass of wine all over me, jumped behind the record decks and off he went.”
Steve Wilmott, who managed HQ, where Mr Anderson ran a midweek club night called The Loft, said: “People would go on about this night. I didn’t really understand why a Wednesday would the busiest night of the week there until I went myself. He was just a lovely guy – so kind, down to earth.”
He added: “He knew and liked all sorts of music and he showed that at HQ – it was a real crossover, the sort of thing that could not exist in Camden any more. “e is known primarily as a house DJ but he encompassed so many styles.”
Mr Mac is planning a show on his station Mi-Soul on Saturday charting Mr Anderson’s life.