Over a career spanning four decades, the pioneering DJ Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson, who has passed away after a long fight with cancer, could claim to have been at the forefront of most of the significant shifts in UK club culture. From the youth clubs and soul scene of the seventies right through to the global dance music festivals of today, Anderson was there at every turn. Clubs, roller discos, sound systems, warehouse parties, orbital raves, super clubs, Anderson did them all and usually first.
Indeed, this knack for being where the action remained with him until the end. Fittingly, one of Paul’s last DJ residencies was at Peckham’s Bussey Building, where over the five years he played there, the south-east London district rose from backwater to cultural and nightlife hotspot: with yet another generation young London club-goers falling under his spell in the process.
Born in 1959, Paul was one of six siblings, born to parents who had moved to Britain from Jamaica. Complications at home would see Paul spend much of his childhood in care being moved around care homes and foster families across England. This experience saw Paul effectively bringing himself up no doubt played its part in instilling the drive and single-mindedness that would propel Paul’s career and the need to make something of himself in his chosen field.
As a student, Paul did well enough at his studies to pass the eleven plus exam and gain a place at a grammar school. However, it was at sports that he would excel with his ability at football such that he was on the books with a variety of London football clubs during his youth. While physical activity would remain a passion throughout his life, it would take a second place to his first love, music.
Starting as a pop fan, by his teenage years, Paul favoured the reggae and American soul and funk records that he heard and brought himself to the youth clubs of the early seventies. His growing interest in music and records encouraged by an Uncle who ran a reggae sound system which Paul would help out with, providing him with his first exposure to the art of DJ’ing.