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Ministry of Sound 25 years
Bert Bevins and Victor Rosado at Ministry of Sound

What was Ministry of Sound like 25 years ago?

As one of the last superclubs celebrates its twenty-fifth birthday this weekend, we ask DJs and crew who were there at the start for their memories of it back in the day

By Time Out London Music

Austen Derek

Installed the legendary first soundsystem at the club 

‘When we were building the system, a guy called Paul came in with his records and just stared at the console. I asked [owner] Justin Berkmann “What’s with the guy and his records?” and he said, “That’s Oakie. Paul Oakenfold. He’s a DJ that plays stadiums here. He just came in to practise.”  Then he asked me where the mixer was as he’s never seen a rotary mixer before.’

Jazzy M 

The opening DJ on Ministry’s first night 

‘On the opening Saturday, I had the great honour of being the first DJ to play the first record –which was David Morales’s mix of “Roller Skating Jam Called Saturday” by De La Soul. And just to to top that off, the late great Larry Levan showed me how to use the [highly unusual] Urei mixer before my set.’

The Ministry of Sound dancefloor

Seb Fontaine

Former resident DJ in The 103 

‘Walking down that long dark tunnel in an area of London not associated with cool clubbing  – previously it had all been about the West End and Soho – was a bit like walking into Santa’s grotto as a kid. Before Ministry, most clubs would have big stacks at the front pumping as loud as they could get it. Ministry was completely groundbreaking: speakers, tweeters and horns hung everywhere with the warmest 360-degree sound I had ever heard. You could actually have a conversation on the dancefloor.’

DJ Pierre

Acid house pioneer and MoS regular 

‘My heart was pounding with excitement and enthusiasm as I walked through that tunnel. I felt the bass bleeding through the walls as I made my way towards the main room. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt that type of energy walking into a club before.’

Denzil Roberts 

VIP host and door picker 

‘Opening night and everyone is coming back to me saying that they can’t go to the toilet because the plastic doors in the loo were see-through! I drank so much, I laid under my Jeep parked right in front of the venue!’

Adam Englander 

VIP host between 1991-92 

‘I can’t remember anything.’

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