Current Location :: London, UK Real Names :: Everson Allen &
Music Genres :: Rave & Hardcore, House
Artist's DJ List & DJ Mag Rankings
DJ MagRanks :: (2010) N/A (2011) N/A (2012) N/A DJ List Ranks :: (Global) 2,321 (Rave & Hardcore) 64
Everson Allen and Lipmaster Mark are
collectively known as The Ratpack. They met through friends
and have worked together for nearly 14 years. They’ve
been in the game for over a decade, which is why they are
considered to be the kings of old skool.
It all began when Everson Allen, front man for ‘The
Pack’, had his own dance school – basically teaching
street kids to get involved in something constructive. The
attendance reached an all-time high, so Everson decided to
stage his own raves – some of you early-heads will remember
Trip City and The Munday Club. Such clubs were a great influence
on many and, for Everson, a stepping stone to greater things.
The building of their careers was gradual, however, with
appearances slowly mounting up. Many would say that the Ratpack
movement was like a time-bomb just waiting to detonate. London
felt the explosion first (well, they do originate from there!);
it seemed that every flyer, club and stage was graced by their
presence throughout England’s capital city and, by now,
the Ratpack tremor was beginning to make itself felt throughout
the rest of the UK. Then, almost overnight, Ratpack-mania
had set in, and with the same power-vibe as had been felt
in Londinium. In fact, it’s fair to say that their magic
was felt in virtually every city across the country. I’ll
never forget the vibes they sent out, as well as the overwhelming
compulsion to really let yourself go to their sounds.
But London has always been home for the boys and when it
came to performing, home came first. The North of England,
however, had proved slightly more difficult to conquer; Top
Buzz – fellow rivals at the time – were, to many,
still the people’s champions. The Buzz at that time
virtually had the north sewn up, so when promoters from the
infamous Quest decided to stage a soundclash in Wolverhampton
between Top Buzz and Ratpack, over 4,000 people turned up.
Incredibly, a further 3,000 were locked outside with no tickets
– it was the main event! The Ratpack came through with
flying colours, proving their pedigree to everyone within
and out with the industry and demonstrating that they were
the dog’s bollocks in entertainment. The northern territory
was duly conquered and added to their fast-growing empire.
The Ratpack were cruising.
Like everyone else, Ratpack have had their highs and lows.
The boys not only went through things together musically,
but also personally. The first devastating blow for Everson
and Mark came on the road, whilst travelling to a gig. Their
vehicle was involved in a fatal car crash, Everson losing
the woman who had supported him from day one. Both of the
boys were badly injured, Everson the worst, and they consequently
spent time in hospital. However thanks to the skills of the
medical team and the overwhelming support from their fans
and Kiss FM they pulled through.
They next performed on New Year’s Eve 1992 –
even though, in yet another cruel blow, Mark’s mother
had just passed away. Nevertheless, in the best traditions
of the business, he went on to DJ in front of 16,000 up-for-it
ravers at Fantazia’s Littlecote House. He said later:
“The ravers didn’t have a clue what I was going
through, I am human, after all”.
Ratpack were nothing if not resilient. Whatever knocked them
down, they always seemed to bounce right back. I remember
Fantazia at Castle Donnington where the boys performed in
the early hours. Mark mixing away to over 27,000 people while
Everson propped himself up on his walking stick with the mic
in his other hand! Such was their determination to carry on
and bloody hard it was at times, too, but together they kept
By 1994 the boys had come a long way from the early Ratpack
sound system days and, after releasing the club classic, ‘Searching
For My Rizla’, which went to No. 1 in the UK, Euro and
US dance charts, they were bang on course to be signed by
a major. And that’s exactly what happened; Euro giants
Logic BMG, responsible for acts such as Haddaway, Snap and
Enigma, struck a deal with ‘The Pack’s’
manager, and with no delay ‘Captain Of The Ship’
was released. Around that time, the boys were virtually living
in Europe while promoting the single. Then there was the £500,000
video shoot which was very impressive (mind you, at that price…!).
The track did well and more material was planned for release
on Logic, leading to a world-wide album deal. However things
did not go to plan and The Ratpack parted company with Logic
after tough negotiations failed to satisfy both parties.
And now, the Pack return with lots of new material written
around the old skool theme. The style includes an abundance
of breaks and is being dubbed ‘new skool breaks’.
With the popularity of old skool back in the ascendancy and
no-one making the music any more, they have chosen to innovate.
The boys are also touching on a garage feel, with new mixes
just finished by the much talked-about 187 Lockdown and The
Rhythm Masters. These blokes reputedly won’t get out
of bed to mix for less than £50k, polishing and innovating
for the likes of Robbie Williams, Louise and many more. Out
of respect for their roots, they’ve remixed ‘Searching
For My Rizla’, which is due for release any time now.
Also on the remix is the highly acclaimed Tunesquad, London’s
next generation of speed garage, which consists of Lee ‘Spika’
Williams and Co.
‘The Pack’ have also just mixed a compilation
album entitled ‘Old Skool Masters’, on Rumour
Records, with Nicky Blackmarket on the jungle skool mix, together
with appearances on Steve Jackson’s Morning Glory Kiss
And guess what It doesn’t stop there. They’ve
just launched a new club every Sunday at Propaganda in North
London, and a great new night in the Midlands – Legends
Of The Old Skool.
Many artists come and go and success is a notoriously difficult
thing to sustain. However, history shows that those with NRG,
drive and heart always come through – and the boys have
these qualities to ensure that they’ll reach their destination.
Years ago they lit a spark and it’s just about to happen
all over again. The world is going to feel the phenomenon
known to the old skool massives as The Ratpack. We salute
them as pioneers and true greats of the British dance movement.
Artist's Web Links
| Old Skool Rave & Hardcore Compilations :: Ratpack