The 1988 single Theme from S’Express took Mark Moore from DJing at London’s gay clubs to No 1 and Top of the Pops.
He talks about the power of disco – and why Sid Vicious gave him an old pair of trousers.
As this year’s gripe-fest around the 40th anniversary of punk demonstrates – nothing winds up the grizzled warriors of 1976 like a public recognition of their achievements.
Look at the resentment directed at Punk London in which ‘some of the coolest cultural organisations and businesses in London celebrate punk in all its ragged glory’.
Is that punk?
It’s a relief then to encounter an actual punk veteran – someone who really was there – albeit in a very junior capacity – and who reacts to mention of the Pistols and the King’s Road not with well-worn complaints about commercialisation – but with unalloyed enthusiasm.
‘punk was great. It changed everything for me’ says 51-year-old Mark Moore.
A master DJ – remixer and one of many fathers of the 1980s British house music explosion – his 1988 No 1 Theme from S’Express – a Day-Glo powerhouse of a record that can still fill a dancefloor 28 years on – accelerated disco’s long march back to mainstream popularity.
‘I never saw punk as this nihilistic negative thing’ Moore says.
‘I got into it because as a teenager I hated everything and I honestly thought I’d be dead by 21 – like you do’.
He starts laughing – Moore laughs a lot.
‘But when Johnny Lydon sang ‘No future’ I truly felt that he was talking to me personally – giving me the message. ‘There is no future for you – unless you do something about it.’
It was so incredibly exciting and I’ve never forgotten it’.