Acid House Veteran, Techno Survivor, Hardway Bros, Beard Scientist and Freelance Disco Consultant he has played at some of London’s landmark clubs including The Promised Land, Sabre Sonic, Club UK, Final Frontier, Disco Bloodbath and was one of the founding residents at London Super Club Cable… [soundcloud]
Sean Johnston was born and raised in Hull, East Yorkshire and the roots of his dance music education were born at the Wellington Club (Welly) in the mid-1980s. “I used to go to a club night there that was run by Ragna Gift, sister of Roland Gift from the Fine Young Cannibals, and Phil Blonde (now a political thinker and architect of David Cameron’s government). It was essentially a northern soul and motown night, and the resident DJs were Porky and Steve Cobby, who went on to start Pork Recordings. I used to go down there and drink Newcastle Brown and dance and that was really my introduction to nightclubbing,” said Johnston. In 1985, house music was beginning to be imported into the clubs of the North and upon buying records in Manchester, Johnston was hooked on this new sound. “I’m pretty sure I persuaded Ragna to let me DJ upstairs at the Welly Club. I’d like to think she invited me but I’m sure I just blagged a gig. I was playing early house records, things like Steve Silk Hurley and Hercules. They were the kind of things you could pick up on Trax and DJ International but at the time there wasn’t enough house music to be playing a whole night of it so I was also playing stuff like Orange Juice and Depeche Mode and Tackhead and a whole bunch of other stuff from my record collection that was danceable.”
From these early times at Welly, Johnston moved to London in 1988 and began promoting club nights, DJing and producing records under The Hardway Bros. pseudonym alongside Jake Davies of the Flash Faction (the project is now just Johnston). Shortly afterwards he produced a remix for Andrew Weatherhall (Primal Scream, Two Lone Swordsmen, Boys Own, The Sabres Of Paradise), after they met through a mutual friend of Jeff Barrett (Heavenly Recordings). The pair now collaborate on a successful DJ session called A Love From Outer Space.
From his base in Scrutton Street, East London, Sean Johnston continues to DJ across the globe and produces music and remixes for some of dance music’s leading acts including Scott Fraser, Daniel Avery, Toby Tobias, Disco Bloodbath and Timothy Fairplay.